07 Jan Hola Amigos
Back in Spain. Back on the blog. The third year of taking time out, escaping winter, sloping off to the sierras.
It’s Day 3 – still settling in. Jim is into his stride quickly: his easel is up and a canvas is already well worked. In fact, I see he’s leaning it against the wall of the terrace to dry while he picks up a new board and considers the next work. Such focus. It seems that his Muse travelled with us this time, braved the channel crossing and the long journey on empty motorways heading south. And it is almost due south. We are in Bedar again, 1200 miles by car (and a night on the ferry) and only 1° west of the Greenwich meridian.
It’s taking me longer to find a stride. Too many bits of unfinished business, distractions, loose ends left behind, some of them, I think, perpetually loose. It takes me longer to dislodge myself from ‘there’ and place myself ‘here’.
But the sun is shining on the terrace of Cortijo El Curato, the same little house on the edge of the same little village. The newness of last year is replaced by an easy familiarity – like not getting lost or doubting ourselves on the winding road up from the motorway to the village. The cortijo looks much the same, understated beside the big fancy fincas across the hillside, hunkered down with its modest stone-clad walls. The two clocks that didn’t work last year still don’t work; the same bulb in the run of spotlights in the kitchen is still out; the big black beast of a smart TV is there to outsmart us once again. This year we won’t even bother. We’ll have a few weeks of freedom from the tyranny of the small screen and bury our heads in books in the evenings. We’ve packed a boxed set of House of Cards for occasional diversion, or in case 7 weeks of telly celibacy is just too much!
Will we have the same sense of adventure coming back to the same place? I just re-read last year’s Tales from the Sierras – so many words and such a lot of the story is there. I must admit to feeling a little daunted about taking up the blog again. I wonder if I’ll have new things to say. But then aren’t there always adventures to be had?