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Labour Day

This is a free day here in Spain and as luck will have it for all the locals (Spanish and foreign residents) it is a fabulous day. Blue, blue sky, the occasional puffy white cloud, a light breeze from the West (called Poniente) but just enough for professional surfers and ideal for beginners.

I have blogged (I now enjoy the term blogging) before about Timing but at the risk of repetition I have to say again that for me (a nearly octogenarian grandmother) it is the key to my enjoyment in Tarifa.

There was a definite temptation to stay home this morning and read Hola magazine on my patio, but I headed for Spin Out ( the in-place for beach and surf lovers) and was there at 12.00 so there was plenty of parking space and a choice of tables.

When I left at 14.30 I could feel people ogling me with a view to snapping up my table. There were so many attractive young people and the young woman at the next table was wearing such a pretty dress – I told her so, and she recommended the website Free People – I looked it up and it is lovely but more for my granddaughters than for me!

I came back in to town (not another car coming in this direction) and headed for my own roof terrace with a good book. Guests of Dar Cilla are already stretched out on the guesthouse roof terrace. I feel so sorry for the lovely guests, Hilary and Frank, who left early this morning having survived four cold and rainy days with a smile. We can do a lot for our guests but of course have no control over the weather. Surfers/kiters are longing for wind, others longing for it to stop so they can sunbathe and sip a drink on the terrace as the sun goes down and the whole town turns pink.

Most guests in Dar Cilla and many of my friends who live elsewhere think my life is a doddle and must be one long holiday. I do live in a fantastic place with one of the worlds’ most wonderful views, so why should I disillusion them! I have given up trying to explain to them that I ‘work’ – only to be greeted with a sarcastic ...’work ????’. We want to offer/sell the dream to both our guests and our families and friends. This is in fact what our ‘work’ is – ensuring they can all ‘live the dream’ for a few days, at the same time remembering to live it ourselves.

I am not doing badly today – there are thirteen ships passing through the Strait of Gibraltar as I look, container ships, a vast cruise ship, an oil platform and a yuppie motor boat. All the red nets are out for the annual tuna-fish catch (the Almadraba). Here I would like to recommend the book Rozentonijn by Steven Adolf , journalist for the NRC amongst other papers, lecturer at the Erasmus University and resident in Spain. I read it in Dutch; I am not sure it has been translated, but is an excellent eye-opener on the issues surrounding the survival of the tuna fish. It is enthralling, not one long recitation of facts.

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