Visitors Tomorrow!

1004993_599883146738010_1924202073_nOnce upon a time there was a homeless guy in Spain and two dear people took pity on him and took him into their holiday apartment for a couple of nights and they stayed friends over the internet. They had been on vacation and, of course, went home afterwards.

About a year later the homeless guy returned home and got his life more or less sorted out, but this was in a different country than the couple. Some time went by and then, all of a sudden, the young lady of the couple suggested they come to meet him again.

And tomorrow is the day that I meet my dear friends Agnes and Rick again. And there’s more, I can invite them into my humble abode and offer them coffee, this time. We shall make a big day of it and merriment shall be had all round. Yippie, my friends are coming over and I can’t wait to see them. Love you guys!



It was truly a wonderful day and I was soo happy to meet my friends again. We visited the city and went to the Christmas market and they invited me for lunch, which was yummy! I have promised to paint their portrait for them and will certainly keep that promise. Thanks for the visit, Agnes and Rick!



Challenging Dogma? How Rude!

Were these incredible hand paintings, discovered in Cueva de las Manos in Santa Cruz, Argentina, the work of women?

Were these incredible hand paintings, discovered in Cueva de las Manos in Santa Cruz, Argentina, the work of women?

Earliest artists were women claim researchers as study of cave paintings reveal majority of prints were from female hands

  • New study reveals most ancient art may have been done by women
  • An archaeologist studied the art and ran them through programme
  • But some dispute the finding, which challenge archaeology dogma
Cave art paintings – long thought to have been made by male hunters to commemorate their kills – may actually have mostly been the work of women, according to a new study.

The findings will shake up the widely-believed archaeological theory that these ancient artists were mostly men recording their kills or engaging in some sort of magic ritual. Many feature game such as bison, reindeer, horses and woolly mammoths.

Archaeologist Dean Snow of Pennsylvania State University began his study a decade ago after discovering the work of John Manning, a British biologist who had found that men and women’s fingers have different relative lengths.

Note from Ralphie: According to Rupert Murdoch this is hogswash! I’m sure.


Mister Big Child.

Magic Is a Child

Magic Is a Child (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

No, at the risk of annoying you, I shall never relent in my praise of Marlo Morgan’s book: Mutant Message Down Under. Among the many Aboriginal customs she describes there, is one where people change their names, whenever they themselves feel that they have learned an important life lesson, which therefore makes them better human beings.

To honour this custom I have decided that I shall henceforth be known as Mister Big Child, the king-less jester to a court of none, but you can call me MBC for short. I realise that I am utterly human and my faults are still legion, but my childlike wonder is still undiminished. Where I thought I had lost the capability to rejoice in the simple things that life so generously provides us with, I had merely misplaced it. Reading the above-mentioned book has restored my belief completely. My faith in the existence of magic has been revitalized and I am bubbling over with glee, simply because I am alive.

I had lost sight of the prime directive of magic: “When you ask, you shall receive what is correct for you and for the good of all living beings.” In other words, you get what you need, but not necessarily what you want, because it must be for the greater good. Karma is particular about that!

Ladies and gentlemen, I have personally lived and breathed magic, during my last years on the streets in Spain. It took a harsh school and some rather strange encounters to get me there, but I did it and I was never without what I really needed. I shall reveal to you some of the methods that I used, so that you may try them out for yourselves.

1. Ask and ye shall receive (, under the condition that you really need it!) You can ask out loud or silently, but it works even better if you visualise it and send it up to Karma, for her to deliver. However…, it is extremely important that you let go of it completely, because if you keep the desire, then there is no room for the real thing to materialise.

2. Be specific and for heaven’s sake be careful with the wording! Someone asked for an open heart, meaning empathy and such, but got surgery instead.

3. Have complete and utter faith. In fact, thank Karma or your god for what you are about to receive, before you get it, instead of afterwards. Even though giving thanks twice can never hurt. Many were the times that I worried, only to mentally kick myself afterwards for having doubted. It was only after I told myself to stop worrying, that Karma obliged.

