Saturday, August 11, 2007

some photos I have been asked for lol

stairs going up!!
The landing!

Looking down from top!

the 2nd landing lookind down

Outside tonight about 1.30am.
My craft room tomorrow!!

Our journy to a new life..part three

The letter, it is hard to see. If anyone wants it sent via email I shall.

notice there logo at the bottom!!

The letter was picked up by us on Christmas Eve, as you may be able to see from the date it was typed and delivered to us on 24th Dec. He must have crept up to the post box to post it because neither Dave, I, or the dogs heard him, coward that he turned out to be.

We had to stick indoors absolutely frightened to step out in case the Gaudier Civil were waiting to chain our beautiful new home and auction it. We were unable to take the dogs for a walk, unable to spend time looking at our surrounding town, the weather had cheered up and we were stuck in doors.

We were in a strange country, we did not understand their laws or their language and we were far away from everyone we loved. We had no phone or mobile so we could not contact our sons for moral support. I do not think two people could have been more frightened or alone in their lives.

As soon as the solicitors offices opened we were on the phone making an appointment to see them, we mentioned about the chains as we were afraid to leave the house, we half expected her to laugh and say it was not so but she did not. She said that this is possible if we owe money, they cannot chain the house or attempt to get us out whilst we were in it, they would have to wait until we left, she doubted though, whether our property was being watched, due to the time of year. We decided to go; in fact we had to go.

There we were creeping out of our own house dogs in arms, diving into the car that Dave had already sneaked out to open when he looked about to make sure all was clear, to avoid being seen leaving.

It is so stupid, we took the dogs with us and left them in the car whilst we saw the solicitor in case our house was chained up and they were locked in! Christmas should have been so different to the way it turned out; we were so looking forward to our first Christmas in our new home and Country.

We were told by Karl our rep that sent this letter, that if we went into Torrevieja on Christmas Eve we would see the most wonderful site at the Church in the square, the children all sing and there is a nativity play by the little Spanish children, small presents are handed out to everyone. We missed that to. We have however watched it each year since :O)

The solicitor after reading the letter, said this was quite correct and that we would have to pay this fee of 500, 000, 00 pesetas (about £2,500.00) within fourteen days. We explained that he had not told us about this fee and we had not agreed to it. After a lot of going out the office to check all the paperwork on the property sale etc, she said to leave it with her; she would have lots to shift through to make sure we had not signed something in Spanish offering this fee. She said this fee was quite normal and she seemed pretty sure we had signed something.

We spent a further week trapped in the house wondering ourselves if we had signed something, although Dave was pretty sure we had not. You can get very paranoid in a situation like this, I thought I saw people looking into the windows or scurrying across the garden, and Dave had to go and investigate more than once.

At last the phone call came to go and see her, we once more took the dogs and left our house, we were not protected this time with ‘the time of year’ as we were now well and truly into the new year.

She greeted us with a smile and told us we had not signed anything giving this man any money what so ever except of course the normal fees his company charge, she found out that the company was his, he had no legal right for his company to make a charge the and then try another charge privately as an employer. She said that under normal circumstances most people would be frightened and pay, she was quite sure he was unscrupulous and therefore wrote to him and said that unless we received a full apology from him we would take the matter further; she also said that she was sure this was not the first case.

He rang the bell about a week later, but stayed well back from the gate to say how sorry he was, it was an oversight and then he dived into his car and was gone. The company folded a week later. Dave has recently seen him working for an estate agent. Yes he did think about going in and having it out with him, but decided against it I am very glad to say.

Then second bedroom upstaires

More tomorrow.....

Friday, August 10, 2007

Our Jorney to a new life. Part two

I am sorry, for some reason it will not save any paragraphs. It is grouping it together. I know this makes it hard to read. I have tried several times now. It looks good each time I go back to edit. I have made the gaps very large but it still puts it back without the gaps.
I am sooo clever, I have thought of putting a false stop where I want a paragraph, this surely must give me a gap as it is the same as a line of text. Fingers crossed, I shall see once I post :O) Yes it has worked but for some reason the dots have not stayed in the centre in all cases, and different sizes...Strange, they are all the same on the post...

Taken from across the road on top floor of villa park three

The right side of house, just beyond the blue table is a bench that sits under the large olive tree that Dave loves so much.

The left side where I like to sit reading. just behind my table is the lemon tree and beyond that the orange tree.


The story continues.....

We arrived to the coldest weather Spain had experienced for over forty years! It was windy, raining and freezing.


