Climbing the Med Steps is one of those things you just don’t want to end, in fact if I’d taken a picnic with me I’d probably have stayed up there all day. Just sitting down and looking out at the incredible views was enough to take me away from all of the humdrum things in life we suffer from in order to survive (work, bills and bad weather spring to mind); I wasn’t sure whether I’d landed in Narnia or Utopia but couldn’t care less – I was just happy to be in the moment and sit.
As I sat enjoying the views with the warm sun on my face some of the slower walkers/climbers went by me grunting and sweating; it was reassuring to hear a few other knees clicking as well as my own. “You’re nearly at the top” someone said as though they thought I was struggling. “I know. But it will still be there in five minutes or so” I replied, knowing that as soon as I reached the top it would be all over and I would be making my way back down again on the other side away from the views I was currently enjoying.
Soaking up the beautiful view of Catalan Bay, Caleta Palace and Eastern Beach I managed to get what I thought was a great photo of the scene which was completed with birds flying in the skies above; having said that I’m not really the best photographer in the world and only have a phone camera but was happy (and very lucky) to capture the image. What happens is that when I take a photo in the sun I’m not able to check it until I’m indoors somewhere because my vision isn’t very good and it’s even worse looking at a black phone screen in the sun. Meanwhile I continued to sit back and ponder.
(Caleta Palace, Catalan Bay and Eastern Beach)
Displacement as a child from my home town of Newcastle is something that has often pained me over the years and sometimes left me forever grappling to attach ‘somewhere’. For a few years I lived in India and whilst there I did connect on some levels but in honesty so much of their varied cultures were just so alien to me; it got to the point that in one day I would meet people from so many different walks of life, ethnic backgrounds and religions (speaking so many different languages) that I just couldn’t relate to people on that many levels. Currently I live in Wales which is Carols homeland and though it is a beautiful country with gorgeous views there are times when I struggle with the culture, the lifestyle and the politics among other things. Although I’ve lived here for two years now (since I retired from social services) I wouldn’t say I am particularly emotionally connected.
Including Gibraltar I’ve lived in four different countries and so I guess I’m a bit of a nomad though as I mentioned earlier in my memoirs I love the idea that all of my children were born in a different country. I guess at my age I’ll always have that feeling of being displaced and not belonging but if there’s anywhere in this world that I don’t feel that way and feel a very strong connection to its Gibraltar. I thank God for that.
“Come on Alan get up here for your Top of the Rock photo” a voice came down from the top from one of the women who had been doing the course with me. I climbed the last few steps to the top, stretched out like the Angel of the North, took a deep breath of fresh air and felt on top of the world.