Spain: Moving into the Slow Lane

Anyone who has been in a car with me knows I rarely move into the slow lane; I drive as fast as I can get away with – i.e. avoid speeding tickets! I blame this on my lovely Dad who was car mad and encouraged this love in his daughter. I even did a car maintenance course when I bought my first car at 19. One of my earliest memories is coming downstairs on Christmas morning, aged about 4, to see Santa had brought the bright red pedal car I’d asked for. I can still see it! I drive a fairly modest Peugeot now but if my Lottery number ever comes up, watch this space!

I guess I live my life pretty much in the fast lane too – as most people do in these busy lives we lead. But in the final days of my Spanish holiday, I am slowing down; I’ve moved into the slow lane. I sleep far later than I do at home and emerge into morning sunshine and swim in Linda and George’s beautiful pool and admire each time the glorious view.

Life is lived outside here from morning till night. In all the years I’ve been visiting, sometime between June and October, I can remember only once when we had to eat the evening meal inside. Much of life takes place in the naya – the covered terrace with arches – from breakfast to supper.

Sometimes in the day I sit there to read out of the sun. At night it’s lit up for life to continue outside until bedtime.

Outdoor living is so much part of Spanish life that people have outdoor kitchens too. Linda used this on Saturday when she’d invited friends over for supper.

And of course we ate outside – this time at the big table near the outdoor kitchen rather than in the naya.

This is all so different to my usual city life in London, where eating any meal outside in the summer is a bit of a rare treat, that it’s part of the slowing down. I think even the fact that everything happens later here encourages this too. The Spanish don’t eat lunch until about 2.00. In restaurants in the evening arriving to eat at 10.30 or later is fairly normal, even with children. So I’ve slowed right down. All I wanted to do this morning was to head down to nearby Moraira on the coast with Linda for a late coffee in a cafe by the sea and talk for a while as good friends do about life and things important to us.

Linda and George, of course, do have to get on with their own busy lives to some extent, although Linda kindly says when I’m here it’s a bit of a holiday for her too as we go off on excursions. Today I’ve swum in the pool, sunbathed, slept a little in the shade, finished one book and moved on to another, which probably amounts to pulling into a lay-by! However, tonight it’s a cafe by the sea for supper and some live music so I rather think I’ll be moving into the fast lane again – but in a wonderful way!

Posted by

A lifelong lover of good food and travel; writer and book editor

Leave a Reply