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My books. Spain. Observations on life.

Two Years
11 October 2017

Well, been back in the UK for two years almost now and still miss Spain.

Glad to say my lady had all of her procedures and is now clear of it all. She had her last 6 month scan last month and doesn't need another for 12 months.

We did pop over to Spain a couple of months ago but sad to say my lady was taken ill after the flight and spent time in Benalmadena Hospital. She was well looked after and the team there have our heartfelt thanks for all they did. We will return to Spain but not until she is confident of her health standing up to the flight etc. I wanted to travel by train or car, but she feels that is too much of a trek.

Feel sad about the Catalonia situation. We spent a joy filled wedding anniversary holiday there and loved it.

My latest book, The Gasmen, is half way finished. Golf keeps getting in the way! I play at Richmond Park and have won a couple of tournaments. The course is not as good as Santana or Marbella but I manage. Never did like playing with three or four layers on. Spanish golf suits me down to the ground.

Hasta la Vista,



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Miss Spain
15 June 2016

Six months ago we left Spain to return to the UK. Oh how we miss Spain. It is lovely to be surrounded by family, but nothing beats the life we had in Spain. I miss everything, well nearly everything!

Being a prisoner of the weather doesn't suit us. No decent coffee shops doesn't suit us. etc etc etc.

My lady has to have a couple of op's in the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital very soon, and, provided she gets fixed, we will hightail it back to Spain pronto.

The UK is a depressing place, not made better by two factions of liars being given a lot of TV time with reference to leaving or remaining in the EU. I think the 'leavers' will win as they have the BBC, SKY, Mail, Sun, Express, ITV, etc on their side. It is a worry as Gove, Farage, Johnson, and Duncan-Smith are all on record as having said in the past that they want to replace the NHS. Now, at this pivotal moment in time, they argue that the money saved from membership will fund the NHS. Personally, wouldn't trust any of them to buy me an ice cream....come to that neither do I trust Cameron or Osborne particularly. Oh well, what will be will be. Shame that we have a rich but poor quality bunch of scallywags as politicians.

Just put my latest novel on Kindle. Paperback comes out in early December. It's called 'The Tenner', and its about the different people that take ownership of a ten pound note. I've tried to make it as humorous as I can and its selling well. I've kept the price down. I shall start a new novel in July, its provisional title will be 'The Gasmen', another humorous look at life.

A little boy and a little girl are talking one day and the conversation gets heated as to which is better, being a girl or a boy. The little boy drops his trousers and says, "Here's something that I have that you'll never have!" The little girl gets upset & runs home to tell her mother. A little later she comes running back with a big grin on her face. She drops her pants and says, "My mummy says that with one of these I can have as many of those as I want."

Thunder & lightning here so I had better bring the washing in....an Englishman's lot in rural Norfolk is not a happy one.

Until, next time, stay well.

 



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Settled in/
13 January 2016

Now just about settled in. Blog soon, isn't it cold.......amd wet!



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Last Blog
09 September 2015

Sad to say that this will be my last blog for a while as much of my stuff will be taken by the removal men tomorrow, and that includes my PC. I have a lot of business loose ends to sort so won't have time for this, but will resume when I'm back in Blighty and settled.

My latest novel, 'In Pursuit of Power', which is a thriller/action adventure/love story/fantasy type book is out on Kindle from today. It took me three years to write and I am happy with the outcome.

Hasta La Vista.

 



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Ricki
30 August 2015

Took my lady and a friend to see Meryl Streep in 'Ricki' last evening at the Myramar complex in Fuengirola. I'm not a great fan of Streep but she was brilliant in this feel good film. Thoroughly enjoyable and some great rock music too.

We're getting close to leaving Spain now. All the boxes are packed, and awaiting the removal men. We've given lots of stuff away to friends and neighbours, and I daresay on the last couple of days Cudeca will benefit too. We're using 'Union Jack Removals'. They have a good reputation and I can see why. They supplied plenty of new cardboard boxes complete with wrapping paper and rolls of tape. Good staff, always helpful and arrive when they say they will.

On Friday I bought a 'fridge on line. It's being delivered today to my new UK address. The company asked if I wanted them to unpack it and take away the packaging. I said 'yes', and they charged me £1.99 for the service. Getting rid of rubbish in the UK is a real problem now, and most councils charge to use their dumps, so I thought £1.99 was reasonable.

