Cádiz completely reinvents itself several times a year. The brown, grey, wintry mud bath I fought to buy, is now a jungle meadow. The wind has dropped and I can hear birdsong; the dark bottle green water of the pool is loud with frogs. The gnarled sticks that stuck out of a field like fencing along beach dunes, are, as it happens, vines. Beyond the high ground of the house, shed and frog pond, there’s an overgrown garden, full of daisies, poppies, rambling roses, shoulder high grass, fruit trees, and the roofs of hen houses and stables. Below that parallel orderly lines of olives running downhill towards the river; more of the same climbing up the hills opposite. To the south there are rocky mountain peaks and Fernando’s barn, and to the west, more mountains and a river gorge. Perched on the hill to the east, there is the glinting glass of a modern and empty house that has a security camera – the house of a Bond villain. No-one knows who lives in it, and they don’t live in it often. My nearest neighbour returned here from Seville to farm and raise their boys; their house is visible in winter when the trees have lost their leaves.
Anyway, vis-a-vis the garden, it’s borderline irreversibly out of control and difficult to walk through, neither of which is ideal . . . but I’m going to leave it for now.