I’ve lived in La Linea for nine years, although I originally came to work in Gibraltar. From the start, I loved the friendliness of the people, who speak as they go past. They say “buenas dias”, “que frio” or “que calor”, depending on the season. In many shops, I’m known by name and it makes me feel that I belong here. My neighbours have said that I only have to ring their bells and ask if I need anything. This is a contrast from when I lived in London and didn’t know my neighbours. I love the closeness of families here. Because of the respect shown to older relatives that occurs outside the home, if I walk past a group of youths, they move out of my way and say “hola”. In the UK, I would be concerned to walk past a large group of youths. In my town, the youths usually carry cans of coke or bottles of water, instead of the beer cans that I was accustomed to seeing in the UK.
I have a dog who can’t walk and I take her out in a buggy. Many people stop to ask about her. Groups of young people stop and stroke her and chat to me about her condition. I have met a lot of people because of my dog. An intended quick walk can easily take two hours!
I live five minutes’ walk from the town centre and the beach is a few minutes away at the other end of the road. The beach is family-orientated with grandparents and their grandchildren having fun. I find that Spanish people live life to the full and, in the summer, there’s an air of festivity. During the feria week, the whole town celebrates. There’s much laughter and the women and children look beautiful in their traditional Spanish dresses. The men on horseback are proud and elegant and the young boys have fiesta outfits too.
I do all my shopping locally and use the amenities here. I rarely go to Gibraltar, which is 20 minute walk away. I have everything I want locally, with fresh fruit and vegetables in the daily market.
I have been teaching English voluntarily to a group of eight Spaniards for four years. They’re all over 65 and are great people. Some study French, guitar and dance classes as well as English. At the end of the summer term and Christmas, they buy me thoughtful presents.
La Linea is an international town, while still being typically Spanish. Many people live here to work in Gibraltar and I’ve met people of many nationalities. I love my life in La Linea, where I am relaxed, and have peace of mind until I think about Brexit!