Showing posts from August, 2013

Swimming with the Sharks!

This last week or two has been very hot but also very stressful.  Being a foreigner ramps up the stress levels considerably especially when your language skills are as poor as ours.  We have pretty much immersed ourselves in the Spanish as much as we can but we are not as young as we were and blimey the old brain cells are not what they used to be!  If our language skills were better we may not have got into the same pickle... but there again when someone is trying to fleece you, in any language, it is worrying and extremely annoying.  I will explain.

When we first bought the property we knew that the buildings on it (our house and the garage and wash room and bore hole pump house) were not legalised.  The house in particular was (and is) classed as a barn or storeroom.  5,000 euros of the purchase price was withheld by us (with the previous owners consent) solely for the purpose of legalising the property.  Once the purchase was complete and all the deeds transferred into our name we…
It's now very very hot here in Spain and 10 major cities are on Orange Alert.  They issue an orange alert when the temperatures get over 40C.  The idea being that the elderly and young children should be kept indoors during the hottest part of the day and everyone needs to drink more (not alcohol lol!).  It's quite a psychological switch for those of us from Northern climes and even though, intellectually, we understand about heat and how to keep cool... actually doing it is quite alien.  I will explain...

 For us Brits the first glimpse of sunshine provokes a joyful opening of windows with curtains wide to let in the light and the breeze.  It's ingrained, we can't help it, we are programmed to seek out the light and it comes automatically to us without thinking.  We like our houses to have big windows and to be light and airy. This is actually really bad news over here.

How many times do Northern Europeans move south with the intention of building a house or refurbish…

The Bull Run

It's Fiesta all week and today the programme of events announced a childrens Foam Party in the main plaza.
We have no children or grandchildren here to take to a Foam Party but we thought it would be fun to photograph so we took our cameras along to see what was happening.

We were 45 minutes late but it seemed that the games which were scheduled before the foam had not yet started, we arrived in fact, just in time.... There was dancing... songs the children knew (and we didn't) ...

And then some that we did know... A conga line is a conga line in any language!

... and then all the children were given paper wands... we wondered what they were for... and then they were gathered into a group in the middle of the plaza.... And suddenly.... .... in came the bulls!

The children were shrieking and squealing and running for their lives!

The bulls chased them round and round and all the children ran like crazy, occasionally the brave ones or the older ones getting a good whack at the …

A Mystery Revealed

It's fiesta time here in Spain and our village has ten days of merriment well under way as I write this.  Last night was a firework display followed by disco and dancing with a dj at one end of town and a band doing the 'paso doble' in the main plaza.  Along with a fun fare (bouncy castle and other fairground attractions) we were spoiled for choice.  The band played until 2am and then the disco continued until 6am - the bars are open too of course!  And tonight it starts again at midnight with dancing in the main plaza and once again a disco until dawn - in case you missed it the first night I guess... oh... and I've just looked at the programme again... it continues the same tomorrow night. Blimey they certainly know how to enjoy themselves.

The old biddies doing the Paso Doble were not quite as romantic to watch as the photograph implies, but of course in our heads we all look like this when we dance!
Anyway, during the course of our evenings revelry, we got to the b…

The Roman Bridge

Today, because all work and no play makes us all very dull indeed, we went for another site-seeing jaunt.  We went to the city of Merida.  Merida (it should have an accent over the e but I can't find an e with an accent on my blogger post... perhaps I'm looking in the wrong place... anyway...) was the capital city of the Roman Province of Lusitania and it is about 40km from Finca La Reina.

I specifically wanted to walk the bridge.  It's the longest still-intact Roman bridge in the world, at 716 metres long, it is a feat of engineering I can tell you.  It has been refurbished twice - once in the 5th century and then again in the 18th century - of course it has always been kept in good repair constantly and only recently a new bridge was built so that traffic no longer had to use this very ancient one.

It continues my theme of enjoying walking where people have been walking for centuries.  We strolled across and then back again towards the oldest part of the city... a Roman g…

Our Latest Aquisition

makes life so much easier for us.  Or at least it will do next month.

We bought a new gazebo.  It was reduced by 100 euros because it was a display model I think.  We snapped it up!  When we opened the box one page of the directions for putting it up was missing but that's not a problem when you are married to an engineer.

Why did we need it?  Well... next month the renovations start on our house.  While the builders and plumbers and electricians are doing their thing we have to move out.

The plan is that we will sleep in the yurt and use the camping kitchen and shower block for our necessaries but.... we realised very quickly that there was no where comfortable to sit out of the afternoon sun.

The sun can be really fierce, even in September, and the yurt can get very hot inside during the afternoon.  The shower block is full of our packing boxes as well as fridge and freezer and the dishes, pots and pans for the camping kitchen so there really isn't anywhere to sit.

We decide…