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Life, Don't talk to me about life.

At this time, this will be a general dump of life itself.
Which is pretty good.

Earlier on the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy and Marvin were big in my life but unlike Marvin, I moved on.
Spain does sometimes bring out the Marvin in me though.

2018, two more years have passed, Still Loving it.
15 March 2018

So, this is obviously a regular blog because it is another two years later. See you all in 2020, maybe earlier.

Thanks for the comments, still loving Spain to bits. Still worried about Brexit and me myself, still worried about Brexit and the UK but we will find out soon enough. Fingers crossed and yes, still would like to keep the status quo. (P.S. not the band!).

 

So what's happened since the last time?

Our, was new to us, house is still wonderful, we have the best neighbours and still have so many friends from the original "urb".

We now have a tiny, tiny very old 1 bed flat in Scotland which we can call our holiday home. How lucky are we to be able to do this. We have a foot in two camps.

Best ever news is I am a Granddad, estoy un abuelo, and, of course, he is the best child in the world, let’s hope he has as much fun as we have had in his new life.

 

Spanish Life; We are quite up to speed with 720's and impuesto reporting these days but the first few years were hard. If you are here for 183days plus in any year, you should know what these "pains" are. PAYE was so simple.

Hospitals, doctors all very sweet, we can still get an appointment very simply here and so far our health is very good. It is reassuring that the few friends that have needed that bit extra have nothing but good to say about it “out here”

Summers are hot, winters seem cold but neither are bad and when we look back at the UK weather it still feels like we are on holiday. Oh! And we have home grown bananas, grapefruit, figs, pomegranates and winter tomatoes. Nice. Only complaint is I can’t grow fuchsias, too hot. Scotland’s communal garden will have to be my fix for that.   

My brother now has a "crash pad" down south, we are so last century.
He is starting to learn the "non resident" system which is the same as here but managed differently in Almeria. Him, being there is providing us with extra visits, new friends and, days out.

Still, slowly, picking up Spanish as I go along so much so that when the "Town Hall" decided that we had caused damage to the pavement outside our house when having a pool built we were able, without help, to appeal and win our 500€ back off them, RESULT.
Little tip, if you have work done and you get the correct licences, like you should, take date able photos of everything. (Maybe upload them to Google?). We did not do this but we were lucky that Google Street View showed the damage pre-existed our work.
As an aside the, must be repaired, damage remains un-repaired???

The Spanish also helps with the web for local purchases even though Google will translate.
I am still happy to use the Android Google Translate app that lets you take a photo of a “Spanish Documents” and it does a reasonable, quick, job of providing a translation.

We have joined the Parador’s Amigo club and have visited San Javia, Alarcon and Cuenca. All three different, all very good and good vaule. Jávea / Xàbia great position, huge rooms, Alarcon, it was awesome to stay in a castle but quite remote, and very quiet for us. Cuenca great rooms, location and more to do.
Joining the Amigo, free, club we had free introductory drinks and early information about offers. All three were good and so very different.

Plans for this year, well Grandson, family, Scotland, done the Almond Blossom near Cieza already, relaxing in the pool, playing with my “Geeky” tech and, seeing more of this wonderful country.
Hope you are all well and, see you all soon.

 

 



Like 4        Published at 22:56   Comments (2)


So, 2 years later.
27 August 2016

OK, it's 2 years later and in-between, done lots of stuff.

Note: after the community stuff, I get a bit more upbeat, We love it out here in Spain.

Mostly we are no longer living in a community, fantastic, wonderful and great.

So, what's wrong with communities, well nothing and everything, they are weird or, was it me?

So if you buy a villa, apartment or any property with any shared part, there must be a community.

If you buy an apartment, I guess that a community is a must and as I discovered, it is the the same in the UK etc, but I had never done that.

We bought in 2008, a villa with community garden and pool although, about the community, the agent said nothing!

