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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 .

Have you heard the one about the two Englishmen, the German Fräulein, the Portuguese “rock chick” and the Moroccan wine connoisseur?
Sunday, June 16, 2024 @ 8:43 AM

No, it’s not the lead-in to a joke! Far from it. This is the story of the people I met last Thursday, 13 June, in and around Ronda, where I live.


Will and Miriam

I met Will, an English writer, and Miriam, his German Lebensgefährtin, partner, at the cinema in Ronda.

Once a month Multicines Ronda shows a newly released film en versión original, usually English, with Spanish subtitles.

This Thursday we were there to see “Back to Black”, the new biopic about Amy Winehouse.

Will and Miriam live in Olvera (Cádiz). We exchanged contact details and vowed to keep in touch. We shall see!





Marilyn and Trevor

After the cinema I headed for home, but popped into my local, Hotel Ronda Valley, for a nightcap (NOT cocoa or Horlicks, but a nice cold beer – Alhambra on draught).

A couple approached the bar to pay their bill. They were clearly English, and we spoke for a while.

Marilyn and Trevor had owned a house in Montejaque, one of my stomping grounds, since 1998. They had sold it and were going to the notary the following morning to complete the sale. They were staying at the hotel.

Incredibly in over a quarter of a century our paths had never crossed, even though they seemed to know just as much about me as I know myself: my wife’s name, her house in the village, and my writings, including a controversial article I wrote last year for the local magazine “El Hacho”, as well as other musings of mine to be found on and

I wished them well, as they went off to bed.



Marta was also staying at The Ronda Valley. At first sight, we all thought: ‘Blimey! Look at her “tats” (tattoos)!’

She was covered from head to foot!

I got talking to her and discovered that she was Portuguese, 34 going on 24, a “rocker” (Yamaha 750cc), single and a hairdresser in near Lisbon.

I had breakfast/coffee with her two mornings running.

Marta was delightful! She looked good in her “tats”, and also in her biker’s gear!







The last “new” person I met that night in the Hotel Ronda Valley was “Ben”, from French-speaking Morocco. He approached me at the bar speaking English. He was doing a tour of Andalucía with his wife.

We spent a very pleasant while together, ranging over several topics, including Morocco and the best places to visit; politics in France; Spain’s president Pedro Sánchez; and muslims vis-à-vis alcohol – he is a wine-drinking follower of Islam! Good for him!

I saw “Ben” again at breakfast the following morning and we exchanged contact details with a promise that I would visit Morocco in 2025.






At the cinema on Thursday, I also spotted other “local” foreigners, so-called “guiris”.

There was Delphine from France, the organiser of the film evenings, and her partner Fernando from Ceuta; Fátima (Spain), a lawyer and PSOE councillor on Ronda Council, and her partner Drew, from England, a cycling guide; Ashley and Claire, English, owners of Andalucia Cycling Experience; April, English, and widow of Philip Amis, who was the brother of author Martin Amis and son of author Kingsley Amis; Philip and Susan (England via Singapore) owners of Hotel Molino de Cuatro Paradas in Benaoján; and Sheila, English, an environmental campaigner from La Indiana.







© Pablo de Ronda



April at the Ayuntamiento - Ronda Council pleno (

Back to Black (2024) - FilmAffinity

Hotel Molino Cuatro Paradas | Hotel Molino Cuatro Paradas, unas vacaciones rurales cerca de Ronda en uno de los paisajes más bellos que el sur de España tiene para ofrecer (

Hotel Ronda Valley en Ronda. Web Oficial

What is a guiri? It's what the Spanish call us foreigners - but is it good or bad? (


Acknowledgements (Photos):


Hotel Ronda Valley

Multicines Ronda

Paul Whitelock

World Atlas



Alhambra, Amy Winehouse, Andalucia Cycling Experience, April, Ashley, “Back to Black”, “Ben”, Benaoján, biker’s gear, biopic, Ceuta, Claire, cycling guide, Delphine, Drew, “El Hacho”, England, English, Englishmen, environmental campaigner, Fátima, Fernando, France, Fräulein, French-speaking Morocco, German, “guiris”, hairdresser, Hotel Molino de Cuatro Paradas, Hotel Ronda Valley, Islam, Kingsley Amis, La Indiana, Lisbon, Marilyn and Trevor, Marta, Martin Amis, Montejaque, Morocco, Multicines Ronda, muslims, Pablo de Ronda, PSOE councillor, Pedro Sánchez, Philip, Philip Amis, Portuguese, “rocker”, “rock chick”, Ronda, Ronda Council, Sheila, Spanish subtitles, Susan, “tats”, versión original, Will and Miriam, wine connoisseur,,, Yamaha 750cc

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