4. Always stay positive. The more you fret, the more trouble you attract, by force of this negativity. The more upbeat you are, the more good things come to you.

5. Do not ask for luxury, for you do not ‘need’ it. Karma is not the lottery! You will not get it, period.

6. Also very important to keep in mind is the old maxim: Be careful what you wish for…

7. Constantly re-evaluate your situation and ask yourself what is important for you and for the good of all.

Thus far my humble contribution in the teachings of magic. By the way, by no means did I invent these. They came my way through sometimes unorthodox channels, from being far more enlightened than I.

I will just elaborate on this last bit. When you are open to magic, spirituality, call it what you will, then you are emitting on a certain frequency and the answers will come to you through any and all mediums at the disposal of Karma or your God. It is important to be receptive and never to give a second thought to the cover of the book, person, movie, etcetera that is sent your way.

A last severe admonishment: Do not under any circumstance wish somebody harm, for it will come back at you a hundredfold!!!

Bull! – Pause



From  Paulo Saraiva:

This incredible photo marks the end of Matador Torero Álvaro Múnera’s career. He collapsed in remorse mid-fight when he realized he was having to prompt this ot…herwise gentle beast to fight. He went on to become an avid opponent of bullfights. Even grievously wounded by picadors, he did not attack this man.

Torrero Munera is quoted as saying of this moment: “And suddenly, I looked at the bull. He had this innocence that all animals have in their eyes, and he looked at me with this pleading. It was like a cry for justice, deep down inside of me. I describe it as being like a prayer – because if one confesses, it is hoped, that one is forgiven. I felt like the worst shit on earth.”

Snippets From a Forgotten War.

English: A sleeping male baby with his arm ext...

English: A sleeping male baby with his arm extended (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Picture a down and out bloke sitting in front of a BBVA bank in Alicante, Spain on a cold December night. He’s smoking a roll-up, waiting to bed down inside, after most people have withdrawn cash for a good night’s partying. A second homeless guy called Antonio shows up and asks if he can join him in there for the night. The first one doesn’t mind and the newcomer starts to tell how he was a blue helmet in Kosovo a couple of decades earlier.

A mate of his was on patrol in a deserted village, when he heard a baby crying. Just as he’d located the infant, who was lying amidst some corpses, he heard the rat-tat-tat of an approaching death squad. Which side they belonged to is neither here nor there, as both were equally gruesome. They would enter every building and shoot anything that moved, period.

The blue helmet took the baby into hiding and held his hand in front of its mouth to keep it quiet.(Where his buddies were at this time was never mentioned.) After the death squad had come and gone, the soldier found that he was holding a dead baby. Apparently it had a stopped up nose and had suffocated. The soldier felt horrible and kept saying: “I’ve killed a baby!” Antonio tried to console his friend by saying that he’d only tried to save it. The man wouldn’t have it and shot himself through the head two days after. With “War sucks!” Antonio, the ex blue helmet, concluded the first part of his story.

After steeling himself with two more roll-ups, he went on about how one day he’d witnessed a curious event: a group of armed thugs were marching a long line of singing children into a school building. On closer inspection, Antonio saw that the school was rigged to be dynamited with the children in it. When he radioed in the events, he was told to observe, but not interfere. He consequently feigned a radio malfunction and told his mates that he was going to stop this, alone if need be. His brothers in arms did not let him down: the children were saved, but lives were lost. Antonio received a dishonourable discharge for disobeying orders, lost his pension, lost everything and ended up on the street. Two decades later the horror of this war could still be read in his eyes.

The first homeless guy was yours truly, Ralphie, and for some reason I did not think to write about it then, last December. Now I wish I could go back, get the complete story, get it corroborated and published in some Spanish magazine or newspaper and hopefully help Antonio get back on his feet that way. I for one believe that this soldier deserves a second chance in life. If any reader knows of a way to bring this about, please do not hesitate to help right this wrong, for Antonio is still paying for his act of humanity and the army’s response to it to this day.