Just played golf with a pal of mine. I've moaned before about how expensive it is to play in Spain, and having just seen the September/October price lists in the local free paper, I can report that it is even MORE expensive this year, or so it seems. You can kiss goodbye to around 100€ each at some courses. My wife doesn't play, I'm glad to say, if she did I would think that the dangers of playing golf with her would be equal to the risk to our marriage as if I were caught playing with somebody else's wife......

My neighbours wife is a blond and not too bright. She went to pick up her car from the garage as she had had trouble with it. He told her it only took him five minutes to fix it, nothing serious just shit in the air filter. She asked him, "How often?"

When they were courting he asked her if they could do missionary. Next thing he heard she'd flown out to Africa.

She asked him if he'd slept with many women in the past. He told her he'd slept with a Brazilian. She screamed, "A Brazilian? Good God! How many is a Brazilian?"

Years ago my attractive lady went to the dentist. After examining her he said he'd have to drill one of her teeth. She was horrified, "Oh God no! I'd rather have a baby." He replied, "Make up your mind, I have to adjust the chair either way."

A woman  took a baby to the doctor for its first examination. The doctor examined the baby, checked its weight, etc and looked concerned. He asked if the baby was bottle fed or breast fed. The woman replied, "Breast fed." "Right," said the doctor, "Strip down to your waist." She did so. He pinched her nipples, pressed, kneaded and rubbed both breasts for a while, in a very professional and thorough examination. He told her to get dressed then said, "No wonder the baby is underweight. You don't have any milk."  "I know," said the woman, "I'm his Grandma, but I'm glad I came."

Well, better get back to the packing.

Hasta pronto.

 

 

 



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I KNOW!!!!
14 August 2015

I've had a number of people telling me that Nicole Smith died ages ago......I KNOW! I just used her as part of a joke. Wish I'd used a more modern gold-digger that still breathed, but there you are, trust me.

I've also had a lot of people contacting me and asking why are we leaving Spain. Well, its mainly so we can see more of the family. My wife's getting on now, I'm still 27, but she pines for the kids. Going back is a double edged sword. We'll miss the weather, the cafes, the good friends from all religions and backgrounds, who, like us, are immigrants in Spain. We've had some great BBQs and meals out with pals, and although we'll still hit the restaurants in Norfolk, it will still not be quite the same.

My son has got me a season ticket to sit with him to see Norwich City play at Carrow Road.....funny, but I never realised he would wait so long to get back at me for the belting he got as a kid for pinching knives out of the cutlery drawer....! Some of my chums from the place in the UK where I used to attend (I would say 'work', but I did precious little of that!) used to seek me out on Sundays and instead of Joseph or Joe would call me 'Norwich Nil' all blasted day!!

It's still very hot here which is normal for Spain of course in August. Living here you tend to plan your day with regards work to coincide with the cooler parts of the day. Gardening/mowing lawns, weeding, and other strenuous activities normally get done before ten am. Then its elevenses in the shade, followed by a swim and then a read, followed by a swim and then lunch. Difficult to keep your eyes open after lunch but I usually go inside and do some writing in the early afternoon, followed by a swim and biscuits with a nice cuppa, mid afternoon. The evening shower is followed by dinner, in or out, and then a spot of UK television before retiring. Bloody hard life I know, but someone has to do it!

The Feria (fiesta's) are all on the go this weekend on the Costa Del Sol. We go to all of them. Great fun, dancing, music, side shows, market stalls, and plenty of traditional Spanish costumes around. The Spanish are extremely good at this sort of thing and really get into the spirit of whatever saint or occasion that the feria is in memory of. We could learn from them. You seldom see any problems connected with alcohol at these or any other events here. In fact the only time there is a need for the police to attend is when young white British men decide the perfect way to end a night of heavy drinking is with a punch up outside one of the many night-clubs here. We all agree, on those occasions, we feel ashamed to be British.

Poor Mr Corbyn, he's still getting stick from Tony Blair and Jack Straw. Should help his cause immensely I would have thought.

A boss called four of his employees in to tell them he was sorry but because they'd had a bad year one of them had to go. The first man, who was black, said, "I'm from a protected minority, you can't fire me." The second worker said, "I'm a woman, you can't get rid of me." The third, an oldish gentleman, said, "If you fire me I'll sue for age discrimination."  All eyes turned to the last worker, a young white guy. He shuffled his feet around for a little, a frown on his face, and then said, "I think I might be gay....."

