The grave of three men: Jobo, Cabo, Baco. They all look alike. Two could be brothers, the third could be the son of one, or a nephew, or a much younger brother. This youngest man (Cabo) died in 1943 at the age of 23. The 23-year-old man of a different family looks thoughtful and resolute. … More Montenegro Lives
New pictures of Olhão azulejos. Or so I had thought. At least I caught some fresh fish at the market… Olhão’s municipal market is comprised of one fish market and one fruit and veg market. Hours are 7am-2pm every weekday, and 7am-1pm every Saturday (closed on Sundays). There is also a weekly Saturday outdoors market … More Azulejos and Fish (Take 2)
(In the coastal town of Olhão in Portugal.) It’s the same menu, the same simplicity, the same man who welcomes us with: “Non-stop fish!” Except that the queues are shorter because the tables are more numerous (the prices are a bit higher, but so are prices everywhere these days). No need for new photos, really. … More Vai e Volte, Olhão (again).
I’m on the hunt for the orange, the ‘Queen of the Orchard‘, on the outskirts of a Portuguese town. However, a three-legged dog is after me. It fixes me with an amber-eyed gaze and its muscled form jumps when it barks. It may want to run with me, or it may want to bite. Friend … More The Queen of the Orchard is not rotten yet.
I asked my friend, Fitta, to give me a proverb. I’ve been hunting for proverbs in books, magazines and online. I’ve consulted sugar sachets from Spain; I’ve discovered the wisdoms of the Akans; and I’ve learned that these clever turns of phrase which express universal truths may not themselves be universal. My recent interest in … More Milestone Words
Here are days, weeks and years of travel. From Orkney to Australia, and from Malawi to Berlin. I know some of these places, and once I must have imagined I would visit them all.
… More Boxing up books (a working title)
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
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
“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
Down the road from where we are staying sits an unassuming (but pretty) ‘shed’ at the side of a driveway belonging to Ottinge Court Farm. Inside the shed are some eggs and an honesty box, a freezer and two huge vending machines. One is named the MilkMate, and dispenses the day’s milk. A brilliant innovation … More MilkMate