In Practice, Presentation on March 11, 2013 at 8:55 pm
When we first moved into the rental where we now live in the centre of the newer part of Tarifa, just outside the old city walls, we did what I imagine many couples do when they’ve been handed the keys but before they’ve moved any boxes – we cleaned the place from top to bottom. It didn’t look dirty but there is something about going over a new home with bleach and polish, and preparing to add your own dirt, that seems to make it yours. As a woman washes a man out of her hair, so we washed the old tenants away and started afresh. An additional incentive was the smell of cat that pervaded the place.
In the garden, same. It appeared to be some kind of feline colony with all the smells and deposits that that entails. I dug it up and planted aromatics, put down chicken wire and chased off anything with four legs for months, hissing and contorting my face in an effort to convince the neighborhood cat population that it wasn’t worth bothering with our garden anymore. I really went to town, procuring a pump action water gun and sprinkling the place with coffee grounds and lemon peel, as well as the more aggressive chilli powder.
The previous tenant, it became apparent from numerous conversations with the landlord, had made a refuge of the garden for the local strays, feeding them there, and in the house I bet; several of them would come boldly up to the window as if expecting to get in. I cursed her. More
In Practice, Production on July 22, 2012 at 11:16 am
It’s ten in the evening, we’re down on the beach, and they are all around us.
Puppy waves doggy paddle towards the shore in a long, long line of overlapping arcs.
A dome of light on the horizon – the last remnants of the sun’s toffee orange blush.
Los Lances as it bends away towards Punta Paloma and the two headlands up there, the more distant one a paler grey, the closer blacker, both their bends reflected in the mirror water that floods the beach here often.
The merest sliver of a waxing moon, exquisitely fine, like a thumbnail rip in the nylon sky.
Its delicate curl is echoed by the motor parachute that swoops up and down the beach, the pilot taking care each time he passes to leave us our space.
We stand out in the ankle depth and everything appears equidistant. Nothing farther away than anything else – Tangier just as near, and just as remote, as the chiringuito on the other side of the beached water where people are gathering in the music. More
In Presentation, Production on June 14, 2011 at 8:30 am
Browns, burnt reds, creamy golden whites – the colours of the closed eye. I’m on my back and K is beside me, lying on a bed of pine needles and crunchy dried leaves. I open them as a black beetle bustles past a bottle of sunblock at the base of a tree trunk. Layers of world; our soft bed a lifetime of confines and cavities for it to clamber over and through.
It doesn’t know the world above it that we inhabit – the regularly spaced trees like columns in a brown basilica. The air is cool, streaked with rays of sunlight and dusted with buzzing insects. Above us, if I raise my head and look sideways, a different space – brighter and higher; a world of virile greens, the blue of the sky breaking through here and there.
If I lay my head back down on the forest floor I can look up at and somehow out onto yet another space. A vast and ferociously lit universe. The very tips of the trees and above them the glaring void. The extremity of the light, the sheer difference in the strength of it as it falls on things up there bathes them in the same strangeness things have when seen underwater. It is a quiet world today – none of the usual air-and-leaf laments; “windstill”, K calls it. More
In Presentation, Practice on January 17, 2011 at 10:47 am
There are three bottles of hard liquor on the top shelf.
That’s the drinks cabinet. It’s not a hard drink household and although the wine flows freely here we never hang on to bottles for long enough to build up an impressive rack. Yes, I really did say impressive rack.
How’s that for search engine optimization?
Two of the bottles are German, and so properly referred to as schnapps. They are delicious herbal concoctions that go down smoothly and sweetly and deliver killer hangovers if taken in sufficient doses.
The other is a bottle of my beloved Luis Felipe. A half bottle actually – I’m not made of money. If you’ve ever tried Luis Felipe then you of course love it too. More