Still Standin’! – Pause

About three or four years ago, I met my friend Nigel, who’s a busker in Andalusia, Spain and we started counting, which of our friends and acquaintances had fallen by the wayside in just one year’s time. We stopped counting when we came to thirty. The street is a very hard place to live and an even harder place to die: alone, despised and forgotten by most. I don’t know if it has made me stronger, these years of being down and out, but I’m still standing and, I’m happy to say, so is my friend Nigel. I hope our friends have gone on to a better place. Amen!

P.S.: If anybody knows of a place to house-sit or pet-sit, when I get back in March, please let me know… anywhere in Spain or even outside of it will do.

From Shut Up I'm Still Talking

From Shut Up I’m Still Talking


Magical Trees.

In front of me are four large trees, the name of which I couldn’t tell you and whose like I’ve never seen anywhere but here in Alicante. They have one, two or three central trunks, but the amazing thing is that they sprout additional roots that hang from their branches untill they reach the floor. After which they bury themselves and grow ever thicker, forming a cage like enclosure around the middle.

I wish I had a camera to show you, but I’ll look in up on the internet and try to provide you with a photograph. Isn’t nature magical though? The little square they grow in is called Plaza Portal de Elche, off the Rambla Mendez Núnoz. In the middle is a kiosk lookalike bar that serves drinks to the terraces that surround it. The still-green foliage of these giants is filled with a myriad of songbirds, who provide the customers and myself with a symphony of stunning beauty every evening.

Just one more example of the wonder which is life, if only you open your eyes and ears to its glory. Blessed be!

Hello form Gandia, again!

Alicante City Hall

Alicante City Hall (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I made it here from Barcelona in two days, a new record! I’m going to stay for a few days because they have really good three star hotel food here in the place for the homeless. I’ll get fat! And then I shall go and take Alicante by storm. Hide your women and children for Ralphie is coming. Resistance is futile, for we are the Sturgeons and we swim upstream! You WILL be assimilated! Or something along those lines.

This time I’m going the whole hog: Off comes the long hair, the mustache and the beard, I´ll dress like a gentleman and go a job-huntin´! Shotgun-wedding if need be!!!

Hello folks!


Avignon (Photo credit: LucaXino)

Left Bayonne and arrived in Avignon a couple a days ago. It is a truly beautiful city and I loved the people. However, when I talked to a social assistant there he explained that I would have to stay in a halfway home and be there at four thirty in the afternoon and stay till nine the next morning. I would have to show up for lunch at twelve. If I failed to do this one single time, there would be no more next time. I stayed in this place for one night, but I can not do this, people.

Ralphie is a free spirit and can not be caged up behind bars and a locked door. So, I left and am back in Spain, in Barcelona. I’ll try to get a job in Alicante first and if that doesn’t work out, I’ll go further south. I WILL find work though!!!

El Camino: The Experience!

Camino de Santiago, junio de 2008. Día 1: Orre...

Camino de Santiago, junio de 2008. Día 1: Orreaga (Roncesvalles)-Villaba (37,5 km) (Photo credit: prezius)

This is a subject, which is hard to write about. It being complex in its spiritual nature. There is a duality to it, because on the one hand the road is always changing. You see a new village every five to ten kilometers, you constantly meet new people, who are all in some way connected to the Camino and nature in its effervescent diversity unfailingly surprises you with its beauty.

On the other hand, there is the physical exercise of walking, which after five K´s or so of getting into your rhythm, lifts you up into a kind of trance like state. Your whole being expands and connects with that of your fellow pilgrims and with the road itself, which is drenched with the energy of innumerable supplicants, who have travelled it over the past two millenia. The power emanating from it is enormous. Nobody who travels it is immune to it. Time starts playing tricks on you: it slows down, speeds up and at times seems to stand still.

You body is of course taking a severe punishment, which it is not used to. The aches and pains are your constant companions, but you learn to push them aside and finally to ignore them. As time goes on, you are pleasantly surprised at the developing muscles  and at your own staying power. I feel stronger and fitter now than I have in decades!

