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This is the Spanish website for Peter and Maureen Scargill. When in Spain we live in Galera in Andalusia (for clarify 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 something like 8 years or more and now we're spending a lot more time here.

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Archive for the ‘Galera’ Category

Summer is Coming


Since our Valencia trip we’ve stayed largely local, visiting friends and enjoying the weather – which has been a little more unpredictable than usual for the time of year with a pretty cold breeze for most of the month up to now, though the last couple of days have been superb.

Don’t get me wrong, it has been sunny most days but the air itself when the sun dies down – has been cool. We’ve done some work around the house and garden, Maureen has been catching up with her reading while I’ve been learning some new stuff on the computer. Meanwhile we’ve had several sessions down at the local pub.

I’ve been replacing our very toy solar panels with a larger 250w job (and in Spain you get every watt) – not enough to do anything too serious with but it handles the outside lighting, my workbench lighting, charging of phones etc. and is a great learning tool. I’ve built proper housing for the electronics with plenty of room for expansion.

We’ve signed up to a deal with the electricity supplier to give 2 hours a day of free electricity – 10am to mid-day so now the showers, washing machine etc. all get done at the same time. Wish I had a shed-load of batteries I could charge up while I’m on.

Last week I was out of it for a little while thanks to some kind of mild food poisoning – which I regret to say most likely came from one of the restaurants at the lake! 3 days of stomach hell. Didn’t stop our regular trip to the Huescar market and coffee and churos.

Restaurant in BazaToday we were reminded that the Baza market is on Wednesdays – rather handy as we often do our big shopping in Baza on the same day. Took a visit to the vets as one of the cats is chewing himself to bits and while we were out we had lunch at one of our favourite bars in town.

Tomorrow is Huescar market but if the weather is really kind we may just hang around. I’ve ordered some wood to make new doors for the BBQ and so depending on how quickly “Wood To Go” can process the order we might end up taking a leisurely drive to Velez Rubio.

Baza market

I’ve been continuing my work on the tech blog which has grown to having around 7,000 signed up members – and I’m getting typically 3,000 page views every day, sometimes a lot more. Running something like that means continually coming up with interesting and new information – thankfully a number of manufacturers (mainly Asian) have been making sure I always have something new to talk about which is nice and I’ve built up a network of talented folk I can contact all over the world. I’ve made a start recently on a photography blog which is more about the kit than the images.

Before long we’ll have returning neighbours on both sides – that’ll be nice – and some other changes nearby which will also be nice. All in all it is looking like a good summer ahead.

Galera market

And hopefully soon as the water gets warmer, we’ll be able to take some trips to the nearby lakes for a dip – right now the water isn’t quite up to it. Great to look at and sit by – not so good getting wet in. In a few weeks time all of that should change. Meanwhile, lots to do. I’m guessing we’ll be taking a walk to town tomorrow night to see what everyone is up to.

The Lake

Time is Precious

CaveIt will soon be time for our trip back to the cold, wet, political desert known (just) as the United Kingdom just as the pound equals the Euro on its way into oblivion. I have some great friends there who do I do miss when we’re not with them – but returning to Brexit Britain is not something I am AT ALL looking forward to.

However, for now that’s just something we have to do. It won’t be long before I find an excuse to come back here and of course we’ll be back full swing in April anyway so an intermediate trip is mainly down to finding decent flights and avoiding the worst of the Andalucían winter so probably that’s February out if previous years are anything to go by.

PergolaWe’ve some time yet to enjoy the company of friends, with a trip way up North near Barcelona  this week to spend some time with Aidan and Helen (who are over here to so with their new Spanish property) and hopefully enjoy some more of this excellent weather – it is still t-shirt weather here but it IS cooling off in the evenings.

On Friday after helping one of the guys to repair his motorhome, we went off with our neighbours to a party which we left at midnight and I didn’t wake up until mid-day Saturday – not a bad start to the weekend – I must say I was feeling surprisingly energetic after 12 hours sleep!

On Sunday  after walking down to the village for coffee in the morning we headed off to Puebla De Don Fadrique for a fair – basically an excuse for the entire village to eat and drink – I didn’t – and so last night I went off to La Posa on my own, Maureen was feeling a little under the weather – and needless to say I got back in the early hours. Tomorrow we’re off to the vet.

