Don Justo’s D.I.Y. cathedral

"How will people remember me? I hope they remember me as a Christian. And that's enough. A good Christian." In the small town of Mejorada del Campo, about 20 km from Madrid, Justo Gallego Martínez (aka: Don Justo) has been quietly plugging away on his obsession, his magnum opus, his mad dream, since late 1961. … Continue reading Don Justo’s D.I.Y. cathedral


Água de Fátima

The town of Fátima is where three shepherd children claimed to have witnessed the Virgin Mary in a field on half a dozen occasions in 1916-17. The main reason we stopped at Fátima on the last day of our 2017 Portuguese road trip was so I could get my hands on one of the small … Continue reading Água de Fátima

Boca do Inferno

Boca do Inferno  is Portuguese for “Hell’s Mouth”. The seaside caves are located on the outskirts of the city of Cascais, 30 km west of Lisbon. The spot is popular with photographers, especially during stormy weather, due to the waves crashing spectacularly into the network of caverns. When we were visiting Cascais I knew “Hell’s … Continue reading Boca do Inferno

So many books, so little time… (part 11)

Raggle-Taggle: Adventures with a Fiddle in Hungary and Roumania  (1933) by Walter Starkie I had seen Walter Starkie mentioned elsewhere, but Fernando Diaz-Plaja wrote about him with such enthusiasm in The Spaniard and the Seven Deadly Sins  that I couldn’t resist tracking down some of his books. Starkie was an Irish writer, translator and scholar. … Continue reading So many books, so little time… (part 11)


In a futile attempt to escape the relentless heatwave that’d been terrorizing Europe this summer we spent a week at the in-laws’ rustic little cottage in the Jerte Valley. Lucyna, the Polish woman who takes care of Lola’s father, was pushing him around the garden in his fancy new wheelchair. She was chainsmoking, as always, … Continue reading Trashumancia