A storm in a tea cup.

Theresa phoned me at lunchtime, all upset because Helen was upset. It turned out that Helen had been working on the steps outside the house when one of the neighbours came along. Now the neighbour is deaf and Helen’s Spanish is still limited, so obviously there was a good chance of a misunderstanding. But the neighbour appeared to be saying that the girls had to allow tractors to get past…

April 30, 2007

Alan Johnston

April 23, 2007

I’m a writer. I support free speech. Whoever is holding Alan Johnston should release him immediately.Only liars need to hide the truth.


Trying new things.

I’ve had two new experiences today. This morning I washed a dog for the first time in my life. My friend has “acquired” her mother-in-law’s dog when Mother-in-law came to live with them. The old lady had been too infirm to wash the poor dog for months, and it was so dirty my friend couldn’t bear to touch it – so it just got dirtier. Someone had to break the…

April 21, 2007
April 20, 2007

This weird-looking fruit grows in my friends’ garden in Franceses. None of us knew what it was, although the previous owners told us that it was edible and delicious. Well, with a bit of help from email friends, now we have an identification! It’s a Monstera Deliciosa, from a split-leaf philodendron, also known as Mexican Breadfruit or Swiss Cheese Plant. And they aren’t kidding about the “deliciosa” bit either. It…


Happy Birthday

A bee on a viper's bugloss
April 17, 2007

I think I’ve been overdoing it again. I finished the rush editing job for the Tourist Board on Saturday, and spent most of the afternoon on housework and pushing my son to do his homework. Sunday morning was more housework, and then I went off to Franceses to see Helen and Theresa. I was late, but I couldn’t resist stopping to get this photo of a bee on Echium webbii….

April 11, 2007

Yesterday was mad. I went with Helen and Theresa to customs, to start the paperwork for importing their van – the one they drove down from London. The staff were helpful enough, but the rules weren’t. If you buy a car six months or more before you come to Spain, it’s treated as part of your personal effects. If it’s less than six months, it’s treated as a purchase and…