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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.

Find out more about this by reading through the blog entries, menu-accessible pages and archives if you're interested! Welcome to Peter and Maureen's Spanish website.

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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Lake – and Sockets

The LakeAn interesting day, we went off to the lake for some relaxation, spending most of the afternoon there. When we got back at night, I remembered I was planning on putting an external socket up to power our green rope-light. I opened up the socket which we bought at the Chinese junk store to discover it only works with single-core cable. You know the stuff I mean, instead of loads of thin copper threads, there’s  single, stiff copper core for each of live, neutral and earth.  Well, I thought every store known to man sold this. I went to the Ferreteria in Galera, she sold the SAME Sockets but didn’t have a CLUE what I was talking about when it came to single core cable. WORSE, try as I might apart from a roll of earth wire and some satellite cable, I could not find ANYTHING remotely approaching mains cable in the store… but they sell plugs and sockets! How weird is that. 

dragging the boatSo,  I gave up with the stores in Galera I headed off to Huescar. Then it got WORSE. I went to my favourite hardware store there and though the lady who runs it does not speak English, her assistant (could be her daughter) does – and she informed me that “around here” no-one uses single core cable!! So much for standards! The simplest solution was to buy a new external socket as they were only a fiver so that’s what I did, driving off home and by the sound of it taking the pavement with me (I didn’t look but whatever it was made a hell of a racket – I suspect the pavement over there is made from the same stuff they made our driveway here – i,e. rubbish). As we settled down for the evening I noted one of those powered hang-gliders wandering about in the warm evening air above Galera… wonderful.

Back into Sunshine

Street Repairs

The little bit of bad weather we were having (down to 25 degrees and some rain!) has all cleared up and neighbour Richard is out continuing the cracking job he’s doing with the weeds – note the very much improved roundabout thanks to his efforts! Now the rain has gone I’ll be getting out the concrete and doing my bit on some of the potholes though I think we might be needing some collective action on this – it’s clear the builder Ramone isn’t going to volunteer to fix potholes!

Neighbour Richard in digging actionThis morning the sky is perfectly clear, Maureen is having a lie-in but later the plan is to get some swimming done, perhaps taking a bucket of cement with us!  Nothing like a spot of DIY to get the day moving. I’ve a GREAT new app on the phone “iSpeak Spanish” which does a half-decent job of translation then speaks it out. Of course all of this requires a data connection but it looks like it can store any given translation and the speech for later use – so pre-planning a trip to the bank for example becomes possible!!

Nothing lasts forever and the bulk of our stay is now behind us – amazing how quickly these things go by. Having just about gotten to grips with repairs I’ll be sorry to leave but we have well over a week left to enjoy the area and lots of things to do before returning to rainy, cold Britain 🙁

Crystal clear skies over Galera

If you’re local and looking in – we just discovered pretty much by accident how hard the water is here. I’d been at the kettle with the brillo pad removing white crap from the bottom, not twigging to the fact that it was calcium, meanwhile Maureen was doing some work on the Jacuzzi to clear the water. We bought some new clearing chemical from a nearby Ferreteria and next thing we knew there was calcium powder stuck to the sides of the jacuzzi – and it took Maureen some work to get rid of it – so now we’re on the lookout for filters…

A Weekend Trip


After dropping Alison off at the airport using our new route which took us less than two hours from Galera to San Javier airport, we headed off for a spot of shopping on Friday before driving down the AP7 to a little place near VERA to visit the cave-home of some new friends.

Before leaving the San Javier area we took a trip to Eroski and a new Chinese junk store you really must Hipermercado Chinovisit.  Starting at the airport- leave the airport going straight over the first roundabout – at the second roundabout turn extreme right and head on up to San Javier.. THROUGH the town, always veering to the right a bit if there is a choice, you will eventually get to EROSKI which is a large mall+supermarket on the RIGHT but BEFORE then you will pass HIPERMERCADO CHINO on the right, a large factory-style building. Park up and go in – so what’s different between this and the normal Chinese junk store?

Well, for one thing they have FAR more junk but also at the far end of the place, they have a wide range of compact fluorescent lights-  at less than half the price you’ll see in the junk stores here and a fraction of the Carrefour price. I noted the spiral lamps at as little as 1.5 euros. There are TWO similar Chinese stores almost next to each other, we only visited the one – maybe next time.

Yellow Rat Bastard - shopIf you’ve grocery shopping to do before hitting your destination you could do worse than visit EROSKI which is in a complex (you really can’t miss it if you follow the instructions above) and don’t forget the shops upstairs – they have some strangely-named shops here- how about “Yellow Rat Bastard” for a shop name!!

There’s also a nice little cafe in there selling the most superb snacks – my favourite being a croissant filled with ham and cheese. Mmmmm.

Casitas de Playa90 minute later, after a speedy trip down the AP7 (pay road and very nice too for 1.5 Euros) VERY differently constructed to the caves in Galera (or at least the ones for the Brits) our friends’ home has walls and ceilings which are very thick and smooth in texture.

We stayed with them overnight on Friday and on Saturday morning, they took us down to the local beach for a guided tour, then to one of the local towns itself to see the reservoir – all very new and impressive.

I’ve included some images here just to give the flavour of the place… Today (Sunday) the sun for the FIRST TIME IN 2 WEEKS is hiding away behind clouds, an excellent opportunity for a spot of painting – or perhaps just a totally wasted day watching TV? Only time will tell.





A Trip to Galera

It won’t be our first trip of the year, we were over there in February but it’ll be the first escape to the sun by the look of it…   weather here in Blighty has been nice on and off but the rain just keeps coming back to ruin things – yesterday was awful. This morning I’m looking out of the window and seeing blue skies here in the Northeast of England… hardly awe-inspiring however..

weather in hexham

Meanwhile back in Galera…temperature ranges from 21 to 25C for the next week with NO chance of rain AT ALL. Lovely. Can’t wait…

Merry Christmas

Scargill Cats Rosie and Ollie

Back in Blighty

Believe it or not since returning to the UK in September, it’s never stopped RAINING – or it feels that way. Currently sitting in Manchester boring airport, wishing I was back with my glass of Alhambra and Tapas.. amazing how fast that 5 weeks break went by, it seems like a lifetime ago. Still the camera is working so I can keep an eye on our grapevine and Maureen is now getting into organising our new rental property as well as looking after the new kitten (Ollie). I’m working on websites trying to ignore the miserable weather here – as it looks nice and sunny back in Spain.