A boss was considering asking for an invoice price to be reduced from a company he had dealt with. He called his new blonde secretary in and said, "You have a maths degree. If I were to give you £20,000, minus 15%, how much would you take off?" She thought for a moment and then said, "Everything but my earrings."

My son just phoned me from his holiday accommodation in Sheringham. Apparently one of the kids is playing up.I  reminded him about the time his headmaster phoned me up and told me he'd been suspended and was being sent home. I asked him what he'd done and he said that my son had peed in the school pool. I was angry, I said, "But every kid's done that at one time or another." He replied, "Yes, but not from the top diving board."

Hasta Pronto.

 

 

 

 



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Still 'phew' !
10 August 2015

Here on the Costa Del Sol we are still sweltering in very humid weather. It's not pleasant. Just want to either lay in the pool, sit in an air conned room, and generally eat ice-cream all day. July was apparently the hottest month for 40 years in Spain. Normally August is an extremely hot and humid month, but this year August weather arrived in June and never left!

We're getting all ready to leave in September and move into our new place in sunny Norfolk.  Boxes everywhere. We're being moved by Union Jack, and I must say that they are the best removal company we have ever dealt with....fingers crossed. My wife is giving most of her painting stuff to a very talented young girl, who is the grand daughter of some close friends. Saves all the hassle too and going to a budding Michelle Angelo. Incidentally, I always reckon that if Michelangelo had been straight, the Sistine Chapel would probably have been wallpapered.

My lady and I went to the cinema last night to see the latest Mission Impossible movie. Didn't think I'd enjoy it as not my type of film, but it was really good. Plenty of action and some fantastic special effect/stunts in it. Got to say that Tom Cruise is a very fit fifty year old. Good supporting cast too. Its over two hours long and never let up. Great escapism. Afterwards we bought fish and chips from arguably the best chippy on the Costa Del Sol, 'Crispy Cod'. Its on the seafront in Fuengirola. Great service, and a really fantastic product. If you're in the area try it, I guarantee you'll not be disappointed.

My lady fell out of bed a couple of weeks ago.....never touched her m'lord! She was badly bruised and had pain breathing so I took her to the A & E department of the Xanit Hospital in Benalmadena Pueblo. Booked in, checked out by two doctors, etc and back in the car within thirty minutes. I know its private medicine but non the less great service, and it put our minds at rest with minimal fuss. Private health insurance here in Spain is not cheap for us as my wife has previous, (breast cancer). I'm just lucky I can afford it. Spain has made me realise how brilliant the NHS in the UK is, in spite of a certain amount of privatisation and underfunding of late, it is still brilliant, due in the main to the incredibly dedicated staff who work in it.

My son and his partner are off to Sheringham for a break. It's only a few days since they left us after a weeks holiday here. Sheringham brings back memories of camping holidays. I hated them. The worst thing was the kids always got stung by something, no showers, little chance of any 'hows your father, and if you had a row how could you possibly storm off and slam the flap of the tent! We spent most of the time playing cricket or rounders, and reading. Mind you I took five Jeffrey Archer books with us when we visited the Costa Blanca a few years ago. We stayed in a dubious hotel and the books came in useful. Next time we'll take ample toilet paper.

Watched some games from the EPL on the weekend via Sky. My lot lost. I think those managers standing on the touchline chewing gum look like neurotic sulky cows. One manager, who will be nameless, looked like a parked car with the doors open. You see so many not particularly handsome football stars walking out with beautiful girls. One player is so tall his lady must have most of their lights out conversations with his belly button. They say footballers are not the brightest either. One gave his girlfriend a gluestick instead of a chapstick....she's still not talking to him. It nevers ceases to amaze me how women go to a salon, accept boiling hot wax being poured on their upper thigh, let another rip it off by the root.......and are still afraid of spiders.

Before they nailed Osama Bin Laden I always thought that all the CIA had to do was send that lady, Anna Nicole Smith over to him. She'd get all of his money and he'd be dead within a week.

Apparently Stephen Fry said to his mother immediately after he was born, "That's the last time I'm going anywhere near one of those."

My wife told me that having a baby would, to a man, be like trying to pass a bowling ball, that was wrapped in barbed wire, through his anus. I think I got the picture. On the other hand, women's breasts are like train sets. They're meant for kids but its the fathers who wind up playing with them.

