Bryan Hemming

short stories, comment, articles, humour and photography

Storm brewing

Winter clouds whipped along by brisk winds form an ever-changing backdrop to Conil. Occasionally breaks bask the pueblo in the brightest of lights.

In the hope of not sounding too much like a travel brochure, Conil is a real getaway from it all sort of place during winter with lots of things to do for the restless. Best of all is to do nothing but eat and drink.

One of many disappointing changes over the ten years since my initial visit has been the tendency for more and more bars and restaurants in the historical centre to close down over auntumn, winter and the best part of spring. Back then it was possible to mingle with local fishermen in small tapas bars, sharing a few bottles of the local Chclana fino. It used to be served in Coca Cola bottles filled from barrels behind the bar. This quaint practice seems to have died out. Most of the bars have gone upmarket, and their prices have rocketed. El Ligero is a particularly sad example.

But there are still plenty of cheap and lively bars and restaturants open away from the centre, though you might not think so if you like to be in bed by ten. Conileños eat at nine at the earliest. And only the most hardened drinkers step out drinking before that hour.

But, with the local council stamping down on live flamenco music, Thursday nights at the Jacaranda aren’t the same. Gitano bands of musicians used to openly smoke spliffs without fear of persecution. Live flamenco is powerful stuff, and so are the spliffs.

2 comments on “Storm brewing

  1. WordsFallFromMyEyes
    May 17, 2012

    Oh, this is an awesome pic. Why does everyone like white? What about, say, a canary yellow house? Would that be unsociable? Anyway! I love the effect.

    I love the way you write too Bryan. I’ve got to get off to work now, but man, these were a beautiful look into where you are. Wonderful.

    Noeleen /


    • Bryan Hemming
      May 18, 2012

      The white thing is another leftover from Franco, I suppose. But the leftwing mayor now in power still insists every owner paint their house in white. If you don’t do as your told you get a fine. But it’s not a really old tradition, you can sometimes see where houses were once painted with a colour.

      Now tourists have come to expect Conil to be white. In fact, to let loose to a spit of virtiolic, untypical and unjustifiably prejudiced bile, the type of tourist you get here would probably complain if it wasn’t completely white, and ask for a refund.

      Nevertheless not quite all are white. Two large houses overlooking the town from top of the hill that belong to the richest families in town are both painted different shades of yellow ochre.

      At least the whole town isn’t painted in yellow ochre. I would love this picture to be a patchwork of bright colours.


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Published on December 12, 2010 at 536 × 714

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