The rain in Spain falls mainly on…



Well it did for a day, anyway.


But first, government health warning.  I’m going to tell you about my holiday and, like the gangsters in the old films, I’m gonna squeal, I’m gonna spill my guts. What a delightfully vulgar expresion. So you have been warned:


Got up at half past four on Thursday morning. Who knew there were TWO half past fours in a day? Drove across the Penines and all went smoothly until they stopped my hand luggage at Manchester Airport security because of an unidentified substance.  My putty eraser, as it turned out. Anyway, they tested it and decided it wasn’t a major risk and let me through. (OK, I am prepared to concede a point here; stop me as many times as you like if that’s what it takes to keep us safe in the air. As long as you stop the terrorists too.) So I sat in the Departure Lounge eating an egg sandwich, drinking black coffee and trying not to watch the aircraft taking off and landing.  I am hot a happy flier.  You may laugh, as my friends and family do but it’s true.  Yes, I trot off as often as I can and I fly at least eight return journeys  a year. But I don’t like it.  It’s the price I pay to go where I want to go.

Anyway, this flight was no bother at all. I buried my face in mindless computer games and we were there by the time my poor old bones were starting to protest at sitting still for so long. At Malaga Airport,  my small case refused to let its handle expand for me to pull it across the airport. In a fury, I wrestled it to the ground, beat it into submission and pulled at the damn thing until it gave in. And broke off in my hand. Suitcase 1, Margaret nil.

Got the hire car; found our way to the hotel; checked in; got a free room upgrade; unpacked and trotted off down to the Marina for a coffee in the sun outside a favoutite cafe. Two happy bunnies. Excellent dinner and, having been awake for an awful long time, decided to just go down to the hotel lounge and watch the entertainment.  Entertainment.  They should be sued under the Trades Descriptions Act. It was a flamenco troupe. The dancers were probably very good, I’m no judge. But whoever told the larger of the two ladies she could get away with a size 14 was not being kind. Those dresses were tested to destruction with every move. The people in the front row should have been claiming danger money.

Now I know flamenco singers are not happy. They sing of their pain and sorrow.  This one certainly had a lot of pain and sorrow and was determined to share it. We went to bed.



Got up to a grey sky, rain and a huge breakfast in that order. We knew there was a market in the Arroyo de la Miel so off we went, kagoules to hand. We needed them too. There were only three stalls in the market but I did manage to buy a tiny pair of sheepskin slippers for my baby granddaughter.  Benalmadena has two main areas, the Costa and the Pueblo, the latter including the original village from which the huge holiday resort sprang. It’s attractive in places and we wandered in the drizzle until we found a cafe for coffee and churros. Churros should have a government health warning too. Addictive?  Oh yes.  We drove back down to the Marina for a mosey round the shops and a light lunch. Mid afternoon,  the rain poured and we gave up, sulked a bit and went back to the hotel and the loved one dozed while I drew. And this is what I came up with.

20141114_175905  20141114_164426

The second one was for the Square One focus pattern this week, Hurry. I like this pattern and really enjoyed doing it.

That evening, we decided we couldn’t face the in house entertainment, so we went to a bar we know called Lizzies Lounge. Here we found a gang of about 18 Geordies on a night out. Loud, amiable and just a little under the influence of strong liquor. Bless. There was a quiz and we won a bottle of wine, which cheered the loved one up enormously and almost compensated for the rain.


Much nicer day, gerlorious sunshine in fact.  Drove to the market in Fuengirola, which turned out to be a flea market and only a flea would have liked it. I have never seen so much tatty rubbish in one place. We didn’t stay long but drove inland up to Mijas. Now, possibly influenced by the fact that I was once robbed in Fuengirola, I don’t like the place very much. It has a glorious beach, a wonderful esplanade that goes on for miles and, on Tuesdays, not Saturdays, an excellent market for leather goods and traditional crafts. The town itself, however, looks as if someone with a wry sense of humour built a hundred low security prisons and called them hotels. It is high-ish rise, cheap and nasty. I mean, I don’t want to put you off but, honestly, go somewhere else.

