Tracy is not a gardener. Tracy is an actress. She belongs to a group called Teatro Al Fresco. She is rehearsing for a play. The play is called “Trabajo Trabajo Trabajo”. It is a comedy about a Spanish girl who finds work in a foreign country as a gardener although she has a degree in Physics. Tracy does not have a degree in Physics. Tracy does not have a degree in anything. She is a very good dancer. In the play she has to dance a flamenco. The audience love the way she dances. They clap their hands hard in time to her Spanish steps.
Ben’s bootlace has come undone. Ben is a bouncer. Ben and Amalia live in a flat in King Street. Amalia is a nurse. She is from Portugal. Ben is finding it difficult to tie his bootlace because he is fat. He is a very popular fellow. He makes people laugh because he has a sense of humour. He is also a very good dancer. Amalia and Ben are very happy together. They have a son called Donald. Donald is three years old and is bright as a button. Donald is also the name of Ben’s daddy. Ben’s daddy is a fisherman. He has a funny way of talking. He calls ‘fish’ ‘feesh’. Ben and Amalia go once a year to Portugal for a fortnight. They like it very much there. It is beautiful and the people are very kind to them and Amalia is so happy to be ‘home’ again.
Trev is a labrador. Trev has 2 sisters and one brother. He is owned by Amalia and Ben but when Amalia and Ben are working or on holiday Trev is looked after by Tracy. Trev is very fond of Tracy and Tracy is very fond of Trev. When Trev sees Tracy his tail wags like mad. He wants so much to please. You can see it in his eyes. Most of all Trev is fond of Donald. Trev is very patient with Donald. They play together. Donald throws away his ball and Trev runs after it and brings it back and drops it at Donald’s feet. He sits and wags his tail and waits. Donald throws the ball again. He laughs and claps his little hands as Trev brings the ball back and drops it at his feet. They never grow tired of playing this game with each other. Trev is Donald’s best friend. Donald tells him things. I like ice-cream, Donald says and Trev listens, fascinated.
Donald is at his happiest in Portugal. Portugal is sea and sun and donkeys and waking up early and running down to the beach and oranges. He feels sad when he thinks of Trev then other things crowd out his little mind, like ‘Why do people think I’m a girl?’ and ‘Why did I have to eat that horrible fish?’ and ‘Will they let me go out in the boat?’ and ‘Trash osh montsh – what does that mean?
So many questions, so many unanswered questions…..
It is 6 am and Donald is bending over backwards to greet the sun. Donald who used to have a boat now has a croft. Instead of herring and mackerel and cod he now has hens and ducks and sheep. And a horse. It is a hard life but it is what he is used to. He has no wife to share things with but that doesn’t bother him. He has grown used to his own company over the years, doesn’t like it much but has grown used to it.
Donald’s horse hasn’t got a name. Crofters don’t do animal names but
(to be conti