Hi…before I get into how good it feels to be back home again, there are a couple of things that I thought I would tell you. In the run-up to the move (“the run-up” – that has sort of a NASA feel to it, but at times, that is what it did feel like), I have been sorting through all sorts of paperwork, mainly looking for what I thought I needed to take, and what I would be able to donate to some land-fill. One of the things I found was an account that I used to have years ago in a bank in Houston, in Texas. Without taking the time to try to figure out what, if anything, there was still in that account, I dashed off a letter telling them that if there was still anything there, they should send me some sort of notification, along with a check. Well, the other day, I looked in the post and there was a check. I was first a tad elated at the prospects of having some ‘found’ money…and then I opened the envelope to find a check for five cents. Yes, in a sterling example of the insanity of myopic thinking, these people sent me a check for five cents. Not only is this pretty crazy, but the cost of converting the money (all five cents of it) to euros for my account would have been vast multiples of what the check was for. Cheers.

A quick quiz to begin with: Regarding my life, the past couple of weeks have been A) exciting, B) challenging, C) crazy, or D) on the edge of being out of control. The answer is E) all the above. Now to be fair, that wasn’t listed as an option, but the reality is that a lot of it was going on (with the exception of D for my life may look to be on the edge of out of control, but really isn't). . It started out when I decided that I would move back to La Antigua. Once I had made this decision, lots of things changed. As someone who gets paid shedloads to depart wisdom about decision-making to CEO’s, I should be pretty good about making sure that my decision would work out. And whilst it is working out rather well, there have been a few quirky elements as to how I implemented my decision.

For starters, I had no desire to hire some lorry and do all the moving myself. So I contacted a friend, who knew people in the home furnishing moving sector on the island and after a couple of questions, had a deal all set. The ‘deal’ was that the company would send a lorry (big truck) and a furgonetta (very small parcel-type truck), along with four guys to do the move. The reason for the two vehicles was that the street that La Antigua is on is, as we say here, muy estrecho. (Muy is Spanish for ‘very,’ and estrecho is Spanish for ‘narrow as shit.’) The company had sent someone over to peruse what I was going to move – the usual stuff; sofa’s, chairs, beds, cabinets, clothes, and stacks of paintings and serigraphs. Oh, right…the remaining three stacks of wood that I had chopped a few weeks ago but haven’t chucked into the fireplace yet. After agreeing on everything, the guy stopped over and delivered a pile of packing boxes, as I said that I at least could do most of that. All good so far…and then things began to divert a bit from my master plan.

I had all these boxes that were beginning to pile up in the sitting room, some clearly heavier than others, and my house (Sol y Mar) was beginning to resemble a nightmare, so one day I thought I would drive out to La Antigua with a couple of the boxes. And the next day, I made two trips. The day after, more trips. The good news was that I was making an impact on the pyramid-like pile of packed boxes in the sitting room. The bad news was that as the box pile began to go down, in the evening, I would pack more boxes, causing the pile to go up again. I would draw the loops for you to explain this, but I am too tired now after today’s last trip out in Amelia with boxes filling the boot and the back seat. After about five days of this crazy behaviour – having movers all lined up but doing a ton of moving myself – I was out of packed boxes that I could actually lift, so then I decided to do other fun-filled stuff (please note the use of sarcasm to explain how I was spending my time getting ready for the actual move).

The actual move (a term used to describe the part of this extravaganza in which the people I was paying came and carried all the heavy stuff) went well. That’s not exactly true…it went brilliantly. The team of four guys and two trucks showed up at Sol y Mar at 0845 and were completely finished by 1300. And in this case, ‘completely finished’ means that not only had they brought everything I hadn’t previously driven out myself, but they also brought the over half-ton of unused firewood and – get ready for this – re-stacked in at La Antigua. These guys deserve a medal for diligent and careful moving.

In the midst of the whole planning-packing-moving-unpacking process, I did manage to make a new cuadro doblado. This one is big. And I mean seriously big. At over a meter-and-a-half high, it is, I have been told, one of the best I have done to date, and I love it.

I have spent the subsequent several days since arriving here doing some serious nesting in my new (but in reality, old) home again. It does feel oh-so- good to be home again. All the rooms are done now and as I am typing this, I am sitting in front of the fireplace in the sitting room (I sat in front of the kitchen fireplace to eat dinner…as you do). Oh-so-good…at last.

My son David flew over for Christmas. Even though he lives in Los Angeles, and the flight options weren’t the best, by the time he arrived, he was feeling exceptionally well…and then the jet lag kicked in. Luckily, by the time he had to fly back home, he was on an almost normal waking-sleeping schedule, but of course, he was looking at another 15 hours of travel so by the time he arrived in California, I was pretty sure he would be pretty shattered once again, but we shouldn't feel all that bad for him - the airline did upgrade him to the front of the plane on the way home.  It was a real treat to have him here, and, even though a bit out of kilter from all the travel, did soldier on helping me get the house sorted once again. 

So now I have been living at La Antigua for a couple of weeks and life here is pretty normal again…which, if you have been reading these missives from the beginning, know that this includes trips to Parc Verde and wonderful walks in the village. Home…and it is good to be here.



a misty morning in the village


the sitting room, whilst still a work in progress last week


not far to go for fresh oranges I guess


looking exceptionally calm after the move




nice little house that is happy I am here too


back to the top

copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012   James B. Rieley