Hilary Coombes Spain


Some of you know that I live between the UK and Spain, and I love the country of my birth, and my adopted county very much, but there are lots of little differences that you’d never imagine if you only visit for a holiday. 

I thought I’d share with you just a couple of the ‘different’ or unexpected things about ‘sunny’ Spain

I always return to Spain after a break in the UK and fall into the same trap! First of all, hands up, I think my memory might have a part in this, or lack of memory!

Hilary Coombes

The cakes in this photo should be light and airy fruitcakes. Mmn … they would be light and airy fruitcakes had I made them in England, but I made them in Spain today and they are absolutely solid and weigh as much as a baby elephant (well, maybe that last bit is an exaggeration!)

Don’t worry Mary Berry your job is quite safe!

When I first return to my Spanish home I always manage to forget that bags of flour in Spain are invariably plain flour. I’ve never seen self-raising flour in my local area. Baking powder is a bit ‘thin on the ground’ too so I shall have to hunt around again to find some. Meanwhile, no home-made cakes, no home-made pastries (I shall be slim).


Hilary Coombes

The other thing I forget is that hair conditioner usually comes in a spray that you use after your hair has been towel-dried.

When I first lived in Spain my Spanish language was not great and it took me weeks to work that one out. In the meantime I used some pretty strange products before getting it right. To be honest nowadays I’ve noticed a few English style conditioners that are used immediately after washing are infiltrating the market. It must be the foreign influence taking hold, but I’m now so used to Spanish conditioners that I’ve grown to prefer them when I’m in Spain.


The third and final thing I want to share with you is that contrary to popular believe it is not always sunny on the Costa’s. It is usually sunny and on the whole it will be warmer than the UK, but in the winter we do get cold snaps of weather too. Sometimes we even get a day or two of rain and just look what’s happened this week! Yes snow.

Hilary Coombes

This is the second time in my experience of living here that I’ve experienced snow on and near the coast.

The first time I was ‘on holiday’ for two days in Valencia and it was so bitterly cold that I wore all the articles of clothing I had in my suitcase at the same time. Every bit of underwear including three pairs of pants and I even wore my pyjamas under my trousers and jumpers. It was that or stay inside the hotel for two days. Consequently, I hope you don’t feel so bad if it’s cold or raining or snowing wherever you are in the UK at present. Remember the rain in Spain falls not only on the plain, and the snow not only in the skiing areas of Granada.

I wouldn’t change my life for the world though, I still feel extremely lucky, and wherever you live I hope you do too.

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