April 2018….. the collapse of the chimney and other nicer things

May 11

April 2018….. the collapse of the chimney and other nicer things

This year we flew into Granada for the first time, we knew it was a lot closer to the cave but had never tried this run previously, we are definitely coming this way again at every available opportunity. We picked up our pre-booked hire car from AVIS who were very helpful and didn’t try to hassle us in to buying upgrades or extras, the car was better than adequate (bearing in mind we always use the cheapest cars we can get our hands on). We were out of the Airport within 1/2 an hour and on the road. The scenery along this route is amazing, you’ve got the edge of Granada City then the Mountains of the Sierra de Huetor and the snow capped Sierra Nevada followed by the Red and Orange, Outer Space like scenery of Guadix and then finally the Altiplano in the Baza Region – We arrived at the cave within 1.5 hours. On arrival we heard from the locals that this was the coldest spring they could remember and that it had been snowing overnight in Castril, we ended up getting getting handed three days of cold winds, cloud and light rain. This then picked up and turned to intermittent sun and cloud.  A few weeks before our arrival we were informed by Clive that he had found some issues with the chimney, basically some of it had collapsed. It was around the chimney where my initial water leak had appeared back in 2014 (catch up with the original Story Here). To cut a long story short, this area of the cave had been left until last and when attempting to fit the new woodburner the mantelpiece collapsed bringing with it a big pile of mud,clay and stone. I hasten to add that I didn’t like the existing fireplace so I was somewhat happy to have it worked on. I am very happy with the outcome and it is nice to get some more organic curves replacing harsh straight lines.  This visit also saw the last few bits of furniture being delivered from the UK, stuff I’ve had stored firstly in Devon and then in Merseyside since 2013. The Cornish Methodist Chapel Pews for the dining room,...

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This week I have mostly been flicking through this: Once Upon a Time in Almeria by Mark Parascandola

Feb 24

This week I have mostly been flicking through this: Once Upon a Time in Almeria by Mark Parascandola

I stumbled across Mark’s Blog about a year ago while looking into the possibility of visiting “El Condor” (the remains of the purpose built filmset Fort used for the film of the same name). His blog had a post talking about his visit to the site then going on to explain that the land owner had turned up with a gun and loosely threatened to shoot him. Obviously I was rather put off by this idea as I never trained to be a teacher in Trump’s America and would therefore be unable to overpower him. Reading on I discovered that Mark was a photographer with a fondness for the Almeria region and also a huge interest in Spain’s historical Spaghetti Western film history. He has spent many years documenting the villages, forts and farms that are slowly being reclaimed by nature. So much so that to the untrained eye there isn’t a village with a bar, a church and a ferreteria at all where Alex Cox filmed his 1987 movie “Straight to Hell” and previous to that Charles Bronson took the lead as Chino in “Valdez the Halfbreed” in 1973 right beside the  Autovia A-92 just outside Tabernas…… ……. after reading through Mark’s blog I discovered that he had book that was very close to being published featuring lots of photos of his visits and naturally I had to own one. To cut a long and tedious story of how my mind (doesn’t) work it arrived at the beginning of this week and It is fantastic…. Lots of lovely photos of places I’ve visited and some that I haven’t  that aren’t all totally overexposed like mine always are. Fun Fact: The “Flagstone” Set for Sergio Leone’s 1968 Once Upon a Time in The West Movie was also used in the KLF’s 1991 White Room Film (find it here on Youtube). If you have any interest in the Spaghetti Western genre then this is a great book to have, It’s about £25 (find it here on Amazon) ** I’m not selling it by the way ** ** I’m just informing you because I like it very much 🙂 ** BOOK INFO Paper over Board, 10 X 12 In. / 148...

