Monday, January 09, 2006
I’m sorry if I’ve been a little reclusive recently…
I’m sitting curled up in the corner of the sofa at the moment, with a spaniel’s head for a slipper and a Charlie gently snoring on one of the cushions. About as close to spiritual equilibrium as it gets in our house.
Dog’s recuperative powers are amazing. Toff was up and about and being a thorough pain in the bot within days. I’m writing this so you don’t think that I’m an utter cad for going away at new year. I had intended, in fact booked, to bugger off to Riga for ten days, but of course I cancelled that, and took a flight to Spain, at short notice, instead.
I whiled away six unrepentant days of lazy, languid, unfocussed fuzziness in the villages of the Sierra Nevada. Avoiding company like a hermit, going local and being entirely self absorbed. It was marvellous.
On the whole I don’t really like people. It’s not a particularly endearing trait in someone who works at the client bridge in a publishing company – but I’m a jolly good liar and can put up with a lot for the money. Still, it’s so bloody good to get away from the yammering, gibbering crowd, the stupid faces and the bedlam for just a few days and immerse oneself up to the belly button in anonymity.
The photograph at the top is the Alhambra, the “Red Castle”, a Moorish palace in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada overlooking the city of Grenada. It’s an incredible mixture of Moorish, Renaissance and Baroque. It reeks of age and form and verse like metre, an architectural continuation of the golden stone of the hills. I’m NOT a romantic I swear. I’m a fish. But despite it’s antiquity and evident purpose as a fortress, my overwhelming impression was of tranquillity. Whatever else the Moors may have been, (and I simply mean that I don’t know), they had an appreciation of geometry and the trickle, burble of water.
The ambience wasn’t even spoilt by the ubiquitous American couple.
“Jeez, it’s big ain’t it honey”
“Yeah, I guess, but kinda run down you know?”
“Well the Spanish are awful lazy…”
Which probably had something to do with my appreciation of the bottled late summer that the Spaniards call Rioja. Without any allusion to wine-buffdom it’s my best friend. It’s September in a glass, fruit too long on the tree or vine, slightly rakish, heavy, round and decadent, blackberries beyond their initial sharpness, wood smoke, vanilla….a self satisfied, middle aged man of a wine, with a twinkle in his eye, who’s not too old to suggest an affair to a pretty Chianti.
The lifestyle is easy, it involves a long, long, late lunch, perhaps 3 hours worth. With a book, or simply watching the world go by, and then a nap, and a shower, and a few hours gentle nothingness, and then off out into the night at 11pm, for tapas and wine and bars and clubs, until 4 or 5 in the morning……and repeat. It really is very easy.
And the girls. I am now recovering from whiplash, and at least several hundred broken hearts.
And now, here, at home, did I mention, that we were evacuated tonight? Apparently someone just a few doors down from me had a headache, and a grenade. I expect it will be on the news tomorrow.
(Would someone like to marry me please, just in a social way. I’m no trouble at all really, and I’m sure I could find work?)