After my grandfather left, my mother went to London to continue her studies and she specialized in religious Aztec rituals. She fell in love with a Chilean, then with a Hindu and finally she met Jose, my father, who is from a village in Andalucia. He gave her Spanish lessons. She learned the ‘r’ reciting Verde que te quiero verde by García Lorca. He cooked omelets that he would flip in the air.
My father grew up in a lonely farmhouse between two villages in Granada. His mother died of tuberculosis during the Civil War when he was four years old. They worked the land. The water was taken out of a well and they cooked in the hearth. When he was eight years old he went to live at a boarding house in a nearby village in order to go to school. Then he went to University in Granada and studied a Doctorate in London where he met my mother.
They married in Vienna. My mother says that soon she found herself in Granada, pregnant and cooking paella, squid and sardines. She says that the women’s shouts in the marketplace frightened her and that he made her search all the stalls for the cheapest sardines.