109 – Just Sitting

If there’d been a World Cup for sitting, Spain would have won it.  It’s a daily activity and it is taken almost to an art form.  The best thing about sitting, is the practising.

Every Andulcían pueblo has its old benches with the old guys sitting there.  Busy doing nothing, but doing it in company.

109-colmenarmenI have no idea what brought out this extra burst of sitting activity in Colmenar this week – perhaps the fact that the road opposite them was being re-surfaced?  Or perhaps it was the day after Spain was knocked out of the football World Cup and it was a chance to sit in glum silence together.



The beaches along southern Spain are of course ideal for sitting.  This woman was soaking up the sun’s rays on a remote beach.


109-sanjuanSan Juan is the night of pagan rituals, cleansing our sins by washing our feet in the sea at midnight, and jumping over fires (last year’s blog “Pagan Night” went viral as it was re-blogged and re-tweeted by a couple of widely-followed pagan e-newsletters!).  These two lads stayed long after the midnight excitement, letting their fire slowly die down, and watching the waves lapping in as the hordes of people quietly drifted away.



Málaga’s sea wall between the port and the Malagueta beach offers a picturesque spot to sit.  From a distance it is impossible to tell – a proposal?  a break-up?  or just deciding what to do next?


109-colmenarplazaBack in the pueblos the men continue to sit.  These two can be found most days in the main square in Colmenar.  They get quite heated in their debates.  For these two, political debate over local and national events is their daily oxygen.




Photo of the Month or perhaps Photo of the Year for me is this lovely snatched shot by Jess Lewis of Riogordo in the nearby village of Frigiliana.  It epitomises life in Spain.  He is, literally, the picture of contentment.  It’s the old age we would all wish for.

(You can book a holiday staying in Riogordo and touring Andalucía with Spanish Detours which is run by Jess and her husband Shane).  


©  Tamara Essex 2014



Still learning conditionals in class, we have been practising giving advice.  For some reason we were discussing the parents of a wayward teenager.

Deberían ponerle limites – They should set limits for him.

Les recomiendo que le pongan limites – I recommend to them that they set limits for him.

Si fuera yo, le pondría limites – If it were me, I would set limits for him.

Debes ponerle limites – You should set limits for him (this is much stronger).


8 thoughts on “109 – Just Sitting

  1. The Paseo/Parque/Plaza have always been the social centre in villages and small towns throughout Spain for the ‘old boys’ to sit and ‘chew the cud’. The chats are interspersed with a little stroll up to the end of the space and back again, sometimes the empty space is taken over by the older women doing their walking. Many other groups (usually women) do their daily ‘health-giving’ walk (often of some 5 to 10 km) going out of the village up the mountain and down again (often a climb of several hundred metres)..

    Most Ayuntamientos build some form of paseo as a place for exercise for the elderly and anyone else who wishes to to use them. There is even a hamlet on the main road to Granada with only about five houses, but it has its paseo.

  2. When we first came here we noticed about 20 men daily occupying a village wall. I have always wondered what they would do if I as a woman just sat down each day beside them thus completely upending their status quo. Also do the newest retirees sit at one end and work their way along as the older ones pass on?

    • It would depend on your attitude towards them. Here, if you spoke to them and started conversation that they might want to take part in, then you’d most probably be accepted (maybe reluctantly by some) similarly for male extranjeros. I tend to have been accepted right fro the start but then I adopted an aggressive approach by saying “Ola, bueno día” (Andalu’) to everyone I met.

  3. Love the sea wall photo. I think probably just something boring like where to eat, though 🙂
    Your post made me smile and I have Marianne to thank. I need someone to do the ‘language bit’ in Portuguese. No, don’t look at me- I have my hands full with Polish!

  4. Hello! Marianne sent me….we have lots of old men sitting here in Jimena de la Frontera too…Nice pictures and I look forward to exploring your blog further 🙂

  5. Pingback: 104 – All the Language Points in One Place | A Foot in Two Campos

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