Monday, August 31, 2009


When I moved back to Mojacar in 1980, I dreamt of having a stable of beautiful Spanish horses and giving each the name of a car like Morgan, Alfa or Jag but as it turned out my first purchase was a black mule whom I named Honda because she was cheap and reliable. The drawing of the cart above is the old cart I turned into a mule-taxi and Honda and I took people up and down the beach or from bar to bar. Being the first taxi in Mojacar I was issued with licence plate No. 1. The plate was made by the famous playwrite, artist and local resident Win Wells because the town had no such facilities. I'm sorry there are no pictures to show but I only had a poloroid which a good friend had bought me because I wasn't making any money seeing as all my clients were friends and I couldn't charge them but they all bought the pictures and that was my income and probably the best job I have ever had.
Things were very primative then: the beaches virgin, the people friendly. The weather was always beautiful and modern conveniences were unheard of. In those days the local doctor still made his rounds of the farm areas on horse-back for which I accompanied him many times.
To do the laundry, one went to the Arab fountain at the base of Mojacar, where water ran 24 hours a day and went down troughs that you had to stand in up to your knees and rub bar soap on the worn rock wash-boards. The used water continued down to irrigate the farm-land, each according to his 'hours'. It was always a fun time because we would load up Honda, go to the shop at the fountain, buy a melon to put in the icy water until we had finished washing clothes - the rinse-cycle was acomplished by our children standing up to their waists in the fountain and stomping up and down on the laundry until the soap was out. Then we would wash our hair and share out the melon. It was a great social meeting place; then we would go home with all the gossip of this interesting and relaxed little community.
One day when Amber was in nursery school, in the plaza of Mojacar, there was a terrible ruckus - it turned out that Honda and our Great Dane had gone walkabouts and ended up in the village. Not knowing what to do they got three-year old Amber out of school to deal with the situation. She tied the mule to the iron grates on the window of the school and took the dog inside. When I went to pick her up she rode the mule home. She was considered quite the little heroine because the locals were scared to death of both animals.

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