Sorry I can't do the squiggly, but manana, manana, manana is the theme for today, especially as I'm in Spain! Yes, even Devon gets grey in January so we've escaped to Nerja on the southern coast of Spain.

Nerja So here I am, typing on the laptop near patio doors open to the sunny balcony (no, not the one pictured below), already beginning to worry that it'll be a bit too hot this afternoon. After all, I did get a touch of sunburn yesterday.

Not that I'm complaining. Not at all!

The pic on the left isBalcon from the Balcon de Europa, the sea front that is the heart of Nerja, a mere 10 minutes stroll from our apartment.

Perhaps it was the sun, or I just needed a good rest, but I zonked out last night. No problem. I often write my blog in the morning, as I'm 5, now 6, hours ahead of most of the Wench readers. Manana, you see? But then I slept in. I rarely sleep in. I'm a dawn chorus sort of person.

When I crawled out of bed this morning, it was 11 am! Manana's half over!

(I'm reminded of when we visited England a few years ago, exploring for our return, and rented a place. I switched on the TV, trying to figure out the Freebox stations, which wasn't easy as it wasn't working very well. Then I hit a screen that said, "Yesterday will return tomorrow at 8am."

I sat contemplating that with delight. It was like something out of Doctor Who. The Daleks have taken over and condemned the British people into a kind of Groundhog Day. But one in which today is strangely missing….)

I digress, as I love to do. Briana

Random thoughts on Spain and history.

Spain doesn't often feature in historical romance, but then, nor do other continental countries.

If I remember correctly, Spain was the setting for many Mills & Boon romances of my youth, along with Italy and especially Greece. Is Spain still a favoured setting in M&B or Harlequin Presents?

Medieval Spain is notable — El Cid (I must have seen the Charlton Heston film a dozen times — anyone else), Ferdinand and Isabella and such — but then not so. Perhaps it's the ascent of those gloomy Hapsburgs. Or am I wrong on that? Cid

Spain and Italy are similar in some ways but very different in others. Off the top of my head, the fact that italy is known for Dante's inferno, and Spain for Cervantes' Don Quixote has to mean something. Any idea what?

My butterfly mind is led to empires.

Italy was the base for the Roman Empire, a mostly land-based domination bulwarked with strong roads and efficient administration, which brought in taxes from distant points. The cause of its fall is heavily debated, but probably it simply over-extended, as all empires seem doomed to do. Interestingly, though Latin was once widespread, not much of the world now speaks Italian as the native language.

Spain had an empire, too, though not as formidable. It was based on ships and the sea, and on the gold brought back from the "new world." The empire involved land, from California and Florida down through South America. Spain controls none of that now, but Spanish is the language of many cultures.

Forbmag Can you find anything to comment on in the above chatter? Please try, because I'll award a copy of the new edition of Forbidden Magic to my random pick of the best.


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