WLM Member Monday – Diane Eliot

Alan Parks:  Good morning!

Todays Monday Member is a very special lady, Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera is an English expat living in Spain as a goatherd! So for that reason I am sure she will be up early! Good morning Diane, and first things first, How and Why?

 Diane Eliott MM

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: Morning Alan, just finished milking the first batch and now I’m off to the town to sit in a bar and use their wifi. working with goats was not my idea it was my neighbours! a long story of why which when I’m on the lap top I will explain at length. its funny how life just shoves you in different directions. Its been an interesting 8 years. ok let’s see if the old Panda will start and I’ll make the 15 min dash to the pueblo.

Alan Parks: Good luck!

Alison Charlotte Moore: Have a fab day answering questions Diane and I empathise on the hay fever, I too have it this year for the first time at 51!

Rowena Cardwell: Hi Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera, welcome to the hot seat. I have to ask, what happened for Monty to save your life twice? I am sympathise with the hayfever as my younger daughter suffers badly each season. With respect, You can keep Graham, I’m not a fan of snakes, however I’m interested to know whether he is a pet or whether he has adopted you? Are you a wearer of hearing aids and have you been HOH since birth?

Judi Bedford-Keogh: Hay fever. I developed it at 56 but it was when Imoved to Spain. Did you change location Diane? Oh please tell how the dog saved your life. Off for a walk to see if my owls and rabbits are around – talk later

Frankie Knight: I also developed hay fever when I moved here to Spain. It’s the almond blossom. One of the Old Fellas said I should eat teaspoon of honey every day. Tried it – it works!!! About to have my brekky now, will be back later.

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: I’m here and my lap top is waking up, one second and with luck I’m with you. got stopped by the Police so I lied and said sorry but I have to talk to my grandchildren on the internet before they go to the doctors. they waved me on!!

Louise Fenton: Fingers crossed I don’t develop hay fever! I would also like to know how your dogs helped you. Can you lip read Spanish? I can imagine that would be hard as they talk so fast! Have a great day, I was sat there last week!

Rowena Cardwell: LOL.

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: right here we go. The hay fever bit was a shock. I started to sneeze and cough and at my age that can be a problem! Then my eyes closed up. Luckily my friend is a nurse and she quickly gave my some strong anti histamines and that did the trick. It has been a very dry spring so perhaps thats what triggered it off.

Louise Fenton: A nasty start to your hay fever days then! I would try the honey as Frankie suggested!

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: I have a very bad sense of direction and one day I took the wrong path and found myself on a narrow and very slippery path. One hand was in a plaster cast (i severed the tendon in my thumb) i started to slip towards a deep gorge. behind me two large goats had followed me on this path. I couldn’t get a grip, It was scary, I just kepts sliding, even on my knees to the drop Monty backed up towards me and I clung on to his tail, then rump and he dragged me to safety

–I did the same thing again but in a different gorge. I clung onto his collar and he hauled me for nearly 30 mins. to safety

–I swallowed jar of honey but it just soothed my throat a bit. Something specific i think that has triggered it

–Morning Louise, yes i can now lip read in spanish. Well spanish, its Andaluz and I have to concentrate. Trouble is I cannot pronounce very well when I speak

–Just enjoying a milky coffee and hoping my husband is coping milking on his own!!!

Frankie Knight: Diane that sounds like a dog you should ‘hang on to’! Re the honey, eating a whole pot will not do it. You MUST have a teaspoon of it every day through the year and it must be from local hives. I buy mine from Old Antonio down the road. The one year he lost his hives and I bought some from a market I had the Hayfever return!

–Whereabouts in Spain are you?

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: Alan asked me earlier ,’how and why’. here goes. We planned to move over to Spain with another couple. Both sets of parents needed extra care so we felt we could support each other. We bought a large finca, that was in fact 2 houses and had outbuildings. These to be turned into holiday lets. I was to do horse and donkey trekking. After 6 weeks the wife couldn’t cope with campo life and left. Sadly her husband followed and I had to buy them out which left us broke. Our neighbour and friend Antonio decided I should go into the dairy goat business like him. I said no, but was warn down by hi and my husband and here we are

–Hi Frankie, I am in Olvera. Its about 45 mins up and to the right of Ronda. I will ask the chap two fincas away as I know he has a bee hive

–sorry about bad spelling (im rubbish) and my hands are a bit dodgy now on the old key board

–Monty is a very special boy. He is about 8 years old now. He is kind and very gentle and is our special needs goat Katy’s main carer. All the animals love him.

Elisabeth Kruch: Thank you for sharing your experiences with us, I have the greatest admiration for people like you, you are so brave ! Bonjour from France and have a great Monday

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: Morning Elizabeth, its rather scary as i am not very good on the computer.

Frankie Knight: I am sure we will be happy with the spelling mistakes as we learn more about your life here! How’s your Spanish coming on? Was it a shock to find the locals speak their own dialect? It was to me after studying hard for a year after moving here. I had to start all over again!

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: Sorry missed the question about Graham. He moved in a few years ago. He lives in the hay store and i named him Graham as I thought its a non scary name. He has a habit of dropping on you from a great height when disturbed. He is now over a metre and a half long!!! He eats the mice in the hay so he can stay.

Frankie Knight: OMG! I’m not happy with hissing sids here. Had one in my bathroom one night! Scary….

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: My spanish is terrible. I can hold my own in an argument though perhaps its because i dont have time to think. I seem to be the only English person that can understand Antonio. His accent is so thick, but working with him for years I have got used to it

Frankie Knight: How long can you sit there in the bar (I did type bra!!!)?

–Will you be drinking alcohol while sat there all day???

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: I have to go and take the goats out later. Husband said he would feed them hay around 3pm and I will walk them around 4.30. Its very hot in the valley today, so hopefully I can stay until 3pm then do the mad dash for home

–Frankie if only, but I have to drive back so it bloody sparkly water for me

Frankie Knight: That’s not fair! Yes, gonna be a hot day here as well. Pepe the Goat man is wearing his shorts, straw hat and flip flops!!!

–Do you have any serious misgivings about moving here?

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: I too have my shorts and straw hat but keep my big boots on!

Frankie Knight: He’s currently ‘parading’ his big belly around and not walking his animals. He wears big blue coveralls when he does and thick boots.

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: Only about my horses. I thought they would not have enough to eat and the heat would be too much for them (big fat cobs) wrong wrong wrong. the heat was no problem and there is so much food in the valley that they go so overweight

Frankie Knight: How do the locals view your shorts? They’re frowned on here outside the home….

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: My big belly is covered up at all times!!

Frankie Knight: So not brown like his then???

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: I honestly don’t really see anyone most days. And they seem to be used to the tall mad English woman

–My belly hasn’t seen the light of day for many years and is virgin white

Betty Sue Brewster: How did you get over your fear of heights?

Elaine Beckham: Have you made friends there Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera? and has that been easy? The George sounds like the beginning of a good book to me Enjoy your day online, it won’t be too scary ( I was on a couple of Mondays ago and survived !). With a bit of luck I’ll be off to sleep – not doing so well with that at the moment…. btw, I’m typing from California – Have Fun!