It was nearly Christmas and we had no bed, no saucepans, no kettle no settee and no blankets! All we had was the glass table and four chairs they had left us! Our furniture was not due for another day. They had also left two single beds upstairs but no blankets or pillows. We were starving and freezing, what ever had we done.


We went out by foot in search of some where we could eat. We found a little place that sold a very large chicken and chips (half a chicken in fact). We ate all we could and brought the rest back for later. We slept upstairs with our coat wrapped round us freezing to death. These houses are made to keep cool not warm!

The next morning we picked up our hired car and made for the airport to pick up our darling dogs from the plane, we were bursting to get them. We were shown to the side entrance where large items are taken from the cargo planes. We watched until we saw a plane land, eventually we saw the conveyor belt bring lots of animal cages off, the men just almost tossed them from the belt to the big fork truck things, we were the only people there to pick up their pets, I do not know why.

Anyway the men disappeared and left all the kennels on the forklift truck, as there was no one around and we could not get to them to peek I decided to call them. As soon as I called “Where are my babies” something I have always said to them on arriving home etc. the barking and crying started, I recognised there bark straight away, we knew what kennel they were in as it started to rock as they scratched and jumped to get out.

Eventually a man arrived at a large window in the wall and speaking in Spanish of course (the second of many confusing conversations we were to have) the first being last night trying to order something to eat!

He eventually brought the large kennel holding both dogs to us and disappeared, what were we to do, just take the dogs out and go. They were just crying pitifully so we opened the door and let them out. What excitement and love was had by all. We waited nearly one hour before someone came so we could return the kennel (we did not want to be charged for it if it went missing) to our surprise we eventually understood that the kennel was ours to keep! We still have it upstairs on the sunroof filled with tools.

We were to live in the state of cold hunger and disappointment for a further week as our furniture did not arrive until one week after we arrived. I cannot tell you how cold we were, no carpets anywhere, the bathroom was freezing and our breath looked like smoke every time we took a shower. We did not have any bath towels either, they had left a couple of hand towels clean and fresh in the bathroom upstairs, thank heavens for small mercies.

Hurrah our furniture arrived on 29th November; at least we would be OK for Christmas, that was a laugh.

This house has a large front room come diner, yet the packing cases filled it to the ceiling, every tiny inch was smothered in boxes. We just did not know where to start, we could not get to the boxes they had unpacked first, and they had packed them neatly one on top of the other row after row. We had something in the region of 45 boxes.

We had tried to sort them as they brought them in but they could not understand a single word and totally ignored our requests to look at the writing I had put on each one. I.e.: bedroom... kitchen... etc.

It was to be a few weeks before we found the saucepans and blanket etc. We ate out at that little restaurant for a good while until we got ourselves straight, it was warm and welcoming. The husband and wife that ran it were always so pleased to see us and often gave us a sweet free. We found out later, much later that their garden backs onto ours!!!

I took photos of all the boxes and the dogs in the kennel from the plane, I have put the CD in but they are all just squares that will not open :O( I can only assume it was because I wrote the CD on my Mac. I do not know. So no photos I am afraid.
On December the 23rd Dave looked inside the little post box we had in the front garden, to our surprise we had a letter! It was addressed to us both so we rushed in and settled down to read it. From the moment we read it until three days after Christmas we walked around in utter fear.

It was from the man that had showed us around the house with Doug and Liz, he had taken us to the Escutoria and made a lot of arrangements for us. He was the one that had been the go between with the German couple that sold it and Dave and I. We liked him a lot, he had been a great help.

Well this letter said we owed him several thousand pounds for his services (I cannot remember the exact amount) and as we had ignored his requests for it, as in Spanish law he had put a chain on the house, it no longer belonged to us and when we left it, it would be locked and barred from our re entrée. I cannot remember now what it said exactly (We still have it though)


We spoke to someone we had met whilst walking the dogs and he said that this is normal practice and unless we paid we would have the house taken from us. We could not get in touch with the solicitor that had dealt with the sale as it was Christmas. That man completely ruined our first Christmas in Spain. Dave was sick to the stomach the whole time; needless to say we did not have several thousands of pounds to give him.

The weather continued to freeze our bums off, and we continued to wonder what on earth we had done.............................. More tomorrow




This is now my arts and craft room, photos later

'our journey to a new life' ...Part One


Sandie asked me to do a blog on our house, she wanted to see photos of the outside and inside, and how we first decided to live in Spain. For those of you that feel this long and boring, well just do not read it ah ;O) here it is.

I will tell you a little bit of how we came to be living in Spain. We would never have dreamt in our wildest dream that we would live anywhere abroad.

