A very warm welcome to Lynsey Drake, this week’s Expat Interviewee. Lynsey hails from near to one of my favourite towns in the UK, and now lives in the hills between Comares and Colmenar. Enjoy!
When did you move to Spain, and where from?
We moved lock ,stock and barrel on the 1st June 2005. We left behind our wonderful village and community of Ettington, near the beautiful Shakespeare town of Stratford-upon-avon in Warwickshire.
Who came with you?
My husband drove with a huge trailer with my Dad following behind, packed to the gunnels. Myself and our 3 children, then 8,6 & 1 , flew excited and nervous. Our dog ‘Spencer’ English Springer Spaniel followed a few months later .
Where in Spain do you live now?
We live in the ‘Montes of Malaga’ between the rural towns of Comares and Colmenar. Nestled in our own little dell, and olive and almond groves.
Do you work? As what?
I am a professional ‘Foodie’, I run my own catering company ‘La Rosilla, Unique & delicious’ and also give Cooking and Culture days and tours, based around local food and traditions.
How are you with speaking Spanish?
My Spanish fluctuates, I did A level at school, and came thinking I could speak quite well ! Until I got to rural Andalucia, and I had to decipher the local dialect. My children are now much better than I am, but I suppose yes I can deal with most situations.
If you could change one thing about Spain… what would that be?
Housing bureaucracy and and the unfair legal process. Unfortunately we have been caught up in the housing illegalities. We did everything correctly through the Spanish legal system along with 1000’s of other home owners, yet the Junta can change the rules and goal posts whenever they want . Reclassifying land from rural to protected, putting houses at risk. It has to stop.
What is the best thing about living in Spain?
The lifestyle, weather, food, freedom for children, less commercialism, respect for families.
What is your favourite Spanish dish?
Chilled gazpacho on a hot summers day, made from all our own home-grown ingredients. Berenjenas fritas, aubergines fried and drizzled with cane honey. Figs wrapped in serrano and stuffed with goats cheese. Morcilla and chickpeas…I could go on all day !
What is the predominant nationality of your friends in Spain?
Friends we spend time with socially are mostly English. Aquaintances are Spanish, and the children’s friends are all Spanish.
If you won the Euromilliones – would you still live where you currently are?
Yes I love my home La Rosilla, my view and being tucked away, I’d add a few new touches and buy myself a wooden shed for my own retreat and I would by a city pad in Malaga, I love that place.
If a movie was made about your life – who would play you?
I’d like to say Nigella Lawson, volumptous and curvy and loves food, but more likely a Jennifer Saunders ‘Edi’ from Ab Fab. I have in the past been told I am like Sharon’ from Birds of a feather and ‘Hyacinth Bucket, cheek I call it ;)
If you had to describe yourself as a sandwich filling… what would you be?
Peanut Butter and Jam – I like to think I’m smooth, often describe as nutty, but sometimes fruity…oo er !
Right – now is the chance to tell us all about your business/website/blog if you have one (or more of course). Go for your life!
My lifestyle & food blog is www.larosilla.info, this is where I share my recipes, tales from the mountain and traditions we experience as a family, I think of it as our family memoirs we can look back on in years to come.
www.larosilla.com is where you will find all the details on all the types of catering I offer, the unique ‘Welcome meals’ for holiday makers, Supperclub dining and and my cooking and culture days and tours. I focus on fresh, homegrown and local seasonal produce for my dishes.
We also rent La Rosilla out to tourists, for them to experience mountain living, and sample a little heaven .
Finally I have started writing my book, which will be based on Tastes and tales from the mountain, Mediterranean and beyond….watch this space.
Elle, along with Alan, is the owner of Spain Buddy and the busy web design business – Spain Web Design by Gandy-Draper.
Born a “Norverner”, she then spent most of her life “Dann Saff” before moving to Spain in 2006. Elle’s loves are Alan, the internet, dogs, good food, and dry white wine – although not necessarily in that order.