The Lunch

Irish had told me that she lived on the outskirts of Granada with her family.  ‘You will never find us, I will meet you and you can follow me in your car’ she said.
So we met at the designated car park and followed her, she was right we would never have found it!  Tucked away, through many windy roads, we eventually arrived at her beautiful family home, designed by her father Agustin and the interior design had been created by her mother, Fina, along with her stunning artwork hanging off every wall.  They proudly showed us every inch of their living space and the piece de resistance was Fina’s art studio in the garage, filled with her amazing works in progress.  We were then taken into the walled garden for lunch.
Me, Irish and Fina
Me, Irish and Fina
The food arrived continually by the plateful and the wine flowed generously, some made by Agust, the talk was about everyday trivia until Fina mentioned my art studio.
‘How much do you want to know about Cortijo Las Salinas?’ she asked.
‘I want to know everything’ I replied, and we held our eye contact for an extra second or so.
‘The body of a baby is buried under a stone, under the floor of your art studio’ Fina explained.  ‘It was buried many many years ago.  It was impossible for the mother to walk the 2 day journey on foot to Alcaudete to have the baby buried and out of necessity it was buried away from the house, which  at the time was an old working nave for the tractors’.
I thought about this for a moment when she asked ‘do you ‘feel’ anything in your studio?’
‘I don’t ‘feel’ anything in the studio, only good positive feelings, but I feel ‘vibrations’ in the room next door and I have seen the image of a young girl or boy a few times in there.  Not a child, but a teenager, dressed in very dark clothes’.
They all shared a ‘look’ at this revelation.  ‘A young girl of 15 hung herself in that room, but she never died.  She was found and saved, however she went on to fatally hang herself 30 years later’ Fina told me.
I had no way of knowing this information and was strangely pleased that what I had seen was possibly true, even though what I had seen was potentially a ‘ghost!’
Fina went on to explain that many of the 10 children went on to hang themselves at the Cortijo, after hearing ‘voices’ in their heads, a type of schizophrenia maybe?
I wanted to know more about the 10 children, who the parents were, were there any survivors today.  Also who were Dona Enriqueta, Don Rafael, Dona Paloma?   Names which are all around us.   What part did they play at Las Salinas and timelines?   I had so many questions which needed to be answered it was hard to know where to start.  The long history of the house, which I knew to be fascinating, was turning out to be more interesting by the minute.
The conversation moved on to other things as amazing Spanish deserts were served, but my mind whirred around and around as I had so many questions to ask, but I knew I had to take this at a pace we could all cope with !  I brought the conversation back to the suicides and Fina mentioned the ‘suicide triangle’.  I’d read about the triangle before and it is mentioned in the book written by Michael Jacobs called ‘Factory of Light’.  It is a triangular area from Alcaudete (under which my village of Sabariego sits), Alcala la Real and Castillo de Locubin which has one of the highest suicide rates on record.  Fina told me that legend states if you hear of one suicide you will hear of two more within 3 months.  We had heard of at least 3 since our arrival in Sabariego and one hanging was in the olive groves behind us.  A man had hung himself from an olive tree and was not found for 5 days, the heat and the flies had done their worst and he was unrecognisable, a 65 year old woman had drowned herself in her own swimming pool and a 35 year old English man had hung himself in Castillo de Locubin, only to be found by neighbours when the smell had become too bad.
It was time to go, but not before Agust proudly let off his ‘canon’.  A beautiful piece of workmanship made by his own fair hand and with his last 2 packets of gunpowder he let the canon go with a bang!  We all said our farewells, promising to meet again very soon.
The drive home was spent questioning everything we had talked about over lunch and we arrived home to a perfectly still evening.  A day of stories, legends and new friends which we knew would stay with us for a long time.
This new information made our Cortijo seem different somehow, and I took a walk outside to see what vibrations I could feel, if any.   It was dark by this time and I looked into my studio, all quiet and still.  I looked into the cocinon, the room where I thought I had seen a vision of a young girl, again all quiet and still.  As I walked across the patio, in front of the oldest part of the house, heading towards my own house a wind started to pick up from no where.  I walked up the steps and past the window, where Fina had earlier told me about a legendary ghost that moved things, and went into my house.  The wind had really started to pick up and thrash about, doors banged and shutters crashed.   Mildly startled but not surprised I watched from the window as the biggest wind storm I had ever experienced raged around.
The wind carried on for some while and as I prepared to go to bed, I started to think about everything I had left outside.  A book with loose pages, some lists with a pen and pencil, lilos and balls around the pool, plastic cups and bowls, I wondered where their whereabouts would be in the morning.  Picasso scratched to come in and settled down on the bed with us and I fell into a strange sleep with many troubled dreams.
Now, as I sit here typing my blog, I can honestly say that the next day when I went to retrieve my lists and books, I was amazed to find that nothing had moved.  Not one thing was out of place and everything was still where it had been left the day before.
Extraordinary !! – even my disbelieving partner had to agree this was a very strange phenomenon and his usual scientifc, logical, way of explaining everything, was unable to do so on this occasion.

Published by Steffi Goddard Artist

Contemporary artist, painter of large exciting abstract paintings, contemporary faces and anything that inspires me including poetry, nature, oceans and the female face and form

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