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Abroad. Thoughts from home

Abroad. Thoughts from home

Having spent more than a quarter of a century living in Malaga, I never cease to be amazed at how rapidly I cleave to my cultural roots every time I visit the land of my birth

Peter Edgerton / www.peteredgerton.com

Friday, 18 August 2023, 17:38

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An errant wasp with eyes bigger than its belly flounders in a half-consumed pint of cask ale while, in the background, the gentle thud of leather on willow emanating from the village cricket match provides the most eloquent of soundtracks. All that would be needed now is a light smattering of drizzle to make this the most English scene in the history of the universe. Actually, the sun is shining, albeit intermittently, dodging the grey-white clouds and splashing a semi-golden glow across this quite beguiling panorama.

Having spent more than a quarter of a century living in Malaga, I never cease to be amazed at how rapidly I cleave to my cultural roots every time I visit the land of my birth. It's quite absurd, really. En route from Liverpool airport, I immediately stop to stock up on every variety of pie known to Northern man - pork, chicken and mushroom, steak and kidney plus a random selection of ones I'd never heard of but, you know, they're pies so you kind of have to.

Next day, after a full English breakfast, a walk in the rain. It's lovely. Actually, without wishing to over-romanticise, it feels like something of a re-birth after the incessant Andalusian heat of recent months. In fact, it takes quite an effort to drag myself indoors, knowing this could be the last shower of rainfall I might enjoy for months to come.

What to do this evening? Why, a couple more pints of ale and an outrageously spicy curry of course! It's stopped raining by now, unfortunately, and I find myself pining for just a little more precipitation in the manner of a child pleading for one more hour of TV before bedtime. It's all to no avail, although the pints and the curry make a valiant effort to assuage the pain of my yearning.

It's such an odd phenomenon, all of this. I've seen Spanish friends do the same when they return home from long stints abroad - a flurry of tortilla de patatas, endless late nights just because they can, moving round town in massive groups and saying "Olé!" every other word.

I think it was the Jesuits who said "Give me the boy until he's seven and I'll give you the man," and it seems they were onto something.

Now then, I'm off - there must be someone who does a spot of Morris Dancing around here.

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