Britain has got a fantastic new missile, its called a Lord. It doesn't work and it can't be fired.

 

 

 

 



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Phew! It's Hot!
22 July 2015

The temperature hit 39 today in Benalmadena. I've just sent my latest novel and all the bits to the publishers today, and have spent most of this afternoon and evening in the pool. I find I think of the best editing AFTER the damn things gone!

Granddaughter and her pal got away okay on Easyjet, and arrived at home in Norfolk around 2am. Long day but they sleep until early afternoon as a matter of course so nothing different there then.

My 4 x 4 has broken down, needs a new alternator. Garage here wants circa 880€ to supply and replace it, so have sent to the UK for one and, after paying mechanic, the bill will be circa 210€. Some Spanish businessmen think Brits fell out of the trees with pockets full of money....

We visited a beachside restaurant a few days ago. Flies, poor service, and a paella that was heated until almost dry means we won't return. I ordered a steak, and when placed in front of me it reminded me of the smell when I empty the Dyson for my lady. The waitress, who was heavily pregnant, took so long to bring us agua con gas that it would have been quicker to catch a flight to Switzerland and fill a flask from an Alpine spring. I didn't leave a tip. Happily this sort of experience is rare here. Restaurants here cater mainly for tourists, and the fare is usually 'okay', but not often much better than that. You pick your own places where the food suits your taste and pocket. The odd ones are good, and we tend to stick to those that we have been to before, and where we enjoyed what they served. I think English restaurants have the edge, mind you my father often said that to eat well in Britain you should have breakfast three times a day. The Spanish have yet to realise that dessert can be their biggest money-spinner. They hardly ever have home-made postre's, and rely heavily on ice-cream variants that they get delivered by the truckload. It's always an anti-climax. A bit like stripping off a transvestite.

I'm proud to be British. I'm a firm believer that the world consists of two groups, The British, and foreigners. One group consists of circa 60 million people who are brilliant and always right, and the other of around 4 billion people, who don't really matter. I remember an American woman, with beautiful auburn hair and fantastic eyes, once saying to me in New York, "I always fall for Englishmen, it's the accent. You can say stupid things and it still sounds clever." I took her to dinner, no wonder her figure was slim, she never stopped talking long enough to eat. I never did get a chance to say anything stupid, except in the morning as I left her apartment, and mumbled 'Goodbye." Her dress was on the bedside chair, along with her wig, and eye lashes.

It's a funny old world, someone went out and shot JFK, and allowed George W to live.

They say an actress is only as good as her parts, well I always believed that Sophia Loren's parts looked pretty good from where I was sitting in the cinema, in my youth. She went to Drama School and learnt two things, one, she couldn't act, and two, it didn't matter.

I used to like sex on television, but now the sets are so narrow it's difficult to balance.

Hasta Pronto.

 

 

 

 



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Mijas Pueblo
14 July 2015

My lady and I went up to Mijas Pueblo last week. It's known as the White Village on account of the fact that all buildings are painted white. Its a very old place, full of charm. Donkeys pull carriages that tourists travel around in. I always feel so sorry for these animals (the donkeys, not the tourists) because it's so hot at this time of year and they pull a fair old weight. Imagine, a driver and up to four people. We went to get me a new leather wallet. My old one is so old we found Roman coins in the pouch. Mijas has many leather goods shops, and I found what I was looking for, and to my mind got a good bargain. There is a wide vaiety of shops there and one that particularly interested me was a cafe called 'The Chocolate Factory'. It has featured on BBC TV. They sell home made chocolates, and there is a mini factory there where, for a price, you can make your own. We had a hot chocolate, coffees, and a brownie. A bit expensive, and the service is a wee bit scatty, mainly because its a family affair, and they're not too well organised, but in a nice way.

My grand daughter and her pal are staying with us at the moment. Two 19 year olds. My garden now is adorned with many empty and half full glasses, discarded sarongs and swim suits, plus an assortment of fashion/girlie magazines, three pairs of sunglasses, empty crisp packets, half empty sun tan lotion bottles, and similar items. Those of you that have young women staying know what I'm saying........

My grand daughter did, in her best Spanish, which she'd copied down on a sheet of paper,  ask for directions once, after they got off the train in Malaga, the lady she asked was totally perplexed, and my grand daughter later realised that she'd asked for a recipe for Yorkshire Pudding.

