I always think that gardens by night are sadly ignored and yet they can be stunningly beautiful with their pattern of light and shadow - and super romantic too. As light levels fall, our other senses become sharper and thus we are drawn – like moths and other night-time pollinators – by soft scents and piercing perfumes alike. Summer evenings here are made for enjoyment; it's a comfortable time to be outside, lingering over dinner under the stars; ideal to sit and relax letting all the stresses and worries of the day fade away. So create a bit of bewitchment in your night-time garden, here´s how.
When local author Steve Taylor first visited Cómpeta in the Axarquía, he had no idea that his first novel would be set against the backdrop of the village. The Grapevine caught up with Steve for a chat about his book, ‘Shades in the Sun’. What made you decide to set your story in Spain? I first visited Competa some 7 years ago when my wife and I were looking for a house. I fell in love with the village and have never really forgotten the first impressions it made upon me. There is something very special about the Gaudi meeting point and the view over to Competa from there. Over the years that we have been coming to our villa, Competa has really earned a place in our hearts. When I had an idea for a book, it was important to me tot part of it in Spain, as a kind of tribute to Competa and the friends we have made here.
Last month Bar Amalia in Archez was opened by Dot Barrett. Dot is by no means a stranger to the community having lived in the village for around 11 years and is married to the local English electrician Mike. Just before Dot and Mike moved to Spain they ran a Restaurant, Bar and Motel business in the Lincolnshire Wolds near Skegness. Dot was the chef serving both traditional pub food in the busy restaurant and fine dining at the weekends. It wasn’t unusual for Dot to cook for 90 to100 covers over the weekend. The Restaurant was so successful they bought a pub in the next village and ran both places at the same time! It was always Dots dream to have a restaurant as she loves cooking and has gained Diplomas in both professional cooking and ca employed as PA to MD of a large international group and attended corporate events where her love of cooking was well known so she was often invited into the kitchens of large hotels and shown around. Dot was also able to put her love of cooking into actual practice as she regularly entertained Mike’s clients at home. However, as soon as they were in a position to buy their own restaurant and the kids were older they fulfilled their dream of owning their own business and Dot could cook every day!
Only after signing up were we told that it is considered one of the toughest triathlons in Spain. The race consisted of a 2km swim in a Reservoir in the picturesque village of Güejar Sierra, a 2km run to collect our bikes from the local sports hall (transition 1) An 80k bike ride up to the village of Pradallono, the main ski resort in the Sierra Nevada. And finally into transition 2 where we dumped the bikes and donned our trainers for a 20k run around the ski slopes above Pradollano to the finish line. First some background information, Jansen Riley and myself (Steve Twiselton) both live in Competa, we competed in our first triathlon in October last year in Malaga. The distance was a lot shorter. It consisted of 750 metres Swim, 20K Bike and a 5k run but none the less it was still a very tough race as it is considered a Sprint event. After that race it's fair to say we both had the bug and signed up for a number of races in Andalucia in the first half of 2015. In all the events the triathletes start off at the same time however beforehand competitors are grouped into various classifications depending on age and sex. My group is the 40-50 male category known as Veteran 1 or Masters. I prefer to call it Masters for obvious reasons but my wife calls it the midlife crisis category!