Nothing like four or five hours in a beach chair, peering out between the leaves of an unnamed and shady piece of tropical undergrowth, beer, book and lapping waves nearby, to give you a rest. I should say, a week or so of those days. It certainly did that to me.
You people sick of winter, get up now and book a ticket to Vieques, a small island portion of Puerto Rico. Find a house to rent, go down the rugged roads to any of what appear to be a dozen or more wonderful and lightly-used beaches, and leave the winter to your neighbors back home.
I spent a fair amount of time under that foliage, thinking of making pots, glazing pots, firing pots. As I explained to Mike and Tammy, our traveling companions, thinking intently about something you love to do is not the same as being plagued by work left behind. It's time to contemplate that most of us never get.
We shared a house that our friends have rented for five winters, Mike was admirably dependable in his morning preparation of the coffee he roasted and brought with us, we spent the first hour or so every day waking with a cup in one hand to a view over a local valley apparently populated by roosters, dogs and people, in that order. And the occasional iguana. The ocean and the island of Culebra were there in the distance.
I won't do the whole travelogue. This is a pottery blog, after all.
I'll post some photos. If you want details about the drinks and fried fish at Al's Mar Azul Bar, just let me know. Or the conch arepas at the open-air bar down the hill from our house.
The photos: A chameleon-like lizard, peering out of an old cannon at the Vieques museum; the perfect island moment, Tammy with fresh mango and blue water; Dee and me at Al's; Tammy, Dee and Mike with two pot-destined langouste (spiny lobster) bought from a fisherman in Esperanza; sunset from the deck of Al's Mar Azul in Isabela Segunda.