The one thing I am looking forward to back in the UK is applying the knowledge I’ve picked up in the last several months over here in Spain, to my home control kit back in England. – Oh, yes, that and APPARENTLY there’s a new Indian restaurant opening up in Bellingham!


Meanwhile as you can see I’ve been doing some more experimenting with some superb software to “interpret” photographs as drawings – I think you’ll agree the science is coming along quite nicely. I could see some of these ending up on framed canvas. The one above in particular which shows the front of Bedrock.

Pergola building and another week in Paradise

Interesting week but then it would be – we’re in peak season here so the pubs are chocker at night – it’s a short season of course.  Wednesday we met up with friends Roly and Jackie as it was their last night in Galera for a little while. Last night we’d planned to go visit neighbours but we’ve been that busy we decided to simply stop in and relax – which we did – well, kind of, I was finishing off the Pergola for most of the day and Maureen was working on the garden – thankfully both are now now well on the way to completion.

Today a new solar regulator turned up – I blew one of mine up last week due to incompetence and I need a spare – so the new one is now taking pride of place – I just need to make the wiring a little more permanent – my early evening job when it cools down a bit.

PergolaaftershaveSome of the lighting is fixed (green) – the rest is programmable to any colour we fancy – and all of it is for free and controllable from anywhere like the cameras and monitoring sensors.

Today we went off shopping – firstly to Commercial Morino past Baza for some new mesh – Simba in one of his desperate bids for freedom (he HATES being inside when we’re outside but it’s not a nice environment outside for him) managed to slightly damage one of the window meshes – this one is more substantial – anyway, so then then off to the Chinese store for general shopping and to check out their very expensive after-shave (not) – and finally – we went off to Negratin for a soak.

What a CRACKING day for it – calm (though the water could have been calmer) and 36c – just superb.

Tonight we’re stopping in – got some company later on – I think a few glasses of wine in the Pergola are in order – I’ve been writing technical blogs every spare minute and my fingers need a break.


Oh, the waterproof camera case was a failure – nothing down there but green – same colour as the water looks from the surface – which is a huge shame because was we were wandering around aimlessly in the water today, the fish were jumping out of the water constantly – clearly lots going on down there and I noted a couple of times some fairly big fish wandering past me – but the camera was not having it. I’m guessing it is due to high calcium salts or similar – it’s certainly not due to pollution as power boats are not allowed – though I did notice on inconsiderate type out there ignoring the rules.

This morning the sky was wonderful and it is still that way now early evening – I think the rain we had the other day has cleared the way for a nice few days – or weeks…

Another successful delivery from Seur – obviously we’ve cracked that nut – mind you it did say delivery between 9pm and 10pm – and it turned up at 7pm – but that’s just a minor detail in the scheme of things.

Galera this morning

And just for the sake of it, here’s a strange tomato we bought this afternoon! More expensive than normal tomatoes – but then a lot bigger too.


Another great week in Galera

PergolaWell we never did make it to the Orce Medieval market on Sunday, a shame as apparently it was good – but we ended up down in Galera itself after spending some time working on the Pergola – which thanks to the timely intervention of various people is coming along nicely though I’m pleased to say we’ve done a LOT of it all by ourselves.

Electrics are starting to take shape and I’ve just picked up some water fittings.

So Sunday night we went down town to a somewhat sombre affair – with candles. Met lots of friends in town and had a nice night.



All of that was a FAR cry from the celebrations on Monday night – best band in living memory and unbelievable audience participation.  Only pictures will do to describe the night – we gave up at 3am but apparently the music was still going at 7.30am along with some unruly drunk Spanish – not surprising if they were drinking all night I suppose. World-class entertainment for sure.

Party time in Galera

Party time in Galera[6]

Party time in Galera[8]





Tuesday we stopped in – well, it was going to be a quiet night but our neighbours came over and we had a REALLY good night chatting and solving the world’s problems. That of course is in the midst of what is still a mess out there as we work on the Pergola – not an easy job in the heat.

The weather has now gone off a little, temporarily – we had a shopping trip in Baza today with our friend Simon and the plan was to go to the lake for a dip but it simply was not hot enough – sitting around 28c at times as against the more normal 38c.  Perhaps later in the week. Met one of the guys I talk to about Galera on email and social media but have never met until today – that was nice of him to pop over and introduce himself – but they’re heading off home now – no doubt we’ll catch up next time they’re over.

