On the road to recovery!

Sunday Mutterings - I can’t stand up for falling down

Autumn is upon us. The season of ‘mists and mellow fruitfulness’ that comes as a welcome relief after the summer madness.

Americans call this time of year Fall. Which is somewhat appropriate as that is exactly what I did last week, with painful consequences.

I had just left a friend’s house – they were out - and was walking back up towards my car when “BAMM!!!” I tripped over two very small steps and went sprawling face down. I realised straight away that I’d gone about 120 degrees over on my ankle and couldn’t get up.

I was, to put it mildly, in pain.

In the circumstances, my only option was to shout out for help. Perhaps it’s a peculiarly British thing, but whereas our Mediterranean friends would yell and scream and generally startle wildlife all the way up to Ronda, the British way of calling for help is generally done in an apologetic way so not to disturb anyone

Fortunately a Danish friend happened to pop her head out of a nearby window, and asked what I was doing. I stoically informed her that, not being in the habit of lying face down on pavements of a Wednesday evening, I had fallen over, and was in some distress. (The best answer ever to that question by the way, was from vintage Glasgow comedian Chic Murray who, when asked ‘Did you fall?’ replied ‘No. I was trying to break a bar a chocolate in my back pocket’.)

My friend helped me to my (very painful) feet and plonked me her sofa to recover. The resultant nerve damage and bruising means that I’m writing this column with a set of crutches by my side, but the positive angle is that I should be an expert on them if anyone needs a Long John Silver for panto this Christmas!

La Sala hosts Triple A event with celeb support

HOWL-O-WEEN Fundraiser in aid of local animal charity Triple-A

This Halloween, get ready for a spooktacular fundraising evening at La Sala for local animal shelter, Triple-A.

Thursday's event features an incredible line up of entertainment, including  singer Steve Cline, a special guest appearance from Dutch guitarist Lennart Van Kampen, TV Comedy Hypnotist Stuart Ashing, as well as a charity raffle.

The evening starts at 7.30pm in the Live Lounge at La Sala Puerto Banus, with a welcome glass of Cava on arrival as well as a selection of canapes. Guests will also receive a 10€ Sala Group voucher to indulge themselves with on their next visit. Halloween costumes are requested but not mandatory.

Triple A cares for approximately 250 cats and 400 dogs with a monthly running cost of around 50,000€ per month, making fundraising events like this one crucial for their survival.

Event organiser Lily van Tongeren commented “We could not continue our work without the support of both the business community and members of the general public. Attending a great fun event like this one is a win, win situation for all including the animals! Thanks to La Sala for making this possible.”

Tickets are priced at just 20€ per person and can be purchased on the door or at the Triple-A office.

For further information please email: events@tripleamarbella.org or call: 622 910 214.

Last of the summer wine at La Campana

The recently reformed Restaurante La Campana, Nueva Andalucia, held a busy and buzzing ‘End of Summer Party’  - although judging by the weather at the moment, the summer seems determined to stay!

Guests were treated to mouth-watering menu appetizers hand-picked from their comprehensive international menu complimented by flutes of cava and a selection of their superb house wines, whilst being entertained by legendary singer Tommy from The Rat Pack.

A fabulous time was had by all with many of the tables being reserved for dinner that night.  Restaurante La Campana also serves a traditional Sunday lunch menu during the autumn and winter months.
TEL: +34 952 814 041.www.lacampanarestaurante.es.

Photos: Johnny Gates www.myguidemarbella.com

A Sustainable View

Ambitious development The View Marbella has been one of the first developments on the coast to be awarded a Class A energy efficiency rating.

The global warming crisis means that it is even more important to consider the future of the planet and adapt to the new direction of sustainability.


Conscious of this, Wilma Sierra Blanca, the German-Dutch developer based in Marbella, is making a breakthrough with its first project  in Spain. The View Marbella has has been designed within the parameters of sustainable construction from the outset. The result is a  development of luxury apartments with the highest energy rating within the certification scale: the blocks that make up the first part of the complex have an A rating, which certifies their low CO2 emission due to the use of renewable energy sources and fuels.

