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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Tim's 2015 Iberian Fantasy Calendar

A guest post by my truckbuddy Tim from England, now resident in Spain:

Tim’s 2015 Iberian Fantasy Calendar

There, that got your attention! It certainly caught mine the first time I saw it; talk about blowing your own trumpet! Actually it’s someone’s cleverly photoshopped fantasy; and it leads us nicely into today’s topic. However, I have to say that my own meticulous and exhausting research shows that most Spanish Legionnaires prefer to go ‘commando’!

Regular reader Davis (hi there!), apart from being a lover of fine music, also has pretty good taste in men. He thinks I live in an ‘Iberian Fantasy’, surrounded by Hispanic hunks and blond beach-boys. Well, I do, but since it’s the season of giving, I thought it would be nice to share some of them with you as well. So what better way to start 2015 than with an Iberian Fantasy calendar? Twelve images that, only for lack of space, have failed to make it on to the Blue Truck in my guest posts over the last few years. They’re not all Hispanic though; variety is the spice of life . . . and fantasy!

I’ve written a few lines of text to accompany each month’s image, and highlighted some dates that have special significance for us here in fantasy land, or Spain as we locals call it. But first, a little ditty.

There’s a song for every occasion, and this one’s perfect. From 2014, Kevin Cavanaugh sings Calendar Boy. There’s only the LP cover to look at here, so start the fantasy whenever you’re ready.


The 6th of January is Kings Day – El día de los Reyes. The Three Kings (those three wise men from the Bible) arrive by ship the night before and magically parade through the towns and villages all over Spain at the same time. Sometimes on horseback, occasionally on camels, but usually on a lorry! They distribute sack-loads of sweets to the watching children as they pass by. If the children have been good during the year, they will awake the next day to find their presents next to them. But if they have been naughty, they will only find a small bag of coal! So be good! I wouldn’t mind waking up to find the king of cool next to me! Well, this is a fantasy: Steve McQueen especially for you, Davis.

Locally, in the nearby town of Mijas, the 17th is St Anton’s day. He is the patron saint of animals, and on that day people take their pets to the little chapel outside the town to be blessed. The unmarried women of the pueblo also take something, three small stones to throw at the statue of the saint. A direct hit on St Anton’s, er, genitals means that they will soon find a boyfriend and be wed! I might try that. Don’t tell Partner!

In rural Spain, particularly here in Andalucia, most children are named after various saints or virgins; and these saint’s name days are celebrated instead of, or as well as, your actual birth date. The Spanish equivalent of St Timothy is San Timotéo; who name is celebrated on the 25th. I like this idea, extra presents (see August)! There is no San Compañero, so poor old Partner misses out!



Even in Spain this is the month when the bears hibernate, so it’s pretty quiet. The 28th is Andalucía Day, when the autonomous region that is now my home celebrates its birth in 1980. Yes, it’s easy to forget that Spain is a ‘young’ democracy. So here’s some home-grown talent: model and soldier Rubén López from Jaén in the north of Andalucía.


Hibernation ends - hooray! This is the month that the beach bars and chirinquitos begin to open for the season, including Partner’s and my favourites – Royal Beach, just down the road from our home, and Hipo Beach, which is nearer to magical Marbella. There’s a buzz in the air now, winter is over, summer’s not far away! Eddie Rodriguez is ready and raring to go!


Easter falls in April this year, and Good Friday is on the 3rd. So for the restaurants and hotels along the cost it’s a last chance to get everything clean and shipshape before the summer tourists arrive. Here’s young Carlos Villar, having a quick wash and brush-up after his appearance in my Hirsute Pursuit post! He scrubs up very well don’t you think? Woof!


This is one of those lovely relaxing months, not too hot, not too busy, not much happening apart from Labour Day on the first. This celebration was banned by Franco, but reinstated after his death; and it will be celebrated by workers and trade-unionists with street marches and speeches, lots of speeches! Here actor/model Rubén Cortada takes a break from his labours – oh my!


On the 3rd, Partner and I celebrate the purchase of our home here in Spain. It will be ten years since we bought the house, and it’s become one of our own traditions that we celebrate the event. Normally we have a seafood meal because that’s how we celebrated on the day in 2005, after signing the legal papers at the Notary’s office.