Then there is the destination Santiago, which is both a blessing and a curse along the course of the Camino. Because although you long to reach it and hope for the deliverance from whatever ails you after reaching it, at the same time the further you get, the longer you wish it would take. It´s almost addictive, in fact it is addictive. Many people have decided, after traveling this mystical Camino, that they never want to leave it again and build their lives along one spot on it, which suits them best. then there are the others, who although they to home to their regular lives, keep coming back to it time after time. To those of you, who are contemplating doing this pilgrimage for the first time, I give the following caution: think it over carefully before you start, for it WILL change your life forever!

If you think that this is just a Catholic or a Christian thing, forget it! Jews, Muslims, people from all denominations and even atheists have travelled this path and not one was unmoved or unchanged by it. Another thing which surprised me was the good will of all the pilgrims without exception and their sense of companionship. You will never be left wanting for help. a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on. The Camino furthermore has its own rules of pureness. Respect for nature and for others is paramount. No littering or stealing going on there!

Back to the nature. I´ve alwaysliked Spain for the beauty of it, but the part along the Camino truly is breathtaking. At times, you ask yourself if you have not stumbled into a fairy tale. But then… maybe you have! The roiling wheat-seas between Burgos and León and the wooded mountain landscapes of Galicia are the most beautiful I´ve ever witnessed.

Now, be honest, are you not longing to come over here and experience it all? Hugs from Ralphie!

Las Moscas d’Esquadra.


Mossos d'Esquadra police car and plate.

Mossos d’Esquadra police car and plate. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Hace un rato, estaba en Barcelona por la tercera vez y encontré un joven Catalán. Charlabamos un momento, cuando yo comentaba que las Moscas d´Esquadra eran como una plaga para la gente de la calle.


El me miraba como si fuera un idiota de guiri y me dice: “Pero no, tio, se dice Los Mossos d´Esquadra!”(policia de Cataluña). Le digo: “Ah, no lo sabía!” y seguía: “Estaba tomándome una siesta esta tarde en el parque y las moscas no me dejaban dormir. Siempre rodeando alrededor de mí, molestándome y porque? Porque no dejan a la gente pobre que duermen y porque les siguen por todos los lados? De noche la misma cosa con sus ´Bzzz bzzz´. Ah no, eso son los mosquitos!”


Por fin le pregunté: “Dime, también hay Mosquitos d´Esquadra?” Se reía y contestaba: “Puede ser, amiguete, puede ser!”


Galicia, Land of Magic!

English: Flag of Galicia Español: Bandera de G...

English: Flag of Galicia Español: Bandera de Galicia Galego: Bandeira de Galicia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Finally made it to Galicia yesterday. YEAHHHHH!!!! It is sooooo beautiful, it´s indiscribable. I wish I had a camera! I shall have to start painting some day, for sure. Ooohhh, my fingers are itching for a brush and some paint. Hugs from Ralphie…

Rabanal del Camino.

Rabanal del Camino iglesia

Rabanal del Camino iglesia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have arrived in Rabanal del Camino, after leaving Astorga yesterday, where again I had some incredible luck. I was almost broke and set down to beg not far from a terrace, when a biker came over and gave me 25 Euros! I´m rich!!!! I have enough for two nights in a hostel and for two days food and the obligatory coffee.

Tomorrow we attack the Iron Cross, a mountain with a slow uphill run, but followed by an extremely steep downhill descent. This might play havoc with the knees. Let´s hope all goes well…

Here´s loving and leaving you, Guys and Girls! MUUAAAHHHH!!!!

A Meeting With a Stranger.

Camino de Santiago, junio de 2008. Día 1: Orre...

Stranger: a friend you have not met before.

Yesterday I was walking along the Camino and I felt as if I were walking on air, fantasizing about living in this magical land of Galicia already and being able to help any number of people, when a long-haired stranger on a bike came to greet me. It was the owner of the Albergue Verde of Hospital de Órbigo(León) coming to make publicity for his establishment.

