While you’re getting your breath back from the drivel of Part 1, here’s a small collection of photos and explanations of our projects while were were living in Spain.
It’s not too lengthy, but you might just be interested in where we lived etc etc …..
We decided to move from the UK because we had fallen out of love with it, me and Diane had become extremely stressed over the previous 3 of so years with work and constantly looking after Diane’s mum and dad, both suffering from terminal cancer.
We weren’t even thinking of moving away, but one day I went into the factory at Fordham, Cambs, just by chance, my best mate was there, he showed me some photos of his latest holiday in Javea, Spain. I was gobsmacked when he told me how much property was out there – I did some quick mental maths and knew I didn’t need to be in the UK anymore. I went home that afternoon, told Di about what my mate had shown me and said
“Fancy moving to Spain”
Without ant hesitation, she said;
Within 8 or 9 months we had sold our house in Norwich, found a place in a small town called Alqueria de la Comtessa and were there in summer 2004. It was madness, but that’s the sort of frame of minds we were in. To save you doing the sums, I was 54 years old and Di was younger !
We bought the place and invested a sizable amount, so we had a monthly income from pensions from our respective jobs and from the investment.
Here is the place in Alqueria.
It was a town house, and looks awful from the outside – to be honest the inside wasn’t much better, but we saw the potential.
It was huge inside, my mate said it was like living in the town hall. We did a load of TLC inside and got it looking quite nice.
We got the outside repainted as well, much to the neighbours approval – they all hated the colour of blue and white, can’t say we blamed them. But it didn’t have a garden and we missed it so much, we were there for 2 years …. it was time to move on.
We decided to move slightly inland and up towards Valencia. We were 3000ft up in the mountains, a small pueblo called Pla de Corrals. The village had only about 350 villas in it …… to our amazement 60 were owned my ex-pats.
This next place was a complete wreck. Here are some photos of the transformation.
Yep, we were made to have taken it on, but the potential was huge and we recognised that. The place had 3 bedrooms etc etc. But we converted it to having only 2 and using one of the bedrooms into a new kitchen. We kept it as traditional Spanish as we could. The swimming pool was massive, and almost new, and unloved, with additional green water.
We did all the work and improvements by ourselves, all done with the help of just a spade and a wheelbarrow and one or two other tools. I designed and built the terrace round the pool – 100 sq meters of back-filling, concrete and tiles. It took me a couple of years to complete, but the toil was worth it in the end.
Our drive from the village road went through the trees down to our finca. We used to get red squirrels and Whoppo’s in the garden, amongst other animals, including bores during the night. We didn’t realise that there was a pattern in the bottom of the pool until we got it cleaned properly.
The pool terrace took me some figuring out – I had never done anything on this scale before so the planning and design had to be spot on. As you can see I made sure that the steps were at 45 degrees to the pool and the tiles had to line up with the bricks on the top tread – it worked out OK
We wanted the steps to be positioned so that we could come out of the finca and straight to the pool area. I had to get help with the electrics from a qualified guy, I did most of the laying of the wires and he connected the whole thing up. The archway where the photo was taken from was later glassed in to make a diner.
This was taken from the roof of the finca. The shape was important to us as we didn’t want any straight lines or walls. We decided to add an outside shower, you can just see the start of it’s build beside the pump house.
Lounge door to the outside ….. straight to the pool. I added the tiles around the door. It was a cosy place to live in.