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.
The predicted storms and heavy rain never came here on the Costa del Sol at the end of October. Yes, it was windy and skies were black but a mere drizzle did nothing to top up the parched local reservoirs.
It did affect one of the (usually) most enjoyed few days revolving around Halloween. Here it is celebrated big time with youngsters and adults wandering around in extraordinary Goth-like costumes, before, during and after October 31.
Local authorities cancelled all planned events because of weather concerns until today – Saturday November 6.
But any kind of weather will never halt Spanish people celebrating All Saints Day on November 1, which across the country is known as the Day of the Dead.
It means a complete shutdown of all work (except bars and restaurants) to give families time to visit cemeteries with flowers and sometimes holy water.
Entire families will sit in front the designated ‘grave’ in a huge wall – which contains caskets of ashes – to pray alongside others, and remember their loved ones.
Always well attended, the car parks and nearby roads are rammed with cars but many will walk a long way to take part in the annual vigil.
An unexpected property tax ruling change is about to drastically concern local town halls and may eventually be an advantage to prospective property seekers.
A property/land tax called ‘plus valia’ (meaning – extra value) is imposed by local town halls on any property sold in Spain.
They calculate the increased value of the land on which the property sits and charge the seller accordingly, it’s like a rateable value.
But Tax Ministers have said it is out of date and does not reflect market conditions and should be scrapped. If this is agreed it will hugely affect income for all town halls to the tune of 2.5 billion euros a year and would certainly benefit housebuyers having one less tax to pay when signing up.
There has been a report of a worrying and sad incident at Almeria’s airport when an Irish teacher was forced to sleep in a bus shelter in freezing and rain soaking conditions overnight during a thunderstorm.
Mary McIntaggart, 58, went the night before an early flight, scheduled the following day. She was asked to leave the airport as it closes at 11pm and could not wait in the warm lounge.
As the lights were going out and security staff were locking up they reportedly said to her: “Sorry but we’re closing the airport as we do every day. You can sit at the bus stop across the road!”
There were no buses or taxis, or even other people around the empty streets. Worried sick, she found a cardboard box to help keep herself warm until they opened up at 6am when she could then take her flight to Manchester to see her grandson.
A spokesman at Almeria airport has said: “We are deeply sorry for the extreme situation that Mrs McIntaggart suffered but there are only six Spanish airports open 24 hours but we are not one of those and with no flights in or out, providing a waiting area would be too costly.”
Regular readers (I have a few!) will recall my story last month about Huddersfield man Lawrence Whiteley who had his car wrongly seized by Spanish police.
He had to pay a charge to recover his car from the compound and while police admitted the mistake there wasn’t even an apology.
Lawrence is back in the UK and I am fighting his case over here as we try to get his money back. It’s not really about the money, it’s more to make a point over the injustice of it all.
READ MORE: Catch up on Brian’s previous blogs HERE