Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The first rain

The rain has arrived in Andalucia now. It's the first proper rain after
summer this year. We have had a few meagre attempts previously, but they did
little more than wet the ground and get all the cars dirty as they collected
the dust and sand in the air and splattered it on the cars and streets.

But this time its real rain. Thundering rain, massive drops, lightning and
dogs refusing to go for walkies. The narrow steep village streets get
transformed into busy rivers, and new and fresh smells fill the air.

I am walking around in my imported wellies, as the only ones I could find in
the shops were the kind of knee length green fisherman style wellies. I
might be living in the country, but there is no need to walk around in
oversize ugly wellies.

So hurray for the rain, watering the countryside, filling up our empty dams
and reservoirs and giving me something different to wear for once!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Five things to consider before buying in a small spanish village

  1. When choosing which village to settle in, I world recommend visiting all of them at different times of the day and week. Especially when you are not used to the whole siesta scenario. My village is usually completely dead during siesta, but quite lively on Sunday evenings with the whole family and restaurants and bars. So you might get the wrong impression if you are visiting at the wrong time.
  2. In most villages the life is very…uhmm..well, rural! So forget your romantic ideas of the neighbouring writer and the retired intellectuals running a small dairy farm. Most people will have very simple lives and not be interested in your philosophical ponderings. And you might not find much stimulation from fellow villagers, unless the conversation is olives, the dry weather or jamon.
  3. Remember to brush outside your house. I don’t think I am being considered a proper housewife as I only do this every three months or so, rather than every day. I have, however, mastered the techniques of the mop.
  4. Beware of noise pollution! My street seems to become a major through fare on Friday and Saturday evenings, as well as the whole summer for motos and quad bikes. So talk to the neighbours before you buy somewhere in the centre of a village, and asses your own need for being able to have 8 hours undisturbed sleep.
  5. Make sure you like to talk to old women…
    I have been joking with my partner that neither of us would ever be able to have an affair as all the old women on our street seem to know where we are and what we are doing all the time. In the summer especially, they spend a lot of their time in the evenings on the street as it gets to hot to be inside. And every time you are going somewhere they will start chatting to you, curious about what you might have been up to lately. I wouldn’t recommend moving to the centre of a village unless you are prepared to mingle a bit and chit chat with neighbours etc. I do believe your behaviour would be frowned upon, as being anti-social is more unusual.

    I’m sure I will think of more as time passes. Stay posted!