And that – apart from another poor show from Seur deliveries AGAIN – 2 parcels – one they got right and delivered to the door – the other they left in the pub – I sent a suitable response but I’m not sure they understand what they are doing wrong – perhaps Amazon can explain when I’m done griping.

I’m sitting here making good use of the time responding to queries on my technical blog which now has something like 4,000 followers (as does the tech Facebook page) – great to be able to discuss tech issues with so many people from all over the world.

That’s it for now – Simon is flying off home tomorrow so the plan is to introduce him to cafe con leche and churos tomorrow morning.

A Saturday trip to the Coast

I wish I’d taken a photo… yesterday as well as many other places, we visited a little area call San Juan. I was going to do a little map but for the life of me, though there are several San Juan on Google Maps – Eventually I discovered “San Juan de los Terreros!

Anyway, if you find yourself there, don’t go in the water. Between plastic bags and assorted rubbish – I’ve never seen such a mess. Somewhere around there is a nudist beach – Maureen freaked out – so we didn’t hang around there for long.

Vera marketAll of this was part of our big Saturday outing. We set off sharp in the morning from Galera, via Cullar and Puerto Lumbreras down to Vera – where they have what has to be the largest market I’ve seen in recent times – certainly within day-driving distance. Blows away the Huescar Thursday market.

I think we arrived in Vera around 11am and after (with difficulty) parking the car did our best to cover the market in the remainder of the morning, stopping only briefly in the town centre for coffee.

We had a nice time though it was very hot down there, marred somewhat by the news that our pal has had a heart attack and is in hospital (and of course I’d formatted my phone and so had no contact info in there but eventually we got him on the phone to chat to).


Garden Centre on the way to VeraMeanwhile just outside of Vera we found a very nice – and cheap garden centre  – so now Maureen has new (bright purple) plants for our place – and I have some new watering kit – just waiting for it to cool off a little.

Being a Saturday night, by 9pm we were not hopeful but as it turns out there were places still open at Parque Almenara in Lorca – the huge Chinese store – Corte Asia for example until 10pm (apparently 6 days a week, closed all day Sunday). W

Our trip which started in Galera, via Cullar, Puerto Lumbras down to Vera, took us along the coast (on and off) to Playas de Vera, Vlillaricos, San Juan, Aquilas and several other spots I can’t remember the names of…. and ended up late in the evening at Lorca and then we took the back route home via Velez Rubio, Velez Blanco and Maria, arriving home quiet late. It was a very clear night – we turned the lights out and sat for an hour or so counting satellites (about 20 in all and a couple of meteorites) before retiring from a very eventful day.

A funny old week

Actually it has been a funny old week. I’ve been walking around on and off like a zombie since Brexit – feeling homicidal for what is being imposed on half the nation. I am however feeling slightly better having seen Jeremy Corbyn given a massive vote of no confidence.

Meanwhile, Maureen and I headed off to Baza and the lake yesterday (I don’t have any pics as my phone started acting up – funnily enough just after loading ShowTime into it- right now I’m starting from scratch). Anyway we had lunch in Baza (Bar El Sevillano – half way up on the right – back one street) which was very nice. We usually go to the same place, a little bar just off the main street where they serve very ample-size sandwiches. We sat down, I ordered a tuna and tomato and Maureen ordered a ham and cheese.  5 minutes later 2 tiny tuna sandwiches arrived on a plate with some sliced tomatoes.

I wasn’t really happy about this miniature lunch but I was desperate for food and scoffed both of them just in time to see the normal sandwiches following behind – turns out that was the Tapas. I got some nasty looks from Maureen.

We headed off to the lake (the water is REALLY way down) and back home for a quiet night in – the football would have been on in the pub and neither of us has the slightest interest in that and people shouting at the TV so a glass of wine at home seemed like a better alternative.

Today, we went off for some paint to Huescar – and as a result of that we’ve just about painted the entire outside of the house and beyond – in sparkly clean white!

And in the middle of all of this – the SEUR van turned up – I could not believe my eyes – after several years they’ve finally cracked it.

And then – it rained!! Well it did for all of 10 minutes – it’s still 30c so of course 15 minutes later there was no sign of it – made the air feel nice and clean though.