The sheer physicality of the Spanish playground never ceases to astound me. A little less helicopter parenting, and a lot more Lord Of the Flies—that seems to be the rule of the land here. There’s running and yelling, poking and pushing. Teachers supervise, but unless blood is involved, rarely intervene. Two weeks ago, my five-year … More Recreo

Silly Old Bear

Just today, the weather turned a bit. As I type, I can hear the wind raking through the willow trees, scattering green confetti on my patio. I am in my salon (as some Spanish call the living room), with a quilt on my lap, the only sound being the click of the keyboard and my … More Silly Old Bear


“I’m sorry,” I say, countless times each day, “My Spanish is very bad.” “I’m a terrible dancer,” I’ll announce. “The worst. Terrible, but confident. A deadly combination.” The words flow effortlessly. “I’m not a very good cook.” “I’m kind of a bad driver.” “Sometimes I can’t even dress myself.” I like to throw these zingers … More Translation