Yesterday I hiked up the hill to see my friend Norma for lunch. She lives just above Santa Cruz, but you can only drive to the bottom of the steep hill — then it’s time for about fifteen minutes of nice healthy exercise.

I’m sure it did me good. And leaving the family behind for some me time did even more good. It was great. We talked about music, books, politics, writing, finances for artists, cabbages and kings.

She played me a couple of half-finished tracks from her work-in-progess, which is quite an honour. I know how much I have to trust someone before I show them anything other than the final draft. I loved them.

And somehow or other I started rearranging Norma’s house to take photos. I’m not sure what it is about the place, but the lighting’s gorgeous. I think it’s partly that there’s a lot of light coming in through the windows, because it’s on top of the hill, and partly that walls and ceilings are quite dark, so that the light drops off dramtically.

I was taking liberties like opening and closing shutters, cleaning mirrors and making space on a worktop for my behind while I held the camera steady. And Norma was really cool with it all. Bless her!

Posted by sheila

Sheila came to La Palma with a six month contract and has stayed 24 years so far. She used to work as a software engineer at the observatory, but now she's a writer and Starlight guide.

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