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The Phoenix from the rubble


The rain in Spain can be a pain
The rain in Spain can be a pain

Let me tell you something that may come as a surprise. It is not always sunny and warm in Spain. Spain is a very large country and the climate varies enormously depending where you are. As it is, where I ended up there is quite a large need for ski jackets as evidenced by the selection on offer in the local Poc de Tot (Home and Bargain to you and me).

I struggled through April with the aid of a day and night fire, thermals and a four seasons sleeping bag on top of a very uncomfortable camp bed. I developed an acute pain in my lower back, which I mistook for a kidney infection, and then when that was dismissed, I feared that my wine consumption was finally catching up with my liver. Thankfully none of this was true as evidenced by the arrival of a proper bed and the disappearance within days of my symptoms.

Symptoms or no, nothing could daunt my spirits. The masia seemed to be rising out of the ashes like a phoenix with extra wings and the world was my mountain. A young mason called Ramon was assigned to the construction and though he did not possess a large variety of expressions, he sure had a way with stone. His sidekick Juan cleaned, swept and mixed lime cement with a perennial cigarette hanging out of his mouth. I spent the evenings after they left collecting fag ends, empty plastic bottles of water and the odd wine bottle. My finca was also littered with sardine tins, their curling lids ripped asunder. There were other tins too, all of fish, names with which I was not familiar and I tried (but failed) to imagine British workmen tucking in to this fare.

When things finally get going, and there is nothing much there to start with, every bit of progress seems a giant step forward for home-dom. By the time May arrived, the countryside was awash with poppies, the second floor was nearing and the weather took a turn for the better. It seemed that nothing could stop my soaring spirits.  Not even the rubble.

“Every step forward was a miracle it seemed”

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