Spanish Property Hunting for Scottish Bravehearts

Remote Spanish Cortijo up in the Alpujarra mountains

First of all … nope… we haven’t sold THE flat.  It’s a subject that instantly raises blood pressure and puffs up the growing bags under our eyes.  But we are still breathing and surrendering to this unforeseen flow… and we ARE still going.  C’mon Universe!

It was back in June this year that we went on our first exploration into the Orgiva and Lanjaron area of the Alpujarras.  We landed in Malaga airport late at night.. .secured our dinky little hire car, which flummoxed me with its push button ignition and everything being back to front… did a U turn where we shouldn’t have… went round a couple of roundabouts a couple of times, christened Google maps as the “Beatch” and eventually found our overnight budget hotel, just a few minutes away. 

We awoke fairly refreshed and eager to get on the road.  It’s only a 90 minute drive from Malaga and the roads are blissfully smooth compared to Edinburgh.  We flew up the motorway (unwittingly gaining a speeding ticket that landed in our post box a month later) but… wow…. the scenery was just stunning.  I got goosebumps.

But, here’s something I have never publicly shared before…

Despite my generally wuwu, calm demeanour, I am not your ideal passenger.  My Gorgeous Man being the traditional gent that he is, likes to do the driving for his wild woman… and I’m actually very proud to spill the beans that MGM has a racing driver license (albeit lapsed from our days in Hong Kong) and is a bloody good behind the wheel.  He’s one of those ‘annoying’ people that can reverse park… perfectly… in one go.  But despite all of that… I’m still a nightmare of a backseat driver who puts her foot through the footwell on the imaginary brake and takes sharp intakes of breath at all the near misses… which are nowhere near, near misses.

And in Spain, it was mega magnified.  It became very obvious that if MGM and I were going to live happily ever after, then I was going to have to get a grip.

And it all came to a head on certain property hunt.

Lanjaron's central fountain with a sculptures of a couple sitting side by side of the edge... and children playing along the high top plinth.
Lanjaron’s central fountain.

We met the estate agent by Lanjaron’s town square fountain on a very hot sunny afternoon and he happily suggested he come in our car and direct us to the property.  He was a charming,  retired ‘old school’ English gent wearing a spotless panama hat and there was no way he would fit into the back seat of our little bubble of a car… so I happily took up that prize spot while he settled into the front.  The 1.4L engine roared into average slowness and up the tiny lanes and concrete single tracks we began to crawl. 

A view of the lovely smooth road winding its way through the mountains and up into the clouds.
Gorgeous smooth mountain roads!

We were going to see a more remote property in the mountains that was in need of renovation… there was plenty of land for veggies, orchards, dogs… and it was in our price range.  Our interest was piqued and we were looking forward to seeing it.  It was going to be about a 30 minute drive… and we had been reassured that the private ‘un-concreted steep mountain track’ as its access, wasn’t actually a problem for a normal city car.  No Chelsea Tractor or LandRover Defender needed.  Yay!

Well, this turned out to be a slight untruth in the hugest, most humungous, frikking proportions. 

But the fact that we are still alive to tell the tale, I suppose does give it a grain of truth.

Anyhoo… we wound around the mountains and I took my silent intakes of breath, clutched at the seats and then huddled down to bury my attention into Facebook, as MGM and the agent amiably chatted away.

Finally we turned off the tarmac and onto the dirt track.  We were getting close I thought.  But I was wrong.  MGM had the car in second gear as we bumped, slipped, clunked and prayed our way along this track… which mightn’t have been so bad if there hadn’t been a steep drop-off to one side.  One false move… and we’d be playing Alpujarran roly-poly.   I found myself getting hot under the collar even though I wasn’t wearing a collar… and even worse than that… my mobile signal weakened to the point of nothingness.  Not even inane Facebook scrolling could save me now.  Our little hire car was learning a big life lesson of its own limits.  I felt totally vulnerable, totally out of control and nasty beads of hot sweat started to trickle down the back of my neck…. and dare I say it, down between my clenched buttocks.

And then it got worse. 

We reached the steep bit.  My first thought was “FFS… are you f*cking kidding me???”  It was steep, very steep… still with the death drop to one side and tyre ripping rock to the other.  All of my decorum abandoned me as I stifled the profanities that I wanted to scream out.  I could feel MGM immediately tense up and focus… and intensely ignore my expanding, energetic panic within the confines of the car.  The agent, amazingly, seemed oblivious as he continued his affable verbal diarrhoea of God knows what.  What made it worse was that the dirt track was becoming even more deeply rutted where vehicles had driven back and forth over the years… where seasonal rains had further eroded bits away… where dirt and rocks and shifted and where, if we weren’t careful, our little city car could actually ground itself on the middle. 

