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.
Amid the dignified solemnity being observed for Her Majesty, it is not easy to write about the ongoing fun in the sun.
Most of our friends here have been immersed in the UK TV coverage of all the processions and ceremony relating to the Queen’s state events in readiness for the funeral on Monday.
There are several books of condolence available for ex-pats in churches locally and the Spanish Royal family have expressed their deep sadness.
Gibraltar has joined the UK in mourning for the Queen, and Saturday’s National Day of Celebration has been cancelled.
The decision by Spain’s former King Juan Carlos and his wife Queen Sofia to accept an invitation to our Queen’s funeral, has caused a stir among some politicians here.
“This visit by the former monarch is a personal one and not a government decision,” a government spokeswoman said.
Lots have also expressed heartfelt sadness on hearing of the Sovereign’s passing, in newspapers and on radio.
Following a blistering, extremely humid summer, things are just beginning to return to ‘normal.’
With the whole of Europe preparing for some austere times with hideous fuel charges and some families struggling to survive, you would not believe there was a crisis here, as many of those who remain or stayed on, are continuing to spend and make hay as temperatures begin to drop.
Youngsters are back to school after their mammoth 10-week summer break, and the usual large family groups that come to the Costa del Sol en mass each year from northern Spain, are now leaving in droves.
They set up in the early mornings on beaches with their huge tents or awnings and spend the entire day with BBQs drinks and, of course, music for a 10-hour bash.
They rarely visit the numerous cafes and restaurants, other than to use toilets. We have several friends who had bars on the sea front who said: “These people from ‘beach camps’ use our toilets without purchasing anything and, after a strip down and wash in the sink, leave the floor and facilities in a terrible mess.”
Meanwhile here in the small but popular La Cala de Mijas, the aftermath of one of the largest music festivals ever held in Spain last week, is being analysed.
Most people here will have seen the preparation and media coverage of the event, so for those friends and readers back in Yorkshire, this is a brief summary of the three-day epic.
The poster shows the impressive line-up of artists and bands performing on three huge stages set up on what was waste ground, about the size of two football pitches.
The logistics of getting water, electricity and other services was quite amazing. Those camping on arranged sites used free buses to and from the venue.
The iconic talents of The Arctic Monkeys, Chemical Brothers and Liam Gallagher (who performed earlier that day at a Wembley charity event) were the lead artists supported by a long list of over 80 other well-known groups, on each of the three packed nights.
Some 107,000 people attended, and because of the festival’s apparent success, it will be staged again next year.
The crowds of mixed age groups were said to come from over 50 countries. Besides the main concert venue, there was a daytime series of entertainment, enjoyed for free in the village centre by an estimated 2,500 people.
Several said openly: “The festival was brilliantly presented.” And with all the facilities being committed to a sustainable environment, there was nothing but praise for the safety and smooth running, along with clean toilets, comfort areas and the availability of food and beverages. Several friends are already hoping to get tickets for the next one.
Although the authorities were well pleased and said the local economy benefited to the tune of €25 million, the opposition party did not agree with the figures and did not want the event to go ahead next year.
READ MORE: Brian writes every fortnight for Huddersfield Hub – his previous blogs can be found HERE