Monday, 25 April 2005


The bridge spanning the gorge which runs through the middle of Ronda. The architect of the bridge fell to his death when reaching for his hat which had been blown off by a gust of wind. This is also the town where Ernest Hemingway set his book 'For Whom the Bell Tolls'.

We drove through the scary mountain roads in Spain (the sheer drops seemed to fall forever until the trees at the bottom were as small as ants) to reach the white towns of Casares (pictured here) and eventually Ronda. These places are just so beautiful that I didn't want to leave. We walked through the twisting, narrow alleys which opened out onto beautiful squares. There were eagles soaring over the Moorish castle you can see on the top of the hill and lesser kestrels nesting in the tower. The contrast between these truely Spanish towns and the purpose built resorts on the coast is huge. Many people don't venture inland and miss out on these gems but maybe that's why they're still so beautiful.

Thursday, 21 April 2005


First up... we spent a day in Gibraltar. Such a surreal place with it's little British touches but still so Spanish at the same time.

The policemen wear British uniforms and they have all the same shops as back home. Their currency is pounds and pence and they have exactly the same rubbish bins as in Chester.

To get into Gibraltar you have to park on the Spanish side of the border (to avoid the horrendous queues on the border). You then walk through passport control and directly across the runway! There are notices on the runway warning 'Don't drop litter! You could cause a fatal accident! Remember it could be you on that plane one day!' After that I wasn't relishing getting back on the plane to go home.

After much protesting, P managed to get me to go in the cable car up to the top of the rock to see the apes which roam around free. Let me tell you, it scared the shit out of me! You can see how high it is and the little box just goes straight up one of the sheer sides. This was a holiday of extreme vertigo on more than one day! The photo shows the view looking back into Spain. If you look the other way you can see the mountains of North Africa which is only 5 miles across the straits.

I made P walk back down to the bottom with me. It took about 2 hours! Sorry P x

Here's one little fella who's not afraid of heights.

They hang around the tourists a lot because they think they're going to get fed. There was a crafty one sitting by the doorway to the viewing platform where people couldn't see him as they walked in. They would stop in awe to look at the view and then the monkey would ambush them and try to take their bag! It was amusing to watch. One of the baby ones jumped onto a little girl's back and I saw another one try to steal a man's baseball cap.

I'm back and raring to go!

I've spent a glorious week in the beautiful Andalucia region of Spain. It was mucho fantastico and I've got loads I could blog about but I don't know where to start!

Maybe I'll just post a few photos...

I've just had a phone call at 5.20pm from the design company in Chester asking me if I can go in and freelance for them tomorrow because they're up to their necks in work. Short notice but great! My old friend will be there who I haven't seen in ages. Will be good to catch up.

The portrait I'm supposed to be starting will have to wait until Monday and I'm starting to feel really excited about this new painting. It's to celebrate a couple's wedding day and will be painted solely from photos (always difficult - I prefer life) but I like a challenge.

Wednesday, 6 April 2005

It's P's birthday this week and he's still a spring chicken.