Monday, July 26, 2010


This wonderful shot was captured by our dear friend Lorna of Alpacas del Sol, taken during a recent alpaca meeting at David and Di’s beautiful farmhouse ‘Cortijo la Solana’ in Villanueva de la Concepcion, near Antequera.

The Alpaca in the photograph is young Paco that was bred by Torcal Alpacas and is considered to be the best alpaca in Spain. He has all the qualities of a show winning alpaca with the potential to become a valued stud male. He has a fabulous personality, full of character and really is a very nice boy.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


After much deliberation we finally decided to have chickens.

Although we had always wanted chickens we were reluctant to do so, as we had heard that they would attract the local red foxes, which are known to carry Tuberculosis (TB) and therefore potentially harmful to the welfare of our alpacas.

However, we came to the realization that all of our neighbours have chickens, so a few more are obviously not going to make much of a difference.

We bought 4 Andalucian Blues from the Agricentro, all of which are around a month old. We have named them Carmen, Maria, Dolores and Juanita, but at this moment in time we have no idea who is who, but no doubt we will be able to identify them in time.

We are so pleased that we got them now, as we are having so much fun with them. They are quite amazing; they appear to have no fear of us and very little of the dogs and when we are up in the top paddock feeding the alpacas, they just follow us around.

We are also hoping for a Cockerel, which was promised to us by a Spanish family, who we met recently at a party at our friends Norman and Viv’s house in Algodonales.

We understand that they will start producing eggs when they are 5-6 months old, so if our calculations are correct that should be around October time. We’ll keep you posted on both counts!

Wherever you go...we go!!!

The Hilton of Chicken Coops....


Ladder Snake........

Last night we were all getting ready to go to a performance of Flamenco in the Patio Convento de Santo Domingo’ when my daughter Sophie, who is spending a couple of weeks with us, calmly reported a snake in her bathroom.

As the so called man of the house, the onus was on me to get it out and as I am not totally comfortable with snakes I was a real wuss about it…..

Having failed miserably to encourage it to leave with the use of the barbecue utensils, Lin suggested that we use a pillowcase. The moment we laid the pillowcase in the bath the snake, to my relief, slithered into it and I managed to get it out into the garden…..

….with my ‘roughie toughie’ reputation in tatters!!!

The ‘Cuadro de Baile de paqui de Ronda’ was absolutely fantastic and probably the best performance of Flamenco we have seen to date.

Late night drinks in local Ronda Bar...

Friday, July 23, 2010


I would like to tell you the story of Jack a Golden Labrador. He was a rescue dog that was originally owned by an ex-pat that lived in Ronda La Vieja. When she suddenly decided to move back to the UK, she had to try and re-house her SEVEN dogs, failing which they would have had to have been destroyed.

Alvaro, who was the builder of our house, heard of her plight and agreed to have Jack. To put your minds at rest, she was successful in finding good homes for the other six. At that time Alvaro already had three dogs, two German Shepherds, Gorky and Kira and Sally, a spirited Jack Russell.

Although Alvaro owned the house next to ours, he didn’t take up residency, so all four dogs lived together in the grounds of the house and whilst this wasn’t an ideal situation, it was better than being chained to a post 24 hours a day, which sadly is the case for many dogs here in Spain.

Anyway, within a year Gorky passed away and as you will probably remember from a previous blog, Sally decided to adopt us one day last year and has been living with us ever since, which just left Jack and Kira.

During the summer of last year Alvaro moved down to Malaga and only came to the house at weekends, so we agreed to feed the dogs for him during the week.

We had noticed that Kira had become quite poorly over recent months and Jack proved to be a wonderful companion to her; he was never far from Kira’s side and was clearly concerned for her. Every day I would put out two bowls of food for them, but due to her deteriorating condition, Kira would hardly eat anything, but Jack would never eat from her bowl, which is quite amazing.

We feared the worst and sadly, last Wednesday when we went up to feed them, we found that she had died at the back of the house, but thankfully it looked as if she had passed away peacefully in her sleep.

Poor Jack was now left on his own and he looked so upset and was obviously grieving the death of Kira. The next morning we heard him howling from first light, which was heartbreaking, so needless to say he spent the day with us.

We have since spoken to Alvaro and have agreed to have Jack with us every day while he is not there and take him back for the night and feed him at the same time.

Jack is such a loyal and loving dog; he never leaves your side and when we are in the house, he just waits outside on the patio until we come out! We have become so attached to him over the past week and if I am to be honest, I don't think it will be very long before we have another member of our ever-growing family.... Watch this space!!

Can I stay please...........

Monday, July 19, 2010


They take their football seriously in Spain....

Sorry for the long absence, but things ‘down on the farm’ have been fairly hectic over the past few months, as we have attempted to get on top of things before the heat of the summer months arrive, when working outside for long periods becomes impossible.

We have a lot to catch up on, but let’s start with the night we will all remember here for sometime to come! Sunday 11th July 2010 - The night that Spain won the Football World Cup for the first time in their history!

Having disowned England as early as the match against Algeria, we decided to follow our (tongue in cheek) Country of Residency…..

We watched the early group matches in the Bar Capri in Arriate, but for the semi-final and final matches we went to the Limbo Bar at the Plaza Carmen Abela in the centre of Ronda.

As you can imagine the atmosphere was electric and once the final whistle was blown on the Sunday, the town came alive. There were people everywhere supporting replica Spanish football shirts and flags and it wasn’t long before a group of teenagers were dancing in the fountain in Ronda’s main square the Plaza del Socorro.

The one thing that is very noticeable here is that whilst everyone lets their hair down and enjoys themselves on the occasions, there is rarely any trouble and it was refreshing to see supporters of both Spain and Holland watching the match together and genuinely enjoying one another’s company!

The Ex-Pat Football Supporters Club....

The Dutch fans rub shoulders with the Spanish supporters....

but are then conspicuous by their absence at the end of the match….

A night this young lad won't forget....

The customary drummer.....

Lin mingles with Spanish teenagers that have an excellent taste in players....

With the roads gridlocked, this was the only form of transport available....

unless you have a lorry that doubles up as a taxi.....

Teenagers stop cars outside the bullring matador style…