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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 ‘weather’ Category

A lovely Winter Morning

Lovely winter morning? Not a lovely winter morning! The first of these pictures was sadly taken precisely 1,198.3 miles (1,928.5km) North of the second (hence the quality variation) mid-morning this morning. For those of you enjoying the sunshine in Southern Spain, please spare a thought for friends suffering the god-forsaken weather in the Northeast of England – it’s been like this since at least 1954, with brief bursts of sunshine in between showers.

Crappy winter morning

Lovely Winter Morning

Still, at least we still have mail from China, just as well as we soon won’t have a lot from Europe, another good reason to be in Spain.I’ve spent much of the Christmas holidays collecting new toys from our oriental friends, a great way to keep warm and at least I can keep an eye on the place and enjoy the sun by proxy – a poor substitute for the real thing.

I hope our friends in Galera and surrounding area are making the best of this sunshine – looking forward to seeing everyone in the not-too-distant future, meanwhile, of course,  keeping in touch with some of you via Facebook and email.

A Good Day for a Swim

Last night I did a bit of cementing – incarcerating countless thousands of ants at the same time. Of course that is just setting me up for a painting task in a couple of days. Today for the first time we took off to one of the pools – the public pool in Orce. Fed by constant spring-water, the pool is bollock-freezing cold no matter what time of the year. The fields on the other hand are now dry as a bone but still full of colour.

PoppiesAnd so it was, armed with towels we headed to the fish-infested waters of Orce – and my, have they grown. There were no more than a dozen or so people there today including some Germans who were keen to pass the time with conversation. 

Maureen with new gadgetsThis was our first dip and to be fair the water really was not that cold. With outside temperatures peaking at 26c the cool-off was very welcome.

Getting ready to go to a small gathering tonight – no doubt featuring alcohol and we have a couple of new toys to take to the lake tomorrow! I have to say I am quite looking forward to giving these a try-out – each complete with two drink-holders, no less. Or one drink and a bottle of sun-oil perhaps.

This afternoon I’ve been doing a little more work on text-to-speech for my little controllers – had some success with that – and now looking for a spare battery for the camera – not like the old days when camera batteries lasted for months, it pays to have a spare.

The area is looking great now with poppies springing up all over the place. Today I felt sorry for hay fever types as the air was full of spores. Summer is definitely here – I can feel a tour of the coast coming on soon.


Happy Mondays

MoonYesterday was a good day, despite our friends Aidan and Helen having now gone back to the UK.  Sunday night I took another half-decent moon pic as you can see on the right (click any of these and other images on the blog to see larger versions).

Monday, despite being a holiday here and despite constant predictions I was wasting my time, once again the couriers delivered gadgetry to the door, on time – this one was a microprocessor board I’m writing a review on this week and as they’re launching the product this coming Friday, that was good timing.

Near MariaThe rest of the morning was spent working on new and significant Raspberry Pi updates and blogging some of the more complex programming aspects of the unit – as well as staring at intermittent clouds hoping they’d disappear in time for our BBQ and indeed they did – by mid-day things were warming up and by the time we got the BBQ going out in the beautiful countryside near Maria, the sunshine was out and eight of us (and 3 dogs) had a great time in an area kitted out for BBQs with dedicated stone BBQ units way out in the wilds.


A huge zoo-full of school-kids turned up and of course being from the UK I was expecting someone to cause  trouble – instead – they were really good – they wanted to speak English, take photos and learn about us – quite refreshing.

One of Debbie and John's dogsUltimately I needed a break from the constant chatter of kids and took the opportunity to go walkabouts for a while, followed most of the way by Debbie and John’s very friendly (and quiet) dogs – and got some great shots of the surrounding area.

Another of Debbie and John's dogs

Around this area you can only have BBQs until sometime in June from which point they are rightfully banned as it gets very dry and hot so we’re taking advantage of the opportunity while we can. No doubt it won’t be the last.

We all had a great time and four of us ended the evening watching “The Hateful Eight” which despite having blood and guts as the central theme as with all of his movies, turned out to be yet another Tarrantino work of art and a great laugh.


Traffic jams

This morning (Tuesday) my long awaited displays turned up together with some other new bits and pieces the Chinese want me to take a look at – more tech blogging this morning then possibly a grocery shop. Time for a quiet spell before the heat starts in earnest later this week – wonderful.

