Happy New Year & welcome to 2013

My god where has the time gone????  Already half way through January and Christmas seems a distant memory.  Can’t believe it was August when I last posted on here – so tardy – getting worse in my old age.  I can report that the new utility/store has been finished since July – all painted and working wonderfully.  Since finishing that Phil has also renovated part of the old mill area where the old press used to stand (and where we used to store the sand & rubble) that is now the new satellite equipment room and the old area has been cleared ready for the spring/summer to start work on the 2nd guest bedroom area.  Till then Phil has also finished our new book case on the stairs which is in the gap where we blocked up the old entrance to the kitchen.  I’ve been able to unpack 4 more boxes and found books I’d forgotten I had!  Now Phil is working on yet another store area in the old mill bit which when finished means we can store stuff like the bikes, snowboards, etc out of the way and close a door on it to keep everything relatively dust free.  Once that’s done (possibly in a couple of weeks time) then I think he is going to start on the hallway & stairs.  We want to get this done so that everytime you walk into the house you don’t feel like you’re walking into a building site.  As the 2nd guest bedroom is towards the back of the house we can keep the doors closed on that and out of sight whilst the work is going on there in the summer.  As we have to take out an old chimmney which passes through the office and down to the guest bedroom we want to wait till the dry warm weather before we start as we’ve decided to put new roof tiles on that section of roof too (the only bit with old tiles).  Not looking forward to the mess but in the scheme of things not a lot compared to before.  Will have to clear out the office for the work but it’ll give me a chance to tidy up and redecorate in there and once the chimmney is out it’ll give a bit more space.  It would be nice to think that by next winter we’ll have the central heating going (running off the log burner with back boiler in the hallway) and 80% of the work on the house done.  If we could start taking paying guests by 2014 that would be great as money is getting tight now and we need the house to start paying us back with an income.

Our TV work has gone quiet now – which is not usual in the winter but an added worry is that come the summer all the BBC, ITV, Ch4 etc. will disappear down here in southern Spain.  They are moving the channels over to new satellites and these will have a much tighter beam over the UK and less overspill here in Spain.  What this means is that unless you can afford or have the space for a satellite dish of 3m or more then bye bye BBC etc.  On a positive note, there will be some English channels left (free & pay by Sky) that we will be able to get as they are rumoured to be moving to the new European beam on the new satellites which will give us stronger signals on these channels.  As with all technology stuff is moving on apace and it looks like the way to go for BBC etc will be via internet but until we know more in the summer we are advising people to wait and see what’s available in August as new stuff is coming online all the time.  These satellite changes will either kill our business dead or open up new opportunities which we are unaware of at the moment.  Till then we’ll crack on with the work on the house and see if we can spin the savings out a bit further till it’s finished.

My friend came out to see us in October (just as the rains arrived so not a sunny trip for her apart from her last day here!) for a few days and then 4 days later Phil’s mum & dad arrived for a 2 week visit and the sun shone all the time they were here and temperatures were in the high 30’s for some of the time – couldn’t wish for better weather in October considering the start to it!!

I had a nice week back in the UK at the end of November, seeing family & friends and catching up on stuff.  Got a few bits done and some last minute Christmas shopping.  It’s been 3 years since our last visit and for me too long – think I need to make a trip back once a year (Phil stayed home with Ginger as didn’t fancy going back – was fine by me as I could do all the stuff I wanted to – like shopping and going out with my friends!!!).

Weather here has been relatively mild so far and as a result the almond blossom has been out since the beginning of January which is very early.  However we’ve got some strong cold winds blowing now so not sure how the blossom will hold up against it.  Despite a wet start to October the weather has been quite dry over the last month or so but I see rain is forecast for end of this week and into next so looks like dry spell over.  Will be good for the campo though and also the ski resort (not that we’ll be going up as breaking his ankle has put Phil off snowboarding for the time being! Perhaps when all the work on the house is done he’ll think about going again).

Well that’s all for now folks.  No doubt it’ll be summer by the time I get around to posting another update. Have posted a few photos below.

Hasta luego

Mel, Phil & Ginger

Sat storage room finished

Sat storage room finished

New sat equipment storage room in process of reform

New sat equipment storage room in process of reform

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New display shelves in utility passageway

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Phil making new bookcase

Finished bookcase

Finished bookcase

New storage room

New storage room