Spain in the Sixties

So, life for me isn’t that bad during lock down and there is a little bit of me that will be quite sad when it stops. Of course as I have said many times before I am cushioned from the reality of what is happening in the wider world. And long may that last.   But I do realise that my life has shrunk – unhealthily.  And it might be easy to slip into this new norm. I am sleeping better than I have ever done before.  A confirmed insomniac I have not touched my sleeping tablets in many weeks.  I feel quite calm – until I watch the news! I am eating very well. My garden is looking beautiful apart from the destruction that is about to land on it from Toby’s demolition.  I have been secretly talking to the plants to prepare them and I did see a few of the trees having a conflab and threatening a branch swaying demo. The plants too were not that happy, but I assured them we would be very careful. Prince Charles has nothing on me.

I know this relative calm will end soon and  I will have to confront the reality of the situation unless I intend on isolating until they find a vaccination.  And if Toby and Linda return to work then we are going to have to rethink the living arrangements. One idea is to put up a see-through tarpaulin to seal off some of the rooms downstairs in which I will live.  Not the greatest idea but needs must. Of course, they could always move out!  

Woke up very confused this morning and it took me a good while to come to.  Lying next to me was a bobby pin (for the younger people that might be reading this although I doubt there are any – it is what our mothers used to pin up their hair).   I think my mother might have visited me during the night and left her calling card. Probably had something to do with all the nostalgia going on in my house at the moment. She wanted to get in on the act.

We had a steady trail of visitors this morning.  Gas engineer arrived to assess the boiler and quote for a new one. The builder returned re the structure in the garden. Sadly he wants £3000 so that’s not going to happen.  Fruit and veg man delivered our weekly order, the gardener popped in to see why some of our plants are dying and a whole stream of licensed rubbish clearance people vied for our business. All gloved and masked.  What a weird world we are living in!

And I sorted my last box of pics.  Such a trip down memory lane. And it has all passed in a blink of an eye. Similar I suppose to how the weeks are passing right now.   I am beginning to sound like my mother but how can it already be Tuesday? Last Tuesday was only yesterday – wasn’t it?  Found the pic of my first ever boyfriend who I met in Marbella and with whom I was completely besotted. What a mistake that was.  Always fell in love with the wrong men until I met Tod.

The man in question owned a night Club in Marbella (1969) I was a very impressionable young girl. I was on a momentous trip with my girlfriend Sally. We took off from Leicester with two back packs, pots and pans tied to our ruck sack and £5 each which was stolen we think by a travelling salesman on the boat going from Southampton to Bilbao.  You see my mother had every reason to worry about me.   So, there we were in Spain on the start of our year long adventure with no money. Ever resourceful we hitchhiked to Portugal  (I have no idea why) and threw ourselves on the mercy  of the UK embassy.

Lisbon then was very much a 3rd world city. Imagine, not used to seeing travellers, here came two somewhat bedraggled teenage girls, with rucksacks and by now a few bits of clothing that we had washed and were trying to dry, tied next to the pots and pans,  speaking no Portuguese and just a few words of Spanish.   We must have looked as if we had landed from the moon.  With a generous hand out of enough money to see us on our way (think they either felt sorry for us or just wanted us to go) we continued what was a hilarious and adventurous albeit somewhat perilous  journey. More later suffice to say that we jumped out of many cars to save our honour, including climbing out of a few hotel windows.  Both fell in love with the same man, an Algerian, freedom fighter who lived in an artist colony in Althea.  Worked in bars and hotels, looked after children, smoked a lot of dope, fell in and out of love and lived the life.  And this was Franco’s Spain. I really don’t think we had   any idea of the danger we could have been in. Look it was the Sixties.  Free love drugs and rock and roll.  Oops hope my kids are not reading this!

If you want to know more about what my life was like in the late Sixties I recommend the Drifters James Mitchener. And yes I too was in Morocco and that’s a whole other   scary story which I will save for another blog. I have got to keep you reading!! I would put up a  pic of Sally and I on the road but I  need to ask permission first.


Have finally finished all the pics and duly scanned them to the various occupants of the photographs, binned another 500 and now just have the one case, rather than 3, which I need to collate so that my children will know who everybody is.   I know frightfully interesting! Maybe the boys won’t be interested either.  Tough I am leaving the pics for them anyway.   Do you think I might be becoming just a teeny bit obsessed??

Until tomorrow

“Let’s be careful out there”

Author: ladyserendipidy

Journalist, event planner, mother, animal lover, not very good bridge or scrabble player, hopeless housekeeper, ex social worker, radio producer, tv executive, hater of almost all insects especially the eight legged ones. And if I am ever allowed out of my house, intrepid traveler.

3 thoughts on “Spain in the Sixties”

  1. Count yourself lucky you sowed your wild oats in the 60s. The decade that followed was scuzzier and scarier, as depicted in A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan, which I’m now reading. It’s depressing but well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Roma I met you at a very particular time in my life . Remember the alarm clock? What a lovely ,lively ,beautiful friend I made all those years ago . What a crazy wonderful time we had on our Spanish trip I recall it so well. Now you are the best godmother my daughter could possibly have and yes we are still crazy after all these years !Thankyou for being Roma. Love Sallyxxxxx


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