Tag Archives: The Spanish Project

Wonder walls – and wonder workers

There’s so much to do at the Cactus Patch: walls are crumbling and after the heavy rain we are surrounded by weeds.  Some of them shoulder high!  We’ve been very fortunate to have had help from some wonderful friends who have cleared paths, rebuilt walls, painted, mixed cement and tackled the very unfriendly vegetation.

Sometimes it feels like one step forward and two steps back – but looking at some recent photos we can see just how much progress we have made.

A huge thank you to our energetic friends!IMG_0130

Preparing the outside seating area. Photo (and a lot of the hard graft!) courtesty of Mat and Jen.

Photos (and work) courtesy of Kevin Percival.Avebury-34



Water water everywhere

Pod taking a dip in the Rambla
Pod taking a dip in the Rambla

We live in a very dry part of the world.  We are right next door to the only desert in Europe.  We are on the mains here for water, but you wouldn’t know it most of the time.  On the rare occasions when we do get water via the mains, the pressure isn’t enough to get up to the tanks at the back of the house, so we have to pump it up from a small tank at the front.

For a while we had the “bucket of hope”  (see the blog post Mark’s philosophy) positioned under a stand pipe, but now we have got used to ordering a tanker when the supplies get low.

Sometimes the water pressure gets turned up – and then we get lots of lovely water, but it’s difficult to predict when this will happen.  Sometimes, if the pressure is turned up too high, there are leaks in the pipe – and then the water supply will stop altogether.

We did discover why we were unlikely to get any water after one particular leak.  Although someone had been out to “fix” it, the solution wasn’t likely to allow much water through to us.

The leak is fixed.
The leak is fixed.

The fix was simply to bend the pipe over and tie it up with some string…

You should be on the stage…

…the next stage out of town.

The opening of AWFF
The opening of AWFF

We went to the Almeria Western Film Festival last week.  The opening parade reminded me of Buxton Carnival.
There were floats and home made costumes – some wonderful, some a bit thrown together – there were enthusiastic children and self conscious teenagers and quite a few adults who fitted very clearly in to the enthusiastic or self-conscious pigeon holes too. Continue reading You should be on the stage…

The stray who came to stay


We have a dog.

We didn’t intend to have a dog.

I went for a walk early one morning last July.  It’s so hot here in July and August that early morning is really the only time I can summon up the energy to do more than potter about.  If I walk on the track, I have to walk past the farm next door.  He has a couple of dogs who spend most of their lives in a pen – and who bark furiously at passers by.   As I made the return journey, I heard the patter of tiny feet.  Except they didn’t really sound tiny, and they were pattering rather fast in my direction.   Continue reading The stray who came to stay

Maggie Dealey

Butter Side Up poster.
Butter Side Up poster.

I had never really thought of myself as a writer – yet, looking back, I often did write, and most of it had a performance element to it:

I wrote poems and stories as a child, I wrote sketches at University and while a member of Buxton Drama League and I wrote quite a few sketches for workshops and training when I worked in the voluntary sector.

I only started writing for the stage when I realised I’d be likely to make more money at the Fringe if I didn’t have to pay royalties… Continue reading Maggie Dealey

The Spanish Project

The band playing at Mizala fiesta - with firemen standing by, just in case...
The band playing at Mizala fiesta – with firemen standing by, just in case…

When we first started looking for properties in Spain it was with the aim of buying somewhere where I could run special interest holiday courses.  It was an idea I’d be toying with for some time.  I liked the idea of providing good food and wine in a relaxing environment where people could pursue their hobbies with knowledgeable tutors.  It’s still something I want to do – and there’s plenty of room here – but there need to be a few improvements before we can cater properly for a crowd.  Especially if they’re going to be paying us money. Continue reading The Spanish Project

Buying our property has been – an interesting journey.

Part of the Cactus Patch
Part of the Cactus Patch

The address, roughly translated is Number 1 Mizala Road, or, alternatively: Farmstead in the corner of Mizala.  The postman doesn’t even ring once though, never mind twice – so if you’d like to send anything through the post, please contact us for the post box address we use. Continue reading Buying our property has been – an interesting journey.