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: morning Betty, Time and no choice I walk so close to drops and cliffs that after the first 2 years of panic I just got used to it. The fear disappeared

Betty Sue Brewster: I get vertigo, but maybe I should work at it

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: Hello Elaine, Yes have made friends but not much time to see anyone outside working hours. The Spanish old boys now will chat to me Before they ignored me and thought me a weird english woman but now they have seen me in all weathers walking the goats and will chat.

Frankie Knight: How do you cope with the goat pong? I’ve got used to it, living 100 mtrs from a goat farm, but visitors wrinkle their noses.

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: Vertigo is different, that could be very dangerous on a narrow ledge, I was just scared and froze. In fact I did freeze on a ledge around 6 years ago and Antonio had to talk me across, step by step. But now I am ok. I just think ‘ will this fall kill me, put me hospital or just break a limb.

–I have got used to any pong but when I come into the bar for wifi, no matter how much i have scrubbed and sprayed my friends sniff the air and say ‘ahhhhhhhh essence of goat’

–Antonio and his young ‘macho, Manuel

Photo#1-Antonio&Goat

 

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: oooo just worked out how to put a photo on

–Monty my hero

Photo#2-Monty]

 

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: This is Rita Mae my main dog. Paz my best and dearest is now in retirement due to arthritis. Philip my young puppy will take over from Paz. Rita is teaching him at the moment

Photo#3-RitaMae

 

Frankie Knight: It’s Eureka moment when you can do this!!! LOve the photos, Peace is a nice name for a dog. Can I see Monty’s grey whiskers? Surely he’s not old enough?

–Have you had many ticks this year? Touch wood I haven’t seen any! Miracle.

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: That photo of Monty was taken last year, trying to find one I took with him and Katy the goat

–Ohhhh yes. Its tick city here. I have to do a tick check n the goats morning and night. I had two girls not looking right and when I got them home they had ” ticks on their teats. I have front lined all the dogs and rub a solution we use on the goats on their ears in the morning. I had a tick crawling up my arm last week when i was in mercadona!!!

— a hot afternoon

Photo#4-Goats

 

Valerie Robson: I cooked steak and kidney yesterday but had it with yummy dumplings… my mum used to make lovely s and k pudding! Do you eat much Spanish meals? xxx

Rosemary Kench: Hi Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera. We have something in common – deafness! I was given a digital hearing aid last year for the ear that still has some hearing and the difference is absolutely amazing!

Alan Parks: Diane, can you make us one of those screaming goat videos?

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: hello Valerie, My mum made the most fantastic steak and kidney puddings. must be years since I have eaten one. I love Spanish food but in truth Peter and I eat roast dinners, or chicken pies for our evening meals as we just need to refuel quick.

–Rosemary that is wonderful I find I cant tell which direction a sound is coming from which is tricky if I have a goat lost on a hill. I rely on the other goats or my dog to point me in the right direction

Alan, I have one goat Enya who is always getting left behind and screams the valley down. So when I get my new phone with a super dooper video thing on it I will make a video and post it. The other one is Melanie who just chats away if you call her

–Katy and Monty

Photo#5-Katy&Monty

 

Shirley Ledlie: Morning Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera, I hope you enjoy your day! Very interesting how many goats do you have and are you still in contact with the couple that first came out with you? She didn’t give it very long so I guess she wasn’t too ‘into’ it at the beginning?

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: Morning Shirley. We have around 75 goats including the ‘special needs’ and the youngsters. It did come as a shock as we had been planning the move for nearly 4 years. But things happen for a reason. We still are in touch with the husband who felt terrible for us. I had sold my land and cottage, moved my horses and cats so we had no option but to stay and stick it out. It is strange how life takes you in a direction that you would have never imagine

— forgot to say we also have 2 sheep. Carmen who is very intelligent and Loretta who reminds us of Alice from the Vicar of Dibley

–Carmen brain the size of Alaska

Photo#6-Carmen

 

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: My wonderful, brave Chnni

Photo#7-Chnni

 

Victoria Twead: Hi Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera, fab thread, you are one plucky lady! Can you talk us through a typical day please?

Tanya Stevens: Morning Diane Sorry I am late, loving the thread and the pictures. I have to say, out of all the expatties on here, your life is sooooooo strenuous Did you have a farm in the UK before you went to Spain?

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: Morning Victoria, In the summer we set the alarm for 5.15, tea in bed and my husband reads for half an hour, I doze and play ‘high five’ with Philip the pup. Then its all hands to the milking, which takes us around 3 hours. Medicine rounds and dog walking. We try to get into town by 11am and home by 1pm lunch, an hour kip then I take the girls out until about 9pm. Home, dinner on, wine poured and insect bites scratched.

–Morning Tanya, no I only had my horses. I lived in Swanage Dorset. I have never worked so hard in all my life. I have been known to doze off in the bar at midday (wifi use) head on the table

Tanya Stevens: BUT you would not change it for a life in a fancy villa and a pool!

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: sometimes, when the flies are eating me and the sweat is dripping off my chin, i do fantasize about a clean, dust free villa and a cool swimming pool. Then again I have a river to paddle in, and there is always something interesting happening in the campo so no I love my life

Dodie Shea: Good morning Diane. Such a busy lady! I’m loving your thread. However, the thought of Graham dropping by occasionally would be more than I could handle!

Tanya Stevens: Ok so next question, Do you have to milk the goats everyday, and do you sell the milk and products from the goats?

Lorna Penfold: Diane, I’m exhausted just reading about your day. Can you share whatever it is you are on please

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: sorry had a loo break. Will milk every day and sell the milk to the local cheese co op. I dont have time to make cheese at the moment.

–Oh Lorna, I do get tired but after a quick kip in the afternoon it does recharge my batteries. Its birthing time that is so very tiring

Tanya Stevens: Me to Lorna, I have so much admiration for you Diane, to just get on and do, and what a life BUT BUT BUT NO NO NO ………………………………………. He has a habit of dropping on you from a great height when disturbed. He is now over a metre and a half long!!! He eats the mice in the hay so he can stay………………………………THAT IS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO WRONG lol

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: Dodie, that is why we called him Graham, I don’t feel so scared when I shout bugger off Graham

Tanya Stevens: what type of snake is Graham

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: Katy the cleft palate goat, just stares at me when I check the door ways for Graham He dosnt worry her at all. According to her he just recites poetry all day long. You can tell we have lived in the campo too long

Victoria Twead: Diane, you are amazing! How many goats do you have and is selling their milk enough to make a living?

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: Im assuming he is a grass snake, not sure, but he does eat in mice and dashes away when i walk in the room

Tanya Stevens: LOL Bloody good job too, we have snakes here, husband has seen 2 I have seen none, which is a very good thing, have the dogs or goats ever been bitten by any snakes etc, do you have to carry a first aid kit for you and the animals, or is that all a bit to Elf and Safety!

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: Victoria In the spring the goats produce a lot of milk. We need 80 litres to make a living. The girls dry up in August as they are pregnant and we are out of money for around 4 months. We are setting up a small bell tent camping thing to help boost our income.

