Los Ojos

I was taking photos of shadows, cats, bricks and steps in the city of Cuenca in Spain. Everything that I could see right in front of me. It was sunny and mild and even the grafitti seemed to have had a spring clean. I thought I had the old town all to myself, but someone … More Los Ojos

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

Trust in time

It’s our last breakfast in Algodonales, Spain, Summer 2018. We sit on red plastic chairs at a small pavement café and find that our table has a mind of its own. We wedge napkins under its thin metal legs to correct the wobble, and enjoy brief seconds of success before someone rests an elbow and … More Trust in time

Silver not Grey

Yesterday, my daughter pointed out the grey in my hair. She thought she was being helpful. It’s not the only thing I’ve been reminded about this week. For example, the ‘lockdown-logue’ that I’ve forgotten to write. It started last Monday with a tight scrawl. Tuesday saw a looser enthusiasm which tailed off around mid-week, and … More Silver not Grey

Finca Food

El Huerto “Others say it is organic, permaculture, and a lot of other complicated words; for us it is just good food grown with common sense.” Mediterranean vegetables, fruits and legumes grow alongside traditional Flemish ones at the Finca, allowing for a year round production of an enviable list: Gwen and Bart love tomatoes so … More Finca Food

The Beginning

When Gwen and Bart found a parcel of land disconnected from the human world around it, in a lesser known area of Spain, they knew it was where they wanted to be, and they knew they could make it work. Nothing could be achieved without a power supply, and the obvious way to source this … More The Beginning

Back to the Finca

“It is as if we are on an island .. COVID-19 does not get here, but neither do supplies of electricity, water, telephone, wastewater pipes, gas etc.“ These words are sent to me by Gwen and Bart, the owners of Finca las Cañadas, a farm located in the Spanish region of Extremadura. They moved here … More Back to the Finca

Madrid anti-clockwise

I run early before heat encases the city, although its grip is palpable already. I slide beside walls and stick to shadows cast on slivers of street littered with last night’s debris. Morning tourists are few but strewn like slowly perambulating hazards. Smart locals in shades dodge them whilst speaking nineteen to the dozen on … More Madrid anti-clockwise

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