Our Corona virus isolation in Spain

We are not sick. We don't know anyone who is sick and there are no positive cases in our village. We hope it stays like this.

Like almost everyone else we thought this was a flu thing. We paid very little heed to it as long as it happened somewhere else.  A few days before Spain went into full lockdown I had an uneasy feeling. We did a panic shop - my version of a panic shop. I checked the pantry and restocked my flour tubs, dried beans and a couple of extra tins of chopped tomatoes.

As soon as the lockdown was announced there was the now characteristic run on toilet paper, dried pasta and meat. Ten days in and Steve went to the supermarket in the village and all the shelves were full, very few customers but all was calm. That's a relief. I have no anxiety about not getting food.

But I have plenty other anxieties. So putting a positive spin on things I am learning a great deal, about myself and about what self sufficiency is all about.

I have never been a Doomsday prepper. I …

Oh My Gosh has it been that long!!!

Huge apologies to faithful readers, I have been incredibly busy and simply neglected the blog. Since last I posted there have been lots of little projects and a visit to the UK as well and then the olive harvest was upon us, Yule festivities and a new year with new plans and projects.

Let me see, August was the last post. Well after that I participated in the opening ceremony for the village fiesta, dressing as a Druid and reciting a piece of text about nature and the deep dark woods. I guess as a whole it made sense. It was enjoyable, if a little nerve wracking.

Then I concentrated on getting ready for my youngest daughter's wedding in Yorkshire. I made a coat, and a suit, and a waistcoat for Steve, and I felted a hat and knit a new scarf and gloves. I also made a large fascinator/hat thingy.. milinery is not easy but is definitely cheaper than buying a new hat. The wedding was huge fun and a great day and Yorkshire was fabulous, loved it there.

All good things come to an end, s…

A Time of Breakdowns

We've had a spate of breakdowns over the past few weeks, not personal ones thank goodness, but equipment and machines. Now Steve is an excellent engineer and is relied upon to fix just about everything mechanical that we have but sometimes things come to their natural end.

The automatic washing machine is kaput. It was an expensive purchase about 7 years ago, that we expected to keep going for at least another 7 years!

Our previous Hotpoint lasted 20 years with various small repairs over time. So we were very disappointed with the expensive Bosch giving up the ghost so soon. The trouble? The spider was corroded and snapped. A replacement is only available to purchase along with a new drum making it prohibitively expensive. If it had been a Hotpoint we could of replaced the spider for £30 + postage. So there is something to think on, the more expensive model is not necessarily the best.

So how am I washing our clothes? I have a small twin tub at the casita which I use for washing …

Why Retire to Somewhere Quiet?

I get asked this alot. More specifically, why here? The location is only important to me. The idea of Retirement to my generation was always, a quieter life, putting your feet up, having time to do what you never had time for before.  The location is simply somewhere where you can do all of the above.

On a personal note, after many years of stressful work, home and children juggling I really just looked for a little more of a selfish life.

Part of my ideal retirement involved ignoring all the bad news of what's going on in the world. And for the last six years it's worked, mostly.  I found that if I simply did not read or listen to the news of what's happening in the UK or USA or EU.. life bimbled along nicely and I rarely felt stressed, anxious or worried about the future.

Of course occasionally momentous news events would make their way through and I would have to deal with things. Like the climate crises. That's depressing - but the one glimmer of hope is that now …

On Patience

I remember distinctly my mother proclaiming that I wasn't a patient person and predicting my downfall because of it. Well! Who knows you better than your mother right? Well she was wrong! Not about me being impatient, I am at heart a very impatient person, but about it being my downfall - it isn't. It wasn't and it will never be.

Because, you see, although I am not very patient by nature I can BE patient when required. Life requires patience from time to time and you are given no choice. You can wail and stamp your feet (physically and/or metaphorically) but ultimately you have to wait and tantrums are boring and not always productive so what can you do? The skill of patience is acquired and as life goes on even an impatient person can get good at it.

And so. 6 months after our phenomenal efforts with the olive harvest, our new cooker, the real fruits of our labour, is finally installed in our kitchen.

After the harvest we waited 6 or 7 weeks until we got paid. That was t…

Harness and focus..

Of late I have been really working on alot of art projects. Did you notice that no one wanted my felted bag giveaway from a couple of posts back? Embarrassing? No, not at all - It made me refocus.. if I can't give it away then there is definitely something lacking in it. Not to let the bag go to waste I have repurposed it by transforming it into something totally different.. as I did with another two bags of similar construction.

So what did they become?

These are called 'inchies' and 'twinchies' because they are one Inch and two inch tiles.  It's only when you see exactly how small one inch is, that you begin to appreciate how tricky it might be to embellish them.  But overall this is a fairly quick art form.. with pretty immediate gratification which is often just a way of distracting yourself from a more involved and longer term project.

I do alot of this.  I can get quite frantic producing loads of quick fix projects in a very short amount of time before t…


When I was a young woman I had a very good friend, she was 30 years older than me but we both enjoyed creating with textiles and the age difference between us melted away as we became engrossed in conversation about our latest projects. Flo was energetic and indefatigable. I remember once her husband went to work in the morning and she set to decorating the lounge. She took all the paintings off the wall, moved the furniture and with the help of stepladders (she was only just 5 foot tall) she repainted the ceiling and walls, in the same clean white colour as before. And had all the furniture and paintings  back in place before her husband returned home from work in the evening.

She made pill box hats by hand and wore them with little French jackets and every year on her wedding anniversary she would wear the same lace blouse (now very threadbare indeed) that she wore on her wedding day and go to a restaurant with her husband, him sporting his wedding tie.

Eventually I moved away and …