End of the summer

But not the end of the holidays!  Welcome back to the blog, and as the teachers return to school and prepare for the children to return to school tomorrow, I remain here at El Parral on permanent holiday.

Walking Rubí

As it is my first September not returning to work, I was a little apprehensive about it: I didn’t know what it would feel like without the sudden September adrenaline hit of planning classes, putting up room displays, battling with an incompetent management to get the basic information needed to plan the term ahead, and coaching a dented 20-year old Fiesta back into the daily school run without more bits falling off it on the mountain hairpin bends from here to La Nucia.

Extra alfalfa to build up Aitana

You know what?  I don’t miss any of it.  As it slips unlamented into the past, my working life as a Geography teacher – while it was fun to do and sometimes rewarding – was just one part of a fairly active life which just continues as before.  The daily chores on the donkey field, walking the donkeys, going for bike rides in the mountains, an endless round of badly performed DIY jobs around El Parral, and new local historical discoveries; all of this and more, and I am never bored.  As the first week in September arrived each year, I used to think the same each time: “Wouldn’t it be great if the holiday could go on for another week?”  But I didn’t know if that was true.  Actually, it is true.  The holiday just went on for another week and it is great, and next week it continues.

My daughter Alys was here in August and we managed to fit in a wide range of visits, local fiesta happenings, cooking, beach trips, shopping trips, and donkey grooming.  That helped me get into holiday mode at home in a way that doesn’t normally happen when I am just at home, so I easily continued in holiday mood after Alys returned.

Finestrat fiestas 2018
Cirque du Soleil VIP lounge Alicante 2018



The great discovery of the summer was the Neolithic rock paintings in this province, and when we went to the MARQ museum – mainly to see the Iberian room – we chanced upon the Rupestre” exhibition and ran out of time looking at it before the museum closed.

rupestre 1x2 con fechas

After Alys went home, I returned for a second session looking at Rupestre, and it is the first time I have returned to an exhibition to continue studying it since the famous “Picasso’s Picassos” exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in London nearly forty years ago. Oddly enough, the Rupestre exhibition ends with an audio-visual connecting so called “primitive” art as an influence on Picasso’s work; although the specific rock art of Alicante was unknown to Picasso, being discovered mostly after his death.

And then the great discovery that some of the late Neolithic rock art (the Schematic period) was happening in these mountains around El Parral:  not far from here is one of the great examples of late-neolitithic “eye art”.



No, I do not miss returning to school this week: I have 4000 years of human history to explore.  But if you are going back to the classroom teaching in the Costa Blanca this week, good luck.  Particularly if you have those notoriously rude Russian kids in your class.  If you get their unbearable parents bullying you at parents evening, ask them about their gangster friend Putin and what happened in Salisbury.

Remember: humanity has known nobler times than these.  When you connect with those times, there is still hope.

11 thoughts on “End of the summer

  1. And now that you have more time you can learn how to sit on a 6ft unicycle and throw eight metal bowls into the air from your tiptoe, catching them all the right way up, on the crown of your head, whilst cycling down the slope to level two, followed by Morris. Happy Retirement du Soliel!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Maggie’s comment via Twitter refuses to appear, but I’m not sure why…
    Maybe this WordPress account doesn’t connect with Twitter? No idea.
    Have copied and re-posted it.

    maggie kneen (@MaggieKneen)
    2 hours ago twitter.com/

    Great blog. Alys is lovely as always; so are you and the donks! Very good to know you are happy and fulfilled x

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hi Maggie,

    Yes, Alys and donks is lovely, but the peasant is mostly getting old and decrepit. Can still cycle off the road and through a hedge with art and panache. Still admiring passing crococarts too, Mrs Rowser.

    Good to see you are also campaigning for a second vote and against plastic pollution. Long may we keep on banging our heads against the wall. One day we might even know we made a difference. But prolly we’ll never know.

    Getting much more neolithical these days. But I doubt they had any satire.


  4. Rupestre video helps bring it all to life – the Neolithic people who painted the rock art, the people who discovered the caves and documented the art and the exhibition itself. The tracings are artworks in their own right. I’m looking forward to hearing about all your adventures, in search of primitive caves, yet to come! Take the Donks with you for more local expeditions. They have a sixth sense…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The video is the same one they have in the exhibition entrance. I watched it while you were still in the first exhibition room, while I was waiting to go into the Iberian room, and thus realized we were missing an important exhibit if we didn’t get quickly into Rupestre… !


  6. That could be a good topic for a Rubi Tuesday blog… Did the Neolithic people do satire? Or, who invented satire?… Being a donk of a satirical disposition.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Stone. So bad. So very bad. Nothing but stone. I’m the best President since the early Neolithic and we are already in the late Neolithic: see how we have kicked out all the stone! Neanderthal losers! Stop the rock painting: it’s fake news.


  8. Dear Gareth, it is wonderfully great to hear from you again after such a long pause. Yes, I know we fell out, but for how long and what for, I cannot remember! Please forgive me if you haven’t already.

    I shall study your newly named(?) blog.

    Yes, I will be retiring too as soon as the computer tapes will set me free. Frigging bureaucracy has done me in, and I prefer to cast off into the deep prematurely, but poorer and happier I hope, like a Franciscan perhaps.

    I have been a nostalgist for longer than I can remember. Our first encounters and collaborations as bloggers on the DT pages still remain very vivid to me. Happy days! God loves us.

    -Brother Burrito


    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Burro, and yes of course. All water under the bridge (prolly that Tiber bridge by the Vatican where the bus stops and there is always a great crush to get on and then you discover the driver is not wearing deodorant so you get off again at the next stop, which is a flaming nuisance if you are on crutches with a broken metatarsal and have just walked down the hill from the Friars of the Atonement). OK, water under any bridge will do. Let’s not get too focused on which bridge.

    I’m pleased you are retiring. You always work too hard and you have done enough. I too look back with some fondness on our team efforts on the Damian Thompson blog.

    Best wishes, and enjoy this blog. It continued from the old Frererabit blog which is still there. https://brotherlapin.wordpress.com/


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