The day has finally arrived for us to move to our new life in Spain. I think we are all feeling a lot of mixed emotions, nervous, excited, apprehensive, just plain old scared if we are totally honest.
We have to get up at 3 as we have to leave for the airport at 4. The taxi is booked and Chris and Frankie are being brought up to the house at 330. We have to get up and put the mattress we have been using as a bed in the garage for Mark and Jo to pick up. Also we have to put the rubbish out for the bin men and throw away the stuff we have been using like the kettle and the toaster. it’s all a bit much when you only went to bed at 12 and still couldn’t sleep because your mind wont stop racing through all the possibilities of this new life we are embarking on.
After we arrive at the airport, we have Geri on a lead and are carrying about her huge container on one of those airport trolleys and she is just moping about quietly amusing herself, but anytime we have to put her in the box she cries blue murder. When the time comes for us to leave her at the desk where we have been instructed to take her, we can still hear her crying from the queue for security. Of course she will be alright but you cant help but wonder what is going through her mind and how she will feel all cooped up with the suitcases and cargo.
About three hours later we arrive and go through passport control, smooth as you like, but we had been told by a man on the plane that when he brought some cats to Spain he had to wait two hours before he could collect them. This was a bit disconcerting as we were on somewhat of a schedule, we had two hours to get out of the airport, pick up the hire car, and drive to Antequera where we were due to sign the paperwork for the house. As it happened we needn’t have worried, our cases came as per normal, 2 at the front then had to wait about 15 minutes for the other two(not quite sure how that happens, you would think they would all be together), then we were told that Geri would probably be taken to an area down the end where abnormal baggage is collected, then just as we were loading up our trolleys to go and find her, I noticed a large box on the luggage conveyer belt, and yes, believe it or not they had just loaded her on there like a suitcase, we were dumbfounded. No one checked any paperwork for her or anything. Although she had had a wee in the box and did smell a bit so we had to walk through the airport with her all smelly and drawing quite a lot of attention, what with that and the crying.
Next stop was Antequera and the Notary’s office, the drive was about an hour and we were late (of course), as we had to pick up the hugest hire car in the world, which was a lovely brand new Chrysler Voyager, so we met our estate agent in petrol station on the road to Antequera, and followed her in to the town. We pulled in to an underground car park and had to leave Chris and Frankie with Geri, so they got her out of the box gave her some food and drink and gave her box a bit of a clean.
We followed Sally, the agent, through the streets of Antequera, with oranges growing on every tree along the road and to be honest a few clouds hanging about and a bit of rain in the air. When we got to the notary, we walked in to a very posh feeling office, and met up with Tina and Nigel, who we were buying from, their agent Antonio, and there estate agent, whose name I forget. Also there were both our lawyers there. I had only met our lawyer once, when I first came over house hunting and the rest had been done by email, so he took us to one side and explained the situation and what was going to happen. It was all quite secretive you felt like you had to talk in a whisper a bit like at a doctors surgery or a hospital. In actual fact it all went very smoothly, the notary spoke good English and translated all documents for us and no black money was exchanged (I had heard stories of how the notary sometimes leaves the room to allow you to exchange an envelope full of cash to keep down costs for the tax and fees and such like, but ours was indeed all above board and proper, and probably more expensive therefore). We all signed the paperwork and that was it, the Olive Mill was officially ours. Now the fun begins…
Mike, the person Tina and Nigel were buying off had refused to leave his house till the following day, even though it was officially theirs, so they had arranged to stay in a hostel in Montoro, as they were going to have to leave their dogs at the Mill for the night and also due to Spanish plutocracy, we would be looking after their Horses, Donkeys, Ducks and Geese. That first night we had 5 Cats, 4 Dogs (and Geri), 2 miniature Horses, 1 Donkey, 2 Horses, 2 Mules, 1 Pig, 4 Geese and 2 Ducks. Wow. Tina and Nigel came back to the house to feed them all the first night and show us what to do and said they would come back the following morning to feed them again and collect the dogs.
As there had been no sun that day, Tina put the generator on so we could have the lights on, although obviously we had no TVs or anything yet. They had also left some logs for us to do a fire with as there is no central heating.
Lorna and I needed to go out to a Supermarket to buy some quilts, pillows and some food so we lit the fire and left Chris and Frankie with the fire on we went out to the Supermarket and tried to follow the directions we had been given. The Supermarket is about 45 mins away from the house, and we lost our way a few times so I think we may have been out for about 3 hours at least. And weirdly, it seems hard to buy regular pillows in Spain, we had to get what look like normal sofa cushions. And they are very thin. When we got home Chris and Frankie had been sitting on one arm chair together with Geri to keep them warm as the fire had gone out and was soo cold. We had been warned that it would be cold at night during the winter but I don’t think we really expected that. I think I honestly expected Chris and Frankie to wake up the following morning and say it wasn’t what they had hoped and they wanted to go home.