November 2015

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Editor’s Letter

Our friends and neighbours

The first time I rode a horse, aged 7, it escaped from the handler and went trotting off around the school sports ground for 20 minutes. When I was finally lifted off, terrified and in tears, it promptly trod on my foot. I’ve never been near one since. On the other hand, the first time I surfed I was up on the board riding the legendary breaks of Whitley Bay like a professional almost immediately. The thing is, you don´t know how anything’s going to turn out until you do it. Which brings me to Brexit. One thing, now, is clearer than ever – we’re going to do it. And, as I was reminded a number of times when speaking to our consular officials last month, it is something that has never been done before. Theresa May’s speech shed a little light on what the British government would be seeking, and it’s certainly good news to hear that the rights of British expats, as well as those of EU residents in the UK, will be top of the agenda.


When Mrs May described Europe as “our friends and neighbours” she was talking on a national level, but here on Lanzarote those words are the literal truth for thousands of us. And wild horses will not break those ties. A man who liked horses as much as I dislike them was José Saramago, the subject of our interview on page 130. He loved them because, as a poor child in Portugal, he never got to ride them, but his house in Tías is full of horse sculptures, ornaments and paintings.

In a month when we celebrate love, there’s no better place to visit than Saramago’s House and Library. It’s a monument to the writer’s love affair with his wife Pilar, with the written word, with the world and with the island he chose to live the rest of his life on. “Lanzarote is not my land, but it is mine,” he wrote, and this sense of settlement is everywhere, from the 15-foot olive tree that he brought to the island from his native village as a small sapling held between his knees on the plane, to the teethmarks of his dogs on his writing desk. The visitor can sit in the garden chair where, among his trees, the great writer would enjoy the view of the ocean and the distant volcanoes and islands, and feel, like the last words he heard before his peaceful death, “It’s all good.”

The Editor

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