When I told him of my impecunious circumstances, he told me he would give me a bed and a meal in return for some help in the kitchen, the vegetable garden and whatever coins I could spare. I followed his directions and arrived at a green oasis, which exuded an air of relaxation and peace. The man Michu and his lovely wife are vegetarians, Buddhists and practice yoga. Their place is a little jewel and they themselves are two dear people. I did help as promised, but when I offered him the money he refused. When I protested, he asked me to please let him practice hospitality and wished me a good continuance of my pilgrimage(I did give him a big bear hug though!)

The Camino abounds with people like this and I am ever so glad that I decided to walk it, instead of taking the bus. I promised to make publicity for them, which I am doing at the present. The vegetarian food was delicious and plenty and was accompanied by some songs and guitar play from our host. One song was particularly inspiring, where Michu sang about a tree that talked to him and told him to practice patience! I can strongly recommend this hostel to anyone, who is in the neighbourhood.

May the Lord Buddha smile on you all. Hugs from Ralphie.

Leaving Barcelona…

English: Santiago apostle. Palace of Raxoi, Sa...

English: Santiago apostle. Palace of Raxoi, Santiago de Compostela, Galicia (Spain) Galego: Apóstolo Santiago, Pazo de Raxoi, Santiago, Galicia (Spain) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I´m leaving Barcelona, intent on starting a lucky streak, in search of my very own Shangrila. Somewhere in the mountains of Galicia, in proximity to the sea, I hope to find it. A haven of safety to call home for the rest of my days, surrounded by friendly, peace-loving people, who will accept me for who I am. Mmmm… one can but dream!

I´m a bit apprehensive, for I am traveling unknown territory now, at the end of which, hopefully, I will find my friend Freddy still there in Santiago the Compostela. And he´d bloody well better be alive or I´ll kill him! I´m tired of receiving bad news but then, he´s built like a brick shithouse and younger than I, which is still no guarantee on the streets. I hope and pray!

First stop Zaragosa, where I just have to make money to be able to continue the next leg of my trip, which would be Logroño(I never went there!) From there on, it should be easy sailing, for then I will be on the pilgrim´s route and am bound to meet fellow travellers with the same destination. I wonder how long it will take me to get there?

Camino De Santiago De Compostela.

Galego: Estatua de leiteira. Santiago de Compo...

Galego: Estatua de leiteira. Santiago de Compostela, Galicia (España) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After having a conversation with a young man called Alex from Barcelona, who is also homeless, I decided to follow his advice and walk it to Santiago along the pilgrim´s trail. I left Burgos four days ago and have walked about 120 kilometers so far, with a backpack on my back(very aptly named are those things!) I´m hurting all over, but I am getting fitter every day. Money is as always a problem though. Any donations towards food and a roof over my head for the night would be mightily appreciated. Up to you of course, I will survive somehow…

I have also decided to stay indefinitely in Galicia, which everybody tells me is a land of magic. Being some kind of a mage, that is where I should be and that is where I shall stay. However, the winters over there are harsh and brutal, with cold, snow and what have you. I´m doing this Camino to ask the Powers that Be to help me get off of the street somehow… Again, any help whatsoever would be appreciated.

I have to get moving again, as always: hugs and kisses from Lil Ralphie! Ciao, wonderful people!

Ralphie Is In Burgos.

Facade of "O Obradoiro", cathedral o...

Facade of “O Obradoiro”, cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, Galicia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yawll Didn´t Give Up On Me, Now Did Yah!!???

Casa Milà at dusk in Barcelona, Spain. The bui...

Casa Milà at dusk in Barcelona, Spain. The building is known either as ‘Casa Milà’ (the owner’s name) and popular called ‘La Pedrera’ because of its look. Taken by myself with a Canon 5D and 24-105mm f/4L IS lens. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lil Ralphie is in Barcelona now, thanks to another little miracle, but I don´t have the time(money) to tell you all about it. I came here to see a dear friend of mine and what do I hear? He passed away two years ago on the street, farewell dear Paul! You are sorely missed. I don´t know if I wrote this already but my friend in Gandia, a German called Stephan and his lady Maite have both passed on aswell. We´re falling like flies, people! Anyways, though I am understandably depressed about all this, I carry on the daily business of living. May the light be with all of you and good speed… Hugs from Lil Ralphie.