–The animals keep away from all scary things they have a second sense when to leave alone. Scorpions scare me and I have had 4 in the house since i have been here and once nearly sat on one in the campo. Antonio shoved me out of the way just in time

Dodie Shea: Loving your attitude. Do you plan to continue your busy lifestyle indefinitely or do you have other plans for the future?

Victoria Twead: Tanya, there are no venomous snakes in Spain except the viper, and that is so shy you’d never see one. Relax.

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: Dodie, sometimes I worry about the future. In November i will be 60 and i do realise i cannot keep climbing hills and cliff climbing let alone working 13 plus hours a day. My plan is to get the camp site (only 2 or a group of 4 people) renovate ‘house 2’ for letting and downsize my herd. Slowly and year by year ease down the work load

Victoria Twead: Do you keep lots of boy goats too, or just one?

Tanya Stevens: Really I did not know that, I have been dancing around the finca like a morris man for a few months now!

–Diane – So you are obviously a very busy lady, do you get any down time, looking after animals is a 24/7 job, are you able to get away at all. I would come and help, but Graham would have to take a vacation as well

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: I have 4 boys. I only need 2. Stan and Rigsby are my big boys then Eric came along and i wanted to keep his breed line. Roger should have gone to ‘summer school one way ticket’ but Peter loved him and as he recovered from being paralysed the day after he was born and recovered a week later, he had spunk so we kept him!!

–Not much free time, although I had a trip to Ronda last year on the way to the hospital when I severed my tendon in my thumb and again 3 years ago on the way to Ronda with a near bursting appendix. This year we picked my daughter up from Seville bus station which was a nice drive out. Popping to the bar for wifi and meeting up with friends is a nice break away

Tanya Stevens: Ok pack your bags, get a truck and move them all over here for week, I am sure the dogs would love to meet your goats

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: Tanya, your two will be in their element

Tanya Stevens: I would really like a 2/3 goats, but have no idea about them at all except I do like them

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: They take a lot of looking after Great escape artists. If you are set up with good fencing and a shelter or stable, but honesty I would advice a little donkey to keep the weeds and grass down, less problems!!!

Tanya Stevens: LOL Diane I think I agree with you, it is the fencing that concerns me more than anything, no hobbling here! The next choice was a Donkey and the poo would be good for the veg

–Gonna walk the dogs before it gets too hot, see you later

–there is a book in your story Diane

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: Righto Tanya I’m walking around the bar to stretch my legs

Tanya Stevens: /have one for me

Frankie Knight: Tanya, I’ve been told the only venomous snake lives mainly in central Spain and is rarely seen. I’ve seen a great number in my 10 years here but only had one in the house. I’m more afraid of Centipedes and Scorpions. Saw 3 scorpions yesterday, thankfully outside my house. Last year I found an 8in long centipede under my pillow about half an hour after I’d got out of bed

–Diane, how do you combat the heat of the sun in July and August? Bet you must drink gallons of water and cover everything up?

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: Frankie, I just drink and drink in the afternoon. I cover up with a sarong. I put a factor million on my face but after walking behind the goats my face is covered in dust and sand. I carry around 3 and half litres of water in my ruck sack

Louise E Fenton: I take my hat off to you Diane, I’m exhausted reading what you get up to and you have 11 years on me! Although we are retired and have a pool, we are in the Campo and have plenty to keep us busy with the Cortijo, huge garden, orchard and olive grove! Not forgetting the two rescue dogs to look after and walk.

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: not very glamorous!!!

Photo#8-KeepingCool

 

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: Every one in the campo has rescue dogs I do urge people not to buy a pedigree dog when they get here. Of course the dogs find you, they hear an English accent and they camp out till you take them in!

–Thick Loretta!

Photo#9-ThickLoretta

 

Louise E Fenton: Does your husband help you full time or does he do anything else?

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: now husband is full time, in fact we need more help to get other jobs done. We have Helpx youngsters come. They travel around the world or Europe and work for up to 5 hours a day for bed and board. Some are students taking a year out. We have another one arriving tomorrow to help make cane panels for our camping thing. I am hoping he will be able to cope with the heat.

Louise E Fenton: Do you need 80 litres a day of milk? Do you get at least that mostly or more? It is very hot now, I hope your helper copes as well!

Frankie Knight: Ooh, I could do with one of those! I have a spare room and need some strong virile male to come and do a few jobs for me…..

–Which reminds me…. Where is Janet with the morning g coffee and brandy? Bit late today!

Louise E Fenton: Lol Frankie!

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: Louise, to make ends meet we need 80 litres plus. but of course when the goats are pregnant the milk dries up. It can get a bit tight with money, but somehow we always manage

Louise E Fenton: It’s afternoon now Frankie, so lunch would be in order soon!

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: I have a newly qualified vet coming in September My daughter is single need i say more

Louise E Fenton: I’m so glad to hear that Diane. We have a goatherd that graze in our orchard sometimes! Does your daughter live with you?

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: No she lives in England, works in a Bank but she comes out a lot, in fact due out mid August again. She loves it here and would love to live half the year here if not full time.

–Fliss and Alice

Photo#10-Fliss&Alice

 

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: Rigsby and Stan having a scap over Alice

Photo#11-Rigsby&StanScap

 

Frankie Knight: I was truly amazed the first time I saw a goat stretched up to get leaves off one of the olive trees. He was soo tall….

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: One of my tall goats Ivy stretched up an olive tree and got her foot wedged The tree was on a slope I had to take her full weight on my back, the make a leap up and volley ball punch her foot out of the cleft. She was fine but i was back on ibuprofen for a week

Frankie Knight: Good job you can buy full strength Ibuprofen here!

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: Oh yes, always have a stock in my ruck sack just in case.

–Pete and Antonio

Photo#12-Pete&Antonio

 

Jude Mossad: I don’t suppose you come across many women goat herders in Andalucia do you Diane?

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: Good afternoon Jude, no I seem to be the only one around here. Its a mans job, so they tell me. Its taken me years for them to accept I can do the job. Well, I do it the best I can. I once was carrying 4 babies around my shoulders tied together as their mothers had given birth high on a hill and I bumped into a hunter. “good afternoon” I said, ” rather chilly today” He just stared at me with his mouth open

Rowena Cardwell: Wow Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera, I have been reading this thread with interest and I’m exhausted. You are one amazing woman. Well done on doing “a man’s job”. It can’t have been easy. In reading through this, I think you have answered my questions. What a loyal dog you have but I shudder at Graham dropping from above.

–You mentioned that you are partly deaf and lip read. I’m interested to know how you coped with the transition from lip reading in English to lip reading in Spanish?

Jude Mossad: Are you thinking of writing a memoir Diane – just been reading a little of your blog and you do have a talent? http://www.experienceolvera.co.uk/blog/

–I think your camping idea is great and I for one would love the experience of walking with the goats

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: Rowena it took a long time. years of working hours with Antonio I just had to learn quickly. He never once has slowed down for me, which made me learn swear words in spanish. He can also swear in English and say shoe lace go figure

Rowena Cardwell: LOL. That’s amazing. Languages are hard to learn when you have full hearing but I would have thought harder if you are HOH. Are you a hearing aid user?

