July 15th, Menorca

So far so good, although always precarious… As I write, the tramuntana is blowing in the pines (that’s the crazy north wind that usually blows in the winter and drives everyone on the island crazy; all the old farmhouses – including ours – had a central room with no outside walls and no windows where they would live in the winter to hide from it), but I have to say that aside from forcing me off the terrace to sleep indoors, and making the garden very thirsty, it’s not such a bad thing – my sis and I accomplished a whole lot today around the house because it was actually cool enough to work. It even rained for about 10 minutes – just enough to wash all the leaves and surfaces, and by late afternoon the sky was pristine again (tho’ the wind still blows), in time for my daily second commune with the sea (the first is in the early morning, usually at the big blue bathtub). An old Menorcan friend came for an early evening visit, with her 8-yr old daughter. They spent a winter in the house about 3 or 4 years ago – instructive for all for us – and Frida (the daughter) has an unbreakable bond with the place, and with Ratonera, our part-time cat (she – the cat – shows up unerringly within minutes of my every arrival on the island, and stays until we leave, but obviously has at least one other home because she is always healthy and well-fed when she shows up… cats…)

I had a week here by myself at the end of June, to open the house again, air out the bed linen, scare away the mice etc. before mum and sis arrived. It was stinkingly hot – 38 degrees with the wind in the southwest, which means humid and carrying the red dust from the Sahara – hard to get much done, but I did my best – both mum and sis had repeatedly said “don’t stress – take some time off” so I did…. And since they arrived, it’s been pretty much perfect – about 30 degrees, wind mostly in the northeast, which is cool and dry, and leaves the big blue bathtub like it should be… I’m a happy camper. (sorry, england…)

Mum is doing pretty well. She is so happy to be here – so what if she repeats herself occasionally and needs help with relatively simple things? she’s a marvel… so many people here so happy to see her… Sis had the usual tough re-entry, but after 2 weeks we seem to finally be on a relatively even keel – long may it last…

And then just when I thought I was in for a bit of smooth sailing, I find that my subletter in New York has to leave and I’m back in the “who will take care of the cat, who will pay the rent?” mode… oh dear, life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans – but I’ve been reading the Tibetan Book of the Dead, and it reminds me to live in the present as much as possible… what would you do if today were your last?