Thursday, 9th July 2020

This Month's Magazine
The Real Spain has long gone

The Real Spain has long gone

The Prickly Pair continue wishing to remain anonymous in case any one is tempted to run them over when they cross the Carretera.

Spain has been for many years the number one “fun in the sun” spot for families, singles (18-30), stag & hen parties, etc. In fact since the 70’s, when Sir Freddy Laker (God bless him) opened up the “Hi-De-Hi“horizons of the great un-washed.
Although the popularity of Spain as the first choice holiday for Mr and Mrs average does go up and down, there is still no denying the track record of a destination does still offer guaranteed sun, reasonable good value and, let’s face it, cheap drink and fags.

But lurking in the background, like an elusive scent behind the more familiar “in yer face” pong of coconut after sun and Hawaiian Tropic, is that almost extinct creature, the “went away to find myself ”.

Back in the “swinging 60’s”, when, if you didn’t disappear up some mountain somewhere you were the odd one out, Spain was great because it is full of mountains without being too far away and although you didn’t get to meet the Dalai Lama, no doubt you were too
stoned to know that “Jose from Jimena” wasn’t in fact the Dalai Lama.

So, forty plus!! Yes, some forty plus years later, what has happened to these higher mortals? Well, scratch under the surface of the everyday folk, living and working and leading ordinary lives in Spain, and not as windswept and interesting as they would have their green with envy friends back in Blighty believe, and there they still are, as reclusive as a badger with a secret, but still spreading peace, love and bad paintings around like confetti.


Listening to me you would think that I have some kind of chip on my shoulder in respect of these lentil-eating, dog saving, bad art campo dwellers. On the contrary, in fact I think we need more of them! My family and I lived in Spain, the Real Spain that is, over thirty years ago, in what was then an un-spoilt mountain village, and, although I was a child at the time, I was privileged to
have met some of the original “Scooby Doo” types.

Now, living on the Coast, to be frank, I am finding it a bit like Great Yarmouth with palm trees. One English bar, near where I live, even has a group of ladies of genteel disposition who meet to play Bridge and drink lemon tea. Yes, Bridge if you don’t mind! You can’t move for the “Big Screen Sport’s Bars” and even the Spanish bars sell bacon without bristles! Where will it all end?

What happened to the “Free Spirits”? I hate to say it, but they seem to have become respectable, there are a few old timers happily
smoking and drinking themselves slowly to death, and, fair play to them, I am glad to say “not a compromise in sight”. But on the
whole, the new crop has wandered a long way from the path of enlightenment.

The modern day “Velma” and “Shaggy” come to us hot foot from a killing on their “Right to Buy” council house, bringing a variety of
elderly pets with them, two point four scared stiff children and an outdated desire to find and buy a bit of the “Real Spain”.

It is a sad fact, however that the “Real Spain” has long gone, “Jose from Jimena” sold it to Taylor Woodrow for more millions than he
could fit on his “mulo” and anyway could these modern day drop outs from society really live in the “Eldorado” of the past? Way back then the “finca” on the “campo” consisted of four damp walls, a leaky asbestos roof, no water, no electricity and no toilet facilities, a place that even “Man Friday” would swim to freedom from.

So what does all this tell us? Quite simple really, “the Real Spain” has been sold, the Spanish bars have sold out, the finca on the
campo is a home from home and the original “free spirits” had necks as hard as jockeys’ b****cks!!

So did anyone ever really “find himself ”’ or did they just get lost trying?

Web Express Guide - Andalucia
Business Guide Costa del Sol, Printed Magazine & Directory Costa del Sol, 29692
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