"We can and we should be able to promote efficient and environmentally responsible developments without forfeiting the quality and comfort of a luxury home", explains Simon Boxus, Marketing Director of Wilma Sierra Blanca. "The View Marbella is a perfect example that quality, luxury and design do not have to compromise sustainability and protecting the environment".

Architect Teodoro Cabrilla explains further. “The homes are arranged so that each of the rooms is oriented to take full advantage of the solar orientation, and the location of the homes within each block is also a direct result of this. The apartments have consequently adopted an open fan shape, favouring the use of natural light in every home in the development".

The construction system Sismo Building Technology Spain was included in the design of The View Marbella. This system, together with the proposed solution for exterior carpentry, provides a perfect enclosure for the building.

The construction panels have a layer of interior and exterior insulation that allows for the ideal temperature to be maintained all year round, while reducing energy consumption by 35%. The use of renewable energy and renewable fixtures is another factor that contributed to the achievement of a class A energy certificate. The employment of solar panels and aerothermal energy both contributed to keeping the carbon footprint of the development to a minimum. Aerothermal energy consists of an integral system that supplies heating, air conditioning and domestic hot water, from a clean technology that extracts up to 77% of energy from the air.

For Wilma Sierra Blanca, building sustainably is a winning bet for the future and should be focused on as an investment that will minimise environmental impact and reduce costs in the long term. The View Marbella is a declaration of intent that responds to the demands of the public who are increasingly conscious of eco-construction.

It’s Only Rock n Roll

Last year I wrote about my friend Fish’s visit from Washington, and the jam session that we had. During the 80s we had a band that consisted of various Marbella Rock n Roll types that went through several incantations.

The first line up – ‘Medicine Show’ - consisted of myself, Fish and the fabulously named and sadly now departed to the Great Gig in the Sky Brenton Macbeth Blackwood. I left to London to continue what is laughingly referred to as my career, and the band then became ‘The Good, the Bad and the Nice’, when the supremely talented Nader and Adam joined.

Adam left to NYC, becoming a regular on the live music circuit there, Nader to Brussels for a while –continuing to record superb music and returning to build his dream musician’s villa in the hills overlooking Marbella. Fish moved to Colombia, where he gigged at the Hard Rock Café, Bogota in all probability to an audience of Shakira and Scarface lookalikes. In the meantime, I struggled to fret a B chord.

While he was over last time, we all got together for an afternoon jam session, where things went so well that we decided that we should it again.

Be careful what you wish for. This month Fish celebrated a ‘landmark birthday’, and, as Paola, his ridiculously gorgeous Colombian wife, had rented a nine-bedroom villa, it seemed the perfect opportunity to get the band back together, man.

Two run-throughs in the week leading up to the party and we were ready to perform. As celebrations go, Fish’s birthday was one of the best. Great friends, fabulous food and enough free flowing booze to stop a Heavy Cavalry charge. We had all clubbed together to buy the man himself a handmade Spanish guitar, a gift that actually had him shocked. And as a, ahem, ‘specialist’ who has been to some of the world’s most (double ahem) ‘interesting’ places – a mobile phone call in Kabul springs to mind, where I thought there was crackling on the line but was blithely informed it was small arms fire – the present had him lost for words.

The gig itself was huge fun with classics such as "Psycho Killer", "Cocaine" and a very lose version of "Cuba" getting everyone dancing. I managed not to hit too many bum notes and we even renamed the band. After 30 years three of us no longer have our hair, so we renamed ourselves…

The Good, The BALD and The Nice!

Leading environmentalist to visit Marbella

The environmental crisis has dominated world headlines over the past few months, and on October 14-15, Marbella students will get the chance to learn more.

Towards Nature is a unique opportunity to get close to nature and  discover the ecological risks facing the Earth through the experiences of Johan Ernst Nilson. This will be an unforgettable opportunity to learn about the crisis facing the planet, through the exceptional testimony of Johan who has travelled and explored the globe .

