The road to Madrid

We took a break; a trip to the capital city of our surrogate motherland.

The Journey

Mile after mile of crags stone walls and casitas

Olives shaped and tidy

Protected citrus ; netted from pollination.

No-one likes pips.

 

Down the coast castles big and and towers small facing the sea looking for invaders

And the bull on the ridge.

Watching, standing proud.

Vigilant.

Monochrome graffiti fills walls and and derelict buildings bemoaning their failure.

 

Then a change.

The oranges  have dwindled away and we are in Wiltshire,

Salisbury Plain but writ big.

Devon’s red and Wiltshire’s chalk share the landscape.

Not sure which should be in control they jostle for superiority beneath the surface.

There are cereals  and sunflowers.

Beer or bread; oil or munchies

The flowers are raising their weary heads to squint at the sun.

Straining skywards.

And untidy kindergartens with the young straggling and struggling to keep up.

And vines and vines and vines.

And the bull on the ridge.

Watching, standing proud.

Vigilant.

 

The harvest here is underway.

Not English with set square lines; this is Spanish harvesting.

Curves, waves and “I’ll finish it tomorrow”.

Following the contour and not worrying about the stroppy bits out of reach.

The colours are the same though antique golds of every hue.

There are square bales.

Messily piled, jauntily placed like an soldiers beret.

Then the olive trees again.

Heathcliffe to Cathy’s Linton.

But happier in their unkempt, impenetrable darkness.

 

Temperatures are creeping upwards.

 

And the bull on the ridge.

Watching, standing proud.

Vigilant.

No homes in sight.

Silos, factories; the shiny and the crumbling faded

Restaurants for petrol diesel and coffee.

Solitary ramshackle buildings.

Then dead farms surrounded by huge misshapen stains

Still more cereals and sunflowers seemingly resisting the cult-like pull of the sun.

 

The railway line stalks us.

Sometimes seen, sometimes not, but always there.

Villages are a huddle of red and grey

Not big and greedy of space but compact and unobtrusive.

Turning their backs to the sun and adoring the tower supporting their centres.

 

And the bull on the ridge.

Watching, standing proud.

Vigilant.

Chalky slopes  after a long climb

Still cereals below, some cut down some strong in the sun.

Some straight lines on this softer landscape but most not.

 

Tumbled trees on the roadside.

Sad roots stretching and reaching out in confusion to the sun.

Then ploughed fields with thirsty tracks across their faces.

More life and this City is ours.