What a fantastic day today. The wind has dropped completely, and the silence on waking was almost weird.
The Moroccan shoreline is back in view (with the levante wind this disappears entirely), not as sharp as it can be, as when it is really clear we can see beyond the Rif mountains to four further ranges. The new harbour opposite (container terminal) is very clear. There is a large cruise ship passing by – I am always glad that I am on shore and that they are looking at me, rather than being on board and looking back at the coast line, but that is purely personal – I have never yet been on a cruise and it is not actually on my list of things to do!
‘Next door’ has changed hands. The former roof garden has gone and is now a stylish wooden terrace with an ugly structure in one corner. We tried repeatedly to negotiate that they would not start banging and drilling before 10 a.m. with only marginal success. We had some very unhappy guests, and can only thank them for their eventual understanding that this was beyond our control.
It does not seem to be ‘Spanish’ that you first discuss with your neighbours to see if a modus Vivendi can be found; you just ‘do’ and wait for the neighbours to complain or take action. In the meanwhile, our guests on the Amadeus terrace are stretched out in the sun and I am grateful for them for their understanding of our situation, and for the advice given by him, as an architect/designer. Our next guests were town planners and his comments were more than revealing, but whether they hold good in Spain I am only now busy investigating. All this is a pity, as nothing is nicer than good neighbourly relations, where one can help the other, as we have with Anca Curro, the bar next door. I remain amazed that the Town Hall does not regulate building noise and obstruction in the high season in the interest of existing businesses who are trying to keep their heads above water. This does not only hold good for us, but for many establishments in the town.
If you live in the country you run the risk of a new autoroute being built through your front garden (as has happened to many house owners nearer to Malaga) but when living on the edge of a town, there is always the risk of someone building something ugly (or which I would consider ugly!) below you, even if officially (!) no-one is allowed to build up. There is nothing we can do about the TV aerials – luckily there are not many and somehow the eye travels directly over them to the dark blue water in the Strait of Gibraltar with the container ships and other vessels constantly passing by. It remains one of the world’s most wonderful views.
It was an ideal day to walk down to the beach (9 minutes from Dar Cilla) to meet a friend for lunch at Berebar. This is a very informal, low key Moroccan run restaurant right on to the boulevard. Rachid (owner) makes a great Moroccan couscous (vegetarian or with chicken), as good if not better than ones you will get across the water (35 minutes by ferry) in Tangier. Suddenly it was mid-summer, there were a lot of people (what is a lot? they were dotted all along this wide expanse of golden sand) in swim suits, quite a number in the water. It was an idyllic scene. Rachid may be Moroccan, but he serves a good white wine by the glass (Bach).
Back to Dar Cilla (a 13 minute walk back, uphill!) and a wine-induced siesta. When in Spain do as the Spaniards do – the siesta formula definitely appeals to me! This is what enables the local population to stay out so late in the evenings – the restaurants are empty until around 9 p.m. which takes our guests some getting used to. Now the Dar Cilla guests are coming up to the roof terrace with their bottles of wine – it is perfect evening for this.