Posted by: puebloman | January 14, 2009

Our New Life

We came to the Axarquia, a beautiful and uncommercialised part of Andalucia, three years ago. Four years previously we had bought a big house in a large agricultural village of Almachar as a holiday home. This  left the door to a new life in Spain ajar, though we didn’t quite understand that at the time. When the very ordinary pressures of work that afflict middle managers in their mid 50’s afflicted us, we realised that we didn’t only have one option open to us – to buckle down and buck up – we could just pull up our roots, sell up and go. And that’s what we did. We had a small two up and two down in Kingston, just south of London. Over the years it became a “Regency Cottage” without any effort on our part and we were able to sell it at the top of the market. Our purpose was to pay off our huge mortgage and all our debts and to buy with the residue, enough property to run a little self catering business that would feed us through the last part of our working lives and would supplement our very meagre pensions into our non-retirement years. Of course having sold at the top of the market we had to buy at the top of the market. We couldn’t afford Almachar but discovered the beautiful and quiet hamlet of Cutar, close by, but higher into the foothills of the Sierra Tejedas. We bought two adjoining cottages with four large rooms underneath plus a couple of hectares of land down to fig, plum, almonds, pomegranate, mango, grape, custard apple,orange, mandarine, lemon, grapefruit, medlar and cane. In the  last three years we have stripped out the cottages and fitted them to our taste and what we think our customers will want, we have converted the lower rooms into a managers flat, built a big shower room, an andalucian kitchen, a living room/diner, an office/bedroom and a workshop. We have nearly completed the terrace to the managers flat. We have built raised beds for vegetables between the fig trees, created a mediterranean dry garden between the plum trees and have opened a piece of land with intention of backyarding some poultry next year. We seem to be surviving. We are into our third year of trading, are living a subsistence lifestyle instead of one based on debt, and , little by little are beginning to feel we might make it!


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