You are in a forest

Monday Life in Galera

Huescar Church taken at Restaurante El Mano IIAfter a successful morning which saw Aidan and I working together by Skype as he helped me sort out thermostat issues (successfully up to now) at Hollyberry Cottage (Skype and decent broadband are a wonderful combination), a bunch of us headed off to Restaurante El Maño II at the far end of Huescar for lunch which ended up filling the otherwise rather miserable (weather-wise) afternoon  – and I have to say, the service and the food were both excellent.

It’s going to be a couple of days or so before we see the end to this unusually damp weather (hopefully by the time Aidan and Helen get here) and so chatting with friends all afternoon made a great alternative to fretting about lack of sun. We had a nice time. Thanks to all for making it that way.

Calle Ceuta 14Tonight I’ve been debugging some silly issues with lighting here in the cave – again successfully (one of my late night experiments I’d forgotten all about and left running). That and the first of several additions to my new camera turned up – a screen protector for the display. I’m hoping to continue my current success record at actually getting post delivered to the house! About the only thing that hasn’t gone well, I left my charger out yesterday in the short-lived sun which as it happens was quickly followed by a downpour – I’m not sure the LCD is ever going to recover.

Working on the hallway water feature to make it all WIFI controlled – this needs a little more care than usual given the fact that it uses water!! 

Finishing off the night with a nice glass of Spanish wine and some blogging. I could see an early night tonight as we have a busy day tomorrow.Hopefully will pick up some material to restore the Pergola to showroom shine after the winter winds have taken their toll.

Spain, the Post and Thieving Couriers

We’ve been here now for a couple of weeks and regular readers may well be wondering why there’s been nothing in here. I referred in my last blog to issues with UPS.. well, that turned into a nightmare, meanwhile my ability to add images to any of my blogs suddenly disappeared.

HuescarThe UPS affair can only be described as a disaster. They really DO NOT like finishing the job off here and actually delivering to people’s homes – made worse by Google maps which actually points to the wrong place when you try to get to our place (update August 2016 – that has since long been fixed). Many, many emails later, I got my delivery and I got it to my home. However.. the supplier put the wrong amount on the goods, leading UPS to charge too much for the VAT and DUTY on that (despite the inescapable fact that throughout Europe, deliveries of low-value goods from China almost always escape VAT and DUTY when sent through the postal system.  UPS in addition have a range of extras they can charge – handling charges etc. and the long and short of it is – I would recommend STRONGLY against using that company for any kind of overseas purchase.

geckoMeanwhile a supplier in Sweden was shipping some parts to me to take to Boston with me on my forthcoming trip this weekend. He ordered 3 day delivery and…. they let him down – not only that but when he tried to follow this up after they claimed they’d tried to deliver the goods (they had not) the Spanish end of their operation stopped answering phone calls or responding to emails. So all in all not too good on the postal front but at least I proved they’ll deliver to the door.   My normal mail via our friendly postman has been going without a hitch.

And so to the blog – for reasons that foxed me and eventually foxed the service provider, I could not longer send images to any of my blogs. This has been going on for 2 weeks now and only today has it been resolved. I guess in compensation for the time it has taken, they’ve built a managed VPS (virtual Private Server) for me and all my stuff is now in there and up to now, running like a rocket! So up to now we’ve had a good time, done a bit of work on the house, been to the lake, down to Mojacar, Velez Velez RubioRubio and other places with friend who’ve sadly now gone back to the UK for a while – and we’ve replaced the battery on the car, which it turns out was way over a decade old!!

The weather here has been excellent, rarely dropping below the mid-thirties in the afternoon. Next week I’m off to Boston where it is only marginally cooler, to participate in the Boston FABFEST – if you follow me on Facebook or Twitter you’ll see what I get up to there.  Expect lots of pictures of tech stuff.

new chairs

Caves Retain a Constant 18c

Remember the sales talk about caves remaining at a constant temperature? We all had it? Well, I can finally lay that one to rest… the RED line is internal temperature, blue external and green is humidity over the last month or so… the temperatures incidentally are not unsimilar to blighty – it’s just a lot wetter and more miserable in the UK right now.