Meet Pat Crowder who has learnt the importance of picking herself up when she falls down and the importance of continuing to do so.  She shares the support she has received through her membership of AA on the Costa del Sol.  Read her story.

Why Spain?

I lived here before getting married. That was a long time ago but the Costa del Sol had a place in my heart from then on.

And where are you now?

Just outside the Pueblo Moclinejo which is in the hills behind Rincon de la Victoria. I can look out towards the sea but have the quiet of the mountains and countryside. But as a Londoner and city girl, I am half hour from the city of Malaga when I need hustle, bustle and culture.

What was the biggest challenge for your move?

We built our house, we’d never done anything like that before plus our builders were Spanish and I had just a little if the language. It was scary and exciting and luckily the best decision we ever made.

Do you have any advice for Women thinking about making the move?

Do your homework. Have a must haves, desirables and not at any cost list to tick as you look around. Sunny days can often effect your better judgement!

What life experience has affected you most? 

I am a member of Alcoholics Anonymous and have been sober 30 years (yes a lifetime).  My gift back is supporting newcomers when they first get sober telling them how I did it.  And hopefully giving them the encouragement needed that life without alcohol can be whatever you want it to be. It’s definitely not over. I also am part of the public inflation team of AA helping promote our helpline to people with a problem with alcohol.

Also I love yoga and gentle exercise and visiting art galleries.

I have two beautiful dogs one a pampered pedigree and the other a rescue. Working with the local dog rescue I help raise money for food and medication needed when abandoned dogs are found around our village. Oh and I love it when friends visit and I can entertain.

Something you are grateful for?

My sobriety without it I have nothing.

Who would be at your special dinner party?

George Clooney – to look at but he’s so much more than looks!  Idris Elba – again he’s beautiful, he’s from my part of London, he made it later in life, he has substance.  Ian Wright – makes me smile, he loves Arsenal football team as do I.  Marian Keyes – found recovery and writes about it with humour and depth. Adele – I’d really like to talk to her love her words. Anne Riley and Sally Patton lifelong friends I lost and would love back for just one day.  Marvin Gaye and George Michael to sing for me one more time.

What’s your secret weapon or accomplishment?

Picking myself up and starting again and again and again.

Do you have a favourite song?

Each Tear by Mary J Blige -every word is true.

One thing you had to bring to Spain and could never give away?

Boots protect and perfect serum!

Do you have a favourite film?

A Thousand Splendid Suns – about womens right to equality in Afghanistan- such a long way to go.

And not a film but the series This Is Us – writing so tender and reflects real life – genius

Something you would tell your younger self?

Stop worrying about your weight – you are perfect just as you are.

Thank you Pat Crowder where can we find out more?

The local AA website


If you would like to share your story, please complete the online questions here

And read more Costa Women stories in our regular interview feature!