La Chanca charm grows

It’s a beautiful Saturday afternoon, I’m awaiting the arrival of my third set of guests in almost as many days, and I’m feeling the love.

La Chanca has its moments (usually just when I’m trying to get to sleep at night) but the days are actually very peaceful here. Sitting on my balcony it is as if I have the whole world before me, from the sea to the mountains, with the castle standing guard in between. In the distance the ancient city walls stretch out until they merge with skyline office blocks.

Occasionally a neighbour will pass by on the street below and if they look up they’ll call a cheery good day.

In the distance I can hear the lilt of the gypsy mums calling to the kids or chatting to a friend and the birds are singing in the trees opposite.

It’s taken a few months but I’m certainly feeling a lot more settled here, able to enjoy the diversity and appreciate the unique beauty around me, and also the city life within easy reach.

There are of course still downsides, as there are in every neighbourhood.

The rubbish really annoys me, so I’ve applied to the council for new bins.

This is how it is at the top of the street – completely unacceptable.

At the same time I asked for a street sign, so my visitors and any delivery guys that I might actually persuade to come up here can see where they’re going.

I don’t hold out much hope of a swift response to either, but we’ll see.

End of an era – sad to see Nancy go

Today actually marks the end of an era – the first phase of my move away from Cariatiz is over with the departure of my trusty housesitter, Nancy.

Her arrival back in January enabled me to leave the pets and home and embark on my La Chanca adventure.

So before she flew off to help her family back in the UK (whose need is greater than mine) it seemed only right that she should come here (for the first time in all these weeks!) and see La Chanca for herself.

Being the very practical, helpful person she is she immediately got down to work helping me in the house, but I managed to prise her away for some fun!

Here she is on the museum roof terrace in Plaza Vieja..

And later we discovered a great little street of bars, sampling chicken with dates and an excellent red wine at A Dos Ascuas.

Nancy is thankfully replaced by a lovely couple, Nick and Sue, who are adding their two hounds to the animal mix and are hopefully going to enjoy some peaceful country life in between selling their own house and looking for their next.

When will I learn to balance??

Meanwhile La Cycling Life continues apace, affording me much enjoyment as well as a few challenges.

I stopped to buy a stamp on the way home from work the other day. I haven’t bought a stamp for years but I fancied sending a postcard to an elderly friend of mine in the UK.

Well firstly who knew that you don’t have to lick stamps anymore? I was there for ages balancing on my bike trying to get the wretched thing to stick on the card, until finally I realised I had to peel it off.

Then as I was cycling along somewhat precariously holding the post card ready to post in one hand, I overbalanced when I reached the kerb and landed sideways on the pavement (card still held aloft!).

So, the usual round of gasps and “Estás bien?” from onlookers, but I managed to get up unscathed with only my pride hurt and assure them I was fine.

It’s all a question of balance and I blame the combination of rucksack and cycle helmet. My brain can’t factor in the extra appendages!

Patience is a virtue

One thing that is not continuing apace is the work next door. It’s still a building site…

Our poor builder lost half his workforce to paternity leave and other matters so our project is on go slow.

However the lack of work does contribute to the nice peaceful atmosphere here so every cloud etc!

A place of encanto

It seems that La Chanca does have its own special magic. All my visitors have succumbed to its charms despite initial misgivings, and I’m looking forward to welcoming more over the next few weeks.

Just hope my waistline can take all the tapas or the next blog will be another midlife-midriff-moan!

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