Rob, our Spanish-based English lawyer had called to say that the initial contracts had literally just been signed by him utilising his Power of Attorney, and the representative of the seller, a local Loja lawyer called Manolo, and that he was about to hand over our deposit sum to the said, Manolo.
It had literally taken us just thirteen months from the first day we set foot in stunning Andalucia with a view to us finding a property in order that we could relocate from London. Crikey, what a ride it's been!
You need to know right at the start, that if I am to be totally honest throughout this story, that in all my first half century on this planet I had never holidayed, nor ever considered holidaying in Spain, let alone live there. I in fact, had a totally unfair aversion to the country that is Spain, having grown-up with the combination of having been a teenager of the Monty Python age, which featured their glorious Travel Agent sketch (which talked about the worst possible kind of Spam and chip eating British tourist holidaying in Torremolinos), which for some reason impregnated itself indelibly in my young psyche, and the ever present photographs of beetroot-coloured British tourists who had stupidly overcooked themselves in the hot Spanish sun, while seemingly permanently inebriated on cheap Spanish beer and sangria. I was just not interested!
Spain was my idea of hell-on-earth as far as holidaying went. I spent the first half of my life trying to avoid that country at all costs - having failed miserably on two or three occasions, not by choice, and solely to do with work. My wife, that is the current Mrs M, had always tried to push me in the general direction, "Northern Spain looks lovely, why don't we try there?", but no, I had always prevailed with my biased thinking, and we had settled year-after-year on the Caribbean, which even the current Mrs M had had to admit she really enjoyed. And then came Minorca.
Occasionally in my line of work times are hard, and it was during one of these particularly lean periods that a very good friend of ours offered us the use of her holiday apartment in the Balearics. Beggars can't be choosers I was always taught, and so I swallowed my pride and we went. And what a fantastic time we had! So-much-so, that we chose to go their of our own will on another two occasions. Our proper initial introduction to Spain, its people and the Spanish lifestyle. Through my entire fault we had wasted so much previous time. We were hooked!
Now I am sure that most people at one stage in their life have 'the dream'. That is, a dream of chucking in the rat-race, selling-up their ancestral pile, paying off their mortgage and moving to a dessert island, be it, Florida, Thailand, Portugal, France, or in our case now, Spain.
After our third holiday in Menorca, the current Mrs M and I set out our 'dream' goal - five more years, or our apartment reaches a certain fiscal value, whichever comes first. We agreed that was our deal. We would stick to it, no matter what. Well, only one year in and with out flat still a long way off our hoped-for value, one late afternoon sitting in our beloved garden after a bottle (possibly it was two) of wine, we said, "Bugger it, let's just do it!" And we immediately went inside and hit the internet.
Our immediate problem: Location. Location, location, location is always the thing. Don't ask me why, but I have always needed to be located near water. On my Mother's side of the family, I come from a long line of Scottish fishermen. Maybe that's the reason, I'm never quite sure. The current Mrs M's only insistence was that wherever we chose to live, had to be 'open', not some summer tourist haunt that closed for half the year. She wanted a location with shops, restaurants, bars and cafes, that did not shut their doors when the tourists went home. A proper Spanish village or town. This was fine with me.
We started to troll through all the information we could find on Minorca. It was our friend Deborah, who had kindly let us stay at her apartment previously for a greatly reduced rent, who finally put us off. Now whether she was being honest, or just didn't want to share her idyllic island with us on a permanent basis, I'm not quite sure, but in the end Deborah convinced us that a) Minorca being an island, gets terribly cold and the wind never stops blowing during the winter months and b) The majority of locations close down when the tourists go home, so it did not fit our brief. We immediately therefore moved on to Plan Z.
According to the internet, the Costa Del Sol apparently had the perfect weather; mostly year-round blue skies, mountains and the sea. Absolutely perfect! The one snagging problem as far as I was concerned, I had watched just one half of one episode of the TV programme 'Benidorm' which only confirmed my pre-existing hate of Brits abroad and I was not one hundred percent not prepared to live surrounded by drunken British and German tourists, singing 'Torremolinos' at 3 a.m. in the morning, making their way back to their multi-storey hotel or apartment blocks, after a night on-the-tiles. As far as I was concerned the Costa Del Sol coast was out. Was our dream to end even before it started? Not on your nelly, as we say in the UK. We discovered two huge inland lakes, Iznájar and Viñuela.
Our hunt was on!
Check Out: www.thetownhouseiznajar.com
The Townhouse, Iznájar - Andalucian Boutique Stylish Self-Catering Townhouse Accommodation