Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Lazy me...

Oh dear. It has been sooo long since I last posted. I am still in the village but I guess my excuse for my absence could be down to the fact that I have had 2 kids since my last post?

I am now the happy mother to 2 small boys of 2 and 4, so not much time to blog.

Actually, let me rephrase that. Not much time. Full stop.

Back soon!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Celebrating halloween in Spain

Halloween is celebrated in Spain, but in a different form. It is know as the "Day of the Dead," or "El Dia de los Muertos." It is a three day event beginning on the night of October 31 and ending on November 2, in which family members commemorate their loved ones whom have passed. It is believed that the dead return home to be with their families. Families sometimes make an alter at home as a way to reminisce. It is also common to visit the grave sites and both picnic and decorate.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Rain, rain, rain

Thats right. Rain. In Spain.

The last 2 weeks have seen us getting lots of rain down in the South of Spain. So much in fact that there has been flash floods in some areas. And a few people have died.

Last night it kept dry though. We decided to venture down to the coast to catch a film in english in Puerto Banus to celebrate the fact that the weekend had arrived.

And it never seizes to amaze me how big a difference a 25 min. drive can have in the weather. Up here in the Sierra de las Nieves, it was rather cold, but in Marbella the weather was really windy but the wind felt warm. So warm in fact that we decided to sit outside for tapas in Marbella without freezing out bums off after the film had finished.

And driving back the weather behaved as I have seen it before. A bit past the second exit to Ojén when you have just come to the other side of the mountain, the wind dropped and it got colder. It really is true that Marbella has its own little micro climate.

Checked the weather forecast for Spain again, and it seems we have more rain coming...thursday next week it all kicks off again, so far until monday. Why is it always in the weekends you get the rain? There should be a law against that...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Human rights in the Faroe Islands

Reading the news this morning online I came across an article about the fact that in the Faroe Islands it is perfectly legal to discriminate homosexuals.
Next month this law is up for review, and last time this was the case (last year) there was a huge support to keep the discrimination legal, many of the politicians referring to their belief that men who are with men cannot go to heaven.

Which of course is absolutely bollocks. So go to the link below and sign the petition to end this insane law.

Monday, October 23, 2006

"Buen Dormir" my arse

When we were in Sevilla in the weekend, we spent the night at a little hostel. After driving to Sevilla and spending most of the day in IKEA to look at stuff, we arrived in the centre at around 8, having completely forgotten that it was Puente.
Optimistic we walked around to find a hotel in Sevilla to spend the night, only to be met by the answer that everything was full. Panic slowly grew, but in the end we found a Hostal that had one room left. The Hostal was called "Buen Dormir" or good sleep in english.

And that has got to be the understatement of the year. I was the worst nights sleep I have had in a lot of years. We only had one very high and hard shared pillow, and I could feel the bed springs boring into my back the whole night.

Anyway, nothing was going to ruin our little holiday in Sevilla, so a few coffees the next morning managed to make us laugh about our lack of sleep and the weather was on our side after a few days with rain as well. Sitting outside at a nice cafe looking at the Cathedral and all the old restored buildings whilst catching a ray of sun with the one you love, makes you much more positive despite our experince at "Buen Dormir".

Sunday, October 22, 2006

IKEA Sevilla trip

Went to Sevilla in the weekend on one of those combined business / pleasure trips. The business was the big IKEA and the pleasure was well, walking around the beautiful city that is Seville.

I must say that I cannot wait until the IKEA opens in Malaga. They have been talking about it for ages, and it kept being delayed, but now it does seem to be happening. Apparently its going to be located quite close to Malaga Airport in one of the large industrial areas, and expected to open in mid 2007.
Wonder what a lot of the local furniture shops are going to think about it? I mean, there are so many people buying properties in Spain and obviously they need to furnish them. A lot of companies offer whole furniture packages with fixed prices for e.g. 2 or 3 bedroom apartments which is ideal for property buyers in a hurry to get their apartment ready and without the time to sift around all the shops on the Costa del Sol.
But IKEA does fill a huge gap in the market down here. 1. Its cheap 2. You might actually want some of their stuff in your home.

Especially the second part has been a huge problem for me. How can I put it? Literally there are so many ugly things down here. I dont think the people in Andalucia has very good taste. Everytime I look in my "Casa y Campo" magazine I see wonderful house after wonderful house, but all the cool and stylish shops are always located in Madrid or Barcelona and not down here in peasant Andalucia. Bugger.

Spent the whole trip driving back from IKEA munching on all the goodies we had gotten in their swedish shop. Daim (or Dime if you prefer), pepporkakor (ginger biscuits), gelly fish, Kanel gifler (cinnamon rolls) and a lot more I dont want to be reminded of. Sufficient to say that my nausea grew increasingly with each bump in the road after I was done with my little feast.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The mortgage game in Spain

Getting a mortgage in Spain is no easy task!

Somehow most of the banks here seem almost unwilling to lend you money, even if you have a house or apartment in Spain already.

I guess one of the reasons is that there is just not enough competition. They are very unflexible when it comes to borrowing money, even though you would think that bricks and mortar would be a very safe investment for them.

