Yes, Loki really is that big. At least twice the size of Morcilla. Luna is somewhere in the middle. The girls don’t look very impressed with Loki’s antics…
It occurred to me as I was placing an order for cat food delivery this week that it was high time Loki (7 almost 8) was switched to “mature” food. And Luna (6 and a half) isn’t that far behind him. But Morcilla (4) is still a kid. So now the fun begins. I’ve mixed one bag of Young with Mature and this 50/50 mix will serve as transitional food for the oldsters. Meanwhile, Morcilla will stay on the Young food as much as possible … for the next three years! My schedule is too crazy to keep to three separate feeding times, so doubt they will munch on each others’ bikkies now and again at midday, but at least morning and evening Morcilla will have her higher-calorie food served separately.
When I moved into the new Casa Azahar in August it was all freshly painted and lovely and clean, but the previous owners had taken their light fixtures with them, which is fairly typical. And so, except for in the kitchen and bathroom, there were just dangling light bulbs waiting to be replaced with something prettier. This was actually the first time in about 20 years that I’ve had to buy ceiling lights, and back then it was strictly white paper globes, which was all I could afford. But although I’m more of a lamp person and prefer soft indirect lighting in the evening, my new place isn’t as bright & shiny as the last two were, and so it was clear that I would have to turn the ceiling lights on during the day *gasp*.
Thus began an almost two-month search for attractive and affordable ceiling and wall lights. You wouldn’t think this would be difficult but it turned out that the ones I liked cost a fortune, and others were too fussy (or, to be honest, just plain ugly). Finally I decided to just settle for the simplest designs in white, so that you wouldn’t actually notice they were there. Except for my bedroom light, which looks like fairies are visiting. 😉
Then of course they had to be installed. Back in the day I wouldn’t have thought twice about dangling atop a rickety ladder and connecting new ceiling lights. But let’s just say those days are gone. I’d received one very high estimate (80€!!) from one person, then I heard of someone else who would do it for half the price. And then my fabulous landlord came to the rescue. There were a couple of repairs that he was going to take care of, as well as swapping out the old oven here for my new one, and he said he’d have his guy come over and install my lights too. Yay!
There are still a few more things I’d like to do with this place, but those will be on me. I have to say I am very happy here and it really feels like home. Cats like it too.
A photo of the “office” this morning, with an important difference. Normally Peter’s laptop would be set up on the white table on the right but, at least for this month, he has moved to his own place. We’re still not sure if this will be a temporary situation or a permanent one, but we both agree that it was a necessary one.
Don’t get me wrong. We are still very good friends, and I hope will remain so. But after over 13 years of being flatmates and workmates it was time for a break. I have to admit this was mostly my decision, but I do think it will be a good thing for both of us. I guess I just got to the point where I had forgotten what it was like to just be me at home, and not have another person there, always around, and always reacting to this other presence in my house.
During my last visit to Málaga in August I went through all kinds of emotions when I first got there. I don’t know why, but I was feeling a bit fragile and a couple of times I was even downright panicky. Also sad. But I was also comfortable staying at my friend’s place and visiting my other Málaga friends. The only thing missing were the cats! Then Peter came down for the last two days, staying at a nearby hotel, and suddenly I was “reacting” again to this dynamic we’ve developed over the years, rather than just feeling like myself. And it made me realize that it’s only when I’ve been away that I’ve caught glimpses of another Shawn, either someone I used to be, or someone I could be, and I really wanted a chance to pursue that fleeting feeling. At home. With my cats.
So yesterday I helped Peter move stuff over to his new temporary home. Finding short-term rentals here is almost impossible now due to AirBnB, etc, so whatever happens this place will be temporary as it’s quite expensive. But just for one month it will be fine. And depending on how things go, Peter may come back here in November, or he’ll look for a permanent place of his own.
