This blog is called "Over 60 and Over Here" for two very good reasons: I'm over 60 (rapidly heading towards over 70!) and I now live in Spain, having moved here after we both retired from our jobs in London. Most of my posts are about fashion and beauty for over 60 women, however this particular one is about living in Jumilla as an immigrant and being accepted by the local people.
Last month I received a message on facebook from a Spanish friend asking for my mobile number. I thought it was a bit strange, as we usually message each other on facebook and can reply from our mobile phones. Later that day I discovered why Andrés had asked for it, when our Mayoress rang me to say that John and I were being given a very special award: a Hypnos Premio, as Embajadores de Jumilla (Ambassadors of Jumilla). What a wonderful surprise!
Each year our town makes several awards to recognise what groups and individuals have done for Jumilla. We were being given our award because I blog and write about what is happening locally, plus we show groups of English-speaking tourists around the old town and castle, as well as arranging visits to Jumilla's wineries and booking meals in local restaurants. We were delighted that we had been nominated for a Hypnos Premio and that they wanted to recognise our work by giving us one of these prestigious awards. It also struck us how welcoming and inclusive Spanish people are and how they now consider us to be Jumillanos, part of their community, rather than just immigrants. I would like to think that Spanish people living in the UK are treated as well as we are here and are also made to feel at home over there.
The above photo shows us on stage at our local theatre, with my daughter and son-in-law to the right of the picture, as well as a few of our British and Spanish friends. I must confess to feeling slightly nervous beforehand, as we had said we would like to say a few words in Spanish when we were given our award. Our good friend Juana María had corrected our speech and listened to us reading it, with a few comments on our accents!
I'm pleased to say that our speech was well received and Juana María told us that people found it funny - deliberate humour, I should add! Afterwards we all went to the Museo del Vino for a three course lunch accompanied by Jumilla wines. Needless to say, it was the perfect finish to our celebrations.