I wanted out.
Let me out…  
I’m f*cking walking. 
Let me out now. 
I can’t do this. 

Deep panic welled up… and kept welling up.  We edged forward in first gear.  We skidded.  We juddered, We bumped.  We scraped and ground against the ground.  Tears welled up from my terror and lack of control and I was now sweating like a frikking racehorse.  I couldn’t look out the window because as stunning as the view was, it was certain death out there.  I couldn’t speak, because I didn’t trust what would come out.  There was nothing for it, but to close my eyes and pray my sweaty ass off to the angels, fairies, Ascended Masters, guides, light beings, star beings and any frikking miracle worker that would just help us make it down to the frikking property that I no longer wanted to frikking see. 

I knew I had to pull myself together…
So I began to do some deep breathing and decided that the best thing I could do was to connect with my gang upstairs and totally zone out of planet earth’s present reality.  I knew MGM knew I was struggling… but I also knew that I had to totally leave him alone so he could save us from this track from hell.
A major freakout would not be helpful. At all. 

By the time we got down to the property, I couldn’t have given a damn if it was our dream come true with original features and fireplaces (my things), swathes of wild meadow flowers (another of my things)… and an outdoor shower (you guessed it, another of my quirkier things) because there was no way I was ever, ever, ever going to come to terms with that track.

I prised my paralysed muscles and body out of the back seat, prayed that my profuse sweating hadn’t soaked through my linen trousers, thanked my team upstairs for our miracle survival and tried to be very spiritual and forgiving towards the agent.  I obviously didn’t try hard enough because I found myself asserting that the track was in no way suitable for a small town hire car and he should never have allowed this to happen.  MGM magnanimously stepped in, knowing that I was not very successfully masking the depth of my trauma and could potentially and unpleasantly pop. 

I very rarely pop… but when I do, it’s not pretty.
It’s real… but it’s still not pretty.  I heard MGM saying that “I think my wife (I do like it when he calls me his wife, even though we’ve not actually done that deed) has had a sense of humour failure so the house is already a no go.”  He did me a great favour… because we all still had to somehow get back up that track together.  And alienating the local estate agent wasn’t really going to help us find our new home.

Sadly, the house did have quite a lot of potential and a bizarrely strong phone signal, which is THE top requirement on our list.  Damn that track.  Damn.  And damn the fact that we had to go back up it.

I have no idea how I actually got back in that car because in my mind, I was walking back up. 
All I can remember was our little bubble car stalling… wheels spinning… a very loud, worrying, grinding crunch from underneath… and the agent bravely telling MGM he was driving too far over to one side… and then offering to get out so the exhaust wasn’t continually dragging against the dirt.  It was not a good time.  Suffice to say I was just visualising our survival long enough to find the nearest bar.

Two ice cold Spanish beers in a local bar!
Dos cervezas por favor!

Our English Gent of an agent never stopped talking and we couldn’t help but like him… but after we finally reunited him with his car… we looked at each other in silent, telepathic, WTF disbelief….and yes, we headed for our newly found favourite pitstop. 

It was one of the best ice cold ‘cervejas’ I’ve ever had.  And the next one was pretty damn good too.  And so was the tapas that just kept on coming.

  We had survived.  Spain wasn’t so bad after all.


MGM you are my hero. 


Top Tip for empaths and sensitives who suffer similar ‘passenger aversion symptoms.’
Take a minute to tune in to your aura and how far it extends out from your body… and then consciously pull it right back inside the car and close to your body.  I couldn’t believe the difference it made!!  YAY!  No more ‘crashing or near misses’ at 50ft… my antenna’s reach and spacial awareness had been wound back in! 

Living in Zen Limbo and Still Staying Sane.

So here’s where we are at.  We’re still in limbo.  With very little to report on the exciting “let’s move to Spain and start a new life” front.  Very frustrating.  Very disappointing.  And really making life a little bit difficult too.

When the Universe throws you these curve balls, it’s natural that you start to question your choices.  But my mind has long been ruled by my heart.  I have absolutely no doubt that moving to Spain is the bestest, rightest, most superduper path for me and MGM (my gorgeous man), but when reality is strangely showing you a No (as in our flat isn’t selling) even though the Universe had given us the wholehearted  ‘when Harry met Sally YES YES YES’… then you do start to wonder what ace card the Universe has got up its sleeve.

