A lot has happened in 18 months. I have lost a husband, gained a - well, I don't know what to call him really, (we have not had that conversation) but he is very, very important to me - and now exist in a weird twilight world between east and west, not really knowing where - if anywhere - is home anymore. I have overcome the most crippling creative block of my life following Dan's death, and rediscovered my love of poetry and am finding my voice, rusty though it is. But emotional upheaval is all fodder to an artist and, after the dust has settled, I am starting to make sense of my feelings; of loss, of grief, of finding self again. It's an interesting journey, though frightening. I hope it will make me far more productive than I have been. Fingers crossed.
I am in the midst of a war zone. Not literally, but it feels like it. Fallas is in full swing - that wild debauch which is Valencia's major fiesta. Fireworks pepper the aural landscape like artillery, crowds swarm the streets. And I sit, trying to work through it, my head aching, my nerves unravelling like string. It is interesting to me how I have evolved in my feelings towards it. When I first moved here, I was enthralled. Now I am merely irritated, although occasionally mesmerised by a spontaneous display in an unlikely place, or a ninot which has stepped outside the bounds of the usual. But mostly I am counting the hours until the last fragments of ash have fallen from La Crema on Sunday night and quiet descends again.