What’s this about?
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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Progress in Galera

Working Pylon to supply electricity to our cavesBelieve it or not, after 3 years of builder’s electricity, it looks like we’re about to get "proper" electricity. The pylon is up, wired and apparently ready to go.

After some disappointing weather over the last few days, we’re set for sunshine today so we’re off to the Orce market to see what’s new there.

After bringing some new lighting technology over with me to add atmospheric lighting to the cave, I’m now onto my second Chinese soldering iron which utterly refuses to do the job and I’m convinced it’s actually the solder. The last one I bought was a 60w device and I bought solder and flux to go with it, yet after 40 years of soldering I cannot even START to tin the iron bit never mind do some sensible soldering – so the logical conclusion is that this is something ELSE the Chinese can’t get right (at least not in the stuff they sell here). So I’m off in search of good old-fashioned European-sourced solder!

Huescar fairYesterday we went off to the lakes with friends – too cold to go swimming but just to show them around. We’ve also been to the Huescar fair which ended on Sunday night, not much to write about, just a standard market, the same people as usual.

I’m starting to get jaded with the smaller markets you rarely see anything new and interesting… not so bad in the summer when you can just enjoy the weather but we really could do with finding a really large and varying market.

Our Spanish-licenced car should be arriving this week, just in time to go into cold storage until our next trip – but at least this means we can kiss goodbye to extortionate car rentals once the paperwork is sorted and it gives me greater possibilities for short trips over here when there are last-minute cheap flights available, something we’ve not been able to do up to now.

FilmIC Pro movie softwareI’m looking forward to some sun today so I can try out some new hi-def video capture software for the iPhone. Yes, I’ve a decent camera that can do video but I get sick of lugging a camera around. A phone on the other hand sits in your pocket – the problem being, the quality is usually rubbish. Well, I’ve already gotten around that with the HDR software on the iPhone to some extent (most of the photos here are HDR taken using the phone) and so now it’s time to turn to video.

Many problems with amateur videos taken on phones can be improved on the iPhone with a little care and the right software. Firstly clean the lens every single time you use it – and secondly use software to turn off the automatic controls. The stuff I’m playing with turns off auto-focus, exposure control, white balance and lets you take 16:9 format video – I’d prefer cinema format but the phone isn’t fast enough for that.. iPhone 4s to the rescue (if only). With these settings as seen in the phone in their normal default it really doesn’t matter what you do – your videos are always going to look home made.  Easy to say, let’s see what I can do with this – results in a later blog providing the weather holds out.

Oh yes, it’s around 20 degrees MAXIMUM here during the day, a far cry from September… and no sign of the builder!!

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