Storm of the century

Last weeks storm's have been declared the worst in over a century, after the national meteorological agency – AEMET – released new data.

More rain fell in one day than in a year on average in places, making it the worst storm since 1879. It’s believed the storm was caused as part of Hurricane Dorian, rather than climate change.

Six people died, and two remain missing, after torrential rains caused widespread flooding across much of south and eastern Spain. 4,000 people were evacuated from their homes and 80 roads were severely damaged, with 25 municipalities reporting serious damage to their infrastructure

Some places saw over 600 litres per square metre of rainfall.

Flooding was reported across the weekend, with further downpours and flash floods in parts of Malaga as the storm moved westwards.

Acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez visited the affected regions over the weekend, saying that every possible resource will be given to help those affected by the flooding.

The Government is to discuss declaring a catastrophe in the next few days, once flood waters have receded and estimates of the cost of material damages is made.


Heavy Rains hit Marbella

Marbella was on Orange Alert for more rain this morning after storms lashed the region

In the worst of the weather that hit in the early hours of this morning torrential downpours brought flash flooding to Alhaurin el Grande. With thunder and heavy rain overnight across the Malaga region/ Costa Del Sol the serious weather forced AEMET to issue a RED Advisory. Coín reported over 60mm in an hour.

The latest radar  at 07.10am shows heavy showers and  thunderstorms now close to Estepona with showers also starting to develop over the Alboran -Sea. MeteoGib report that they are expecting some showers to develop across the area, with a risk they could become heavy and thundery.

storms/ some


Marbella International Film Festival

It's Show Time! MIFF back from October 2-6

Jason Flemyng, (pictured below),  Kris Marshall, Frances Barber, Craig Kelly, Hugo Speer, are among the guests of Marbella International Film Festival, attending the red carpet,world premiere of the thriller Trick & Treat.

The Marbella Heist (Rise of The Foot Soldier 4) which was shot in Marbella last year also has its world premiere and is expected to draw a lot of attention from both the public and  media.

The cast that includes Craig Fairbrass, Terry Stone, Emily Wyatt, Jessica Wright, Nick Nevern and Andy Loveday - on his directorial debut- will all be walking the read carpet on October 4.

This year’s selection features 30 films selected from over 1000 submissions, screened in Teatro Goya, Puerto Banus. The programme includes documentaries, shorts and feature films, all of which are in English or with English subtitles.

Selected films with genres ranging from thriller to drama, from crime to comedy, and from action to romance, are truly international, representing  Spain, UK, USA, Switzerland, Brazil, Mexico, Ukraine, Turkey, Argentina, China, Poland, India, Paraguay and Germany.

All films are supported by their directors, production companies and in many cases with their cast in attendance, offering the audience the opportunity to meet the filmmakers and actors and attend Q&A when applicable.

Festival guests are invited to walk the red carpet along with the celebrities and attend the fun After Parties being planned at some of the best venues in town, a great opportunity for festival guests to rub shoulders with celebrities, actors and film industry professionals.

The daily networking event, as well as film industry workshops, offer the opportunity for the industry delegates as well as film enthusiasts to exchange ideas, create business relationships and discover the latest trends in the film & TV industry.

The festival will close with its famous and glamorous Gala Awards Ceremony at the H10 Andalucia Plaza on Sunday October 6 to celebrate talented filmmakers from around the globe.

For information on films being screened, timetables, and other events go to  www.marbellafilmfestival.com


The Big Day!

Walking in a Wedding Wonderland

Thus it came to pass that the Ziglet’s Big Day finally arrived.

My Goddaughter Ziggy married Josh in August, and as “el padrino” I was invited to attend both the civil service at Chelsea and Westminster Registry Office and a celebration lunch near Glastonbury the following weekend.

If you haven’t been following my witterings over the past few months, Ziggy is a burlesque and modern circus performer based in the West Country, who comes to Spain to visit her ‘moral and spiritual guardian’ on a regular basis. Ziggy also comes from a long line of famed London beauties. Her late mother Tiffany was a designer, model and actress (as well as my best friend, hence the Godfather tag), while her grandmother Sara has painted royalty and celebrity and appeared in the West End, as did her aunt Carole, who was also at the wedding.

With a propensity to cry at movies, sports events and even certain songs when they come on the radio, I had a very stern word with myself not to blub at the ceremony. All that went out of the window in seconds when the doors opened and Ziggy walked in on the arm of her proud father Tim, both in tears. She looked amazing and I instantly turned into a happily sobbing wreck.

The rest of the day, including lunch at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, was wonderful. All the speeches were superb and I managed not to cry during mine. Maid of honour Lux - you may remember her from a previous blog Sunday Mutterings – the Look of Lux  couldn't but help but notice that I still had no mosquito bites by the way.