We were selling our property in order to live in Sheffield to be near my sisters.

The first house Dave fell in love with was an ‘upside down house’ we travelled up to Sheffield to view it. I did not like it at all, I had very bad vibes from it.

I felt a strong feeling of sadness and, well evilness all the time I was in the house. I cannot explain quite how bad this feeling was, the walls were closing in on me, and I felt extremely low and sort of breathless. I hated the feeling and could not wait to get out. Unfortunately Dave was so very ‘in love’ with it that after many hours of discussing with Leeta and others, I gave in.

I made an appointment for my Daughter Leeta to view it with us. As the owner was showing us round, I turned to smile at Leeta and she was not there, Dave whispered that she was waiting out side. I thought how very rude of her, we made this appointment with the owners especially to show her round. Once we left I found Leeta in the street a few doors down, I asked her what ever happened and why did you leave, she just said “Mum I am very sorry, I could not stay in there, it had such bad vibes it was suffocating, I felt an evil presence all the time we were walking around, I had to get out”. That freaked me as I felt the same way but Dave laughed it off, as did a few others.

It was called ‘an upside down house’ because it was upside down in as much as the bedrooms and bathroom, toilet and roof patio were on the lower portion, upstairs was the kitchen, dining room and front room with the T.V. and fire place etc. you looked out of the window to a slated roof below!!! The garden was on the upper level. It sort of was built on land that had a gigantic step, so the garden was upstairs and the lower half was below ground level! It was a large ‘L’ shaped garden with a well and small pond. I must admit it was as David put it ‘A real fairy garden’ but even there I felt uncomfortable. Anyway at the last possible moment the owners withdrew the sale, we had spent money going ahead with it, but to me I was delighted we could not have it, as was Leeta...

The next property we once again set our hearts on was beautiful, we had now sold our home. We had previously brought a wonderful caravan from Babs and Mo that came in very useful to us now. We were now living in the caravan full time. (Thanks to the upside down house falling through)

Anyway all was going great with the sale until a few days before we were about to sign the papers, (A young female teacher was selling the property we were about to purchase) our solicitor found out that the powers to be had been lying about the lease hold, it had a 99 year lease on it! The estate agency denied this right to the bitter end, but we had to go along with what our solicitor had dug up. The teacher was astounded and swore she never had a clue about the lease, huh, I don’t think so.

We had previously brought a wonderful caravan from my sisters Babs and Mo. We have spent many a great holiday both with them and without them. I can tell you a tale of an awful thing they did, but that is another story!

Anyway, we were living in our caravan in Hythe. It was September and bitterly cold, the site was closing down soon on over night stays, and we needed to be re homed quickly.

We moved all our shattle into my Daughters home in Leicestershire, it was grossly over crowded, Leeta was sleeping on the settee in order to give us her bed, and we did feel bad about it.

We were going back and fourth to Sheffield to try our luck with property, but nothing was coming on the market in Deepcar, which was the only place we would view, as anywhere else seemed pointless, we wanted Deepcar only.

My brother Doug and his wife Liz were going to Spain at the end of September, they were going to view apartments as they wanted to retire to Spain. they rang us up out of the blue and asked us if we would like to go with them, they were thinking of perhaps living there, we said “thanks, but we needed to stay put in order to rush to Sheffield at the drop of a hat to view property, quite apart from the fact we had no spare cash as we were having our furniture stored etc.”

My brother can be extremely persuasive as any one that knows him will tell you, he told us the apartment they were staying in was for four people and so we could stay with them free (apart from the air fare). In the end, one week’s holiday in Sunny Spain with Liz and Doug sounded a good idea in order to give Leeta a breather.

We had already sold our caravan to the people parked next to our one, they were to take it over on the last day the site was open, when we left it :O)

We stayed with Doug and Liz at there home the night before the flight.

The flight was booked and it seemed we were on our way to Spain the next morning. we were sitting in the cafe eating breakfast in the airport the next morning and missed our flight! We had to return to Doug’s for another night, we were lucky as we did not have to pay extra for the flights the next day!

Anyway, the apartment Doug and Liz were staying in, turned out to be for two not four! So we had to rush around to find us an apartment near to them that was affordable to us :O( We eventually found one just round the corner.

We had a good week, we looked at many flats but it all seemed beyond Doug and Liz’s finances. During the week we went with Doug and Liz to a 70th birthday party of one of their friends ‘Dolly’ Gerry is her hubby. You have all heard us talk of them and Leeta knows them personally from way back. We had a wonderful time with them and have been very dear friends ever since.

