After a hectic yet rocking few weeks of selling in Hibiscus in London I’ve retreated to Tarifa, Andalucia, to spend a week staying at my old flat sorting out my belongings in storage, getting what I can into my suitcase for London, catching up with missed friends and hopefully shooting a few pieces of the collection for Myhibi.com on the playa, that’s if the weather improves, right now its looking like a droll afternoon on Dartmoor out there.
‘O’keefe Stuff Incorporated’ as one of my oldest friends Steve quite rightly put it, he’s been a bloody saint, Steve’s had my stuff in his barn, spare room and chests of drawers for 2 years since my adventure started. Andy my friend here in Tarifa has a cupboard full of boxes too, then there’s my furniture storage unit in Somerset and various other bits floating around in friend’s houses. I’m really TRYING to whittle it down but some things I’ll never part with. My pictures for example. I rediscovered my ‘Good Luck’ collage (above) my wonderful mum, artist Helen O’Keefe made for me while I was recovering from a gone wrong thyroid operation. Back then in 2010 my life had felt like at times a never-ending stream of chaos and unpleasantness, one thing after another had ended up spectacularly badly, relationships, work and health.. anyway mum gave me the collage and I just focused on it from my bed, willing that particular chapter to come to an end and it did.. Winston Churchill’s quote, ‘When you’re going through hell, keep going!’ worked for me.
I’ve unpacked the boxes, chucked some stuff out, sold some, and given some away, now I have one manageable car load to drive back to the UK oooh yes another road trip anyone??. It’s always hard to leave here, masses of wildflowers in spring, spectacular beaches and (usually) endless blue skies.
I love driving along the Tarifa coast with its glimpses of blue water through the pine trees, immense sand dunes and chiringuitos (beach bars). Being back here now a year later is a check – in for me, a litmus test of how my new life experiment is coming along. Well, Myhibi.com is a reality, not just a project for some time off in the future, Sara and I are making it happen, listening to feedback, feeling our way and adjusting our plans as we go responding to new and interesting opportunities and ideas, my head’s fizzing with possibilities.. I keep meeting people I want to feature as guest editors for the website, so many different stories to tell.
This week I had dinner at my friend’s house locally, around the table we had a kite surf instructor, curtain makers, cook, 3 artists, hotel owner, carpenter and me. I laughed so much I cried then nearly blew a gasket when they got out a 5.5 meter snake skin from a python that had unwisely ventured onto their previous home (farm in Zimbawe).. see below how bloody huge that thing was, please excuse the blurry picture, that’s my ‘rioja lense’..
This week I’ve crossed another challenge off the list, the first being my climbing adventure, by finally handling a snake (not being fan of something with sharp fangs that can look at you in the eye while simultaneiously curling around your back eeerrgh) however, she was a small and well behaved lady python, Cleopatra belonging to my friend, Sebastian Fisher an amazing metal artist at his beautiful house near Gaucin where we ate a delicious lunch fresh from his vegetable garden.
I’ve decided to stay out here in Spain until the weekend and the return of the sun, and why not, I’m not doing office hours anymore and I can. I’ve got some writing I want to do, a shoot on the beach and more time with my friends. That’s what I call living. 🙂