December 31st, 2016 Menorca

My 1st week here was like spring – real heat still in the sun, eating lunch out on the patio, even threw myself into the sea my 2nd day, in the bathtub, just to make sure I was really here (the water was incredibly cold!). And then cold enough at night for both fires. Perfect. And then winter arrived…but the house is in fine shape, sis keeps it beautifully, and with both fires going we are snug as two bugs… The garden was a wilderness – I had to try and curb my enthousiasm and not get carried away, but it was a good project to have.

We had my customary Solstice party on what turned out to be the worst day of the year, weather-wise – lashings of rain, total downpour, and bitter cold, which kept a few people away, but probably all for the best as we were indoors but not crowded, and it was all our local menorcan neighbours and friends, plus R&J and a few others. Diana had decided to join in the fun this year, instead of being bah-humbug like last time, and she made the most beautiful christmas tree out of boughs of the oak tree out back, stuck in the old painted stove pipe from upstairs that’s been lying out back for the past year or so – got a bunch of baubles from Mistral, and some fairy lights and hey presto! Magic… Julia also gave us early xmas presents of solar outdoor fairy lights, so we were all set! The place looked beautiful… I cooked up the usual storm, and then by the middle of the party succumbed to the head-cold that was doing the rounds and retired to bed – but not until l got all the burly guys to come and pick up the cama matrimonial and moved it out from under the drip in the corner of the room – classic… “It’s heavy!!” they cried…

Christmas was just the 4 of us gnawing on Bernard’s other leg (he wasn’t up for joining us, his health is not good, poor man, but was happy to give us a leg of lamb) and then that night the Pesh arrived – a great christmas present… she is a total delight – sweet, smart, savvy but not blasé and deals easily with people of all ages – a joy to have around. We had a great 2 weeks with her… in hindsight I suppose one week would have been less stressful for sis ultimately – I did ask her, way back when, if it was okay for pesha to stay through the 3 Kings, as she wanted to try and do a story on it, and sis said yes, of course, but I should have known better… live and re-learn… but overall it was great. Of course Jan. 5th and 6th were a howling tramontana which meant the Kings arrived by bus, not boat, and they delivered the presents on foot, not horseback – so there was no story to be got – but we had a splendid time anyway… Having upstairs as the guest room works wonderfully well – the guest can disappear up into their own world for as long as they like – even tho’ the upstairs bathroom is basically impossible, it’s so cold (we use it as the cold storage room), and pesha did most of her work huddled under the blankets.. it’s been a real winter, the first we’ve had for several years.

We got the garden put to bed, all except for some big-job pruning that sebastian will do, and I helped sis plant a small winter huerto. The bills this year are simply enormous – hopefully no major repairs next year (hope springs eternal!) and definitely no building projects.

I still need to spend at least half my year in Westbeth, but since it does seem that full-time co-habitation in menorca isn’t realistic, it’s all for the best. I am still a New Yorker, in spite of everything – my tribe is there, and what little work I have… and I need to finish the record! Who knows what next year will bring, anyway, both health-wise and world-wise? The future has never been less easy to read, so let’s just hope for the best and prepare for the worst (Pesha says she and her friends are coming to menorca to help run the finca, the minute the apocalypse arrives!)

Fasten your seat belts, everyone, we’re in for a bumpy ride…. I’m going to sign off now, don’t know when I’ll be back…It’s been exactly 5 years since I started this journal, so I think it’s time to draw to a close (not to mention the fact that I can’t bear to think about, let alone articulate, what’s happening here in the US!) Surrounded by white light may we be well protected by our angels and our guides…