WLM Member Monday – Tanya Stevens

Alan Parks: We Love Memoirs

Good Morning. Now todays Monday Member is Tanya Stevens! She will be along about 9.30, and she promised she would be wearing clothes Good morning Tanya, behave and have a good day!

Tanya Stevens SS

Tanya Stevens: Morning is wonderful. Its only drawback is that it comes at such an inconvenient time of day.



Judi Bedford-Keogh: Tanya. Where in Spain? We are in Andalucia. I am also an Archers addict and am worried about Helen and Disappointed with Elizabeth. Who is your favourite Archers character?

Tanya Stevens: Hi Judi Bedford-Keogh I am in Extremadura,. I totally agree with you about the Helen thing, that is not going to end well and as for Elizabeth Mmm not sure who I am disappointed with more, her or Will, I am not sure who my favorite character is, I like David , Ruth, and Jazza but to be honest it really depends on the story line at the time. At the moment Tony is annoying me as is his mother, hate TV soaps, but every Sunday download a podcast of the Archers !



Judi Bedford-Keogh: Do you sell your jewellery? Can we see some? OK must get dressed and walk down into the village for bank, post and coffee. Have a fun day Tanya.

–Just to keep you going while you wait for everyone to wake up



Tanya Stevens: I have never sold any, really just for fun, the pics are on my other pc, will try and post some later…………..you are a BAD lady!

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: I’m here in between getting the next batch of goats for milking. I have to learn how to download the Archers. David is my fav. how is your Spanish coming along, as I see you have had to sort out bore holes etc.,

Tanya Stevens: Morning Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera….. You are such a busy lady. My Spanish is really……well weird, I have days of absolute brilliance, as you mentioned, I had to discuss the borehole drilling, installation of solar systems, when my husbands car broke down an very interesting conversation was had about fuel pump systems, this all went remarkably well, my major concern was that I would agree to something that would then cost us a lot of money, I then have days when asking for directions is a major effort. To be honest I need to sit and spend at least 1 hour a day studying. Although we are about 4km from the nearest village, we have a lot of Spanish friends, who come to their houses at the weekends, and several who check in on us during the week ( they think we are a bit mad!) so I am able to chat and practice which probably is the most important thing to do xx

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: Well done Tanya, just chatting helps. Sadly for me my ‘teacher’ is Antonio, fellow goat herder and he talks the equivalent to Darrrzzzettt. Eg hello how are you becomes in darzet ‘what’s on snerr’. Same sort of thing. I can swear pretty well in Spanish now!! Spanish tele helped me, for the first year. Is the solar working well and does it run your fridge?

Tanya Stevens: HAHA yes there is a dialect here Extremeno which is like listening to jJo Grundy on speed ……….We only have Spanish TV, as of yet we have only watched it once, and that was to check out if it wall all working – well apart from the football, which we will not mention here. The solar is working well, yes it does run our fridge/ freezer, we bought it here and went for the lowest potencia we could find at a price we could afford, I think it runs on about 210kwh per year. As I have mentioned to Alan it will not really be until the winter, that we know if we have enough. However we did keep some Dinero back to add to the system next year if we struggle through this winter, and we have a back up genny as well, its amazing how quickly you adjust to ” turn of the **^&&( lights” and unplug everything.x

Victoria Connelly: Hi Tanya – lovely to meet you here. We are big Nutella fans too and love to melt it over bananas with ice cream on top. Have you discovered any wonderful ways to eat it?

Tanya Stevens: Victoria Connelly Hello nice to meet you too. Mmm Nutella and banana’s Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm Well to be honest I love making these, they are yummy, but only because it also evokes a romantic weekend in paris – French Crepes covered in Nutella… heaven

— http://www.hummingbirdhigh.com/…/hummingbird-bakery…



Jill Brookes: Hi Tanya from another spanglish speaker . Wearing clothes? Why would you be wearing clothes in this heat sounds like you chose a more adventurous introduction to Spain than we did. We live near to Judi Bedford-Keogh therefore closer to civilization, although our post office is only open 8-10 Monday to Friday. What has been your biggest adjustment so far?

