Living in Spain, warts and all

Posts tagged ‘business’

Deborah Who?

Almost like Doctor Who but much less famous and far more dangerous! And, regrettably, incapable of time travel, or I really wouldn’t be sporting these wrinkles…

Fourth Doctor and the TARDIS by LinusL

Sooo – a big HELLO to any of my previous readers who haven’t yet shuffled off this mortal coil

I, in a moment of celebratory fervour, made a New Year’s resolution to renew my acquaintance with the keyboard. OK, I will hold up my hands and confess that I’ve left it a while to action this lofty declaration. Especially since I made it in 2013.

But apparently people occasionally still read “Bitten by Spain”, the book. Who knew? Some even buy it, although this latter group is but a very tiny subset of the first.
So perhaps it can be inferred that maybe people still enjoy sitting in their fave book corner, reading about my various struggles and calamities and thanking their own personal Divine Being that they’re not me!

To that end, I have made a firm promise to my current literary line manager, the inimitable Jack Scott of the fabulous “Perking the Pansies” (book and blog) fame. I promised that I will once again resume the weekly blogging. I have resolved to keep that promise, and have further resolved to hold fast to that resolve. As far as circumstances allow, that is…

First, I guess I owe some sort of explanation for my prolonged lassitude, and so I’ll try to present a brief resumé of some of the larger of my pathetic excuses for having vacated these hallowed halls for in excess of two years, as follows:

1) John finally resigned from the Fire Brigade in December 2012 to join me full-time in Spain in running the kennels business (esPerro Residencia Canina de Lujo)

Given the normal strains of colliding periodically whilst living two fairly separate and very different lives (see The Part-Time Wife….), the 24/7 exposure has left us arm-wrestling ever since:

2) We lost three members of our canine family in uncomfortably rapid succession – first, the gentle and elderly Lady Jade, followed by my partner in crime and fall guy, the giant Marcos, and finally the slightly mad and always hungry Qivi. Each and every one of them tore my heart to shreds, but Marcos – aaahh, Marcos – I still haven’t quite got over losing him, and I’m not sure I ever truly will. I wrote about him almost constantly, and was lost without him…;




3) Of course, a leopard doesn’t change its spots, and so I am still prone to farcical accidents. There have been a few in the last couple of years, including a car crash which was really, really, really not my fault in that I was T-boned on my road by a guy ignoring a clear give way sign. I also managed to break my wrist when I fell from a small step-ladder whilst reaching too far (which was entirely my fault). But I topped all mishaps thus far (ever in my life, that is) with the latest, which I will report to you in a more leisurely fashion at a later date. Suffice it to say that I currently have full use of one arm only, which makes typing a slightly more tedious and error-prone exercise;


4) The kennels business turned out to be a high-performance beast – it roars like a lion and did nought to sixty in two seconds. A business with no let-up, I ran it pretty much single-handed for the first year, leaving me scarcely time to draw breath until John arrived.

At which point we (The Management) found that we had very different views about marketing, pricing and various other aspects of the thing. So we called a management and strategy meeting (a.k.a. the afore-mentioned arm wrestling contest) and I was subsequently voted off the board. So John now runs the business (and is, indeed, making a fine and splendid job of it) while I fill a back-up role in the accounts and information technology departments, which leaves me a lot more free time and therefore little excuse;

and finally,

5) My outstanding son and his utterly wonderful wife became pregnant last June, and so I have been travelling much more.

I am currently, therefore, writing this from the UK, as my first grandson Oliver was born last Thursday. Of course, it wasn’t without its hitches – Rache has married into my family, after all – and he was in fact delivered by emergency Caesarian with his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck, and had to be resuscitated. They are all fine now, though Rache will need a few weeks yet to be considered fully recovered, and the family unit has already meshed nicely. I am more than blessed to be here with them and able to share so much of it.

Oliver, mum and dad 12 03 15


I only hope devoutly that I’m not a bad influence, and that Ollie doesn’t mean to go on as he started…


Lost and ignored

Here’s the thing.

I swore that this weekend I was going to put aside all the irritations that have dogged me throughout the course of the creation of esPerro, our residencia canina de lujo, whose job it is to change our lives this year and bring John to live here permanently so that I no longer have to be a Part-Time Wife.

I planned to write a fluffy little post about new-born lambs, spring blossoms, the industry of bees and the next fiesta.

Then I went to the oficina técnica this morning.

The reason for the trip is that, although I went in on the second of March and submitted the large sheaf of papers required to request the inspection of works so that we can perhaps sidle a little closer to the issuing of the licencia de apertura, I have heard nothing more from them in the intervening two weeks.

I turned up at reception at just shy of nine o’clock of the morning, my reasoning being that at that time surely no-one would yet be at their almuerzo (mid-morning breakfast, usually a half-hour time slot somewhere between ten and half-eleven, and always chosen to coincide with my need to speak to the breakfaster). No-one was in sight, even though the receptionist’s coat and bag were slung over the back of her chair.

So I made myself comfortable in the waiting area … and waited.

Around half an hour later the receptionist emerged from a room half-way down one of the corridors off the reception area. She flopped into her chair, dropping a thick sheaf of papers onto her desk and sighed. Then she drew her mobile phone from a pocket in her cardigan and began to compose a text message, oblivious to my presence.

I cleared my throat loudly and she nearly went through the roof. Registering  that it was me, she grabbed her desk phone and punched a number. “Deborah is here,” she pronounced, as though my visit was anticipated and, furthermore, with dread.

“Please wait just a moment,” she then passed the message to me.

A further thirty minutes later, I was beckoned into an office to face an official gazing at me across his desk over steepled fingers. “Yes?” he asked, in the tone of a man who had spent the last half hour in a meeting at which a tiresome task was allocated by the pulling of straws.

I told him I wanted a progress update – that I am now about to complete my third month of paying my social security contribution without yet being able to earn a penny.

He sighed loudly, as if I was trying his patience. “Deborah, you need to submit your fin de obras (end of works) certificate before we can inspect and consider issuing your licence.”

“Señor,” I replied scathingly, “That was submitted two weeks ago. Here is my copy of the solicitud, captured at the ayuntamiento desk on second March at 09:15 hours.” (You smug bastard).

He sat up then. “Show me!” he exclaimed. “But I haven’t seen this!” He started rifling ineffectively through the stacks of files on his desk. “No,” he proclaimed. “It is certainly not here!”

Then he jumped up and hurried from the room with my proof, muttering about taking a copy.

When he returned, he told me graciously that he would try to arrange a final inspection within a week, hopefully to coincide with the report regarding the sound tests.

I asked why the licence could not be issued now, in line with the new government initiative being piloted in the Murcia region this month that allows the opening of a business to be expedited, with paperwork to follow. I was informed loftily that it wasn’t applicable to Bullas. An autonomous region within an autonomous region, huh? More likely that they haven’t found the piece of paper informing them of this initiative amongst the piles of pending files on their desk, since they appear unable to find their arse with both hands.

By the way, my proof of submission, along with all other communication from the town hall, comes with a big banner headline that says Iltmo. Ayuntamiento de Bullas

Iltmo. is apparently an abbreviation of ilustrísimo  (illustrious). I regret that the word that sprang to my mind, and, I feel, probably always will, was iligítimo.

OK, I’ll try to be fluffy next time …

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