I’m sitting on my south terrace of my house in the Sierra Tajeda foothills as I compose this piece. To the right hand side of my laptop is a Jim Beam marked glass filled to the brim with Moscow Vodka and tonic, with a thick chunk of our home grown sweet lime floating on the top.
Emanating from the open library window to my right are the divine strains of late great Victoria de los Angeles singing Chants d’Auvergne in her deliciously rounded mezzo soprano, so suited to those gently moody ancient lullabies.
Behind me, inside the main room of the house is a freshly caught sea bass patiently waiting in the fridge to form the substantial part of my imminent supper.
Before me, between the oleanders and cypresses, in the near-but-heat-hazy distance is the Mediterranean Sea, in which my bass was still swimming only this morning.
As the shadows begin to lengthen, and defined colours replace blinding monochrome, at last the excoriating heat of the day is giving way to the sensual caressing cool of the south-Spanish evening.
But for the fact I am missing my wife Dido, who is driving in heavy traffic from Oxford to London as I sit here typing these words, I really think I could almost be in heaven.
The picture above dates back to when we first moved here – with our Maremma sheepdog Aura – and the only available shade was under our old carob tree (in fact, the only mature tree we had). That was also heaven, albeit minus the laptops, stereos and Russian Vodka, which all goes to show, that even heaven, like just about everything else, is merely a relative concept…