My mother

la Mezquita, Cordoba

This post is dedicated to my mother, Lou, who died on April 11th 2007 aged 63, and is pictured above in Codoba’s Mezquita, a place in Spain she dearly loved. My mother spent most or our childhood telling my sisters and I things like ‘How could you be bored on a day like this?’, ‘Get outside and enjoy all the beautiful things in the garden!’, and ‘stop moping, life’s too short!’ Every time a beautiful landscape was lit by a warm evening glow she would exclaim ‘Look at that wonderful light!’, so that now I can’t go anywhere at the beginning or end of the day without looking at how the changing angle of the sun causes everything it falls upon to change for the better. I know some people feel uncomfortable with posts like this, but it is simply to pass on these messages – never be bored on beautiful days, always look at the light, and, if in doubt, ‘just get out and do something!’ – a favourite piece of advice that worked pretty well for me, and, in case you’re wondering, has everything to do with Notes from Spain.

Luckily she is survived by a Ducati-driving inspiration of a father who rode a motorbike 2000 km across India with me last year and doubtless has many more such journeys ahead. Where next, Dad?