Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas to all.....

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This year has flown by. It does not seem long since we were moaning that the house sale was slow and we were wondering if it would ever go through. A very Merry Christmas to all and we wish you the best of health for 2007.
May your dreams come true.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Blow by blow........

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The tides are high, the south westerly winds extremely strong. Several trees down locally, road signs bent and twisted, heavy rain falling with hailstones. Winter really setting in now - cool during the day and storms overnight. Went to see the buffones (blowholes) down on the cliffs near our house - very impressive (see pics). Christmas will soon be here - looking forward to visitors next week. Don't spend too much on us......

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Chop Chop cried Luis........

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It's that time of the year when you need a bit of a blaze in the evening. The daytime temperatures continue to reach 22-24 degrees but evening time it can dip as low as 9......So, we've been chopping a bit of wood. The surf is high at the moment and surfers from around the region gather in the sea, bobbing up and down in their wet suits waiting for the 'right' wave. Visitors come and go, the village had another fiesta for our Patron Saint Martin, cider production is in full swing and the winds are gathering momentum.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Busy month.....

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We have had a busy month so far, not sure where the time goes. Luis has been at his sister's for a week and I kept busy gardening and re-building the wall at the bottom of the plot. Nights are cool but the daytime temperatures are still reaching low to mid 20s with bright sunshine and strong winds. I have started school........for english people wanting to learn spanish ......what can I say...not a lot really!

Luis has been approached by an antique dealer we know asking if he will teach him english..., a few chairs to re-cane and re-rush; also continuing to translate and interpret for an english couple who are trying to buy a house here. Photo taken this week on a walk near our house.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Did you know?

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Missing us so much you need a picture.....? Did you know that you can click on any of the pics posted and get a larger picture to print out for your bedside table.......don't have nightmares.

Monday, October 30, 2006

more pics........

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Wanted to bring the baby donkey home but Luis said we didn't have enough room in the freezer........

Update on cider and other edible gifts from nature

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What a lot of apples we are going to process for cider.........hic

2000 bottles maybe this year - not us but a neighbour who kindly showed us the art of cider making in Toriello - blending the apples - to ensure the correct acidity, mincing them to ensure maximum juice, pressing them in a llagar and eventually fermentation and bottling. Wonderful stuff. Now just have to learn how to pour it......there are regional competitions in the art of cider pouring (it is flat cider and needs air putting in as you pour).

Another brilliant day was a funghi and mushroom hunt in Infiesto at the weekend. Teamed with a local expert we set off at 10.30am and trekked through open field and natural woodland searching for, identifying and collecting various obscure and not so obscure species of funghi and mushroom. We had a great time with our guide (Luis) and managed to get numerous specimens for consumption and for display at the local town hall. Since then Luis has ventured out locally and has managed to get his hand on loads.....if this is the last blog you know we didn't learn as much as we thought we did.....

Friday, October 13, 2006

Autumn draws in......

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Continuing enjoying walks and discovering new paths and trails. The harvesting continues - with lots of hazelnuts and walnuts collected and drying. Chestnuts are next on the gathering list together with any edible mushrooms Luis comes across (god help us - so far the books have been more of a hinderance than a help). Apples are big buisness in this area and it will soon be the harvest time before cider production goes into full force. We have been invited to help a neighbour make cider with his own llagar (cider press). Last year he made 2000 bottles for his own consumption so we might end up having a good time!

Enjoyed visitors throughout September/October. Autumn has brought dark nights and some spectacular storms with impressive lightening and deafening thunder. Still enjoying periods of sunshine and warm, bright days. Keep in touch.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

General update contd.....

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Whoopee, ADSL connection at home.....what a treat. No more crawling to the receptionist in the cyber room in the hope that she allows you onto one of only two PCs that worked, or hoping that the one you were allocated had the correct resolution.......anyway, hopefully no more visits there then. Back home in Toriello and enjoying late summer with an abundant harvest and lots of jam making and pickling (over 80 jars), collecting hazlenuts and walnuts (over 4 kilos) and eating local fruit. Luis is working for a couple who are buying a house, acting as translator and interpreting when necessary, also has had two commissions to recane/rush chairs. We have had various visitors and had a really good time showing them our new life and surroundings, looking forward to more at the end of this month and at the beginning of October. As for my Spanish.....bien, what can I say......con tiempo. Here are a couple of photos that have been impossible to upload until now. Sue and the children on their recent visit and the local fiesta with the men from the village in traditional costume carrying the Ramu (bread) that will be auctioned to raise funds.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

To the Director General

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Further to our blog on attempts to have a phone line installed, Luis has now had a pole inserted and we have been wired. After all this time trying to negotiate connection with the staff at telefonica's call centre, we found a simple good old fashion letter of complaint to the director general of telefonica did the trick. Not to mention the full page spread in the regional newspaper of Luis pointing out the error of telefonicas business plan - to waste resources through inefficiency (and a picture!!!!). Well enough said...we are now connected, have phone and adsl pc connection.

