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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 .

Lovely Rita, Meter Maid
Friday, September 2, 2022 @ 9:28 AM

When yet another relationship ended, the second one since his divorce in 2005, Pablo de Ronda came to Ronda at the beginning of September 2008 to drown his sorrows. Pablo owned a flat in the Barrio de San Francisco on the southern edge of the City of Dreams, as Ronda is known (see here), so he had somewhere to stay. If not he would have had to sleep on the streets, for his visit coincided with La Feria y Fiestas de Pedro Romero, and there was not a bed to be had neither in a posh hotel, a two-star hostal nor in a fonda. Pablo takes up the story …..

The afternoon I arrived I met up with my pal Michael, back then a Ronda resident already for about eight years (he’s still here, by the way, and has now clocked up over 20 years). Michael suggested going to the Recinto Ferial (showground) on the Friday night.

“Nah! I’m not keen. I went last year and found it rather overwhelming. Very crowded, loud and I drank too much alcohol.”

“Shush! You’re coming and that’s that!” insisted my friend.

So, somewhat reluctantly, off we trotted. Literally, it’s a long walk from Ronda town centre out to the showground!

On arrival we went into a caseta which was occupied by a dozen or so “guiris” (click here). I knew a few but not all, so I had to be introduced to everybody. Amongst the strangers to me was a pretty lady, who had a funny accent. She was German and living in Montejaque, a village in the mountains 20 kilometres from Ronda. Her name was Rita.

I’m a German speaker, so I chatted to her at length, and then heard myself inviting myself for coffee at her house.

“Well,” I thought, “take the risk”. She said yes, so on the Sunday evening I went for Kaffee mit Kuchen at 4.00 pm, a tradition in Germany.

Guess what happened next? She invited me to stay for dinner! Her sister Birgid from Hamburg was visiting and an English couple, Bill and Jill, neighbours of Rita in Montejaque, had also been invited.

What a smashing evening we had. Because Rita was so pretty and so nice, I christened her Lovely Rita, after the Beatles’ song of the same name.

When I left that night – I was flying back to Liverpool the following day – we agreed to keep in touch. We did so, chiefly by email. Before long I came out again to visit Rita. During that autumn she came to visit me twice in Warrington, where I had bought a Victorian villa to do up, and we also went to Germany to attend the christening of her grandson Anton, where I met Birgid again, her husband, Uwe, Rita’s other sister, Irmhild, her brother-in-law, Egon, her daughter, Katrin, son-in-law, Gero, her two sons, Johannes and Jonathan, two nieces, Silke and Bianca, and Rita’s first husband, Joachim, with new wife Julia.

Sounds overwhelming, doesn’t it? But it wasn’t. They were delightful and seemed to take to me, Rita’s new official “beau”.

Another visit to Germany, as it happens to Knittlingen, the twin town of Montejaque, for the 40th birthday of niece Bianca and I met the rest of Rita’s large extended family.

By Christmas of that year, 2008, I had packed my bags and emigrated from the UK to live with Rita in Montejaque.

In July 2010, we got married in the beautiful Maulbronn Abbey, near Heilbronn in South Germany. My 92-year-old mum, Vera, managed to get over and stole the show with her dry wit. She was very happy that I was settled again. Sadly, she died three years later. However,she was pleased that she outlived Nelson Mandela, who was born in the same year as Mum, 1918, who died a few days earlier than she in December 2013.

The rest is history. We moved to a large villa with pool and gardens just outside of Ronda in 2011. Over the years she acquired three more grandchildren. My children, Amy and Tom, provided me with three of my own. I bought an old house in 2020 which I have been renovating over the last two years. We both got Covid-19 in 2021, Rita so badly that we nearly lost her. But we’re more or less fine again now, although long-Covid has left us both with issues. I became very active after that and, apart from the house renovation I’ve taken up gardening in earnest once again.

We’re both over 70 now but are quite active. We’re off to Mijas and Nerja for a short break soon, then my children and their families are coming to visit. In October two student friends of Rita from Detmold are coming also and then It’s off to Germany for Christmas and New Year.

Today is our anniversary of meeting on that fateful day in 2008. Here’s something I posted on Facebook this morning:

FERIA Y FIESTAS DE PEDRO ROMERO
El viernes de la Feria de 2008 es cuando Pablo de Ronda conoció a Rita Drechsler, residente de Montejaque, en una caseta en el Recinto Ferial de Ronda. Se enamoraron en seguida y dentro de tres meses emigró Pablo para estar con su “Meter Maid” (el nombre viene de una canción de los Beatles – “Lovely Rita” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v… 

YOUTUBE.COM

Lovely Rita (Remastered 2009)

Provided to YouTube by Universal Music GroupLovely Rita (Remastered 2009) · The BeatlesSgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band℗ 2009 Calderstone Productions Li...

 

 



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