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 experienced first hand the volume of visiting passengers at Malaga airport as we collected family this week.

There was a constant stream of multi-nationals for over 40 minutes, flooding out into the warm morning air, most of them into the arms of friends and loved ones, everyone wearing masks and patiently waiting outside arrivals as no one is allowed inside yet.

And up and down the coast, groups are enjoying mouth-watering gastronomy, al fresco lunches etc on beaches, in unseasonably warm temperatures for mid-October, under blue skies, confident that the region is now at level zero with Covid cases.

Amid the bustling fun here on the Costa del Sol we had the sad news this week that a dear friend and extremely popular figure, Sue O’Sullivan had passed away peacefully at home after a lengthy illness.

Sue, with her husband John, had one of the busiest restaurants here in the early 90s with customers coming early to claim a seat seven days a week, to enjoy the many culinary delights produced by Sue in the tiniest of kitchens.

Elaine and I sampled our first kangaroo steaks from one of her summer BBQs.

Sue and John

Mr Personality – John – attracted and entertained punters front of house, and O’Sullivans, became so busy they took another outlet adjacent in Dona Lola, called Sullivans, which they had for seven years from 1987.

Later they had several other bars and businesses up and down the coast, assisted by son Ross.

The funeral was a poignant and dignified service attended by hundreds of friends shared with John, son Ross and daughter-in-law Hannah.

The crematorium was packed by people saying their farewells and paying tribute to this much-loved lady.

Normally funerals must usually take place within 24 hours, but John requested an extension to allow time for folks to come from the UK.

The derelict Hipodromo racecourse

Meanwhile, we saw reports that the nearby – one time fun-filled Hipodromo racecourse – could soon be taken back by the Town Hall from a bankrupt company after five years of contentious meetings.

Opened in the 1980s this was often rammed with revellers from around the world to soak up the atmosphere in the winter sun or place a bet on the races under summer evening floodlights.

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

The thriving bars and restaurants would be buzzing ‘til after midnight, often with live music, but now it’s all bricked up and derelict. Several huge, sell-out concerts were staged here including Rod Stewart and Elton John.

Unseasonably warm weather right now on the Costas

And finally – it’s not good news for the disgraced former King of Spain, Juan Carlos, who is still under intense scrutiny by tax authorities for financial irregularities.

He is now being sued by his 57-year-old former lover, German beauty Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein.

Still living in exile (avoiding the spotlight) in Abu Dhabi, the 83-year-old ex-king faces embarrassing questions about alleged unlawful and excessive surveillance which could cost him millions of euros. His future does not look too good.

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