Those of you who have read the previous ‘Cheer Up’ articles will, by now, know how funny my grandchildren can sometimes be. As a writer I always keep a notebook and pen in my bag and jot down the funny things they say. I wouldn’t trust my memory to recall very much otherwise!
LAS FALLAS [Part 1] - Hide Your Blushes, It’s Pronounced ‘fy-yas’ A Fantastic Spanish Fiesta Held In Valencia Spain
SO WHAT IS THIS FALLAS THING?
I’m not being rude, I’m simply letting you know what the blossom on this lovely tree will be one day.
Owning our own Spanish property has opened up a new, wonderful life for us that we had no idea existed. It is nothing at all like being on holiday; it is a hundred times more rewarding.
VIVE LA DIFERENCIA
Some of you know that I live between the UK and Spain, and I love the country of my birth, and my adopted county very much, but there are lots of little differences that you’d never imagine if you only visit for a holiday.
As a professional jazz musician, I often get a hollow laugh from fellow musos when I say I’m going off to do a Saga jazz holiday. There’s an illusion among some of my colleagues in this trade: Despite being themselves “of a certain age” and well-prone to riotous living, they mistakenly believe that Saga customers must be of a distinctly staid disposition. Wrong!
ALICANTE’S ACCESSIBLE BEACH SERVICE FOR THE DISABLED (keep in mind for next summer)
At last we take the plunge Right now, I left you in Spain in the town of Nerja five years ago. Not a fast mover me …you’ve probably gathered.
Do you find beaches boring? Hands up!
The first article in this series (Have you ever thought you’d like to live part of the year in Spain) left you in the 1980's with Phil Collins; hope you had a good time. ☺
You’ve retired. You made it. Now you have a new life. Congratulations. What are you going to do now?
Have You Ever Thought You'd Like To Live Part Of The Year In Spain? (a few tips from an experienced traveller)
Have you ever dreamed of owning your own little Spanish property where you could escape the worst of the English winter whenever you wanted?
If you find yourself near the port city of Alicante on Spain’s south eastern Costa Blanca and at a quandary as to what to do …read on.
I’m back in good old England for a short time and being January it’s wassailing time in the South West. If you’ve never been wassailing ‘you sure have missed a great night out’ so let me tell you all about it …have you got your glass of cider ready?
Letter From Spain, Fame Comes To My Street, Tour-De-France Champion Cyclist Chris Froome OBE Is Visiting!
Worldwide fame is on its way to the bottom of my street in Moraira! Yes my street!
The UK may be knee deep in the post Christmas bargain sales but it doesn’t mean that the whole world has gone quite so mad.
Yesterday I could see the billowing black smoke and flames running down the mountains to the east of my town Moraira on the Costa Blanca, Spain.
The other day we visited Fariones Hotel in Lanzarote, outside the entrance was a beautiful nativity scene. This time of the year these scenes are found throughout the island.
I took a short break from my home on the Costa Blanca, Spain, to spend three days in the Rioja region of northern Spain and happened across the strangest cathedral — one inside which a hen and a rooster are housed in a gothic 15th century henhouse. Not only that, there is a macabre tale connected to these birds.
I’m in Spain right now for two reasons – the warmer weather and I wanted to miss the frantic Christmas build up that takes over almost every shop in the UK from September onwards. We bought our little house here about eight or nine years ago and there’s never been a single day that I regretted spending our hard earned savings in that way.
I have three very precious grandchildren and I want to share with you our celebration because the youngest one has just reached the grand age of one!
We carried our kitchen sink from England to Spain, and that was some adventure as some of you might remember!
It cannot be denied that the Costa Blanca, where I have lived with my husband for the past fourteen years, is multi-faceted. First off, dealing with the Playas, they have all that is expected of its seaside resorts; blue flag beaches aplenty, and a Mediterranean sea with enviable temperatures to lure sea lovers. It has tiny, covetous coves, and long expanses of golden sand; and the shorelines can be rugged and mountainous, or gently sloping. Just take your pick.
