Thursday, May 29, 2008

Hospiten and Leroy Merlin

We went to Hospiten in Estepona because Justin desperately needs an operation on his nose.It is more like a hotel than a hospital, spotlessly clean marble floors and smelling of detergent everywhere.A friend of ours is due to give birth in there anytime soon. Hospiten. Down at our end of the coast, it is quite a fair distance to the Costa del Sol hospital so it is worth becoming a member of Sanitas to use Hospiten.

We were told that he couldn't be seen until one so we made an impromptu trip to Leroy Merlin in Marbella. We bought some ceiling fans for the house as an alternative to having air conditioning installed. It is cheaper to buy fans for every room and fans are cheaper to run plus the heat outside isn't too unbearable compred to walking out from an air conditioned house. We are also installing fitted wardrobes and we discovered that they ahve a great selection of all kinds of configurations that you can design yourself. If you are looking for garden furniture I happened to notice that they have a really interesting choice this year and the prices are far more reasonable than previous years with good quality large tables and eight chairs for under 500euros.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Ocean Club Marbella

We went to visit some friends today that live in Marbella. We decided to take a walk to the port and on return we took a detour via the infamous Ocean Club for a nosy at what actually goes on in these places. Of course, we didn't go in but lurked in an awkward peeping tomish kind of way on the beach. All the beds are crammed around a pool whilst semi naked oil clad bods are crammed together on huge white beds surrounded by bottles of champagne. Nobody is actually using the pool as swimming appears to be not the done thing. Apparently it used to be a municipal pool. I find it quite a pity that the town hall allowed it to be turned into what it is.It's just used for pure posing around now and not the exercise purpose that it had been intended for. To be honest the whole scene is akin to a modern day rendition of a roman orgy!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Eating Out and Estepona

We have just had another delicious meal in Estribo in Sabinillas. I am not surprised that this restaurant is always packed. I haven't had a fillet steak anywhere else that comes close to the standard. In fact, since I tried Estribo steaks, I just can't bring myself to eat it elsewhere.

For anyone that is interested in dance lessons for themselves or their children I have discovered a couple of places in Estepona and I am going to have a look that the locations to let you next week.It seems a waste to live in Spain and not learn sevillanas or flamenco.

It is the international fair this weekend in Sabinillas. There are going to be activites for children there so have a look if you get the chance.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

An update

There's so much swizzling around my head lately and I keep meaning to get it posted since some of it might be quite useful info for you all. So here I am sat at my PC and my mind is blank. One little snippet if not a bit boring but useful in a mundane kind of way is that Mercadona have introduced a few new products inlcuding seedless grapes both red and green. They are delicious and taste like sweeties. They have also brought out their own range of oven chips. If you are anything like me, I love chips but I am not keen on all the frying and fat flying about in my face so I snapped up a couple of bags of these. They are really good value, they come in a huge bumper bag which lasts ages and they cook in just ten minutes. Okay Stepford wife bit over.

As I pulled into the street yesterday I was delighted to discover a new addition in the form of a giant plastic yellow recycle bin. Someone must have answered my prayers since I have been cursing the trek across half a mile of gravel in the heat laden with bottles etc.But can you believe that people are still dumping their plastic bottles in the regular bin. I had to fish one out this morning. There is no way anyone could miss this recycle bin, it looks like a giant UFO.

To be honest, I became very slack with recycling because it was just so much easier to throw the odd piece of packaging in the bin at the front. That is a qualm that I have with Mercadona that they use too much packaging. Off my eco warrior soap box and onto the next topic, shops!

Shops can be a bit thin on the ground in these parts and people tend to buy the odd thing in the market or travel to Estepona,Marbella or Gibraltar for retail therapy. Please forgive me those that live in other areas but if you want to comment on anything in your area just send them in to be published. It has been refreshing to see that no less than four new shops are in the process of opening in Sabinillas at the moment, oh and I mustn't forget the new pasteleria that has opened in Manilva!! Unfortunately, that is the place that I most need to avoid, I can't even risk trying a cake in there. I am going to be keeping a close eye on the waistbands of the people in Manilva.

