Who Writes This Stuff Anyway?

My name is Rea and I am Not So Spanish.  This Canadian girl can’t roll her Rs of dance Flamenco.   Stilettos and I are not friends.

My husband however is very Spanish.  He eats paprika flavoured lard on his toast and drinks wine while he cooks lunch. Our kids scoff both pancakes and olives and can already swear in two languages.

We live in Algeciras, Spain, which is the arse-hole of Europe, geographically speaking.

  • Family olive oil consumption:  20 litres per year
  • Family maple syrup consumption:  7 litres per year

Here you can read about ugly shoes, minty snails, and men masturbating on scooters.  And see some cute kid pics.

Thanks for visiting. We love comments and hope to hear from you soon!


  1. I found your blog through another…. probably another woman who moved to Spain and settled there.
    But as I read yours I was delighted to see certain things that are important in my life…. you breastfeed (I am a midwife and of course breastfeeding advocate) and I walked different Caminos in Spain. On the Via de la Plata my son and I met up with a group going to El Rocio. We did not join them but participated in their march of sorts. Pretty interesting, these fiestas.
    I am soooo wanting to move there and have no idea how to do it other than just do it and it will work out somehow, right?
    I am older than you and hence part of my hesitation.
    I will keep reading

    1. Just do it is the best way! As the years go by there is no time to waste. Vis e la plata is our next dream. We hope to do it as soon as our son Santiago is old enough to join us. Perhaps you will be called to help us breastfeeders in Spain. There is a huge lack of information and assistance in all aspects of natural child rearing. I had a home birth, which is extremely rare, although just a generation ago it was the norm. We could use a good midwife here! Thanks for reading and buen camino.

  2. I just read through all your posts so far–you have such a great voice and such a great eye for detail and for what makes a compelling photograph! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on a part of the world I’ve never been to.

    I assume that you’re raising Yago with both English and Spanish? In a year or two, perhaps you would consider letting me profile your bilingual family on my blog? Email me at babybilingual (at) gmail (dot) com and I’ll send you the questionnaire.

  3. Hola Ria I am twiddling my blog a little today and suddenly realised i didn’t reply to your comment – i don’t think so anyway but this heat has addled my brain a little! anyway, thanks for writing and I hope your struggles with Castellano are still enjoyable. I have now decided to stop trying to do two languages and just concentrate on Catala. can’t tell you how much more relaxed this makes me, as well as pleasing my Catalan man enormously! But one year on I am still reverting to english rather too often and I don’t like the way I assume I can just switch back to what is easy when I am feeling a bit lazy. Oh well! Love your blog and nice to see your photos and your happy smiling face with your little boy. I don’t know how it is where you live but here I stand out when I walk down the street with my fair skin and blond hair (used to be red) but somewhere inside I am mediterranean as I love this heat and this life. all the best Kate

  4. Great blog. Glad you are having a great time in Canada, although I find the drawback of bicultural families is that you spend all your holiday time visiting the other country and very little in, well, I’d say Spain, but obviously…

  5. Men masturbating on scooters? I must say…I’m intrigued. 🙂 Both your sense of adventure and humor shine through in your blog. Enjoyed poking around here this morning.

    1. humor? I´m spanish and trust me…..intrigued is not the right word hehehehe I don´t know why you can see these things often……… :-s

  6. Hey Rea, I’m also Canadian…I live in Ontario and have a Spanish mother. She’s from La Linea which is a stones throw away from Algeciras. She never taught me Spanish so I can’t roll my r’s either but do love the culture and the food.

    Hopefully will be back soon and visit the Rock of Gibraltar.


    1. Hey Jackie! Then you can completely related to the Canadian-Spanish family! How did your Mom end up in Canada? I see La Linea out my window and go there for good tapas. I hope you get back this way soon. Thanks for stopping by the blog.

      1. Hey Rea, my mother actually moved to England to work 50 years ago. She met my father had me and my sister and when I was 12 decided to move to Canada where we’ve been ever since. I’ve been to Spain many times and love it and hope to get back one day.

        Take Care and know that the weather in Ontario has been so cold this winter.


  7. I just ran into your blog because I was looking for some blogs about bilingualism. I am running myself a Spanish playgroup in Rome. But the thing that has really impressed me is that… you live in Algeciras! I was born there and all my family live in southern Spain!

    Hope to keep in touch. All the best. 🙂

    1. ¡Que placer tener un comentario de una “Especial” de Algecrias! Gracias por la visita. A ver si puedo aprender algo de tu blog y grupo en Roma y poner en marcha un grupito aqui en Algecrias. Un beso. Ciao

      1. ¡Sería ideal, Rea! Por el momento los contenidos están todos en italiano, pero dentro de poco los habrá también en español. ¡Te esperamos en nuestra casa digital! 😀


  8. Hi Rea,

    I love your blog too and like your pics. The one on this page I especially like because your boy is a cutie and you’re a redhead like me! I was in La Linea this morning having lunch with my sister who lives in Gibraltar. I’m along the coast a bit just past Torreguadiaro. We were just talking about a much needed shopping trip to Puerta Europa! I also chuckled at your description of Algeciras! And loved the post about oil slicks vs prostitutes!
    Un beso.

