Tello y Tazgona

A love story from Andalucía (adapted from Lorenzo Valla’s 15th century version of the Legend of La Peña de los Enamorados). A young man once served as a slave in the house of a Moorish leader in the Kingdom of Granada. The man’s name was Tello, and he was a Christian soldier who had been … More Tello y Tazgona

A Love Story

I didn’t think I was writing a love story. I didn’t think I was writing a sad story. Nor one with uncomfortable truths. I thought I was writing a sunny story set in a Spanish Sierra, and I started with someone very similar to Elena, the Tortilla Maker. A story intended to be life-affirming and … More A Love Story

Israel and his Peaches

I don’t expect Israel to notice me. But his head turns my way while I am taking his picture, and he stops. Smiling all the way from across the empty road, he leans with nonchalance against his tractor and readjusts his straw hat, happy to strike a pose. Then he beckons – come, cross the … More Israel and his Peaches

Soulless in Sevenoaks

A pavement walk to a soulless gym on a cloud-hung day. Even the temperature is mediocre – it’s neither this nor that. Just okay. A conveyor belt of cars slides sedately by at this early hour. Some drivers bear that far-off, dreamy look so familiar to us all, suggesting that they are relieving the boredom of the road … More Soulless in Sevenoaks

Tortilla de Patatas

I want to do what Elena did in her pink frying pan. Tortilla de Patatas. I try to follow her hand-written recipe to the letter, but her careful Spanish script gives directions so succinct they seem too simple for something that tastes of sunshine and salt and melting-soft potatoes. It is a quintessentially Spanish tapa. I dig … More Tortilla de Patatas

Sugar Quotes

In Spain, taking a coffee can be an enlightening half-hour. Especially if you’re going through a rough patch. “Confía en el tiempo, que suele dar dulces salidas a muchas amargas dificultades.” (Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra) “Trust in time; it usually gives sweet endings to many bitter challenges” Usually. Thanks, Miguel. Words of wisdom from the great … More Sugar Quotes

Ana Luna

This is Ana Luna. Her character is as warm as the bread she bakes, and her heart is as full as the moon will be tonight (27th July). She sells her pan from behind a small counter at number 37, but photos of her bakery at the back are offered for free. Ana lives two doors … More Ana Luna

Pa amb tomàquet tonight

This evening my eldest son surprised me by making his version of pa amb tomàquet (bread with tomato rubbed onto it, an olive oil drizzle, then seasoned) on the eve of the highly-charged and contentious Catalunyan referendum. He was hungry. We enjoyed this in Cambrils in the summer, but first tasted it Andalucían-style (tostada con tomate y … More Pa amb tomàquet tonight