Winter is here.

But we’re still inĀ Autumn.

“Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried.”

Winter in a big city is different than in rural area. I decided to stay in Madrid because I could use this place as a refuge. Last year I spent almostĀ seven months in a very isolated one, five kms. west of Cartaya, in the Huelva province and, this year I would not do the same.

Peter Brown, the owner of that ‘finca’ wrote it: “11 September 2010. Cartaya Spain. Driving along the highway close to my home, I saw a hot and sweaty cyclist. He was peddling with great effort, up a small hill close to my home. I stopped and flagged him down to have a quick chat. Little did I know the quick chat would last almost seven months! I invited Omar back for a wash and a beer, this became a routine for the next 190 days. During this time Omar became a good friend and a great help for me. We reached an agreement to mutual benefit, he would tend my garden and I would give him a roof over his head for the duration of the winter. In this time Omar has planted a vegetable garden, pruned 200 meters of Cyprus hedge and treated my infected palm trees to eradicate the dreaded red palm weevil. House painting is another of his skills and he successfully completed the task. I do not fully understand what Omar was searching for but I wish him all the best in his quest to find it and one day be able to read about it in his published book. Thanks Omar and may your God go with you.”

I spoke with Peter last week via Skype. He asked me the predictable question: “did you get your book project …done?” He was awfully sad beginning April when I left his property for good, mainly because he felt terrible guilty that in seven months, in a very isolated place, I haven’t finish a proper chapter. Yes, I did several stories here, there. But put it in together in a “professional” way, no.

Still, I’m not completely sure if I would stay here the whole winter. Things with me is up to the flow and the surprise. Everything could happen.