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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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Archive for the ‘Negratin’ Category

Pergola building and another week in Paradise

Interesting week but then it would be – we’re in peak season here so the pubs are chocker at night – it’s a short season of course.  Wednesday we met up with friends Roly and Jackie as it was their last night in Galera for a little while. Last night we’d planned to go visit neighbours but we’ve been that busy we decided to simply stop in and relax – which we did – well, kind of, I was finishing off the Pergola for most of the day and Maureen was working on the garden – thankfully both are now now well on the way to completion.

Today a new solar regulator turned up – I blew one of mine up last week due to incompetence and I need a spare – so the new one is now taking pride of place – I just need to make the wiring a little more permanent – my early evening job when it cools down a bit.

PergolaaftershaveSome of the lighting is fixed (green) – the rest is programmable to any colour we fancy – and all of it is for free and controllable from anywhere like the cameras and monitoring sensors.

Today we went off shopping – firstly to Commercial Morino past Baza for some new mesh – Simba in one of his desperate bids for freedom (he HATES being inside when we’re outside but it’s not a nice environment outside for him) managed to slightly damage one of the window meshes – this one is more substantial – anyway, so then then off to the Chinese store for general shopping and to check out their very expensive after-shave (not) – and finally – we went off to Negratin for a soak.

What a CRACKING day for it – calm (though the water could have been calmer) and 36c – just superb.

Tonight we’re stopping in – got some company later on – I think a few glasses of wine in the Pergola are in order – I’ve been writing technical blogs every spare minute and my fingers need a break.


Oh, the waterproof camera case was a failure – nothing down there but green – same colour as the water looks from the surface – which is a huge shame because was we were wandering around aimlessly in the water today, the fish were jumping out of the water constantly – clearly lots going on down there and I noted a couple of times some fairly big fish wandering past me – but the camera was not having it. I’m guessing it is due to high calcium salts or similar – it’s certainly not due to pollution as power boats are not allowed – though I did notice on inconsiderate type out there ignoring the rules.

This morning the sky was wonderful and it is still that way now early evening – I think the rain we had the other day has cleared the way for a nice few days – or weeks…

Another successful delivery from Seur – obviously we’ve cracked that nut – mind you it did say delivery between 9pm and 10pm – and it turned up at 7pm – but that’s just a minor detail in the scheme of things.

Galera this morning

And just for the sake of it, here’s a strange tomato we bought this afternoon! More expensive than normal tomatoes – but then a lot bigger too.


A Great End to the Week

Peter ScargillWhat a great end to the week. Finally found a company (Fedex) who can deliver to the door and they brought me some new super-efficient lights for the walls. I’ve been buried in software much of the week (during which time the hours just melt away). It’s not been as sunny as normal this week up in the mountains – indeed there’s been a bit of rain (I’m not complaining as in other parts of the country there have been floods with cars and vans sliding into each other like so much garbage). But today all that changed and we’re back to summer weather. Maureen and I headed off to the lake this afternoon – or more specifically to a spring-fed spar at the lakeside. I’ve not seen the water this calm for ages and it was probably around 28-30c – i.e. very nice indeed. The spa was so good we spent most of the afternoon in it.

By the time we got home tonight there was just enough time for a tapas-type dinner and a quick glass of beer. 

It’s going to be an early night for me, I was up until 4am this morning solving issues with a Linux script (my new challenge in life – and a good challenge at that – plenty of information out there, it’s just a matter of filtering out the dirt and learning the rest) which I did, but that only left me with around 5 hours of sleep. The tech blog has been active today and lots of people have sent me links to useful info – it’s great when people share just for the sake of it. Just waiting for the tablet to charge up and I’m off.


Meanwhile the nice people at Pebble came on, they’re sending me a replacement watch after mine fell victim to salt water (supposed to be proof to 40ft and I was in a swimming pool!). If the courier don’t lose it I should get that early next week just in time to go off to the same seaside area the first watch died in! But this time I think I’ll take it off before taking a dip – just to be safe.


This weekend we’ve some wiring to do (to finish off the lighting redesign outside the cave – currently a wiring nightmare) and a party to attend and some friends coming over – so provided the weather holds, a busy time.

Early morning in Bedrock

Galera7am here in Bedrock as we start our second full day here in May. It’s been a challenge organising this holiday break,between turmoil in our professional lives and the new cottage extensions, which took a detour last week when the new bathroom plumbing burst, soaking the place and requiring professional de-humidifiers running around the clock to fix.

Thankfully as I sit here the builders are correcting that issue and in a couple of weeks we expect to be able to get on with the job of converting Hollyberry Cottage into not only a fantastically improved holiday rental cottage but also a great place for us to shack up in the winter.

