February 2019


The sun shines on the south coast of the Iberian Peninsula, warming our northern skin. And we appreciate it all the more because it surprises, delights, reminds us how fortunate we are to have travelled south. The blossom is pink on the almond trees, meadow grass waves with yellow flowers and a plant with purple and pink spiked petals shows its finery during the day, closing up as the sun sets.

There is also time to consider, with pleasure, the food on offer in this part of the world, to shop every day for fresh fish and vegetables, time to choose, prepare and time to eat! We try a variety of wines, enjoy some more than others, cannot always remember which we prefer.

There is a chance to read, walk along the beach, fly the kite, engage fellow travellers in conversation, usually in English, sometimes French. It is sad when there is no common language to converse with a friendly, interesting neighbour. We smile, shrug, use hands and facial gestures to engage in a limited conversation.

I have some quiet time for writing, reviewing, allowing the characters some space to play out their imaginary conversations in my head. Five chapters of Walking Alone are complete in draft form. A happy family event, lovely to describe, then a crisis that makes me think – what if that had been me? How would I have felt?