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Monday, 9 February 2015

Sun sun sun – it’s killing me.


 I expected better weather than we have back home in February. Of course I did. My background reading told me to expect a lot of sunshine with a hard freeze every night and daytime temperatures around 43 (6C). It’s been way above that for a week now, and today they’re forecasting 62 (15 C). Amongst other things, this means that the snow left over from the storm that hit ten days ago, while freezing every night, melts every morning – and the lane is inches deep in mud. That in turn means that I try to walk to the office area, where I pick up a wifi signal, before eight-thirty. Saturdays are different, of course. The final football scores don’t come through until ten o’clock local time – well worth the inconvenience if, like me, you follow Chelsea. Yesss!!!!

Someone asked me what the casita is like inside. Well, it’s like this:




 

Despite putting in some long hours at that desk, I am getting to know my way around town – and meeting a few characters. Artists, primarily – because that’s what they have here: artists – and art galleries, dozens of them. In one of them I asked about the economics and got an interesting reply. Sage Fine Art represents the work of ten practitioners. They staff it on a rota basis, display their own work, and share the rental. It seems to work.

A few days ago, after enjoying a glass of Negra Modelo in the sunshine, I strolled through the plaza area and chatted to a guy from Islington, London, who has lived here for twenty or thirty years. He had some interesting stories to tell about his early days in the States, but the most fascinating was about doing some work with a Cheyenne from Idaho who, having befriended him, offered to teach him to play the Native wooden flute. Now he sells flutes and performs. With his wife, who comes from Isleta Pueblo (south of Albuquerque), he runs a shop selling various Native articles. I would guess that most people in Taos have a back-story worth hearing. Certainly very few are native to the area. The local population has expanded a great deal in the past few decades.

I don’t think I mentioned that the residents here got together for a small party last week, which means I have now met them all – a playwright, a poet, a couple of novelists, a fellow-writer of non-fiction, and… the artists, who have larger houses which incorporate studios. We’ve agreed to meet every Wednesday evening to unwind. Otherwise we hardly seem to see each other: too busy working.

Okay, it’s 0830, the mud is thawing. I’d better gallop.