Our bank in Marbella just drives me nuts. Never pick up the phone or answer email which means that everytime you want something sorted you have to drive all the way down there and turn up in person. Only to find out that the person you need to see is on holiday...

Im going to turn to one of those mortgage companies soon! Must be an easier way of lending money on the Costa del Sol.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Feria music

When my village celebrated its anual feria last month, the band on the poster shown to the left was one of the performing bands handpicked to entertain us all.

What? Not enticed by the look of them? Not excited about the prospect of hearing them live? Not eager to see what talents lay hidden behind their chuffed grins?

Well, neither was I!
I felt more drawn towards adding a bit of graffiti to their poster. Maybe something along the lines of "Who ate all the pies?"
But I didn't because deep down I am just too bloody nice.

So nice that I might even buy their new record which is supposedly out in the shops now. Nah, just kidding, I wouldn't dream of doing that. You would all think that I had lost my cool ;)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A mudbath is a kind of bath or what?

Guess what my dog managed to find in the Spanish countryside? A mudhole. Happily she ploughed her head through it, rolled it and ran through it.

You can't keep a Labrador out of water! (Or mud it seems)

Yesterday both of my dogs were with a dogsitter all day for the first time. A young woman based in Marbella looked after them, and it all seems to have gone fine. She wasn't too put of by how boisterous they can be.
We had to call the petsitter in the middle of the day to check that everything was going fine, how's that for worried parents!

The reason they were being looked after is that we are going away next week without them, so we wanted them to have a prober introduction to the dogsitter in Spain before being left with her for several days.
So in the weekend they are going to have a sleep over as well...just so it's not too scary when they are there for longer.

What can I say? I like my doggies.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The gayest house in Spain?

Out in the countryside between Coin and Guaro in the Sierra de las Nieves I have spotted possibly the gayest house in Andalucia.

As you might be able to see on the pictures it is as pink as can be! I really dont understand why anyone would have the inclination to paint their house in this colour. It must really hurt your eyes when you stand close to it in sunlight.

Well, each to their own. But I challenge you to find me a more gay house! Please do send me some pics if you come across one.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

New neighbour

My mum has got a new spanish neighbour. How cute is that! This little goat seems to think it is a dog. Follows everyone around and does the most fantastic little jumps. Or maybe all young goats do that and I just dont know since my life has been deprived of little goatlings when living the city life.

I might just have a little nibble

Sunday, May 07, 2006

My Sunday morning in pictures

Thought I would share my sunday morning with you this way. My little picture diary will show you the beautiful countryside in Sierra de las Nieves.
Not to mentions a very nice horse that I went riding on here in Spain.

Thw view is from Monda to the back of the Marbella mountain and also from Monda towards Malaga. This is horseriding country, and there are spanish horses almost around every corner.

Is there really any better way to start your andalucian sunday morning? Not for me!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The price of gas bottles

The butanero (gas man) has just been past. Driving around the small streets in a small van type thing yelling "Bonbones". Never did understand the bonbones thing, so if your spanish is better than mine please enlighten me.
Anyway, I had an orange bottle to exchange and once again got a surprise. The price this time was 12.60 euros. Everytime I need a new bottle it seems the price is a little higher and it has doubled in the last 5 years.

I wonder why that is? Maybe because there is now city gas in the larger spanish cities, and it is not so profitable to eb a gas man anymore? Or are they just following the higher oil prices?

Pollen season

Its that time of the year again when I start sneezing all the time. Hayfever time. Quite funny, I never suffered from this before I moved to Spain, so it has to be something native to Spain / the mediterranean that I am allergic to. Could be olives, as the trees are all fluffy and hairy now with their light green flowers.
Every time I am out in the campo their is a loud buzzing going on with bees and other insects being busy and doing what it is they do, going from flower to flower.
Had a bit more rain last night, which is really a bit late in the season, but obviously always very welcome as southern Spain has been suffering a drought the last few summers. Our balsas and reservoirs are getting yet more empty, so lets hope this summer is not going to be too hot ...

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Working out the man way!

What a weekend!

On saturday afternoon an evening I was in Coin for the SACAB Coín Spanish horseshow, which indeed deserves its own separate posting and maybe even a gallery when I get an gallery add-on sorted out for my blog. To watch those "Andalucian Pura Raza" horses was an absolute joy.

Sunday was man work day. We are in the process of building a corner sofa on our spanish terrace, and even though I am no builder, a helping hand was needed.

So girls, forget all about fancy workouts and paying for gym memberships. Do your workout the man way like I did. Carrying bricks from the bottom floor of our house up to the terrace on the second floor. Repeat said action about 30 times and you start regretting ever having offered a helping hand. Especially since it was 27 degrees on Sunday, and today my poor little office hands are suffering. Reforming your village house is no easy task.

I am starting to think I need a male alterego. So when I have to do jobs like this he takes over and comes out with stuff like "Alright mate, how is them bricks looking?". And I will swig down some beer and not care if a burb escapes my lips, 'cause I'm a labourer and I scratch my bollocks.
The biggest problems seems to be to come up with a name for my male alterego. It can't really be the name of anyone I know already, and I want it to be a short name.

So far the following names have been excluded: Joe, Dave, Jim, Colin, Keith, Ben, Stan.

If you have any good suggestions let me know.