Showing posts from January, 2013


I know that you have had it pretty cold over there in the UK of late.  But before you think that I am having a mild winter here in sunny Spain let me tell you that I have been living in very cold conditions by comparison to how I lived in the UK.  Firstly, although I have central heating I am not using it unless the temperature in the house drops below 10 degrees C.  The average temperature in my living room (where there is a wood fire) is around 14 degrees C.  First thing in the morning it has consistently been 11 degrees C by the evening when the wood fire has been going all day it creeps up to 14 or 15 degrees C.  In the UK my central heating kept the house at a constant 17 degrees C. The rest of the house here is not heated at all.  I shower only once every two days - the bathroom is just too cold to bear every day.  My face cream is icy cold on my skin in the morning and my roll on deodorant seems reluctant to ... well... roll on! When keeping warm the first thing to consider

The Olive Harvest

The olive oil factory in the village has been open since the 1st December... it hums and throbs away every day of the week except for Christmas Day, New Year's Day and Sundays. I recently read an article about the olive harvest in Italy, it was written in the Times and they were obviously trying to promote the small producer of an artisanal olive oil.  It made the whole harvest seem like something from a rural idyll... or the olivio advert on tv where the elderly are sailing through the air to harvest a single olive high up in the tree.  Well let me tell you, it aint like that here!  Firstly it is very cold and the pickers have to wear plenty of layers and woolly hats and scarves.  Although they do use a machine... a tractor with a grabbie thingy on the front which takes hold of the tree and gives it a good shake... it is still very hard physical labour.  Firstly nets are spread on the ground around the tree and then the machine gives it a good shake and people whack the

New Year, New Beginnings, New Life?

Our move to Spain and the run up to Christmas and New Year was hectic to say the least.  So many new and strange things to adjust to and a huge emotional response after living in our last house for 16 years.  It has taken a bit of time to get it all into perspective.  I would advise anyone making such a big move as this to expect this emotional response and to just let it happen and not to doubt yourself.  The hardest bit was that everyone kept saying 'well done you, you are living the dream', but it really didn't feel like it at the time.  And now?  Yes the dream is coming true, slowly but surely and it feels great!! Christmas is fairly low key in Spain (well in this rural area it is) with the main event being on 6th January when the Three Kings (aka the wise men) come to visit and bring gifts for the children.  It was really refreshing to have a break from the mad commercialism of the UK... it was really frustrating however not to be able to find any Christmas cards h