Tag Archive | night


I love rain.


And there is no better time for a night-time walk than when it’s raining.

The streets are sooo quiet. Even on a Friday night there’s room at the bars and restaurants, unlike a normal Friday night, so you don’t have to wait for a table or fight with other hungry people hehe.


If you enjoyed this post (I really hope you do!), maybe you will also like:

…And It’s a Rainy Night In Malaga

Walking in the Rain

A Hike in the Rain in the Montes of Malaga

The Orange Trees


Christmas Eve Musings

Can you believe it’s Christmas Eve and unlike the rest of the country, I am not:

  • munching on apéritifs with my kids
  • chatting with relatives that I only see once a year (who don’t exist anyways…… maybe imaginary relatives haha?)
  • sitting near a fireplace singing Christmas carols
  • sitting around a Christmas tree playing the zambomba

(pic of zambomba, a traditional Christmas instrument round here to mark the rhythm while singing Christmas carols)


Photo Credit: Wikipedia

  • out on the street setting off firecrackers (I hate firecrackers!)
  • cooking
  • cleaning the kitchen
  • washing the dishes

I am just lying around the house with my kids, surfing the net while my kids play together. And that’s wonderful.

I think of all those countless endless afternoons when I am not lying around the house surfing the net while my kids play together, because I am working.

I think of all those countless endless afternoons where my kids are not playing at all, because they have homework.

I think of all those countless endless afternoons where my kids are not together, because my youngest son stays with his father when I work.

So I dunno if our Christmas Eve is boring, by other people’s standards. And maybe I would’ve liked to have a bit more pizzazz in our festivity hehe.

But it’s okay. Christmas Eve is about being with family. And even though I live with my family (my kids), the three of us are rarely together, except late at night after work.

And right now we are together.

Just wish we could be together ALL THE TIME haha!

Well, I have been seeing lots of blogs wishing readers a Merry Christmas and happy holidays today. So whatever holiday you celebrate, I would like to wish you a happy one too.

Happy Holidays!


May your world always be borne…… on the wings of a butterfly……

If you enjoyed this post (I really hope you do!), maybe you will also like:

On Christmas Day in the Morning

Bye Bye Birds!

Pa Amb Tomàquet

Hot Hot Hot!

Everyday Scenes From Everyday Life in Spain

When I read about people living in another country, I always wonder what it’s like to live in that country.

I wonder what these people do every day. How they do their shopping. Where they buy their food. What sights do they see as they walk around.

So I thought I’d show some of the things that I see every day.

Now, as a developed European country, Spain isn’t really that different from any other developed country. There are high-rise buildings, modern skyscrapers in the downtown areas, apartment buildings fully equipped with all the usual utilities and household appliances, cars, internet and mobile phones.

There is free public education for kids. Free medical care and modern hospitals. Corporate offices, shops, department stores and shopping centres.

When I visited Morocco, I found life there extremely different from life in a developed Western country. That would most definitely be a delightful country to visit for a photo shoot, or to write a blog about. However, at that time, I wasn’t in the habit of taking photos and I didn’t have a blog.

In Morocco local people usually do their shopping in the vividly coloured marketplaces filled with leather and spices, not at supermarkets. I didn’t see a single shopping centre.

However, here in Spain, life isn’t really very different from life in Canada. My kids go to school in very civilized, well-equipped elementary and high schools with amazing teachers. I usually do the shopping at a regular supermarket.

Yesterday, however, just by chance, I happened upon several interesting scenes and took photos of them. So I thought I’d share them today as typical scenes from an ordinary day here in Spain.

Flowers in November

Nothing spectacular about this photo, but it always thrills me to see green trees and flowers blooming all over the place in those chilly, arctic months when the rest of the world is covered in snow!

Misty Mountains in Malaga

Who would’ve thought you could see misty mountains in sunny Malaga?

Fire in a Building

As I was coming home I happened upon a fire in a building. Although spectacular, fortunately it wasn’t serious and nothing happened. The affected building is the one with the lighted doors in the background.

