Chaos at mi Casa once again as Goldilocks is on her way and I want to have three, yes three, rooms ready for her. Papa Bear’s room is more normally referred to as the summer bedroom and is never offered to paying guests as it is part of my apartment, and next to the only full bathroom in the house. Other advantage – downstairs.
Mama Bear’s room is Oliver, the front bedroom onto the narrow street, the warmest room because sun streams through the windows nearly all day, it has the bigger shower room, but it is on the street. It’s getting a second coat of paint in Goldilocks’ honour but Spanish street life can be noisy. Passing acquaintances have cheery running conversations up to 100 metres apart and quarrels can’t be guaranteed but can be operatic.
So, just in case, Baby Bear’s room, overlooking the peaceful atrium, is also ready. Well, will be. The traditional shutters to the main window are taking on glass as we speak and YES in Spain traditional houses do not have glazed windows. As one who dislikes housework, I am almost sorry to see the tradition finally end, now every room but the tiny sunroom will have windows that need cleaning. It will certainly make the place warmer, along with the new radiators on standby in every room, and winter-proofing was always part of the plan, Goldilocks simply set the deadline.
Take yer pick, and oh if anyone is wondering who Goldilocks is and why she’s so important, she’s my sole offspring. The one who came to look at the house in April last year, months and months before I bought it, and said firmly, ‘you’d be crazy to buy the house, you’ll never get it sorted.’ Never is a very long time but it’s true that unless I am blessed with extraordinary strength, health, wealth, and longevity, it won’t be finished-finished in my lifetime. Just finding a way of reaching the very beautiful solarium over Mama Bear’s room is a puzzle I may carry to my grave.
She does have a point – this was, for example, the terrace when she saw it. (And a pic as it is now.)
Still – there’ve been 14 sets of guests so far, and a dozen enthusiastic reviews, with but one poor review, for location – the town, that particular guest felt, was too far from Malaga (well . . .) and it is beautifully cheap and two guests have extended their stays while here so I’m not the only one in love with its oddities . . .
Actually I dodged a bullet re location with another potential guest, who luckily wrote asking if I was walking distance from the centre of Granada. I have no idea how good a walker she might be, but wrote back saying it was 55 kilometres. She cancelled her booking. Velez is in Granada province, that’s probably what caused the confusion, athough there are maps on the listing with both Airbnb and HomeAway! Still. Could have been awkward.
The most recent guests – English C from London, my first real English guest, rented a bike and took to the terrifying hills around Velez and along the coast with enthusiasm. He obligingly wrote all the bike-rental details into my guest book but did add a note that it should probably be an option for experienced cyclists only. He was organized enough to book in advance for the Alhambra Palace and came home from that outing (by car, not bike) bubbling with enthusiasm and wishing he could go back for another look. Even at this time of year, though, it is booked solid as only small groups are allowed in at a time and every slot is booked in advance.
He had booked a long weekend in Baby Bear’s room (Cameron) and overlapped with Swedish B in Oliver, a retired guy who is taking a gap year to decide whether he will spend his retirement here in Spain. He’s been staying the length and breadth of it, armed with his cafetiere and what was originally 6 kgs of Swedish coffee, now worryingly down to half a kilo. I supply coffee, both instant and filter, along with other basics, but it seems only Swedish will do.
He used the Casa Excentrico as his Lecrin valley / Granada / Costa Tropical base for two weeks and walked his ladyfriend on videophone all round the house so she could share and appreciate the eccentricities. She too speaks good English and we were introduced for a short chat via the wonders of Skype. Nice guy, with an impressive waist-length ponytail – I did suggest he have a look at Orgiva, our neighbouring and very Bohemian town, which I thought would suit him to a T, but he has pretty much decided on Marbella, and found Velez a bit short on millionaire Eurotrash. What can I say, that to me is one of the perks.
I’m keeping an anxious eye on the long-term forecast (currently sunny, around 20 degrees by day, holding steady, don’t let me down Spain) and oh-so-looking-forward to a long weekend holiday out and about with Goldilocks – keep fingers crossed, y’all.