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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 .

“Hotel” Indiana
Saturday, March 23, 2024 @ 6:57 PM

By Pablo de Ronda

Our domicilio, our home, just outside Ronda has lots of great features and advantages over our previous home, which is why we bought it some 13 years ago, six months after we got married. We moved in on 5 February 2011.

Since then, we have had regular “guests”, from our UK and German families and from friends old and new. We even took paying guests for two summers in the aftermath of the Covid.19 pandemic, in order to replenish depleted coffers.

 

The Early Years

Since our move in 2011 we have had a regular stream of visitors, except for the lockdown years. Close family come regularly; extended family less frequently; friends old and new as and when. 

Rita’s three siblings have played a significant role.

Brother Horst was staying with us in Montejaque with childhood friend Klaus (d. 2023), when we viewed Villa Indiana for the first time. He liked it and endorsed our decision to buy. He has visited a number of times since then and has always helped out with a few plumbing and central heating problems we’ve had over the years.

Rita’s two sisters, Birgid and Irmhild (Hilde), came shortly after we moved in to help us furnish and fit the house, and decide which furniture to use. We had three lots: Rita’s German stuff, my entire house contents from England, plus furniture from a house in Ronda, as part of my “commission” for selling it on behalf of its English owner, actually a former “girlfriend”, Maude.

Elder son Johannes stayed with us for several months in 2011 after we moved in. He is a Schreiner (joiner/cabinet-maker) by trade and helped me out with a lot of infrastructure work in the house, garage and garden.

In 2012 Rita’s niece Bianca came with then boyfriend Frank (since deceased, sadly). They painted the entire interior of the house, replacing the ubiquitous white walls with off-white and a feature wall in colour in each room.

Their fee? We paid for their return flights, fed and watered them, and took them on trips and for meals out.

A good deal for both parties!

Another niece, Ronja, and her husband, Markus, visited us early on. Markus did some plastering for me. He’s a teacher but knows how to plaster too.

Bianca continues to visit from time to time. Come to think of it, she is overdue and hasn’t been for a while.

My daughter Amy visited with her boyfriend Carlo, subsequently husband, and, since last year, ex-husband.

Son Tom and girlfriend Su were also early visitors.

 

“Hotel” Indiana

Birgid and Hilde have both visited regularly since that first time when we moved in, accompanied by their husbands, Uwe and Egon. These two brothers-in-law have both been amazing in terms of helping out with various “jobs” while they were here, notably fixing our well pump and electricity issues in the house, which no local “professional” was capable of doing!

Uwe, a retired physiotherapist, also gives me foot massages, which helps my dodgy back.

Rita’s offspring are regulars to varying degrees.

Daughter Katrin, husband Gero and children Anton, Madita and Lotte used to come every two years up until Covid. They’ve been once since the lockdown, last year. Daughter Madita (16) has just finished the equivalent of English GCSEs and is going to visit us on her own in July (her “graduation” present, before she goes to a new school to do her Abitur (similar to A-Levels).

Johannes, I’ve already mentioned. He has been a few times. With girlfriend Tiina on that first visit in 2011, and then with long-term partner Juliane, her two children, Iona and Noah, and their daughter together, Lyra.

Jonathan (Jojo), Rita’s youngest has been a few times with different girls but his most significant visit was when he accompanied Dana, Rita’s physiotherapist niece (daughter of brother Horst), when she came to “treat” her aunt after I discharged her from hospital, after suffering from a devastating bout of Covid-19. Jojo took the pressure off me, as I was knackered from caring for Rita, sleeping badly, and I still had Covid myself.

Dana and Jojo whisked Rita off to Germany for further treatment and convalescence before returning home to me three months later. That was in 2021.

Johannes has also visited with his cousins Dana, Ronja, Torben, and Silke.

Friends Helen and Jürgen have stayed a couple of times and

Iris and Rainer own a house in Montejaque and visit the area frequently. Sometimes, they stay the odd night at “Hotel” Indiana.

My elderly mother Vera managed to visit us once before she died, even weeding and pruning in our garden. She also braved the pool!

My kids, Amy and Tom, have also been regular visitors, both before and after children. Now they come with their respective young families, which now number four: Felix, Jude, Wilbur and baby Buckley.

My brother Simon and his wife Marilyn have been a few times, cousin Roger and wife Cheryl, also.

Old friends of mine have holidayed here too. Alan, a former teaching colleague from St Helens; Ian and Christine, squash and tennis partners back in the day, from Derbyshire; Andrew from my university days.

 

 

 

2023 onwards

Last year we had visits from childhood friends of Rita, namely Karin and Barbara, fellow nurses. We had a great laugh. They are planning to come again in 2024.

Helen, the retired doctor friend I mentioned earlier, came on her own. She and Rita worked together in a clinic in Knittlingen, partner town of Montejaque.

The afore-mentioned Iris was here just last week with friends Bernhard and Judith and they stayed in “Hotel” Indiana for a couple of nights.

Brother Simon and Marilyn spent a nice couple of weeks, as did Amy and her boys, Amy again with Aussie friend Lucy, and Tom and a pregnant Su with their son Wilbur.

Allan a former language teaching colleague from Maghull visited last year and is planning to come back again soon.

This year, Jac, a former girlfriend in Luxembourg, popped by just last month.

And so it goes on…..

Planned visitors this year include: Amy and her boys (April); Birgid (June); Tom and Su and their two (probably June/July); Madita (July); and Karin and Barbara (tba).

***

“Hotel” Indiana is like Hotel California, the massive hit by The Eagles:

"Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place (such a lovely place)
Such a lovely face
Plenty of room at the Hotel California
Any time of year (any time of year)
You can find it here"

 

 

 

 

© Pablo de Ronda

 

Interesting Links:

Covid-19 is a bastard! Don’t mess with it! A cautionary tale of our times (eyeonspain.com)

Spätzle auf Spanisch - Secret Serrania de Ronda

Knittlingen in Germany, twinned with Spain's Montejaque and Benaoján - Secret Serrania de Ronda

 

Acknowledgements:

Karl Smallman

Paul Whitelock 

www.help-me-ronda.com

www.secretserrania.com

 

Tags:

A-Level, Abitur, Alan, Allan, Amy, Anton, Bernhard, Bianca, Birgid, Bjorn, Buckley, Carlo, Cheryl, Christine, clinic, Covid-19, Dana, domicilio, Eagles, Egon, Felix, Frank, GCSE, Helen, Hilde, Horst, hospital, Hotel California, Hotel Indiana, Ian, Iona, Iris, Irmhild, Jac, Jeryl, Johannes, Jojo, Jonathan, Jude, Judith, Juliane, Jürgen, Karl Smallman, Katja, Klaus, Knittlingen, Lotta,  lockdown, Luxembourg, Lyra, Madita, Marilyn, Markus, Maude, Montejaque, Noah, Pablo de Ronda, pandemic, Paul Whitelock, Rainer, Roger, Ronja, Schreiner, Silke, Simon, Su, Talheim, Tiina, Tom, Torben, Uwe, Villa Indiana, Wilbur



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