BY KEVIN MULLINS
We are still here. In the magical valley of Mizala, Andalucía, Spain. We've been here just under three weeks and we have two weeks left to go.
The place we stay at is very remote, but we love that. At present, the kids are still young enough to be excited by the pool several times a day and long walks (at dusk) out into the vast, wild, desert-like environment.
We've been coming here for ten years or so, and every time we walk, we find something new. Another glimpse into the lives that once existed here, that are past, and perhaps only existed fleetingly, but the lives whose stories continue and will forever be a part of the future.
The law of the land here is important, and it protects the history. There are many ruined houses, some that were left in a hurry during the Spanish Civil War, others that have simply been left by members of the families that sought their fortune in the lucrative North or other parts of Europe.
This entire valley was once the belly of the earth. It was part of the neolithic ocean bed, and there are still reminders of that. We find them daily and you can see it in the land lines across the tops of the mountains.
I feel like I'm looking at my own reflection in a mirror every year. It's almost exactly the same, but there are things that are different. Usually subtle things, but things none the less.
And, as the children grow, and their expectations of a family holiday change, then I'm sure I'll face a challenge in spending so much time in this place with them.
'till then, we'll enjoy it. Spend more time in the pool, hit the beach a few more times and have a few more lazy Sangria's whilst watching the sunset.