autumn evenings

I was a bit ahead of myself when I said it was autumn on the 17th, as in fact the equinox didn’t happen till September 22nd. But there was an autumnal edge to the air last week, although it feels even more ‘edgy’ now the rains have started.

This limits my evenings spent writing under the vine but there will still be plenty of days ahead when it’s warm enough for an hour or two outside once I’ve finished in the studio for the day.

These three short pieces were all written under such circumstances, Continue reading “autumn evenings”

water, water everywhere

I’m in Madrid for a few days for meetings etc., and am horrified to be reminded just how much chaos the rain causes in what is, after all, a first world capital city.

I’d already seen the first major rains of the season which I wrote about in Change in the Weather, but it doesn’t get any better.

This morning the newspapers are full of the news: 130 km of traffic jams, the emergency services inundated with calls, and a woman killed after being swept away by the floods in Coslada. Continue reading “water, water everywhere”


After the rain
the tousled heads of corn;
a scarecrow army.

Castilla y León, 21/09/2008
Castilla y León, 21/09/2008

early awakening


The neighbour’s rooster wakes
and flings his morning warning
to the hills. The echoes stretch
a string between hoarse-throated brays
and barks which tumble to the still-grey sky.

autumn, but the sky’s still blue…



in the blue, a small cloud, broad
in the beam as a nursery aeroplane
and fades
to leave
a wisp

change in the weather

Yesterday the summer ended in Madrid. There were several torrential rain storms – proper “vertical rain” soldiering down – during the afternoon and evening, and then the worst hail storm I’ve seen in years which started around 1:00 a.m.
Continue reading “change in the weather”

coches de choque

After three weeks of the grey-green UK “summer”, I returned to the dusty yellows of Spain and found the village in the throes of fiestas.

dodge 'em or bump 'em?
dodge 'em or bump 'em?
Las fiestas del veraneante, to be precise – the annual celebration during the last week of August which is put on for the benefit of those who spend summer in the pueblo. Veranear – “to summer”. Not a verb that exists in English, though we do talk of birds wintering in warmer climes.

Continue reading “coches de choque”