And we are still very much in love with our house, though FR is cursing the wooden windows, which have swollen in the winter rain and which need sanding down and repositioning in order to let some of the wonderful fresh air in. Before long, we will have to keep them firmly closed against the summer sun and the flies, of which I am sure there will be many!
We are adjusting to the travelling in and out of town to school, to shop and to work. I love the drive and already know the turns and bends and wiggly bits by heart. It is just ten minutes, taken at a leisurely speed to conserve fuel - exactly the time it took me to get the children to school when we lived in England. Not as many busy roads to navigate and whilst it was a nice enough journey then, now we have the view of the Sierra Nevada for part of our return journey. Not bad!
Today, FR, Romy and I went in to town to get a bit of shopping. I stopped off at 'A LITTLE Bit of BRITAIN' - a shop run by some lovely English people and which initially just stocked things that many Brits missed - Bird's Custard, Wall's sausages, Steak and Kidney pies, for example - but now, runs an Aladdin's Cave of a second hand shop, where people bring in the things they no longer want or that they want to sell on. Everything from antique lampshades, sofas, china tea sets to garden furniture, fridges and freezers. It's brilliant and there's so much coming in all the time. The locals are beginning to see what a great idea it is to buy quality second-hand rather than rubbishy new and so it's a lively place.
Every month, they run a 'market' and today I bought my first geranium for my garden and some basil to eat at lunchtime. At Christmas and Easter, I ran a chocolate stall and was delighted with the sales I made. At the Easter stall, when we knew we were buying the house, I made my first 'house' purchase too. It was from Jan, who paints roof tiles, old bottles and these big 'jarrones' that contained wine.
It looks lovely next to my fireplace, don't you think?
Coming home, I really enjoyed a salad of tomato, garlic, mozzarella and basil, with olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing. Meant to get a photo but had to tuck in straightaway!
And really, truly, not wanting to labour the point that we do like our home, I just wanted to share a little bit of the history that we've found out since arriving.
The house has a little blue cross built into the outside wall. I read that this was to commemorate the death of someone here at the turn of the twentieth century - not clear if they were killed or it was an accident though.
My neighbour Pedro told me that the brother of the person who put the cross there went one better.......
...and built this little shrine.
However, the date on this is 1952, whilst the date of the death against our wall was about 50 years earlier. So not sure exactly what happened. I shall continue to try and find out.
Pedro, who is 82, apologised for breaking off our conversation the other day because he had to fetch his 79 year-old wife from the gym! He told me that our house and the one behind us, were the original houses in Villalobos - which is neither a 'villa' not has 'lobos' (wolves). Romy wants to know why we are not number 1 in that case...good question!
I took this photo whilst standing in the 'era' or threshing circle which is at the end of the road leading to our house, seen in the centre of the photo. We are part-owners of it now, although no one uses it anymore. But it adds to the history and sense of old community to think that people came here to separate the wheat from the chaff and other such farming necessities.
Despite having been looking for such a long time for a property to buy and having been thwarted or unwilling to commit in the past, there really has been no sense of anti-climax in finding and moving into our home. No, rather the opposite. Every day brings another little discovery; another thing to think about or do.
So yes, I AM labouring the point a bit and I promise I will stop soon. But I do like Being Here....