What Does A Writer Do?

English: "Don´t worry, be happy" Deu...

English: “Don´t worry, be happy” Deutsch: “Don´t worry, be happy” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He writes!  I didn´t feel much like writing, but I have a secret… I refuse to worry  and then everything sorts itself out automatically. And let´s face it, there is nobody standing over me with a gun, who says: “Write or I kill you!”, now is there! ?  I feel like I´m in limbo, stuck between two planes, on the outside looking in. I´m not quite here yet, in Fuengirola. Once I will have established a firm routine, then everything will start to flow naturally, as before.  Until then,  I´ll just muddle along.

I´m happy to be free again. The street gets under your skin. It is not a place, it´s a state of mind, a way of life. I´ve met several people, who spent time on the street and then returned to a more or less regular life and they all, without exception, told me the same thing and that is that it never leaves you. You carry it with you for the rest of your life. Now don´t get me wrong, I do not consider this a negative thing.

You can not imagine how liberating it is to no longer carry the fear with you of being destitute. Because you´ve been there and you survived. And you know what? It wasn´t all that bad! You go where you want, when you want, meet loads of interesting people and you learn that all you really need are the bare necessities. All the rest is pure and unadulterated luxury!

Why would I want to create a prison of my own making with a mortgage, more debts and endless worrying? For what? My luck (and my pain…) is that I have no children. I am responsible only for myself and to myself (within reason). And the world would still keep on turning just as happily without me in it. So, why worry? Be happy! A lot of people stop and stare at me, when they see me begging with a smile and a real one at that. Well… there obviously must be something wrong with that one! Except, there isn´t! At least, nothing that a good meal wouldn´t fix.

I was a bit remiss earlier, I know that my friends worry about me and I love them for it. But don´t, because you see, some days(if not most) it´s so wonderful to be alive in my billion star hotel. Except that the room service sucks! I shall have to have a word with the management.

Valencia – After Paqui.

Español: Rita Barbera en unas jornadas del PP ...

Español: Rita Barbera en unas jornadas del PP contra la violencia de género en Valencia, diciembre de 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After Paqui had died, what we called ´The Czech Republic´asked if they could move into The Rancho with us, because their abode had been torn down. The reason being that it was an eyesore, which the denizens of the new five star hotel, that was now finished, did not deserve to look upon. I might have spoiled their appetite! We had also been served a demolition notice, but would only move when the bulldozers moved in. The fact of the matter was that I didn´t give a damn anymore whether the place stood or fell, for the light that made it shine was gone forever.

I tried with all my might to obliterate my remaining brain cells with alcohol, but failed. Everywhere I turned I ran into the spectre of my lost love. That was the place where she blagged up some churros for the both of us. There we´d kissed and cuddled. Where hadn´t we? She´d been inordinately proud of her blue-eyed, tall, blond guy and had shown me off to anyone she´d ever met, I think. Gypsies are for the most part not well though of in Spanish society and she was happy to have enchanted a blond bum, with great expectations, of course. Now, six years later, I still have expectations, but they´re a wee bit smaller.

I might have to weave back and forth a bit here, because to say that my recollections of these times are a bit sketchy would be a euphemism, as I was hardly ever compos mentos. I remember a Polish dimwit, who gave out to me for crying and told me that a real man don´t cry. He didn´t seem to mind so much anymore, after I´d decked him. I admired Paul no end for having gone through this five times already and to still be standing(sort of…) I followed his advice and took things one day at a time. What else could I do? I could cry an eight ocean and that still wouldn´t bring her back.

