The odd car careers around the twist in the road. Another slows hauntingly, to check whether I'm a ghost.

I’ve been writing a lot, which is good practice. They say if you get into a new routine for 21-days straight, you develop a habit. The habit I hope to develop is writing. That said, writing isn’t easy when it’s a question of musts and should’s. This is far more enjoyable to write. But I have edits waiting. Waiting, like this lockdown.

I went on a jog. Later, I walked down the shrub-filled path neighboured by cacti and lady fingers. Well, they’re not lady fingers, not strictly speaking. But I need to widen my range of botanical vocabulary. At any rate, they looked like lady fingers the way they were moulded, like the brass of tubas. I sometimes wonder whether I should read a book based on botany. It would need to be full of pretty photos, mind.

Below the path, the charcoal-coloured cove is washed and teased by tidal pool waves. The domed pavilion in the other direction stands silent, somehow oblivious of everything else that surrounds it. Uncaring, that’s probably a better way of describing it. It stands as a testament to times even worse than these, when Republican fighters fled across the border and when Fascism reigned, both in Franco’s Spain and in its own guise, Vichy France. It’s known as Centre Mackintosh. I’ve no inkling why.

It’s unseasonably cold this week, but then, it would be a real tease had the sun shone, when everything else is so grim. The mist rises some distance above the vines. Following a stealthy walk up the hillside, it then rests stagnant, a vapour where wine will hopefully spring.

Roadside there’s a board, advertising a dancing or folk competition of some sort. Annulé, a sticker slapped on top, screams. The odd car careers around the twist in the road. Another slows hauntingly, to check whether I’m a ghost.

The final approach back to Residence de l’Oli takes us past a crematorium. Mausoleums stand only metres from where we live. This is Catalunya and there are stones marking where the Lopez-Dumas have been interred; further back in the town there are Catalan street signs. Pujadas, not Passages. Upturn three-dozen steps and you reach silent residences and abject windows.

The gates to the crematorium remain open, even after six when they’re meant to be closed. I wonder whether the police would request my attestation were I to walk in?

The day has its poetry, but very little prose. Banana bread chewed on, sometimes in secret. My partner must resent my putting on so much weight. I wake, the friendly German neighbours seem to have gone. They didn’t say goodbye. Who has the time?

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