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

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Expat blogs in Spain


Archive for the ‘weather’ Category

A quiet yet explosive day in the mountains

Maureen taking a walkI got up around 7.30am this morning – of course my computer still says 6:30am – it’s still on UK time. There was a thick fog over the mountains and it looked like the sort of day you just want to go back to bed.

Maureen arose somewhat later and we went off down to Galera market to get potatoes for lunch – and then headed off to nearby Huescar to get a mains extension and some cheese for the potatoes. Surprisingly few sources of cheddar out here. Our normal supermarket (Ole) was closed for reasons beyond me so we went in search for another, calling in at the paint store for some wet rot repair….

We came back to the house for lunch and spent the afternoon catching up with emails and going for a walk across the hills.

Huescar squareAfter a brief interlude, putting up new fittings in the bathroom, thinking about throwing my laptop out of the window… you, know, holiday stuff… we spent part of the evening relaxing watching Vicky Cristina Barcelona – an excellent Woody Alan movie and one that shows Tom Cruise’s ex-girlfriend in a great light.

The weather was not quite bright enough to get my solar lighting running at full belt… and there was a little rain overnight. I’m hoping it’ll be brighter tomorrow but I’m not complaining compared to what we left back home in the UK.

A couple of glasses of wine and Norman Lay rang up –"trouble at mill" as it were… as Maureen was watching the movie I went outside to continue our Skype video – only to find the weather was improving (pitch black of course). Once I was off the phone I thought I’d try putting on the external lighting (we’ve a full complement of colour-changing LED lights outside) – that went well but by now the weather was turning again to cold – so I wrapped up the extension and as I was reeling it in – BANG!!!

GaleraPitch black….  the extension lead feeding my external camera fell to the ground and the plug-in-the-wall supply made a WELL over the top exit in the form of a dramatic explosion, taking out the breakers.

I sit here typing, surrounded by a faint smell of firework night… it’s no big deal, I brought spare kit with me from the UK, everything is fine except for the power-less camera, but just something else to repair first thing.

Tomorrow the plan is get our CHURROS fix at the Huescar market and then to take our new neighbours down to visit the Brits for our usual (when we’re here) Thursday night session in town. I anticipate a very pleasant day and it’ll be nice to see who’s out here in the depths of winter.

The movie was great… reminded me of "Shirley Valentine". Woody Alan may be strange but he understands people.

Perhaps a glass of Rose?

Panorama of Galera

A Winter Break

IMG_4301Not the best start to a holiday… we set off 10am on Saturday morning ready to enjoy a nice quiet break over in Spain… no worries, just a nice, relaxing holiday with sun.

So first things first, by the time we’d driven up to Edinburgh airport, the keeper of the keys realised she’d left them on the hook back in Wark. We deliberated but really, there was no going back.

The lady at the airport parking company had all sorts of ideas about putting the keys on the plane – ideas instantly dashed by the ever so useless attendant at the Easyjet stand who simply said that Easyjet don’t do packages. I don’t think they’d ship their own dead mothers to their funerals – but hey, they’re cheap! Before getting on the plane, Maureen rang up our friends here in Spain to see if they could help with the no-keys-for-the-house situation.

Alicante Airport - very nice and modernWe arrived (after I have to say quite a pleasant flight in which I slept for all but the part in which I watched Prometheus for the umpteenth time) in Alicante around 8pm – dark outside but really quite pleasant temperatures. Our car was waiting for us at the airport – and looking at the queues for Goldcar rental we reminded ourselves why we go through the hassle of having our own car!

We figured we might have to stop over in Alicante until the key situation was resolved but on ringing up we were told that the locks had been bypassed and we were ready to go!  Well done Shirley and Cyril.

Chinese junk storeOf course it didn’t take me 55 minutes to find the Chinese junk shop in Alicante and Maureen needed groceries. Thus, a quick spot of grocery shopping and a few photos and we started our 2.5 hour drive to Galera, arriving around midnight

Fountain at the roundabout in AlicanteWe’d had the sense to have the heating turned on before we left and so while not cosy, the place was quite liveable once we arrived. One pizza and a bottle of wine later we gave up for the night.

This morning, Shirley and Cyril came over to give us the loan of a chain-lock as the builder won’t get here until the morning to sort out replacement locks. Excellent.

A real fireThat means we can pop out tonight down to the village to see what’s happening.

Not a lot, I should guess, at this time of year.  It’s been foggy here today but the sun keeps trying to sneak out and occasionally succeeds. My solar lights are out there praying and we’re in here watching TV and blogging. By teatime, we’ve spent the day relaxing (not much else I can do until I get access to my tools) and realising that of the new LED lighting I brought – I forgot the WHITE! Ah well. Thank heavens for Ebay.

Even on a Sunday, the FSB emails keep coming in so I’ve filed all but the most important and we’ve just returned from dinner – a night at LA POSA with friends –priceless…. the sun never really did make it out – which is strange because apparently until today it’s been fine here with 21c at lunchtime not being uncommon!

Improving Weather Mid-Break in Andalucia

Notes from QatarSun going down in GaleraYesterday was great, the humidity dropped markedly and the skies cleared – which made the 36c temperature even more pleasant than usual. We had a quiet day at the cave and I got some work done, in the evening we went off to Huescar for a spot of shopping and inevitably ended up in the Galera Hotel for drinks and tapas. What little clouds were in the sky went, in a short period, from white to a magical shade of red as you see in the photo.

