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Thursday, April 22, 2004

A melancholy day in the Canary Islands. Weatherwise. Today my daughter and eldest granddaughter leave which augments it for me. Seven almost eight year olds are beasts looking two ways - on the one hand this child has developed a kind of gravitas since I saw her last - denoting growing up... she draws a lot, as always but is now obsessed by the painter Frieda Kahlo, seeming not a wit disturbed by the blood and piercings therein; she says she likes all the self-portraits and has taken to making her own, tho' not looking in a mirror to do it. On the other hand the small child still lurks - she weeps when my animals are too forward and has terrified herself with the boggarts and ghouls of the Penguin Dictionary of Fairies which she found one day and insisted on investigating. Yesterday we went to watch cycling parrots - oh yes, really - and this much cheered her. Actually I guess we're all a bit like this if much less transparently; terrifying ourselves with what others take for granted or are merely amused by; and vice versa.

The land is green green green. Not so the other island where we went - which looked as if the Sahara had decided to take a seaside holiday. At a high point we found a crazy Irish woman offering cheese toasties, leapt on of course by said child - in fact all of us opted for cheese and onion toasties as a change from gambas al ajillo..... why not, why not. Meanwhile serenaded by music from the Andes and garlanded above our heads by lengths of magenta Christmas tinsel. Afterwards we leapt up and rolled down white dunes down by the sea.

Meantime, back at the ranch, our attempt to shift stones off the land has caused deep melancholy in our landman from Blackburn, who likes things ordered and organised and expects people to do what they say, whereas all the canarian builders/bulldozer drivers want is a) stones, which are valuable and b) to work at their convenience. Beloved disclaims all responsibility. I pour oil on troubled water - or try to: thinking MEN. Actually I don't care a fuck as long I get a sheltered place and can plant the odd citrus and almond tree; up here they get unhappy in the wind. Even so now, I'm off to water them. xxxgrannyp

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