I know what you did last summer.

Last April we resigned from employment, packed our bags and moved to Spain.  But what I couldn't talk about was the TV programme.   As part of our move out to Spain we took part in a TV programme called "A New Life in the Sun", the show follows the progress of a number of British people as they make the move abroad and set up a business.

For the first 6 months we were out here we had a TV camera follow us on our journey and they have recorded a lot key events, starting with the day our furniture arrived, following progress with renovations to the house, obtaining residency permits, our first craft market and lots of soap making.  I must admit I am a little apprehensive about how we will come over but there is no going back now and I only hope that people will enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed taking part.

The show is due to air in the UK on Channel 4 at 16:00 weekdays starting 12th February and we've been told that the section of the show which includes us wil…

Ramshackle or Shabby Chic

When we viewed the house before buying it we thought it had a wonderful shabby chic aesthetic but having lived here for a while we're starting to realise that there can be a fine line between shabby chic and downright ramshackle and we've come the conclusion that our kitchen sits the wrong side of that line.  The kitchen is quite small and having only 2 cupboards we've had to restrict ourselves to keeping only the bare essentials in the kitchen.   The adjacent cellar, which is huge, compensates but it's becoming increasingly annoying having to nip into the cellar for basics like mixing bowls or bags of flour.    

We've had a quote for a replacement kitchen which was well over our budget and so it is after much consideration that we are about to embark on the daunting project of fitting a new kitchen ourselves.  Today we're having a drive over to Murcia to take a look round IKEA and find out what their flat pack kitchens look like.   We're not planning to bu…

Where did the enthusiasm go?

I had a blog 12 years ago, at the time I was undergoing treatment for Hepatitis C and I used the blog to talk about the experience of the treatment, which wasn't easy.  That blog was cathartic and allowed me to connect with a wonderful group of people in the same boat, some of whom were also blogging about their experiences.  I wrote an entry in that blog every day for a period of 6 months or more and so I am bewildered that now I have something exciting to talk about that I have been so remiss in jotting down my thoughts.

I sit here today with a renewed enthusiasm and a promise to myself to try harder.  I think I may have scuppered myself initially in trying to write something that people might find helpful and provide information about moving to Spain and frankly I probably bored myself with it.  So instead I am going to revert to what worked for me all those years ago and just jot down a few lines about what's currently going on in my little part of the world here in Almer…

What bureaucracy?

So we’ve been living in Spain for four and half months and I must confess that I’d intended writing journal entries more frequently but the truth is that we’ve been having too much fun and there has been a lot to do.  
It’s the end of August and the weather has finally turned a bit cooler, indeed its raining and cloudy today.  It was 38 degrees for most of July and so much of our time was spent alternately lounging by the pool and jumping in to cool off.  Some days it got too hot to sit outside and on those days we closed all the shutters, put the fans on and even had the occasional siesta when it was really hot.  
We’ve achieved quite a lot in spite of the almost constant sun worship.  We managed to get our Spanish residency permits sorted within about 12 weeks of moving here, arguably having already registered as self employed (or autonomo as its known) helped.  We felt it was important to get residency sorted, particularly in light of the imminent UK exit from the EU.  We paid a soli…

Taking the leap

Being able to move to Spain was very much dependant on selling our house in Norfolk and as often happens serendipity stepped in.  We’d had our house on and off the market for about 18 months with limited success.  In October last year we decided to switch agents for the third time and also dropped the asking price, we had a flurry of viewings and finally accepted an offer on the house shortly after Christmas.  
At the same time that this was going on the company that Paul worked for decided to restructure and made his role redundant in November and as a result we got a fairly good redundancy payment which went into the new life in the sun pot.  We had agreed that there was little point Paul looking for work until after Christmas and once we accepted the offer on the house decided that Paul would not go back to work.  
The people buying our house were not in a chain and the sale of our house moved forward remarkably swiftly.  Shortly before we were due to exchange contracts we hot footed…

How to start…

Hello seems as good a place as any.  My name is Jonathan and along with my partner, Paul and our two dogs, Bella and Wilma we’ve made the move from England to southern Spain, Almeria to be precise.  So here I am sat on my sun lounger in the blazing sun writing my first blog post.  
Our story is not that unusual, Paul and I both had fairly well paid jobs in England but like many people in their mid 40’s we wanted more from our lives than just another 20 years sat at a desk in our office, or in Paul’s case another 20 years of driving up and down the country sorting out problems in care homes. 

Alongside our regular jobs Paul and I had set up our own business creating mens facial hair care products, you will have noticed the moustache.  The Dandy Lions Apothecary had been running for about a year when we first started looking for houses and we had strong hopes that we could make this business work from Spain.

We spent the last 2 years looking at houses in the Almeria province having holida…