A letter from Spain, olé!

Spain is the soul-searing Concerto de Aranjuez for guitar by composer Joaquin Rodrigo, the Flamenco danced by Sara Pereyra Baras or Antonio Canales; palm trees swaying by the Mediterranean sea; tapas or a glass of chilled Sangria. Spain is the aroma from the orange and lemon groves; the salt lakes and flamingos, the joyful fiestas, and so, so much more…

The Year was 2,000 – a new century and an auspicious date to start our new and final chapter together. With both sets of parents sadly deceased and no grand-children to fret over… we finally, having experienced the joys of life in Spain on holiday on several occasions, decided to retire there. Ah, but which part?

Windmills in Spain

We had explored La Mancha country: the patch-worked and windmill-dotted plains where Don Quixote roamed with his side-kick, where the mauve saffron crocus grows in abundance, and walked the castle ramparts where “El Sid” was filmed… Also, the slightly suspect delights of Marbella and environs (spot the fugitive?) and various other regions but were undecided. And then, my adventurous husband read an article which clinched the destination. “Hear, listen to this…” he said, excited. So I listened.

Oranges

No less a body than The World Health Organization declared that one of the best regions, weather-wise and health-wise in Spain was The Costa Blanca, so that’s where we ‘stuck our pin.’ The weather in the United Kingdom was/is? world-wide notorious for having ‘four seasons in one day,’ and as his last job involved much driving, he would often nearly pull out his white hair in frustration, and one could hardly blame the government for that. For the weather, that is.

Our eldest son, Jason, had decided to, eventually, move to Denmark, as his partner, Ann was born there, which meant leaving our other two sons to live in our house in Essex. All three were mature and house-trained so no problems there.

Torrevieja Spain

The month of May saw us exploring Torrevieja (Alicante province) and environs. Our guide, a most pleasant Israeli guy, booked us into a comfortable hotel for three nights, took us to excellent, reasonably-priced watering holes and restaurants and showed us some tempting apartments and casas (houses). Decisions, decisions. On the last afternoon, we inspected a modest but pleasing two-bed-roomed casa in the Los Altos (the heights) area, a few miles from Torrevieja, and put down a deposit. ‘It will be ready in October – around the 2nd…’ we were told, and it WAS! (This last fact was a surprise as building was going on at a phenomenal rate but rarely finished to date.)

Glossing over the upheaval of re-organising our old home for our lads (phew) and having my flight cancelled by the airline at the last minute, with no choice about a replacement date (husband had driven our packed to the rafters car over with a friend) I finally walked once more on Spanish soil. Time for a gulp and a ‘pinch me’ moment…

Torrevieja Spain

We rented an apartment with my middle brother and his wife, and set about furnishing and equipping our new home, which was an absolute revelation. We were open-mouthed on choosing the basic furniture, to be asked ‘Would you like it delivered this afternoon?’ We plumped for the next day. Ordered curtains and light fitments were also brought, with the curtains hung and lights fitted with bulbs by the delivery men!! Wow and wow. Where was the famous mañana we had heard about? A most welcome introduction to Spain to be sure.

Our communal pool wasn’t finished, there was no supermarket nearby; we were using the builder’s electricity – so no bills – and had no TV for a year, so listened to more music, hardly a ‘Mayflower’ situation! (Doubtful Home-stickers had said ‘Aren’t you brave!’ which we found amusing.)

Then came the determined burglars, doubtless sent to test our resolve, but it only strengthened our determination to beat them! How did we do it? More soon…

© Copyright Joy Lennick 2019

Photo credits

Windmills: Javier Alamo pixabay.com

Torrevieja: Jason Lennick

Orange grove: Tyler Shaw unsplash.com

36 thoughts on “A letter from Spain, olé!

    • joylennick 04/10/2019 / 9:45 am

      Thank you Marion. (Keep those boots polished…) x

  1. robertawrites235681907 03/10/2019 / 6:12 pm

    Your photographs are lovely, Joy. Spain sounds lovely. I am looking forward to finding out how it all went.

    • joylennick 04/10/2019 / 9:48 am

      Glad you liked them, Roberta. Even in deep winter, Torrevieja has a buzz, and it doesn’t cost a fortune to eat out What’s not to like! xx

  2. joylennick 03/10/2019 / 6:47 pm

    Thanks Roberta, We celebrated our 19th anniversary in Spain on 2nd October!! (and first met 70 years ago..),which seems totally unbelievable as I still feel around the 40 mark; mentally that is…Onwards and upwards. Hugs xx

    • joylennick 04/10/2019 / 9:50 am

      Thanks for reading and commenting Jacquie. The last 19 years have flown… xx

  3. Jim Borden 03/10/2019 / 8:24 pm

    same as Jacquie – makes me want to move. sounds like you got off to a great start, until… well I guess have to wait for the next installment!

    • joylennick 04/10/2019 / 9:53 am

      Thank you Jim. You could say that the ‘down’ side of life highlights the ‘up’ side….Cheers x .

      • Jim Borden 04/10/2019 / 1:30 pm

        that’s a nice way of putting it, Joy!

  4. johnrieber 03/10/2019 / 10:26 pm

    What a great story! My wife and I went to the Costa Brava and loved it…and everything we’ve read, including what you write here, says that this is one of the great “getaway” spots in the world – whether for a week or a lifetime…can’t wait to take this adventurous trip with you!

