Cádiz completely reinvents itself several times a year. The brown, grey, wintry mudbath we fought to buy, is now a jungle meadow. The wind has dropped and you 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, it turns out, are 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. Beyond that parallel orderly lines of olives running down 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, glass glinting, there’s a cortijo, well-fortified, and empty with a security camera – the house of a Bond villain. Our nearest neighbours, Arturo and Rosi, moved back here from Seville to farm and raise their boys and have an old house and a new wooden one at the end of the track.
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.