Johan is an influential environmental activist  defending the planet against climate change. He educates and inspires the population about these topics through his coaching and motivational speeches that he gives around the world.  Johan dedicates 50% of his time to charitable institutions and non-profit organisations. With an adventurous spirit and his unconditional love of life Johan has travelled to over 170 countries.

Towards Nature is aimed at students along the coast to hear first-hand about the problems facing the world, as well as to find out what they can do to help stop this problem and how to work together as a family to create a better future for everyone.

The event has been organised by the environmental foundation “Goodwill Meridian” together with the agencies Events Couture Marbella and MN Comunicación, the Marbella Town Hall has also given its support along with, Garcatri Deluxe Transport, Marbella Club Hotel, Gestoria Bocanegra, HSE School of Art and Design, Calidad Pascual, "Doss by Da Bruno", "Reprofast" and “Aguaencajamejor”.

All the funds raised are being donated to the Foundation MarbellAyuda with its programme of renovating paediatric area in Hospital Costa del Sol and to the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation with its Climate Change program. Students have free entry to the event and the price for adults is €10. The lectures are taking place in English.

The lecture takes place on Monday, October 14  from 6:00 - 8:30pm and is aimed at students over 13 and adults. On Tuesday, October 15, it will run from 5:00pm – 8:30pm and will be aimed at children between 8-12 years old with adults.

To attend Towards Nature students and parents must sign up on line via the following:
www.towardsnature.life and www.johanernstmarbella.org

Trick or Treat walked off with three awards at MIFF

"Trick or Treat" takes Best Feature at MIFF 2019


Trick or Treat took an emotional Best Feature Film Award at the Marbella International Film Festival on Sunday.

The glamorous awards ceremony, once again held at the H10 Andalucía Plaza Hotel, marked the end of four intensive days of workshops, premieres and seminars. Marbella was the focus of the film world as directors, producers and actors from countries including China, Paraguay and the US showcased their projects.

Trick or Treat, directed by Edward Boase and staring brothers Craig and Dean Lennox Kelly, not only won Best Feature, but also Best Actress for Frances Barber and Best Supporting Actor for Kris Marshall. During an emotional acceptance speech, Craig and Dean revealed that they had learnt of the death of their father just moments before attending the screening.

Other winners on the night included Rise of the Foot Soldier 4, which saw debut director Andrew Loveday win Best Director and Emily Wyatt Best Supporting Actress,(pictured above) while Larry Lamb won Best Actor for the film Brighton.

The results in full

Winners of 2019 MIFF

Best shorter short:

Best short:

Best Documentary
The Bridge to Paradise

Best Supporting Actress

Emily Wyatt for Rise of The Foot Soldier: Spanish Heist


Best Supporting Actor

Kris Marshall for Trick or Treat

Frances Barber for Trick or Treat

Best Actor:

Larry Lamb for Brighton

Best Director:

Andrew Loveday for Rise of The Foot Soldier: Spanish Heist

Best Feature Film:

Trick or Treat

Eva Longoria was all class

Get the celebrity out of here!

It was J-Lo that started me pondering the nature of celebrity.

Jennifer Lopez may have wowed her fans with her performance on the coast last month, but the singer certainly didn’t impress the Press. The star was playing her only gig in Spain this year, and journalists and photographers flocked to the concert from all over the country with their approved credentials. But 15 minutes before she was due to take to the stage, J-Lo decided that she didn’t want any Press present and had the security team thrown them all out. Seems that Diva tag is well earned then.

At one point the difficult Ms Lopez was engaged to actor Ben Affleck. After the couple split his mother famously described her potential daughter in law – who was once rumoured to have insured various body parts up to $1million -  as being “All Ass and No Class”.

During my "eclectic" career thus far on the coast and further afield, which has included everything from concert production to public relations and, of course, radio, magazine and newspaper journalism, I’ve had the mixed pleasure of dealing with various levels of fame and fortune.

As a callow youth spending his teen years in Marbella in the 80s, I tended to bump into the Holly Trinity of BBC Light Entertainment – the late Bruce Forsyth and Ronnie Corbett (who once stormed into the nightclub where my friend was chatting up the comedian’s curfew breaking daughter, and escorted her off with some choice words for us ruffians) and the, still very much with us Jimmy Tarbuck – whose son Tarby Jr became a good friend.

