Adjusting to Living and Working in Spain

We are settling into our new life in Hondarribia, gradually moving into the apartment we’ve rented for a year. The flat is in the old town – the walled in area of Hondarribia which we like the best.


It’s a lovely time of year – very warm, but also with lots of stuff going on. On Friday, there was an orchestra in the square our flat overlooks and they played classical music for a couple of hours and then finished with an Abba medley. There are all sorts of festivals. Midsummer was marked by San Juan, which involved some dancing and a lot of burning. Every other day there seems to be a reason to set off loud explosive charges.

San Juan Midsummer Festival in Hondarribia, Spain. Seems to involve a lot of burning stuff.

I also love the mix of people you see out in the evenings of all generations. Lots of dogs and kids and bikes.

Kids, bikes and dogs are welcome outside the pinchos bars

However, I am struggling with the way people drop litter and throw so much away. There is no culture of buying second hand, so we can’t buy crockery etc. in thrift/charity stores. The bins are full of perfectly usable stuff and I’ve salvaged some clean, almost new things. We will have to go to France to check out some flea markets next month.

Now that we’ve sorted our living arrangements, I’m getting back to work. I worked ahead a lot on Arctic Circle and Human Cull, so that I could have time to settle in, without having to set up a drawing area. I did a lot of writing though, and have sent off the second draft of a few chapters of Midge Bristol and the Runaway Robots to a publisher in the US. I had sent them another book I’d been working on and they liked my style, but wanted too many changes to the story. They mentioned a comic they had seen on about Midge Bristol and her robot sidekick, Jo-E. They loved that, so I drafted a book idea. After a lot of great feedback, I made some changes that make it a much better story and sent that off last week.

Midge Bristol, the comic, ran in Scientriffic magazine for five years.

One of the Midge Bristol comics that ran in Scientriffic

Scientriffic has come to an end, but the same publisher, CSIRO (Australia’s national science agency:, has launched a new magazine, Double Helix, and I was lucky enough to be asked to draw a new comic for it. The result is Jack & Joni’s Time Travelling Shed. The first comic takes them to Mars in 2040, to find that the Mars One mission has been successful and there are people on the red planet. I’ll put the whole comic up after publication.

Jack and Joni's Time-Travelling Shed is my new comic for Double Helix magazine

Now, I have cartoons to draw…


About ahallatt

Cartoonist and writer. My first illustrated chapter book, FAB (Friends Against Bullying) Club, for kids 8-12 is out on Amazon. More at
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