I've been on holiday for a week in Andalusia. We got together with four good friends and rented a cream coloured villa, complete with pool and stunning views, perched at the top of the perilous cliffside roads in the hills of Cerro Gordo just outside La Herradura.
The villa itself is nestled in the middle of a nature reserve and we're surrounded by strange spanish wildlife, housemartins, ibex, geckos, preying mantis, wild cats, bullfrogs and thousands of moths, all of which seem extremely interested in the pastey white British creatures.
Highlights have included a trip to the prehistoric caves in Nerja (some of the most startling and Gigeresque natural architecture I'll probably ever get to see), a visit to la Alhambra (a moorish palace on the outskirts of Granada), a trip up to the hilltop village of Frigiliana (a sleepy white-washed village draped up the side of hills) and last but not least, some of the best food I've ever eaten at a little restaurant called Mirador de Cerro Gordo.
That last one involves a poorly judged trek down the hill from our villa which turns out to be about three times longer than expected. The restaurant is perched on a cliff above the sea and run buy a couple of ex pats called Alix and Kevin. Luckily for us they are extremely nice people, as we've neglected to book, they're extremely busy and our misguided stagger down the hill means that we have turned up about five minutes after they usually close the kitchen.
I order a pork dish which turns out to be, quite simply, the best pork I've ever eaten, while a couple of the others have the steak and acquire blissful expressions as a result that last for the rest of the evening.
While we're eating, our hosts chat to us and manage to transform latecomers sense of guilt into a deep sense of welcome, and a ginormous hummingbird hawkmoth dances around the flowers surrounding the table, astonishing and delighting in equal measure.
Alix even goes so far as to arrange a very reasonable taxi back up the hill for us, which possibly would have taken most of the night on foot, and potentially could have involved a few broken limbs through the combination of cliff, dark and wine.
We're off to Malaga airport in a couple of hours for the return flight to Yorkshire, but we're already wishing we'd booked an extra week. Definitely the mark of an excellent holiday.
And I even found time to do some doodling too.