Sunny by name...sunny by nature
I'm besotted with
a golden-eyed, bundle of soft, brown puppy called
Sunny! For those that may have read my previous
article about losing our spaniel, Woody, you will
understand the significance of this little fella
coming into our lives. Sunny chose us before he
could walk confidently when he was a wriggling,
half a handful, snuggled into a puddle of puppy
Once he came to live with
us we couldn't move
from home until he was old enough to be alone and
took the opportunity of an autumn holiday in Spain.
John's oldest friend, Jeff, and his partner, Cheryl,
invited us to join them in a remote, mountain village,
Canillas de Albaida, about 50K inland from Malaga;
an enclave of clustered white-washed homes, wrapped
around with olive, avocado and citrus orchards,
dominated by an impressive landscape of forests
and canyons and a river carving through a steep
gorge, its banks flush with the sun-warmed, savoury
scent of wild thyme and rosemary.
The village, generated from and integrated with
the fabric of the mountain, was a labyrinth of
narrow streets and alleys, not dissimilar to the
'opes' in St. Ives and Mousehole. The house, that
Jeff and Cheryl rented, was fused into rock; very
old, 500 years old..... and very dark and very
spooky. Religious objects; crosses, icons of virgins
clutching grotesquely simpering babies were nailed
to walls and doors: in seemingly spiritual contrast,
one windowless, creepy, crypt-like room, had an
old wooden table covered in a shabby, dark red,
brocade cloth; black candles dripped paralysed,
contorted dust-covered wax globs from black, wrought
iron candlesticks...a scenario for the perpetrators
of the Inquisition?
John and Jeff have been
friends since teenage
years and played their guitars in bands at venues
around London, but since living in Cornwall and
Jeff now in Devon, hadn't performed together
'seriously' for forty+ years. So Jeff's news
on our arrival in Spain, that he's set up a gig
in a local restaurant, was met with apprehension
- it wasn't as if neither of them hadn't been
playing during the 'break'.... just not with
each other or performing the same repertoire,
Consequently, they had to rehearse for three
days; find songs, the right keys and work on
harmonies before compiling a set list. As for
me: I absconded to the local pool to soak up
They were playing outside in a lovely plaza. It
was one of those magical, warm evenings that eludes
us in Cornwall; balmy air, bourgainvillea cascading
from balconies and the audience relaxed, anticipating
good food and music, hosted by the proprietor,
the flamboyant Gustavo, who, unlike the stereotypical
Spanish cafe owner oozing swarthy charm, aspired
to be a 'wannabee' surf dude... aviator shades,
bleached streaks and pink, flowery shirt. The 'boys'
set the gear up and while Jeff and Cheryl did their
set, John and I had dinner under the stars, enjoying
food ( roast goat leg) and local wine and being
However, the rain in Spain might
fall mainly on the plain but it also lashes down
on Andalusian villages! The heavens opened. Six
months of pent up rain let loose. So many people.
so much electric sound equipment, so much food....
all so wet! John and Jeff
grabbed, mics, guitars, amps, speakers and found
shelter in doorways, while I rescued my wine glass.
John may have had gigs called off for all manner
of reasons... but had never had a gig 'rained-off"...but,
hey, hold on, these guys have been around for a
while: cancel a gig for a drop of rain - no way!
The guests had all sprinted inside the restaurant,
so John, Jeff and Cheryl used guitars and a simple
amp for a spontaneous set of jazz, latin and rock
standards in front of a delighted audience, responding
to the spirit of the occasion with requests and
singing along... so much for three days rehearsing!
The holiday over; we
flew into Exeter without a backward thought of
Spain, so excited that we were picking up our puppy
from Saltash en route. We've had him for a few
weeks and he's made himself completely at home.
An adorable wiggly, bundle of mischief,
making his presence felt more every day, who's
old enough to take for walks and join in the free-for-all,
'socialising' at Puppy Parties.
To be honest, we'd
become used to being dog-free and
enjoying our independence but this little guy is
a game changer. The house has come back to life
and is filled with fun and squeaky toys. After
the heartbreak of losing Woody, I was determined
that I'd keep an emotional safe distance, but it's
too late; Sunny by name and sunny by nature, is
dragging me into that place deep beyond his golden
eyes where one look says, ' I'm yours unconditionally,
I'll make you laugh, I'll walk by your side, I'll
rest my head on your lap, just be there for me....
even though I've just chewed your best silk cushion
and I'm not quite house-trained".
In the lyrics of the song... " Sunny, thank
you for the love, you brought my way"
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