LakeMissed the all important G7 drinking session last night. Between overdoing it when we arrived here on Wednesday and just so much to do, we decided to give the first session a miss – no doubt we’ll make up for it over the weekend.

We arrived mid-Wednesday at Alicante airport and for the first time managed to find our way to Brico-Depot in Crevillent just a short hop on the way here from Alicante. The place is great, all the major stores are there including Carrefour and Aldi etc. When we arrived Wednesday night the weeds had taken over (it’s hot here but it hasn’t been hot for long enough to kill them off yet) so as well as readying the place we’ve been clearing the path. It’s starting to look good already and this morning Maureen is of with some of the women to have fun while I sort out some tech work I have to complete via Skype with my friend Aidan in the UK.

testing solar panelsMy other jobs for this weekend include getting the watering system back up and tested. I’ve brought much more meaty power supplies with me to Spain this time to handle the rather unpredictable power here – though I suspect I’ve not brought enough.  As an experiment I brought another solar regulator along with an alarm 12v battery and panel –I want to see if I can run the router and new Raspberry Pi controller off the sun entirely. I suspect that’ll have to wait for our June/July run in which we’re bringing the car from the UK as I just could not fit the second large solar panel into the travel case!!

lampsI’ve recently started to work on my tech blog which now regularly achieves around 750 users a day and the new tech Facebook page just tipped 1000 likes – all of which imposes a slight responsibility to keep them up to date but first, we need to get into that lake and enjoy the fine weather Spain is having right now, it’s a little misty but typically sailing past 30c in the afternoon with peaks around 40c which might sound a bit much to Brits starved of sunshine but trust me – you get used to it and it beats the pants off the UK, in particular because that means you can sit outside at night without a jumper on!

Thankfully as you see in the graph (my systems have been logging temperature and humidity for a couple of years now) the humidity is finally dropping rapidly – we picked a good time to arrive.

Graph of temperature and humidity

So looking forward to a couple of weeks at least of fine weather before any more painting. We’re off to Baza this afternoon so that Maureen can pick up some supplies at the garden centre after we’ve had a soak in the lake.

Lake Negratin as never before seen

Lake Negratin as you may not have seen before – thanks to a keen eye and the wonders of modern technology – the quadcoptor.

For once these are NOT my photos – I’ve simply done the post-editing and present them here courtesy of my neighbour John who was out and about this week and kindly took these excellent photos for us to enjoy. Those of you who are here will no doubt recognise the area.

Click on the smaller images to enlarge.




A perfect day

Lake Negratin

Popped down to the lake today with our good Friends Aidan and Helen – today was their last day here and they’re off very first thing in the morning. It rained this evening but we’re hoping the weather will pick up tomorrow so Maureen and I can get back to the lake tomorrow – missed a trip to the Chinese store today as we were too late getting out of the water. 

We found a new place to go on lake Negratin today – just being built but already usable – no-one there but 3 kids one of which was female and somewhat deranged as she never shut up all the time we were there –often screaming for no apparent reason even though the boys were elsewhere – at one point I developed a serious fantasy about throwing a grenade in her direction – but I let it pass mainly as I don’t keep grenades handy, Thanks to Brian and others here in Galera for that information – very pleasant and there’s a nice floating barge to swim to.

NegratinI need a plastic sleeve to protect my external temperature sensor here hence the need to visit the Chinese store in Baza tomorrow. Tonight for the first time, my light up time and dawn timing software is working as part of the remote control system I’m putting together for the cave – inside solar lights are still on while the outside lights are due to turn off in a few minutes. Spent a little time with Aidan at teatime researching cricket generation software and we have a little chip making a fine impersonation of a little cricket – something to take home – the idea being to make it solar powered so the sound comes on at night without needing wires etc.

It’s approaching midnight and I’m shot – time to give up – just waiting for midnight to ensure my lighting is working as it should be – tomorrow, as they say, is another day – hopefully a beautifully hot and sunny one.

The Lake

NegratinThought we’d go for a drive this afternoon – we had to pick up some stuff at Baza anyway and so spent the afternoon at Lake Negratin – this time in a more secluded spot. It’s amazing that you can have such beauty to yourself.

Back now, a quiet night in tonight, I’ve a little wiring and tidying up to do as we have some guests coming over tomorrow night. Looking forward to a weekend of no Skype calls. Lovely.

Situation in Gibraltar does not seem to be improving which is a shame as we’re driving down there in a week or so. You have to wonder about the mentality of the Spanish authorities… Brits and Spanish alike travel across Spain to get to Gibraltar, spending money on fuel, food and even overnight stays so they can go visit Gibraltar – and that do the authorities want to do? Make it NOT worthwhile to go – hence losing all that revenue – no wonder the country is broke. You’d think they’d be ENCOURAGING travel back and forth if it comes over Spanish soil.