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OK, I\’m a bit depressed. I\’ve been on holiday in Spain, hence the long gap with no posts. No, I didn\’t take my laptop – I was too worried about losing it, dropping it or causing it to have a nervous breakdown by asking it to talk to wierdo foreign servers.
There are many things I love about Spain, especially the part of Andalucia where we used to live in a village called Jimena de la Frontera. It\’s on the edge of the Alcornocales, the national cork oak forest, which is a vast managed ecology that is staggeringly beautiful as well as fertile (to help support it, only ever buy wine with a proper cork, not screwtop or plastic).
The village is ancient, probably founded by the Phoenicians, with a hilltop fortress originally built by the Romans and then rebuilt by Arabs and Christians as they fought it out over the south of Spain. It\’s just had a lot of jazzy new roads built near it which were a bit of a shock, and some splendid roundabouts and fountains at the entrance to the pueblo which was frankly quite scruffy when we were living there in the mid-Naughties.
Other than that, not a lot has changed. And this is because not a lot needs to, really. I think that\’s there is a Spanish attitude to life which is civilized and people-centred and not particularly materialist which is as sustainable as the cork oak forests. It\’s a real pleasure to come back to it, despite the noisy motos and the duff haircuts.
And of course I\’m missing the amazingly ferocious Spanish sun which comes up with a Homeric rosy dawn and then leaps over the horizon like a blast of trumpets and switches on the day.

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