I moved back to the UK some years ago, but the time spent in Spain, and in particular, the years spent en el pueblo, still influence my thoughts. Today, for example is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, a fact I would never have paid any attention to before living in a Catholic country, but which today has prompted me to feel nostalgic.
When we signed the papers on the house in the village it was early autumn, although we continued to dither between Madrid and the country for quite a while after that. So we were still not really on top of the intricacies of rural life as that first year wound down towards las fiestas de navidad.
Continue reading “maculate”
The tomato plants I put in pots rather later than intended this year seem to be growing reasonably well. They are tall and leafy, although bushier than they should be, as I missed a few side shoots.
We don’t have a lot of space and, as I said, it was a bit late before I got my act together to buy seedlings, so there are only three of them: one Gardener’s Delight and two others, which the ironmongress couldn’t remember the names of. I reckoned we could just call them Tom I and Tom II, as they weren’t likely to answer anyway.
Continue reading “something to look forward to”
…who swallowed a fly.”
I expect many readers will understand that “I don’t know why she swallowed a fly.” Many will also be familiar with the range of extreme remedies the old lady pursued.
First she swallowed a spider to catch the fly.
Continue reading ““there was an old lady…”
We are now officially well into the Year of the Pig. And, frankly, if the Year of the Dog was a bitch, this year has already been a pig of a year.
Back when I lived in Spain, pigs loomed large in my life. So here I’m just going to gather together some old blog posts that have featured pigs and pig products, boars and other related issues, and also re-post a few relevant images, starting with this little pig who went to market and half startled the life out of me as he nestled in among the reconstituted crab sticks.
Continue reading “year of the pig”
The first time I posted the poem 21st-century pugilist to the blog, I didn’t really have the right picture, so it was accompanied by a photo of the wrestler, Stan Roberts.
Now, though, I have a photo of the statue of Randolph Turpin, the boxer, so I think it’s a good time to re-post the poem, which was written in Spain around eight years ago:
Continue reading “sporting blues”
I like the idea of Chinese New Year. I am always running late with things and I generally forget to post Christmas cards or buy presents in time and just end up assuring people I simply have no interest in the whole festive season.
So to have a chance to catch up and send people New Year wishes around a month later suits me quite well – particularly when the celebrations fall in early February as it means there is a vague chance I may be nudged into remembering the multiple birthdays of friends and family that fall at that time.
Continue reading “it depends”
In the Chinese calendar, the year of the rooster starts today, 28th January 2017, so it seems a good reason to have some cockerels, roosters and chickens on the blog this weekend.
The photo at the top was taken at the Bristol Balloon Festival some ten years ago. I feel it’s a bit cartoonish to go with this poetry vignette of dawn breaking in the Spanish pueblo where I used to live, but I don’t seem to have many photos on file that are right for the topic.
Continue reading “home to roost”