The thing is… we all want the miracle… we all dream of the miracle… we long for the miracle, beg for it, ask for it, pray for it and more often than not, don’t quite believe it will ever happen. So when it does happen… it’s a huge shock and a very welcome head f*ck. We had committed verbally to purchasing our wee dream home and it turned out that the fun was only just about to begin.
MGM immediately accepted the offer on his flat… and the completion was scheduled for the 17th May 2018. This meant, the Spanish purchase couldn’t move forward either because we just didn’t have the cash deposit sitting in our rather threadbare back pockets. There was going to have to be a whole lot of trust that our sellers wouldn’t gazump us… and that MGM’s buyers would see their purchase through. We signed an agreement to buy, but as the estate agent said, it could just be ripped up with no consequences. Great. Good to know…
Add in the ‘not a bonus’ of MGM having to return to Scotland to sign his final sale papers and a whole bigger picture began to emerge that was an organisational wet dream for My Gorgeous Man’s project management mind… and a bit of a nightmare for my ‘just go with the flow’ approach.
So here’s the very condensed version of May and June.
Our trusty Honda estate’s MOT’s due date was rapidly approaching… and there were some worrying rattling suspension noises that we’d been successfully ignoring. We looked into the costs and bureaucratic complexities of re-nationalising the Honda onto Spanish number plates… but jeeeeezo… it was pricey. I mean really pricey. More dosh than could be justified for such an old car.
So the decision was made that MGM would drive the Honda back to Bonnie Scotland, get her serviced, MOT’d and sold, while selling his flat, and unpacking, repacking and courier-ing out to Spain some of our most treasured belongings that had been secretly stashed in his mother’s attic since we left last year and really wanted to have in our new home.
Of course, MGM taking the Honda back, meant that we had to buy a Spanish car pretty damn quick… as in we had 10 days. What we discovered was that second hand Spanish cars are HUGELY EXPENSIVE… and when you don’t have the lingo or a clue what’s actually going on… it’s a frikking nightmare.
Cue a big heart.
Our friendly English mechanic along the road said he would help us and come and check out anything we wanted to see… phew.
Cue another miracle!
My Gorgeous Man during his online car hunt saw a post in our local community Facebook page… for a 4×4 Kangoo which is the preferred vehicle for the rural roads here. It’s a bit like a Postman Pat van and a whole world away from our old Saab convertible that we’d bought on our return to the UK from Hong Kong 3 years ago… which had been reluctantly traded in for the trusty family Honda with the massive boot to accommodate the arrival of our princely greyhound giant, Sir Maxelot.
But, wouldn’t you believe it, it turned out the Kangoo was being sold by a Scottish woman who had followed her dream to live out here 4 years ago. It’s a beautiful small world we live in!
So off we went with our friendly mechanic to check it out. Only a fifteen minute drive away, we drove up the narrow, steep track, past an abandoned red double decker bus (God knows how it got there) and into the drive of the most perfectly gorgeous hobbit house we’d ever seen. And Mary was there to greet us. But just as we turned round to introduce said mechanic, we saw him peeing up against one of her trees. The silence was actually hilarious. Not phased or put off at all, (because that’s how life rolls here in Orgiva) the inspection went ahead and then we all shook on the sale. Her rescue dogs witnessed the transaction as the deposit was handed over and the ‘deal’ was scribbled out on a scrap of paper. And she had 10 days to find her new car before MGM took the Honda back to the UK.
Cue, crazy car purchasing paperwork! Holy Moly. I went to our friendly legal advice office for expats… Alpujarra Conect… and every time I went in there I thought I’d remember what they said and had understood what was needed… but obviously not. I had to go to the town hall… get a document for ‘Empandronamiento’… get that stamped, get it copied, get copies of the Spanish version of the V5, MOT thingy… and cough up roughly £200 for the pleasure of transferring the name from our new found compatriots to mine… and get a real lawyer to do the actual paperwork in Granada for us because there was no way we were going to try that ourselves. It had taken me 2 attempts to get the town hall right. Google translate was no match for the blank looks at my increasingly embarrassed and panicky attempts to explain myself. I found it all a tad stressful and felt a right numpty if truth be told.
