In 1986 we did something crazy but wonderful. We built a villa in Spain. We didn’t know the area, we didn’t speak Spanish and our friends thought we were mad. Perhaps we were but many of them have come over to visit. It has been a pleasure and a never ending series of escapades, surprises and delights as we learned how to cope with a new culture, the people and a different way of doing almost everything. We have been very fortunate and managed to avoid all of the horror stories you hear about people being fleeced or running afoul of the builders and laws in Spain. Mind you this has taken a great deal of effort on our part, great patience and learning never to get overly concerned or excited. Over the years we have grown to appreciate the Spanish and their way of life. They are a proud, helpful, friendly and family oriented people. This has led to some interesting adventures. We have found that mothers in a restaurant will hand you a baby to hold while they go to the washroom and that people will always try to please you by giving you directions whether they actually know the way to your destination or not.
We spent several months a year in Spain and our friends always wanted to know what we were doing, where we were going and how we were coping. I thought we were very fortunate not to run into the problems that others had when they bought and built in Spain or the difficulties they experienced dealing with Spanish bureaucracy. However when I think about the things that happened to us I’m amazed at what we encountered, how we prevailed and how well we coped. I tend to see the humour in most thing and as a psychologist I am amused and intrigued by what people do and how they think. Looking back over the years I am astonished at what we did the issues we dealt with and how we coped. We fell into the habit of writing letters home describing our life in Spain and our adventures. What follows is the story of some of these adventures over 32 years.