This blog started its life in Indonesia shortly after Pete and I moved to Jakarta in 2011. Finding myself at a loose end, with long days to fill and no family or friends to play with within a seven thousand mile radius I needed an outlet for my energies. It was Irishman’s suggestion that I should start writing a blog and, as it turned out, it wasn’t such a bad idea. There was plenty to write about and I found it helped to keep me sane because at times living in Jakarta made me want to hurl myself off the balcony. Fortunately a sense of humour and copious amounts of Bintang kept me from topping myself and by the time we left in 2013 I’d almost grown to love the place.
From the sublime to the ridiculous or should it be the other way round? We moved from a traffic island in the centre of Jakarta to a tumble down house deep in the olive groves of rural Southern Spain. After two years of renovations and slowly finding our feet, we embarked upon an even larger project in the centre of the medieval town of Alcalá La Real. Our dream was to have an art school/bed and breakfast.
Atelier 88 started as little more than a pile of stones; a dilapidated building crying out for love and restoration. We poured everything we had in to the renovation, taking a huge financial risk but we were determined and despite setbacks and hiccups, we opened our doors in autumn of 2017. Despite having no qualifications in the hospitality industry, we had remarkable success with the B and B and a lot of fun running Art/Printmaking courses. The trouble was, I spent all day ironing, cooking and cleaning, and Irishman spent far too much time on keeping up with all the paperwork. Both of us started to feel that we needed more time to focus on making our own work. We also had a radical rethink about how we wanted to live. The world is changing, climate is changing and however lovely Andalucia is, there will come a point when water is going to become a big problem. Time to move to somewhere greener and wetter.
We now live at The Red House in Mañón, A Coruña, Galicia in the north west of Spain. Nestled in the rolling hills with a backdrop of mountains and the sound of the rushing Rio Sor, our life here is starting to take shape. As gluttons for punishment we have bought another old property and over the past nine months have been busy working on renovations.
The Red House is a magical place, and I feel blessed that we have this opportunity to start afresh and to live in such a glorious part of the world. The path that we have taken is not always easy but its certainly never dull and when I have time, I love to write about what we’ve been up to and our adventures. I hope that you enjoy this blog and that maybe it will inspire you to take that leap of faith and follow your dreams.
If you are interested in what we are up to and would like to find out more about courses/workshare etc here is the link to Atelier88Galicia http://atelier88galicia.com
Lottie Nevin 2019