The least Italian-like Italian city I have ever been to. A run along the sea to the Lanterna Bagno Marino ‘La Lanterna‘ lido, also known as ‘El Pedocìn’ (meaning little louse or mussels), but not for a swim. Spring has only just arrived, and this segregated swimming place can wait for the summer. Still, I … More Notes from Trieste
The woman who works in the co-op walks up to me with a laugh on her lips and a light in her eyes as if she’s about to tell me a joke. She’s always there helping customers smooth wrinkly bar codes at the self-scan checkouts, speaking loud and clear for those who can’t hear, and … More Seeing double
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