Elle, along with Alan, is the owner of Spain Buddy and the busy web design business - 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, their three bouncing dogs, good food, and dry white wine - although not necessarily in that order. More about Elle - HERE | Got a news story to share? Click HERE | Want to write for Spain Buddy? Click HERE | Interested in our low cost advertising? Click HERE


  1. Carol Byrne
    July 8, 2016 @ 1:13 pm

    Well said, every point a valid one. Every knock back is another chance to get back up and fight another day too – you have to make the doors open, rather than wait for them. Always follow through and deliver too – I have lost count of the folk who are ‘desperate’ to make a go of something and then let it slide.

  2. Elle Draper
    July 8, 2016 @ 1:20 pm

    You make a really valid point there Carol that I should’ve included – “Stick at it”. So many people have amazing ideas but give up too soon. There’s a difference between “giving up” and “knowing when you’re beat”. xx

  3. Sandra Piddock
    July 8, 2016 @ 1:37 pm

    Stunning as usual – funny but on the money. This should be required reading for everyone considering setting up a business in Spain. x

  4. Elle Draper
    July 8, 2016 @ 2:01 pm

    Thank you Sandra. This article started as a Facebook post – but I thought I’d add some constructive elements in too and add it as an article rathern than a pointed 100 word rant on my Facebook wall ;)
    E x

  5. Patricia McKenzie
    July 8, 2016 @ 9:03 pm

    Unfortunately Elle, there are still those who read the manual on the plane or ferry coming over to Spain. Personally I will only source those tradesmen who have been recommended by people who have lived here for 10 years or more. Have been ripped off too many times. Now have an excellent plumber and other tradesmen who I trust.

  6. Steve Hall
    July 9, 2016 @ 1:40 am

    Would not disagree with a word of that. 15 years here and I struggle to recommend a business that has not been here nearly as long. I don’t care what you say or pray. I won’t use you until you have been recommended and I won’t recommend you until I have used you myself with satisfaction.

    …and here is the rub. The longer I live here, the more I use and recommend Spanish businesses. The nearest bar to my home is British. I have used it once. The owner was rude and served putrid, luke-warm coffee. Every single day I walk past at least twice to a Spanish bar that serves great coffee, always has Spanish newspapers to read. Guessing Madam Essex loses over 1000 euros a year from me.

    Just because you are an expat does not give you the right to demand expat clients. You have to be at least as good as the locals to get the vote. I will NOT pay more for a coffee or a cabbage just because you are from down the M62 or along the M61

    Good luck to all who commit

  7. Darren
    July 9, 2016 @ 9:49 am

    Excellent funny but true ! using established businesses a good pointer too many people suddenly become qualified experts during their flight here …and people pay the price

  8. Elle Draper
    July 9, 2016 @ 11:07 am

    Speaking of which, Pat. Are you able to recommend a pool builder in the Albanchez area? Someone asked for a recommendation – but I couldn’t give thejm a personal one because we’ve not had a pool since moving to the mainland.
    Hope you’re doing okay – this year’s been a toughie for you so far!
    E x

  9. Elle Draper
    July 9, 2016 @ 11:10 am

    Longevity is a good indicator yes! I won’t dismiss someone newer, necessarily – we all had to start somewhere. But if someone is still doing solid business a decade or more later (and not reinventing themselves everytime they get bored as we see all too often)… then they have weathered the credit crunch storm and survived the teething problems.
    You and your coffee! Just had a bin a jar of the stuff. I’m allergic to it and, like you, Alan prefers it served hot and fresh from a Spanish bar.
    E x

  10. Elle Draper
    July 9, 2016 @ 11:11 am

    Exactly right. It’s the poor pensioner… or someone on their last few Euros that sometimes end up taking on someone cheap and unqualified – yet it costs them much longer in the end.
    E x

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