Friday, June 23, 2006

Settling In

Well now that we are nearly all sorted out, with most things in their place and many missing, of course, we’re going through a settling in period. Sometimes I have the feeling I’m on holiday or in a hotel – especially when I go in our super duper bathroom. And when we talk about “home” we usually mean our old house. It is our house ok but it still doesn’t feel like home. I think these things take time.

Some things are frustrating. We have 4 tvs , 3 digital receivers and 2 aerial men have been and gone and we still can only get Tele 5 on one of the TVs. The problem there is that I only really ever watch one programme a week and that is “Hospital Central” on Tele 5! And the one TV I can see it on is the only TV the World Cup can be watched on, so yes, a bit frustrating. To get even more football, we are getting Canal + installed but they are having trouble with putting the antenna on the roof as they hadn’t expected such a big house.

We are very “home bound” at the moment and tend to live in our own little world only going out occasionally to do the shopping. Our only other outing is our daily walk which is not as nice as the one at our old house, but the exercise is the same, thank God. So we must start to socialize again. One way will be with the housewarming party on the 8th July next which I am busily preparing in my mind. The invitation has gone out already though. Something lovely to look forward to.

The girls are having their 2nd housewarming party tonight and there will be more than 30 guests. A barbecue has been planned and dear Susi bought nearly all the meat there was in Carrefour. Thank God Eladio and I are going out to dinner! The problem is that when we get back at 11ish their party will only just be starting and it takes place on the terrace just beneath our bedroom., so there is no escaping it. Well you never know, we may just join them.

The family are fine. My poor Father is dealing with the hot weather as best he can but confessed the other day that his favourite month in Spain is January! Eladio has lost 3 kgs thanks to the removal and is now worried he is on the decline or getting old and is bent on eating more than usual. It’s very funny. I wish I had lost weight with the move. I am losing but the rhythm is about a kilo or less a month. I think the ice-cream a day (Magnum) might have something to do with that. The girls are going through the end of term, just before the Summer hols phase and are have finished their exams. Susi just has to finish a dissertation on food hygiene. So, of course, it’s Summer party time.

And that’s all for the moment folks

All my love
PS Sorry no pics again. Blogger just won't upload them and I don't know what the solution is.

Friday, June 09, 2006

New home, new life. Moving in: the removal men and Henry the cat. And yes we now have internet again!

Hello again
Well as predicted this new post is being written from our new house with a brand new internet connexion. It's great to have internet back at long last. Thanks Telefónica!!
So here we are finally, adapting, adjusting, settling in, opening mountains of boxes and then dragging the empty ones down the drive to be picked up by the town council, washing, cleaning and more or less never leaving the house as there is so much to do. But the essentials are up and running: deep freeze, fridge, electrical appliances, tv, internet and a new telephone line.
The move took place over 2 exhausting days in great heat. There were 3 lorries and 10 men. I must talk about the men because it was a very interesting group, besides the fact that some of them were extremely fit and good looking, so Susi and I thought!!!! The foreman, Ernesto, was the only Spaniard and wow did he work hard; he was so fast I wondered if he was going to have a fit with so much activity. Then came Jerry, the good looking Bulgarian who was extremely happy to be in charge of the content of Olivia's room (more boxes came out of Olivia's room than any other room in the house!!! - in the new house she has 2 rooms!! One is for sleeping and the other is her study!). In fact there were about 3 Bulgarians, 2 Peruvians, 2 Ecuadorians, 1 Colombian and 1 Indian.
Dismantling the lounge in Río Tajo
The van outside Río Tajo.
Henry our cat deserves a mention in this post. When we all finally moved out, he wasn't around so we decided to go back to Río Tajo later to get him. Susi and her boyfriend Gaby went to get him only to find that our old house was already occupied by the new owners and that there were 2 enormous and ferocious boxers guarding the house. So obviously Henry was staying away. He was finally found in a neighbour's garden and brought to the new house. It took him a night of crying in the kitchen and a few walks around the garden to get used to the place and now he seems to be having a "royal time" to quote my Father. He was found yesterday sleeping in one of the empty boxes and nearly got thrown out with the rubbish!!!
I have some great pics of the move but blogger doesn't want to upload photos at the moment.
Must go now to do more work. It is endless, very tiring but also very rewarding.
All the best

All the boxes on the landing of our new house - mostly Oli's.

Friday, June 02, 2006

So many things going on. Santa Pola, Aunty Masha, a trip down memory lane, lunch with Carmen Cafarel, bitten by mosquitoes, just 4 days to go,

Hello again.

Sorry I haven’t written since the anniversary weekend in León but I have been so busy and, as predicted, there will be no internet until we move to the new house. Once again I am writing from Fátima’s house.

So much has been going on. After León, Eladio, my Father and I went to Santa Pola to our beach flat for a short holiday before the removal. We had a very relaxing time, apart from Eladio, who suddenly decided to paint the flat. It was hard work but the result is very pleasing.

We took the time to look up my “famous” Aunty Masha who lives nearby in Benidorm and whom we hadn’t seen for about 3 years. Aunty Masha is my Mother’s beloved younger sister who was once an actress (she is still beautiful with her whitish blonde curls and plastic hip at 79) and ran away from here home in Bulgaria to fight for Tito in Yugoslavia at the age of 15. She also escaped the communists and made her way to France in the late 50's. She is living history but a bit too large for life. It is thanks to my Aunt that I am now living in Spain but that story will have to be told another day. The short version is that she bought a small house in a village in the mountains of the costa blanca around 30 odd years ago and that from then on I spent all my youth years holidaying in that area where I fell in love several times and of course learned the language.

The 4 of us went on a trip down memory lane and visited Callosa the town or pueblo where my Mother bought a house in Calle de las Flores (see picture of my Father and me). We wandered down the winding streets (see picture of my Aunt, my Father and me) which haven’t changed since we first went. Then we went to have lunch at Algar, a beautiful and very special place – a sort of oasis in a valley of orange and lemon orchards famous for its waterfall. On the way back we went to have a coffee at the very bar Eladio and I started our romance which has lead to a happy life together of
more than 20 years now.

Have just realised that this half of this post has been deleted. Strange things are happening with blogger, one being that I can no longer publish photos - very frustrating.

So what has been deleted from this post are the bits on the lunch with Carmen Cafarel (head of Spanish TVE), virulent mosquitoes biting me and that there were only a few days to go till removal day, 5th June.

To summarise, I was invited by the Chairwoman (Pilar Gómez Acebo) to a lunch organised by the Spanish Federation of Business Women (FEDEPE)where the guest speaker was Carmen Cafarel. Carmen, a University professor was appointed by the Spanish PM, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and in her speech she described her astonishment at being appointed and how she was finding the job.

Thankfully now the itching and pain caused by the ****** mosquitoes on our daily walk are now over, but they gave me hell at night for more than a week, so much so I had to go to hospital.

That's all for the moments folks

PS Photos are of the 3 of us walking in Callosa (me, Aunty Masha and my Father), Daddy and I in our old street, Calle de las Flores and me outside the Vimi bar where our relationship was forged.