Costa del Sol - Yes, but

Before we moved over here I was often asked, "Yes, but won't you get tired of all that sun?" The short answer is "No". Partly because I will take all the sun that's going and partly because, even though we're only 6km from the shores of the Mediterranean, it isn't always warm and sunny. This was the view from our roof terrace this morning.
We do have winter, and this year it has arrived early. We have had gale force winds, howl;ing down from northern Europe for the past few days. They have been accompanied by rain down at our level (35mm on Friday night and another 25mm last night. All four of our aircon units are swiched on to blow hot from sundown until bedtime. Don't get me wrong. I am not complaining, just setting the record straight. And there are still lots of pluses, not least the fact that at the beginning of December it stays light until around 6.30 in the evening. That's a good two and a half hours later than we experienced this time of year back in Lancashire.


UN Day Against Violence To Women

An all-too-frequent item in the day's court list, when I was a magistrate in the UK, was offences of domestic violence. The situation seems to be no different here in Spain. The problem is the main focus of much of today's news in the light of this UN day. For those who can read Spanish, this item in the online version of Sur reports 37 cases so far this year in our very small area of Malaga Province, let alone Andalucia, let alone the whole of Spain. At a national level, an average of two women a week are killed by a current or ex-partner, not to mention thousands of women who routinely suffer violence which does not result in death. Back in the summer, we had a case in Nerja, the town down on the coast, 6km away. An Argentinian woman, 25 years old, was stabbed to death at around 9am one Sunday morning on the Balcon de Europa, right in the centre of town. She was killed outside the cafe where she worked, and where she was setting out the tables ready for the day's business. Her Morroccan ex-boyfriend, who had threatened her that if she wanted to return to Argentina, he would make sure she went in a wooden box, was subject to a restraining order that forbade him to approach within 300 metres of her. She had been accompanied from her apartment to the cafe by two members of the Policia Local, because of her fear. They left her in what they judged to be the safe company of her work colleagues. Fifteen minutes later her ex-partner struck.


At Last!

Finally I have my new broadband connection set up. This means that I can post on a more regular basis now that I don't have to rely on the internet office in the village. Everything is finally coming together. Today we ahd the electrician round fixing some wiring problems and installing some new light fittings. Saturday the fitter comes to instal the air conditioning units in the bedrooms, and then next week - the painter arrives! A significant moment because the painter only works his magic when everyone else has finished. So by the end of next week our new home will finally be as we want it - except for the shower creen which has still to be fitted. It's patterned glass and should have been delivered just over a week ago. Unfortunately, they dropped it getting it out of the van. So now we're waiting for a new one to be made. There's always something.


We Are In At Last!

10th November was a great day! We finally moved into the new home we bought at the end of July. In the end quite a lot of work was needed, and things were not helped when, twelve hours after the old tiles on the roof terrace had been ripped up on October 31st, along with the bitumen layer, the heavens opened at three in the morning and the five year drought was over.
Saturday morning, my birthday, was spent mopping furiously to clear all the water which had come through the roof. The builder turned out with several acres of plastic sheeting, which kept out most of Saturday night's rain, but still left us with a fair bit of mopping up again on Sunday. Then the sun came out and dried the outer surface of the roof, so that the new bitumen could be laid.
Then to my horror, out came the hose and the roof terrace was ceremoniously filled up with several centimetres depth of water to make sure that the roofers had got a proper seal! The plan was - if nothing came through in a week's time, the bed and tiles could be laid. Nothing did come through but it gave a whole new meaning to the term 'water torture'.
Eventually a couple of thousand litres of water cascaded off our roof terrace, down the steps, into the main street, and work recommenced. It's still going on; we have two thirds of the terrace tiled now, and the aircon units have been delivered but not yet installed, after which the pinter can come and work his magic.
But we are in.We are comfortable. And we smugly beleive that we have just about the best views in the village from our roof terrace. Now the dream gets going in earnest!