It’s almost a year since we first visited The Red House. I still pinch myself that we are here, that we actually managed to make this move happen. I know that many of you will wonder why the hell we decided to sell 88 after we’d invested so much time, energy, love and money. You probably think we are nuts and you wouldn’t be far wrong. An explanation shouldn’t really be necessary but I’d like to give one as quite a few people were concerned that we had hit the skids and that the move was due to something horrible. Please rest assured that it was nothing like that. The fact is that after only a few months Mrs Mop had the most horrible deep sinking feeling that she’d embarked along the wrong career path. And not only that, she also realised that she disliked living in a small town. Try explaining that to a long suffering husband who had spent the past two and half years dealing with builders, doing accounts, worrying about money and then finally had found a house that he truly loved, a studio that had been purpose built for his beloved printing press …this change of heart from Mrs Mop was going to need handling with not just diplomacy but with the finest of kid gloves.
I wasn’t sure quite how to break the news to Irishman that I felt this way. I knew that he’d be upset, angry even. I knew in my waters that this rapid volte face of mine was going to be a rude shock for him and that I was going to have to think up an extremely cunning plan if I was to pull this off. Fortunately by the end of October, both of us were exhausted and ready for a break. We’d had such a fantastic start to our business that we’d not stopped for eight months. A few days away would do us both a world of good.
In between pan swilling and bed changes, I’d been spending time doing research on Galicia. Neither of us had ever visited this corner of North west Spain but I’d heard reports that it was very beautiful and quite different from the south. The more I read up about it, the more I wanted to visit. However, if my cunning plan was to work, I needed to have some structure, something to get my teeth in to, something truly marvellous to lure Irishman away from Andalucia, not just for a mini break but permanently . I studied the map. Galicia isn’t small. It has over 1,660 kilometres of coastline and is made up of four provinces. Pontevedra in the south which borders with Portugal, land locked Ourense to the right of that, A Coruña in the top left hand corner and Lugo on the top right. I ruled out Ourense on the grounds of it not having any coastline.
Purely on the merits of what I’d seen on Google and YouTube, Galicia started to really resonate with me. So much so in fact that I made some appointments to view houses when we were up there. A rather foolish thing to do since I hadn’t yet broached the subject of my change of heart to Irishman plus, all of our funds were tied up in 88. If I saw a house I loved, I’d not be able to do a thing about it until we’d sold up. This arse over tit approach is something that I seem to do with alarming alacrity.
Our week long break was booked for the start of November and as we started our 1,000 kilometre, nine hour drive up to the north of Spain, it seemed an appropriate moment to tell Irishman about my new plan. He’d be forced to listen and he couldn’t escape because we were driving at high speed up a motorway. The news, as expected, went down like a lead balloon. Irishman like myself can be very obstinate and to be fair, he put up a good counter argument to my case. ‘Well, you don’t have to continue running the business, we can just stay there and it can be our home’ ‘But I don’t want to live in a town anymore’ was my speedy, well rehearsed response. ‘I want to be surrounded by nature, I need greenery and birdsong and peacefulness’ and so the bickering and arguing continued all the way to As Pontes de Garcia Rodriguez, our first port of call.
To be continued…