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 fortnight for Huddersfield Hub.

With the violent winds completely gone (for the day at least) – and my recovery from the hip op going well – we decided to get out of the house and take a trip down the coast to Torremolinos and soak up the bright sunshine.

We had planned to enjoy a meal at one of the dozens of beach bars with barbecues. But as we turned onto the beach front we realised, and remembered, that the Spanish traditionally also like an afternoon feast!

The place was swamped and all of the Chiringuitos we tried were totally booked up, with waiters dashing about with huge plates of fish and meat.

Spanish families from grandma down to babies will often sit for four or five hours chattering and eating. We came back to Fuengirola, passed through a crowded and vibrant main square, and found a vacant table to enjoy a Sunday roast in the port.

While many folks are still desperately short of cash during the cost-of-living crisis, there are few signs of cashflow worries in this part of the world.

Nearly all of the popular holiday resorts on the Costa del Sol are struggling to cope and cater for the number of people and their families at the vast array of restaurants and eateries. It’s humming with tourists, probably escaping the ‘unfriendly’ weather across Europe at the moment.

An upcoming issue which might halt the flow of holidaymakers here is the Ministry of Transport’s plan to privatise the Malaga Airport Control Tower.

In protest the CCCO union warns: “All our 560 members at the airport would stop work immediately, and it could begin on March 26 to coincide with the change of summer time, bringing it to a standstill!”

They added: “The quality of service will be lost.” And ask: “Is this the first step to privatising other airport services?”

Other airports under consideration include Mallorca, Tenerife and Gran Canaria, all having record passenger numbers. And much concern as Easter week and high season are approaching.

READ MORE: Catch up on Brian’s previous blogs HERE

One person who will not be missed on the Costa del Sol is the ex-wife of Putin – Lyudmila – who is now racing to sell her lavish Marbella properties valued over €2.2 million, as EU sanctions loom, making a quick sale imminent.

The properties are on the Golden Mile and have breathtaking views of the Med. She owns other lush properties in Europe, including Switzerland.

Put together balmy weather, traditional music and silly costumes, what do you get? St Patrick’s Day celebrations!

There are literally hundreds of Irish-themed pubs and bars up and down the Costas which spend much time and effort providing the ‘black stuff’ by the gallon and typical Irish grub to large crowds. And it’s not just on March 17 but for several days around that date.

And finally, great news for the thousands of Brits who have waited almost two years to change their driving licences to Spanish ones without taking practical and theory exams.

From Thursday this week the Spanish government is to allow licence holders to make an appointment to swap them over and take vehicles out on the road, something they would have been fined heavily for!

Many have invested large sums for lessons and the tests. Now it’s time to hit the road.