This is one of many questions I am ALWAYS asked when I meet people. It seems to interest them, even to the point of it becoming an itch which must be scratched! How do I spend my days, here in a land of warmth, friendship and no stress? Well, it’s really much the same as I did in England, except that I now work for myself instead of an employer.
The piece of heaven I live in is Torrox Pueblo in the Andalucian region of southern Spain, and I spend my days trying to run a couple of business….holiday rentals, photography and scrapbooking. To come out here in 1992 was the best decision I have ever made and, as a lot of people say about things in their lives, it should have been done many years ago. I am an ordinary woman, like many others, so why the people who come to visit seem determined to ask I really don’t know, but my days are spent much the same as they would be spent in the UK if I had started to work for myself at the same age as I did here. I do all the normal things like keeping the house as tidy as I want it, I get up at around 07.30am in the summer and around 08.30 in the winter and no matter what time of year it is I HAVE to have about half an hour to wake up either with a coffee or a glass of milk. My first job in the summer is to water the plants in the cul–de-sac as the temperature here in Torrox pueblo during the summer months starts at about 30 degrees at 09.00 and often gets up to the 40s in the middle of the day, so it is really important to give the plants a good drink before it starts. Then it is breakfast, shower, decide if we need to to out, maybe walk down into Torrox’s main square where the shops, chemist, Post office etc., are….I always take the 79 steps down and the slow exercise walk back which takes me through some of the old streets of Torrox village. Sometimes we take the car or quad bike and go shopping either to the coast which is only 3K away or if we need a really big shop then we go to El Ingenio about 11 mins along the motorway.
We take our lunch around 3pm each day during the time of siesta. Now this is something very different than life in the UK and is really needed during the hot summer months. Siesta time is anything between 1pm and 5pm and here in Torrox (I suppose it is the same in most Spanish regions) you can really tell the time by the silence of siesta. It is a sense of heavy silence, something you can almost hear, the sound of silence just like the song title. Then after lunch comes kip time for 20 mins or so, after which life begins again.
Bits and pieces get done after about 5pm when the heat is slowly going down or sometimes you just want to take advantage of the coolness and sit on the terrace, sometimes with a book but I usually find myself gazing at the hills opposite and knowing that I am very lucky to live where I do.
TV is watched during the evening, just the same as in the UK, the same programmes, the same people, nothing any different. Then it is bedtime usually in this house around 11pm.
So, how do I spend my day? Well much the same as you do, only I do it in the warm, friendly, stress free atmosphere of Torrox Pueblo.
There are other questions I am ALWAYS asked, BUT I will answer those later.
No way Jose! You’ve got more chance of me tap dancing naked up the M6 than me driving either through Madrid or anywhere within a 30 miles radius of the place!!
Don’t get me wrong, Madrid is a lovely City and well worth a visit and, yes, I have been there many times. BUT I DON’T DO THE DRIVING. NO CHANCE!
Talk about Silverstone combining with a Gran Prix and both joining the M25, then you now have some idea of what it is like on the Madrid Ring Road! I freeze. I become a stone statue as we get anyway near 30 miles of the City. My arms go all pins and needles, back of my knees go cold. I become a complete wimp. Which is strange because I have driven through Berlin during its rush hour, I have driven myself, all alone, to Dusseldorf, I have driven on my own all over the UK, BUT I can’t drive on the Madrid bypass. BUT, I have hung out of the passenger window during the bypass rush hour, while we have been towing a trailer, to slow down the traffic so we could join. That holds no fear, BUT to drive it, no way.
Remember I told you about the next-door-but-one neighbour who had been confined to the campo by the Guadia Civil? He’s back!! The three months are up. He has just appeared, with a replacement bike, top of the cul-de-sac.
He is fresh, clean, dried out, hair cut, coherent, clean pale yellow shirt, dark trousers, all 5′ nothing of him. And up to now, it is all quiet ‘on the Western front’ as regards the return of the wanderer to his wife.
I mentioned in one of my articles that one of the things I spend my time doing is running a photography business. I don’t do wedding groups, in fact I very rarely photograph people unless I am taking in black and white and then it would be faces…faces with lines, faces with interest and experience in them and faces bare, no make-up. One of the lines I do do is POSTCARDS and not your ordinary postcards, no ‘Kiss Me Quick" beach photos, or bare bums. What I take is more specialised and in keeping of where I live…..I live in Torrox Pueblo NOT on the coast. So what I see are old doors, windows corners with shadows. Old Spain.
This is a door in one of the older streets in Torrox and fronts a very old building which is dearly in need of some love and attention. Look closely and you can see the rather large key in the lock. I always wonder who lived in these ruins, what their lives were like and were they happy.
I intend to make these images into collections rather like’coffee table’ books and then maybe print them onto silk and canvas, but here are some examples of what I like taking:
Most of these things will soon disappear..in fact some things I take are already gone within a couple of days!
My photography is called ‘Andalucia’s Secrets’ and that it what they are, if you go beyond the high rises on the coast, head inland and there they are, tucked away, unloved and soon to disappear.
There are many more in my collections. If you want to know more or purchase some…they look lovely framed…just contact me on +34 95 2539357.
Filed under Torrox Life, Want to buy some postcards (NO, not those sort!!!) by on Jul 30th, 2007.