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. Phil Ballard
    September 10, 2013 @ 2:57 pm

    Sounds quite a lot like here, Elle; the humble restaurants, the dogs (not ours either!) barking all night at nothing and the wood burner against the winter cold. (You can keep the latter, I’ll take Lanzarote’s climate, thanks). As for the scary critters, there are many times when all three of us (Sue, Alan & I) hear something outside in the dark, look at each other, then deliberately carry on with what we were doing without a single word … :O

  2. Elle Draper
    September 10, 2013 @ 3:05 pm

    Ha ha! I love the “deliberately carry on” mention. I’ll admit ot being a bit jumpy when we first came… but I don’t worry now.
    I loved Lanzarote weather – but I don’t miss the blimmin dust that came with it too!
    Thanks for leaving a comment. I’ve been loving your blog posts by the way! http://www.hiddenspain.info for anyone else who fancies a read.
    Elle xx

  3. Penny Sadler (@PennySadler)
    September 10, 2013 @ 3:10 pm

    Elle, I think you’re both quite mad, and I’d love to visit some day. :)

  4. Elle Draper
    September 10, 2013 @ 3:38 pm

    Yes, we are both more than a bit erm… insane.
    You’d be very welcome Penny!
    Elle x

  5. Keith Wareing
    September 10, 2013 @ 3:43 pm

    Has it really been a year? I love Alan’s pictures of life out there and it really does look stunning, I live in hope of one day getting out to see you all but until that day, you keep writing and I’ll keep reading. XX

  6. Elle Draper
    September 10, 2013 @ 3:48 pm

    I know love – it’s flown by hasn’t it? Mind you… so have the 7 years since we left the UK too (Sept 24th 2006). Can you believe it eh?
    You and Lolly would always be welcome here Keith – you know that!!!! xxxxxxxxxx

  7. Stephen
    September 10, 2013 @ 4:20 pm

    Great update, thanks guys!

  8. Lorna
    September 10, 2013 @ 4:38 pm

    Oh the similarities haha! Great blog post Elle, and I hope you will enjoy many more years of happiness in your rural idyll :-) xx

  9. Elle Draper
    September 10, 2013 @ 4:41 pm

    Thansk Lorna! Yes, we’ve got to kow a lot more Campo dwellers since moving here. Long may it continue xxxx

  10. Elle Draper
    September 10, 2013 @ 4:41 pm

    Thanks love! Hope we get you here some day xxx

  11. wanderingeducators
    September 10, 2013 @ 5:19 pm

    What a beautiful place! And i love the seasons, too, so can understand….

  12. Yolanda Solo
    September 10, 2013 @ 5:33 pm

    That made me chuckle, having done it the other way round, after 8 years in the sticks, 4 dogs, 13 cats and a donkey running around, I am quite ready to get a bit closer to town. I could never be a city dweller again, but a little closer to civilisation would be nice so we don´t have to drive everywhere.

  13. Elle Draper
    September 10, 2013 @ 6:46 pm

    Yes it’s very pretty here… especially in the springtime. x

  14. Elle Draper
    September 10, 2013 @ 6:47 pm

    I do wish we had a little shop nearby… just with bread and milk perhaps. But apart from that, we love where we are xxx

  15. mickibarefootnomad
    September 11, 2013 @ 9:43 pm

    Oh my gosh – what on earth are “flying teeth”? I’m a bit scared to ask…

    I do agree with you on the Andaluz accent – we Spent a couple of months in Spain last winter, and had the hardest time (with our Mexican Spanish) trying to communicate.

  16. Elle Draper
    September 11, 2013 @ 11:17 pm

    “Flying Teeth” are awful things. They are flying gnashers. Their bodies are about 1mm long (if that) and they have white wings abut 2mm long. They can get through the holes in mosquito screens (which we have on all our windows) and they are relentless. Thye suck blood… and come in large numbers. Vile things!

    I always thought I’d get on better with Mexican Spanish… it’s more like Canarian than modern day Mainland Spanish. It’s “old Spanish” as a couple of our Spanish pals say.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment Micki. xxx

  17. Melissa
    September 12, 2013 @ 12:40 am

    Sounds pretty great to me… but flying teeth? I met some of those in Venice last summer… No thanks!

