Muscle memory is a wonderful thing! Growing older, although sometimes it doesn't feel like it, means that you have a wealth of things to draw upon to help you make decisions, form opinions and make predictions etc. Whilst creating this blog I have had to draw upon a variety of learnt skills - use all my wisdom re IT skills, be patient because the speed of the Internet at this hotel is not what it is at home and be persistent when things haven't quite gone to plan. Having been using the Internet since the late 90s, when speeds were so slow, means I have the capacity to be patient when things are uploading slowly. People in their early 20s who have lived in large cities may not appreciate that! One of the reasons my email address is so simple is because I have had it since 1999, when only one Paula Shore existed, or so I thought - now there are loads of us! That's what the Internet helps you to realise, you are not so unique after all. However odd or different you may feel, there is always someone out there to trump you and that, I believe, is a great thing!
Espana - 2015
We love Spain, I love Spain - our whole family have been here holidaying at the same resort for nearly 20 years. We have loads of memories. It was the first place both our boys brought their present girlfriends on an overseas holiday - now that's a testimony to Nerja. We don't have a timeshare or an apartment here, in fact, we have enjoyed travelling from one end of the coast to the other, sampling different beaches, different hotels and apartments and different ambiences. Burriana is slighly more formal with a variety of restaurants and boutique shops, whereas Torecilla is more relaxed and laden with menu del dia type restaurants, bazaar shops where everyone is welcome. We love them both and have enjoyed people watching, eating, being in the sea, enjoying the sand and watching the sun go down.
Nerja is a resort where Spanish and English holiday side by side and have done so since the early 80s when Verano Azul https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verano_azul and the Nerja Caves made the resort popular. Since then we have learnt a lot from each other - not just about each other's diets and climates!
Spanish families, in the main, adore each other. Mum and dad seem to equally shower their children with love and you will often find gran and granddad in tow. We have learnt a lot from our Mediterranean cousins about loving and caring for our families and we are still learning. Whilst people watching earlier in the week a family within 1m of us (the beach is always very busy and we trade our fear of being too close to others for a fabulous seaview) illustrate this affection and closeness. Family 1- Dad sings, as best he could, the theme tune to Superman as his son aged about 4 runs naked, but for a Spiderman towel draped around his shoulders and matching arm bands, around the family enclave (which consisted of gran and granddad mum and dad and the son- the 'perfect' family), his arms outstretched and simulating Superman orbiting the Earth. The son runs into the arms of his mum as she cuddles him. Granddad then gets up and kisses him. The little boy remains settled for a long period in the arms of his mum; he knows he is dearly loved. Family 2 - mum shouts a tirade of abuse, in English, at her son who is aged about 8 and has sprinkled a few grains of sand on her beach mat. He appears to be upset and looks to dad for reassurance. Mum then turns the tirade to dad. The lads walk off to the sea for some solace as mum gets up off her mat, shakes off the sand and settles down again to sunbathe. They 'look' like the perfect family. Within a few minutes the boy returns in tears saying that someone had pushed him and he had got seawater in his mouth. Mum doesn't shower him with comfort but offers him some water from an Evian bottle and just glares at him as he continues to cry and snuffle. Sand and seawater are 2 things you will find in abundance at any beach and I guess muscle memory will help both of them to overcome their experiences, so next time they are better equippped to cope - or not! Somehow I am not sure the little boy in this family feels loved or secure.
We do wear our hearts on our sleeves us Brits as do the Spanish and maybe that is why we get on and are willing to learn from each other.
Canuelo Beach is a local Costa Del Sol beach. In the late 90s and early 21st century the access by road was considered 'safe' but by 2004 it was condemned. Our boys used to call it 'Psycho Beach', I know it isn't politically correct, but hey they were 10 and 11 and anything that threatened their safety was a thrill and so called Psycho! Aptly named Psycho Beach was thus called because you really did have to be slightly insane to consider taking your family over the cliff edge, down the twisty single track road in a Fiat Panda and God forbid you encountered a camper van coming in the opposite direction!!! When you reached the beach it was often void of crowds but likeminded people who wanted to enjoy the luxury of a tranquil oasis - a blank canvas - a little unknown and underdeveloped piece of Spain - like a gem it was a rare find. Anyway, Canuelo Beach was the home of one of the funniest public arguments I have ever witnessed - perhaps funny isn't the right word here - you decide on your choice of adjective! A young couple were camping on this deserted beach in their camper van and clearly enjoying life. Suddenly the atmosphere changed between them and the girl ran into the van, picked up a large metal pipe and started to chase her boyfriend with it all over the beach, screaming at him in Spanish as she ran. Easily outrunning her and after running for about a minute, he clambered on top of their camper van, threw down his fife and paddling pool and escaped with both items into the sea with her hot on his heels. It really was like watching a scene from the Owl and the Pussycat, as he floated away from her playing his fife as he did so!
Spain has made so many memories for us and most of them we laugh at - like I said muscle memory is a wonderful thing.