The Mojacar of Yesteryear
This poem is a distillation from the much longer poem A Nomad's Tale
which was written as a sort of personal history.
There were no pavements at that time, the road beside the sea
Passed swathes of tangled, unkempt land, brick and mortar free.
A traffic jam comprised three cars, a bus pased once an hour,
To stop it one stood anywhere, and waved with all one’s power.
One took a torch to see outside, else stumbled in the dark,
For services were minimal and seldom up to mark.
The water from the taps ran brown, to drink it was not wise
One filled bottles at “the fuente” for one’s potable supplies.
Primitive it may have seemed to any untrained eye,
But etiquette was better then, and many wore a tie
Or cocktail dress when dining out. The social niceties
Were well observed, while rich or poor were equally at ease.
Attitudes were different then, theft was something rare
And, though gossip spread like wildfire as it leapt from mouth to ear,
Most of it was jovial, repeated with a wry
“There, but for the grace of God, also goeth I.”
Many were the characters who gained a special name,
Like “Sailor” Dave or John “The Boat”, accorded for their fame;
Or Basil “Hat”, “Bald Eagle, Roger “Rabbit”, “Major Tom”,
Alan “One Wine”, “Hissing Sid”, the list runs on and on.
For Mojacar was a haven where the misfits fitted in,
Not condemned for non-conformity by mindsets closed and prim.
Neither judged on past achievement nor the rank of kith and kin,
They were given toleration, and forgiven “social sin”.
Telephones were troublesome and very hard to get,
But each day, at bar Los Arcos, most business owners met.
There were hardly any bridges; when it rained roads washed away
And electric lights would falter, but wax candles saved the day.
“Arthurs” was the local store, for gossip, bread and pies.
Garrucha was the weekly shop for all our main supplies.
In Diego Gerez, chandlers, one might sometimes find a treat,
Like marmalade or Marmite, to make one’s day complete.
The narrow N340 was the main arterial route
And once a month some drove it, their pockets stuffed with loot,
To the Pryca hypermarket, Almeria. It was nice
For provisions, such as orange juice, at half the local price.
Thursday meant the weekly flights came into Almería,
A two hour drive, on winding roads, it wasn’t all that near,
But when the motorway was built this isolation ended
And, seized on by developers, Mojacar was extended.
With Mojacar’s every hillside by apartment blocks polluted
And an influx of bland “normal” folk, its character diluted.
Sadly, as Mojacar grew, it lost its special niche,
Becoming more like other towns beside a Spanish beach.