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The countdown…

7 February, 2020

Lavinia, Friday 7th february 2020

In exactly one month we will receive our new guests again, and we are looking forward to it incredibly.

The fact that we have regular contact with a number of guests via social media, and the nice reactions to messages Wim posts on FB or Instagram, as well as on my blog, makes us very much in the mood to start the season. Because it’s also ‘only’ a month away, the tension to get everything ready on time also increases. There’s still a lot of work to be done to get everything in order the way we want it to be ‘guest proof’.

Of course everything has to be thoroughly polished, but because it can always unexpectedly blow heavily and the dust scattered around, we wait until the very last moment to do so. Yesterday our cleaning team, Marta and Sergio, came to go over the schedule for the coming month and make some practical arrangements. Of course they brought fresh pastries again, for Wim, not for Ana, because ‘ella es gorda’ (she is fat) 😉. And of course I can’t deny it, unfortunately a lot of kilos stayed on my body, despite the very much reduced sugar intake. At a certain point Mother Nature simply says bluntly ‘enough hormones produced for you, it has to be done without now’, and there you are, as a woman with a noticeably increasing layer of fat around your belly – and everywhere else as well. And she also says ‘sweat it out in the next few years’. And you can take that very literally. When you suddenly see a middle-aged woman take off all kinds of layers of clothing, and do it in a hurry, to put all the layers back on after a good minute or two, then you can take pride in it: there’s another one, a heat flush. I can imagine it’s a comic sight, but believe me, I find it anything but comic, rather awful. And as a naturist there is not much to do of course. Wim even feels it coming before I feel it when he is close to me or his hand is on me. He really feels the stove strike, like a wave flowing over my body. No, actually it’s more like a tsunami that violently engulfs my body and suffocates me in its warm glow. Wim often sees his advantage in the evening, because at this time of year he often has cold hands and feet, which he can warm up with his personal stew. And because I gratefully accept every cool down at such a moment, I am only too happy to allow that. So everyone is satisfied.

Anyway, wasn’t I just talking about the visit of our cleaning team? They came all the way up to our house, neatly dressed for the occasion, and not in ‘work clothes’. They had left ‘la madre’, Marta’s mother and Sergio’s mother-in-law downstairs in the car, because they didn’t dare let her come upstairs uninvited! Very politely they asked if she could come with them. Imagine, as if we would make her wait in the car a hundred meters down the street. We invited them for coffee and discussed the schedule for March. I proudly showed them our Award, and partly dedicated it to them, because they also contributed to the beautiful reviews. They were visibly affected by this, especially when we translated some of the reviews that specifically mentioned how clean the guests found the villas. Both Marta and Sergio shone with pride, and were very grateful for the recognition of their hard work over and over again. What a nice feeling it is to give people compliments. So simple, but so important. It is a very important building block on which our cooperation with all possible people who are involved in our project is based and that Wim taught me as a former manager: every person who contributes, in whatever way, gets the respect he deserves. Without giving its value to every brick from which a wall is built, the wall is skewed, or collapses. We are only the cement that holds the wall together. I once saw a very nice quote about this. And it’s so true.

‘La madre’ comes from Argentina, and brought seeds of flowers, which ones I don’t know, only that they give a lot of colour. Marta even showed me where to plant them. Blessed isn’t it? She proudly showed her mother the domain and where the villas they polished were. I love it when people are proud of their work. When they feel that it is also a part of them, a part for which they themselves are responsible. That’s also the way it is with the men who come to build the wall and make the terrace around the jacuzzi. They are singing and dancing on their scaffolding, Spanish music churning out of their typical shipyard radio. Their scaffolding is all the way up the slope, and every time I hold my heart that they are not all rolling down the slope with scaffolding. Apparently, here in Spain this is still possible. It’s quite cosy when the men come to work. I think it’s great to be a bit creative outside at the same time and to do some crafts in the bar or in the cottages. It gives an incredible amount of energy and a positive vibe when Spaniards are at work. Yet the Spaniards who work for us.

Yesterday we went for the 3rd time to choose tiles for the terrace at the jacuzzi. Apparently it is the procession of Echternach. Monday we made our first choice, but the next day it turned out that they couldn’t be ordered at the factory anymore. So, we went back to the shop. I think we have been weighing and weighing for about two hours. The patient señorita kept coming up with tiles for us to make them fit together anyway. In the end we chose a colorful, typical southern tile in combination with a plain tile that had to be laid in a random pattern. The friendly Veronica suggested we take the tiles home with us and put them next to the jacuzzi to see the effect. And a good thing too, because when we laid them outside in daylight at the planned location, they didn’t fit in with the whole garden and the style of our domain. What a disappointment, strange too, because we loved them in the shop. So back to square one, back to the shop. Going to choose again, this time without the lady, because she was busy with other customers. We chose something totally different, something in a quieter color and less crowded pattern. After we had waited three quarters of an hour to be able to place the order, Wim came up with the bright idea to ask us to take the tiles back home again to check on the spot before we would place the order. At the same time, we could ask the opinion of the workmen who would lay them. Sigh, what a waste of time… But, better a late good idea than nothing. So the tiles are now in the car until we can lay and fit them when it gets light. I’m curious.

And so an incredible amount of time goes into things that seem trivial, but are actually important. But of course, that’s why we aren’t able to do a lot every day. Luckily there was still the jacuzzi,

and we could immerse ourselves in the lovely warm water of 38 degrees and enjoy the evening and the almost full moon..

Hasta luego,

Annemie or Ana

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