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.

So, will Tommy Lee and his beleaguered son Ryan finally get to Marbella from Happy Valley? We’ll all know on Sunday…

We have all experienced some extraordinary weather of late, worldwide. On the Costa del Sol there have been record high temperatures shortly followed by thunderstorms, bringing severe lows with unprecedented hail blanketing beaches, following with some remarkable cloud formations.

I am writing this column in Huddersfield during a brief visit. As I sit in a warm spot, it’s occasionally bright but blowing cold outside, as we await for ‘The Beast From The East’ ready to grip the UK.

Right now we are receiving several messages from the ‘Coast of the Sun’ about ice, 3 metre waves, freezing conditions with way below zero temperatures forecast! That’s according to Aemet Weather Agency.

Lindley Clocktower in the snow on a previous visit

The Spanish government is trying hard to protect the environment with yet more innovations and laws.  Here are just a few recent ideas:

  • Like many European countries, the banning of plastic cutlery and plates etc is being introduced across Spain.
  • Customers using supermarkets and food shops are told to bring their own clean containers, such as tubs and food boxes, to reduce foods being wrapped in plastic bags. This new law began January 1.
  • Another which will affect all car owners and hire vehicles is the introduction of an eco-emission disc to be displayed on windscreens. Vehicles are rated A to C and zero which will be determined by the age, fuel source and emission output. Vehicles are camera scanned as they enter some large towns.
  • The law, yet to be fully implemented (but will be coming soon) will mean you can be fined €200 if not displaying a sticker. Some municipalities you may be able to drive through but not park, others – no entry at all! It’s likely to be a slow roll out of the laws until monitoring cameras are installed. Discs cost €5 at post offices here. Back in Huddersfield we had a shock booking a taxi to Leeds-Bradford Airport for our return, when a £7.50 clean air charge was added to the bill!

  • E-scooters, although environmentally favourable and economic to run can be a nuisance if misused. After seeing a photo in the media of tennis star, Nick Kyrgios with his girlfriend desperately clinging on to him – helmet less, and zooming down the street, reminds us of the surge in scooter numbers here on the Costas. The generally warm climate here has encouraged scooter growth but there has been over 400 accidents and 18 deaths. Helmets and 25km max speed and single driver usage are obligatory but insurance and licences are sadly not required.
  • It’s been a record-breaking year for motor home sales throughout Europe (2.5 million sold), especially Germany. And a very popular destination is Southern Spain, and near to us they are causing concern. Any area of land is being eyed by these free travelling vehicles, and one piece of council land in La Cala which accommodates the twice weekly market is frequently swamped, as it is up and down the Costas. Police recently were on the scene issuing fines for not paying the €3 nightly fee. Market stall holders are up in arms at the influx of motorhomes leaving no room for visiting cars.

Finally, the government has suspended VAT on basic foods trying to help with cost-of-living pressures, however the 20 cents/litre fuel subsidy has been suspended.

And finally (finally!) a lovely picture taken in Edinburgh this week of Elaine and I with our grandson Jack.

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