If you enjoy a cosmopolitan life and eating al fresco, this really is the place for you.
We breakfast, lunch and dine on our modest patio most days, if staying at home, except during the few...winter months. In this neck of Spain, the weather is equable for most of the year – February and March being our coolest months, and even then, the sunshine can catch you out! Before we decided on this part of Espana, my husband did a lot of reading and checking, and we were both drawn to the statement that "The Costa Blanca area of Spain has been voted by a World Health Organisation to be one of the healthiest regions in which to live." Quite a draw...It has a microclimate, and especially during the last few years, hardly enough 'precipitation!'
When we tire of too much bricks and mortar, we get in the car and drive a few miles to the orange and lemon groves, where the air is heady with their sweet perfume. If you fancy driving further inland, you won't be disappointed. There are small, quaint, white villages and lone fincas, often surrounded by vivid. scarlet and cerise bougainvillea and pastel-coloured lantana, and there are ancient woods boasting gnarled olive trees defying the years. The pale pink almond blossom in Spring which grows a few miles from our apartment is short-lived but such a delight to see. And, of course, it wouldn't be Spain without the palm trees, standing tall like proud statements of nature.
Nature lovers and walkers can meander at their leisure in countless acres of hills, woods and forests inland and there's no shortage of wild life (not to mention a human slice -'extranjeros:' holiday-makers - of it in July and August when visitors let their hair down...)
Seriously though, if you want to get away from it all, you can. There are lizards, snakes, wild goats, pigs, eagles, vultures and a variety of other birds to wonder at and photograph – if you can spot or find them!
For the 'culture vultures,' just outside of Torrevieja, a few miles from us, there is a brilliant, acoustically- pleasing, theatre where concerts are regularly held; also there are dance studios and 'music rooms' for tuition and practice. In The Park of Nations, a long stone's throw from us, there sits an art gallery where there are regular showings of local work, and the Casino (a lovely old Moorish building) in town also have regular art and photographic displays. There are three further theatres in Torrevieja, so always somewhere to go if you're a music/singing enthusiast. There is also a'Museum of Salt' where you can learn of the history of salt (much dredged from this area).
What about food you may ask? Whatever your fancy, you'll find it here: from British favs. like fish and chips, to Tapas (delicious Spanish snacks consisting of a selection of meats, fish, eggs, veggies, spiced potatoes, etc., paella; Chinese and Thai dishes, not to mention Indian, French and Mexican, et al. And do note folks, prices are very reasonable here. You can easily dine on a three course meal for E10 and under.
History buff? You can tilt your straw hat at the Windmills, read up on the Civil War, and travel further afield and get your fill of castles and old buildings, not to mention visiting the many museums, churches
On a more practical note, both my husband and I have been in two of the hospitals here, and our local one 'Torrevieja hospital' is a state of the art facility where we received excellent care.
If you like to shop: there are two local markets, plus several others a short distance away; and we have a superb Shopping Mall nearby: Zenia Boulevard where you really can shop till you drop, eat or relax in lovely surroundings, bowl, and lose or make a few euro in the Casino.
There are countless clubs and groups offering anything from Bridge and Computer lessons, Drama, Art and Writing groups (noteworthy WordPlay and the U3A), Bowling, Language classes and many others.
Torrevieja can be proud of its sports facilities too. They have built a massive complex, with Olympic sized swimming pool, football pitches and gymnasiums, and we have a smaller one even nearer to us.
So what else can I say to convince you that the Costa Blanca region is a good place to live? I could go on about our many fabulous, spectacular Fiestas, but that would take a whole article. Perhaps another time.
What's not to like?
In the first part of these two articles about the Fallas in Valencia, I described the days leading up to this massive event and the main fiesta itself.
I love Sunday mornings! No lie in for me: no lazing around in my dressing gown drinking tea. Oh no! Sunday morning means only one thing – it's Lemon Tree Market Day.