Ham in Super Vegetariano

This place really made me laugh out loud! Well, to understand the “joke” I’d have to explain it a little. As you can see, this used to be a large vegetarian supermarket called “Super Vegetariano”. It very quickly went out of business, given the *overwhelming adoration* of the Spanish public for vegetarian diets and a more ecological and ethical lifestyle haha. Now the new shop that has opened up in its place, which is quite wildly more successful than its predecessor, is called “Azabache: Jamones y Embutidos” which means “Azabache: Ham and Deli Meat”. It is enjoying far greater success than the old vegetarian supermarket. Clearly, round here, tradition and “the way things have always been done” always win out over ecology and a more ethical way of life.

Maro in November

Now here are a couple of photos that aren’t from yesterday, but they do show typical places that we can see and visit round here. This photo is from the exact same date but a few years ago. You can see the people bathing in the sea in the background, so happy that here in Spain you can swim in the sea in November!

Empty Garden

An empty playground in the rain that we pass every day on the way to school.

If you enjoyed this post (I really hope you do!), maybe you will also like:

Malaga in Black and White

…And It’s a Rainy Night in Malaga

Midnight, And All Is Well

Holy Week in Malaga

I wasn’t going to put up a post on Holy Week, but we went to see processions and they were so beautiful, I just had to take some photos even though I hadn’t brought the camera along. But I’ve got a mobile phone, even though it doesn’t take such nice photos as the camera.


On Holy Thursday, the city is filled with processions running up and down all over the place. You can do like what we started to do, which was “procession hopping”, jumping about from one procession to another to see all the different religious statues, or tronos.

However we soon got tired of that activity, and just decided to situate ourselves next to the Alameda, the main thoroughfare in Malaga, because all the processions pass down that way at some point.


These people carrying a glittering cross and wearing “cone hats” are penitents.

Trono de virgen

There’s a lot of religious fervour and excitement during Holy Week processions. Even people who haven’t entered into a church for the past fifty years feel awe-struck.

Spectators also applaud the brave and strong men who bear the tronos as they pass by. Each trono-bearer is carrying about 20 kg. on his shoulder. This is very exhausting work and they deserve all that applause, encouragement and confetti!

Niños aburridosHowever, the ones who would probably rather be sitting at home playing with their Nintendo or Gamebox are…… the kiddies. Here are some who are clearly bored out of their minds. But fortunately, today we have portable electronic apparatuses to play with.

Rows of Penitents

My son was quite fascinated by the penitents. He told me that he wanted me to fashion him a cone-shaped hat covered with velvet to wear around the house, and a huge gilded staff like the ones that the penitents carry.

My son’s cousin, a hale and hearty teenager, decided to participate in a procession this year bearing a trono. This wasn’t due to any religious zeal. He just wanted to know what it felt like. He ended up all ground up and declared that he was never going to do this again.

A little boy by our side apparently also had his father carrying a trono. As the statue paraded past us, the little kid just wouldn’t stop screaming at his dad to look at him.

Given the number of processions taking place each year, and the number of men required to make them happen, most of the inhabitants of Malaga probably know someone personally who is bearing a trono.

Another cross

Religion is a pretty important theme during Holy Week, of course – but so is partying! Everywhere we went, it seemed more like a carnival or a fair rather than a supposedly sombre religious event commemorating a rather tragic occurrence. There were people at stands selling everything from hot dogs and hamburgers to donuts and home-grown lemons.

Papas asadas

I think the line-ups to get baked potatoes stuffed with delicious hot filling were just as long as the ones to see a trono pass by.

Apparently, on Holy Thursday all of the processions consist of two tronos coming out of every church that participates. The first trono is always a statue of a cross, Jesus Christ or Jesus Christ on a cross. He is always followed by a statue of his mother, the Virgin Mary. Because if they were carting your son off to hang him, wouldn’t you go running after him too?

Cristo en la cruz

Well, I took a few more photos but I got so tired editing them, and besides which, they were all pretty much more of the same, and not such good quality anyways (after all, I do not have an iPhone!). In the end, what caught my fancy was this large tree with its roots hanging off of the high branches.

