Former Huddersfield gymnast and pub landlord Brian Hayhurst and his wife Elaine are ex-pats who have lived just outside Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol for 20 years. He writes every week for Huddersfield Hub.

Huddersfield Hub is one-year-old on Monday! I can’t believe that I have been sending stories from sunny Spain for almost a year now.

Hope you enjoy what I write and I would be delighted to hear if there are any topics you would like me to cover. Please drop me a line via the ‘Contact Us’ page on the website.

I’m sure many of you will be thinking about booking a holiday in Spain and here are one or two things you need to know:

  • If you are coming to Spanish soil for any reason you must now have proof of being vaccinated, and then with the booster if the last vaccine was over 270 days ago. (The new expiry requirement).
  • Should you come to live here and want to drive, a UK driving licence is not valid and you will need to take the Spanish drivers’ test. Good luck! As a visitor or tourist eg drive a hire car, you will still be able to use your UK licence. Residents have up to the newly extended date of February 28 to swap their UK to Spanish licences.
  • A government ruling recently stated that anyone caught smoking on any beach could attract a fine of up to 2000€. They say that cigarette butts represent a major pollutant on Spain’s 3,000 miles of coastline. Another job for the police? I would love to be in the police officers’ briefing when all these new laws and restrictions are put to their teams of officers!

  • Having seen the new Highway Code laws for cyclists on UK roads, I personally think they are bound to cause much aggro between drivers and cyclists. Try riding here in Spain where everyone seems to drive much faster and have little or no patience with cyclists. Although, as a cyclist, I do not like to see bunches of riders chatting away and holding up a long stream of traffic.
  • Finally – the number of foreign residents living in Mijas and Malaga is back to where it was before Brexit. Over the past 12 months, the registered population of Mijas has grown by 2,000 to a total of 91,154. And in Malaga, the number of registered residents has grown by a staggering 17,000 in the year! People must be confident that they can enjoy the lifestyle here without worrying about the 90-day restricted period.

Once again, the EU is attempting to clamp down on illegal streaming TV content across Europe! This would be most upsetting if carried out, for millions of viewers, especially sports bars who stream matches and all sports daily, and is a lifeline for struggling outlets during these tough times.

I do not think it will be an easy task especially when many take out subscriptions in the UK, such as Sky Sports, Netflix and Disney+ etc, enabling them to watch without a licence, as we all do.

READ MORE: If you’ve missed any of Brian’s weekly columns you can search his back catalogue HERE

Experts are again warning that here in Southern Spain we could face a serious drought situation if there is no rain soon.

Usually the months November to February are the wettest each year with 100 litres per square metre but we have only had around 60 litres. This has left some reservoirs down between 16% and 40% full in the Malaga Province.

The strong winds have died down now and the sun is up for its usual six hours daily, ready for the hopeful flood of tourists here, leading up to Easter and beyond.