Dream Home click on the link if you'd like to view a video of the house I put an offer on today. I had planned to do this sensibly ... you know, wait for an offer on my house here in England, then put an offer in on this property (I even had a second favourite just in case this Farmhouse - or The Gingerbread House as Jayde refers to it - was snapped up by someone else ... and then I realised that I could take a calculated risk ... a huge leap for me). Not my usual OCD type style, but I HAD to follow my heart on this one. The house captured my heart. I could see us there, picture it ... crystal clear. I know ... I know ... I shouldn't have ... but I've always believed that rules are made for breaking. I even sat down there. It was one of two homes where I sat down. That speaks volumes. And I simply couldn't risk losing it. I knew ... someone was flying over from Sweden this Wednesday, specifically to view it, alone. And I knew ... I knew that I fell in love with it online ... and that I only had to view it to ensure that it lived up to its charm and size in the flesh, as it were. So I knew, I knew ... they would put in an offer, probably there and then. I knew, there would never be a chance to buy a home like it at the price. A price that allows me to install a lovely new modern kitchen. A Roman style mosaic swimming pool. And enough left to finish off the top floor (my domain) - master bedroom, luxury en-suite, walk in dressing room and a sunroof too. With the guarantee that nothing can be built to spoil the view. Its boundaries even include a sharp climb down to a little stream - nice to have, but I reckon there are snakes down there, so it's redundant and irrelevant real estate as far as I'm concerned. Private yet not isolated. Spanish neighbours. The real thing. Without the backbreaking land that normally comes with a farmhouse.
Then I sat here for the better part of 4 days talking to Cliff (caveat - I'm not insane - ask any widowed person - this is normal) and mulling it over ... doing the numbers (but getting confused and more confused ... so in the end, I decided to have a little faith and go for it.) The worst case scenario is this: I have the funds available to pay the 1st deposit, and the second deposit, and the costs (legal fees, Spanish tax etc). However, if completion comes quickly ... I will have to take out a mortgage/re-mortgage/bridging loan for the remainder - as my property in the UK may not be sold in time, but I will be legally beholden to cough up the remainder - a sizeable amount in anybody's wallet. And if I can't? Well let's not go there. Suffice to say, I forfeit all the mullah that I will have already handed over. I'm confident that my UK home will sell within a respectable time frame due to my street having the largest plots locally, twinned with the scope to improve/renovate the actual dwellings (which are the only 1930's semi-detached properties in this commuter village, all clustered on one road ... as opposed to the square soulless lego-land offerings elsewhere in this postcode, cursed with their postage stamp-sized gardens). I am confident that I can afford the temporary mortgage payments for a year even, if need be, although this is highly unlikely, thankfully. And I have free financial advice, courtesy of my old boarding school network. In fact, an old friend has already emailed me his advice, in the small hours of the night! So it IS a calculated risk. And godknows in the past I've taken risks, the memories of which literally make me shudder today. So, I did it. OMG I've actually done it. No fear, only adrenaline .... haven't slept a wink all night.
The photos above are of where we stayed whilst property hunting with the marvellous Calida Property Consultants. I feel secure and happy to be guided by them. Rapport and confidence with a healthy dollop of trust is everything in this game and they are professional, friendly and know their market inside out. No hard sell, but solid advice. Helpful to the point that our Consultant, Andrea even gave us the lowdown on the local schools, pointing out the local school buses - luxury coaches no less ... and stopped in the middle of a zebra crossing, in true Spanish style, so we could run across the dusty street which was just awakening from its siesta, to buy Marlboro Lites and my old trusty local brand, Fortuna - my preferred smokes from a misspent youth.
It was so good to have time out with Jayde, not to mention how much healthier I felt there. I dreamed of my soul mate every single night ... such vivid and positive dreams. I talked about Cliff a LOT. And I think she didn't mind. If she did, she has the patience of a saint. Really.
And we could not ignore the clear and beautiful affirmation that he was looking over "his two girls" and happy with our plans to move between the beautiful pink, mauve, silver and black gold- and silver-speckled mountains, rising out of a desert resplendent with prickly pears and palm trees swaying hypnotically ... and the vast white sandy beaches broken up by those quintessentially Spanish white-washed villages with their sugar-cubed Moorish architecture, somehow clinging precariously to a hillside or granite mountain for half a millennia, retaining tradition, yet able to produce authentic and cheap tapas, accompanied by freezing cold diet colas and a weekly market where one can still buy swishy white linen trousers and a top for a mere 5 Euros. (And I did.) I lapped up being surrounded by those Spanish elderly ladies, as well as some particularly kind ex-pat versions.
I felt like I'd come home. A miracle considering I haven't felt at home since the 6th January 2009. Since you left, even the air, when I inhale it feels different. Odd. Not right.
Oh ... and the affirmation that we were given by my beautiful husband? Well, we sat down in the bar/restaurant of the lovely Vera Beach Club ... Fernando served us our "usual" drinks from memory ... we both exhaled ... you know that contented sigh after a day of heavy thinking, also known as information overload ... and at that very moment, Peter Frampton sang, "I love your way" ... we looked at each other and both vowed not to cry (and managed it) and just sat there, awestruck, with no doubt in out minds or hearts that he was telling us to go for it. I haven't smiled so widely since that darkest of days either. It's alien ... smiling and feeling at home after all this time. But, I quite like it.
Oh Baby, I love your way. Oh Baba, I miss you as much as I did the second you took your last breath. I miss singing to you. But my heart is filling with love ... and it's replacing the darkness. Another miracle. Thank you for Jayde. She is turning into one of my best friends and ... she may not BE my blood (should one ask for a DNA test) ... but she IS my blood. Does that make sense? Thank you for teaching me more than I think you even realised - equipping me to make this lifestyle change. A necessity compounded by the challenges presented by diabetes. Thank you for being the perfect, beautiful and strong, yet gentlest man I ever knew ... and working physically harder than anyone ever did for me, ensuring that I would be alright. You knew, didn't you? Thank you for caring and thinking about me beyond your physical presence here. See ... I DID listen to you, even when you accused me of the opposite. I remember every single word. And I shall take this adventure - one step at a time, one breath at a time. Somehow I know it'll be right. Somehow you are still working your magic to "make it so" - a la Jean Luc Picard (whom I used to so cheekily emulate, albeit tongue-in-cheek ... most of the time at least. It wasn't that I took you for granted - I simply believed in you 100%. And I still do. You made it look so easy, like magic. But it wasn't, was it? My Magic Man.)