Tree Roots Hanging From Tree

I have no idea what this tree is called though. You can see the full moon shining beside it.

If you enjoyed this post (I really hope you do!), maybe you will also like:

Preparing For Holy Week

On Christmas Day in the Morning

Flowers for the Dead on the Day of the Dead

Our Visit to Hare Krishna


What do you do on a Sunday afternoon if you live in a city, you don’t have a car and a storm is threatening? Well, I know if we were in the country, we’d go out for a walk!

But since we’re not in the country, we’re in the city — we decided to go out for a walk anyways.

Now, a walk with the kids means spending the afternoon stuffing them up good and hard with all the food in the house before leaving home, because if you don’t, you will either have to blow the entire monthly budget feeding these growing stomachs out on the street, or you will immediately have to dash for home again, because the kids have become faint and weak and lethargic from lack of food. Which means…… night photography! Again.

Anyways, there’s nothing I like to do more than “callejeando”, which means just wandering about exploring without any particular aim. I still find it hard to believe that I actually LIVE in this amazing, medieval city! And I can go out every day and look at historic buildings with their balconies and curlicues whenever I want.

You will never find anything like this in Canada. In Canada, if it’s over a hundred years old, it’s pretty much prehistoric!

It was very unusual for a week-end, since the streets were almost empty. We were even able to cross the Alameda, the main “street” (more like a highway) on the red light! Maybe the menacing skies had something to do with it…… Spaniards don’t seem to be very fond of foul weather.

Wandering along calle Beatas, a pretty jazzy district known for its bars and discos, we discovered a couple of strange things I hadn’t seen before.

Fountain With Caños

This fountain looks pretty ugly, but I think it’s just the flash from the camera making it look kinda garish. This is the same angle without flash.

Fountain With Caños no flash

I was attracted to it immediately because we first saw it from the other side, the side with the faucets.

Cinco Caños

Springing fountains with taps or pipes, “caños”, are important in Spanish folklore and many songs are dedicated to them. In these traditional songs, the fountains usually have seven taps (siete caños), I dunno why but I guess seven is always a magical number and is always supposed to bring good luck.

However, the fountain on Beatas Street only had five taps.

We had actually gone off in search of the elusive “Hammam” or Arab baths. But we found them locked up and dark with a sarcastic note on the door cackling over the “nefarious” management of the former company that had been hired to take care of these facilities. Fortunately, the owner of the premises had apparently won some kind of court case (after four years!) over this nefarious management company, and now had recovered the full use of this historic site and was in the process of renovating and reforming it.

Street Art

Street art can be so beautiful sometimes.

Anyways, I was quite interested in getting away from our usual routine of Burger King or McDonald’s for dinner with a free toy thrown into the kiddie menu. The oldest is a little big for toys now, and the kiddie menu has about as much effect on his four stomachs as the proverbial egg in the giant’s stomach. The youngest still enjoys kiddie menus and free toys, but I was thinking that they were both ready to move on to more mature fare, all the same.

So I spied around for something “castizo”, something home-grown, something typically Spanish. Now, that’s pretty hard in downtown Malaga, where the streets are always crowded with foreign tourists.

But in the end we chose a nice little venue on calle Granada which seemed to have a few people, and they mostly looked Spanish. The menu was a reasonable price too. The kids clamoured for a kiddie menu, of course, and we had a debate as I preferred that they would try out something “adult” — as in, not French fries.

As a single mamma I have a tendency to endure less than satisfactory experiences in restaurants. The waiters usually give me a funny look when I walk in with two kids and no man beside me. They usually hover about me, probably most worried that I wouldn’t have the funds to pay for the meal, or that, even worse, I would take off without paying. As soon as I get up, they’re dashing over to me asking me if I would like something else or whether I’m ready to leave. And when I pay, they always count out the money most carefully while blocking the exit — just making sure it’s all there before I disappear, I guess.

