Back from the frozen north

It was a very early start. Amanda was dragged shouting and screaming from her slumbers at an unearthly 4am this morning to give me a lift to Leeds railway station for the 5:30am train to Stansted. Once again I am back in Galicia and raring for work to get started on phase II of the barn tomorrow morning.

Neil, my increasingly indispensable good friend, collected me from the airport and re-united me with my car which had sat holidaying at his building site for the last week, during my sojourn to the frozen north of England.

With the afternoon sun shining and casting a beautiful light across the countryside, and the temperatures in the late teens, I couldn’t resist a visit to the house for a ‘quick Liñeiras fix’ and to re-acquaint myself with the neighbours.

Remembering three red apples that I bought a fortnight ago, and which were not particularly palatable, I thought I’d seek out Enrique and see if he remembered last year’s pitiful equine electrocution incident. He was busy foraging for food down the bottom of our finca but a whistle and the waving of an apple soon beckoned him.

But he did remember. He wasn’t going to take one from my electric hand, but was more than happy to accept one thrown to the ground. And another, and then the third.  All munched with aplomb and followed with a big donkey belch.

A quick check around found that the weeds and grass around the house had been strimmed or scythed back, either by Carlos or Facundo’s team ahead of works tomorrow. If the former he’ll probably come looking for some cash tomorrow.

Driving away as dusk fell I found neighbour Miro on the road with a wheelbarrow and our new neighbour now permanently moved into their old holiday home from Madrid after her husband was made redundant from his job in publishing. The family have settled well and love living here, their son is established into the local school with plenty of new friends, and they are delighted that the cost of living being a fraction of that in Spain’s capital city. This is what the crisis is doing here.

I saw three cars on the thirty minute drive to Ribadeo and the Eroski supermarket to stock up with provisions for the next fortnight. And only two on the way back. Quite a difference from my one hour and forty minute journey for the twenty-three miles to work in Salford yesterday morning.

All that remains for today is for me to cook the ½ kilo of fresh langoustines which I got from the supermarket for a measly £4, and get an early night to recover from the long journey and to be fresh for an early start tomorrow as Facundo and his able work crew descend on the barn.

Just time for a quick beer and a bit of free wi-fi to post this blog.

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