Once recovered from the festivities, the wedding party headed to Glastonbury for the second part of the ceremony.

Held in a beautiful farmhouse in Somerset, ‘Wedding 2’ was always going to be different. Tom, the best man, is a sword smith by trade. An imposing figure with a long braid, he looks like he has just stepped out of Winterfell, and he smiled, handing me a sword as I arrived. Not a replica, but an authentic item that could do serious damage if handled incorrectly. I said a quiet prayer of thanks that I no longer drink.

I also discovered that walking around a packed room with a sword takes practice, sitting down is tricky and going to the bathroom could have serious repercussions for your family lineage if you get your timing wrong.

Ziggy and Josh had asked me to act as celebrant in a ‘hand-binding’ ceremony, which I managed to do, again without blubbing during my speech. Even when they walked through a guard of honour of swords -and a broom. We had run out of weaponry at that point and had to improvise!

After lunch the happy couple’s friends began to arrive for the evening celebrations. It was very much a gathering of the tribes, as various, ahem, bohemians, arrived in a variety of outfits. I saw gypsies, star children, woodland folk, pirates and, most impressively, a quartet of Vikings with war paint, furs and serious boots, quaffing from horns of mead.

But I always know when it is time to leave a party. In this instance, it was when one of the female Viking warriors took an arrow from her quiver, lit it and, with a single shot, fired into the bonfire that blazed into life!

It was a wonderful week for a wonderful couple. Ziggy and Josh, I wish you nothing but happiness on your journey together!

Oh Blimey. I'm going to blub again!!!


UK Government announces £3 million grant to help UK nationals in the EU prepare for Brexit

UK nationals who may struggle to complete their residency applications will be helped by measures announced by the UK Government.

Up to £3 million is being provided for organisations who will inform UK nationals who live in EU member states including Spain, about the need to register as resident and support them as they complete their applications.

The Government wants to support those who may find it harder to complete all the paperwork – focusing in particular on pensioners or disabled people, those living in remote areas or with mobility difficulties, and those needing assistance with language translation or interpretation.

British Consul Charmaine Arbouin said: “The UK will be leaving the EU on 31 October and we want to help UK nationals living in Spain to be fully ready for Brexit, whatever the circumstances. This funding will ensure people get the support they need to protect their residency rights and access to services.”

Organisations working with people who might be affected and who might require additional support can apply for project funding from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office from 19 September at gov.uk/fco. The fund’s programme team, based in London, will be running a series of webinars to provide bidders with a fuller understanding of the fund and an opportunity to ask questions on the bidding process.

Interested organisations can find further detail at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/3-million-grant-to-help-uk-nationals-in-eu-for-brexit. Organisations can also contact their nearest consulate for an initial conversation.

Individuals wanting to access support with their residency applications will be able to contact those organisations who are successful in their bid, once the funding has been awarded. We will provide details of the providers for Spain in due course. Meanwhile, UK nationals living in Spain should continue to prioritise registering as a resident by 31 October.

Advice on residency for UK nationals living in Spain can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/living-in-spain


La Sala to hold Beauty Breakfast on September 24

Breakfast Beauty Briefing

How do we define beauty?  Is modern society ageist? How do we create positive body image?

These and other issues will be on the menu at the Ladies Beauty and Breakfast event, held in the Live Lounge at La Sala Puerto Banus  on Tuesday, September 24.

Exclusively for ladies, photographer and spiritual mentor Melanie Sievernich and celebrity hair and makeup artist Anne-Marie Simak will talk about beauty and what makes it so difficult for women to love themselves. In an open and honest conversation, they will share their experience from behind the photo camera and within the fashion industry.

The event starts at 9.30am with a healthy breakfast  -  a choice between smashed avocado and poached eggs on toast with bacon or smoked salmon, or a fresh Acai bowl topped with mixed berries, bananas, granola and chia seeds, served alongside tea, coffee, water.

At 10.15am, a glass of cava will be served in time for the talk to start where the focus will be on the following five topics:

The ideal of beauty
How retouching images influences self-perception
What is a positive body image
Why ageing is so difficult in today’s society
The importance of being kind to oneself and to others

Organiser Melanie Sievernich explains: “Photography has opened my eyes to how absolutely everyone is fighting an internal battle. Irrespective of one’s story, nobody seems to be free of beauty and body issues; whether one is a yogi or a supermodel or anything in between. There’s a lot of work for us to be done. We must finally learn to love ourselves.”

This event will finish at midday and is priced at 15€.

To reserve your place for this special one-off event, call La Sala Puerto Banus on 952 814 145


First Spanish Show for the Duo

It's a Boyzlife in Banus!