The next big date is the evening of the 23rd – La Noche de San Juan. It’s a typically Spanish mix of pagan and Christian ritual, celebrating the summer solstice, but also a renewal of one’s baptism. The body and spirit are cleansed by fire and water. At the stroke of midnight you walk backwards into the sea, symbolically cleansing the body, which is for many a most devout act. Others will jump over fire to purify the spirit. One for the youngsters! Partner and I always celebrate at Hipo Beach. The owner will have cooked the most wonderful eight-course barbecue, Argentinean style, with different cuts of beef and pork, chicken and spiced sausages. Later we will release floating lanterns into the night sky and watch them drift up and out to sea. All the staff at Hipo are young and friendly, but ‘Coco’ is particularly handsome. (This one’s for you Russ).  [Editor's note - Russ says "Muchas gracias!"]


A busy month, it’s Lulu’s birthday is on the 14th; she’ll be 9 this year. She will get even more special treats than usual today, bless her! Then on the 16th it’s the celebration of the Virgen del Carmen, when the sea and sailors are blessed by their patron saint. Along the coast of Spain, images of the virgin are taken out to sea by boat amidst much celebration; from little fishing ports to large glitzy marinas. We will try and catch our local festivities in nearby La Cala. Then on the 22nd it’s Partner’s birthday. Here’s the irrepressible Sergio from Royal Beach with last year’s birthday cake. Sergio’s a great cook, but not too good at math. Partner says he wishes was 26 again . . . I wish he was too (sigh)!


It’s now almost unbearably hot. All the boys on the beach are down to the bare essentials. Here’s some sexy stud in Speedos cooling off! Yes, yours truly, practising his beach-boy look again. Hey it’s my calendar too – LoL! It’s also my birthday on the 25th. We Virgos appreciate punctuality, so don’t be late with the presents! P.S. The photo was taken in the last century, when I still had big hair . . . (another sigh)!


Our administrative centre is the little town of Mijas, one of the lovely pueblos blancos, or white villages, that nestle in the foothills of the Andalusian mountains. Mijas has its annual fair on the 8th and the patron of the town, La Virgen de la peña, the Virgin of the rock, takes centre stage. She was so named after a statue of the virgin was found hidden in a cave in the rocks above the town in the 16th century. She was discovered by two shepherd boys, and had lain there during the long years of the Moorish occupation. Today a simple chapel marks the spot and the virgin rests in an alcove above the tiny altar.

We are coming to the end of a long hot summer now, but forest fires are still a constant hazard throughout the month. A while ago I wrote about our wonderful Mijas firemen, so this is a tribute to them and their good works.


The 12th is Armed Forces Day in Spain. Now you all know I like a military man in a close-fitting uniform, and this studly legionnaire is packed tight! I wish more uniforms were like this! It’s like Bruce Banner about to turn into the Hulk – LoL!


On the 16th of November, 2004, Partner and I arrived in Spain to live. We had driven down through France with our car loaded with luggage and our two dogs. At two-thirty in the afternoon we crossed the border into Spain, and this has become yet another anniversary that we celebrate assiduously. It’s wonderful to have your own traditions and celebrations of personal, as well as national, events. It helps creates a sense of belonging, important when you’ve swapped countries, not just homes. One of the many things that bought us to Spain has to be that Hispanic look. Here’s one of my favourite Spanish actors, Miguel Ángel Silvestre – he’s got the look in spades!


The 6th is the Día de la Constitución, and in a land where designer sunglasses and designer stubble go hand-in-hand with wearing a uniform, what better way to celebrate than with this image of a typically macho policeman. This fine upholder of the law sums it all up nicely. Now that’s what I’d really like for Christmas!

My, how the year flies! I hope you all enjoyed the experience. To play us out, the original 1961 hit, Calendar Girl, sung by Neil Sedaka. Is it me, or is this original gayer than the gay cover-version we started with?

A happy New Year to all Blue Truck readers, I look forward to seeing you in 2015.


Davis said...

"Meticulous and exhausting research…" eh? I must do more of it… Thanks, Tim, for the shout out - I must say Mr December just sent me through the roof. But then, each month has its own delectable qualities.

How do I get a permanent visa to this fantasy world?!

All the best in the New Year, friend, and Oh, I'll do my best to leave a bit behind for the chief Trucker… ;-)

Tim said...

Well Davis, I'm pleased to to get your 2015 off to a good start!

Take care with Mr June though, Russ wants to give him some extra tutelage apparently - something about growing a beard - LoL!

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