I should call my house The Magnet. The Magnet and Old Lace. Not quite halfway along the street, it seems to be the point at which the local elderly ladies (and there are quite a few, as this is a Born & Bred Barrio) bump into each other. Andalusian elderly ladies have a similar voice quality to British elderly ladies, a voice quality reminiscent of nesting homing pigeons, or wood pigeons invisible in the early summer, a gentle cooing which brings to mind that dangly flap of skin that connects the lady-like chin to the lady-like gap between the collar bones, similar to that of the turkey but, on the whole, with a higher IQ. It’s a pleasant enough sound which makes me think of bone china teacups rattling against the saucer, Battenburg cake and fondant fancies (not very Spanish, I know, but we all have our cultural baggage). However, in Seville there is an added characteristic: decibels. So, while I am trying to write this blog, I’d like you to imagine an amplifier in a dovecote….
How did I get here? Hm. How far back do we go? When I came to Seville in temperatures of 52ºC with no future and two small children? When I left Britain, sick of the struggle, the sexual harassment, the shame of ……certain events but with the blessing of everyone who loved me and trusted I’d be alright? Do I go back to the early hours of a Glasgow Monday when I was induced into the world punctually so my parents could go to a wedding the following weekend? (They didn’t, or at least my mother didn’t – I somehow changed the priorities) Or even before that? I calculate I began my existence coinciding with the summer solstice just months before JFK became the greatest temporal reference point in modern history, though it’s not the sort of information I’ve ever confirmed with my parents “Dad, did you and Mum………?”. No, I don’t think so. But it is curious in that my mother died on the day of the solstice 42 years later. A definitive date in my life for all time. And an emotional time of year.
How far back? Well, I think I’ll give you snippets of the Little Me and intersperse them with the Now and Life in Spain as Renegade Flower of Scotland. Build up a picture. This story doesn’t have an end, so we may as well jump around in time and space; it’s more fun. Hopscotch. Oh dear. That title’s been done too.
So. As Michael Stipe would say “Here we go!”