Monday, April 27, 2009


Joan Baillie Born 27th April 1920

Joan Baillie (the Mother of our good buddie Ian) is 89 years old today!
To celebrate her birthday a group of us had Sunday lunch at the Hotel Molino del Puente, which was originally a 17th century olive mill that has been beautifully renovated into a small family run hotel by the owners, Ian and Elaine Love.

Joan is one amazing lady; bright as a button, fun loving and you would never believe that she was 89 years of age!

It has been a privilege for us to have made her acquaintance and we will really miss her when she returns to the UK next week.

Joan, Ian and Lin at the Hotel Molino del Puente

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Lin with Chimbi

Today Ronda! Tomorrow the Burghley Horse Trials! At the age of nearly 60 Lin has discovered a new pastime! For the past couple of weeks, she and her good friend Kathy have been horse riding together. Lin rides Kathy’s horse named ‘Chimbi’ and Kathy rides 'El Duque' one of the horses belonging to a charming German gentleman called Axel, who owns a wonderful property with stables on the outskirts of Ronda and where ‘Chimbi’ boards.

Well today, following an invitation from Axel, the three of them went for a ride that took them into Ronda town centre via the Barrio de San Francisco, which is the old part of Ronda and where the horses can be watered.

Kathy on El Duque leads Lin on Chimbi and Axel on Capricciosa over the Tajo

They caused quite a stir with the day tripping sightseers when the three of them rode over The Tajo Gorge Bridge above the 100 metre ravine!

Ian, Kathy and El Duque

Axel - A true gentleman in every sense of the word!

Chimbi and El Duque enjoying a well deserved drink!!

Ian’s mother, who we have affectionately named ‘Abuela’ is currently over from the UK for a couple of weeks, so the three of us met up with Lin, Kathy and Axel for coffee at the Almocabar Gate in the Moorish wall by the magnificent Iglesia de Espritu Santo

The view of the incredible Tajo Gorge that Lin would have seen during the ride

Friday, April 24, 2009


Lin's first 'wild asparagus'

Mike's first 'Wild Asparagus' complete with ant!!

During spring, many areas of countryside in southern Spain will be filled with Spanish out walking in a peculiar manner. They can be seen, eyes to the ground, knife in hand, walking through woods and undergrowth. Their walk will be interspersed with the occasional dive to the floor and grasp at illusive green shoots. Ask someone to explain this unusual behavior and the answer will be quite simple. They are wild asparagus picking.

How difficult can that be we thought! However, having spent many hours last year roaming the hedge rows and woodlands, we never found one! So you can imagine our delight when we were out today, walking the dogs in the Parque Periurbano ‘Dehesa del Mercadillo’ on the outskirts of Ronda, when we both found one. Sadly the photographs are slightly out of focus, but we just wanted a record of our first ‘wild asparagus’ find!!

Spanish families will have their own favoured areas for wild asparagus picking, and will return here week after week, year after year. Often the exact location of their favourite area will be a closely guarded secret.

Parque Periurbano 'Dehesa del Mercadillo'

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


One day last year, whilst we were taking coffee in the town centre of Ronda, we noticed that the gardener's of the Town Hall were replacing all of the plants in the public areas. The discarded plants were just being thrown onto the back of a lorry for disposal (we think)

Rather than see them go to waste, we helped ourselves to a few of the irises and planted them in the garden and a year later this is the result!!

Friday, April 10, 2009


Sunday 12th April: Lin returned from her trip to Cyprus, where she had been visiting Guy and Amanda, Lisa and Grandchildren Ollie and Alex.

These photographs of Lin and Ollie were taken at the TOMBS OF THE KINGS in Paphos, which is a wide area containing underground tombs carved out of solid rock dating to 4th century BC, many decorated with Doric pillars. Whether Kings were buried here or not is not certain, but the magnificence of the tombs gave the locality its name.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Sunday 5th April 2009

Easter week, known in Spain as Semana Santa, begins with the Domingo de Ramos (Palm Sunday) processions throughout Spain.

In Ronda the procession, known as 'La Pollinica’ starts from the popular quarter of La Dehesa and winds its way through the town centre, via the Tribuna waiting at the Plaza del Socorro, before returning to La Dehesa. It commemorates the triumphal entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem. Huge numbers of people line the streets with their palms or branches of olive trees.

'La Pollinica' means the little donkey on whose back Jesus entered Jerusalem

The platforms carrying ‘The Throne of Christ’ and ‘The Throne of the Virgin’ were made at the Trade School of Ronda in 1995.

As last year, I met up with a group of friends and we all waited for the procession at the Café Colon, opposite the Santa Maria church in Calle Jerez. Unfortunately, Lin was unable to come with me this year as she is in Cyprus and was sadly missed.