But eventually we welcomed Jimmy the Kangoo into our lives. Yup. Our Kangoo was a Scottish Jimmy before he even came to us… and he is a right character. We loved him from the word go. Noisy, rattley, a bit battered on the outside but with a strong heart , temperamental gear box and just full of character… We had our ‘campo car’ at last and it was another step deeper into permanent life in Spain.
So the day dawned that My Gorgeous Man was to leave me, Sir Maxelot and Jimmy ensconced in our little rental in the Alpujarra mountains. Now, I normally like my alone time and space, but on this occasion I got all weepy and girly at him leaving. And as I waved him off down the drive, my heart was heavy. MGM drove off with a beep of the horn and there was nothing for it but to open a bottle of cheap plonk, dive into Netflix and cuddle Sir Maxelot… as much as you can cuddle a non-demonstrative, mini sized pony.
My Gorgeous Man had a long and lonely 3 day journey ahead of him involving a mid Spain pit stop and a run for the Bilbao ferry with a 28 hour sea ride to Portsmouth without wifi… and another 8 odd hours drive up to Edinburgh through the night. And he would only return to us in Spain when his flat was sold and the Honda was sold.
My absent hero.
It wasn’t good timing though because a couple of days later our beloved old Sir Maxelot’s health took a dive. So much so that I couldn’t even get him into Jimmy to take him to the healer who’d been taking care of him. She came to us instead. Poor Max. The stress of living with feral cats determined to stand their ground and taunt him was taking its toll on his nervous system and general old age arthritic kronky, fragility. And when she told me about a good vet 40 minutes away on the coast in Motril, rather than the local one in Orgiva, I knew what she was saying. He really was on the edge. And all his issues were exacerbated by the fact that he was pining for MGM.
Oh those boys… interspecies adoration… what a pair.
It was not a good time.
MGM and I started sharing WhatsApps on speaker phone so Max could hear his voice… I became primary dog nurse and emotional picker-upper and just kept on praying and praying that he would stay with us until MGM could get back. But as yet there was no fixed date for My Gorgeous Man to return.
So with MGM finally arriving back on Scottish home turf and feeling extremely jaded, out of sorts and with a very sore heart for his furry baby, he started getting his flat in order for the final sale, holding his patience and tongue with estate agents and lawyers who didn’t do what they said they would do and juggling, car MOT’s, services, staying with his family and sneaking up into his mother’s attic to unpack, repack those personal treasures that we’d been missing.
Scrabbling through boxes in the attic was not as easy as he thought it would be. It’s still a sore subject… but eventually 3 new 30kg boxes were filled and waved off with the courier with the promise of them arriving with me in Spain…in 5 days.
Well, our boxes of books, my remaining crystals and MGM’s DIY tools, and our shared home delights made it to Granada in super quick time and then promptly disappeared off the radar and the face of the earth.
The UK couriers blamed Spain and Spain knew nothing and the black hole of all black holes just got deeper and deeper.
In the meantime… THE day had come and MGM signed the paperwork on the sale of his flat and he sighed a mahoosive sigh of relief as the buyers had niggled, questioned, hummed and hawed at every turn and MGM then had to survive another 5 days of agony praying that the central heating wouldn’t give up or something else wouldn’t fall apart that he’d still be liable for. I do believe that MGM had a substantial hangover the morning after signing. Of course, none of this ‘flat sale stress’ was helped by the couriers only being contactable through computer messages and chats without a human in sight to help us find our boxes.
Our boxes were absolutely nowhere to be found. My Gorgeous Man’s blood pressure was pretty high and even my usual “it’ll be alright” attitude, now had an underlying tension with added dollops of doubt.
Now, the Honda still had to get through its MOT but as expected, it failed. Cue more repairs without the help of a friendly mechanic along the road and a considerable sum was added to the credit card to get our trusty estate back on its legal feet. But we still couldn’t actually sell it, because the V5 that had been requested to change from my name into MGM’s name so that he could sell it, still hadn’t appeared. So another few days were spent in suspended limbo waiting for that to land… and, of course, a buyer still had to be found.
C’mon Universe! More miracles puleeeeez!!!
It had been almost 2 weeks that MGM had been away, Sir Maxelot wasn’t doing well, the V5 was still missing and I was SO over having quiet alone time in the casita while our treasured belongings were lost somewhere in the depths of Spain.