We are both well and enjoying the harvest, looking forward to our next visitors and hearing from you all from time to time. Will be updating blog soon.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Wot no phone?

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Send cards and letters: Well as you are all aware I am in England and poor old Luis is busy keeping the home veg growing. Did you know he has become a bit of a media star since writing to a regional paper complaining about telefonica. Full page spread, photos, quotes and celeb status. What it does mean of course is he is still on his own without a phone .........just a mobile. So if you do feel like dropping him a line ........please do, I am sure he would like to hear from you. I return early September.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Madness has descended

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No it is not as you think...............Luis sat in the middle of his veggie patch repeatedly saying cabbages........catapillars..........bugs and squash the little bxxxxxxx..........Madness has descended on this sleepy little town of Ribadesella as everybody prepares for the 70th International descent of the River Sella. Over 5000 contestants, thousands of spectators along the route, roads blocked, fields full of campers and rubbish everywhere. The event is televised nationally and this year´s event is expected to be bigger and better than previous ones. I was going to enter but have decided to stage a canoe top protest instead. I have got a banner to stretch across the Sella from my canoe to Luis´coracle saying .............Telefonica es una basura. Other than that, we enjoyed a midnight 4 day Jazz festival, visited friends from Holmfirth in their home in Potes, got drunk with friends from the village and continue to enjoy the local area walks and nature. I will be home soon so maybe no messages for a while as Luis will be busy sat in his patch saying cabbages, catapillars...........and the rest.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Rare Sighting......

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They do exist..........yes it is true we have seen a rare and wonderful sight.......a Telefonica engineer. He called yesterday and promised us that a line would be installed this week........apparently we need a pole but apart from that it is straight forward. We shall see. If they do not come he will need surgery to remove the pole.
Other news......the children´s descent of the Sella took place this week and in a few days time the disabled descent will take place. Gearing up for the mass descent on the 5th August (5000 plus).
We continue to cycle and walk exploring different coves and bits of countryside. Luis is fairly optimistic that we will have a cucumber by the end of the week. We ate marrow, susgar snap peas and mange tout this week. Tomatoes doing well. Home in August for a while see you all then.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Culture; Vulture

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Descent into madness: Had a great week with summer arriving with full force. Luis is running around the garden with mange tout and cherry tomatoes trailing from his pockets. Sue, Ben, Sam and Lucy May have been over for a few days and we had a really great time - we all canoed the River Sella 12km, had a picnic on the bank and spotted lots of wildlife including a vultures and kingfishers. The water battle in the afternoon was great and of course Sue and I (being the fittest) won the race and the battle - although they will dispute this (bad losers). Lucy May turned a few heads amongst the spanish boys in town......... Luis and I have visited a couple of romanesque churches with beautiful carvings and architectural details. Luis tells me there are many more worth visiting.......whooppeee! I have just voted telephonica company of the year. Speak soon, keep in touch.

Monday, July 10, 2006

There´s more to life than veg......

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Just in case folks back home are getting worried that we are devoting our new life to growing vegetables.......we have been doing other things such as; drawing up plans for a 40 foot garage and workshop - plans now with college of architects in Oviedo; finding out about importing the car; Luis has been sorting out the transfer of his nursing qualification and acting as translator to two english guys who are buying a house here; registering at the employment office; arranging various administrative issues for residency; learning to speak spanish; killing bugs on the veg......oops not the veg again. We have also entertained various visitors from England and Spain. There is more to life than veg. In addition, we are taking time to explore the area by foot and cycling, I am looking buff...........or should that be rough? Telephonica is my favourite spanish company.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Drunk and Disorderly

No comments: out for the´s time for a walk........oh damn! we´ve been caught. Never mind. Everytime we set off for a walk we always get collared to join our new friends and neighbours for a look around their plot, house, cider making facility (llagar) or caseta........always coming home several hours later laden with fruit, veg, plants or drunk. Luis has developed a liking for the local cider and it is really difficult to drag him away from the booze (borracho). We have discovered an avocado tree that is full of fruit nobody gathers. 24 fruits in our fridge as we speak. We have been invited to join some of our neighbours when they next make the 2000 bottles of cider in late summer........All in all meeting some very nice people and learning to adapt to our new surroundings. Telephone .........maƱana

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The Rain in Spain......

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The rain in Spain has been falling on us for the past few days, however, it usually clears long enough for a short walk and a bit of work in the garden. Temperatures remain warm and comfortable well into the evening. Continue to meet interesting characters from the village and continue to receive gifts of plants and produce........talking of which if the bugs don´t stop munching our veg soon Luis will end up in care.......(often distraught and very emotional over the tomatoes). Looking forward to a few days sunshine and of course............getting a damn telephone (ordered 4 time so far).

Friday, June 16, 2006

Pick and Tics

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What a week, picked several pounds of cherries from our own trees - up the ladder not being my favourite occupation, never-the-less the cherries were lovely and we now have several jars of cherry pickle to consume. There was a large fire on the mountain overlooking the house but the bomberos soon had it under control with large buckets of sea water carried by helicopter - direct hits everytime. The veg are doing well and Luis is less stressed about his seedlings than of late.............Went cutting bean poles in the local hazel woodland came back with over 40 poles and tics. That´ll teach me to wear shorts in the woods. Spotted a lovely deer looking longingly at our vegetable patch early one morning - and discovered many great beaches and walks locally. Telefonica sucks.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Warm front.....