Personally I’m hoping it’s the winning lottery numbers because I sure as hell am not going to spend another winter in Scotland.  

Note to self… buy more lottery tickets.

“There has to be a reason that the flat is not getting viewings.”  This is what we keep saying.  If it’s a Universal, spiritual, destiny, fate and flow thing… then fair enough.  We’ll keep bending over backwards and trusting that we won’t break. But if it’s a practical, logical, material thing, then we need to address it… and heal it. 

But nobody seems to have an answer.  We keep hearing how crazy the Edinburgh property market is… but we’re just not seeing it in our exclusive little corner of The Shore.  My internal radar’s  gone fuzzy and I’m feeling no wiser than the UltraSpiritual JP Sears at the moment as to what to do about it… and MGM is seriously being challenged to keep trusting in the wuwu way of life that we leapt into when we left Hong Kong 2 years ago. 

We’ve already had to contact our Spanish agent (Thank God for Google translate) to delay our entry into the rental we committed to in June… but my heart is still screaming “GET DOWN THERE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!!”… but we just can’t leave without our flat and financial situation being resolved.  Add in to the mix that I’ve already got 2 fully booked Spanish retreats up and running for early November (this was part of the original big Spanish YES flow!)… and the pressure is on.  

I must just add… that I’m very, very excited to be running the Spanish Channelling Love Retreats… they will be the corner stone of our new life in the Alpujarras!  

So, we are thinking out of the box…
we’re keeping our options open… long term rental, short term lets, the miracle sale…. and we’re trying not to attach to the ‘how.’  We’ve got crystals in the doorway…  we’ve had the carpets cleaned… we’ve had a space clearing done…  we’ve shifted the furniture around… we’ve posted it on Gumtree and Facebook groups… we’re visualising ourselves up in the Spanish mountains with space to breathe and lots of golden sun to give us happy, mediterranean wrinkles.  We’re dreaming of opening our front door in the early hours and just letting Sir Maxelot out for his ‘morning motions’ without having to get dressed, get the lift down 4 floors and take him round the block in the dark with the delights of Scottish horizontal winter rain.  And yes, I have done it in my PJs.  And I’m proud of it.  Max couldn’t give a damn as long as long as there’s no rain and he gets his breakfast on time.  He really doesn’t like rain.  He’ll love Spain.  And hopefully he’ll love the Spanish rescue Galgos girlfriend we want to welcome into our family once we’re settled. 

You see… our dream is still alive!

Our new life FEELS great!  It will happen.  I know it will.  It really will.  I feel it.  The ‘how’ will sort itself out… and in the meantime I’ll have another jumbo bag of Kettle sea salt and balsamic vinegar crisps that I won’t be able to get in Spain.  It’s amazing the lies you can tell yourself for a little bit of comfort food.  I’ll start the juicing detox tomorrow… again.

So while the limbo is ‘limboing’ and we’re being flexible beyond flexible and staying ‘oh so zen,’ I thought you might enjoy a few photos from our trip out to the Alpujarras in June.  It may have been our first time there… but it instantly felt like home… and soon it really will be. 



PS.  On my next instalment I’ll share the story behind my monumental sense of humour failure while out on a property hunt in the Alpujarras back in June.  It’s almost funny when I look back on it… almost.

Happy! Exploring the Lanjaron area in June 2017!




The First Time the Universe Kicked our Butts…

 This week I’m going to wind the clock back a couple of years.  Because right now… there’s very little obvious, tangible, outward frikking movement towards us actually getting to Spain!

Yup… we’re in limbo.

But we’re holding the vision… holding our nerve….trusting… handing over to the Universe… having momentary, mini freak outs… cutting energetic wuwu chords… changing names….. releasing the past… meditating… chanting… singing… begging… praying… ignoring… crying…. writing on the vision board… being super duper calm… and super duper positive… detaching… surrendering… we’re carrying on as normal, except it’s anything but normal.  Basically, we’re waiting for the flat to sell.  This flat is the key to our future… so no pressure there.… no pressure at all.

Back in March this year… when we originally decided to hit the Scottish exit button, we were told our hands would be bitten off by rampant buyers desperate for this gem of a property.  It would only be a matter of days till our dream was financially viable and no longer reliant on rainbows, unicorns and pots of gold. But because we allowed our dream to be ‘damp squibbed’… it was June before we picked ourselves up, dusted off the fear and eventually put the flat on the market.

But a lot can change in a couple of months.
Like, everyone fecks off on holiday!