I usually take the girls to the clubbing area (that's musical drinking clubs, not cavemen exercise area's) around 11 o'clock and they normally stagger back to our villa around 5 or 6 am. Yesterday I took them to the train station and they caught the train to Malaga to see the sights. I expected them to take in Picasso's Museum etc., but when I picked them up they had only made it to the mall, and came home with lots of bags containing Stradivarius clothing products etc! I guess that 'culture' to them means something akin to Boy George and the like.

Incidentally the trains here are still quite good. Clean and normally on time. Unfortunately, since they were privatised, fares have gone up, maintenance reduced, and staff numbers slashed. We Brits know all about that, don't we?

My grand daughter remarked at how loud the Spanish talk, even when standing next to each other. It's a common trait. Of course, we can't talk as loud as them, we have centuries of fog in our throats. Her friend is a bit paranoid about foreigners, she thinks they all speak English behind our backs. My grand daughter loves Spain but she's not so keen on the bacon in their bacon sandwiches. She is, of course, blonde. For example she thinks that all Shakespeare did was to string together a lot of old and well-known quotations. She starts Uni at Brighton in September.....you Brighton academics have been warned.

A Spanish friend of mine said that he was always puzzled by something. He considered that I was completely honest yet I could write some great novels about villains, thieves, crooks, and serial killers......

One thing the Spanish can't do is make decent soup. It always tastes as if it's been drained out of an old rubber boot.

As I told my son on the phone yesterday, I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grand father, not screaming and shouting like his passengers........

Hasta Pronto

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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Getting hotter.....
24 June 2015

Just been hitting those little dimpled white balls with my pal Peter. Getting hot here now. Today is already 36 degrees, and the forecast for the weekend is 40 !!! So glad I've got a swimming pool to jump into every half hour.

My lady and I went to the Cinesur cinema complex in Fuengirola last night to watch the 2015 film, "Far From The Madding Crowd." We both thought it was excellent. We already knew the ending of course, but still very, very enjoyable. My bag of Maynards' Wine Gums went down a treat too!!!

Nearly at the end of the second proof-read for my latest novel, "The Saturday Pledge". Teresa, who is a published authoress in her own right (No pun intended), certainly knows how to wield a red pen!!! But she is an excellent editor/proof-reader. It should be ready by the end of July to go to the publishers.

I saw this morning on the BBC that Buckingham Palace needs some work on it, and the Queen is being asked to contribute to what is, after all, her home. Shouldn't hurt her too much. Forbes state that she is worth in excess of £44 Billion.  Not an easy job for her though, all that hand-waving and smiling at people when she'd rather be at Sandringham with the corgi's and the great Norfolk air.

I've had a lot of emails asking me how I got on with the Spanish. The Spanish are rumoured not to like Brits too much, but I've never seen any signs of that. We are immigrants in their country, but I think they realised that we have brought our money with us, and I don't think that on the Costa del Sol, or Costa Blanca, the Spanish would have enjoyed the high standard of living they have were it not for us coming here and spending on housing, etc etc. I have never been a drain on Spain's economy. I pay my taxes, car tax, car insurance, house insurance, community charge, private health insurance, etc etc. I, and my family, have never knowingly broken the laws of Spain, apart from me getting the odd speeding ticket. Fair cop - guilty m'lord ! All in all Spain is a good place to live, IF you have money. We're going back because we want to see our kids more often. The airlines murder families who want to come out in school holidays, so they have contributed to our leaving. Many people don't want a villa in Spain unless they can see Big Ben from their bedroom window.

My father, believed that ALL foreigners were dangerous. His perception was that the danger started at Calais and continued across the world until you reached Perth in Australia.

There's a lot of charity gigs going on at this time of year. I always give, especially for drug addicts. I consider that if they're in treatment they're not prising open the boot of my new car.

I had a very, very pleasant business lunch with my accountant in Norwich a couple of weeks ago. He paid for everything and I managed to pinch the receipt.

A friend came for dinner the other evening. He said he knew everything about predudice. I asked him, how come? He told me: "Look, I'm ginger-haired, left-handed, a Norwich City supporter, and a Muslim."  But I replied, "Look us English are the most tolerant bigots on God's earth." He said, "Look, when gay people and Muslims can openly admit they are UKIP members, then, and only then, can we say we are a tolerant race."

Hasta Pronto.



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