What’s this about?
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 a decade or more and now we're spending a lot more time here.

If you're familiar with what3words (if you're not now you soon will be) we live at dossier.bath.sawn

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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Expat blogs in Spain

Archive

Archive for the ‘Scargill’ Category

Not a bad way to spend a day

Today has been a good day – weather stunning. Mid-morning Maureen and I headed off with friends over to a river near Pozo Alcon, stopping along the way at the river itself, for lunch and to the nearby Embalse De La Bolera for a quick swim. Words fail me really – excellent day so instead I’ll leave you with some photos of the trip. Don’t forget to click on the photos for larger versions. Or head off over to Flickr for the high res originals and some more photos! https://www.flickr.com/photos/scargill/albums/72157656795573120

Coffee stop

View

Calm water

River

Country

Another weekend over

Hotel Abadi in Baza

Our first weekend in Spain of the summer over, not quite the weather we’d anticipated but still way better than the Northeast of England I’d expect. After Saturday’s excellent wine-tasting, a quiet Sunday down at the Sunday market in Baza.

This is not one of the best markets by any means, tends to be the same old tat on sale every time but we did manage to get a nice coat hanger for the hallway and the Hotel Abadi does a very passable bacon sandwich.

Spent the afternoon working on my cameras – finally getting a combination of settings allowing all 3 IP cameras to operate at once. Maureen is still having a little trouble with the TV due I suspect to WIFI bandwidth or the VPN that lets us pretend we’re in the UK. We finished the weekend with friends testing the sparkling wine we’d purchased the day before.

Today I’ve lots of little projects to be getting on with while Maureen goes off to Pilates. Still have an office that resembles a bring-and-buy sale.  Weather is looking good – the sky is clear and I suspect it will be at least 25c by mid-day.

Mid-Week Happiness

Scargill's Hot TubAfter another late night Tuesday night in which we were down in the village until 1am, I had had an early start Wednesday – a Skype technical meeting with Blackpool. That out of the way, we went off down to Galera for some essentials – you know, food, grease, sockets….

Maureen then headed off to the hot tub while I took apart an old power supply to extract one of those lead-acid batteries to try out solar charging which I have to say went well, but after I while the battery warmed up and I was worried about overdoing the charge and so ordered a controller from the UK which I expect will turn up in a week or so.

That will allow me to leave lights running including the new false window, on the battery until the voltage drops at which point they’ll turn off – but NOT frying the battery in the process.  Finally got the security cameras working again and in the process managed to clean the lenses – amazing what a difference that makes.

dinner at homeI had a bit more work to do in the afternoon (someone had discovered that a map we use in the FSB has West Yorkshire in the wrong place, now fixed) but then the urge to sleep took over (a combination of the night before and 3,000ft in the mountains) and that was the end of that afternoon.

Early evening and friends turned up somewhat unexpectedly so we sat for an hour or so chatting at the Pergola before they headed off just in time for some new guys (well new to us) to come walking down the hill and we stuck up a conversation there which went well into twilight!  By then it was too late to start anything and so Maureen went off to bed while I decided to ruin my day by messing with the WIFI.

Grape VineWell, it wasn’t deliberate but as often is the case, the router decided it was not playing ball so I spent ages messing with settings before being able to clear off to bed to watch “Prometheus” – I think for the third time – saw it originally in the cinema  – amazing movie –  I think Ridley Scott’s best work so far.

Got up at 7am this morning, some unfinished coding to do which took no more than half an hour, Maureen went off for an early morning walk and then we headed off to the Huescar market for Churros and coffee. 27c outside so a bit cooler than recently but very nice non-the-less.

marketThere was really nothing new at the market… and far fewer than the normal number of Brits we talk to so here we are back at the cave at lunchtime – I have some wiring to do before we head off to the village tonight.

Sometime in the next few days – I need to stop my office wall from snowing!

Another summer rolls on

It seems like a matter of weeks ago that I was starting longingly at my phone which has a little day timer.. “75 days to go” it said… yet here I am about to get on a plane back to the sun -  except that right now it’s not sunny in Andalucía!

It should be around 23c and sunny at the airport when I get there but by the time I get to Galera this evening it is likely to be as cool as it is in the UK.  The weather forecast however looks good – and by Wednesday it’s supposed to be sunny and warm.

Aside from not having the heat on when I first get there – which could be a challenge…. this is not a problem as I plan on spending a couple of days working on my new pet project… Internet remote control.

I’m up early in the morning here in the UK to package up my circuits and wires, I have a prototype capable of checking inside and outside temperatures and controlling a couple of relays etc. – all controllable from my Samsung S4 – works a treat here so the trick is to get that up, running and reliable and leaving it in Spain until the summer begins properly by which time I’ll no doubt have come up with a very much expanded “MK 2”

I head off at lunchtime – a spot of shopping in San Javier to populate the fridge… and I’ll be on my way over to Galera armed with camera. Lots of renovations to be getting on with – the new hole in the wall for the fridge should be ready for painting and the bathroom wall upstairs needs a bit of work having been brought back to stone by our builder. All good “rainy day” jobs.

5 days on my own then I’m joined by Maureen at the weekend.

temperatures

If it can go wrong….