Tapas at El Piyayo

At “El Piyayo”, the waiter also had a slight confusion as well because he thought I was “waiting for my husband”, and therefore he didn’t serve me immediately. After a while, he started to become aware of the fact that there probably was no “husband”, and asked me whether I was waiting for my husband.

However, once I had made it clear to him that there was no husband, there hadn’t been one for some time but I devoutly hoped that one day in the future there would once again be a “husband”, the waiter turned into the sweetest, most educated person and started attending to us as if we were the only people in the restaurant. All our food arrived promptly, and he even threw in our drinks for free!

Taberna El Piyayo

So as you can see, we had a thoroughly great time and the meal was excellent! The atmosphere was warm, cosy and welcoming. There were photos of people singing and dancing flamenco around the walls, and the few patrons about spoke in low voices and all were clearly Spanish. No “guiris” here, apparently!

We had made a superlative choice! Which is why I am mentioning this little taberna here in this blog — but I hope tourists don’t start to descend upon it like flies now that the news is out! This is just a little secret for the few people who read this blog and happen to live in or near Malaga.

If you enjoyed this post (I really hope you do!), maybe you will also like:

On Christmas Day in the Morning

Malaga in Black and White

…And It’s a Rainy Night in Malaga

What We Do On Week-ends

CBBH Photo Challenge: Reflection

I don’t often get around to rummaging through old photos and picking out specific themes. But I felt like taking up the challenge from Marianne of East of Malaga today and putting up some photos with the theme of the month.

I’ve seen some neat galleries on other blogs, but I don’t know how to set up a gallery here so I guess I’ll just bumble along with the old traditional way: plunking down photos one by one!

Ciutadella Barcelona

This was from our trip to Barcelona. Seems such a long time ago!

Calle Larios Malaga

Larios Street (calle Larios), the major pedestrian thoroughfare of downtown Malaga, is so beautifully lit up at night.

Chunky Statue

Thought this was a most unusual perspective on reflections, this statue, in Torremolinos, is polished so smooth you can even make out the details on the building it’s reflecting.

Malaga Street

These nocturnal alleyways are lovely in black and white too, and more mysterious at that.

Nebulous Reflections

I’m not going to tell you what that one is! I’ll leave it up to your imaginations!

Rio Chillar River

This was a scenic gorge you can wade through on the Chillar River near Nerja.

River Malaga

Shadows in the Water

This could be any city, any riverbank, any reflection.

Well, I would like to link to Toby at Travels With Toby, who reminded me about the CBBH Photo Challenge. She’s travelled a lot, and with any luck, one day she’ll be my neighbour here in Spain!

Then I’d like to recommend another blog even though it isn’t really related to travelling, photography or Spain, A Sprinkle of Al Sharq. What Sprinkle and I both have in common is we’re both single mums! I know lots of single mums but even with that, I think we’re still a minority.

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Hot Muggy September Nights

Marbella, Land of the Jet Set?

Do people in Marbella spend most of their days lying around a poolside, sipping champagne and zipping off every once in a while in their own personal yachts when they get bored?

Well, I dunno. Most of the people I know in Marbella are pretty poor and down-and-out. Although, on the other hand, I have to admit that most of the local people I know in general here in the south of Spain are pretty poor and down-and-out. (Unlike in Barcelona, where most of my friends were average, middle-class and with good jobs.)

Marbella Street

I’ve got a friend who works cleaning houses. She’s a single mum, she has to struggle to make ends meet. Although she’s been living this way for years, and I guess she’s doing pretty fine when you take everything into account. She’s been able to pay her rent up till now, never got her electricity cut off for non-payment, hasn’t as yet had to resort to living off of flour and potatoes for a week or take her son to the homeless shelter for a meal.

But does she live off of Chardonnay and pink champagne or lounge on the beach in topless designer bikinis?

Church Tower Marbella

Well, she does lounge on the beach sometimes. But not in designer bikinis, hers are more likely to hail from the dollar store.

Most of the time she doesn’t have shampoo, shower gel, cutlery, pots and pans or towels in her home. You know, the usual, basic, everyday items that most of us take for granted that everyone will have and that most of us assume that everyone can afford. When she can get it, she usually has milk (after all, she’s got a growing kid) and oil, olive oil when things are going great, sunflower when things are a bit tighter.

