18 Mar

My wife left me last week ….. for one day! 

She did it again on Saturday! 

Is this a new trend? I like it!

This time it was only half the day, and NOT with her German friends.

Yoga lunch in Atajate 

The Lovely Rita went to a reunion lunch of the now defunct yoga group, of which she was a member. They went to Restaurante Audalazar in Atajate.

Restaurante Audalazar, Atajate (Photo courtesy of Facebook)

In attendance were Spanish lawyer and Ronda councillor, Fatima Gonzalez; half-Italian bookkeeper Yvonne Speak; English “fixer” and translator, Julie Wilkinson; two English widows, Jill La Peche and April Amis; retired English orthodontist Jill Smallman; and her English husband, journalist and photographer Karl Smallman. Plus my missus, German Rita Drechsler, a retired intensive care nurse. 

The yoga group L to R: Karl, Julie, Fatima, Yvonne, April, Jill S, Jill LP, Rita

So, I found myself kind of “de Rodríguez” (footloose and fancy-free) for most of the day. 

My “de Rodríguez” day 

On Saturday, I again took advantage of being on my own to complete important tasks around the garden. 

More gardening 

First of all, I popped into Ronda to buy more compost and some seedlings. I chose acelgas, cogollos, another type of lettuce and onions

I was also tempted by four fruit trees to plant in the allotment. I went for an albaricoque (apricot); an almendro (almond tree); a ciruelo (plum tree); and a nectarino.

My newly planted almendro (Photo: Paul Whitelock)

I took advice from my jardinero, Rafael, who was around and got them in the ground and well-watered, to join several other fruit trees in my little orchard. 

I transplanted an aloe vera, now too big for its pot, into the ground, and then went for a well-earned swim in the pool.

It was considerably warmer on Saturday, temperature up to 16C. 

Rugby – Super Saturday 

Rita was back by this time, after an enjoyable reunion lunch. I tidied up and went indoors to watch the final three matches of the 2024 Six Nations rugby tournament. 

New-look England Rugby XV (Photo: iNews)

Frustratingly, both of the teams I support lost their matches (I’m an Anglo-Welshman). 

In the first game of the day, Wales suffered the ignominy of a first Six Nations wooden spoon since 2003 after Italy claimed a  24-21 victory over them in Cardiff

And in the final match England finished third in the tournament after a monster Thomas Ramos penalty in the final minute sent them spinning to a heartbreaking 33-31 defeat in Lyon

Between these two matches, Ireland claimed their second successive championship with an unconvincing and scrappy win over Scotland by 17-13


A couple of beers to drown my sorrows and my second día de Rodríguez was finally over.


... de Rodríguez? - Secret Serrania de Ronda

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Karl Smallman

Paul Whitelock


acelgas, albaricoque, almendro, almond tree, Anglo-Welsh, apricot, aloe vera, Atajate, Audalazar, ciruelo, cogollos, Curmudgeon, de Rodriguez, England, footloose and fancy-free, France, Ireland, Italy, lettuce, Lovely Rita, nectarino, onions, orthodontist, Paul Whitelock, photographer, plum tree, Ronda, rugby, Scotland, Six Nations, Wales, wooden spoon, yoga group

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