On 10th April, we will have been here 3 years. So how has it been?
Mostly, everything and more than we hoped. So. What turned out to be different from what we thought it would be?
Firstly, we downscaled the animal side of things. Originally we had planned raising meat chickens, keeping geese and turkeys. We changed our mind after keeping geese. It wasn't just the amount of work involved in keeping large fowl but also our reluctance to kill them. Yes, we really enjoyed the meat and felt that we should do the killing, butchering ourselves. and I did manage to kill one goose myself. But I found that I didn't really want to do it again.
So we have stuck to chickens for eggs. And our reluctance to cull them has resulted in two flocks with two cockerels and several non laying chickens. Clearly this is not good farm management and something has to be done... we know it... but we are not fast to do it. Before the summer heat we shall have to cull four hens and a cockerel.
We discovered that growing vegetables was going to be more of a challenge here than in the UK. All the planting times are different. My experience with two allotments in the UK is of no help at all here.
We had anticipated lots of volunteers doing a great deal of the hard work. Ha ha. Well we have had some great volunteers but now we have no accommodation for them, the yurt turned out to be unsuited to the climate and until we finish some renovations, which we are doing alone because we have no volunteers, we are in a catch 22 situation.
Our olive harvest has increased and the money we get for that is certainly worth the effort. Likewise the figs are also doing really well and we take pride in being able to sell them to the local co op.
We wake up every day really happy to be here and really enjoying whatever jobs that are needing done. That is exactly what we hoped we would get out of life here.
Although we are improving in our Spanish language we are not picking it up as fast as we thought we would. Perhaps thats down to our age or maybe we are a bit lazy and don't practice enough (more likely).
Everything takes much longer to achieve than we thought it would. This is not necessarily a downside. We are learning to chill. Not as daft as it may sound. A work, play balance is very important and we never wanted it to be all work and no play.
We have more English-speaking friends than we anticipated and this is a real bonus. Even though we don't see them very regularly it is great to have someone that doesn't need the use of a dictionary to converse with.
So. Are we glad we made the move? Well what do you think?