Well this certainly has been an interesting holiday…

Refugio De JuanarTuesday morning we set off in two cars with our friends Karen and Dave and Karen’s parents Shirley and Cyril, on a journey to Marbella (313km). The flu has come back to me with a vengeance and so we filled the our car with loo rolls as the other four headed off in their own car. Around teatime we arrived at the Refugio De Juanar, a really nice secluded little place up in the mountains, in Ojen – just inland from Marbella, on Tuesday evening. By then the weather was not that good – it was getting cool and raining. We got ourselves settled into the hotel and had a light snack.

Excellent scenery at the RefugioThat evening the plan was for the 6 of us to visit our ex-neighbours, Kristine and Richard who now run a bar in Marbella itself – the “K Lounge”. It would not have surprised me if we’d had issues with our car after the last time but it was an absolute star throughout the trip – sadly Dave’s car was not quite so helpful and as we readied ourselves to head down to Marbella, it promptly gave up the ghost, the gearstick refusing to connect to anything.

Cyril and Shirley stayed at the hotel as Karen, Dave, Maureen and I went off down to make the best  of things – keeping our appointment down at the coast. We had a good night, Richard is obviously enjoying his job as bar owner and we ordered an Indian meal in from one of the many nearby restaurants. Excellent despite the continued rain. Good food, drink and company.

Refugio De JuanarWednesday morning was different again – the weather was really great for the time of year. 9am on the spot a particularly miserable pickup-truck driver turned up to take their car down to the nearest garage on the coast. The trip to the coast was no more than 14km downhill and so with 4 people crammed into the back of our car we followed the rather speed-crazed driver down less than ideal roads to the dealer.

At that time, first thing in the morning the dealer had no idea how long it would take to fix the car and of course we were worried in case it was going to take all week.  Cramming everyone back into our car, we headed off to a sizeable shopping centre in Marbella where we spent much of the day.

Lunch at a German cafeWe separated up and Maureen and I had a nice relaxing lunch at a German cafe within the shopping centre, outdoors as by then the temperature was around 20c and sunny. Dave and I both agreed the centre was mainly oriented toward women – the best we could manage was an Apple store and there was nothing new in there, not even the iPad mini which clearly has not been introduced to Spain yet.

rip off pricingTo clear up a mis-understanding about Spain – it is NOT cheap. Fuel is approaching the price we pay in the UK and anything that smacks of electrical is HORRENDOUSLY overpriced, especially when compared to the (understandably numerous) Chinese stores. In the shopping centre was a large electrical discount store – I guess the equivalent of our B&Q – I went off to look at solid-state lighting and was so horrified by the pricing I took some pics. On the left you see the price of a simple transformer – 240v mains to 12v 1amp to drive LED strip. Yes, that’s 23 Euros each. Typically on EBay you’ll see these for around £3 or so. Worse, the strip itself, which can now be found on EBay even from UK suppliers at around £10 for 5 metres (300 LEDS) was sold double-spaced – hence 300 LEDS taking up 10 metres, priced at a stunning 103 Euros – I had to take a pic to make sure my flu-infested eyes were no deceiving me. All of this leaves one wondering about the clientele of the shopping centre – which certainly would not include the 40% unemployed. Dave and I came away empty-handed but of course the women went shopping, as they do.

Sunset on the way up from MalagaI spent most of the day wishing I could sleep despite excellent weather, clear blue skies and good company and by mid-afternoon we knew that Dave and Karen’s car would be fixed and ready to go at teatime at a not-unreasonable cost. 5pm we crammed back into our car and headed off to the dealer before starting off on the long trip back to Galera, arriving back here around 10.30pm, stopping on the way for dinner.

We no doubt will have another trip to see Richard and Kristine in the summer sometime, hopefully without car troubles and maybe fitting in a trip to Tangiers while we’re on. Marbella is massive and we saw only the smallest part of it.

Click on any of the pictures here to see a larger version. The panorama below was taken most likely of Ojen during one of our trips up and down.

Malagar area

Centro De Interpretacion

Centro De Interpretacion

Off we went first thing to Baza to the “Centro De Interpretacion” where we learned all about the early history of Baza. We were the first and only people there, the lady sadly didn’t speak much English but all the exhibits and interactive stuff was in multiple languages. We say ultra-wide screen video, saw 3d video, played with interactive screen tools and saw genuine relics  – everything worked.

tmpA7C0Then having helped the lady running the place to remove a cat who’d decided this might make a good home for her kittens, we headed off to the museum – a little short on artefacts bit pleasant none the less. We’d planned a visit to the baths but that doesn’t open until 6pm tonight. Lunch in one of the many squares then back home – all in all a very pleasant day so far.

Don’t forget you can enlarge any of these photos at the touch of a finger (or click of a mouse if you’re old-school) except I suggest not the cats as they’re already zoomed in. We reckoned the cats must’ve been dumped as they were not wild – indeed the mother took a shine to me and kept wrapping herself around my ankles – I had a good mind to bring her home.

Centro De InterpretacionCentro De InterpretacionStray but very friendly cats

BazaPeter and Maureen Scargill