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"Paul’s extensive knowledge of Spanish has been an invaluable asset to me recently. When my husband passed away suddenly, Paul made himself available at all times to guide me through the difficult process of Spanish protocol. I could not have wished for a more helpful and sensitive friend during this tragic time.”
Jill La Pêche, Montejaque, January 2010

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Ronda, Andalucía, September

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By Paul Whitelock

                                            Sunday 28 December 2008 

  Ronda, Andalucia

 Ronda, Andalucía. Photograph: Peter M Wilson/Corbis

Little did I know when I set off for a week's holiday in southern Spain that it would change my life completely.

The first week in September is the annual feria in the town of Ronda, Andalucía, known as the City of Dreams. I know Ronda well and arranged to meet an English pal who lives there. Michael suggested I join him and a bunch of ex-pats at the fairground on the Friday night. When we arrived at the fairground two evenings later I was introduced to a group of about 12 foreigners who live in the area, including one German lady. I was quite smitten by Rita and chatted to her at some length.

Fortunately I speak German well and ended up inviting myself for coffee at her house. Three days later I went for afternoon coffee, was invited to stay for dinner and the rest is history. I returned to England the following day and could not get Rita out of my mind. We kept in touch and I decided two weeks later that I must go back to Ronda to further the relationship. It worked. She has visited me twice in England and we just get on so well.

We love each other to bits and at the end of this year I am packing my bags and emigrating to Spain, to my City of Dreams to be with the girl of my dreams.