Mysterious Happenings At Bleak House

The novelty of camping in our new home ended the moment the builders arrived.
Up until that point we’d been coping well; it was basic living, but we were managing. Within days of their starting work, the whole house looked like a building site and nowhere was spared the thick covering of dust, rubble and broken plaster.


Living with a carpet of dust and filth was bad enough but to add insult to injury the weather took a turn for the worse. Late autumn’s balmy days vanished overnight replaced with the first icy blasts of winter. This would not have been a problem if we had had a hermetically sealed home, proper heating. But we were living in a house that had none; only a gaping hole that lacked a door and ancient windows, many which had no glass in them.

The morale of Camp Nevin fell to an all time low. Surrounded by chaos, freezing cold, no hot water, washing facilities or kitchen I burst into tears. What the hell had I been thinking? I then thought of all the people in the world who have nothing, whose daily lives are a struggle with disaster. The Syrian refugees, those unfortunate people in the Philippines whose lives had been devastated by a typhoon, I thought ‘Pull yourself together, get on with it Mrs.’


Over the following weeks I held this sobering thought in my head as things slowly began to take shape in the house. Early one afternoon, I heard Miguel our electrician shouting from upstairs. He’d been chasing new wiring into a wall in one of the bedrooms and he had found something. Thinking the worst, I ran upstairs to see what had happened. Miguel pointed to a large hole in the wall and then made the sign of the cross. ‘Oh Lord’ I thought to myself, ‘he’s trying to tell me that we have a major problem’. Miguel put his hand deep inside the wall and pulled out a black crucifix and three religious statues, each about 22 inches tall. My fears were replaced with curiosity.


Miguel didn’t want anything more to do with the icons. It was clear from his expression that he felt that he’d inadvertently uncovered something that was not meant to have been found. There was only one thing to do, go and seek advice from Paco and Antonia.

Antonia poured me a glass of sherry and bought out some tapas. ‘What’s been happening my friend’ she asked. I told her about Miguel’s discovery and her face lit up. Seconds later she was on the phone calling Antonio and Anna (the previous owners of our house) The glass of sherry had hardly touched my lips when Antonio’s and Anna’s car pulled up beside the bar. It was clear that whatever had been uncovered was the cause of much intrigue and excitement.


Antonia, Antonio, Anna and a few other interested folks came back with me to the house. Lots of excited talking ensued, followed by furrowed brows. What did this mean? Where had they come from? I was hoping that Antonio and Anna would have the answer but alas they were as perplexed as I was. Anna spotted a small pile of photographs and papers that Irishman and I had previously unearthed from various cupboards and drawers on our arrival. She sifted through them and told me that one of the pictures was of a famous healer who had performed miracles in this area. My Spanish was not good enough to understand whether she meant that the healer had actually lived in our house but I did take it as something of a miracle that the week before I’d taken the saucy photos of naked girls, legs akimbo, out of the found stash. Anna would have been mortified.

Everyone wanted to know what we were going to do with the mysterious icons? I went back to the bar to finish my sherry and ponder on what to do.


44 thoughts on “Mysterious Happenings At Bleak House

    1. I married a builder for a reason (!) Our place is constant work all the time. I dragged him in by the scruff of his chest and he thinks your place looks pretty nice 🙂 Of course building minds want far more detail. Just reminded me of a post that I have to do about the finca … but not yet.


      1. Sometimes I wish that I’d married a builder but then I wouldn’t get lovely paintings and drawings made for me of Colin Snout – on the other hand…..
        Looking forward to your post about the finca 😀


      2. Now that would be nice. I settle for people giving me art. Although no-one has offered to paint/draw Snowy or Pippa yet. CS looks very tall on that piccy. Snowy tried to have a go at a monkey today 😀 Idiot dog. I think he takes his Podenco hunting too much to heart.

        I’ve done loads about the finca on and off. It’s just another maintenance job that I never posted and your post today reminded me I hadn’t done it, but I am attempting not to blog right now, which translates to, I spend my time reading and commenting on other blogs. I might as well be blogging.

        I never intended to marry a builder. But you know, a few beers, romance in a youth hostel in sydney and bob’s the builder, well the decorator to be accurate, so he is mildly arty ie he paints :D.


  1. you’ve got me reeled in, what happened next? I know the electrician downed tools and you are in the dark just like me!


      1. I think I might wait until the bathroom has been sorted. I’m not so good with buckets but I guess that you and Pedro are by now!

        Will definately pop over and visit a little later in the year when the weather is nice and the home improvements are a little further advanced!

        Happy Valentines day my little rose of Tralee. xxx


      2. So Irish, you smooth talking charmer, you!! We have a shower now and a toilet and your bed is made up so no excuses. Happy Valentine’s Day to you! XXXXX


  2. Oh the intrigue! What to do? Where to seek advice? Can’t wait for the next instalment or was this an un-instalment.
    I love your attitude about the harsh conditions, realizing the terrible conditions many endure in this world. Well done. I hope by now that things are much more ship-shape in a much less Bleak House


    1. Thank you, Rod. It’s no longer a Bleak House, We are fully functioning (most of the time) and Spring is definitely on it’s way here, The blossom is coming out and the birds are singing. Much to celebrate!

      In answer to your question, it was a sort of instalment/un-instalment….there are always going to be adventures here and if it’s not this one, there’s bound be another – More to follow 😀


  3. LOTTIE!!! You dog! You can’t just end it there! It’s bloody valentines day, you have to finish!!! What were they, what did they mean???? DOG!


  4. Here I am for the second time to comment. First one did not take re: Internet went kaplunk from where I was in the den. It had been working fine and dandy and then when clicked post the blue buttun turned red. Oh well. My life is always complicated.