Right now I don’t really know how I’m feeling. Waking up on my own and feeding the cats, making coffee, turning on the computer… there is both sadness and relief. I can plan my day without having to think about someone else, which maybe sounds selfish, but this is just what I need right now. Maybe a month will be enough of a break for me to feel grounded in myself again, maybe I’ll need a few months, I really don’t know. I do know that if this wasn’t an initial one-month arrangement I don’t think I could bear the sadness. I couldn’t have watched Peter leave with his last batch of clothes last night thinking I’d never see him again. But he’s still around, just over in Santa Cruz, and that’s a comfort.
I’ve actually got a busy day lined up for today, so I’d better get moving. I won’t be posting this on Facebook, which I usually do with my blog posts. I actually seldom use my personal FB, and it was only a year or so ago (maybe?) that I started auto-posting these posts over there. Things have become a bit muddled, as I now have a bunch of “friends” over there, and I’m not sure I want to share this with them all. But this blog has always been where I talk to you guys. So once again, thanks for listening, and for being here. Will let you know how things go – wish me luck! xx
Back in early September 1993 I came to Sevilla for the first time, taking the bus down from Salamanca, in the naive hope of finding an apartment over the course of one weekend. I was so broke that I stayed in the cheapest of hostels for those two nights, located up a small alley, and spent the days poring over newspaper ads for possible places to live. Armed with a pocketful of change I called landlords from various payphones, only to be told they didn’t rent to foreigners. Finally one person said they could show me a studio apartment next to the cathedral. He was a friend of the owner, who was out of town. Fine. This was my final day in town and I was feeling a bit desparate.
We met that evening in Plaza Salvador and I got my first impressive glimpse of the Cathedral, all lit up (I had been too busy house hunting to do any site seeing). And then I was shown a lovely top floor “atico” studio apartment, with a little terrace and a fabulous view of the Cathedral. Not only was it about three times more than I could afford, there was also the not-so-small matter of a deposit, which I actually didn’t have. This didn’t seem to deter the friend, who took me down to the nearest phone booth to call the owner. Luckily he spoke excellent English so I could explain my situation to him better (after a year in Salamanca I was still far from fluent in Spanish). And to my surprise the owner said “Oh, don’t worry about that. You just come down on the 16th and I’ll be there with the keys”. Thinking back, I’m surprised I just took him at his word as there was no written agreement. Then again, I also can’t believe I thought I could go to Sevilla with no deposit money and somehow secure an apartment in one weekend. But I did, and it all worked out.
What’s that got to do with this photo, you ask? Well, it’s the very first thing that struck me as different on my first day in Sevilla – the awnings stretching across the narrow streets in the centre of town, providing much need shade during the summer months. Somehow I found them completely charming – and still do – and I knew I had chosen the right place to live.
There is something very satisfying about chillaxing with Loki. And even though it’s far from winter, he still demands some lap and snuggle time, especially when I put my feet up to watch some TV. Anyhow, here’s a nice profile shot showing his big green eyes (well, eye) just for Deb.
… I moved into that studio apartment up there. It was a memorable day for many reasons, arriving in town at precisely 8 pm on September 16th after a long drive from Salamanca with two howling cats. And THEN having to wait in the car for three hours because the landlord was late. But that was how I first met the gang at Bar Campanario, who brought food and drink out to the car so we didn’t have to leave the cats alone, who became (and still are) very dear friends.
This year’s anniversary (as so often happens now) was spent celebrating while on a Sevilla Tapas Tour. I was supposed to be throwing a big party to celebrate 25 years in Spain (May 1992), but somehow this hasn’t happened yet. Maybe I’ll wait for 25 years in Sevilla? Anyhow, it was the best move I’ve ever made. 🙂
The “power walks” are feeling a bit fresher these days, though I realize that 32º is probably not most people’s idea of cooler temperatures. Soon I’ll be able to resume the river walks, which have very few shady spots like the park walk does (look how pretty and green!) and can be brutal in full sun. September is a lovely time of year in Sevilla.