Towards the end of the week we saw this detached house for sale and just as a ‘nosey’ Doug rang the agents and met them to view.

It was of course the house we brought. It all happened so quickly, we had viewed it, seen a solicitor, had the money transferred over and brought the house in just one week! The owner’s husband had to fly out from Germany to sign, and because of this we had to return one week later.

We spent that week, just Dave and I in the same apartment we had previously stayed in.

We walked past our new home at least a zillion times per day! We did manage to view it once more before we left for England.

We were living in our new home in Spain by December the 22nd! It is hard to believe that we were living in England with no home of our own at the end of September and living in our new home in Spain three month's later at the end of December. Not bad ah! The house was actually brought and ours in a little over one week!

I will write some more tomorrow as I am afraid this will get to long and boring.


Thursday, August 9, 2007

Blue Lagoon. Part two


Dave and I were out when Jeanette came so I am writing this alone.

As I mentioned in the last blog, the water was such wonderful colours that Brian decided to take Bessie (the campervan) down to the lake. I also mentioned we were extremely high up, we could see cars at the bottom so knew we could get down. In fact we saw an old rusty broken car laying ¾ way down, it had obviously gone over the edge :O(

Anyway we all started the very bumpy journey down the groovy paths; Jay and I were a little frightened as it tipped the van from side to side rattling all her china etc. Halfway down we could see that the paths got narrower and narrower, the van was never going to get through, there was no way of turning round so Brian said to hold on in the back and he just went for it slowly, the wheels were missing the path and going over rocks and small bushes rocking the van badly from side to side. I was scared and I could see from Jeanette’s face she was too. We made it! Once down we stayed whilst Dave and Brian ran to see the best way back, the best way wasn’t good for Bessie.

We started back up the hill slowly and got well and truly stuck, no way up and no way back, driving backwards down a path that was only wide enough for a car seemed our only option! Dave was out of the van shouting “STOP! BACK BRIAN, OVER A BIT; DON’T COME OVER THIS SIDE ANYMORE! Over a bit, STOP! I know Dave facial expressions well as you can imagine, and I could see he was very worried. Once home and alone Dave told me that he never thought Brian would get us out without turning the van, he said that he just does not know how he did it, a great bit of driving that took a lot of guts!

Anyway, we finally was back where we started and Dave went off running to see the best root out, we eventually veered to the right and up we crawled again, no good, the path was just far to steep with sudden little hills that were almost like a deep step! We were stuck again, only this time we could not go back because of the steep hills we had managed.

After a while with Jeanette and I really scared sitting either side of the van on the long settee seats, with I hasten to add, no belts and Dave and Brian whispering in the front, Brian suddenly turned and told us to hold on as we just had to go forward and would be climbing very steep bits. Understatement of the year, well whole century actually.

The van was really rocking two and throw, it sounded as if all the china was breaking to pieces. One of her pictures shot of the wall and the glass smashed.

One minute I was looking at Jeanette face, she really looked scared and was calling out to Brian “are we going over Brian, Brian are we going over?” the next she was no longer there! She had shot off the seat, legs in the air was sliding all the way to the far end of the van, she scrambled to her feet so fast that I don’t think she was sure what had just happened, her face said it all! She started to make her way back just as Brian attempted to go up a sudden steep hill, once again poor Jeanette went shooting backwards on her feet this time, and she gathered momentum and ended in a pile at the far end again! (I am so sorry, but as I type this I cannot keep from laughing, she reminded me of Leeta and the omelet!) Jeanette is a good sport and did not complain as she crawled back to her seat.

Well not for a few minutes anyway, because we both let out quite a lot of noise over the next fifteen minutes as we very often came close to going all the way down to the bottom ‘sideways’!!!

Several times over the next fifteen twenty minutes Dave had to get out and try to guide Brian through paths that were very steep and far to narrow for the van with a drop (not vertically but almost) a very deep, deep, hill indeed with loads of rocks and bushes on it.

The sight of that wrecked broken car was still in my mind whilst we stumbled our way back to normality, as it must have been in all of our minds.

Wish on hindsight we had taken a photo of the steep hill with the car a tiny speck, but instead we used Jeanette’s fantastic zoom and took a really close up of it which does not show that it lay 3/4 down a drop at all. Well not in our wildest dreams did we ever know we were going down there and may not get up again.

Once Brian managed to get the two front wheels up a very deep ‘well I can only describe it as a sudden steep mound’ but Bessie was far to wide to get the rest of herself up and started to slide down again with Brian revving and making a lot of noise. It was all very scary indeed.

