One year in Galicia – A quick review

Yes time flies, even here at the end of the known world (before C. Columbus).

It is hard to imagine that one year ago on this day we arrived in Monforte. A glorious but cold afternoon. We had the keys to our future house and a car full of stuff.

Wisely we had reserved a room in a small hotel as we didn’t really know what awaited us. Would there be water and if so hot water as well? Was there really electricity? Would the phone be connected? And so on and on and on. But before we reacquainted us with the shopping variety in Monforte and had a good drink and evening meal.

Next morning waking up to freezing fog we scraped our way through to the windscreen and set off.

We opened the door to see a brand new switching cabinet. Electricity with all the trimmings. Not much of it (25A) but all shiny new and connected.

The light switch turned on the first bulb.

We went upstairs into the old kitchen and turned on the taps. Not only did the water flow but a nice subdued “wuufff” told us that some appliance considered it its purpose to heat it up and it did.

It was freezing cold and thus my endless fight with the “cocina economica” started. Lighting it and holding a burning wad of paper into the chimney is just about possible when one has a 2 meter stretch. Getting the timing wrong results in a nice gray-black cloud hovering in the kitchen.

After first ignition this oven becomes ones mistress. It demands attention very regularly or it will simply expire and the process starts again.

Penetrating further into our future home it was confirmed that we not only bought the house and grounds but all the junk, furniture, spiders webs and dust as well.

The cold, the dust, the junk it didn’t put a damper on our enthusiasm we got stuck in.

With hindsight the sheer audacity and strength required to keep us going can only be explained by the desire and excitement to plunge into something new.

As we had told lots of friends about our undertaking and had invited them to partake – they did.

It put sheer stress on us to get at least some accommodation done but also they were a great source of encouragement and real help.

In no particular order and far from complete:

The advanced team (Monika & Bernd / Germany)
team Germany

The retired DIY team (Doreen & Deryck / UK)
diy team

The Dutch artist (Olga / NL)
dutch meister artist

The Anglo-Irish family (Margaret, Paul, Joshua and Joe / UK)
diy team

The Swiss army (Chris, Patric, Felicia & Loriane / Swiss)
swiss army

The UK girl scouts (Barbara, Andrea & Angela / UK)
girl scouts
to name and show a few.

Sorry if I have not yet written an article about every occasion but until recently I didn’t even have an office.

In this year we managed to renovate a large part of the houses, get the garden and the vegetable garden (big difference here in Galicia) going. We threw a successful summer fete with, and for all our neighbors, and most of all we enjoy the friendly and kind generosity of the Galician people.

Would we do it again? Well, not in a hurry. There is still a long long list of things to do and finish, but after that – who knows.

Again a big thank you to all who helped us along the way and encouraged us when we were down.

Galicia is a great place to live – believe me.

 

Expat