Boyband royalty Brian McFadden and Keith Duffy, who have teamed up to form Boyzlife, will make their first exclusive appearance in Spain on Thursday, August 29.

Boyzlife brings together the members of two of the biggest boybands in history, Boyzone and Westlife, to perform a whole host of their biggest chart hits.

Performing for the first time in Spain, at Puerto Banus’ famous Joys Live, the duo will showcase their new music and also renditions of Flying Without Wings, No Matter What, I Love The Way You Love Me, Swear It Again, Love Me For A Reason, Mandy, Baby Can I Hold You, Queen Of My Heart, You Needed Me, Unbreakable, Words, Fool Again, How Will I Know, Picture of You and World of Our Own.

It promises to be a memorable evening!


Hugh the Man!

We have a new Man in Madrid!

Hugh Elliott, a member of the UK’s Diplomatic Service since 1989, succeeds Simon Manley as Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Spain and non-resident Ambassador to Andorra.

The Ambassador takes up this new role having previously been Director of Communications in the Department for Exiting the European Union.

On his arrival, Hugh Elliott said: “With a wealth of cultural, commercial, and people-to-people links, the relationship between the UK and Spain is like no other, and I am proud and honoured to represent my Queen and country here in Spain.”

For the Ambassador, this strong connection with Spain has been an important part of his life for decades. “I met my wife Toñi while working as an English teacher at the University of Salamanca, Spain was my first diplomatic posting in the nineties and my two children were born in Madrid. I can understand why so many UK nationals have chosen to make Spain their home,” he said.

He added that “We are approaching an important milestone as the UK prepares to leave the European Union on 31 October”. His message was one of reassurance to UK nationals currently living in Spain that “We’ve given EU citizens living in the UK the legal certainty of their right to live and remain in the United Kingdom. And I’m very pleased that the Spanish Government has put in place, through the Royal Decree, the same guarantees for British citizens in Spain.”

Mr Elliott acknowledged that people have questions and concerns, and undertook that he and his team would be working hard to answer them. He also urged people to sign up to the Living in Guide gov.uk/living-in-spain where they will find the latest, accurate information on Brexit.

Two key actions that UK nationals should do now is to ensure that they are correctly registered as a resident and registered for healthcare as a

A video message from Hugh Elliott to UK nationals can be found at https://www.facebook.com/BritsInSpain/videos/1100205536841750/

Mr Elliott can be followed on Twitter @HughElliottUK.


The great summer shutdown

I don't mean to point out the bleeding obvious, but summer is most definitely here.

It's not just the fact that every time I step out onto the terrace at the Casita I feel like I'm standing in a giant hair-dryer – and it's been a while since one of those was anywhere near my bald bonce, I can assure you. Or the fact that 50 Shades has so little energy that she has been lying flat out on the table and looks like she's been ironed.

And last but not least, you know that summer has arrived due to specific smells. Most distinctively when you throw the rubbish in the back of the 4x4 and then forget to drop it off in the bins, letting it to stew in the heat all day. The only smell worse than that was when I discovered a Tupperware container containing a tuna and sweetcorn sandwich that had been under the driver's seat for three months. And I stupidly decided to open it. As I lay on the floor convulsing, I realised that I might have just invented the world's first tuna tazer...

Obviously, high summer means the annual arrival of the madding and maddening crowds. Along with the sheer amount of people in town, traffic chaos and usual summer gripes, the other factor that makes summer such a challenge is the fact that everything shuts. I don't mean the beach bars and restaurants, but the everyday shops and services that you need if you live here full time. It's easier to get a cerveza than have a carburettor changed in summer, trust me, as Spain takes August off and heads to the beach.

When you have the sort of luck with cars that I have, that makes this month more than a little nervy. I always drive defensively during summer, as the road manners of other drivers can be a little, ahem, 'challenging', but I've even caught myself giving cyclists – and you all know my thoughts about the legions of MAMILs (Middle Aged Men In Lycra) - a cheery wave as I amble along the Istan road.

The sun must be getting to me. I'd go out and buy a bigger hat. But the shop is probably shut for summer...


Motor madness in San P

An underage driver caused chaos in San Pedro this week.

The 14-year-old boy, described in the Press as "of foreign nationality" left a trail of destruction when he took his father's car for an unexplained joyride on Wednesday.

The car crashed through the Los Almendos II urbanization doors, careered off a wall, slammed through the development gates, shot across the road and punched a hole in the wall of Laude international college, finally ending up in the courtyard of the school.

A passer-by captured the scene moments after the incident. Fortunately no one was injured, and the school was unoccupied during the summer holidays.

A lucky escape for all involved, to put it mildly...