The Joy Ride

Paco seemed most amused at being the bearer of bad news. He watched the shock on our faces as our eyes scanned the empty parking spot where the car had previously stood. He started laughing, a raucous, great belly laugh. ‘Oh dear’ he said, wiping the tears from his eyes ‘You’d better follow me’. Out in the street there was a group of men standing around a small green car. As we approached, they stopped their animated conversation and turned to look at us. We’d been in the village less than 24 hours and already got our selves in trouble. ‘Paco, what’s going on? I asked ‘Where is our car?’ Paco pointed down the street and there was the Citroen casually leaning against a bent, metal bar, the only thing preventing it from plummeting down several meters of rock and hillside. It didn’t take much to work out that on its short, unmanned journey, it had come into contact with the small car that was the centre of so much attention.



‘You bloody fool, Irishman! Didn’t you put the handbrake on?’ ‘Yes! Of course I did, come and have a look’ ‘I’m blaming this on your father, Lottie. We never had problems with the handbrake before’ he cursed as we walked down to our car followed by Paco and the group of men. Sure enough the handbrake was on so it was a mystery as to how the car had managed to roll away and get us into all this trouble. The men helped push the car off the railings and then we walked back to where the green, wreck of a motor was parked sideways on to the road. There was much pointing to various bumps, knocks and scratches on the car, all of which seemed like old injuries to Irishman and me. ‘Whose car is it Paco?’ I asked. Manolo stepped forward and introduced himself. In rapid Spanish he started firing off a load of figures. 200 Euros here, another 100 Euros there, all the while pointing to the car and rubbing his hands in glee ‘You see it’s my brothers car and he won’t be happy about this, not one bit’. At this point Antonia came out from the bar to see what all the fuss was about. ‘Nonsense!’ she said ‘This car has always looked terrible, Manolo you can’t expect our new neighbours to have to pay for damage that’s already been there, you are making a fuss about a few scratches’ and with that she did one of those shrugs that I so admire and walked back into the bar to get on with her work.




When in Spain, do as the Spanish do. Irishman and I decided that our best course of action was delay any promise of money, or talk of insurance men until the following day when we’d had a chance to think about it. We thanked Paco and made our apologies to Manolo adding that we’d talk more about the car with him ‘manyana’. We’ve discovered since living here that ‘manyana’ is a most excellent delaying tactic and can be applied to anything and everything. It is also happens to be the most frustrating word in the Spanish dictionary especially when spoken from the lips of builders, plumbers and electricians. ‘Manyana’ does not necessarily mean tomorrow. At best it can be a stretch of many days, at worst, never.

Easter Bunny Tree
Easter Bunny Tree

42 thoughts on “The Joy Ride

    1. Pete still remains adamant that it’s something that dad did to our car when he borrowed it! It is still making the turkey gobble noises and the handbrake is very ropey. Manolo has turned into a good friend but all shall be revealed soon!


    1. Thank you! I’ve got so many photographs that I’ve taken – over 2,000 so sifting through them all before I post takes longer than the writing. I need to get organised and start putting them in to dedicated folders…hah! that’ll be the day 😉 xox


  1. I also love the bunny tree. I think it is quite marketable if you can grow them to order. The car job sounds like a stitch up. Manolo’s second name isn’t Blahnik is it? If so, I think Mrs. Ha has paid him many times. I guess its not the done to thing to sue your own father. I’m sure there is a happy ending but it may need to be disclosed in the IPO Prospectus for China Andalucia Arts & under “Additional Risk Factors”.


    1. I’m sure it was a stitch up, no question! I’m so jealous of Mrs Ha, I’d kill for a pair of Manolo shoes! Oh dear, do you really think we shall need to disclose this small indiscretion in the IPO Prospectus for China Andalucia Arts & under “Additional Risk Factors”? 😉


  2. Strewth Lottie, you’ve been there 5 minutes and you’re trying to demolish the village already. Let me know if anyone decides to leave in fear of you so I can buy their place.Lovely photographs and as usual I’m looking forward to the next episode.
    xxx Hugs Galore xxx


  3. Still the mystery of how the car moved with the brake on. What happened mañana or are will still waiting for that? Mañana was obviously exported to Mexico with the conquistadors!
    I’m really beginning to love Antonia. What a great neighbour.
    The bunny tree is wonderful. So good to see the local sites in your photos too. Hoping for another post soon.


    1. Rod, I’ve got to learn how to make those ‘squiggles’ on my laptop – over the top of the n’s. It’s very unprofessional of me not to be using the correct accents and wiggles now that i’m living in Spain – I’m feeling quite embarrassed now – the shame!

