Ah yes, he giveth and he taketh away. Shortly after discovering the house in Montejaque that I hadn’t really wanted had been sold, I began thinking of nothing else, berating myself for the lengthy whiteboard sessions in which I weighed up the pros and cons in different colour pens when I should have just headed into Ronda and slapped a wad of cash down on the desk. I imagined a life in Montejaque – freshly squeezed orange juice on the terrace, a little sketching, retiling wearing a turban – that I wasn’t going to have.
Anyway, then I had a call from Manolo saying there was a farm for sale, not too far away: small, habitable, with papers and electricity, and cheap. We went over the mountain and down a bumpy track to see it, and it was perfect: a ramshackle gem. If we bought it, said the farmer, he’d throw in a puppy. Ah well . . . that’s a yes!
And close to Zahara? That’s another yes.
Habitable (sort of)? Yes again.
Very cheap chorused Manolo and Molina, naming a price that was €50,000 over what we could possibly scrape together, neither journalism nor the music industry being what they once were.
We took some pictures of donkeys, climbed back into the Manolo-bile and bumped all the way back in silence.