I hope to one day live here, and not merely visit for a week each September. This parched fold in the land - Sorihuela del Guadalimar in the olive country of Andalucia - where everyone knows everyone and they ask 'De quien eres?' Who are you from, not Where.
I write 'parched', but there is rain, and when that happens, the houses aren't set up for it. The baked-clay roof tiles invariably deliver a deluge into the top floor of the houses. Additionally the drainage channels beneath the streets are so neglected and blocked that they quickly fill, and flood the ground floors.
Everything dries out and the calamity is of course forgotten until the following year.
So each morning I rise just after dawn, take a quick cold shower, and bring my coffee out to the terrace, where there's a garden table, two chairs and a view over the palm tree and conifer-filled garden, and beyond to the other wall of the valley.
I take my MacBook and a book. I also carry milk, water, chopped sausage or cortezas snacks (something akin to pork scratchings) to greet the feline family living in the garden.
On the terrace wall
Dawn greets curled feline
Yesterday's black mother wakes wary
Quick white face locks gaze
Mininos appear from green garden maze
My rush to catch post-dawn coolness
Feeding relay no chore
No delay permitted
Cortezas con queso
Leche y agua
Draws a guarded hello
From eager maws
Tangle of paws
Finally kitten circus calms
Hunger frenzy ends
Coffee and MacBook settled at my side
Sipping my now cold coffee
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