So while we wait for the suntans to fade and for peeps to decide that they really do want a new home before Christmas, I’m going to tell you about how 2 years ago,  MGM (My Gorgeous Man) and I actually took our first big leap of faith.

I moved out to be with MGM in Hong Kong in 2013… it was the only way for us to be together and we sure as hell weren’t going to let love and life pass us by.  We are middle aged, after all.  Life out in the Far East was actually pretty amazing.  Funded by MGM’s high flying director role in the upper echelons of international corporate kingdoms, it was a world that was completely alien to me and not at all aligned with my heart based lifestyle… but it was also the first time I had ever experienced life without the stress of meeting bills and of finding creative ways to ‘make do’.  And in that respect, I really quite liked it.

Our view to the front…
Our view to the rear…

We were ridiculously happy together in his typical ‘postage stamp of a flat’ up on the 27th floor.  It had a great view out towards Hong Kong harbour where you could see the night time light show on the ICC building and there was the partial green of a mountainside to the back. So despite living in a high-rise block of rabbit hutches… squashed in beside more high-rise blocks of more rabbit hutches, my need for open space was somewhat satisfied by just looking out of the windows.  And it was MGM’s generosity in supporting me (albeit that it was illegal for me to work there) that he gifted me the space to create the foundations for my wuwu world of Channelling Love.  More about the wuwu another day.

‘Glamming’ up for the St Andrew’s Ball, Hong Kong

But the longer I was there… the more I saw the degree of payoff for the big bucks salary.  The sheer hell and stress that MGM shouldered was becoming increasingly unbearable… and detrimental to his health.  Fridays became the nights to get completely lashed… and the weekends became a process for recovering… releasing the ‘protective armour’… sleeping off the emotional exhaustion and hangover… and then building up the armour again to go back in on Monday morning for another week of hell.  It may have been a materially abundant lifestyle but it was totally mind, body and soul destroying on every level. 

The thing is, we both knew we didn’t want to stay there long term.  Our life became more and more shallow… our livers more pickled and the novelty less sparkly.  And in all honesty…I really struggled with the 90% humidity.  One of my lowest points was arriving home with sweat literally pouring down my neck and legs… to then find that I had been walking around with a very obvious great big sweaty wet arse for the whole of HK to see.  I cried.  I cried a lot.  And sweated even more but the air-conditioning was already maxed out so I just carried on sweating.

And so our dream began to take shape.  To move to Europe… to live a simpler rural life where we could have outside space, grow veggies, have chickens and dogs…. breathe… and run a few Channelling Love retreats.

So we kept Hong Kong life ticking over.  I found a spiritual network and began to make friends, we had holidays and nights out and we moved into auto pilot while we waited for that ‘perfect’ moment to leave.

Then, two years after I joined MGM, we received a HUMDINGER of a shock.  MGM’s company was to be restructured.  And that meant no more Asia Pacific Director Role.  Well, all I can say is that when you plan and dream from your heart… the Universe always answers… just not always as you expect it.

We swung between “YES!” and “Holy F*ck!”  

From… “Freeeeeedom!” to  “Oh Shit!” 

Hong Kong is not a city you can stay in without employment… crazy prices mean you need serious stashes of cash to buy a just pack of veggie sausages.  MGM thought about finding another role… the city is full of high rolling opportunities… but the thought of remaining in the ‘treadmill trap’ made us both feel even more ill… but we sooo weren’t prepared for an exit into a whole new life.

It was only a couple of weeks later that the Universe sent us another kick up the butt and made the decision for us.  Our landlord served us 2 months notice.  FFS!    We were like rabbits caught in full beam headlights.  With no future income and now no future home… the effort to stay put was just too overwhelming.  It was time to take that leap of faith.

We were exiting Hong Kong with no safety net and no Plan B.

At the time MGM was a full on, corporate, logical, strategic planner of life… and very, very good at it.  Amazingly good!  His gut was weirdly telling him to leave… but his head was freaking out screaming “What the hell are you doing?!!”

My heart knew without a doubt that it was time to go, but even I was reticent to let go of this newly embraced lifestyle and security. 

It’s one thing to talk about changing your life… but it’s a whole other thing to actually walk away from everything you have and know, to do it.  

But doing it, we were.   

It was nothing short of chaos, fear, elation, trust and not really having a clue as to how it would all pan out.

And just in case our flat still hasn’t sold by the time I write our next blog… I’ll save some of those stories for next time.

Wish us luck!


PS… Click here if you’re interested in a great flat on the prestigious Shore area in Edinburgh!  

The living area of the flat on The Shore, Edinburgh
The Shore, Edinburgh