I cannot describe to you the constant noise in the van of plates, cups crockery glasses and all the other bits crashing around, it just added to the fear we all felt. Miraculously on a very quick inspection of the over head cupboards nothing looked broken. The plates are all in deep racks so they must have banged together but stayed where they were as did the cups and glasses. Jeanette will probably find cracks here and there when she takes them out I expect. Everything under the seats we were sitting on was rushing from side to side with a noise like thunder.

Once on the road again we all took a big sigh of relief. No wonder when we got back Brian and Dave had a little to much to drink ;O) lol

Both Dave and I are very impressed with Brian and his managing of Bessie. I do not expect they will be taking us out again in a hurry, why oh why does chaos follow me around!

Dave and Brian coming back from picking up the chips. They look pleased to be alive don't you think?

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Just for Babs :O)

Blue lagoon part one

Hi everyone,

We are home from our day out, the men are slowly getting pie eyed in the garden, well in fact they have just gone across the road to get chips and Jay says if she knows Brian, they will be drinking Guinness whilst they wait! At the take a way’s in Spain the men go alone as they are always offered a drink whilst they wait!! I have returned to this bit to let you know that they are still not home!

PS We know they cook fresh chips BUT…..

PPS they have just walked across (well swayed across) about one hour later! Balancing the chips between them! What a sight, they will be suffering tomorrow ;O)

Our day was fantastic, if a bit scary! Brian took us to this fantastic place where the lake’s are a colour that you would say “Oh yea” if you saw it in a painting. I cannot describe it to you,

Parts are the most beautiful green whilst other parts are Turquoise, and others are the most beautiful light teal. We have many photos for you but will only put a few on this; the remainder may have to go on a slide show if we can do it. Anyway the scary bit came on the way home so I will tell you about that in part two.
We took the long scenic way round, so it took about one hour to arrive, but you can do it in about twenty minutes usually।

After we arrived, Jeanette and I decided to cross the barrier to get closer and admire the view (needless to say it was a main road) the photos will show you what Brian thought of us skipping the barrier,
skipping was hardly what we did though! . I was wearing a long straight skirt (not good for cocking ones leg as you will see). It took me some time to get over but once I did a full hand clap resounded, I looked up sheepishly to find a group of men a little way up the road clapping me! Jeanette positively hopped over!! I personally think she was showing off in front of these rather dishy men.
After the utter shock of the colour of the lakes, (Jeanette and Brian had already seen them last week) but for Dave and I it was Awesome, we set up our table for the picnic, well it was more than a picnic I would say, Jeanette had done us proud।

We had a lunch fit for a queen. After we had eaten and tidied away we decided to get closer to the lakes for some photos. Just a few here, we will try to do a photo slide show later. I am frightened as you all know of water but this was very inviting, especially as the temperature was scorching, our clothes stuck to us as if we had already taken a swim. 34.7 Outside and rising! Phew didn't we know it, our hair was stuck flat to our heads!
The lake is full of fish; we were up very high when this photo was taken. I hope you can just about see him!

Brian found out the story of the lakes, it used to be a village called la pedrera In Franco’s time. The irrigation of the land was very poor, the dictator Franco decided it needed a lake, as the village lay in a valley it was the most appropriate place for it. There were about 17 dwelling in this tiny village. The village was notified that they had to clear all their belongings as they were about to be re housed and their village flooded! I hope they were happy about getting a new house rather then devastated to be loosing theirs.
Franco declared that the people of the area would never go hungry again; he filled the lake with hundreds of fish and decreed that all Spanish people could fish the lake without a licence and eat all that they could catch! (All other fresh water lakes needs a licence and the fish caught must be replaced)

Jeannette says that there is a village near Sheffield, up in the dales that this happened to. Jeanette saw the tops of the houses in 1976 (The hot summer) the water had dropped so much. People were taking photos of the roof tops!

Going back to our lake, it is hard to imagine that under all that beautiful blue green water lays a village. Brian dived down and he said you could actually see the tables set for dinner ;O) oops this must be a fib as Jeanette has just said that Brian would panic as soon as water reached his belly button!

As this blog is getting a little long we had better put it into two episodes. More tomorrow.
Tina & Jay x

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

knitted boxes

Did anyone notice the fruit dish in the photo of Giz?
Where are all the brightly coloured ones you were going to knit Sandie and Sindie?

Here is the one I knitted for Leeta (it is on it's way)

and here is another I knitted for me lol.
I want to see all of them all please. I do hope you knitted them.

Looking dogone good

Mummy said I could go on her blog, I rushed out to get ready.