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Weather has been great for the last few days, warm but with a breeze that keeps it nice and cool out of the sun. Luis is busy with his vegetables (over 20 varieties of veg and herbs now). Had a day out yesterday to a medieval market and fiesta in Torazo. Offered myself to Asturian TV as an extra on the beach.........they were making a documentary on the costa verde and were filming one evening. I thought that a long shot of me (in slow motion) running along the sand dunes might add a bit of glamour but they declined. It´s their loss. Luis was also disappointed as his offer to do a short documentary on sand dune planting was also declined. See you all soon.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Alarmed and dangerous

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Well....the week has been busy with sorting out the house, gardening, building the shed base, signing legal papers, walks and shopping. Decided to go for a cycle ride but the back tyre exploded on contact with the pump. Trying to source an inner tube in Ribadesella is not easy. The weekend passed without much of a do......(50 years old arghhhh!) and we just had a quiet time enjoying the sunshine and new surroundings. Alarmed......the house has been fitted with a new system .......I can even talk with the control centre in Madrid (how do you say....intruder, help I'm being attacked?) anyway we feel safer leaving the house for long periods now. Off now for lunch ..........speak soon.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Una buena cosecha

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Settling in to our new life here in Toriello. The house is looking more and more like a home and the garden continues to challenge us. Luis euthanased a family of field mice after I accidentaly caught them with the brush cutter on the strimmer.....oops. Making the most of the opportunity to go walking on a daily basis - always come home with an armful of goodies from our villagers - eggs, oranges, plants, seedlings and herbs. We have met some very nice people and all seem very friendly and welcoming. Still awaiting the telephone. Don´t forget it is my Birthday - better get cards or else.........Adios

Monday, May 15, 2006

Onions......and yet more onions

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Well.........200 onions later the vegetable plot is looking good. Lettuce, peppers, cabbages, tomatoes and beans planted and growing well. Luis on the look out for slugs and armed with an array of slug weapons. We have had a garden shed delivered but now need to build the base, this week we hope. The grass is growing at lightening rate but with a strimmer it is soon chopped and burnt.
Toriello had a fiesta on Saturday, a parade from the local fish restaurant of women and men in traditional dress, dancing and playing tamborines, bagpipes and drums. They walked to the church in the next willage to collect the Statue of our Virgin Fatima - to return her to our local church.......the whole event was great and pictures will be published on our site as soon as we get up and running with broadband. It was a bit like the parade at the carnival in Barnsley but here in Toriello, we do have a virgin..........
Introduced to the Lady Mayoress and had a few drinks as the two bands played traditional music until 4am in the morning.
Went walking for the day on Sunday, saw lots of wild flowers and orchids along the meadows. Spent a few hours on the beach watching the surf. This is the life eh.........

Monday, May 08, 2006

Slow, Sloe, quick quick - toad

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Well, where do I begin? Luis has now joined me in Toriello and we have begun to get to grips with the garden (football field). Luis had an encounter with a slow worm, we tried to buy a sloe tree, we have numerous lizards and crickets and the toads keep us company throughout the night. All in all we are very happy and are looking forward to developing the land and getting the house sorted. With a bit of luck we will be on the telephone and internet by next manana.....hope to get an adsl connection but if not a telephone connection will suffice. We will let you all know the new number. Until then, hope you are all well.........keep in touch.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Arrived Safe and Sound.....

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Just to let you all know that we arrived safely with everthing and everyone intact....hoping to get phone connection soon...until then will only check emails weekly - hope to see some of you, if not all of you soon....but not at the same time xxx

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Everything in place.....

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Good news at last - everything is now in place. Buyer- sorted, Solicitor - paid, Bags - packed. Contact details being mailed out - if you do not receive it please email me and let me know. Bookmark now for more updates........coming soon. ;-)

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

We're as happy as this little chap..

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Good news at last - things seem to be moving. Heard today that all the paperwork is in place and that our buyer will be signing this week. Need to plan a completion date. Oink.

Monday, February 20, 2006


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Q. Why is it taking such a long time to get the buyer's finances in place?
A. If I knew that i'd be a happy man -still in limbo - if we don't hear this week, the house will have to go back on the market - arghhhh!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

No movement but hope on the horizon...

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No news yet again but we have heard that our buyer's finance is now in place and that we are awaiting a call from the Solicitor for exchange and completion dates. Arrangements in place for the move, this is getting repetitive. Picture is of Lago Ercina near Covadonga.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Ian and Luis in Spain.....

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Well, here we are......... on January 7th waiting to hear if our house sale will complete. It has taken 2 years to get to this point and the reality of moving to Spain is hitting home. Most things ready: loft cleared, garage sale complete and the move planned. All we need now is a signature on the contract and cash in the bank.