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Bubbles and sunshine, it’s called being happy…

30 January, 2020

Lavinia, Monday 27 January 2020

Since a few weeks there is a major work going on here. As I wrote earlier, the wall in the driveway had to be repaired because of the risk of collapsing. Several causes have brought the wall out of balance, causing heavy cracks and tears. First of all, it turns out that 30 years ago, the wall wasn’t really built in a solid way, and moreover, at that time, small pines were planted right against the wall, on the ground next to our domain. However, small trees grow big, and the once small trees grew into large ‘pinos’ with a firm crown. It was clearly not the concern of the then owner that they were planted far too close to the wall. His concern was probably only that he wanted some seclusion that also looked green. The years of decay, and the strong roots have created its own ‘leaning wall-of-Lavinia’.  The 4 exceptional storms of the past year have aggravated the situation in a short time, and we were no longer at ease. We brought in an expert who clearly showed us that the wall was about to collapse, and that the only solution was to build a new one and remove the cause of the decay : the trees had to be removed.

Too bad for the green that has to disappear, but safety first, especially for our guests. So we wrote some ‘albañiles’ or masons to make an offer. In the end we chose someone we knew from during the renovations, Miguel and his team. We know him and his work and are satisfied with it. What’s more, his son always comes along to translate into English. Because Miguel wants everything to be clear and straightforward for us and for him. Otherwise he doesn’t do business. He is a special figure. At first sight you wonder how he manages to work at all with his curved, shuffling posture and small, lean stature. He looks at least 15 years older than he is, invariably with a cigarette in his mouth, which he then casually throws away. That’s what everyone here does, by the way. So if as a guest you see cigarette butts lying around in the garden, apologies, but it is impossible to find them all.  The man himself, however, works very hard, and doesn’t shrink from doing heavy work. Luckily he always brings other and younger man folk with him, who can do a bit of the heavy work for him. I’m always afraid he’s going to give up while he’s working here. He has a very special sense of humour, but we come along well. He regards Wim as his ‘amigo’, and shows that with a sincere pat on the back. Spaniards are much more physical when they greet each other. Even people you never saw often give you two kisses on the cheek when you greet them, and they very often grab your arm or shoulder while talking. At first this may feel uncomfortable, but soon you notice that this is their body language. Wim has already made this his own, and when he talks to a Spaniard he is a bit familiar with, he invariably grabs his shoulder or arm while talking. Nice to see, because that too shows that he integrates himself as a matter of course.

So the wall, I wander off again, and yes it’s still very early in the morning -4 o’clock. Hence, my thoughts are going all over again, and my fingers can’t follow again. But who cares…I finally tell my story, in my own way… 😊.

This weekend the trees went out (Click here). And what a gift we got by that! Suddenly we have seaview, not just a dash, but over a whole stretch of horizon. 10 km in bird’s-eye view, but what a view. I was immediately moved by it, and especially grateful that we found this beautiful paradise. Who could have ever imagined that this complete shelter, feral piece of land with only broken and destroyed houses on it, would become so beautiful. That such a brilliant diamond would come out of this. From the moment we saw the domain for the first time we indeed had a wow-feeling, we could see through the wilderness, through all the damage, and see the potential. But I never expected this. In the meantime the garden has grown a year and is beginning to take more shape. We have just lived here for a year now, and not a single moment was there without a flowering flower or plant somewhere. How special is that? For me as a nature lover this is an exceptional wealth. And the sight we have now is the ultimate for me. Especially from our house, as soon as we open the front door, we look out on the ever blue sky, and the brilliance of the sea. It gives me an instant open feeling. Openness, which opens my lungs and makes me breathe deeply to feel and experience all this beauty deep within my fibers. We promptly set up a new, cosy corner on our terrace. Just below a huge ficus, next to the bbq next to our house, there is an enclosed spot with an exceptionally beautiful view.

