It's a hard life. As the remnants of Hurricane Dorian passed over the UK I found myself sitting in the Andalucian sunshine having just arrived for a spot of cat-sitting. A week or so later and my charge is still breathing so I must be doing something right.
The chance of some Spanish September sun also offers the opportunity to ride some different roads, roads free of the usual Derbyshire potholes, and to imbibe some different brews.
Whilst the roads and the brews might be different, the fate of some of the hostelries is the same. Just down the hill from my charge's abode in Jimena de la Frontera, where Calle Romo's ridiculous gradient eases and the road bends to the left, used to be Bar Marilyn.
It didn't take much effort to guess who the moniker 'Marilyn' referred to as a life-sized statue stood outside and was regularly draped in visitors wanting that photographic reminder of their visit.
With a large screen television it was always popular when major sporting events were on. I can recall trying hard not to fall off the raised seating platform watching Real Madrid play Barcelona whilst consuming Cruzcampo Gran Reserva. I know that I didn't perform a backward roll off the dais but have absolutely no recollection what the result of El Clásico was.
Sadly, on my last visit, in September 2018, I found Bar Marilyn closed. In 1952 Marilyn Monroe starred in Don't Bother to Knock. That seems to hold true today.
STOP PRESS! Having to edit this as I'd written the above part in advance of my visit. Bar Marilyn has reopened as the Café-Bar La Cabra. Apparently it does a good breakfast. As yet, I haven't tested this personally but I have discovered that it doesn't open on Wednesdays!
Now, two b's, or not two b's: that is the question. Even Billy Wiggledagger wasn't sure. In Calle Sevilla, the next parallel street, or as parallel as streets can be in an Andalucian white village, at number 18, stood Bar Obba - or maybe Bar Oba. I've seen both used and it's fairly obvious how the confusion might have arisen.
Spelt with just the single letter b, Bar Oba took its name from the title that the Romans gave to the settlement during their occupation which was, wait for it, Oba. With stunning views to the rear it was very popular with the English-speaking ex-pat community. When Iris and Simon gave it up it became known as Mingos and ohhhh! - those kebabs.
Sadly Oba/Mingos has gone and there is little to show that it is a bygone boozer. Number 18 now looks like any other house on the street.
I was caught out by Bar Marilyn. You never know, maybe next time I return I might witness the resurrection of the Oba. Hopefully breakfast at Bar Cabra will still be an option - unless, of course, it's Wednesday.