Two days in …

We don’t have 1 cat – we have 2!

Some things are going well – we have added an extra solar panel so now up to 8 amps – 1 more panel should do it. The kitchen is no longer a health hazard – honestly there was more penicillin in the fridge than the NHS have in their stores, and let’s not even talk about the rat poison sprinkled inside the cupboards! We managed to make the all important first cuppa there today!

As we have a pozo negra we can’t use any chemicals in the house, so copious amounts of vinegar, bicarb and lemon juice are my new cleaning cupboard, and very effective! The lingering smell of vinegar on both me and the house may take some time to dissipate! For the uninitiated, a pozo negra is a septic tank system where the tank is buried in the ground and (unless it goes wrong) never needs emptying- the bacteria in the tank eat the mucky stuff and the grey water left over soaks away. This is a very popular system in the campo as the lorries can’t get to most of the cortijos to empty the normal type of septic tank. So this is why chemicals can’t be used in the house – they would kill the bacteria and stop the septic tank from working. Very clever.

We have managed to get most of the drip irrigation working now, and have more oranges than we know what to do with (we’re getting the contact details this week of who the previous owner sold his fruit to), but it may be too late for this years harvest, which is dropping to the ground faster than we can cope with – we thought we would have to write off this bunch of oranges but will be ready for the next harvest.

All the previous owners belongings together with the beds and mattresses etc are piled outside the house now. It really is as if one day the owner said ‘let’s not live here anymore’ and they walked out and locked the door! We’ll be asking the town hall tomorrow how we get rid of it all, as there are no tips / recycling centres around here like there are in the UK. We know the council do free rubbish collections, but the waste lorry won’t be able to get to the house. We don’t want to just take it into town and dump it all by the communal bins and upset all the locals in our first week there.

Some things are proving a little more challenging – we turned the shower on to test it and the shower head literally burst into pieces and the water now flows down behind the shower cubicle, so we’ve started dismantling that to try and fix the problem – this means we’ve had to turn off all the water to the house, so I’m cleaning with water out of the irrigation raft down the road! And we have a lot of hornets (or wasps, we can’t decide), nesting in the bricks of the house …

We’re still grinning and still in complete awe of the scenery …

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