A strange phenomenon occurred around that time, in that I was horny as a jack-rabbit. Maybe this was an archetypical reaction to death? I didn´t go with anyone though. On the one hand, I was never one for one-night-stands and on the other hand there was a significant lack of ladies, who wanted to throw themselves at a bum, sad or otherwise. There still is actually. What do those young, rich guys have that I haven´t?

The cops were particularly nasty then, I remember that much. We were all parking cars on the beachfront. We stood in front of one of the few empty parking spaces and waved at oncoming cars. If they wanted to park in one of ´our´ spots, we´d guide them in. It´s amazing how many people suck at parking and the boardwalk was rather high there. Then we´d stand to one side and if they wanted to give us something, lovely and if not, that was alright aswell. No hassles! For some reason though, this was illegal, so we had to play cat and mouse with the police.

This was around the time of the umpteenth American Cup(a regatta) and the mayor, Mrs. Barberá, must have told the cops to rid their clean streets of the riffraff. True to Franco form, they took to it with gusto. I saw two Czechs and one Russian, whose torso and legs were black and blue, courtesy of the Valencia police department. They would ask for your documents, keep them and when you showed up to collect them at the police station the next morning, they would very politely ask you to join them in a small room, where five police officers would then proceed to beat the crap out of you with their night sticks.

There was one little, fat fascist pig, who asked for my documents, kept them and so on… I very politely informed him that I was on to their little game and that while I would not resist, I would afterwards certainly write to every newspapers, tv-station and up to the European high court. I would create such a shit storm as to cause them all to lose their jobs. He must have taken my friendly little warning to heart, because the next day all I had to do was sign a chit for receipt and was free to go, unmolested. Mama Burcke didn´t raise no fool, folks!

To be continued…


Skyline of Fuengirola

Skyline of Fuengirola (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At the border in Ceuta, my pal was told that his visa had expired and that he had to go back to where he lives to get a police report. My passport had already been stamped by then, so I went on alone, figuring that I would make it back somehow.

After two hours of begging outside a supermarket, I´d made about two Euros. I thought to myself that it might take me a week to get the money for the ferry ticket together, if things went on in this vein. Time for some magic! I sent out a request into the ether, saying that I needed a miracle, not a big one, a tiny one would do and left it up to Karma to take care of business.

And lo and behold, about half an hour later a young man squatted down next to me and asked what trouble I was in. I told him the truth, without asking for anything and he offered to pay for my ticket. I asked him if he were an angel. This made him laugh, but then… maybe he was!?

I made it to Spain the same day and started off on foot. I was hitchhiking next to a billboard at the entrance to the freeway, when I saw a hearse approaching. I put down my thumb immediately, for I wasn´t ready for that ride just yet! As nobody gave me a ride, I headed back into town around two o´clock in the morning and slept in a bank.

The next morning I was just able to afford a bus ticket to Estepona, which was not even halfway towards my destination. Having spent an uncomfortable night on the floor, I fell asleep on the bus and missed my stop. As luck would have it, I woke up in Fuengirola, which was right where I wanted to be. 😉 The bus had been chocker and the driver didn´t even notice, bless his tartan cotton socks!

I´d made the whole trip back in just under twenty-five hours. There I was, back on those streets, which I know like my back pocket. Actually, better than that, for my back pocket and I are not on speaking terms! As a matter of fact, my back pocket can kiss my arse! My friends were all happy to see me and some of them even jumped for joy, which warmed my heart.

What more does one need, hey? I have wonderful friends all over the world, I´m in reasonably good health… well, I could think of a very long list of things that I could do with, to tell you the truth! I´ll just say that I live in hope and leave it at that, shall I!?

There was even some idiot here, who had spread the rumour that I had died in Estepona, where I haven´t been in three years… I´ve always wanted to say that the reports of my demise were greatly exaggerated and now I have! Hihihi!! Toodeloo, gang.

In Awe of the Light!

