Change Font Size

Hilary Coombes

Have you ever dreamed of owning your own little Spanish property where you could escape the worst of the English winter whenever you wanted?

Where you would be able to eat al fresco in the winter sunshine and where your horizons widen as you engage in a totally different fantastic cultural experience? Have you been undecided about what to do? Think it’s too late for you now? Maybe think you are too old? Rubbish!

Hilary Coombe

A typical beach in January - inviting!

Since 1995, almost 800,000 emigrants have swapped bleak Blighty for a life in sunny Spain, but if you are no longer working you don’t necessarily have to settle for a permanent move. I know several couples that rent over the winter. It suits them as they enjoy winter sunshine at a much-reduced rent and the property owners aren’t leaving their houses or flats empty waiting for the summer tourists so their rent is low-priced.

It’s a Win Win situation

If you want to settle in Spain either long or short term then you do have to cultivate determination and patience. You need to do your homework on areas and prices and then it’s essential that you embrace the Spanish way of life. If you always remember that you are the incomer and so it’s YOU that needs to adopt the Spanish way of doing things then you won’t go far wrong.

Over the next few articles I’m going to share with you my journey into doing just this, and I can assure you that the worst part is the agonising indecision at the beginning.


Way back in the late 1980’s the film ‘Buster’ was born and so was my dream. It was a British comedy-drama based on the life of one of the Great Train Robbers. The rock singer Phil Collins and the fantastic Julie Walters surely helped its huge box office success but when the action switches from cold, wet London to sun-drenched Mexico it was for me a light bulb moment!

Hilary Coombes

I watched the typical Englishman abroad and laughed. I looked at him in the sunshine and envied. I felt for him as he missed cold, wet England. I could do that I thought.

No I was not going to rob a train; laze on a Mexican beach; make a film; rub shoulders with the good and the great. Fat chance!

No, but a little seed was planted. One day I thought I could enjoy the sunshine and habits of a foreign country but unlike Buster I could also combine it with living in my wonderful UK.

That was 30 years ago. I had to wait a long time to make my dream come true. I just wasn’t the sort of person who was brave enough to down tools, stop working, sell our house and drag children out of their schooling on a whim …I never forgot that dream though.

And so when I no longer had to work and the children had all left home I combined my life between two countries, but Mexico is not one of them — too far to commute! No, I live between Spain and England, and it’s like living the dream. Honestly

So what I hope to do over the coming articles is let you know what it really is like to be a foreigner in another country and how if feels to go back to one’s native land.

Hopefully I’ll plant a seed for you. Just as the film Buster did for me all those years ago. You never know one day you too could be living the dream.

So, in the words of the award winning song “A Groovy Kind of Love” from the film Buster, my articles are just beginning …jump on board, and if you’re feeling in the mood for a little ‘Buster’ music here you are:


A Groovy Kind Of Love by Phil Collins

Meet The Author...
Hilary Coombes
Who Am I?

Hi folks, just a bit about me …I was born in Devon and brought up in Bristol. After juggling family and studying for university as a mature student I taught in various schools and colleges, eventually specialising in teaching blind students which was so rewarding.

I now live between Somerset and Spain with my husband, and at last I can indulge my passion to write. My debut novel ‘The Hen Party’ was accepted by a publisher and is now available on Amazon. (I’ve been floating on air since I knew!) It's about a flamboyant 50 year old woman who is forced to confront her deeply buried feelings when one of her companions reveals a secret.

I believe we all need to be happy and healthy to enjoy life so I do my best to ensure my writing makes people smile.

More From This Author...

Comment With Facebook