The Universe answered! Cue miracle!
MGM’s brother’s neighbour was interested in our Honda! Cue sale!
Now… to wait for the V5.
Well, wouldn’t you know it, but it angelically floated down onto the doormat the very next day! And MGM promptly booked his flight home.
That day offered us 3 steps forward and a giant leap back as we heard that our 3 x 30kg boxes had allegedly been signed for, delivered and yet were still nowhere to be found.
Cue, a desperate visit to Alpujarra Conect… who very soon wished I’d never walked through their door needing a translator and phone call to be made. MGM was sending PDFs, screenshots, photos of boxes and messages from the UK and I was standing in Spain piecing it all together for the translation to be passed on.
Their initial call to the help line, revealed that our tracking number didn’t exist and another number in an office down on the coast was offered up. But still no answers and still no boxes.
The good news though, was that MGM was now coming home!
Because Sir Maxelot was so weak… one of our dear friends went to Malaga to pick MGM up straight off his ‘stag party’ of a Ryanair flight as we had agreed it wouldn’t be a good idea to leave our furry baby alone for the 4 hours round trip. And later that night, as our hero walked in the door Sir Maxelot’s tailed wagged and his spirit’s picked up and he turned a corner.
That’s the healing power of love.
And I didn’t take it personally.
MGM is pretty special after all.
Back home, and after a marathon sleep, MGM got on the case of the lost boxes with full force.
Phone calls to automated UK systems, phone calls to offices that knew nothing… phone calls to people who knew nothing… messages through automated systems that knew nothing… supervisors dragged in that didn’t want to know anything or do anything. Calls to Alpujarra Conect who were just as confused as we were. Drives to Granada and the promises of boxes being in the depot. The promises of local courier drivers saying that he’d seen them and would bring them. The joy of a delivery saying the boxes were in town, only to be confronted with 3 boxes that looked nothing like ours and were for a German recipient. The sheer frustration and desperation and lesson in non attachment to material possessions was un-frikking-believable
Honestly… the stress of not giving up on our lost possessions was taking it’s toll and MGM was permanently at his wits end… and yet still determined to win.
It took a total of 3 week’s to be reunited with our boxes. And it wouldn’t have been a happy ending if My Gorgeous Hero of a Man hadn’t been so bloody stubborn and determined to track them down, pin people down and go way beyond any customer’s limits of sanity and belief, to get them back.
But he did. Long story short… they were eventually dumped in the foyer of Alpujarra Conect, battered and partly open but…. they really were there. Hardly daring to breathe, we opened them up on the lawn and the miracle was…. all contents were there and amazingly in tact. Even my crystals had made it in one piece.
It turned out the tracking number had been changed.
We’ll never know.
And we almost didn’t care.
And in amongst all of that chaos, we paid the deposit on our dream wee home. That in itself also proved to be challenging because IBAHN numbers kept coming back as invalid, addresses didn’t correspond, the names we were given didn’t match and it was another lesson in breathing with patience, love and trust as our pounds became euros and our dream finally became a reality.
We were emotionally wrung out…
And yet there was more.
The ever shifting conditions, inclusions, boundaries and details of the property became confusingly blurry… and we began to wonder if the actual day of the purchase would ever go ahead.
If you’ve never bought a property in Spain then you can’t begin to imagine how bureaucratic chaos becomes the legally binding transaction for one of the most important things you’ll ever do in your life.
And that’s what I’ll share in my next instalment. The day we purchased our wee dream home and the enormous realisation of the what it actually meant not to have any electricity or running water.
PS…. TOP TIP FOR CLEANSING YOUR CRYSTALS
First of all check your crystals can be put in water. I like to sit them under the tap so it’s almost like a waterfall of water over them, cleansing and clearing away dust, and energetic residue.
Then I love to put them outside in the sun (note that not all crystals like direct sunlight!) so they can breathe and charge up energetically. You can also ‘moon bathe’ crystals, which is especially powerful during the phase of the full moon.
All my crystals are cleared energetically and attuned to my energy and some of them have special tasks and roles. I’ll talk more about that another time.
In the meantime… here’s all my beloved crystals lying out on the terrace and breathing in the light, after their traumatic adventure of being ‘lost’ somewhere in Spain!