Belen Marbella

So, well, you can’t exactly say she’s starving to death. But maybe that’s not exactly how you expect an inhabitant of opulent Marbella to be living, either.

Another friend in Marbella is pretty hip. She’s an artist, so, of course, she makes art. Handicraft, to be more precise. Then she sells it in improvised stalls at street markets.

Passageway Marbella

Well, that’s not such a bad way to make a living. She says her best-selling wares, nonetheless, aren’t her artwork but rather, cheap clothes that she barters away for one, two or three euros apiece.

You know, fashion’s quite important in Marbella.

Square Marbella

Now, I know that supposedly, a lot of world-class citizens are supposed to own mansions and palaces in Marbella. The famous (and wealthy) Spanish singer Isabel Pantoja is perhaps Marbella’s most renowned sweetheart. Arab sheiks seem to like to make Marbella their home. The rich and famous favour Marbella as their winter hideout, and I imagine that if you mention the name of this small city, probably images of luxury spas and giant estates surrounded by lush gardens and palm trees spring to mind.

But the truth is, I didn’t see any of these famed properties. Now, logically, I know that they exist but I guess, like the mythical Shangri-La, maybe you’ve got to be “in the know” in order to be able to find them. Sort of like the mystic valley behind the mountains whose doors only open to you if you happen to be a seeker of spiritual truth, or something of the sort, and you come in peace.

Typical Street Marbella

So in conclusion, I guess Marbella is just yet another example of a typical southern Spanish locale where the lifestyles of the “natives” (ie. Spanish people) differ enormously from those of its foreign (and usually world-celebrity) inhabitants.

Now, I know that Marbella and, for that matter, the great majority of communities both large and small in southern Spain, are going to be just fairly normal, average, ordinary towns where you can find all sorts of people. Well-to-do people with large homes surrounded by gardens, middle-class citizens with reliable but not outstanding jobs and poorer, more marginal types, who work in the “domestic assistance” sector or at odd jobs.

Marbella Lights in the Sky

But it strikes me over and over again how such a large proportion of the Spanish people I know and meet in this part of the country belong to the “poorer, more marginal types”, as opposed to well-off foreigners or Spaniards with steady employment living in other regions of Spain, such as Madrid, Barcelona or basically any northern city.

And over and over again it makes me wonder: Is it just the culture? Perhaps here in this part of the country kids aren’t encouraged to work? Maybe they just grew up used to observing their out-of-work fathers lounging around on the sofas most of the time, and decided that that was the way people are supposed to live? (I say fathers, of course, because on the contrary here mothers never rest. There is always more work to be done around the home, meals to be cooked, rooms to be cleaned, clothes to be ironed…..)

Wrought-Iron Head

What really struck me about this balcony was the incredible intricate faces in wrought iron. Do you see them?

Is it just the attitude? Maybe here people don’t bother trying, because they think: Well, Andalucia has always been poor, so what’s the use?

I don’t know what it is that exists here in southern Spain, that keeps people poor and uninterested in obtaining or completing their education. I don’t know why so many people take “recreational” drugs here. Well, I know that drugs are a major problem in many parts of the world, and not only here. But here, I get the impression that most people take them. Or at least most of the people that I know, at any rate.

My ex brother-in-law recently passed from an overdose of the medication he was taking to wean himself off of strong illegal substances. He came from a good, well-off, educated family. He didn’t need to take drugs. He had a successful business.

Many of my friends here take drugs too. A little bit of Mary over here, a joint of hashish on the beach. Some coke if you’re successful and you can afford it. It doesn’t matter who you are or how much (or little) money you’ve got, drugs are always readily available and easy to obtain at any gathering with your friends.

All the same, I thought I’d leave you with some images of historic Marbella in the evening, with the colours of the setting sun tinting the sky.

Marbella Street With Flowers
















Here is a photo full of light, in case you were tired of gazing at all those dark night photos.

Staircase Marbella
















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