    • joylennick 04/10/2019 / 9:44 am

      Thanks John, Here 19 years years on 2nd October. It seems like nine….We’re still enamoured…Best wishes.

      • johnrieber 04/10/2019 / 4:42 pm

        Congrats and same to you!

  5. willowdot21 04/10/2019 / 2:20 am

    I really enjoyed reading this Joy, my sister has a house in Torrevieja near Los Altos. She loves it there and she and her husband spend several months a year out there. 💜

    • joylennick 04/10/2019 / 9:56 am

      I appreciate your reading and comments, Willow. You’ll just HAVE to visit now! Plenty to do and see. xx

      • willowdot21 04/10/2019 / 12:47 pm

        I know joy we have been there quite a few times 💜

  6. CarolCooks2 04/10/2019 / 9:40 am

    What a lovely post, Joy. I to also marvel at the delivery here…Sorry, Madam but we cannot deliver it until after lunch..the time 11am…No problem we say with delight…In fact the last time ..the delivery van was out so the shop called a passing tuk-tuk and the said mattress was duly secured to the top..That certainly was an experience …haha…Can’t wait for the next instalment 🙂 xx

  7. joylennick 04/10/2019 / 10:16 am

    Thanks Carol, Afraid to say that delivery times have now changed…The infrastructure is stretched by such an influx of folk from ‘everywhere,’ especially the Nordic countries – which is great as I love diversity. The lure is the cheap cost of living here compared with their homelands – same goes for the UK! Our pensions have suffered because of the cursed Brexit but rents and eating out are still so reasonable (fingers crossed…) I love reading your recipes. Our three sons have all enjoyed Thailand and one nephew visits three times a year as he has a steady girl-friend there. Sorry we didn’t visit when younger (too ancient now!) although we travelled a fair bit so certainly can’t complain…Carry on making your yummy dishes! Hugs x

  8. joylennick 04/10/2019 / 11:43 am

    Hi Tandy, We’re a bit hardier than that…things grew worse but then grew better… Cheers. x

  9. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine and commented:
    Joy Lennick is embarking on a no doubt entertaining series about their adventures when she and Eric relocated to Spain in 2000 to Costa Blanca… in her first post the house hunting and the surprise rapidity of deliveries and assistance.. excellent and recommended.

  10. Excellent Joy and it is going to be a wonderful series.. I cannot remember if we talked about Ondo Cero and the Morning Show with Kelli Brett and then Brenda Padilla that I was on for four years.. from 2004..not sure if you ever listened. We got banned from from the Costa Blanca for a couple of weeks as one of our guests was considered unseemly!! Looking forward to more…hugs ♥♥

  11. joylennick 04/10/2019 / 8:04 pm

    Would love to hear about it. Sally. I’m sure your experiences of living here was equally rich! Hugs xx

  12. dgkaye 04/10/2019 / 10:20 pm

    Looks like a slice of heaven Joy. My dream to get to Spain. Now, you know I’ll be back to hear about the evil burglars. I hope you won out! Hugs ❤ xxx

    • joylennick 05/10/2019 / 1:21 pm

      Hi Debby, Yep, there’s something for everyone here. Brexit’s the only shadow…What idiots our politicians are; selfish and greedy. We have been promised continued health care.Hope so as it’s great. Eric had excellent treatment for prostate cancer nine years ago and I’ve had several mini-strokes over the years too.Have a jolly, enjoyable weekend. Hugs xx

      • dgkaye 05/10/2019 / 3:38 pm

        You’re a champ Joy! And don’t get me started with politicians LOL Happy weekend! ❤ xxx

  13. OIKOS™-Publishing 04/10/2019 / 10:26 pm

    Thank you for this wonderful insight. I instantly become wanderlust. 😉 Best wishes for the weekend! Michael

    • joylennick 05/10/2019 / 1:24 pm

      Thank you for reading and commenting, Michael. We have lots of great memories. Cheers.

      • OIKOS™-Publishing 05/10/2019 / 2:48 pm

        Thank you Joy! Great to read! Have a beautiful weekend! Michael

  14. Darlene 05/10/2019 / 12:37 pm

    A great start to your life in Spain. A wonderful read.

  15. joylennick 05/10/2019 / 1:25 pm

    Gracias, Darlene. Have a great trip. x

  16. Jennie 05/10/2019 / 4:15 pm

    Delightful post, Joy! This was such fun to read. I look forward to finding out how you foiled the burglars.

  17. D. Wallace Peach 05/10/2019 / 5:26 pm

    I read this to my husband, Joy. We’re getting closer and closer to retirement and a bit of freedom. We probably won’t retire in Spain, but we look forward to visiting. I’m looking forward to part II. 😀

  18. joylennick 05/10/2019 / 5:39 pm

    Hi Diana, Thank you for reading and commenting. Spain is such a huge country, of amazing diversity. What we have seen, we’ve appreciated and enjoyed. One aspect of many a Spaniard is a certain delightful, semi-childlike delight in dressing up and expressing themselves in exuberant fashion, which make their fiestas a joy to watch and be a part of. Hopefully, you’ll visit! Do look out for “The Moors and the Christians” fiestas which take place all over Spain on different months.Quite a spectacle… Hugs x

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