Sunday, December 28, 2008


Host & Party Games Organiser

From left to right: Ian, Lin, Kathy, Karen, Ginny, Me, Alec, Mary, Ed, Marget & Udo

Christmas Eve - It was my eldest daughter Sophie’s 20th Birthday! My little baby has suddenly become a young woman! Where have all the years gone?

We also picked up our close friends Karen & Eddie, who are staying with us over Christmas, from Jerez Airport following their morning flight from Stansted.

Christmas Day - We were invited to join our newly found friends Ian and Kathy for Christmas Lunch at the Hotel Molino del Puente, located on the outskirts of Ronda. This Hotel is owned by an English couple, Elaine and Ian who have converted a derelict 18th Century Olive Oil and Flour Mill into a beautiful Country House Hotel. Website address:

We were a party of twelve, Ian and Kathy, their son Alex, Ian’s stepmother Mary, Nigel & Ginny Cobb, Udo and Marget (German friends of Ian & Kathy) and the four of us.

Nigel & Ian looking terribly gay!!

Upon arrival at the Hotel we were offered a champagne cocktail followed by the Christmas Day Lunch Menu as follows:-

Tomato and Coriander Soup
Roasted Red Pepper stuffed with minced lamb, served with mint yoghurt

Marinated Fresh Salmon

Roast Turkey with all the trimmings

Christmas Pudding and Mince Pies

Coffee & Chocolates

After lunch we all took part in a variety of party games organised by Ian and ‘all in all’ had a fantastic time and a very memorable day, as you can see from the photographs.

Friday, December 26, 2008


Church Santa Maria la Mayor in the Plaza Duquesa de Parcent

A selection of photographs featuring the Christmas Street Decorations in the City Centre of Ronda this winter, which are quite spectacular......

The famous Rondeño restaurant 'Pedro Romero' opposite the bull ring on the Virgen de la Paz. The walls are covered with memorabilia from the bull fights and include photographs of Orson Wells and Ernest Hemingway, who were frequent diners there.


A view of Gibraltar from the Spanish mainland

One of the many tanker ships that can be seen on 'The Strait of Gibraltar' that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea.

Who would have ever thought that ‘Supermarket Shopping’ would be considered a treat, but that is exactly what it turned out to be for us last week!

With the pound collapsing against the euro, we decided we would take a trip down to Gibraltar and take the opportunity of stocking up on our groceries that we were able to pay for in sterling.

It took us about an hour and half to get there and being the week before Christmas it was fairly busy. We headed straight for the ‘Morrisons’ super store that is located just on the outskirts of the city centre!

Well, we were like two kids in a candy store!! It had been the first time we had shopped in an English supermarket for nearly 2 years and it was so exciting to be able to buy so many of our favourite items, which obviously we can’t buy locally. Sharwoods sauces, Ambrosia Custard, Carrs Water Biscuits, Soreen Plum Loaf and English Pork Sausages just to name a few………

When we arrived at the check-out with our huge trolley laden with goodies, we had spent much more than we had intended and when we were offered ‘cash-back’ it was all too much for us!!! Petrol and Diesel is also much cheaper in Gibraltar than on mainland Spain, so we took the opportunity of filling up our Discovery before heading home.

On the way back, we popped into to see Barrie and Jeanne (Lin’s brother and sister-in-law) at their apartment in Mirafloras, where they are staying over Christmas, so it was a perfect end to a perfect day……….

Thursday, December 4, 2008


The Sierra de Grazalema

The Sierra de Grazalema at sunrise

The 1st December and winter has arrived in Ronda with a dramatic drop in temperature and the first snowfalls of the year!

The stunning mountain range of Grazalema which is set in 52000 hectares of natural park and stands at 1654 metres above sea level

With winter approaching we decided to install two wood burning stoves! As you can see from the photographs, the installation wasn’t as easy as we first thought. We had to virtually demolish the entire fire breast to remove the open fire cassette, but the upheaval was all worthwhile as the new stove is working brilliantly. As it’s fully enclosed with two front opening doors, it allows us the opportunity of running it 24 hours a day, so the house is constantly heated!

Installation of new wood burning stove - November 2008

Original Fireplace - March 2006

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Sunday 16th November - I managed to capture these spectacular photographs of the moon at sunrise this morning, taken from our terrace..........

Tuesday, November 11, 2008



Lilly, Lorca and Mateo

Lilly, Lorca,Mateo and Martin

Updated photographs of Lorca (now 6 months old) and Mateo (now 4 months old) Both are in good health......

Tuesday November 11th - Just wanted to share today’s sunset with you….