We were aware that there was a fee to pay, that was introduced to us quite late on, and someone maintained the pool and gardens. It actually took about a year to sink in that it was us, and the others, that had to do this and we all had to meet, discuss and decide and then carry out the maintenance ourselves or employ others. There was a subsidence problem that cost each owner 2K€.
Everyone was there, even us.
Up to then we sort of thought it was like a magic thing were it was “Somebody else’s problem and it just happened by magic”. Seems quite dumb now.

Well due to medical problems and the fact we were still using the house as a holiday home we lost focus in the first couple of years and things drifted along quite well, we paid little attention to the community, just paid, and it was no effort for us.
By the time we moved over some 3 years later all the garden plants had gone, most of the shade had gone and the community was a pool and two large gravelled areas.
Once we started living out here we chatted, made friends, and found the silent majority did not like this but silence means no say!. As a bonus some of the silent were not silent away from the community but secret moaners, they grumbled about it but never said or raised the problem they thought they had because, well you know, nothing gets done and “THEY” won't do anything anyway!!

Over the next couple years I, and some of the other silent started raising the garden, the pool maintenance etc and slowly things, we think, improved. We had plants, a non green pool and visitors started saying how nice it was looking, we felt rather proud of the changes.

I decided to be president and, as no one else wanted it, I got it.
The first year was great, lots of work, but we improved the place, according to the AGM and even spent a bit less money as I, and a couple of other owners in our community, did some of the day to day tasks. We dropped the fees by 25% and still built the bank balance up a bit which was nice.

The second year was a different story, it was just pants.
I sent out a list of possible topics to the AGM that people, during the year, had chatted about together with a couple of estimates where possible and asked if they wanted to add more or had any ideas to improve the topic as we could have an AGM where we could discuss and maybe even make decisions or at least have informed proxy voters.
What I got was, "this is wrong, topics should only be raised or brought up at the AGM"; "you need more estimates" and so on. Most, it seemed, wanted to either get me to do loads of extra work for possible projects that may be voted down or only raise any subject at the meeting. These would then all be a surprise so it would be unlikely that any decision could be made. None the less, I carried on and we had a fairy good AGM and some stuff was voted yes, and some was voted no. A few new items were raised and some were voted to get more info and come back. All in all it worked out quite well and yes, the work I had estimates for was all rejected so at least I did not waste any extra time.

By the end of the second year as community president, yes I had done it again, I had had enough. The couple of community members that had helped in their community were still helping but no others seemed to have the time. They still grumbled about nothing happening, the area cleaning not getting done or the pool being in need of repair. These were the people who voted down getting the pool fixed. The cleaning was done, I checked each time and when it was done, it looked quite good but they were not there. They only came out later, maybe just to complain, or provide valid feedback?. When I said we could change the cleaning firm or frequency asking if there was anything else we could do, No, no nothing, we don't want to spend more and maybe it is OK; maybe I could do the cleaning, after all you are out here all the time?
During this period the pool was closed for a few days as rental folk, and some of residents visitors were not always following "Pool Rules" and it was something of a problem that I was to blame for, wrong time apparently, should have been closed after the break but our pool cleaning company said it was unsafe to use. I also got told to put extra barriers up as the one's I had done were not enough, maybe they could have helped?
I used to always pop out to rentals, introduce myself and just go over the pool hygiene bit, mainly the shower sun cream bit and most were good. No one else, even the helpful folk would remind the rentals or visitors if they slipped up, only me it seemed but with few exceptions they were happy to tell me all about how they sat and watched it all happening, I did feel the could have done more.

My final AGM, after two yeas as president, I decided that I would not attend.

I still produced my list or suggested topics, estimates and reasons for their inclusion, i.e. suggestions from chats with owners and service providers.
I knew I was going to be upset and, due to my temperament, it was likely I would loose a few friends and be very rude, tell the truth as I saw it.
What happened was really rather nice With one exception all the items I had prepared and put on the agenda bar one were voted in due to, in part the information I had provided so folk knew what they were looking to vote on and, mostly in the end some topic champions who really wanted stuff to happen so, in this case, I think the best thing I did was stay away and they won the day for their community. Some items were voted out, discussion ensued and the vote reversed. It was a proper meeting and decisions made, result.
Maybe things were on the up and maybe I had done a little good. The community was maturing and owners were becoming more involved.

