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4 September, 2019

Lavinia, Sunday 1 September 2019

It seems like a long time since I sat behind my keyboard again. Too long in fact, but so much has happened in recent weeks because we had a few ‘Bv’s’ (famous Flemish people) to visit, and because we almost constantly occupy all the villas. So this is just good news.

Filip, the photographer, and his family have been home for almost two weeks now, and Nick and Lins, the famous Flemish bloggers of Naked wanderings, who stayed here for three days, have also retreated. We also had a visit from a Dutch tour operator who wanted to experience our resort for themselves, and then there was also an article that we were allowed to write in a magazine of a well-known Belgian naturist association. It must have been quite intensive days, because there are not only the ‘classic’ guests, but also these ‘special guests’ with whom we have established a partnership, so there is also a lot of time for marketing and business conversations and photos to be taken. They were challenging and very nice experiences and all very nice encounters and conversations. Luckily it is. And the fact that it is constantly outdoors, makes it just as tempting to spend a long time on the terrace chatting with a glass of wine.

We are very much looking forward to the results of all these different forms of cooperation. We have already seen some pictures of Filip, will be continued…At this moment we don’t know through which medium, and when, but we will keep you informed! Soon the review of Nick and Lins about Lavinia will be published on their website (www.nakedwanderings.com) about their findings and experiences during their stay here, and we already received the first guests of the Dutch travel organization. In short, we are sowing, and now give the seed time to sprout. I’m sure we’ll come back to this in more detail later on.

Our first German guests have also moved in last week, and that too has been very good, more so, super good. I was a little afraid of it because my German is limited to Jean Marie Pfaff’s level of German, and a lot less so in fact. But fortunately also those people turned out to speak some English, and in a mixture of German, English and for my part often with Spanish and Dutch words in between, it worked out quite well. I find it incredibly difficult to disassemble all the different languages. I find myself doing exactly the same thing as Astrid Bryan did at the time, when she constantly stuck American words in her Flemish sentences, and when I immediately formed the opinion that it was boastful. I make impossible sentences that contain both Spanish words and English in a normal conversation with the Dutch. Sometimes I can’t even get to the Dutch word, and the Spanish word comes out on its own. I think it’s bizarre, since we don’t speak that much Spanish at the moment. Only at the store, at the hairdresser’s, pedicurist’s, doctor’s…

The doctor, that’s another thing, even doctors don’t speak English. Try to make yourself understood in Spanish, which you only speak in infinitives. Of course it was our own fault, but it was really impossible to combine our entire renovation and start-up with intensive Spanish lessons. We are planning a Spanish course in the autumn. Unexpectedly, I’ve had a few doctor’s visits in the last few weeks. A few weeks ago, I came too close to a cactus in the garden. The thing actually has spines of up to 7 cm, and there were about five in my leg. Because at that moment I was too busy supporting Filip during a photo shoot, I took out the prickers, and put a handkerchief to stop the bleeding.

It was a fierce pain, but I didn’t pay any more attention to it. The next day it seemed as if there was a spine in my leg, but neither I nor Wim could get the vicious thing out. So let’s face it, I thought, it’ll come out on its own. But that was not part of my immunity system, which needed to be responded to with a strong red and warm spot. Right, an inflammation that got a little worse every day. On the advice of one of the guests who was a nurse, I went to the doctor anyway. It became antibiotic ointment and oral antibiotics. In addition, I had to go to the hospital every day, including at weekends – where all primary medical care is located – to have the wound treated and followed up by the nurse. After two days, a nurse managed to fish out the spine. It scared me anyway, because the 2 cm long thing was deep in it. Finally the healing could begin, and after a week I was finally allowed back into the pool and the wound is closed. I also had a few visits to the ‘medico familia’, the family doctor. The health system works really well here. For example, I had to have a Rx made of my elbow in order to rule out an injury to the bone, due to persistent pain. Suddenly it was arranged that I could have the picture taken on Friday at 9.10 a.m., and afterwards at 9.30 a.m. at the doctor’s to discuss the result. I can’t imagine that this would be possible in Belgium. But, really, I could enter at 9.10 a.m. directly at the Rx and at 9.20 a.m. I was already sitting in the waiting room with the house doctor, even in another building it was. And the doctor was  also on time. Cortisone injection in the elbow, and ready ; you don’t have to pay for anything. This is all included in the monthly payment for the health care . Great, anyway! As in Belgium, waiting for an appointment with a specialist is also two to three months. Only major drawback: you have no choice as to which doctor you will get. At least if you don’t have private insurance. So it’s hoping for a good doctor sometime in October.

Because we find it necessary that we are physically away from here, because otherwise you would never have 100 percent we-time, we now schedule a weekly afternoon and an evening in our agenda when we go out. We went to explore a nude beach, which unfortunately from 18 p.m. was crowded by men who were looking for other men. Very unfortunate, because it was a nice stretch of beach, full of bays and large flat boulders. So we won’t do this beach again… After all, there are still about 10 nude beaches in the vicinity. The three beaches we have visited in the meantime do not have this problem. So we have another experience where our guests can only take advantage of. We notice that it is very important to visit all kinds of things ourselves, so that we don’t send people somewhere we don’t want to.

We also went to Villajojosa, a very nice town, known for its different coloured houses.

Unfortunately, just on our outing day the weather gods decided that after all this drought, it was time for a few hours of heavy rain… From pure misery we went home anyway and had a nice ‘netflixed’ (I suspect that this verb doesn’t really exist, but that everyone understands it). It actually gave me a Sunday feeling. A strange feeling that used to creep up on me on Sundays in Belgium. I can’t explain it very well, but a somewhat unpleasant and vague feeling between boredom and apathy. This was often accompanied by drizzling weather. The only solution is then, nesting in the seat with nice greasy food. So it became a homemade hamburger, with lots of ketchup and onion. I love how that tasted!

That half a day and night it was raining cats and dogs, has caused all kinds of bushes to start flowering again and give them beautiful flowers. The green is suddenly greener again, the lamp polisher , the zinnias, the passion flora, various ground cover plants, and many other plants give again the best of themselves and spread a colourful spectacle. The guests love our beautiful garden, and we are proud to receive our congratulations. Even though this is not our merit, but of Armin, the former Swiss owner who created the garden with great care, more than 30 years ago. And also from our gardener who comes every week to make the garden neat and tidy. Last week one of the guests asked if we wouldn’t consider that view as ‘normal’ and don’t really notice it anymore because we see it every day. But nothing could be further from the truth; every morning when I open the curtains, I marvel at the richness we have in our front yard. The beautiful view of the mountains and the sea, and in the evening when I close the curtains I look thankfully at the dancing lights in the city. No, I’m not taking this for granted. At the moment I am very much aware of every day, every experience, every conversation, every moment, every good morning and good night of every guest, because it makes me so happy, so very happy. I also see Wim enjoying this life more and more every day. And this makes me most happy, despite the sacrifices we had to make to leave family and friends behind.

Hasta luego,

Annemie ofte Ana

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