I couldn’t resist, but I quickly cut some branches from a shrub that, in my opinion, obstructed my view too much. Wim hurriedly took a bistro table and chairs from somewhere in the garden and planted them there. And so we were sitting outside last night at 18h, enjoying an aperitif, while the bbq was ready to smoke our meal. Lovely, isn’t it? I involuntarily thought of Ann Christy’s song ‘this is called being happy’…

At the same time as they were repairing the wall, the men had also made a pedestal and ‘den Joey’, our Dutch neighbour/electrician, made the connections for…yes…a Jacuzzi.  And it was delivered last week. It took some effort to get it connected. But fortunately the manager of the shop came to connect him personally after his job in the shop, so he was only ready for use on Saturday evening. Of course we tested him extensively in the evening. As soon as the men were gone, we took off our clothes, put on our bathrobe, and stewed to our wellness bath.  What a luxury, bubbling in nice hot water of 38 degrees, outside under the stars, what more could a man want? And what’s more, with a view of the many lights of Alicante in the distance. We could really use this relaxation after the hustle and bustle and the many bookings since our Award. Because this water is of course constantly warming up, we could get in for over an hour. And this is so relaxing for me and for Wim that we slept well afterwards. Like a block, or rather like a rose, that sounds a bit softer.😉

Yesterday afternoon we also wanted to try the Jacuzzi in daylight. This is another totally different experience, with the sun on your face, and the wind in your hair, the birds whistling, the blue sky and the sea in the distance. Yes, it tastes like more.

It will be a huge asset for our guests, who will get a wellness experience. Of course, it is a big investment, but it will certainly be an added value for those who come outside the high season. I can imagine that it might be used less when temperatures are above 33 degrees. But, maybe it’s just refreshing then.

At the moment it is not finished yet, but before the first guests arrive, even before, it will look pico bello. We still have to look around a bit to see what we want it to look like in terms of tiling. But in the meantime we continue to enjoy the beautiful weather here. Luckily Gloria has spared us a lot of suffering. Only one tree is split by the primal forces of the wind, and the terrain is littered with leaves and twigs and sand, but once again we are lucky. And unfortunately not everyone can say that when you saw the pictures. It’s really been erratic. We wisely stayed inside, because you really don’t want to get a tree or a roof tile on your head. By the way, we were very happy, especially me, that we had flown back from Schiphol the day before the storm, because Alicante airport was down for 24 hours and no plane could land or take off. I shouldn’t think we’d have to fly in that weather. By the way, I don’t know if I mentioned it in my previous article, but in my experience the flight to Schiphol Airport was a real horror experience. The moment we had to land there was a thunderstorm over Amsterdam. I think so, because I saw flashes of light, and the whole landing, I think for fifteen minutes (or was this just in my experience?) the plane rocked back and forth. I immediately felt my fear of flying again, and got a feeling of panic. I thought it was completely over, my fear of flying, that I had put myself above it, but, the opposite turned out to be the case. I couldn’t think the fear away anymore. She took possession of my whole body and mind. I got clammy hands, held my breath in order to have to gasp for breath again, I clung to my chair and to Wim’s hand, clenched my teeth, and all the muscles in my body were totally tense. I had doom images of the crash and the end of our days. The hell it was for me. Meanwhile, I tried the tricks I had learned, but nothing helped me. But I have to admit, the pilot had the plane perfectly under control, because the landing itself was very stable. The plane neatly reached the tarmac, completely horizontal, as if you were in a car. All’s well that ends well. Luckily this was in the outward flight,  because I had to get back in the air a few days ago, I was able to experience a positive flying experience again, and that suddenly reduces that fear of flying again.

All this aside, we are back on Spanish soil, enjoying sun and light, clear blue skies, warmth on our skin, and being at home. We are also preparing ourselves for the first guests coming on holiday at the beginning of March. We are looking forward to it again! But first let’s enjoy being together for a while.

Hasta luego !

Annemie or Ana

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