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Arguing about all sorts: the third year of our Spanish adventure

This account of our life in Spain is loosely based on true events although names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals. I have tried to recreate events, locales and conversations from my memories and from my diaries of the time. I may have also changed identifying characteristics and details of individuals such as appearance, nationality or occupations and characters are often an amalgam of different people that I met.

The importance of getting a holiday home up and running fast.
13 August 2014 @ 17:55

When we first bought the casa, I had all kinds of plans regarding how I wanted it to look. Every month I'd buy the magazine ‘Casa y Campo,’ and I dreamt of rustic furniture, putting in false beams, painting everything cobalt and terracotta, with flowers everywhere, vegetables growing at the back and a shaded ping-pong area at the back (to appeal to holiday-makers). Over the years, the house could certainly have featured in the magazine - some French holiday makers said it had a lot of soul, and everyone who went there thought it was beautiful. However that first year we couldn't afford to be perfectionists. We had the walls painted white; that would do - it was what the Spaniards did anyway. We would have to wait until the next year to bring the alegria of beautiful blues, yellows and reds and to trawl rastros to find old wooden tables and chairs, throws  and paintings which made it a really special home.
Luckily for us, I was good at time management and 100% determined to get the house up and running to let that summer. There was no way I was going to forego a summer's worth of bookings through the lack of a swimming pool, which was the final job that needed to be done. So as soon as the inside of the casa was finished and they builders had rendered the exterior, I managed to persuade Benji not to desert us – he was talking about another job he had to go to and suggesting they install the pool in the autumn. Adrian didn't care, but I did.
'No. We would lose a lot of money that way, Benjamin,' I pleaded. 'Por favor, do us this favour. You know you don't want to leave us yet,' etc. etc. 'Please stay on and do the pool straight away.'
My charm offensive worked and he agreed to stay for the month of June, excavate and build a swimming pool, set up the pump and finish the patio around it. The only annoying thing was that we’d ordered some posh border tiles, to give the pool the wow factor and paid a 50 euros deposit, only to be told that they would now take six weeks to be ready – too late, as we had to get on with finishing the pool. When we asked for the deposit back, they simply refused. It didn't matter that they'd told us it would take two weeks and then added a delay of six weeks. There was nothing for it. We had to forget about the 50 euros and settle for a contrasting tile we could get hold of to act as a border. In business you can't always be a perfectionist.
We also had to trust Benjamin to do the finishing touches after we left for the UK around the 20th of June, as by then we had taken bookings from mid-July. Simon and Charlotte would check it was all done and that it was clean and tidy before the first tourists arrived. We'd also instructed a local woman to do the cleaning and handovers and got a young neighbour to maintain the pool.
By accomplishing this, we were able to rent the house for the peak months that year, bringing in more or less what it had cost to install the pool. 

To see our current properties for rent take a look at the following. There is plenty of availability from September onwards at discounted rates: 

http://www.homeaway.co.uk/p86636

And also another of our completed projects:

http://www.homeaway.co.uk/p475271

 



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