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Hilary Coombes

The first article in this series (Have you ever thought you’d like to live part of the year in Spain) left you in the 1980's with Phil Collins; hope you had a good time. ☺

I’m afraid I’m going to fast-forward almost twenty years. Yes twenty! It took us that long to do anything about this little dream of owning or renting a property in Spain. After all you can hardly down tools, stop work, take young teenagers out of school and away from their friends (wouldn’t we have been popular!).

Plus it would not be right to just give up on the role of carer for elderly parents would it?

So now the 21st century is almost popping it’s head over the horizon and a little freedom is on the horizon for us I’m re-erecting the dream. We visit a ‘Living Abroad’ exhibition in London and I put out a few feelers at the same time mentioning that our forthcoming holiday was going to be in Nerja on the Costa del Sol.

Hilary c

Nerja Bay – my holiday destination. Photo by

Oh dear …I’m found out by a telephone call

Several weeks later my husband answers the phone. I’d forgotten all about my enthusiasm in London and as I watched his bemused face it’s clear I forgot to tell him anything at all about it. It’s a Spanish estate agent in Nerja, Costa del Sol, confirming a list of arranged visits.

Now, the whole world will tell you that if you want to be confused by any mathematical problem I’m your lady. I had confused how many Spanish pesetas there were to the English pound or maybe I just didn’t work it out correctly [the euro is easier, honestly]

I wasn’t surprised at my mathematical gaffe, my husband wasn’t surprised, but I think the estate agent was.

If only we were rich …

We couldn’t afford any of the houses on the list, but boy oh boy they did look fantastic. We were honest and told her. Well my husband told her, I had a rather red face at this point. ‘Oh dear, oh dear’ was her response, ‘I have all these people lined up and ready for viewings for you in two days time. I can’t let them down.’

Ah, now what to do?

The estate agent made a suggestion and said she’d be so very grateful if we could just go through the motions and view the properties. Everyone knew that we couldn’t afford any of them, well everyone except the sellers that is.

Hilary Coombes

Typical expensive Spanish property architecture

Acting out the lie (well it was a mathematical error)

What would you have done? It had all been arranged because of a mathematical mistake but here was a chance to view some glorious properties, have a look at people’s interior design ideas and be thoroughly nosey. You never know it might have sparked off a different dream- had we won the lottery of course.

Hilary Coombes

Photo used with permission and copyright Dream Properties Nerja

My, my, how the other half live! …move over Dallas!

Huge white properties hugging the coast, fantastic panoramic sea and mountain views, marble floors, enough bedrooms to open a hotel, elegant bespoke furniture, huge landscaped gardens many with fountains and arches, maintained by the gardener of course. One even had a library, and they all had at least one swimming pool, some had two — one indoor and one out. In case one became fed up with being indoor no doubt. ☺

I know you’ll not be surprised to learn that we decided against buying a property on that visit as much as we loved Nerja and the properties, but the dream was getting nearer and next time I’ll tell you about the property we did buy.

And finally to get you in the Spanish mood

Now just in case you want to soak up a little more Spanish atmosphere do listen to Rodrigo’s fantastic ‘Concierto de Aranjues’ guitar music, (courtesy of youtube and Julian Bream). There’s even some footage of Cáceres to get you in the Spanish mood.

Julian Bream plays Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquin Rodrigo (Part 2)

 And if you’re not a Spanish guitar fan, then watch this space it might be the ‘Birdy Song’ next time. ☺

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

Hilary Coombes lives between the UK and Spain and tries not to shrink in the rain (she’s already vertically challenged), nor bake in the sun (which causes too many wrinkles). She’s not sure she is having any success with either quest.

She is the successful author of five books, the last two being fiction, and both set between England and Spain. Her latest book ‘Beyond Promises’ is a love story. It follows the life of Charlie, his heartbreak, humour and passion, and his love for one woman that lasts a lifetime.

Hilary has won several writing awards and is particularly delighted that she won the 2017 Ian Govan Short Story Award and the 2015 national Spanish Radio Story Competition.

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