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The Iberian Horseshoe — A Journey

Part III. South East

A Good Walk Unspoiled

Steve Porter
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For at least I know, with certainty, that a manís work is nothing but the long journeying to recover, through the detours of art, the two or three simple and great images which first gained access to his heart.
Albert Camus

Chris teed off and hit his shot straight down the middle of the fairway. He was in a hurry to get a few holes in before the sun went down. When the clubhouse was out of sight, I dropped a ball onto the middle of the fairway and hit it with an eight iron. The ball bounced on the slope in front of the green, slowed down, and rolled to within about ten feet of the hole.

“Great shot,” Kris said.

I was pleased too. After all it was my first golf shot in about three years. The last time my play was a little shakier as I was just off the drink. Kris took a practice swing then lofted his ball onto the green where it spun back to within about eight feet of the hole. “Nice one,” I said. He swung the golf bag over his shoulder and we walked towards the green.

“Any word of another job in Spain?”

“Not yet. I had a telephone interview the other night for a job near Alicante but I donít think it went that well. I thought I would have heard something from Huelva by now too. Itís nearly a fortnight since I had the interview for the job there. I was quite hopeful of getting that one.”

“Which one would you prefer?”

“Well I met the people from Huelva and they seemed alright, so I feel more comfortable with that. But I passed through there on my way to CŠdiz a couple of years ago and I donít recall it being a great place. I went to Elche once on a day trip from Alicante and itís handy for the airport.”

I putted first and rolled the ball to within six inches of the hole.

“Iíll give you that,” Kris said, and rolled his putt in for a birdie.

We moved onto the next tee. Kris thrashed one down the middle with a driver. I tried for accuracy with a two iron. My shot drifted a little to the right but was still on the fairway. The sun went down over Corstorphine hill. Rabbits jogged off into the gorse as a train rattled west to Glasgow. I was still some distance from the flag and had difficulty seeing without glasses.

“Just aim for the clubhouse,” Kris said.

I could make that out well enough and hit the ball in that direction. I lost sight of it in the air.

“Great shot,” Kris said. Then he struck one stylishly towards the clubhouse. We found both balls on the green. Mine was lying about fifteen feet from the hole and Krisí was a little closer. I lined up my putt and knocked it in for a par. Kris made another birdie.

He suggested I take up golf over in Spain.

“I donít always play this well, you know. Itís mild and still tonight. I canít be bothered with golf when itís wet and windy. And life can be hard enough without trying to knock a ball into a distant tiny hole on a regular basis. Who was it that said golf spoils a good walk?”

When I got home, Tonto the cat was waiting at the door with pleading eyes.

“Heís just pushing his luck,” said Mary. “Heís already been fed. Guess what? Someone from the school in Elche was on the phone. They want you to call back at ten. Maybe theyíre going to offer you a job.”

I hate making decisions. I always wonder about the one that got away.

“Why donít you take it anyway,” Mary suggested. “You can always phone back and say youíve changed your mind if anything better comes up.”

When I called I was offered the job. I accepted and waited for a call from Huelva that never came.

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Copyright ©Steve Porter, 2004
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Date of publicationDecember 2006
Collection RSSGlobal Fiction
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