    1. Hi Sarah! I had coffee in La Linea this morning too! It is a small, small world. Next time I see a redhead out and about I’ll stop and ask if it’s you. If you want to find all the English speakers in Campo de Gibraltar, just make a trip to Primark. Thanks for linking to your course site. I have some Canadian relatives who are asking about just such a thing. Thanks for reading. Un besito.

  9. Pingback: Confesiones |
  10. My family and I are planning a move to La Linea/Algeciras for my husbands work. I love your comments and observations! Especially the stilettos and cobbles and children who taunt you by rolling their Rs and using the subjunctive at 2 years old!! My Husband is from Ronda, so not that far from Algeciras. I look forward to reading more of your blog. Sam.

  11. Love, love, LOVE your blog. I should be planning class, but I imagine reading in English (Canadian English, at that!) counts as professional development, right?

    Congrats on Timbit #2 (can’t say Munchkin if he’s half Canadian). Saludos from the Cantabrian coast!

  12. I just stumbled here and read a zillion old posts, I love your blog!
    I read about Gwen coming out from Vernon, I live 20 minutes outside of Vernon so I feel like we’re practically related! haha Looking forward to following your blog!

  13. My friend, Carrie of TikiTikiBlog.com sent me over here. Mucho gusto 🙂

    I’m a gringa married to a Salvadoran so I kind of automatically like you just based on this about page 😉 … Obviously I relate to the “clash of cultures” lifestyle. Look forward to reading more of your blog!


  14. Glad to find your blog, thought I was the only one blogging about bringing up bilingual kids! But seems I have yet to find my way properly around this new world (blogging).
    Laughed at your ‘culo de Europa’ comment, had forgotten that we called it that. Except in Granada, where I lived, we referred to the whole of Andalucia like that.

  15. No, you ain’t Spanish: you ain’t got hairy armpits. But where did this ‘arse-hole’ term originate? I only found your site because of a poem discovered in ‘Gib’ 50 years ago, so, wondering why (it was in a local ‘cultural’ mag), seeking its author’s name on Google I just quoted the one line I remember since : ‘Algeciras, stinking arsehole of Europe’ and here I am none the wiser. But happy smiling faces welcomed me, so you can’t be that unhappy there (and you never knew Franco’s times). Well, an ex-pat Brit at least I have learnt not to live in Spain (I hated the place), happy then to have chosen France. Nice to have read you. Bye.

  16. Rea, I can’t roll my r’s either so I think that’s a family thing. Wish I can see you next time you are in bc and meet your family.

  17. Hola Rea!

    Good blog!! We would like to link exchange with you!!

    We are from Spain, a couple of years ago we decided to leave our jobs and go around the world for a year. After that we decided to start a small business related to travel, called Way Away ( http://www.way-away.com ): an online platform to help independent travellers to build their own trip.

    Please send me an email if you are interested to link exchange too

    Keep in touch! Waiting for your email
    Un saludo,


  18. Hiya, It’s been a while since I’ve been on your blog and every time I come here, I wonder why I don’t make my way more often as I love reading your posts. In fact, I enjoy your blog so much I am nominating you for a Liebster award.

    I know what you are thinking… a what?!? That was my reaction too. It’s one of those viral awards that someone gives you and you then can chose to nominate people.

    Here is a link to a post [http://multilingualmama.com/2012/12/20/flattered-and-grateful-despite-mysterious-origins/] I wrote which includes the ‘to dos’ like answering a series of questions.

    Take part or don’t. In any event, you know at least that you have a fan over here. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and all the best for 2013! xoMultilingualMama

  19. Hi Rea, One of us must be wierd because your “Go iron you shorts” caption made me roll off my chair laughing. Good stuff. Congratulations. Keep it up.

    P.S. Or both of us.

  20. Hi Rea,

    I hope my first email found you well. Like I said in my first email I have an idea for an upcoming post that your audience would enjoy.

    I would love to write a guest post on the luxuries of Marbella, Spain and how people can get the most out of their trip to Southern Spain. I will include tips on where to stay, what excursions to take and anything else you think your audience would enjoy.

    All I would ask for in return is one link back to the Marbella Rentals website. Let me know if this is something you think could be mutually beneficial.

    Here is a link to our most recent Press release – http://www.free-press-release.com/news-marbella-rentals-unveils-luxury-vaca…

    Best Regards,
    Blair Nastasi

  21. Hi Rea, Not sure if you can really help me or not. My grandfather Manuel Alvarez was from La Linea, Spain. I was wondering how I could possibly locate other family members there. My grandfather was the only one from his family that came to America. He hopped a boat around 1924 for America. HIs fathers name was John Alvarez and his mothers name was Manuela Mendez – Alvarez. Hope to hear from you soon!

    1. HI Letitia. I just returned to my blog and saw your comment. If you don’t mind, I will send you a private message. It’s an intriguing question!

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