 

After I was not the president, it frustrated me again, the work, from the AGM was carried out and now I seemed to get involved in the “well we don't like that” and “that's not what we wanted” chats. I suggested they let the new president know but guess what, “no point, they never do anything?”
I shared this with the new president and they did their best to help but some stuff was already finished, new walls, new bench. Other stuff he could do, he did. Did not stop the grumbles, mad!

There were a few who did not want the changes, obviously they would not be totally happy but it was those who said yes that were the most vocal after the event.

 

What happened next, well I was frustrated and despite the really good meeting, the one I was not at?, we decided this was not for us and then we had some good luck.

When we first moved out we wanted a single story place but they were 100K more that we could afford so we bought our, lovely, place in the community (we loved the villa, garden and pool).We sold at a loss but only paid 10K extra for the new, single story, place plus TAX. All in all it cost an extra 30K to move up so overall we save a lot just waiting. The community home was frustrating at times but it provided , us at least, with useful lessons and resulted in being a stopgap enabling us to get the property, which we are in our second year now, that we originally wanted. RESULT.

 

Conclusions:

 

  • For us, we would never buy in a community again unless we had no choice and if we have to, maybe we will be better prepared.

  • I would make a great dictator because as a democrat I had quite blatantly failed, now I know why I never passed interviews to get a, people, management role during my careerer.

  • Jean-Paul-Charles-Aymard Sartre was right, “Hell is other people”

  • Maybe Management training is good even though some of the things they do are weird as I had some fantastic bosses and managers. It was always something I wanted to do but was so obviously bad at. Careful what you wish for.........

  • Community members seem to think, on the whole that, it is not their place to do anything in the community area, the selling agents don't help, and it looks after its self. Someone else does it and someone else is to blame.

  • Community members don't seem to realise that quite a large part of the property they own is in the community area and it is theirs to look after and manage.

  • They can, and should, have a say, they can make a difference.

  • The community areas can be very positive areas for enjoyment of all and can help when you sell.

  • The better the community the better your support infrastructure in a new country is, help when you have a problem, new friendships. It can make it a nicer place to live and call home.

  • The more you are involved and the more you do as a community can help keep costs down. Since we left, the fees have gone up again and the balance still dropped last year.

  • We were lucky to move into a community, even with the other stuff because, we made some really good friends that we still see regularly, it was a great way to start our life in Spain.

  • Single story homes are great because everything you are looking for is on the same floor, you know what I mean.

 

Why Diez66?

Well, when you subscribe to a new service, Facebook, email, Amazon, etc. you are asked for a user name.

Well your name may be very unique or you may make up something, say, “Qlumpyfish” and it always seems to come right back and say, NO, and suggests maybe “Qulumpyfish37” as if there are many others so, can't have a name without a number, well I could not.

So I thought, what not two numbers, so I and 1066 in Spanish, the 10 as a word, the 66 and a number. Why 1066, well it is a number that being English I guess just seemed to pop up. That's it, nothing else.

 

If you got this far, well done, sorry about the moan, rant etc.

Spain, post Brexit vote? Lets hope we keep the medical cover otherwise I guess we have to go back so fingers crossed but not in a way that may cause me any medical problems, just in case!


 

 



Like 2        Published at 11:53   Comments (8)


Diez66 in Spain
07 September 2014

OK,

Today it is sunny, I promise this blog will improve but I wnated to put something, anything down to see what it looked like and not leave it empty.

Having signed up, I am off and away for two weeks so; this may be it until I return.

Don't feel to bad as no one  knows I am here, so I will not be missed.

Until I come here again, Bi!

 

Why Diez66? laters.



Like 0        Published at 15:13   Comments (0)


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