Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Starting out

To start with let me introduce myself and my husband Kev. In previous lives we lived in the north of England with a dream of owning some land and growing our own vegetables.
The house we had, had a very small garden but we managed to grow most vegetables and fruit too, by using baskets fixed to the walls.  This was our little piece of heaven...planting seeds and watching them grow, to putting them on the plate and eating them. It was our way to unwind after long weeks spent at work.
Kev was a prison officer and so stress was at the forefront of his job. I was a deputy headteacher and stressed most of the time. The garden was our saviour and we both believe it kept us sane! It also allowed us to spend time together which is so important in a relationship.
We were trying to find a new home that had lots of land (compared to our garden) but the prices were just way out of our reach...so we signed up for an allotment instead. We were told we were on a 2 year waiting list to which we both became very dispondent.
Anyway to cut a long story short...I was offered a job in Spain for 2 years. We both took sabaticals and moved to sunny Spain. We lived in a small city called Cuenca. It is situated between Madrid and Valencia. Right away we knew we loved the Spanish way of life. All of a sudden I was working 9am until 2pm and the rest of the day was my own. It felt like I was on holiday even when I was working!
We talked about buying a house and started to look after a year in Spain but Cuenca was expensive. We saw a house we wanted out in a village but the land was small. We found out we could buy some more land at the back of the house but with it needing renovating this just pushed it out of our price range. To say we were gutted is an understatement.
We believe that everything happens for a reason and in this case it was true. We started to look further afield and found a house on the internet that we both liked with quite a lot of land. I emailed the estate agent explaining what we wanted to do and asked if we could view it. She responded with it wouldn't work as the house was on a side of a mountain and all rock BUT she had a property just come on the market and would we like to look at it.
We drove down on the 7th December 2009. The estate agent drove us to the house. We walked through the gates, stopped, looked at each other and said "no need to see indside the house!" The estate agent looked at us puzzled and most probably thought we were mad but the outside was everything we were looking for. We went back to the office and paid a deposit there and then and the house was taken off the market. In April 2010 we signed our lives away and were the proud owners of a house in the middle of nowhere, with about an acre of land, no electricity and no running water to the house.
That day we sat outside on the terrace with a bottle of champagne (in our coats because it was freezing) and toasted to the start of a new life. We then drove back to Cuenca to tell our friends what we had done!