Going back to the shops in Sabinillas in Calle Duquesa de Los Arcos 57, Local 1 a ladies shop has opened. It is a ladies clothes shop and is called ELA. It is run by Laura and Eva, who are very friendly and approachable. They have some lovely stock in ranging from summer day dresses in light fabrics to some more evening wear such as sequinned silk kimono dresses and patterned wrap shirts which are still casual enough to be worn smartly during the day.There are a good range of sizes as they seem to be catering for more "average" sized women. There is something in there for any age and I can see it doing really well with both the local spanish and expats alike. The prices aren't bargainous but they aren't extortionate neither.They have a website coming soon so I will keep you posted.

Next door to this shop another has opened appropriately named "Baby's". They have baby equipment such as prams etc and clothes for babies and toddlers. I haven't checked out the prices but I can't think that they can be as much as some of the ones that I have seen in Estepona as it seems more "casual".

Don't forget that on the other side of this road (Calle Duquesa de Arcos) opposite these three, there is the surfy shop which has Roxy, Quicksilver etc. they have a good selection of men's shorts, tshirts, swim shorts, flip flops etc. They also have a fair amount for teen surfy types, boys and girls including bags and accessories. They don't stock anything for under 12's but they do have some lovely little Roxy flip flops which they have in toddler sizes too.

Finally, next door to that soon they are going to be opening a lencerĂ­a. It is about time too since I am sick of the Charlie Dimmock look . I have been saying that we need an underwear shop in the area for years since the guys in the Friday rastro really don't know what they are doing with a tape measure. It is going to be called Rosanna, I think. I have no idea what kind of underwear they are going to be carrying but hopefully big panties. I do a lot of exercise so I can't be jiggling about knocking everyone out around me.I will be sure to keep you posted on the underwear front though!

Oh before I forget, yet another shop has opened but at the other end opposite the post office and on the corner. It is called Black and White and stocks very reasonable priced gifts and costume jewellery. If you come out on holiday and forget your bikinis and flip flops, don't panic since they have a small selection of bikinis and some "funky fish" bikinis.In keeping with the current cat theme going on in our house, I treated myself to some cute gold cat earrings which were only 2,95 so that gives you an idea on price and I bet like most Spanish gifts shops they would gift wrap for you.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Presenting Paris

Isn't she the cutest!!? She is eight weeks old. A few weeks ago her and her two brothers boldly walked into a friend's home by entering through the front gate and up the garden path. She has settled really well over the past 24 hours and is very affectionate and playful.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Keeping Fit

I have to say that the "mature" ladies of Estepona are so inspirational. When I go to Pilates, I am one of the youngest as the majority are well into their fifties, some much older and they are amazing. They are all immaculately turned out, really toned and amazing on the equipment. They can also be seen with visors et al power walking along the paseo maritimo.

Estepona is a really good place to go for an ice cream on a Sunday evening. There is one particularly Heladeria in Plaza de las Flores which has a really good atmosphere and it is always full of spanish families and couples alike enjoying the best selections of ice creams. I have to admit that when we went to Rome, although the ice creams were delicious, it was difficult to find places to sit in and enjoy them as you would a coffee. That isn't a problem in Spain and the ice creams are just as good.

Learners of Spanish at a more advanced level might be interested in this:

Voices of Spain

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Weekend in Grazalema

If you haven't been to Grazalema, you must go as it has to be the prettiest mountain village in Andalucia. It would make a perfect film set for a modern day rendition of Heidi. Everything about it is so healthy and clean and it is the perfect place for walkers. The people are warm and hospitable. The restaurants offer a fantastic selection of food made from local produce and the prices are half what you pay on the coast plus you leave feeling perfectly nourished.I will get some pics up later.