Wrong way round…

Wrong way round…

Our contributor Paul Whitelock bought a flat in Ronda aged 51, a house in Ronda aged 54, retired at 55, divorced at 56, renovated a house in Ronda for a girlfriend aged 57, sold his house in Ronda and bought a Victorian pile in the UK at 58, fell in love again and emigrated to Spain, also aged 58, got married again at 60, bought a villa in Ronda aged 61, sold his flat in Ronda aged 68, bought a house in Montejaque and went back to school at 70, and now he’s got himself a new job aged 71!  

Is he a very late developer or what? And why has he been so busy in the last 18 months? 

Am I a late developer? Not really, life just happened that way.  Nervous breakdown, marriage break-up and redundancy all in the same year, 2004, is a pretty hefty triple whammy in anyone’s book. So a lot of adjustments had to be made.

Why am I so busy? Because the coronavirus pandemic made me take stock of my life (and death). Surrounded by the latter, random passings from the deadly Coronavirus, a family death in a plane crash in Australia, the near-death of Rita, my wife, at the hands of “el bicho”, as the Spanish somewhat dismissively refer to Covid-19, and my own long-Covid issues, I decided I needed to make the most of whatever time I’ve got left.

So, at the moment, yes, I am very busy. I continue to write for this and other websites. I am still helping to bring Rita back to full strength, whilst coping with my own health issues. I’ve been doing up a house since last August and I’ve just landed myself a job at the age of 71.

Crazy guy

The young folk of Montejaque don’t get it. Why is a retired guy working all the hours God sends, including Sundays? Is he crazy or what? All they’re looking forward to is the day they retire ….. and they’re only in their 20s! They’ll have a long wait, I’m afraid.

I say to them, that if they ever get to retire (the retirement age keeps going up – so some of them will surely die before they reach it!) they’ll need to be active too, in order to avoid the crushing boredom of retirement with nothing to do. They think I’m crazy, sure, but I’m older and wiser – they’ll learn!


So, I thought I’d cut back on the writing, but that hasn’t happened. I find it therapeutic.

Rita is getting better by the day, and I’m learning to live with my breathing issues. Covid got to my lungs and it won’t let go, so I just take longer to walk anywhere. We’d planned to do the Caminito del Rey this year, but maybe I’ll have to pass on that.

Casa Real is coming along nicely. If it hadn’t been for the two months working time lost because of the two Covid-19 lockdowns, it would be ready and on the holiday rental market by now. As it is, I hope to pick up a few late summer and autumn bookings.

New job

The new job? Estate agent.

Well, kind of. I’m officially an affiliate of Andalucía Country Houses, a long-standing British, family-run estate agency which is about to open a new branch in Montejaque, helping people to buy, sell and rent houses. I even have to become autónomo. Blimey!

The official launch by Montejaque’s mayor Diego Sánchez Sánchez is on Friday 9 July from 6.00 pm at ACH’s premises on Calle Andalucía opposite the tobacconist’s near the square.

Everyone is welcome to join the directors, Karen, Geoffrey and Victoria, as well as me and other affiliates from across the region, for a drink and a tapa.

Work is already underway with “Se vende” signs beginning to appear on houses in Montejaque, Montecorto, Jimera de Líbar and Ronda and viewings taking place “as we speak”. The housing market looks as if it might be on the move at last. There are certainly plenty of properties for sale and people around, mainly foreigners, with cash to spend. Banks are even giving mortgages again.

So, if you have a house to sell or rent, or are looking to buy, please get in touch with us. Our commission is very competitive.

General enquiries (Cortes de la Frontera)

Tel:                         (+34) 666 30 28 43

Email:                    [email protected]

Paul Whitelock (Montejaque)

Tel:                         (+34) 636 52 75 16

Email:                    [email protected]

Website:              www.andalucia-country-houses.com


So, yes, I have kind of got my life the wrong way round.

Am I a late developer? Maybe.

Am I busy? Yes, I am.

Am I crazy? Definitely!

Paul Whitelock

About Paul Whitelock

Paul Whitelock is a retired former languages teacher, school inspector and translator, who emigrated to the Serranía de Ronda in 2008, where he lives with his second wife, Rita. He spends his time between Montejaque and Ronda doing DIY, gardening and writing.