Moroccan shades of light

I was being driven along through the African countryside early one evening, which gave me time to enjoy the view. When dusk started to tumble from her perch, my artist’s eyes became enamored with the peculiar light of the dusk, which is decidedly different on this continent, than anywhere else I have ever been. Could the reason be that this is the place, which purportedly saw the dawn of mankind and that the Africa‘s light therefore seems older and truer to these tired eyes of mine? Or is this just another of my romantic notions?

Although I dearly love the mountains, hills and valleys in Spain, I could not in all honesty say that they I find them beautiful, in that the light(always the light!) over there is too harsh and blinding to differentiate between the myriad shades of colours that Nature provides. Not so here! I was thrilled to the core by the tones of burnt Sienna and green Umber that melded into each other in exquisite harmony. Would that I had my easel and paints with me and time to depict it for your pleasure.

I had noticed these shades and tones in certain paintings by wonderful masters of their art, but had written them off as fanciful dreaming and wishful thinking by the authors. I am ever so glad to be caught out and can finally admire this beauty for myself,  in the flesh of Mother Earth’s skin. I’ve had an epiphany of sorts, concerning the greys, which I had hitherto despised as being untrue to the spectrum. Again, I have to admit that I was gravely mistaken and that they are indeed needed, as glue to hold the complete picture together.

If only the esteemed Mister Monet could have visited these hallowed grounds and been at liberty to regale us with a symphony of his own unique palette for a rendition of this African peacock, which stuns us with his magnificence. The mountains here seem to look down upon us, mere mortals, with an ancient wisdom and a sadness at the loss of their collective virginity. Ugly monotonous buildings are like scars on the faces of these holy surfaces of the planet’s shroud. Man and his infernal progress has arrived and has defaced the original canvas with his infantile attempts at improving that which needed no change whatsoever.

My heart bleeds in sympathy and my artist’s psyche is revolted at the spectacle of monstrously bland concrete highrises, for the new lords of mediocrity and the tourists to dwell in, at the same time despoiling the authenticity of the maker’s creation. Where once cranes flew in circles that were in harmony with their surroundings, now other cranes stand still and force ever higher eyesores upon our irises. What a crying shame!

Alternative Travel Guide to Spain?

This is where you can ask zany or silly questions and tell outright lies about Spain. Go on, go for it! I´ll start us off:

– Contrary to popular opinion, Portugal is not one of Spain´s provinces, but an actual country.

Travel Guide to Spain?

Gastronomía manchega, Pedro Muñoz.

Image via Wikipedia

Feel free to ask any questions, that could make your stay in Spain easier or more enjoyable!?

Just to start us off:

– Post office boxes are yellow and are marked “Correos”.

– Instead of the habitual British fare, do try some tapas(snacks) or regular Spanish food.

– In most places you will NOT find public toilets. Bars and restaurants are ´supposed´to let you use them free of charge.

– Do not use shampoo or soap, when using the beach showers(heavy fines!).

– If you have ´unusual´questions or just tourist info, why not ask a street person(and tip them, please!).

– Watch out for pickpockets(these are usually well dressed).

– Watch out for women who offer you a flower(professional pick-pockets!).

– When sitting on a terrace, put your purse on your lap.

– Do not forget your sunblock! The Spanish sun is a killer.

– In this climate, it is imperative that you drink enough water. Remember: coffee and alcohol are diuretics, they get rid of your fluids -> replenish them!!

Any further questions, just ask!

The Duke of Kold.

I was fantasizing about a visit,
to a most peculiar place.
‘t Was to see His Grace,
the consul of Antarctica.

I was imagining an igloo,
two penguins at the door,
guarding the sovereignty
of this sacred arctic soil.

But there was nothing to be seen!
A passerby informed me:
See that puddle over there?
That´s where it used to be.

Now igloos in the south of Spain
are very hard to find,
for ice does melt quite easily,
beneath the Iberian sun.

His Grace, the Duke of Kold,
has gone to get himself a tan.
He wants to look a golden brown,
this fine majestic man.

´t Will make a break from all that white.
When he goes home, to frozen night.
He may well choose not go, I fear,
to darkness six months of the year.