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This is Peter and Maureen Scargill's Spanish website. We live in Galera in Andalusia (for clarity, that is the English spelling - Mid-Spain they spell it Andalucia and pronounce it "And-a-loo-thee-a").

We've had a home in Spain for more than 14 years and it is now our permanent base though we retain a small home in the UK.

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Another sunny day in and around Galera in Spain…

Friday – the end of our first week back in Spain – amazing how time flies. Today we got a lot done – we bought some more furniture for upstairs, we met new neighbours this morning, we bought plenty of paint supplies, I fitted a couple of light fixtures – and ended up in Bazza in a local bar and discovered a new variation of Alhambra beer. The night ended up at the local pizzeria meeting even more Brits, a retured banker and his wife – seemed nice folks, they’ve just returned here from a trip to Southern France – and no doubt we’ll see them again in the coming few days.

Last night we ordered a new settee for upstairs (from a shop who speak no English AT ALL – thank heavens for electronic translaters is all I can say) – and the guy delivered it the same night, so upstairs is now starting to take shape – just – but I’ve not taken photos yet – coming soon. I then ended up after the odd glass of wine, on the top of the mountain watching stars. Can’t remember if that was BEFORE or AFTER the power went off – apparently the electricity we have is temporary until they hook us into some new hydroelectric plant (WHERE I don’t know as there’s not water around here). It is SO dark and SO clear up there on the other side of the mountain that you can see not dozens but many hundreds of stars and clusters of stars not to mention a clear view of the edge of the galaxy – and it’s not unusual to spot more than one satellite passing at once. If only I could actually put a picture of it up here… someday when cameras are 100 times more sensitive perhaps. The telescope though looking pretty isn’t actually up to much.

Meanwhile despite forcasts continuing to show the odd cloud, the sky remained blue and clear here. I’ve now fitted our new door anti-insect mechanism, a series of orange plastic stripes you have to fight your way through to get in the door. The small photo above-right is a reminder of the cave upstairs before we started – and the larger photo to the right is where we were yesterday before the settee arrived yesterday. I’ll print an update once we get some more furniture and the odd painting in there.

Tomorrow I have a new spotlamp to fix in the main room above the table and lights to replace – incidentally the photo on the left is the public pool in Galera – not been down there yet (telephoto shot) but as you can see it looks lovely and I’ve yet to see it crowded. Thankfully therural broadband seems to be working properly now so the phone and Internet radio are back in action (we’ve already found a couple of English-speaking Spanish stations that are worth listening to).

Maureen is off on Monday to look at another unreformed cave, this time with 3 “bedrooms” – I don’t even want to think about it!! I’ve eaten more concrete dust in the past few weeks than I care to recall. I’ll be staying in to wait for the builder. It’s all starting to look and sound more like a home. Early this morning Maureen went off to see the new neighbours leaving a whirr of washing machines and other contraptions doing their daily chores. But no traffic noise, no screaming kids, just the odd sound of blasting kit many miles in the distance as yet another home starts to take shape. Next thing I knew we had a whole family over checking out the place.They seem nice and I’m sure we’ll see more of them in future.

In our travels today we came across some kind of festival in Cullar (pronounced COOYARR) and I’ve dropped a few shots into FLICKR – one is shown here. I’ve also been on the web and bought a VERY comprehensive set of Spanish programs for the Smartphones – dictionary, text translator and holiday phrases programs – hopefully now the hated “Franklyn” heap of rubbish will end up where it belongs. The software we’ve bought allows you to enter English phrases into the phone and translate them there and then into Spanish.

We spent the afternoon in Baza (pronounced BATHA – Z’s and C’s tend to come out at TH in Castillion language) and of course wecam back having spent a bomb on carpets and furniture. Before leaving Baza we sat outside a local cafe/bar. Typically in the smaller towns if you order a beer you get TAPAS with it – thrown in as it were…. very pleasant – indeed if you drank enough you could skip dinner. We ended the evening sitting outside our local cafe in Galera and it didn’t take long for another English couple to introduce themselves… so that was a nice end to the evening.

Don’t forget these photos and many more are available at FLICKR… just go to flickr and look for the relevant set – latest photos should come up first. More later – it’s been a busy day and no doubt Saturday will also be a busy day – starting with ANOTHER trip to Baza to get some more stones – you’ll see the point in my next blog – Sunday, we’re off to the beach!

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