Back on the Road

The sound of the jay cackles; a chiff-chaff sits just a metre away from me on the window sill; the wind rustles through the still green leaves of the eucalyptus grove, and a cowbell rings marking the presence of livestock in the field below me.  The bronze chestnut and ash leaves cling with their last …

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The many countries of Spain

"As you cross the border, you know you're in Asturias" We have friends who have bought property at the foot of a mountain range known as the Picos de Europa in Asturias, northern Spain.  We like Asturias, and as they said, you know you're in Asturias the minute you cross the border.  Unlike neighbouring Cantabria, …

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It’s just a story

In Lady Chatterley's Lover (DH Lawrence), one of the characters loves to define human enslavement to money as the Bitch Goddess.  It's caught on.  His friends use the term too.  I don't like the feminisation and deification of money, but that's not really what I want to discuss.   I'll keep hold of the term …

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Little Green Demons

She sighs, hands on hips, as she gazes at a barren pot where once was a jungle of cabbages.  She'd been looking forward to seeing them reach maturity, being a variety with a local name 'Asturian cabbages'. 'All I've managed to do is make a lot of caterpillars and snails fatter.' Then a little lizard …

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In Search of the Soplao

"Where are you going, Alex?" Alex stops to catch his breath. "They call it the Soplao." Astraes, deeply impressed opens his eyes wide.  Hesitating at first, he eventually declares, "I wanna go with you." "Only pirates can go." "I wanna be a pirate.  I can be a pirate, I's Cap'n Khal." "Cap'n Khal's a girl," …

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Tourist for a While

The Destrier is excited.  She's being packed up with familiar items, like a sleep system.  We're off to meet some friends from Hamburg who have been travelling around Portugal for the last month.  Now they want to catch up before travelling back home again.   The last time we saw them was in Scotland a …

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The Viparous Lizard (Zootoca vivipara)

Although living in an apartment, and sometimes staying at home for the day rather than venture into the wilds, I am still able to appreciate nature. Nature comes to visit. The flat overlooks a field that is bordered by ash trees.  They are not in leaf yet, being one of the later trees to bud …

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