About tamaraessex

helping charities achieve their objectives.

184 – Nothing has Changed ….?

At Málaga airport they let me through the normal passport queue.  A relief.  The EU citizens’ queue.  My first flight after THAT date.  Exit day.  The guy at the passport desk said we could continue to use that line all this year, apart from odd days where they would “trial” sending us through the other queue, just to check that it’ll all work smoothly.  Landing at Bournemouth nothing had changed, but then it is only a portakabin-style arrivals hall, nothing very high-security. Continue reading

183 – A Toothbrush for Christmas

They were already queuing to get back into the hostel for their lunch when I parked outside on Christmas Eve, risking leaving the car in the “Personas Autorizadas” DOCU_SURspaces.  The line snaked right to the corner, and you could see in their posture a sort of resignation, an aspect of helplessness.  All of them standing, mostly motionless, just waiting, with nothing else to do and nowhere else to be, until the hostel staff open the door to let in the waiting people. Continue reading

182 – Flight to Vote

As I boarded I had a sneaky feeling it was a complete waste of time.  No, that’s not fair.  It’s always lovely to see friends in Dorset, and I was due a visit.  Cabin bag laden with turrón (a cross between fudge and nougat, a Christmas essential in Spain) and packs of Spanish ham and cheese. Continue reading

181 – Has Anyone Got Any Knickers?

Church halls pretty much anywhere in the western world all look remarkably similar.  This one was just like the one in Yorkshire I went to in the 1960s as a Brownie, and the one in south London in the 1990s when I hosted fundraising jumble sales, and then in Somerset in the 2010s when I ran charity training courses.  This one, though, was in a small Axarquía town in inland Málaga province. Continue reading

180 – Settled?

There was a nurse on my flight home to Málaga.  A Spanish nurse, working in a GP surgery in Dorset.  British husband, dual-nationality totally bilingual daughter.  We’d been chatting in the queue about the newish Ryanair rules requiring us to jam our handbags INSIDE our cabin bags, just for passing through the gate before boarding.  ¡Qué pena!  What a pain.  She was flying to Spain for just a couple of days, to collect her daughter from the Spanish grandparents in Granada province to bring her back for the new school term. Continue reading

179 – Escaping the Heat

Forty degrees and higher.  Really, that is too much.  The rhythm of the day changes to suit the temperature.  At the hottest time, after a lazy late lunch, it’s time for a siesta.  Late at night, after midnight and into the small hours, it is finally cool enough outside to sit on a kitchen chair on the slope of our little street and share some comfortable time with the neighbours, catching up with the minutiae of life. Continue reading