Mijas, on the other hand, is lovely. I admit it is a tourist honeypot with donkey taxis and extremely narrow cobbled streets, but it is always a pleasure. The high season is June to the end of August along this coast and we avoid it like the plague at that time because of the crowds, but Autumn and Spring are lovely.

Just a little square in Mijas.
Just a little square in Mijas.
the terrace cafe where we had our tuna salad and basked in the sun. IN NOVEMBER!
The terrace cafe where we had our tuna salad and basked in the sun. IN NOVEMBER!
One of many little back streets. Good for the calves and the cardio vascular thingy.
One of many little back streets. Good for the calves and the cardio vascular thingy.

There was more entertainment in the hotel that night. I will gloss over it.


Another huge breakfast. Our self restraint is non-existent. We seem to have this need to browse every possible ingredient in case we miss anything. Daren’t go to the doc for a check up for a couple of weeks in the hope that a miracle will have happened and the calories will have mystically disappeared. And pigs will fly over Yorkshire!

Anyway, an hour or so up the coast is the very attractive town/resort of Nerja. This is another of our favourites and there is a restaurant on the beach where we like to go for lunch – as if we don’t eat enough already. The thing is, they do this giant paella on a fire in a pit on the beach and all the locals go there and it’s all a bit rough and ready but totally delicious. GO THERE! We didn’t realise that Sunday was different,we’d always been on a weekday on previous visits, so were overjoyed to find the place crowded and noisy and full of bonhomie and, of course, food.

One batch ready and the next one cooking in the background.
One batch ready and the next one cooking in the background.
Just one of many batches they made that day, ready to serve.
Just one of many batches they made that day, ready to serve.
And you will see real Valencian paella has chicken, not seafood.  (Actually, this has both but that's a bonus, right?
And you will see real Valencian paella has chicken, not seafood. (Actually, this has both but that’s a bonus, right?)

Sunday was a good day, a really good day.


And Monday was Diva Day! Hurrah!  Well, sort of. I don’t like doing the out of my control stuff, so the idea of goinfg left handed and going with the flow didn’t go down too well. I did it, and I tried to be zen about it. Truth is, I’m OK with the tangle but less good at Zen.


The string left handed was actually rather pleasing, if a bit wobbly, so I decided to just stick with two pattersn and hope for the best. Luv- A within the string and Knightsbridge as the background. (That way I could colour over as many mistakes as possible!) If you don’t look close, it isn’t too bad but…


Well, if you can stick it, I’ll tell you more about Spain next week. Hasta la vista, world.


6 thoughts on “The rain in Spain falls mainly on…

  1. Oh, Margaret, what a wonderful post. You have a fantastic writing style. I’m glad some of your holiday is turning out so well. The paella makes me want to jump on a plane right now. Can’t wait for next week’s installment

  2. As you might imagine, I love this post—-two of my favorite things in one post: travel and Zentangle. Bonus points for writing about Spain. Mr. Excitement and I went on our first trip together to Spain in 1981—only 6 years after Franco’s departure. Nerja was one of our stops. We returned in 2001 when we were sent to “rescue” Mr. E’s 91 year old grandmother who had been on holiday in Fuengirola (from New York City) and fell and broke her hip. She had surgery and was hospitalized in Torremolinos for an entire month where she received excellent care—for free! Some misguided travel agent had sold her a travel insurance policy for $250. Mr. E. and I were the “A” team. He’s a physician and I speak Spanish. We ended up having to stay there for a week due to some complications. I can think of worse places to have to stay. Anyway, I hope to see some more posts like this one. And now there’s clamoring from the ranks for dinner—-so ciao.

  3. So, ya are gonna squeal, are ya. Well, I’m sure glad you did. A wonderful Post, Margaret. Rick Steves would hire you in a flash. Wonderful accounting of your trip, and great photos. I even like the rainy days. Love all three of your Tiles. Your Diva Challenge using the Off Hand turned out fabulous. Well done. Thanks for all of the entertainment this week. I very much enjoyed my visit.

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