Monday, 19 October 2015

Guardamar des Dunas

Looking out across the sea from the rolling sand dunes of Valencia.
Every day we climb up to the top of a new fortress.
Then having climbed down, gorge ourselves with paella or suchlike wonderful fishy dish sloshed down with good Spanish beer (Estrella or Maihou...)
I no longer need worry about the bouncing waves since we have our trusty Italian crew, fellow-sailors of many years, Roberta and Walter. I sleep while we sail.
And lovely to speak Italian again.
Realize I've learned quite a bit of Spanish, can flit between the two, though all those "b's" and "v's" can be somewhat confusing.
Back to the grammar book now, need to sort out verb tenses.
The rigging click-clacks against the main mast, otherwise all is still.
David is working on his laptop and R. and W. are exploring Guardamar...
It really is time to write a poem.

Try a pic from the top of Alicante Castle (Castello di Santa Barbara)
No, it won't fly over ... need a lesson at the Apple Shop!

De Amsterdamse grachten once again...

Yes, the dim dark canals have replaced the clear Mediterranean waters... I was called northwards by demands of my house (things like loose structure on the roof, new double-glazing windows for the often cold kitchen, peeling paint and that kind of thing). Fellow house owners will appreciate all this; there is always something that needs attending to.
But I enjoy being back in Amsterdam, it's a fine city with a big buzz, lots going on: the EYE film Institute, splendid new building on the north banks of the IJ (also pronounced "eye") is regaling us with a season of Antonioni films, and related lectures. The Van Gogh museum has an exhibition of Van Gogh and Munch, happy pair (compare and contrast), the Rijksmuseum continues to be a place of splendour and delight.
I will make another attempt at attaching a pic to this blog: photo taken on iPhone (of which I am now proud possessor) while attending class at the Apple Mac centre here in Amsterdam, learning all the new tricks...
These classes are provided for Mac owners, are excellent, given by trained staff. I am learning a lot.
Meanwhile, I ponder on houses, the future, and concentrate as much as possible on the present!
Sorted out some of the poems I've written over the past thirty years. A fascinating exercise, reviewing my 'spiritual' growth... ! Also reading, as ever, fine books. Right now it's Edward P. Jones's The Known World. (Won Pulitzer prize). Engrossing.
And just to provide the meteorological note: it's coldish, wettish and overall grey.
But of course, as in the poem, happy in the heart of Amsterdam (reference: domweg gelukkig in de Dapperstraat).

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Cartagena: home is the sailor

Arrived here under grey windy sky. Woke this morning under blue windy sky. Apparently there's a hurricane threatening Sardinia. Glad we're here.
Off to explore the city this morning, found excellent mercator that's the Spanish for a wonderful market building, often a covered space with countless stalls selling everything from toothpaste to salted cod.
And of course had an excellent zuma de narancia (fresh orange juice) supplemented for David and Walter with a pain au chocolat, extremely delicious kind of flaky pastry with real pieces of chocolate inside. You can of course buy these in other countries, but somehow the Mediterranean feel is necessary.
Back in the boat now and it's blowing a gale so I can't go on typing.
The rigging ropes clang against masts, the wind generator whirls in ecstasy, I have to stop and go outside and chat with the seagulls.
Nice to be here. Feels like home already...

Thursday, 1 October 2015

October; arrrived in Alicante

Splendid city, if seen from the seafront.
I gather it's a bit crazy when you get to the modern centre ... but we didn't.
Instead we climbed up to the ancient fortress complex, atop a rugged cliff.
took some stunning photos of the views around ... small round-topped hills to one side, highrises to another, and in front the shining sea far below, waves silently breaking on the golden sand, tall palm trees waving in the onshore wind.
Will see if I can fly over a pic to this blog, but I am always dubious about such technical skills.