Kindly, she invited me to share her temporary exile in Spain for a few days so Monday saw me arriving at Malaga not exactly fresh after an early Easyjet flight from Gatwick.
The journey here was easy thanks to exact instructions from Pam derived from clear information from Frances and Barbara the unknown (to me ) owners of Casa Miranda where I am currently disporting myself on the terrace that gives a view across a valley spanned by an elegant and immense viaduct. (I hate motorways but it’s there so might as well learn to love it. After all we love Brunel’s viaducts in England). It’s mountainous terrain with houses scattered across the landscape at hazard. Not much evidence of coherent planning.
But to return to arrival: as the bus pulled in to Almunecar, the nearest town (see the flaneur post) who should I see but Pam herself, looking rather cool and colonial in khaki striding towards the bus station – bit of a relief this since my phone battery was on the verge of expiring.
Chief among the attractions of the house are the five cats. Two of them (George and Bubbles I believe) have kept me company at night in the bedroom whose glass lamps with cut-glass pendants and white mosquito net draped at the bed head give it the air of a bridal chamber out of Garcia-Marquez. Then there’s the aforementioned terrace from which I watch the light move over the hills and the flies dance over the leaves and flame coloured blossom creeper that drapes the walls around the (out of commission) swimming pool. Occasionally a large white butterfly twirls past and big black bees make the odd appearance.
And then, oh brave new world, there are the chickens – a clucking little flock in varied hues of tan, grey, black and white who wait expectantly in the gloom of their subterranean home as I approach to feed them. Since I have been here they have produced three eggs and Pam marks them with the day of the week for quality control. Few things more satisfying than the cool curve of a new laid egg in my cupped palm.
It’s my first ever time in Spain so the lemon trees and the orange blossom in town delight me. Managed to order a bill in Spanish and had Spanish jamon for breakfast though drew the line at carting home a whole pig’s leg of the stuff. Not up for a lot of sightseeing this time round. That can wait for another time. For now it’s back to the terrace where I divide my attention between the hills of Andalucia and, reading Alone in Berlin, the squalid betrayals and oppressions of Nazi Germany.