    Now, I must get back to the subject at hand. Lord have mercy again. Your drama never ceases but only increases. This has added so much interest to your story of the move to Spain.

    So get cracking and on with the story. I’m like everyone else. Some of the commenters were hilaroious and so were you. Great post, Lottie.

    Short email soonish. I’ve run out fo steam. But I’ll “git er done” before long.” 🙂

    ~yvonne xxxx


    1. I promise, hand on my heart that I’ll get cracking with the next instalment soooooon! Sorry to hear about your internet, ours is a bit touch and go too, and as for having to deal with this mouse because of the wonky track pad – grrrrrr! xxxxx


    1. yes, finding the icons hidden deep inside the wall was a huge surprise and got the village talking. I don’t think we will ever know the full story but I’ll certainly let you know how things turned out in the next post 😀


  5. Hi Lotttie 😀 Have a happy Valentine’s evening !

    Your Spanish blog is so funny. I do enjoy your disasters and upheavals. I can so relate !!

    No snow here in Cortes de la Frontera, but days of rain. We do need it !! It must have been awful being so cold. I hate cold feet, but now have wooden floors except the bathroom. With double glazed windows and a log burner ,no more cold feet !!

    Can I have my photos back !! 😉 hehe

    Am looking forward to your next thrilling instalment of Lottie Does Spain 😀 Ralph xox 😀


    1. Oh Ralph, the weather here has been vile!! we should have bought a house on the Costas! No, I joke, it is a lot colder and wetter than we thought though but in time we will be better organised and equipped to deal with it – it was a bit of a rude shock after the heat and climate of Indonesia.
      I’ll post the photos back tomorrow 😉
      Happy Valentine’s Day to you! XXXXX


      1. I bet it was a shock 😯 I think there is more to come tomorrow. You’ll be okay once settled. Roll on summer !!

        Thanks for the photos. I’ll put them in a post on a slideshow 😉 xox


  6. Well, you have almost survived the winter. Spring knocking on Spanish doors soon. Just console yourself that in the UK people are sitting on roof tops. Curious about those photos of legs akimbo. It just never stops, does it/?
    That second last picture is what I imagine of Spain. Plant & Flower boxes and decorative iron lace.
    Can’t wait for your next instalment.


    1. Gerard, thank God I’d taken them out of the pile – they were shockingly rude! 😉

      Yes, we are faring a lot better than the UK – it’s miserable there, I feel so sorry for the poor peeps caught up in all the flooding. I hope that wretched David Cameron pulls out his finger and does something about it.

      The picture that you mention was taken in Ronda – a beautiful place – I’ll post more photos of that area soon.


  7. Hu.. what a delicate discovery.. where does it come from, big questionmark!! provenance research.. big issue here in Germany right now.. The Spanish Inquisition??? we’ll see 😉 Happy valentine, Lottie!!!


  8. I definitely am leading a life of humdrum and yawns. You and Pete seem to go from one adventure to the next. Despite the occasional craziness it sure seems a bit of fun . I join the throng in anticipation of the next chapter of the diary, Lottie.


    1. Steve, I look at your photographs and think ‘wow’ what an amazing and talented man – cataloguing the seasons and beauty of your environment. I’ve had a few yawn days recently, it’s difficult to get motivated when the rain never stops and there’s a dank mist that hangs over everything. I’ll get on with the next chapter soon, it’s going to be a bit blood thirsty i’m afraid!


  9. I have no idea why this din’t appear in my reader. I mean WTF. This is pretty hot stuff. Religious icons, healers with dirty pictures, icy blasts of howling wind and glorious, glorious scenery. Every time the bar is mentioned I have this visual input of All Gas & Gaiters and the Bishop asking “Another glass of sherry, Henry?” Oh golly gosh. What will happen next?


    1. Oh I know! Next I’ll be making cucumber sandwiches and attending Bridge parties 😉 BMB
      I’m a bit gutted that there isn’t a vicar (well there wouldn’t be would there) but a priest. We do have a tiny church in the village but I can’t say that anyone ever visits it, they are more likely to be having sherry sans vicar in the bar.


  10. Oh Lottie, you make me feel so ashamed. I’ve been whining because of all the dust due to what now feels like a tiny bathroom renovation. So, yes, I am a wimp… but I also feel better. Could be worse–could be Lottie!


    1. Noooo!! don’t say that! I’m glad your new bathroom is installed and that you are over the worst. A little bit of builders dust goes a loooog way. What got me down was the filth, everywhere, There was nowhere to keep things clean so I felt permanently dirty. Of course not having anywhere to wash made it 100 times worse. I felt very grubby and low for about a 6 weeks and then slowly things improved and rooms became finished and I could start to sweep and wash floors and tidy up. When the shower room was finished and we had hot water, it was the best feeling. Still lots to do but at least now if it’s dirty and dusty, I have only myself to blame! 😉


    1. Thanks, Sandra, I’m glad you like them and yes, they are new tiles that we bought – the end result is fabulous. I shall post pictures soon of the before and after shots.


  11. I don’t think i could cope with renovating a house (not one in which i lived anyway). I’ve been on the building side, but was living elsewhere during all the mess and disruption. But renovating is even more than building from scratch. Kudos Lottie!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Teagan 😀 I’m not going to lie, it was hard work living amongst the rubble and filth but its been worth it. We’ve still got work to do, an inside bathroom and toilet would be nice! but we’ll get there. I’m clearly a glutton for punishment as I’m already eyeing up other restoration projects in town – watch this space! xxx

      Liked by 1 person

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