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An unusual account based on the construction of a stone hut in rural Spain. Brings to life the characters and characteristics of the area through the trials, tribulations and tales of a  commuting amateur builder.

Rolling Stones in Spain

Solo Loco

Few vehicles travel along my track, indeed so few that each one that does is an event in my day - and one that actually stops is a very special event.

One day, as I slowly rolled a particularly heavy stone up to the top of my growing wall, Diego drew to a halt and stepped out of his van followed by the usual tribe of dogs. He looked around. His eyes flicking over the building site, bird-like, as he quickly scanned the various things lying about. The survey complete, he tilted his rugged, stubble-covered face towards me, nodded at the wall and asked, “Solo?”

“Si, solo,” I replied proudly. I was building it on my own.

He shrugged – as Spanish people often do - threw his little canine acolytes into the van and roared off.


As he closed the door, I thought that he mumbled one word, “Loco”. But I could not be sure.

I could, however, guess, and translate into English, his next thought as he bounced along the rough gravel track, “Why the hell doesn’t he build the place of concrete like we all do?”

He had a point. Miguel, the then landlord of the older bar in the main square of our village, had a building erected on his property – a place to store his furniture until his wonderful new house leaves the drawing board and becomes a reality. That furniture store was built mostly of concrete and it took a few builders about a week to complete. Meanwhile, I‘d been bashing away at my stone hut for five years, on and off.


116,000 words

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