28 Feb, 2021 @ 11:15
2 mins read

OLD HACK IN THE SUN: Benny Davis with the ramblings of an 80-something expat in Spain

Benny Final Crop

OVER the centuries, us Brits have maintained our traditional stiff upper lip through a multitude of catastrophic situations.

Don’t panic, keep calm, keystone foundation words that generations have faithfully adhered to while sheltering under the symbol of free society, our very own Union Jack.  

We have survived world wars, bubonic plagues, droughts, floods, and even various strains of this darned pandemic. 

Nothing has budged us from our loyalty to the flag. 

But now we are facing the singly most challenging time of our lives, a situation that could well see the total collapse of the expat standard of integrated life in our adopted country Spain. 

No, it’s not COVID, it’s the sight of empty shelves in British food shops along the Costas.

No matter how we try to adapt to foreign environments,  our main bloodline is not A, B, AB, or even O, it is RBY, (roast beef and Yorkies,) some with a flavouring of F&C, (fish, and chips).

We may have ditched the black socks and sandals, the baggy Eric Morecombe shorts, and even had a peck at paella or fiddled with seafood fideua, but deep down we don’t do ‘foreign’ very well.

Real fresh veg and good old fashioned home cooking is our unshakable heritage. 

So, unless the EU stops playing silly games with our UK food deliveries, we could see an uprising of Brit expats, on a scale never seen since  D. H. Lawrence’ Lady Chatterley’s Lover, was banned from the bookshelves. 

We will be demonstrating outside town halls and government offices, loudly shouting pidgin-English while madly waving our arms and hands in desperate attempts to also connect through mime and help those officials too lazy to learn English. 

Mark my words, be prepared for expat-Armageddon happening sometime soon before lockdown is lifted.

Late news flash: Sorry, cancel Armageddon. Just had a phone call from my local Iceland to inform me they have had a delivery of Shipman’s bloater paste, steak and kidney puddings and cod in beer batter. 

Must get there before any greedy, selfish ex-pats beat me to it!


The successful roll-out of Covid vaccines in the UK, underlines the fact that the EU rapid response to emergency situations is about as fast as a sloth suffering from chronic arthritis.

While it seems that all over 80s have received their jabs back in Blighty, vulnerable expats in Spain are still waiting for God or V-Day, whatever comes first.

Lacking the protection of the hopefully life-saving magic needle, the over 80s are trying to keep safe by virtually locking themselves away in Alcatraz-like conditions, afraid to even talk to anyone through the letterbox. 

Loneliness and lack of care has aged the once rejuvenated Sangria-injected expat community back to reality. 

Dream over! This mentally insane situation has been compounded by the fact that although we understand us old ‘uns are not top of the priority list, there seems to be a total blackout of information as to when the vaccines will be dished out.

Then there are the inevitable rumours designed to confuse our little grey cells to the point of self-destruction.

Will Spanish nationals receive priority over ex-pats?

Will the EU turn to China and Russia for substitute vaccines?

So, I ask all friends and family back home (be it Holland, Sweden or Yorkshire) to stop piling on the agony by asking why we still haven’t received the vaccine as you finished weeks ago. 

Just let us wallow in cheap wines and take-away meals while feeling sorry for ourselves! 

Staff Reporter

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