I was certainly letting off steam in my recent post, must have been ready for a holiday. Which is fortuitous, as we went off to Spain a couple of days later. We usually stay in Benalmadena and, as I have no doubt said before, this is an archetypically Spanish seaside resort, built for the tourists and about as Spanish as Wigan. For years I had nothing but contempt for places like Benalmadena, Loret de Mar, Benidorm, Fuengirola and I still don’t like them. But, because they are full of hotels and bars and open all year round, they are inexpensive places to stay, with all the facilities we could need and all close at hand. It was with reluctance that I first went and they were all I feared they would be.
However, we get the best of both worlds. You don’t have to go far off the tourist strips to find something that resembles the “real” Spain. We hire a car and go off into the mountains, or along the coast to places less touristy and I just love it. So I forgive these places for the Irish bar, the Scottish bar, the John Bull bar, all with football on huge screens and English beer by the pint and a full English breakfast for 5 Euros; because I know where I can get tapas and home made bread, a view over the mountains and old men playing Hoy in the main square. I get crochet cotton and card making bits and pieces from the Chinese supermarket, “designer” handbags from the market and sardinas a la plancha in a chiringuito on the beach. Reluctantly, I am not the tourist snob I used to be and I can accept the one as the price I pay for the other.
So we stayed in Benalmadena and went off up into the hills in glorious sunshine, gloating that the weather back home was cold and wet. (We checked every day.) And this visit was special because we met up with a couple of old friends. I mean old. Not in years, obviously, we are all spring chickens really, but the loved one and his friend had done their apprenticeships together way back in the mists of time and we have kept sporadically in touch over the years. They have a house in Spain, about 50 miles from where we stayed, so we were invited to stay with them for a couple of days. It was fabulous.
Of course, we did nothing but talk through every waking hour but we also saw a lot of the country because they live in a real Spanish village on a huge plateau where there are olive groves for miles and a lake with flamingos. (Laguna de Fuente – see the picture at the top of the page.) It has been a dry Summer after a dry Winter, so the water is really low and most of the flamingos have gone but you can still see some, youngsters almost ready to leave, shading from grey to pinkish and easily visible against the white of the salt around the lake edges.
It’s close to the lovely town of Antequera, which we had visited before, but it’s very different when you are with someone who knows the area well. That’s where we found the Chinese shop; there’s one in most biggish towns and they are a treasure trove of everything from Christmas decorations to pyjamas to bath plugs. I can be in there for hours. However, there is an old town too and if Don Quixote didn’t visit it on his travels, he should have. It’s magical. I’ve scattered photos through this post but they don’t even begin to show you how lovely it is.
So anyway, we relaxed and let off steam and sat in the square drinking wine and eating tapas and gossiping with anyone daft enough to say hello. Ola! And I did very little drawing because we were being sociable instead.
I didn’t do the Diva Challenge either. Well, no, I did, but I didn’t post it because I didn’t enjoy it. I couldn’t persuade the two suggested patterns that they wanted to be together.
And when we got home I looked at the following week’s Challenge , which was to use the newly released pattern Dewd, which I liked a lot and will use with pleasure when I’ve got a fix on it, but not yet. All I could manage was a poor copy of what Maria did on the video tutorial; I haven’t worked out my own way with it yet. I’ve used it on a couple of things, including a winter swap tile and I think I will get the hang of it eventually.
And then life got in the way for a while and, although I did a lot of drawing, I didn’t do any blogging, so it’s three or four weeks later and this week’s Challenge is to use the Olympics as our inspiration.
Now this is tricky for me, as I find sport about as fascinating as mouth ulcers and don’t have either a competitive or nationalistic bone in my body. The Olympics, therefore, don’t do much to inspire me. Anyway, I looked at the symbols and thought, “Go on Maggibee, you can do this…go for gold!” Or words to that effect.
I went a bit off piste, so to speak, keeping the rings and the colours and that was about it. And, you know what? I rather like it!
So I’ll finish on a high note and and say, as always, be good, world, well, good-ish.