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.

We hope everyone in Huddersfield and West Yorkshire enjoyed the driest January for ages. Here in Southern Spain we are experiencing the coldest winter for 20 years.

Such are the unusual and unpredictable weather patterns that environmentalists must be concerned – as we all are.

Seeing the horrendous devastation in Tonga last week, the construction of the homes of those poor and unfortunate people are enduring following the tsunami, brings to mind the changes here in Spain.

Obviously, money is a governing factor in choice of building materials as Tonga’s economy is not the best. But now with the restoration of those fragile buildings – as were those in Spain many years ago; is this the time to use more concrete?

Elaine and I can remember clearly during our early holidays here, seeing flimsy poles supporting old boards in readiness for a concrete pour, after seeing badly designed high-rise blocks with inferior materials falling apart.

The architect we used to build a house told us that “the entire coast is an earthquake zone and therefore extremely deep rafts of reinforced concrete are now compulsory, onto which the house will be built safely.”

Construction work on an apartments complex which meets all current standards

In the past 80 years or so the tiny fishing village of Torremolinos has developed into a very popular holiday resort, especially for Brits.

Once, having donkeys tied to a pole in the central square, now it is a bustling tourist town with much to offer.

Sinatra, Bardot, Picasso and dozens of ‘A listers’ stayed in the very first newly-built 5* Pez Espada Hotel, situated in Carahuala, adjacent to the Torremolinos beach front.

Also enjoying the sun and beaches was eccentric artist Salvador Dali and his wife Gala, who together became the first nude bathers in Spain, back in the late 50s.

On May 18 1956 a BKS Transporter plane left London with 30 tourists on board. It refuelled at Bordeaux and flew on to land on an 850-metre strip of grass in Malaga, to be met and warmly welcomed by the new Tourist Minster in Torremolinos.

Thus began the massive package holiday industry which now exists. Dictator Franco quickly saw the opportunity to acquire much needed foreign currency to help build the failed economy but he instantly put a stop to topless bathing for women.

READ MORE: Brian Hayhurst writes every week for Huddersfield Hub – catch up on his blogs HERE

About a mile from where we live there is much frenzied activity with tight security on the refurbishment of a luxury hotel, formerly called Bybloss.

Given the new name of La Zambra, this 197-room hotel is listed in Forbes Magazine top 10 list and opening to the world in June.

Surrounded by two beautifully-maintained golf courses this ambitious project of hedonistic luxury is likely to attract the wealthy sun and sports seekers.

The old Byblos once accommodated the elite and royalty, such as Princess Di, The Rolling Stones, Julio Iglesias, the Saudi family and many more.

Once the sun comes back to our cold and cloudy Costa, I will be watching developments there.

PS – heavy snow in Greece and it’s snowing in Tenerife too!