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: Oh Jude, I am so behind with my blog. I sadly just rush it together late in the evening. I would love to spend more time on it. It started off just for the family and friends in England to read. I have a collection of all the funny stories and one day will put it all together in a book. I have the outline for it its just time to join the dots and get that opening paragraph to work!!

— I do hope the camping takes off. It such a peaceful site next to the river but high up. Surrounded by eucalyptus trees and so much bird life. We have 2 eagle owls in the valley and its breathtaking if you see them fly from one hill to the other

Rowena Cardwell: I’m interested as both my daughters are hearing impaired (HOH). One is severe and has aids in both ears, the other has a mild loss in one ear only.

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: I dont have a hearing aid. I wondered many years ago why I could only hear with my glasses on The specialist explained that I had been lip reading for years and didn’t realise it. I had to have a big op on one ear which left me with only partial hearing in the other. I manage really well and it comes in handy when my husband swears at me as I just cant her him. He also is deaf but i put that down to wax and hairy ears. W spend our day say ‘what’ ‘what’ speak up it drives us mad,

Rowena Cardwell: My older daughter lip reads too. She also learnt sign language for a couple of years (Auslan – here in Australia) and does have some HOH and deaf friends.

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: I am very lucky, I can hear tones and music. Rowena it must be hard for you but my god children are so tough and seem to just get on with it.

— I have always felt that schools should teach sign language as well as bloody french and german. Its a universal language every one can join in a conversation

Rowena Cardwell: Yes, it wasn’t easy initially. My now 19 year old just never heard us when she was smaller. We just thought she had selective hearing as kids often do. Once her hearing was picked up, she was given hearing aids at about age 8 and we haven’t looked back.

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: Same thing with my nephews daughter She is now 13

Rowena Cardwell: I agree Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera, sign language should definitely be offered in schools. We had a choice of French and Italian. German came later. It’s not until you live with someone who has a hearing loss, that you can fully appreciate what their needs are.

–I have to say we have been pretty lucky. My older daughter qualified for the visiting teacher service. They came once a week to her school and pulled her out for one on one time to catch her up on anything she may have missed. She also had a micro link to help as well.

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: One of our special needs Mikki

Photo#13-Mikki

 

 

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: The support system now is wonderful and that god for it

–Mikki and Pete have a very special relationship

Photo#14-Mikki&Pete

 

Rowena Cardwell: Beautiful photos Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: Im putting as many as I can up because once back home I have only my phone to answer questions and this phone has a mind of its own!!

Tanya Stevens: back now, god women you are on a roll with these pics xx

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: Katy as a baby

Photo#15-KatyBaby

 

Tanya Stevens: I have no idea, where you get your energy from. I think the camping idea is really good, you have to offer something different to people.

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: Cant stop me now Tanya as i have worked out how to do it. !!!

–I really hope so Tanya, It is a lovely spot. It will have a hot and cold shower, kitchen, eco loo, solar lights, Its a huge area. Didn’t realise how big until we had the digger in to clear it.

Jude Mossad: Would you be able to take caravans?

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: Martin was Katy’s first carer when she lived in the house and then Monty took over when she kept jumping onto the table

Photo#16-Martin&Katy

 

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera At the moment no Jude. We have two 4mtr bell tents. In the future if the site is free then we could take a camper van or caravan. Im trying to keep it very small and private for people. Having said that, my main worry is Alice dashing in the camp to scrounge food

Frankie Knight: Why do you say some of your goats are Special needs? What is their problem? When the herds pass my house I often see some with old healed injuries limping – is that the sort of thing you refer to?

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: Katy has a cleft palate and wasn’t expected to live, she is two and a half now, but cannot be introduced to the herd, she is too vulnerable. Mikki was born with deformed feet. I have a video on my web to show how bad she was. Now she is a mum to Alma and Lisa, she walks with the goats but has her own stable at night. She can take care of herself but feels more secure in her own apartment once she arrives home. Ruby has knock knees and is finding it very hard going to walk out now. Also she prolapses when she gives birth. We have saved her 3 times now but we may not be lucky the next time so she is retired. Ronni has a terrible lung problem. For 3 years we have battled with it. She cannot walk out as her breathing is too bad. She is happy to spend her time in the retirement paddock with the others. Gerona smashed her knee so badly 3 years ago. Beyond repair. She manages to walk and balance on three legs. One of our toughest goats. And then there is Chinni. She has had illness off and on most of her life. Her teats are damaged and she cannot walk out even though she remains head of the herd! I have a special relationship with this girl and when ‘the book is written it will be mine and her story together

Rowena Cardwell: Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera, you are such a wonderful person. I don’t think many people would look after that amount of goats with disabilities. Congratulations to you for keeping them. I hope you do write about them all one day.

Susan Joyce: Diane, good morning from Uruguay! Welcome! Happy to see you in the hot-seat today. How cool that you overcame your fears. I’ll read through the thread an get back with questions.

Wanda Lee Gallimore: I can”t think of any questions, but reading the others and your answers was very interesting. Thanks for participating.

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: These girls are tough. Just because they have a disability it doesn’t stop them walking and climbing. Just like us really. Years ago I had been told that with my back problem I could not ride a horse again and work was out of the question. ” move to a hot country and sit by a pool” was my specialists advice. mmmmm the following day I woke my daughter at 5.30am and we rode our horses for 5 hours!!!! When I moved here I still needed a walking stick on and off. Now i am free of pain and can walk for miles. Walking cured a back problem that I have suffered with since I was 23 years old. goes to show

–Hello Susan hello Wanda My husband is peering over my shoulder and cant get over i am chatting to someone from Uruguay. This is a holiday for us We are having lunch in the bar

Rowena Cardwell: Diane, that’s the beauty of facebook. We are able to converse with each other worldwide. It’s a brilliant tool. You can tell hubby that I’m from Australia.

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: just did Rowena, some of the messages are getting lost, bear with me while i sort it/ Im working on the phone and lap top

— I could murder a cold beer but I have to drive back to the farm soon. Worried the girls will be low on water

Terry Bryan: Somebody forgot refreshments…too much talk of work…hungry.

Photo#17-Refreshments

 

Louise E Fenton: How brilliant that you have cared for the ‘special needs’ goats. That’s just lovely.

Terry Bryan: Frankie…for you…

Photo#18-4Frankie

 

Terry Bryan: Everyone…

Photo#19-4Everyone

 

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: Katy playing with the babies, thats Melanie with the big ears

Photo#20-KatyPlaying

 

Nancy McBride: Diane! Good morning from Massachusetts! I am loving this thread, and delighted to get to know you better! I was on a few weeks ago and, though drained, learned so much about our wonderful WLM villagers, and myself!

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: view from my office window!!!

Photo#21-OfficeView

 

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: Hello Nancy, wow Massachusetts

Nancy McBride: Tell us why you now love your middle name.

I, too, and stone deaf in my right ear from being struck by lightning through the telephone as a teen…It is especially difficult for me to hear folks when they wear sunglasses!