The War Graves at the English Cemetery in Malaga

On Sunday we attended the service of Holy Communion for Remembrance Sunday at St George’s Church in Malaga and we are so pleased that we did. The church was filled to the rafters and there were at least 20 people standing outside. The service was attended by members of Her Majesty’s Forces stationed in Gibraltar, along with members of the Royal British Legion. It was the most moving service and we were both close to tears at the laying of the wreaths on the war graves.

The Lone Bugler

Members of Her Majesty's Forces stationed in Gibraltar

They shall not grow old as we who are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,

A War Veteran

IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

The English Cemetery in Malaga, where St George’s Church stands, is the result of the inspiration of William Mark, who was British Consul in Malaga from 1824 until 1836 and due to his persistent efforts the first protestant cemetery in Spain was established in 1831 and today contains more than 1000 graves. The cemetery is also a botanical garden with a number of unusual specimens of trees and plants. With several well-known people buried there, it has become one of Malaga’s historical sites.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Soren Kjeldsen 'Volvo Masters Champion 2008'

Leader Board

We are having quite a year with regard to competitions. Having won a couple of tickets to see Deep Purple back in September, we entered another competition on the same Discover Ronda website and won a pair of tickets to the Volvo Masters Tournament at the Valderrama Golf Club.

Unfortunately, the weather for the first three days was awful and play had to be suspended on two occasions because the course was flooded. Due to the weather conditions, Lin couldn’t face the thought of walking around a golf course in the rain, so on the Sunday Ed and I decided to go along and what a great day we had. Although the day was mostly cloudy, there was very little rain and the tournament finished in beautiful sunshine.

Rubbing shoulders with Ken Brown & Howard Clarke

We arrived at the course at around 11am and followed Padraig Harrington, the Italian Francesco Molinari and Robert Karlsson, who became the first player from Sweden to win the European Tour Order of Merit, edging-out double ‘Major’ champion Padraig Harrington by €273,639.

We then picked up the group of the Swede Alexander Noren, Colin Montgomerie and Paul Lawrie, who we saw hole his second shot at the short Par 4 eighth hole named ‘El Bunker’

One of the most difficult Par 3's in Europe

The final group approach the seventeenth..

The tournament was won by the Dane Søren Kjeldsen at 8 under, followed closely by Anthony Wall at 6 under over the four days. The 33-year-old from Aalborg became the first Dane ever to win the Volvo Masters title and the 20th player to have his name on the iconic trophy. Sergio García continued a great record in the Volvo masters without winning it, his tie for fourth place, his seventh top-10 finish in 10 Volvo Masters starts.

This was the 21st and final Volvo Masters, so I am really pleased that we made the effort to attend.

European Tour's chief referee John Paramor

Sunday Pass

Thursday, October 23, 2008


The European Bee-eater

We are extremely fortunate to have these two fantastic birds as our neighbours and we see them on a regular basis.

The European Bee-eater, which breeds in southern Europe, Africa and Western Asia. This species, like other bee-eaters, is a richly-coloured, slender bird. It has brown and yellow upper parts, whilst the wings are green and the beak is black. It can reach a length of 27-29 cm.

As the name suggests, bee-eaters predominantly eat insects,especially Bees, wasps and hornets, which are caught in the air by sorties from an open perch. Before eating its meal, a European Bee-eater removes the sting by repeatedly hitting the insect on a hard surface. It eats some 250 bees daily.

In the city of Cordoba, there is large colony of these birds, known locally as abejarrucos, living within the city on the south side of the river, and show no fear of people.

The Hoopoe

The Hoopoe has remarkable black and white tipped crest, when elevated like the headgear of a Red Indian, conspicuous barring of the back and broad wings, together with vinous head, neck and underparts make the bird unmistakable.

Searching for food on the ground the head bobs to and fro as it walks. On the wing the hoopoe provides a dazzling effect recalling an erratically flitting butterfly, wings alternately slowly spreading and closing, exposing and concealing black and white barring.

They are a very shy and nervous bird and it is virtually impossible to get close to them. Almost all migrate in autumn - usually at night - to winter in Africa, south of Sahara

Monday, October 20, 2008


Sunday 19th October - Ascari ‘the world’s ultimate drivers’ club and luxury retreat, which is situated just 4kms from us, opened its gates to the public to celebrate the “Festival Automovilístico Ascari 2008”.

We were fortunate enough to be able to attend and saw some fantastic racing and great action. We managed to get into the grandstand at the top end of the circuit, which gave us a superb view of virtually the complete track.

The Ascari Racing Resort was inspired by and named after the Italian racing driver Alberto Ascari (1918-1955) the worlds first double world champion.

To find out more about Ascari visit their website at