      Yes, Antonia is wonderful. She is as tough as nails, calls a spade a spade but she has taken me under her wing and been so kind to us since the moment we arrived. Her kindness and thoughtfulness is exemplary, she is a true ‘neighbour’ in every sense of the word.

      I’m glad you are enjoying the photos – unless I say otherwise, assume that they are all of the village or the environs (I include Granada in this as we are only 40 minutes away) There were will be some of Malaga and Ronda soon but I’ll make sure to point those ones out.

      It is still a mystery as to why the car moved with the handbrake on!


  4. I definitly agree with “First Night Design” ‘s sabotage theorie 😉 and I think you and the Irishman do quite right with the “mañana” tactic 🙂 Be bold and stay cool!!!


    1. Can you imagine if it had been stolen? It would have been a pretty shitty thing to happen on dais uno! we’ve not taken any risks since that day and now park it further away on a flat piece of ground. I no longer trust the handbrake, Lord only know what dad did with it! 😀


    1. It’s a case of having to like it or lump it – it’s part and parcel of life here and really life here is so good that if manyana is the only fly in the ointment then so be it! more to follow soon…


  5. Hola and buenas noches- where you are. About 7-8 hours time span. I think. Here at my house it is 1:38pm and a nice sunny day.

    Another very interesting post but not so funny given the turn of events. One night in your new home and “it all went down hill from there.” 🙂

    So yes, manana is good and so is que sera, sera (what ever will be, will be.) A good phrase to remember if you are at a loss for words. 🙂

    Frankly, I would have been speechless over the run -away coche. All that is a bit much after all the months of preparation and the very tiring journey to get there.

    Looking forward to your news and also your next post.

    ~yvonne xxxx


    1. I’ve just sent you a very long email complete with lots of photos! I’m glad you’ve got the sun today, we have too and it makes such a difference.
      We did end up having a laugh about the run-away coche, and without giving too much away, it also started the train of events which led to Colin Snout coming in to our lives but that’s another story for another day! xxxxx


  6. Oh. My. No Bueno! How in the hell did the car escape?! What an adventure the two od you are on. Sorry to say, I am truly loving every twist and turn… beats the hell out of my SAHM boredom. xx


  7. @First Night Designs alerted me to your posts. I’m from Barcelona but now live in the UK. Life in the cities is quite different, and mañana (There’s a trick to create the ñ even here. Numeral lock and then with ALT pressed, it’s 0141. As my surname is Núñez, I need to know these things) and siestas are not that common there. It seems you’ll have plenty of fun! (There’s a great article by a Spanish Romantic writer, Mariano José de Larra, called ‘Vuelva usted mañana’ , that beautifully illustrates your point. I’m not sure it it has been translated to English, although I’d be surprised if it hasn’t…
    I’ve actually found it here in WordPress…
    I’ll keep visiting!


    1. Thank you! You made me smile about the ñ – it’s quite a trick that I’ve since learnt since writing this post – on my computer it’s slightly different but I’m glad I’ve at last fathomed out how to do it! next thing on my ‘to do’ list is learning how to do those fancy upside down exclamation marks that I keep seeing! As soon as I’ve finished this note to you, I’m going to click on the link that you sent me, I’m so glad you found it.
      I love Barcelona, I’ve only been once but I really enjoyed my stay there, what a fabulous city, London is very different but I love it also. Thank you for following me, I’ve returned the compliment and look forward to reading your posts. Stay tuned! 😀 Lottie


      1. Manayana, i love that word. Used often in Central America…. oh got your last message on another post. Might write about Central America, one day. But I can see a book forming on your Indo and Spanish posts, could be an Amazon best seller. Have you thought about doing that? Glad u listened to my pod cast, was a bit crazy. I did get an email from you, a friend forwared it, so sorry I never got back to you, it got lost in the admin section of Far Side.

        Your posts are great. You haven’t lost the flavour or detail…. of Indonesia. Good luck with the art school. Seems things are really falling into place. I loved the owner of the bar who backed you up, and said there was no damage to the car that wasn’t already there… keep those posts coming, when you got the time ! But Kindle your posts in a book, and make money from it… i’d down load. Your pictures are adorable as usual!


      2. Well that’s that little mystery solved! I did wonder why i never heard back from you on the email, now all is clear!
        My neighbour is very matter of fact, she’s not sentimental nor emotional, her response to the car was typical, the shrug and basically saying ‘stop making a bloody fuss’ – I like her approach, I need to work on it for myself, I”m far too soft 😀
        The winter caught me with ‘my pants down’ it was a rude shock after Indo and not having any proper heating or bathroom made life quite difficult but now it’s Spring and it’s SCORCHIO! 30c yesterday.
        Thanks for your encouragement, it means a lot. I’ve got a 24 hour ferry journey today so I’ll get on with some more writing, you’ve inspired me.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s