I love your energy!

–Antonio? Peter? Who is who?

–Just saw a wonderful TV special on Andalusia, last night! What a lovely area, and teeming with UK-expats! What attracted you and hubby there?

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: Nancy i have just read your post twice. struck by lightning through the telephone. dear god. my middle name was laughed at when I was at school. I had to go into hospital here around 3 years ago and the nurses called me Frederica. With the lovely Spanish accent I really liked it after 10 days

Dodie Shea: Loving your pictures Diane. You have to write your book with pics included. You certainly have a great story to tell. What an inspiration!

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: Antonio is the short one, Pete is smiling!!!

Nancy McBride: Which is hubby?

–Obviously I lived, (re: lightning) albeit slightly handicapped after returning from a too-short NDE. I always say it was no biggy, I got to see “the light”, don’t fear death, and can blame any of my indiscretions saying the only major organ it hit was my brain! LOL.

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: When I was 15 i had a holiday with my friends family to Spain. I feel in love with the smell. We explored the campo and the smell of oranges, and herbs just overwhelmed me. I vowed i would live in Spain one day. Well it took a while but here I am

–OOh Nancy that will tickle me all day.

Nancy McBride: I think Frederica is so appropriate, and must sound especially lovely with an accent.

–I was thinking that now that my Mum is gone (at 101), and her first name is my second, that I might shift my name to a combo of Nancy and Alison—Nalison. Too weird?

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: I have a plan for a book. My idea is to tell the story within a story. To explain. I was entrusted to walk Antonio’s goats (180) over to his summer finca. I took my (then) 50 for the walk. Antonio took his dogs in the tractor which left just my goat Chinni and me to lead them across country past lots of cultivated olives 5 river crossing and so on. It would be Chinnis last big trip as her mastitis had come back. I planned the book to be around this walk and on the stops for water and shade would then tell the stories and adventures that had happened to me in the years i have been here. I hope it will work

–no not weird do it

Nancy McBride: That manner of storytelling would work for me. Too many try to tell everything (not necessary), and in a chronological fashion. I love this approach, it gives a rhythm, and invites us to join in the journey. Here, i am reviewing, and its not even written!

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: Thank you Nancy, I have wanted to ask an opinion on this for ages. I didnt want to do a year in the life as has been suggested. You have given me the push to find an hour in the day and get it written!

Nancy McBride: I need help that way, too.

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: Ok I have to get back to the girls and sort them out. It will take about half an hour or so. Worried about their water and get some hay to them before they go for an evening walk, also the horses will be screaming for their lunch!! Speak soon. oh and i will be on my phone who is a bit tetchy so please bear with me

Nancy McBride: Easier to see others’ from a distance… When I hear stories i like to be taken into their world—transported. I love “hearing” them as aural, not contrived, which i think can happen easily as we edit things down and language rules confine. That’s why i just started writing rather than writing a memoir… I try to just tell as it spills… Now, i want others to do the hard work… LOL

Susan Joyce: Diane, you are truly an inspiration! My hubby and I took in crippled ducks when we lived in rural Oregon years ago. We had a lovely pond where they could hang out and float by day. At night we herded them into the duck house. It was a gift taking care of their special needs. They gave us such joy. I agree with Nancy about your approach to writing. Go for it! You have so much to share. xo

Susan Joyce: Frederica Eliott, great name for a writer.

Tanya Stevens: this women is AMAZING loving this fred

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: back home now and filling water buckets and troughs up. sorry it will take some time to answer as the signal comes and go. freddie eliott got a ring

Christine Bailey: Hi Diane, I have been following this all morning, and one post made me stop in my tracks. I have been visiting Andalusia for about 6 years now and the one post about writing the book hit me. I could feel the atmosphere and almost smell the air thinking of you by the river in the shade of an olive tree, maybe an almond. I hope it’s not a long wait for the book .

Tanya Stevens: This is a brilliant thread, well done Diane you are doing so well, I was lucky, I just had to sit and think, you are putting the rest of us to shame

–Husband said, be careful he does not want you to take any wrong turns and end up in a gorge again!

Photo#22-Gorge

 

Tanya Stevens: So, what is your home like, do you have solar/mains etc, what luxury do you miss from your “old” life. for me its a Long Bath with bubbles

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: one second Hugh the phone is having a turn have to do short messages lots of times

Nancy McBride: When I spent time in South Africa, knowing I’d been with an extended family as a guest, and not have time to stop and smell the flowers in my usual way, to draw, etc., with our schedule, I decided to prepare myself in advance by relaxing to absorbing the new colors and smells… already I can smell Andalusia and goats, and hear the river…I like the concept of leading with the walk, which I am already visualizing, and stopping to rest and share stories…

Tanya Stevens: take a deep breath Diane we can wait……………………………..

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: hope ‘the book’ will just confirm you can teach an old dog new tricks

Nancy McBride: Who’s Hugh?

Tanya Stevens: a goat!

Nancy McBride: The old dog would be you?

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera:no electric Tanya just a small solar panel, well water, no glass in the windows and roof needs eeerrrr a new roof

–hugh is my mobile. yes I’m an old dog. but you never know what you can do until you are put under pressure

Tanya Stevens: Any chance of an improved roof and extra solar in the near future?

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: 2 yrs ago I was at my wits end. birthing time, river flooded our field ruining our spring grazing and our birthing stable hadn’t been built cont

–we had to bring goats into the house, climb the stairs and house them up there 8 at a time with their babies

— the river raged, the wind screamed and we were hungry. at 1am we still had another hours work to do. but we got through it and now we have 2 new big stables

Tanya Stevens: Animals always come first

–good for you

Nancy McBride: SO visual!!! Love it!!! Now, that’s living.

Tanya Stevens: Yes it is Nancy, It reminds me, bit romantic but it does remind me of the original pioneers, struggling against nature etc truly inspiring.

Frankie Knight: Feel bit better after the brandy, thanks Tanya! Better late than never. Diane looking at the long list of ‘illnesses’, many of mine are listed in there. Would it be possible to book a place for me to be looked after? I wouldn’t b e able to do the long walks though!

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: if the camping works we can slowly add to the solar and rebuild the roof. that’s the plan so far

Tanya Stevens: You DEF Diane need to write this all, you are very eloquent in your descriptions,

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: I thought I could do a boot camp for people wanting to loose weight!!!

Tanya Stevens: Right, well I am packed and ready, where do I sign up

Frankie Knight: Thankfully, after losing 3.5 stone 4 years ago, I don’t need that!

Nancy McBride: I bet the workout includes chores, goat-walking, and milking! And Diane will be on holiday!

Tanya Stevens: I need to loose 1 stone ok possibly 2

Nancy McBride: Frankie, how’d you do dat?

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: absolutely Nancy!!!

Susan Joyce: LOL Frankie!

Tanya Stevens: Everyone watered now Diane….. Are you out with the goats now or still at the ranch

Frankie Knight: I’ve said it many times in the slimmers section. Eating healthily, doing bity more exercise, eating smaller portion sizes, eating slowly, weighing with a group of friends weekly! Not easy but a way of life and not a crash diet!

