April whims

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All of a sudden it is end of April! The winter and early spring have been so nice and calm here in Alicante and even if the nights are cool, the days have been filled with sunshine. Until the easter holiday – the most celebrated holiday in the catholic Spain – that came with stormy weather, heavy rains and thunder that lasted over the whole easter. We felt guilty – our Swedish friends who came down for a break from work and studies were disappointed as the sun was well hidden behind dark clouds and rain kept pouring down… while the weather in northern countries was unusually summer-like. The only amusement we could offer was the spectacular thunderstorm around the valley that we followed from the panorama windows. We imagined all these large Spanish families in their drafty houses, wearing woolen socks and cardigans around the big dinner table filled with tapas, paella and lots of Spanish wine. Our house is luckily built according to nordic building norms so we can keep our feet warm by just switching on the floor heating…

The rain also meant many cancelled traditional easter processions through the streets of many towns that require lot of preparations to get all the spectacular dresses ready and rehearsals for carrying the valuable statues through streets filled with spectators. Spanish communities are very good at preserving their traditions. I can imagine the disappointment of children and adults looking forward to the big happening of the year… Lots of checking the weather forecasts I guess. The easter traditions in Spain are taken seriously but younger people and families also use the Semana Santa (easter week) for vacation at the coast. For northern people the easter holiday is more about food and meeting family and friends than about religion. We do not bear in mind that Jesus was suffering on the cross, we eat our easter meals without compassion. However during the rainy weather we used our new gym with a crosstrainer, treadmill and table tennis to punish our sinful bodies…

The rain, said to be the worst in several decades causing flooding, damaged cars and property, gave a nice boost for both the old and new plants in our garden as well as the nature around. The old orange tree is full of blossom and smelling divine! Also the fig tree promises some harvest.

While it has been quiet and peaceful inside the house, outside there are lot of more or less noisy works going on… Spectacular planting projects have been done where enormous palms have been lift up and planted with help of a crane truck. Charlesworth Gardens is the contractor who helps us with the big garden project. As the plot is on a mountain slope, the garden is planned in different sections and levels. The watering of the garden, which is necessary here due to very long dry periods, has been planned already when building the walls and structure in the garden with many water outlets where to connect the automatic irrigation system. It is exciting to follow the process even if it will obviously take some years before the plants will develop and build that lush greenery we are looking forward to.

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The other major project is the pool. The old one, traditional 5 x 8 meters swimmingpool was leaking. We decided to go for a new design and new tiles. We are not much swimmers so we wanted to adapt the pool to our needs and build different levels in the pool, where you can sit with a drink or lay down partly in water and relax in the sunshine. What we have noticed about our pool area is that during the low season most of the poolside is in the shadow of the trees growing just outside our garden, in the national park. In high season the pool is in full sun and the water temperature goes over 30 degrees. All this has been taken in planning. We just hope everything will turn out well at the end…

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Inside the house things have been moving on slowly… It is depending on our “laziness” as it takes great effort to get us out of our comfy house to visit numerous shops in order to find chairs, tables etc. Luckily we have got good help from a local interior company, A-Style and Carmen in first place, who have helped us to sew curtains, custom-make headboards and find some nice furnitures both for indoor as well as outdoor use.

We both are very satisfied with our bedroom in Scandinavian style situated on the highest floor with a generous bathroom and walk in closet, consequently also having anĀ amazing view over the coastline and mountains. It feels special to fall asleep to the sea of lights and wake up when the rising sun colors the mountains on the opposite side of the valley in pink. I’m happy and proud that my visions turned out so well…

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Well, some progress has been made with furnishing but still lot of details as bedside tables, bookshelves, paintings etc missing. However we are going to speed things up in May as we are expecting lot of guests to Alegria party that is going to happen 1st of June! We will invite everybody who have been helping us with this project in one or another way and our neighbors, friends and family of course. More about the party in my next post! Bye for now!

 

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