Thursday, September 13, 2007

Heading South

Being away from here for a while let me wonder why the hell I write this. For readers, for me, for a faux posterity? Who knows. Although judging by the style I'd slipped into, it looks as if I'd begun to struggle to emulate others in the worldwide bloggerama. Meaning, I lost my voice.

Anyway, I'm going to Spain for a bit, to look for it. And to look for bits of Spain that used to be there a few years ago, before the EU's Social Fund poured its (our) billions in. The bit where you spent the days with cheap wine at zinc tables in cheap bars, and they asked you to stay for dinner - and if you said yes, they went out the back and strangled a chicken for you. The Spain where you could sit in the late autumn sunshine, watching the same swallows you'd left behind in England zipping past you through mountain clefts, on their way to Africa. The Spain where the Guardia Civil would flag you down in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere, and share cigarettes and brandy. Hot Spain, the Spain of endless roads and dusty little towns where weak lights spill from cafes that always have their knot of old men in them, however late it gets. Tapas, churros, cuba libres. Bulls. Plaster saints and fireworks. Lines of olive trees on mountainsides stretching as far as you can see. Storks and vultures. Chicas.

After that, I'll go to see an old friend who lives in the thousand-mile long strip of town that starts at Gibraltar and blights the coastline as far northwards as Barcelona. We'll wallow in the old days, rage against modern times. Comfort food for the mind, I need it. Things have taken somewhat of a sideways turn at Shook Towers.

Sunday, September 02, 2007