Over recent years, however, the nature of celebrity has changed. Whereas Tarby et al became famous after years of performing, all the modern celebrity has to do is appear in a Reality TV show to ensure his or her 15 minutes of fame. Which sometimes results in “Diva-ish” behaviour. I still shudder at the memory of two women who were clinging onto the arms of a pair of TOWIE lads drunkenly screaming “Naaaaaaah f****king pictures” at me, as if they were with Brad Pitt and George Clooney. The fact that the Essex lads involved were eating and drinking (lots) at the restaurant for free in exchange for being photographed seemed to have slipped their collective brain cell. One quick look at the large bill that was subsequently presented to them soon sobered everyone up, and they were duly papped.

As a rule of thumb, the bigger the celeb, the less trouble they are. Thus a teenage Premiership footballer can keep you waiting for hours for a few words, while a genuine rock n roll legend like drummer Kenny Jones, or Hollywood star such as Eva Longoria, is always professional.

Ahhh, Eva. The “Desperate Housewives” actor turned up on time, was funny during our interview for 15 minutes, posed for the obligatory photo and then retweeted me when I mentioned how professional she was.

To paraphrase Ben Affleck’s mum, Eva was all class, and I couldn’t possibly comment on any other part of her anatomy!

Photo: Johnny Gates

Todd Terry plays Marbella tonight

It's a beautiful day for a Chicnic!

Proof that the Weather Gods are House Music fans, the early morning mist has gone and the forecast for today's Chicnic couldn't be better!

Taking place at the stunning Finca La Conception, one of Marbella's best kept secrets but only minutes from Puerto Banus, Chicnic is a heady combination of live music, DJs, gastronomy and drink, all in a picture perfect.

Topping the bill is Grammy Award nominated DJ/Producer Todd Terry. One of the pioneers of the New York House scene “Todd the God” is the genius behind anthems including “Can You Feel It”, “Something Going On” and “Keep on Jumpin'”. Todd will be joined by a line-up of Marbella's best DJs, including Tito Pulpo, John Mena, Ceaser Cooper and Raquel DK. and Mario Z, as well as live percussion by Gustavo Gottardi and electric violin from Lamaya.

Tickets are available at the venue from 30euros and doors open at 14.00.

Tickets at www.chicnic.es or Call/WhatsApp at +34 638 422 445

Thomas Cook Hotels

British Ambassador reassures holiday makers Thomas Cook hotels will be paid

Following the collapse of Thomas Cook, some tourists who have travelled out from the UK on Thomas Cook package holidays have been asked to pay for their hotels. This should not be happening.

The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has sent a letter to every hotel that has an ATOL-protected passenger in it, guaranteeing the payment to the hotel from the date of arrival to the scheduled departure date.

British Ambassador to Spain Hugh Elliott said:

“I hope that confirmation that the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority has already sent a guarantee of payment to every hotel with Thomas Cook package holiday customers, assures holiday makers that there should not be any surprise bills.”

He added, “If you are on an ATOL-protected package holiday and are experiencing difficulties from the hotel or they are requesting payment from you, my advice is that you call the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority on +44 1753 330 330 as soon as possible. It is also important not to make a payment to your hotel unless you are instructed to do so by the UK Civil Aviation Authority’s team”.

If you are ATOL protected, you will have received an ATOL certificate as part of your reservation process, either by email or in the post. If travellers are not sure if their travel company is ATOL protected, please check guidance here: https://thomascook.caa.co.uk/customers/check-if-you-are-atol-protected/.

In exceptional circumstances, if the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority is unable to guarantee the hotel stay, the CAA may need to relocate travellers to another hotel. If this happens, the UK Civil Aviation Authority will inform other suppliers such as hotel transfers, of the change to accommodation and flight details. Travellers who are not ATOL protected with any company that was part of the Thomas Cook Group, are not entitled to make a claim for expenses under the ATOL scheme, although they may be able to claim from their travel insurer, bank or credit card issuer.