Jenni Rock is one of this website’s biggest fans and earliest advertisers. She and Elle have been great friends since 2012, when Spain Buddy first launched and Elle’s wardrobe is testament to the quality and style of Jenni’s business. If you’d like to be featured on this site, please follow the link under this article. Right – over to the lovely Jenni!
When did you move to Spain, and where from?
We arrived in Spain on Monday 16th October 2006 after leaving The West Midlands on Friday 13th…….It wasn´t a lucky omen!!! But did improve in the months that followed – thankfully.
Who came with you?
My Husband…Mr Rock
Where in Spain do you live now?
Arboleas, just outside of Albox in Almería.
What things (apart from loved ones) do you miss from your country of birth?
I miss the seasons, strange to some maybe, but I used to love to see Daffodils on sale as you knew that Spring had arrived, along with the smell of freshly mown grass, then Autumn and lovely walks across Cannock Chase with the leaves crunching under foot…..although I can still get that here but in the height of Summer!!! But still not the same.
Do you work? As what?
Easier to say what I haven´t worked at since arriving here. When I first arrived It was the height of the property boom so soon got a job selling property which I loved (mainly because I am nosey and like seeing how people have decorated there houses. Then unfortunately the crisis hit and house sales dropped off so I have sold furniture, advertising for 2 of the large Spanish Expat Newspapers and sold Medical alarms and services (I do come from a sales background) I was then able to realise my dreams and buy a Clothes boutique 4 years ago which I love and don´t consider it work as it is far too enjoyable. Then in May of this year I opened my 2nd shop thats sells accessories and Gifts, a natural progression from the Boutique. Its hard work but so worth it and I am a big believer in you get out what you put in.
How are you with speaking Spanish?
My Spanish is OK but could be better. The more I speak it the better it gets but being in more of an expat Brit community it doesn´t get used as much as it should.
If you could change one thing about Spain… what would that be?
Always a difficult one as this is our adopted Country and really it should be a case of if you don´t like it then don´t stay!!! Things here frustrate me, especially from a business point of view and complete lack of urgency when things are needed but you learn to live with it, its how things have always been done. On a not so serious note I would love to see a 10 items or less checkout in my local supermarket!!!!
What are the best things about living in Spain?
The work life balance, the weather, quiet motorways and ease of getting to places and the cost of living and socializing.
What are your favourite Spanish dishes?
I love Tapas especially Potatas pobre, gambas Piri Piri and Albondigas. It is great to have such a fantastic selection of fresh fish available and all at such reasonable prices. I also love the Spanish Pork, was never a massive fan in the UK but here it is so tasty.
What is the predominant nationality of your friends in Spain?
I would say 70% British 30% Spanish
If you won the Euromilliones – would you still live where you currently are? Why? Why not?
I would still live in Spain but would probably move to a City, ideally Valencia or Barcelona. As much as love where I live at the moment I do miss city life. Unfortunately City life also comes at a cost and to lead the lifestyle I would want then I would most certainly need that lottery win.
If a movie was made about your life – who would play you? Why?
In an ideal world I would love it to be the late great Audrey Hepburn, current actresses I would like to say Cameron Diaz but if I am very honest it would probably be (a younger) Julie Walters as that is who I am compared to most mainly for her Brummie background and fantastic sense of humour. It was also one of the things my husband told me on our 1st (blind) date, that I reminded him of her, I was 19 at the time and quite offended as I could have thought of many more ladies I would have preferred to be compared to but now with many years of age and experience I am very flattered to be compared to yet another British Icon.
If you had to describe yourself as a cocktail… what would you be, and why?
I would say it has to be a Mojito, which is my favourite cocktail. Simple but loved by many, refreshing to be around with infectious effervescence to my personality. I will not only keep your cool, but help the people around me chill out!!!!
Right – now is the chance to tell us all about your business/website/blog if you have one (or more of course).
Gladrags Boutique is a welcoming shop offering quality clothing in beautiful fabrics and at affordable prices. As well as the modern Classics from the UK High Street I also offer unusual and quirky clothes from suppliers in Portugal & France. In the boutique you willl find something for every age, size, style & Budget. My 2nd shop (Right next door) is called Bangles & Bows and is your 1 stop shop for Ladies Accessories and Gifts for Men, Women & Children. Again I have gone for quality items and a bit different from the norm but all at extremely reasonable prices. If I haven´t got it, just ask and I will endeavour to get it for you. A free Gift Wrapping service is available in both shops. You can find the Boutique & Bangles and Bows on Calle Malaga, Albox, 04800. 1 Street up from Mercadona. Or check the shops out on Facebook.
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.