Monday, March 2, 2009

Marbella, Spain, Sun and Son

Here I am back in cold Ireland. I have been to Spain, Puerto Banus to be precise, to stay with my young son Ben. He and his mate Brett run a bar there called Zoo Lounge.

I had a lovely time, relaxing, sitting in the bar, chatting with the regulars and playing with Ben's gorgeous dog Teddy, an American Cocker Spaniel. Ben has an odd life, opening the bar around 7pm at the moment as it's winter and very quiet, then he stays open until about 3 or 4 or 5 depending on who's there. Then it's home, often something to eat then bed until about 2pm the next day! While I was there he got up a bit earlier so we had time together.

I fell in love with Teddy completely. He is gorgeous and well behaved and a bundle of fun. We took him for walks every day, which he loved of course. The weather was quite warm, though one day was pretty cloudy with a stiff breeze, so coats were in order, but it was still much much warmer than Ireland.

I spent some time on my own wandering around the port, taking photos, drinking coffee and people watching. I treated Ben and Brett to late lunch each day so we didn't bother about much food in the evenings. They live pretty well hand to mouth, the takings from the bar being used to pay the most outstanding bill! Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are pretty busy, but the rest of the week is a bit dead. Hopefully things will pick up around Easter.

The last day I was there, Ben and Brett spent their time wiggling wires about the ceiling, trying to get their speakers in the best places. While they did that I gave the toilet a good spring clean. What else are Mums for?

Puerto Banus has a marina full of massive motor boats owned by very rich people. Hugh Grant was there last year and Ben sat next to him but he was a bit aloof apparently. Bruce Willis turns up now and then too. The owner of Chelsea football Club also has a yacht but when he comes, he has to moor up outside the marina as his yacht is too big to fit inside. One of Ben's friends looks after one of the yachts and gave us a guided tour. It was stunning. The bridge itself was like something from a spaceship. There were several bathrooms and bedrooms and a huge plasma tv. This was a pretty small boat compared to others moored nearby. In spite of the credit crunch, some people clearly still have money.

So, it's a great place for people watching too, with shops like Versace, Jimmy Choo and all those designer names on the front. Some of the ladies are beautifully dressed but others look a mess! (I was there in my t shirts, trousers, etc). One thing which struck me is the attitude of the shop keepers. Not all of them, but the majority in the supermarkets and big stores are really miserable, never smile and hardly acknowledge your existence.

Ben seems to know everyone in the port and we couldn't walk a few yards without someone rushing over and shaking his hand. In his bar, everyone I met told me what a wonderful son I had and how lovely he is. It was gratifying to hear that he is so well liked. It was clear that they were genuine remarks too, not forced in any way. Ben and Brett are like a married couple, except they never argue. It's a seamless relationship and they obviously trust each other implicitly.

So all in all a good break that went far too quickly. I took far too many photos as usual, so I'll try and be a bit selective with them. The whole set is on Facebook if anyone's interested. I can give you the link if you'd like to look.

I'm in love!

One eyed Teddy!

A catholic shrine down a side street

Wrought Iron archway and tiled steps, typical of the area

One of the beaches with a rather odd, Eastern style hotel

Ben and Teddy. Brett is on his mobile phone in the background. Note the Irish Tavern behind.

At the edge of the main square, fountains in the foreground, benches and Ben, Brett and Teddy at the back.

Ben's name is Ben Bowler so we were highly amused on seeing the hotel Benabola!! Jim and I stayed there on our last trip.

This is the view that greeted me in the morning, from Ben's garden

Bougainvillea in Ben's garden. The flowers look like paper

One of the yachts in the marina, Puerto Banus

It's strange what you can buy in some shops

I loved this above the 'Cadillac Bar'

An expensive cappuccino in a marina front bar

It seemed a little cruel to chain this lady round her neck!

This very overweight chap was indulging in a cigar. On his way to a heart attack I think.

The side of a rather lovely fern covered bench

Life belt in front of the Marina, Puerto Banus

A splendid rusty lion's head at the base of a lamp post

One of the designer shop windows, all silver and black

Versace Shop Window

Inside Zoo Lounge with the 2 new televisions

Teddy again....

The Marina, Puerto Banus

Ben, Teddy and the mountain

We ate in this bar called 'Diva' every day. They have computers.... Brett, right on computer, Ben, left on computer and Louis Walsh look alike in the centre, on computer! Note Brett's 'Zoo Lounge' hoody.