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: all watered. putting hay and greens out as its still too hot to get out yet

Tanya Stevens: OK need to pop onto the bed with my ankles in the air as a bit swollen LOL but will be back soon Its going great Diane keep it up, you will be extra tired this evening!

Nancy McBride: Diane, I’m clever that way, and can clearly see your motives… I’m on especially if you leave Antonio in charge…

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: its true about living with nature. iv been stuck over the other side of the river until midnight in a flash flood wading in with a rope and fixing the bridge by torchlight

Frankie Knight: Had to go to Mercadona earlier (Spanish supermarket for those who live afar) and it was totally empty and the only ones shopping were a few odd Brits. Far too hot for the sensible Spanish!

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: keep those legs up girl

Frankie Knight: Is it the heat Tanya?

Susan Joyce: Here’s to us all. Keep drinking water!

Photo#23-Water

 

Tanya Stevens: Frankie i think so, plus the brutal truth is I need to loose 2 stone in weight and that would help a great deal, I have lost 1.5 stone since living here, but the walking etc has slowed down a bit 1) because of the heat an db) because the dogs are only 3 months old and I do not want to walk them too far

Frankie Knight: Eat loads of fresh stuff and cut down on portion sizes. I drink so much water I sometimes think I’m going to float – or maybe that’s due to my ‘special’ medicine

Nancy McBride: Choices, choices, choices!

–Off to get a cool water!

Louise E Fenton: Diane your book will be great! I like your thoughts in how it will go! It’s 40 in the shade here now so not going to walk the dogs. Way too hot for them!

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: too hot for the girls toooo. giving hay and chopping some green stuff and hope I can get them out in an hour or so

Frankie Knight: How do you manage to get Radio 4 these days? Do you have the big dish? I miss it as cannot get it since the satellite moved.

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: I have a small Roberts radio and late evening I can get shipping forecast and world service in the night. I do miss woman’s hour

Judith Benson: Hi Diane, where in Spain do you live?

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: I live in Olvera in the province of Cadiz. Seville is about 1hr and 20mins away. malaga 1hr and half Ronda about 45mins

Rosemary Kench: Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera, the other WLMers have complimented you on being a strong woman so I won’t echo them (even though I heartily agree!) but may I say that you have my utmost admiration for keeping up with all the questions etc. that are being fired at you, whilst still managing to carry on with your daily chores! Well done you!

Victoria Twead: Diane, I’ve been out for a few hours, and have just caught up with your fred. I have one thing to say to you. GET THAT BOOK WRITTEN! It is going to be a bestseller, and then you’ll be able to pay for all your renovations and a pool, haha!

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: Rosemary honestly anyone can do this. once your back is up against the wall and animals depend on you, you just get on with it. my mum was the strongest woman I know. she didn’t believe in problems only solutions!!!

— but I do loose the goats a lot on the hills especially when I’m on Hugh the mobile!!!

Susan Joyce: Diane, I agree with the others. Get it written! And they will come.

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: if only Victoria . where do I put my energy and its always been goat sheds, cutting wood and doing the camp site. but on an up note while I have you all here, give me a title. I will post my thoughts on it in a second

–first came ‘the reluctant goat herder then because of Chinni well let me explain. when she could walk out as head of the herd at dusk I would gather the goats together high on the hill above the house, Chinni would wait watching my eyes until I said “take ’em home Chinni, take ’em home” she would turn and lead the girls slowly down the hill for home

Susan Joyce: Living the Olvera Dream. Just found myself wondering what Olvera means … Olvera Name Meaning. You are patient, persevering and strong willed. Interesting!

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: susan have you read Chris stewarts ‘driving over lemons’ his place was called El Valero. twilight music !!!

Nancy McBride: Chinni and the Reluctant Goatherder

Chinni, the Goatherder and other stories of life on the Andalusia

Herded by a goat, and …

Pauses in a goatherder’s day…

–Herding the Olvera way…

Rosemary Kench: It gets my goat?

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: I’m so excited now I have poured some (10percent) wine ok mixed with fizzy water.

Nancy McBride: See if you can spot the title ideas of those who’ve had their 5 o’clocks, and those who have not!

–chris stewart and Victoria were the first books I read about moving out to Spain, and I’m still pinching myself that I am talking to Victoria on this blimmin machine.

Susan Joyce: Just thought of a great title: Portal to Olvera.

Nancy McBride: Walking Goats in Olvera

Susan Joyce: Portal to Olvera: the goat-herder’s guide to the galaxy.

Victoria Twead: Yep, must have Goats in the title somehow, I think. And thanks for putting me in the same sentence as Chris Stewart.

Susan Joyce: I’ve read all of Victoria’s (great books) but haven’t read Chris Stewart’s book. I’ll put it on my list.

Victoria Twead: Have you Susan? I didn’t know. Thank you.

Louise E Fenton: Susan you must read Chris Stewarts books, they are fab too! Great read!

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: susan funny you should mention HH guide to the Galaxy. katy (the goat who has a lancashire accent) reckons Graham the snake read poetry. I can here the chap who bores people to death reading his works. for Graham it would be ‘ode to a deaf rat’

Judith Benson: We keep saying we are going to visit that part of Spain and the north one of these days when our old house is more complete!!!!! My husband loves fly fishing and we live in Almeria Province which is so dry!!!

Nancy McBride: This whimsical storytelling will be so appropriate in your book…giving the goats and snakes talents and proclivities…

Tanya Stevens: Back now… my you have been busy again.

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera:   still can’t get them out Tanya. just topped all the waters again. Pete has cut tons of ‘green’ for them. its going to get hotter over the next few days and my new ‘helper’ arrives poor sod!!!

–always wanted to visit Almeria and see where the spagetti westerns are made. luckily we have lakes close by (ok so I have only been there once) but the river is wonderful to paddle in

–just remembered something a Dr friend told me. I can drink up to 4litrs of water in the afternoon and evening. he said drink a couple of cans of beer as I was flushing out all the good stuff too drinking so much water. his words were ‘think Australian sheep shearers’

–again sorry about spelling, can’t see what I am typing very well on the phone

Frankie Knight: If you ever do decide to visit Tabernas ( where westerns were made) let me know as I can meet you. It’s only a 45 min drive from me…

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: oh flippin ‘eck Frankie how wonderful. when I’m in a tricky situation I mentally turn into Clint. I love spag. westerns

Tanya Stevens: IT IS getting hot here too 36/37 This is our first taste of the heat and have had to adjust our routine with the dogs totally, up early and a good run around and to be honest I make the rest apart from a quick run around pre lunch untill the evening when the temp drops and they get another decent run and more food but thats getting later and later now!

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: the only way Tanya. a friend just lost her dog due to heat stroke (french bull dog) she didn’t do anything stupid, he just couldn’t cool down. that’s why hosing down a concrete area and just let them lie on it seems to cool them down very quick. I put mine in the river and the old dogs sink like hippos!! me toooooo

Tanya Stevens: Good do not feel so bad now there are 2 kennels that are really cool inside and they are in those happy touching paws, plenty of water as well out of the house and in the containers`

Dodie Shea: Will be waiting to hear you’re working on your book Diane. Guess that would mean you putting in 14 hour day?

