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Lately, the evenings here have been like living in the deep woods.  Well, I suppose you are thinking that this couldn’t possibly be true.  “Isn’t Sol y Mar right on the water?”  Yes, of course it is, but when I say it has been like living in the deep woods, it is because there have been so many boats anchored out in front of the house that at night, it is beginning to look like a herd/flock/group/bevy/brood/litter/pack/skein...(pick anyone that makes sense to you) of fire-flies hovering above the water, with their gentle glow simmering along the sea.  Truly a treat to see every evening.

A summer weekend, and things have only begun I am told.  Today, by a little after noon, I counted 86 boats in front of Sol y Mar, and by the time I had finished, more were coming in to drop their anchors and bask in the summer sun.  This vista, of course, for me is a mixed blessing.  The views are spectacular, but sitting on the terrace and looking at all the boats does make me long to go sailing again.  And whilst living on a boat was about the best way to grow old I always thought, being on land WITH THE VIEWS is pretty great too. 

Over the weekend, whilst I was trying to keep track of how many boats had come in to anchor (and trying to figure out how I could charge them each a day rental rate for the priviledge), suddenly a regatta/school/flotilla/bunch of incredibly tiny sailing boats came into view and mingled about before buggering off.  I assume they were there so they could figure out what they wanted to be when they grew up.  From the terrace, the scene was pretty spectacular, but like a distortion of reality. 

I don’t have to worry about big storms, although I have almost forgotten what rain even looks like.  I don’t have to worry about the never-ending saga of cleaning teak decks, varnishing brightwork, or polishing stainless fittings to keep the salt air from doing nasty things.  I don’t even have to worry about an anchor-chain dragging, allowing a boat to go careening in to another one.  Now, I just am able to sit in a comfortable chair, knowing that for quite a few years, I was able to do what many people only dream about. 

Having this house, like when I lived in La Antigua, can have its challenges.  This is especially true in summer.  Here I have plants on three terraces that by the end of a summer day, are just about gasping for nourishment.  So every night that I am here I do my watering regimen.  For a while, I was doing this by filling up a 5 litre polyethylene watering-can, but due to some nasty lumbar things going on that had begun to send my back into an entire universe of pain, I now simply haul out the hoses, set the nozzle pressure on turbo-blaster-fire-hose, and proceed to quench what seems to be the never-ending thirst of the plants. 

Having this needed discipline is a good thing.  It is sort of like the discipline that is required for me to put out my weekly business newsletter and other business-related things I do, as well as the artsy stuff I do when I am home.  And speaking of the creative things, I recently became motivated to make some more ceramic plates.  Regardless of how they may look, the whole ceramic project does require discipline.  I have to make sure that the patterns are similar from plate to plate (I now have made almost enough plates with the grass pattern to cause Villeroy & Bosch to believe that they have a new competitor in the market place.  And when I did the Galatxo pattern, I had to make sure that the contour-flow-lines were compatible from plate to plate. 

I was thinking about writing more about the discipline required for all the ceramic things I have done, but just as I was about to keep typing, I realised that something that is that enjoyable and fun to do certainly can’t be all about discipline…it is just a good way to spend my creative time whilst at home. 

 

big boats, little boats, sailing boats, stupid boats....

summer, with plants to be watered

ceramic, 20 cm square, grass pattern

ceramic, 20 cm square, Galatxo pattern

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copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, James B. Rieley

jbrieley@rieley.com