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The Winter Blues are setting in already…but there is stuff on Telly :-)

Aug 28

The Winter Blues are setting in already…but there is stuff on Telly :-)

I always suffer a complete sense of gloom at this time of year in the UK, partially because I know I won’t be going back to Spain until the spring and partially because I know it is going to get darker and wetter here for the foreseeable months. It’s usually about now that I will start practicing learning Spanish again, I find it much harder to concentrate between Spring and Summer because I am always too excited about flying out again. So this week I have been back on DuoLingo and also catching up on the British TV shows about people moving to Spain (A Place in the Sun, A New Life in the Sun etc). These little things just make me feel closer to this part of the world that I adore. Anyway…. Yesterday I was having a little break from moping and spotted a facebook post from Cuevas Helena which is about 15 minutes from my place, talking about a TV show that they were featured in. Channel 5 – Our Dream Hotel. This is a great watch if you are interested in Cave Houses (or of course holidaying in one). Lovely to see such passion not to mention a fantastic finished cave. I am always grateful to see Mt Jabalcon too as it reminds me of another home 🙂 You can watch it on catchup at Channel 5 – Our Dream Hotel...

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August Holiday and a Trip to Granada

Aug 22

August Holiday and a Trip to Granada

Well we popped over for 11 days in early August for our second and final holiday of 2017. I was armed with bits and bobs along to decorate a little and put a bit more of a mark on the place (mainly vinyl albums in frames but also some other junk I had collected from charity shops over the past few months). The weather was brilliant, mid to high 30’s the whole time and the jacuzzi was even at 35c when I first turned it on…. more importantly though, My first bit of Great News was that Clive had fitted the new hot water boiler so we now have Hot Running Water, this might not seem like much but it has never worked properly since we bought the place, partially due to me not having cash and partially due to other things that were more important.  The excitement of having hot water forced me to buy a portable washing machine from Amazon and have it delivered to one of the local bars so this was also waiting for us at a friends house on arrival. This was a great addition to the house and meant I was able to leave a full 10 days worth of CLEAN clothes behind thus meaning I can take more junk next time. Clive had also worked on the arch in the large bedroom and made some nice little cubbyholes with sockets inside (just big enough for a cup of tea and a mobile phone). Our neighbour had told us that “Donk” the Donkey had reappeared and was living in the Old Bullring so we bought a big bags of apples and carrots from the Mercadona in Baza and took her an evening feast (the following day she got sold to another farmer so we ended up with a heap of apples and carrots we had to throw out). We didn’t really have any plans for this holiday other than going down to Granada for a night. Granada is about an Hour and a Half from Cortes de Baza and we had booked a little apartment on the hill below the Alhambra. I’m not really a city/town person but I loved it there and really look forward to...

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A bit of information about our Cave House

Mar 15

A bit of information about our Cave House

I often have people saying “you have a cave ?, where do you go to the toilet?, does it have stalactites/mites?” etc etc. so I thought I’d post a bit of information about it. Our cave has 13 underground rooms, 2 rooms built on the front and another separate block built room in the yard. It also has a covered verandah. Because it used to be 2 houses it still has 2 front doors but the caves are connected inside via a passage that was dug out more recently. The door on the left of the picture by the Barbecue is a cave store room (which probably used to be home for a Donkey as there is an old feeder inside) this measures approximately 4 metres x 2.8 metres. Moving to the right is the extended part which houses the shower, toilet, bidet and washbasin plus a utility area. The covered verandah measures approximately 3.5 metres square and although I’m not that keen on the look of it, it’s great for being able to sit outside on warm evenings even when it is raining. You can just see the first front door in the left hand side of the verandah. To the right again there is a covered pathway about 1.4 metres wide all the way to the right hand end. You can see the second front door just to the left of the tree. The jacuzzi is at the far right by the tartan blanket. In the right of the foreground is the other building which is basically a small room about 3.5 metres by 2.7 metres with light and electric. At present there are 2 x double rooms (the one on the right is almost 6 metres long), a single room and a twin room. 2 lounges, kitchen, dining roon, breakfast room, 2 dressing rooms, shower room and the room I call the Music Hall which is inside the second front door and contains my stereo and a sofa. On the plan the tunnel that connects the dining room with the music hall is where the two original caves were connected. Most caves (that I have seen) seem to be laid out in a similar way where one...

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