Nancy McBride: For you with dogs in the heat.

Photo#24-DogHeatstroke

 

Tanya Stevens: thanks have shared

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: seems so Dodie . thank you Nancy

— just read it Nancy. good advice. our river is almost Bath temp and they just sink into it. I once had to help Antonio with an old goat who collapsed in the heat. we carried her to the river an I sat in it with her after 20 mins she was fine. another tip is for us and dogs. don’t drink chilled water ever. when I first came here I put a bottle of water in the gas fridge. Antonio was horrified. ‘you will get a cold’ yea right but yes I got a cold and sore throat. I’m sure everyone knows this and it was just me that was a twit

Nancy McBride: My dear friend is an animal control officer. Lets guess, will her memoir be about the animals or their “parents”?

–Didn’t know that about chilled water….

Tanya Stevens: just gonna get a drink its going well xx

Linda Kovic-Skow: Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera I absolutely LOVED this thread. In another lifetime, I may have been able to do something like this. I’ve always loved goats and, well, animals in general. Your dog that saved your life is amazing and that part brought a tear to my eyes. What stories you have to tell…I just can’t get over it. I am confused about the two men you picture above with the cowboy hats. Is one your husband? Can you explain who Antonio is again?

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: good evening Linda. ok the photo of Antonio and Pete is is smiling, taller and to the right of the picture. Antonio is my neighbour, best friend and has taught me just about everything goat. its strange but I fill up thinking about not only Monty saving me but Paz guiding me down a steep hill when it very slippery and dangerous. Chinni and her bravery. my horse Hardy coping after the death of his brother Beau and a year later accepting and loving Bailey our rescue horse. much tears but much laughter tooo

–the funny thing with Antonio is that he has my sense of humour. I can phone him, this spaniard who only once has been out of this province now aged 50!) and say ‘is it me’. he will reply ‘no Diane its them they are all mad’. we have sat on a hillside at dusk watching the goats eat and made owl noises (clasped hand and blow) and just got the giggles. humour keeps us all sane

Linda Kovic-Skow: You are amazing Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera. Thanks so much for sharing your life with us. Someday when you have the time, you should write your story. It would make an incredible memoir.

Frankie Knight: Our animals always give us pain as well as lots of laughter. I wouldn’t have it any other way. The thing with water is something I was also told by my Spanish neighbour as I also kept a bottle in fridge to drink from.

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: thank you Linda very kind words. today has really given me a boost of confidence to get on with the ‘book’. just have to fit one more hour into the day and should be a breeze

Frankie Knight: What time do you think you may be off on walk-about this evening Diane? It still feels very hot here and it’s half eight!

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: its baking I’m out now just for an hour to allow Pete to sweep through. he chopped them a ton of ‘greens’ plus hay so they are fine. the bloody flies are biting tonight!!!

–while I have a second (goats are scoffing in the river) I want to share something we should have realised as logical. one goat Lilly had a little baby, she was premature and we new we couldn’t save her. she died and mum Lilly was distraught. she screamed and tried to make the dead baby drink. we didn’t know how to comfort her. we became distraught too and cried. that was the right thing to do. Lilly buried her head into us and all three cried, she accepted her baby was dead and we all morned the loss together. Lilly recovered and went on to have a healthy baby the following year. you can’t tell a mum its alright when it isn’t. crying with her helped her. now we act with the goats as we would do a human and work through a grieving time no matter how long it takes.

Susan Joyce: Diane, I’ve always done that with our animals. Important to let them know we care and feel their pain.

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: oh Susan. its tough. when I first started learning goats I was full of, how to detect mastitis, how to deliver babies and I forgot that night how to act with a grieving mum. it is the only way isn’t it Sue. when my daughter horse Beau died suddenly, Hardy screamed. I stayed with him all through the night sitting by Beaus body. hardest night of my life

Dodie Shea: Such compassion!

Alan Parks: Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera the same thing happened with our alpaca, Lily. Prem baby, wasn’t strong enough and died. We couldn’t believe it when we saw a tear fall from her eye. She did then move on, she knew baby was gone. She had lost a baby the previous year, that I had taken away and lost at the vets, and she never came back, so Lily grieved for ages and was always looking at me to bring baby back. Its hard

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: evening Dodie. one thing that worries me ok apart from impending poverty, is our cleft palate goat Katy. she relies on my big boy Monty so much. Monty is 8 and god willing will stay with us for a few more years but he is a large dog and 10 is a good age expectancy for a this type of dog. Katy would not cope without him now. I’m hoping for a miricle and another little ‘kid’ may need special help and Katy will befriend her. not being negative just looking to the future for her

Alan Parks: You need a special home for her, to treat her like a pet. Someone like Tanya

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: its hard isn’t it Alan, they look to us for all the answers and to ‘fix it’ and sometimes we can’t. and as for Katy if push came o shove she is back in the house with her first foster dad Martin. I do love her so

Betty Sue Brewster: Some time ago there was a docudrama in the theatre called “Weeping Camel” – so amazing to see a camel with tears

Alan Parks: Really? Camels and Alpacas are family….I would be interested to hear more.

Tanya Stevens: Me Me me I will have her thanks Alan

–Diane walking the goats now???

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: home now as ‘helper’ who was supposed to arrive tomorrow has turned up in the town tonight. and has just emailed me. thank god I scrubbed the bathroom today. haven’t mopped though oh bugger it he is only 24 sure he won’t notice!!!

Tanya Stevens: Introduce him to Graham that will occupy his mind and he will not notice the un-mopped floors?

Nancy McBride: I suggest that you find chores he can do for you on his own for three hours a day, to relieve you so you can focus on getting the book done.

Susan Joyce: Diane, got to do an airport run for a friend. Thanks so much for sharing your life and dreams with WLM today. You are a real inspiration! Great getting to know you. Here’s to you and all your exciting projects.

Photo#25-Here's2You

 

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: thank you Susan. its been great. good idea re Graham that should sort him out. what a laugh. I’m in an old frock to keep cool and shovelling up dog poo as the darlings haven’t gone out for their poo run!!!!!!!! rock and roll

Tanya Stevens: LOL Diane we have met another English couple nearby. the have animals etc always clearing the poo like us and last week, we had to GET IN the water tanks to clean them out. We always say to each other during these moments. Remember, WE ARE LIVING THE DREAM!

–The temp has suddenly dropped here now and it is a very pleasant evening, whats it like now with ya all

Frankie Knight: It’s always amazing to learn our animals do not simply rely on us for food, drink and the odd visit to the vet but for emotional needs as well. It is a mega responsibility when we take on any animal, whether it is a house pet or one considered to be a field animal. Just wish some of my Spanish neighbours would respect this…..

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: still cooking and oh yes believer we are ‘living the bleep bleep dream’!!!

Frankie Knight: I’ve really enjoyed ‘chatting’ with you today Diane. How you cope with juggling so many balls in the air I truly do not know, but long may you continue to enjoy the life you have chosen…. Off to my cot now….. Night, night all!.

