In Venezuela, people used to say that if you got to 50 and you could count your true friends on the fingers of one hand, then you were a lucky person. And so I am, even though the Grim Reaper has claimed so many in the past two years.
I have just watched Casa de Areia (The House of Sand, directed by Andrucha Waddington) and now I can't sleep for all the recurring images of longing and dunes.
So back to the biography of Raymond Carver that I'm reading. And maybe a bit of Breaking Bad and then it will be time for breakfast. In Holland that tends to revolve around coffee and gingerbread and brown bread and butter with chocolate specks.
A new ambulance for the little village where I live finally arrived on Saturday. I see its photo outside Mossuril Hospital and it feels strange not to be there; and stranger still not to have been there when its Mercedes engine swept uphill to the blue and white building where I have been so many times. The new chariot is a gift from the Meander Medical Centre in Holland and it was really needed.
My next project will be to restart Teran Foundation's internet cafe (after the computers burned out some months ago on a super-surge of electrical current). And next after that we will be kick-starting a chain of fish farms. It feels bizarre to be sitting high up in a stately old house in northern Europe working out the logistics of just how deep to dig the fish ponds, and just how much powdered lime to scatter in them to keep the leeches away. I am wondering which fingerlings will do best behind the beach so far away in northern Mozambique. And I'm remembering a sort of horror documentary about fish-farming in Tanzania. And I'm glad that the new fish farms will be dug out of the existing shallow lagoons that the local salt-producers use to water their salt pans and they will be like extensions of the sea and not the home of lurking monsters!