Posts Tagged ‘Spanish’

La Gratitud

In Plenary, Production on July 13, 2013 at 8:49 am

La Gratitud

We go to dinner at L’s apartment in one of the soviet-style blocks down by the water and as usual there are another few people for us to meet.  As we climb the stairs to his second floor flat we find ourselves doing so with his son and his son’s girlfriend and once inside we are introduced to A, a woman of Argentine origin who now lives in El Puerto de Santa Maria – about an hour away – and who struggles, as we do, to make small talk as the others huddle in the kitchen preparing the food.

In his text message, L boasted that the dish on offer tonight had a five hundred year pedigree, billing the dinner as “una cena andalusi”. In fact there are two “platos” and I never clarify which one he was referring to – some tabouleh with herbs, apples and raisins and an andaluz salad I have read about and attempted myself but never tasted in anyone else’s home, a plate of orange slices, olives and bacalao, along with more raisins and potato wedges.

The latter is carried in by P – who is always here – on two plates while B, a Swiss woman who lives in Tarifa with her Spanish partner and who speaks tarifeño Spanish like a sailor, brings in the tabouleh and the meal is underway. We always like coming and tonight I’m glad to be here even though there are good days and bad days as far as my Spanish is concerned and I find myself slipping in and out of comprehension and a little frustrated with myself at times. I do pick up that A is some kind of music therapist and when the conversation turns to the food More


In Plenary, Presentation on March 30, 2011 at 9:16 am

The Spanish use the same word for time that they do for weather. It seemed odd to me at first but is making more and more sense. You only have to watch cloud shadow play across a hillside or observe the changes in people as they live through the different weathers thrown at them by a passing year to understand the word. I look it up and in fact ten possible meanings are listed: 


1. Time

Time has changed. Apart from my three hours in the afternoons with the kids – Monday through Thursday – I manage my own these days. I am no longer a time-labourer; I’m the farmer. There’s only so much that can be harvested and I need it for teaching, for getting shots, for writing. I need it for K, for our home, for fun. To think, to try new things, to plan, to sleep. It’s hard work and I’m not good at it. Yet. More

La Cuenta

In Plenary, Production on September 26, 2010 at 11:50 am

Crédito. I have my first evening of socialising since getting here, with a colleague in Algeciras. We try out a few beers in a few bars (nice bars in Algeciras!) and then we down a bottle of red on the balcony. And then we down a bottle of white on the balcony. It means I spend a little money I don’t have but it is good to talk and get out of my solitary routine. And to get very, very drunk.

Débito. Predictably, the following day is not a pleasant experience.

Crédito. Finally move into the apartment we’ll be in for the next year, which is to say, our new home. It has been left spotlessly clean for me and there is a bidet. I’ve never had a bidet. More