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Puntos de vista - a personal Spain blog

Musings about Spain and Spanish life by Paul Whitelock, hispanophile of 40 years and now resident of Ronda in Andalucía .

First things first in 2022.
Wednesday, March 16, 2022 @ 7:28 AM

Pablo de Ronda has tried a few new things for the first time in the first two months of 2022. Also a few things just happened to happen to him for the first time ever in his seven decades of life on planet Earth.


Food and Drink

Dined in a Japanese Restaurant. Discovered the Miyagi Express Sushi Bar in Ronda by chance in January. I already knew one of the owners, Marcos Marcell, and the head waitress, Ana Belén Sánchez. Marcos is a professional actor and director who runs the theatre group Proyecto Platea. Ana Belén is one of their leading actors and used to be receptionist at the garage where we take our cars for service and repairs, Rondeña de Automoción (Peugeot).

Tried cerveza tostada. I was aware of several brands of cerveza sin (non-alcoholic beers) which were tostada. But had never come across una tostada con alcohol. Until the other day. Scrummy! So scrummy I can´t remember the brand!


New DIY skills

Plastering and cementing. While renovating Casa Real, my house in Montejaque (Málaga), I had watched my albañiles do this time and again, so, in January, when no builders were available, I thought: why not have a go?

Fitting a new see-through roof. Again, apart from one day, when Stewart El Alto lent me a hand, I did this myself, up and down ladders, on the roof. I just took it slowly and carefully.

Installed a pellet oven. My fitter was unavailable, so I thought: how hard can it be? It wasn´t.

Installed new windows. I was just the peón for this, but it was fun.

Used an angle grinder. I´d always had a fear of these vicious machines (angle-phobia?), but when some jobs came up that were crying out for un radial, I was forced to have a go. Once again, I took it slowly and carefully. Turns out it’s not so bad after all.


Jobs on the side

Earned commission on a house sale. After months of time and effort seeking out properties not officially on sale in Montejaque, my first was sold recently and I earned a small commission.

Designed and built a holiday lettings website. Using a template from Site123, I built my own website, , which has just launched. It is a portal offering rental properties in and around Ronda and Montejaque.


Travel and Leisure

Got to know Antequera. Properly. Rita and I had both made short visits to this Roman town in years gone by with previous spouses, but we didn´t really know the place very well. I had accumulated enough amigos points to get a free night in a parador, and there was also a special offer for older people, dias doradas, so we booked two nights. So, a kind of bogoff*! This gave us the time to explore the town more thoroughly. And what a lovely place it is too, especially the casco antiguo and the area around the Castillo. The karst rock formations at nearby parque natural El Torcal were stunning.

Filled in my first locator form online. I was planning a trip to the UK to see family so needed this to enter the country. At the border in Gatwick Airport they didn´t even check!

Ordered a Ryanair meal for the first time. It was a Thai Green Curry and, despite the tales that you here about Ryanair food, not too bad.

Went to Cornwall on holiday. When my brother Simon learned that I was going to England to help my son Tom and his wife Su do up their Victorian house, Simon invited me to come with him and wife Marilyn on holiday to Cornwall. Cornwall is on Rita´s bucket list, so she came too! What a beautiful part of England, especially the far west around St Ives and Camborne.

Visited St Michael’s Mount near Marazion. I’d visited the French version in Normandy many moons ago but had never been to the English one. What a thrill - beautiful surroundings on a bright sunny March day. Followed by a delicious genuine Cornish pastie. Even Rita liked it!



Got myself an online bank. I decided to change my currency converter to get a better rate. My pension is paid in Pounds Sterling into my UK bank account and needs to be sent to my Spanish bank account every month. After some research, I found that Wise (formerly Transferwise) offered the best rates, gaining me an extra 50€ a month approximately. So I switched. They also offer a debit card for 7€, so I got one of them too!



Started writing in earnest for Eye on Spain ( . I have several blogs there: Puntos de Vista; The History Man; The Culture Vulture; Spanish Matters; My Covid-19 Diary; Only Joe King; How to .....? and The Curmudgeon. Previously I had written copiously and regularly for but that site is currently dormant. Although you can still access it.

We were interviewed as a couple for a TV documentary for St Valentine´s day on the theme of love in the Serrania de Ronda. I had pitched the idea to journalist Maria Jose Garcia of Charry TV back in January. She liked it so we decided to approach up to five couples/individuals to take part. Several baulked at the idea of being on the telly, but we managed to find three British, one German and one Spaniard who wanted to take part: Julie Wilkinson (UK), who lives in Cañada del Real Tesoro (Estacion de Cortes de la Frontera); Charlotte Wilmot (UK) and Jaime Lopez (Spain), who are married and live in Ronda; and Rita Drechsler (Germany) and Paul Whitelock (UK), a married couple who live in Montejaque.



Had my van vandalised. Parked outside my house, someone broke into it, smashed the windscreen, released the handbrake and let it roll down the hill and set fire to the interior. Nice! I´m pretty sure I know who it was and he will get his comeuppance in time.

Suffered my first insurance write-off. (See above). This is still sub judice so I cannot write any more about it at the present time.



Built a raised bed as part of my huerta.

Planted veg I´d never grown before: artichokes, cauliflower, broccoli, garlic, onions

Harvested our first ever orange. Friends Pippa and Rich bought us un naranjo, an orange tree, as a wedding anniversary present. Despite the cold winter it produced its first crop this month (one orange!). Signs are good for the future, though!



Met my first Slovene, Leandro aged 18 from Liubliana. On a gap year before going to university to study architecture, he is working as a workaway at my local hotel under the workaway scheme. A whizz with IT, he helped me set up my new laptop and to copy my files across from my old one.

Bought a national lottery ticket. Having won two tickets for El Gordo before Christmas, each of which netted me 100 euros, I thought I might be on a roll. I wasn´t! 24 euros down the drain!

Finally, I visited a brothel for the first time in my life. I must stress that I didn´t partake of the services on offer. Honest! I went out of interest. Honest! And to carry out research for an article someday. Honest!


Further reading:

Cheque (sic) your Spanish bank account

My eco-house in the Serrania de Ronda - phase I



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