Tanya Stevens: So how you feeling now Diane, you must be tired i found it mentally exhausting, and I was sat on me A&&&& all day! demanding cups of tea from the other half

Nancy McBride: Agreed, never been on the hot seat before, and was wiped, but invigorated at the same time…

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: frankie. I am so lucky with Antonio he is a spaniard who loves animals. he also does voices for them. he worries constantly if one of his goats is not quite right. I think that’s why we get on. iv seen him carry a dying old goat to water on his back so her last moments would be good and she could die in a nice place.

Tanya Stevens: SO lovely Diane

Nancy McBride: Lovely. I him.

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: well nite nite to you three. its been fun. Pete has dashed to the pueblo to pick the helper out name Peter mullard and I keep referring to him as Ducky must stop. had a glass of wine and dinner is cooked. India had her injections and bed made. time for another glass before Ducky arrives

Tanya Stevens: Sleep Well Diane This has been a great Fred and have enjoyed chatting and your company Sleep Well xx

Nancy McBride: Let us know how Ducky does! (I think you better call him that as not to confuse Peter.)

Tanya Stevens: Inspired by Diane then here you go http://perkingthepansies.com/…/goat-herder-required…/

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: ok well new helper is coming down the track. I can see the head lights. so best finish off the dinner. tomorrow is another day m sleep well all and its been fun and im thankful for all you kind words.

Tanya Stevens: xx

Julie Haigh: Hello Diane, sorry I’ve not popped in before-and I was a bit scared to venture in at the mention of your snake, Graham. Now, I am scared of snakes and noticed you said you were-so how did you get over your fears? Sorry if this question has already come up-I will read through the thread now.

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: hello Julie, graham was tricky after he fell on me the first time. I just took deep breaths and then more deep breaths. after a week or so I juist shouted p!!s off Graham and the fear went!!!

–the river snakes gave me a turn until I realised they just wanted to swim down river. so I said ‘hello’ and it helped. !!!

Tanya Stevens: I am not sure i could deal with that, but then again I am not in the situation to have too

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: its scorpions that freak me out. I read ‘chickens eat scorpions’ great then I read ‘scorpions hunt at night’ errrr is it me but chickens sleep at night

Tanya Stevens: we have only found 2 scorpions when clearing the finca, ad 2 snakes none of which i am enamored with.

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: honestly Tanya rejoice if you have a house snake they keep rodents away. they won’t harm you. promise. scorpions bloody hurt if you get stung. send them to heaven without hesitation if they are close to the house. hell Ducky has arrived!!!

Julie Haigh: EEK!

Jude Mossad: Thanks for your time and inspiration today Diane – night all x

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: nite nite Jude xx

Victoria Twead: Diane, I have read and enjoyed the whole of this fred, it’s been brilliant! What a life! Thank you so much for giving up your day to answer our questions. I shall announce your chosen winners in the morning.

 

15 July 2014

Frankie Knight: My big fears are Centipedes and Scorpions. Apparently in a fight between the two the centipede will win! See loads of both outside my house and it’s only when they come in that I have to deal with them. Scary!

Tanya Stevens: Frankie do you live in the wild west!

Victoria Twead: Congratulations to Diane Eliott’s chosen ones! Rowena Cardwell and Tanya Stevens, you are WINNERS! Please let me know which books you’d like.

Tanya Stevens: OOhhhh thanks Diane. ALthough a little concerned we have not heard from you this morning, you must be exhausted after yesterday. Thanks Victoria, I will peruse the header and let you know. Need a “funny” this time.

Julie Haigh: Well done to Tanya Stevens and Rowena Cardwell-enjoy your prize reads x x

Tanya Stevens: Having said I need a funny as a woman,, I am using my power to change my mind, there are so many to choose from, but have decided on Lullaby Illusion by Susan. I look forward to reading your memoir Susan

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: morning all. helper arrived. ok the hair band is cool and he is very pretty, diplomats son awwwfli posh. but the idiot forgot to mention he is a veggie so at midnight I was throwing pasta and eggs together. he has popped of to do his yoga by the river. hey ho. enjoyed yesterday very much, just catching up with chores now. have a good day and stay coooool

Lorna Penfold: I know I didn’t say much yesterday, but what an inspiration you are Diane. We were talking about you whilst walking the dogs this morning. I hope you can find time to write your book xx

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: morning Lorna. how blimmin kind of you thanks . I don’t think I will get time with this new helper who is saving the world. bless him, but I may have to rip the hair band out. just dashing into an cool bar to use the wifi. Petes off to the dentist. I may have to sell my other kidney!!!!!!!

Victoria Twead: Susan Joyce’s book sent, Tanya Stevens.

Lorna Penfold: Bless you, don’t work too hard. I hope he who wants to save the world does good xx

Susan Joyce: Congratulations to Tanya Stevens and Rowena Cardwell! Tanya, thanks for choosing my book! Hope you find it inspirational.

Rowena Cardwell: Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera, thank you very much for choosing me. I’m so grateful. You are an amazing woman and you have achieved so many things. It takes a lot of strength to up and move countries and then to take on a “man’s” work and be excellent at it. Also, to be HOH is at times a challenge, (as I know), but to be able to learn to lip read in a different language is unbelievable. You have some amazing stories to pen and I loved hearing about all the goats with disabilities and the things you do. Thanks once again for choosing me and also congratulations to my partner in crime, Tanya Stevens. Well done. I’ll let you know which book I choose.

Rowena Cardwell: Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera, I have chosen Victoria Twead’s book, Chickens Mules and Two Old Fools. Thank you so much once again.

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: hello Rowena, it was wonderful to meet and chat with you. I hope to sort out a satilite wifi connection at the farm soon. I can join in a bit more then. Hugh my phone has his off days. take care and hopefully speak soon

Victoria Twead: Thank you for choosing my Chickens, Rowena.

 

19 July 2014

Bambi Flanner: I’m so sorry I missed this Fred! I had to work, but just now found it. I want to read your book Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera. And how about Bring em home Chinni, bring em home with a goat on the cover? I love that you say that to her.

Victoria Twead: So glad you found it, Bambi!

Bambi Flanner: Me too! Just stumbling around. You know me. Lol

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: hello Bambi, just jumped out of bed to answer this. that’s the title I had in my mind. Thank you Thank You. ok right, now bed, and work out how to fit another 3 hours in my day. I can do it somehow I can do it xxxxxxx

Bambi Flanner: Sleep well! You’re my hero now.

 

20 July 2014

Sue Clamp: I too have only just caught up with this thread. I know I’ve not been around much lately – lots of difficult stuff going on right now. Just had to tell you how interesting this thread has been to read, Diane. I can’t wait to read your book! Get writing, girl!

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: good morning Sue and thank you. have to confess my hippy lovely veggi helper has a tummy ache after his attempt at cooking beans and rice. he is sleeping. si instead of catching up on my blog and bathing 2 dogs, hubby and I are sneaking off to get a bloody full English in the pueblo. love veggie but I need some bacon.

 

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