  18. Elle Draper
    September 12, 2013 @ 10:54 am

    Blimmin awful eh?!
    Worst thing is when you breathe in and one shoots up your nostril – happened last night! ;)
    Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment Melissa. I enjoyed your Brooklyn article this morning.
    Elle x

  19. Dale
    September 12, 2013 @ 5:40 pm

    I love the thought that you move all that way only to be surrounds be Cornish folk and Glaswegians all walking their dogs together ruining the setting :P Sorry, the thought of it just made me chuckle.

    I’m really glad to read about your journey though and it stands as a great example that anyone’s dream of making a similar change of location is possible, no matter what curious things come across their way.

  20. Elle Draper
    September 12, 2013 @ 5:54 pm

    Ha ha – yeah, the differences between some Spanish dialects are as wide as Cornish is to Glaswegians. We’ll get there though.

    Absolutely right – anyone can make the move… they just need to get on with it. So many people call us “brave”. We’re not… we’re just a little more spontaneous I guess.

    Thanks for commenting oh Mighty Bearded One. Hope your week gets better for you.

    Elle x

  21. Terry at Overnight New York
    September 13, 2013 @ 1:24 am

    I love that you happily traded in a six-year vacation with perfect weather and glorious sands for violent seasons in the middle of nowhere amidst dodgy folk (some of the time). Sounds terrific — and fun and full of surprises — and like an excellent reason to travel.

  22. Elle Draper
    September 13, 2013 @ 11:05 am

    Hi Terry. Yeah, Playa Blanca was gorgeous… but it was time for a new adventure. Just can’t believe how fast the time has flown!!!
    Thanks for taking the time to comment. Elle x

  23. Cat of Sunshine and Siestas
    September 13, 2013 @ 12:09 pm

    Good for you! Moving house is never fun, and even moving within Spain has to be an adventure.

  24. Elle Draper
    September 13, 2013 @ 1:24 pm

    The physical journey wasn’t nice for sure Cat… but the figurative “journey” is always worth it.
    Thanks for popping by! xxx

  25. Travelogged
    September 13, 2013 @ 11:52 pm

    I didn’t know Lanzarote had even temps through out the year? I assumed it was extremely hot in the summer like Sicily?

  26. Elle Draper
    September 14, 2013 @ 9:35 am

    Yes… very even temperatures. The islands are much lower in latitude than the Mediterranean places… and are actually pretty close to the Northwest coast of Africa. Much nearer there than Spain anyway. They are sometimes collectively known as the Islands Of Eternal Spring. Many Mainland Spanish head to the islands to escape the blistering summer heat. Of course you do get some really hot days, especially when the Calima (dust storms… but not quite as horrific as it sounds) and the Sorocco (hot winds) both from the Sahara hit. It’s like standing in front of a “space heater” then… but generally the temperatures are very comfortable. The islands don’t have such defined seasons as elsewhere in Europe, and that is what appeals to so many (but which bored Alan).
    Lowest temperature we experienced whilst living there was 9 degrees Celsius… and I believe (but could be wrong) that 7 was the lowest on record for Lanzarote. Never snow or ice there. Mind you, Tenerife’s high mountain, Montaña Teide is snow capped for part of the year.
    Thanks for leaving a comment!
    Elle x

  27. Gabi (The Nomadic Family)
    September 15, 2013 @ 3:31 pm

    What a beautiful place? Really want to go there myself.

  28. Elle Draper
    September 15, 2013 @ 3:36 pm

    Hi Gabi – yes it is lovely here!
    Thanks for popping by. xx

  29. Mary @ Green Global Travel
    September 16, 2013 @ 3:19 am

    Our dog is a big concern when we travel as well. Thankfully, we have a happy place for him to stay when we travel a few weeks at a time. I’m glad to hear that you found a spot where you and the three dogs can be happy- even if it is a bit isolated.

  30. Elle Draper
    September 16, 2013 @ 9:39 am

    They are like our children, aren’t they Mary? I have to say that all 3 of them were angels as we travelled, and they enjoyed the undiluted time with their “Mum and Dad”.
    They seem to prefer it here too. Right now they are racing up and down the stairs in excitement because Alan is heading out and they are hoping to go too (they’re not, they’re staying here with me).
    Thanks for popping in and leaving a comment x

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