This will probably be my last post until I return from a visit to Spain, for which I depart on Thursday. As I indicated here in early September (you'll need to scroll to the penultimate paragraph of that post), I am planning to purchase a property there to use as a 'holiday home'. The areas I am looking at are in the province of Murcia and the very southern part of the province of Valencia; most probably I will find what I am looking for to the west of Cartagena or in one of the small inland towns in the area around the city of Murcia.
I have been considering this move for some years, but various things have come together recently to spur me to make the move now. As well as starting to learn Spanish a while ago (making reasonably good progress [*], thanks for asking!), I've also started the rather long-winded procedure to ensure that my dog can travel with me toward the end of next year (2006) and, more importantly, be allowed back into the UK without quarantine when we return in early spring of the following year (2007). My plan, at least for the first few years, is to spend three or four months there during the winter. Since returning to live in the UK in 1994, after more than twenty years elsewhere, mostly in countries with much warmer climates than Britain, I have found January, February and early March each year to be the most difficult so have decided that I will opt out of this 'pleasure' in future years.
Anyway, all this is getting ahead of myself a little! I still have to focus in on the property and acquire it; I have no definite views on whether it will be a 'new build' or an existing property; I have seen a number in both categories that seem suitable. So all that remains is for me to get off and make my choice. I'll be back in early November.
[* - I had never studied Spanish before, but had heard that it was relatively easy to acquire a basic knowledge and this indeed seems to be the case. I already speak French quite fluently and Arabic moderately well and both are proving useful - a number of common Spanish words seems to have roots in Arabic and of course a lot more have roots common to English through the Latin family of languages. The method I am using is not conventional classroom or self-study, but a semi-interactive CD course put out by a fellow called Michel Thomas; his teaching method is very low-key, but the learning process is insidious and seems to be amazingly effective - once I've completed the 8-hour course, I'll do the Language Builder course (which I have already bought), then I'll get the advanced course - through Amazon, though, as I got the first two courses at Borders and paid the full price, rather than the price Amazon offers them at.]