Dream home away from home

Romantic Holiday Hideaway in Gaucín, Andalucía, Southern Spain

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First of all my very best wishes for a brand New Year...2019 already nearly 2020 where have the years gone! And I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas! Starting to write this from dark and damp London I wish I was in Gaucín with its expansive views and magical landscapes as well as escaping the politics in the UK. All being well and excluding further drone activity at Gatwick I should be snugly ensconced at Casa Mosaica by the time you read this. Outside Casa Mosaica We had some amazing Autumn weather this year as you can see from this photo I took outside of Casa Mosaica on the 4th October. We also had plenty of rain as you may have noticed on the European weather news; there was severe flooding in Andalusia on the 21st of October after 200 - 300 litres of rain per Sq. meter fell over a 5 hour period.
Casa Mosaica terrace by day and evening We were in the village and although we saw black clouds that morning not much rain fell in Gaucin itself and the the day ended with this stunning sunset. It was not until the next morning that we realised how badly the flood had effected people living close to the River Genal including some evacuations by helicopter!
Rainbow and Sunset The great thing about the autumn, spring and winter months in Gaucín, despite a bit of rain sometimes, is there is so much to do before it gets too hot and one can’t think of anything except not getting over-heated, at the bottom of this newsletter I’ve added a list of the main Festivals and Events for 2019 although there almost always something going on here one way or another.

The Casita is particularly cosy in the cooler months as well as being lovely and light; contact me well ahead for details of longer lets in low season in the Casita which cost less then €250 per week. One of the many nice things to do is a painting course...
Paddy Robinson's art classes As you probably already know Gaucin has many resident artists, 2 of them, Paddy Robinson and Jennifer Waterhouse offer classes from their studios. Paddy’s home/studio is only about 25 steps from the Casita gate. Paddy (above) would organise a programme for whatever suited her students. In this instance her class was from 10 am till 1pm 3 or 4 days a week, and one or two afternoons. Personally I had not painted a still life since school days and found it was a delightful and engaging experience; and one I would throughly recommend...come with an idea or a project (mine was to paint my own Christmas Card “Candle”) stay comfortably at CASA MOSAICA, with your friends or family and take away several delightful paintings.

You will see from the Art Gaucin website artgaucin.com that Jenny’s style is quite distinct; she is Paddy's paintings inspired by the countryside around Gaucin and has the use of this wonderful studio with a view of La Cristalina during the winter months (see her painting of it on the left). Jenny could also give classes in the Garden at Casa Mosaica which might be rather nice. Jenny at work

Contact Paddy Robinson and Jennifer Waterhouse directly via the artgaucin.com website, or let me put you in touch with either of them to find out more about pricing and timing. Or let me put a Casa Mosaica / painting holiday together for you for 2019 /2020. I can already visualise some of your lovely work!!

If your friends or partners would rather join a writing class (chalkthesun.co.uk) or be active and sporty while you paint then I can throughly recommend the very reasonably priced all singing all dancing new gym “SMC fit” opposite the petrol station run by Sebastián Marquez Carrero who you might already know or recognise from Casa Antonia. There is also a tennis and paddle court in the village available for anyone to use and of course there is also the Gaucin walkers group which I have written about often and is available to all visitors in Gaucin (GAUCIN WALKERS on Facebook).

In Tangier with friends I took a few friends with me to the 100th anniversary Service of Remembrance at the Church of St. Andrew’s in Tangier this year. It’s a very pretty church built in 1894, the interior is designed as a fusion of numerous styles, notably Moorish with a bell tower shaped like a minaret.
Royal Marines in Tangier
As you can see it was a beautiful day and a great many people of various nationalities gathered for the moving service. The Piper who played an emotional highland lament was a Royal Marine from Gibraltar, whilst the Bugler had come all the way from his Yorkshire regiment to play the last post and the reveille beside the graves.

We stayed for 2 nights at the delightful Tangarina Hotel in the Kasbah, with a lovely view of Spain, and a most delicious dinner in the Morocco Club restaurant pictured below, which you might recognise as the architecture that inspired us most when designing and building Casita Mosaica. The original building was designed by the famous American architect, painter and decorator Stuart Church and frequented by The Beats and Mick Jagger during their sojourns in Tangier. I thought the food was absolutely delicious but not inexpensive… There’s a paino bar and a café terrasse as well.
The Moroccan Club which inspired Casita Mosaica's design However you no longer need to go all the way to Tangier to buy the traditional Moroccan coloured ceramics, bags and belts that are so useful for presents because we have the amazing Alí and his Regalos, a fairly new shop in Gaucin, next to the chemist which has grown over the last year to become a treat in Gaucin. Ali’s opened a further room with a large collection of rugs including lot of fashionable black and white Berber rugs, the prices are very fair and you don’t have to sit for hours drinking mint tea and fearing you will never emerge from the carpet sellers cave as seems to happen in Morocco!!
Ali's Moroccan shop in Gaucin We are exceptionally lucky to have so many charming, varied and interesting festival in Gaucin that I leave you with a list of expected events for 2019……… and the these photos taken on Saturday 5th January about 6pm, it was a beautiful clear cold day with a hot sun. Gaucín celebrated Three Kings Day or Día de los Reyes. This is the day most Spanish children receive their Christmas presents from Los Reyes Magos (Three Wise Men) on the Day of Epiphany.

A great procession starting with small children dresses as lambs, followed by a van decorated with presents from inside children throwing more sweets! Then the smartly turned out village band playing Christmasy tunes and then more children and parents all dressed up and finally 3 wonderfully dresses long haired kings mounted elegantly on horse back. Christmas Festivities in Gaucin 2019 Gaucin Annual Festivals:

Semana Santa / Easter Bull run in Gaucin. It is a village version of the San Fermines in Pamplona 21 April 2019

Toma de Los Franceses / Elaborate and charming re-enactment with local Sierra residents Celebrating the retaking of Gaucin from the French in the war of Independence. 10 /11 May 2019.

Art Gaucin/ Gaucin Artists open their studios: 23/ 25 May & 31/ 2 June 2019

La Noche de San Juan 23 June 2019 is celebrated with a “Romeria” (country party) food, music, dancing and horse-racing. A family-oriented event.

Semana Cultural / A week of various local free events including guided walks, sports events, exhibitions, concerts and open-air cinema mid June 2019.

Flamenco Festival probably 27 July 2019. Wonderful free flamenco in the Square.

Gaucin Feria / Annual local Fair first weekend in August. (It’s outside CM and noisy so I don’t rent Apartment. Casita rented only by special request).

Santo Niño and San Juan de Dios / A feast in honour of the local Saint starts on the last Sunday in August and lasts until the big celebrations of 6-7 September 2019 (a big ticket holders party with dancing in the Square). The image of the Holy Child is taken from the castle in a procession of people and horses down to the Hermitage in the woods for a mass followed by dancing, singing, eating and drinking.

Christmas Fair / Local Christmas shops, food, drink, music and fun in El Convento 30 /1 December 2019.

Christmas lights, quite often a concert, Christmas mass ect all around Christmas time and then the Día de los Reyes at Epiphany.
Snug kitties in winter

Visitors are welcome at all the above events and most are free.

I love this winter photo of Geoffrey and Kevin.

Best wishes from all the Casa Mosaica Team for a Healthy and Happy 2019.

Emma V. Cornish