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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 .

My temporary office
Sunday, April 7, 2024 @ 8:24 AM

My daughter and two grandsons arrived from England late last night to spend a week with us here in Ronda.

Amy, Felix and Jude flew from Stansted to Malaga, where I picked them up.

We had spent the last few days getting our house, garden and pool tidied up ready for their arrival.


                                                                                                                                                 Photo : Jeryl Whitelock-Burgess

Busy, busy

I cleaned the pool and tried it out a few times (Brrr! Just 15C!). I tidied up the garden and the playground which two friends and I created a couple of years ago for our eight grandchildren to use when they visit. I also created a new “secret garden” (a private seating area with loungers and a sun umbrella) at the back of our large plot with fruit bushes, plants, and a barbecue.

And I planted more fruit trees in the adjacent huerto to complete my orchard.


                                                                                                                                    Photo: iStock


In the house I had to vacate the “office”, or study, which doubles as our third bedroom when we have visitors. Out came the two single beds for Felix and Jude, while Amy had the main guest bedroom to herself.

So, I moved my computer to our “entrance lobby” off the dining room. It’s not used as an entrance as we blocked up the front door and use the back door as our main entrance.





My temporary office

This “vestibule” is rather pleasant, if we say so ourselves. The furniture is antique. The restored desk is by Gillow and worth a lot of money. Crafted in the early 20th century before Mr Gillow got together with Mr Waring to establish an upmarket furniture chain in the UK, Waring and Gillow, sadly no longer.

That is where I am sitting writing this piece.

Pride of place on this piece of oak furniture with leather inlay is a pre-World-War-Two wooden clock on top of which sit three elephants from my extensive collection of said creatures. To the right is an antique desk-top fan, which works if needed, eg in the summer. The rest of the desk is covered with family photos which have been shoved to the back to make space for me to work.


Family photos

This is a true family archive spanning four generations. There are wedding photos of my mum and dad, Jack and Vera Whitelock (1948), of Rita and me (2010) and of Tom, my son, and Su (2018). Also, a wedding photograph featuring our extended family.

Jack and Vera Whitelock (1948, UK)       Rita and Paul Whitelock (2010, Germany)   Su and Tom Austin-Whitelock (2018, UK)


There are old photos of the Drechslers, Rita’s family, with her mum Elisabeth, and four siblings (Rita is a cheeky-looking five-year-old), Birgid, Karin, Horst, and Irmhild. Missing from the photo is Friedrich, dad, who died when the children were small. Karin later died young, aged 26, following a botched routine hospital operation.

Also, a photo of Rita’s two surviving sisters, Birgid and Irmhild, and their husbands, Uwe and Egon.


   The Drechslers from Oesterholz (NRW)                                                 The Brinkmanns and the Goehmanns


On the desk is also a nice photo of Rita with younger son, Jojo (Jonathan).


As for my side of the family, apart from the ones already mentioned, there’s a nice photo of me and my mum, Vera (then aged 92), taken outside Maulbronn Abbey where we got married. Yes, despite her age and being in a wheelchair, Vera made it to our wedding in Germany.

There’s a photo of me and Rita taken at Restaurante Molino del Santo in Estacion de Benaojan, where we were celebrating a wedding anniversary; of Felix and Jude with a gorilla at Fuengirola Zoo; Felix’ first school photo and another photo of Felix and Jude; Amy and Tom as teenagers in our garden in Thelwall, Cheshire, and that’s it.


The rest of this lobby area features a restored wooden hallstand, a metre-high oak cakestand, an oak dining chair and a large painting on an easel, which I bought from Venta El Puente, La Indiana, where it was on display.

On the walls there are two pictures of tramps in old oak frames and a framed poem, called ‘The Art of Marriage’ by Wilferd A Peterson, which was read at our wedding by my best man, brother Simon.

As I sit here writing this, all is peaceful. It’s Saturday 7.30 am and the others are still asleep. I shall conclude this now and go and make a second cup of tea. I’m English and old habits die hard!

Have a good day!




PS. It’s my brother Simon’s 71st birthday today. Congratulations, bruv!


© Pablo de Ronda



Paul Whitelock, unless labelled otherwise .



Amy, Art of Marriage, barbecue, Birgid, Cheshire, Drechsler, Egon, Elisabeth,  Estación de Benaoján, entrance lobby, Felix, fruit bushes, fruit trees, Fuengirola Zoo, garden, Gillow, Horst,  huerto,  Irmhild, Jack, Jojo, Jonathan, Jude, Karin, La Indiana, Maulbronn Abbey, Molino del Santo, oak furniture, office, orchard, Pablo de Ronda, plants, playground, pre-World War Two wooden clock, Rita, Ronda, secret garden, Simon, study, Su, temporary office, Thelwall, Tom, Uwe, Venta El Puente, Vera, vestibule, Waring, Waring and Gillow, Whitelock, Wilferd A Peterson

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