Louis Walsh in Diva

A lovely view over the sea, masts in the marina, the round house and mountains

Brett and Ben deep in discussion, Teddy waiting. New Heineken fridge!

Just to finish off, Teddy!

There are about another 50 photos! But I think that's enough. Can't wait to go back again.


Blessings each day said...


You certainly have a lot of patience with downloading so many photos. I clicked on one of my own interests in my profile itself and it gave me people with similar interests, ergo, you came up.
You long for all the places you visited and I would love to go back to Ireland for another longer visit, but it is only a dream right now...
god bless you,


Leatherdykeuk said...

How super. Lovely to see Ben so relaxed.

jinksy said...

Loved the rusty lion and the fern bench for their textures. People and places looked good too...

The Weaver of Grass said...

You sound to have had a lovely time BT - quite a change from gardening by the sound of it! I enjoyed reading about it - our sons take special place in our hearts, don't they?

Son1 said...

Sounds a great trip. No suprise he is getting all the comments, but great to hear. x

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

Teddy is adorable. No wonder you enjoyed taking him for walks. :)
Loved all the pix but the Cadilac coming thru the wall was rather unique.

ChrisH said...

Goo old mum, cleaning the loos whilst you were there! You sound very proud of your son and very supportive, I bet he was glad to have you there. I bet it was nice to feel some sunshine too, (she says, listening to the rain on the windows!)

BT said...

Hi there Blessings, how lovely to meet you. I hope you liked my photos and come again.

Leatherdykeuk, Ben was indeed relaxed, he's a fine boy.

Hello Jinksy, welcome back. I loved the rusty lion too!

Weaver, it was a lovely break indeed, very different from all the gardening! Cleaning toilets not such fun. Sons are something special indeed.

Son1, it was still very heartening to hear them as they came totally unsolicited.

Cris, super to see you back. That Cadillac was quite something! I wanted to steal Teddy!

ChrisH, I am proud of him indeed, though he's never achieved academic prizes, he is well liked and a hard worker. I hope they succeed, they both deserve it. The boys do clean up daily but there's nothing quite like Mum's cleaning!! I scraped paint splashes off the floor and retrieved bits of paper from behind the loos!

marianne said...

Hi BT!
Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving all these kind comments!
What a nice post this is and the perfect one for an inntroduction!
Such wonderful pictures!
Your son and his friend are a handsome couple, and it´s nice when people say good about them isn´t it, makes you proud doesn´t it. I have 2 sons as well but they are a bit younger.
Teddy is cute! Such a nice beetle!
Great you had such a good time.
As for your question; I use a mix of things mostly watercolors Inktense pencils, a micron pen (the black lines)glitter gelpens, glitterglue and acrylic paint.
And yes on that roses ATC I did the background at home in advance.
They are fun to do aren´t they?
If you want we can do a trade maybe?
Now I am off to see some more of your blog!
Nice to meet you
Greetings from Holland

Carol and Chris said...

Sounds like a fabulous trip....I love your photo's...the lion one is stunning!!

C x

Ps. You should send the bench one to DJ for her bench blog...she would love it!!

Ces said...

I love your commentaries to each photograph. This looks like a lovely place, not so crowdede like other tourist areas. That Teddy is so huggable and lovely! I am glad you had a wonderful time. Thank you for sharing. This is the first I heard of Buerto Banus. Must read up on it.

BT said...

marianne, thank you so much for calling and for your comments. Also for the information on your 'tools of the trade'. I'd love to swap ATCs with you too.

Carol, thanks for your lovely comments. DJK already stole my bench ones from Facebook!! LOL.

Ces, great to see you as always. Glad you enjoyed my photo record. Puerto Banus is the place for rich folk!! Ben is there by accident!
It does get very busy in the summer of course but Spring and Autumn are the best time to visit.

Casdok said...

Super photos, glad you had a lovely time. I enjoy people watching to!

BT said...

Thanks Casdok. People watching is the best!

Sam said...

'Spain was warmer than Ireland', thank heavens we sent you on that 'how to state the obvious course! ;)x glad you had a good time sounds great, Teddy is very cut too. See you soon XX

BT said...

You are a very cheeky woman Sam! It isn't always so, you know!! Teddy is just adorable. See you soon.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

What a complete charmer Teddy is!! I can see why you are smitten. He colouring....his big paws...he's just a beauty.

Looks like a lovely trip. Welcome home!

BT said...

Pamela, lovely to hear from you. Indeed he is a charmer, like all men? lol. It was a good trip. Snowing here, soooo cold.