The trip to Orgiva was a straight shot. 560 miles from Santander with a couple of stops for egg and chips, no naughty mistakes from Nelly my dog and ten hours later here I am. The weather is very hot, about 28 degrees and the house is a blank canvas; white walls, walnut wood beams, some dodgy electrics and a freezer that had inadvertently left on with the door ajar, so water puddles on the tiles.

But if that is the only issue then I am blessed.

So how can I assess the situation after a week.

Let’s start with the basics. I came out with t-shirts, shorts, chinos and yes, a Regimental blazer (why you might ask) and some polished shoes.

It took about 2 days for me to go from that to the ‘beard’, but more of that later.

Now I am living in shorts but have the following observations about what I think about a six week stay in Spain and what I have discovered, probably about myself and hopefully not too late.

Firstly there are the realities. There is of course an increase in cost of living here too but when you ask for a glass of wine the question is never ‘small, medium or large’, just a large glass is offered at about 2 Euros, it used to be 1 Euro. The rises are from a lower base so that helps.

Hot water is constant from solar heating. This is a great system and from April to October the water is almost at boiling point, so there is no excuse for not being clean.

The service providers are excellent. The internet group Radiokable calls you back immediately to help you set up with an English speaker. Note to self: start to learn Spanish. But they know what the issues are get you back on-line immediately. It was of course my fault, put the plug in the right socket. Who said that once?

Rates and other bills seem very reasonable, the lifestyle is very laid back and perhaps that is why Spain is the 4th most popular country for the English to move to.

Oh, how I miss screw top wine bottles, here the tight plastic plug means a trip to the Chinese bazaar where by the way you can buy anything (from China) at best prices. I want everything!

Get up, make your bed, shave (or not) and start the day and try not to drink at lunch time.

BBC Sounds keeps one in touch as does a subscription to a good paper unless you really feel that the Daily Mail is the one for you with a balanced view.

Wear sunscreen.

Relax and in my case start to realise that I am in the last third of my life (I hope), so will keep readers up to date with progress.

In May, there is still snow on the Sierra Nevada, so no excuse not to hike (not me though).

Watch out for road traffic.

So, it is no longer lunch time so it might just be wine time, well at 2 Euros a bottle why not.

More later!

Words that is, not wine!

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