Pizza La PosaAfter a short stay at the hotel we then headed back up to local cafe La Posa and met up with a South African couple who’re working in Qatar and had a really interesting conversation with them before settling down to chatting and drinking with friends from the village.

I finished the night off by taking my chair up to the top of the mountain to do a spot of star-gazing but no matter what, I could not see any meteors – must be the wrong part of the sky.

Maplins solar lightsThis morning I was up in the early hours – around 6am – it’s amazing how quickly the sky lights up – one minute it was pitch black – the next thing the sky was blue – and so on – I’m not normally up that early and I did notice Moonthat though almost all of our solar lights were dead, having lit up our cave all night, the new super-solar lights I bought from Maplin (larger cell, much brighter light) were still going 100% strong and continued to do so until the ambient lighting turned them off automatically – I so wish I’d bought a dozen while they were on sale (£4.90 each) back in the UK.

As the sun was coming up I noticed the moon and an incredibly bright star just above it – and took the pic you see here – according to my iPhone star guide that was Jupiter.  As it was nice and cool I’ve done a spot of outside painting, all that remains to do now, having written this blog and an article on external drive access for the Nexus 7 (see the tech blog) is fill a hole that’s appeared in the bathroom before heading off down town for coffee and to perhaps meet up with our new South African people who are apparently planning to pop into our place this morning to take a look around.

After I catch up with emails the plan is then to clear off to lake Negratin to progress the suntan. There is no doubt, it’s going to be a lovely sunny day – again.

Sunrise in Galera

The smaller images you see above can be zoomed in by simply clicking on them.

Second Weekend

Map - HuescarWe’re onto our second full weekend and it looks like the weather is going to hold. Friday night we went off to the pizza cave up the Fuente Caliente turnoff for a pizza. The place doesn’t show up on the map but it’s just south of the A-4302  turn-off to Huescar, under the motorway and on up past the pool to Huescar, it’s on your left 2/3rds the way up – looks like a deserted Western movie set.

Pizza Cave near Huescar

We arrived early and were the first in which was nice… sun setting, 32c, ice-cold coke.. what more could you want?

Pizza Cave near Huescar

After a very nice evening, having overdone it the night before, we retired early and hence first thing Saturday morning, the girls walked down to the village for coffee and toast+tomato+olive oil. I followed shortly thereafter in the car (I started the morning off watching “District 9” on the tablet and checking the email for even more urgent stuff) but not before dumping the venerable and much-loved S600 printer in the skip!

After breakfast we had a wander around town to get some essentials and came back to freshen up and so I could do some blogging and a little research. Saturday night we went down town Galera and enjoyed a chat with friends. Today (Sunday) we’ve been down to the Galera pool for the first time – which apart from being a little derelict (the pool is great but they’ve let parts of the grounds go to seed) and some particularly noisy children was very pleasant.

Shopping in GaleraScenery in Galera










We came home to a nice email from our Internet service provider who has moved us onto a quieter link as we were getting massive download variations – which is nice – and tonight the plan is to go to the old Orce market. Tomorrow I have lots of FSB work to catch up on and I’m hoping my new iPhone replacement lens and back will turn up as there’s a very slight scratch on the current one….  we’ve promised ourselves that on Tuesday we’ll head off to the proper beach over Aquilas area to the South-East for a few hours.

A Belter of a Day in the Sun

After a very warm morning at the Huescar market, the girls decided to stop in for the evening, but not before dropping me off at the town centre for a night with the British locals – the famed “G7” evening.

G7 meeting - Thursday night down at the Galera Hotel

As it happens I didn’t manage to crawl back up the hill until something like 2:30am in the morning after a very entertaining evening solving most of the world’s problems – as you do.

The view from the Galera Hotel late at nightThe image above was taken using the iPhone in night vision software while propped up against a wall (and yes, that’s the moon). The panorama above was created with PhotoSynth, one of Microsoft’s better offerings recently.

Another day with no post – and I found out today that my friend Aidan in the UK sent me a test envelope LAST THURSDAY – is it any wonder the Spanish economy is in the state it is – I ordered some small items from the UK and China about a week ago and nothing – not a thing has turned up – yet we have in the past had post turn up here so it’s not as if they don’t know we’re here.

Midweek Blues

Peter Scargill - sun-worshippingWell, not exactly blues… hard to be blue at 33c (again) – our friends helping us sort the car just rang, "waiting for a part" -  how familiar is that! So the plan to go to the Huescar market, pay the rates, get some plants and generally shop went clean gone out of the window. Another day without a car…. this is starting to get serious.

Had a trip down to Galera for the market yesterday morning (market is nothing to write home about but the guy was out selling Churos and we had a nice Cafe con Leche at the usual cafe).

My legs are kind of getting used to the idea of walking and surprisingly my hopefully temporary foot issue does not seem to be getting any worse (tendon damage). So the market trip was nice though it’s just a LITTLE market. In the afternoon did my share of emails now everyone is back from the twin bank holiday, I’m working on a project (i2c tester) and simply enjoying the peace and quiet. I’ve ordered a couple of combined humidity/temperature sensors so that when I’m back in the UK I can stop relying on the notoriously wrong weather forecasts – and instead send the info direct from the cave to my phone (well, that’s the idea). Maureen is watching movies on Netflix.

BBQ last night with what little we’ve left in the fridge and now we’re down to scraps… today we’re enjoying the sun and I’m doing some marketing for Hollyberry Cottage as well as getting shot of BT. I like the use of BT Openzone but their broadband limits and charges are just too much.

I can see a trip to the pub coming on.