Tanya Stevens: Crepes in Paris



Tanya Stevens: Hi Jill Brookes

–We have lived here in Spain since February this year, so the initial months were so busy looking for a house, buying a car and the general housekeeping, residencia, healthcare etc we were constantly on the go, now we are settled into the FInca and have electricity, water and the internet we are now beginning to settle into life proper. So to answer your question at the moment the biggest adjustment is having time, the first few weeks after we moved in we were up early, cutting the very dry and long brown grass, clearing the wild gorse and the edges of the finca, which is surrounded by lovely dry stone walling, which you cannot see, it was as if we were on a mission, and then suddenly we realised that we had, well, forever really, even our Spanish neighbors, are telling us to slow down, and now we have, we just try to go with the flow not rush do what we want when we want. SO for the moment accepting we have time has been a big adjustment…… ask me the same question a year from today and I am sure it will be something different x

Micki Stokoe: Hello, Tanya! I haven’t listened to the Archers for years, but have fond memories of listening to it with my grandparents at supper time!

Julie Haigh: Hi Tanya, have a fun day in the hot seat! Would you be putting your adventures into book form? From how much you like Nutella I’m expecting the answer to this to be no-but, seeing as you have Crohns, does eating lots of Nutella play havoc with your Crohns? Do you have to be careful how much you have of it or some other foods?

Rowena Cardwell: Hi Tanya Stevens, welcome to the spotlight. I’m interested to know if nutella is on the diet of someone who has Crohn’s Disease? And do you control it with medication or diet? Whilst I don’t know much about the disease, I do know some sufferers who have had a terrible time with it. Also, if you like Nutella because of the peanut content, my 14 year old would love you. She is a peanut butter addict.

Tanya Stevens: Hi Julie I have just started writing a blog about our life here which follows on from the blog about the actual getting here. I also started to turn the blog into a book but it has turned into something completely different, and is now more about my childhood and events in my life and how those events have come to the fore in this move to Spain, sorry I am not explaining this very well, I hope that makes sense, the trouble is I am not an author and my grammar is Miss pretty dire!

Cherry Gregory: Good morning, Tanya. Your move to Spain sounds adventurous and exciting. Was it something you’d been planning for a long time or was it a fairly recent plan?

Tanya Stevens: Rowena Cardwell Hello Julie Haigh again! Crohns. I was diagnosed with Crohns about 11 years ago now, after spending 2 years throwing up, loosing weight and generally in agony. No Nutella is not really on the food to eat list, but sometimes in life you gotta have a little joy!. I am reasonably under control now, having had a bowel resection. I have to be careful what I eat, certain foods – spicy, or too much fiber are not good, but I know my body now and can gauge when to reduce the bad. I also at times, come off of food altogether and go onto to special drink supplements, luckily have not had to do this for about 18 months, I will at some point but fingers crossed. The main issue is, if I can be so vulgar, the urgency of the loo visits, but this can have advantages, when I go to Walt Disney World in Florida, the lovely people their give me special card so I do not have to queue for too long “just in case”



Tanya Stevens: Cherry Gregory Morning. We started to think about the move to Spain, many years ago but to be honest, it was just and idea back then, We used to watch the TV programs back in the UK…living the dream, a place in the sun, another way of live…… and would sit on our comfy chairs, commenting on how stupid some where or how clever some where, then we twigged, these people were neither clever or stupid they were simply taking a risk to change the way they lived, so who was stupid, us for sitting in the lounge commenting or them for doing, so we decided to be stupid to and do. BUT life takes over, work, kids etc it was not until my husband had am operation on his spine, that we realised things had to change, so 2 years ago we started to research in earnest and now here we are Stupid and in Spain – Oh there is a title for something………Can I add I do not like the spell check on FB!

Tanya Stevens: https://www.facebook.com/crohnsandcolitisuk

Cherry Gregory: Great that you’ve actually done it! Neither clever nor stupid, just brave!

–Is your husband learning Spanish too?

Tanya Stevens: Cherry LOL yep you are right, but on reflection it is so easy to be critical of those who do things differently, it a lesson well learnt in life, different is not always wrong, it is simply different

Rowena Cardwell: Thanks for your answer on Crohn’s Tanya Stevens. Why did you live with your grandmother between the ages of 6 – 11?

Tanya Stevens: Well, He has learnt to say Ask the Mujer, that is a word he likes, he has found it harder than me, however as I am typing this and reading out the questions to him, he is responding with various random phrases. He is embarrassed by his lack of Spanish, but his new found friends Miguel is determined to get him speaking, so they are teaching each other English and Spanish. It does seem common that the Ladies learn first followed by the Men, well around here anyway

Cherry Gregory: Lol! I think it’s because we ladies like to talk more and so get more practice!

Rowena Cardwell: I notice you mention kids Tanya Stevens. Just wondering what they thought of your move to Spain? ie were they supportive, hesitant, accepting?

Tanya Stevens: Rowena Cardwell, no problem, talking about Crohns is important, it is not exactly a topic of everyday conversation, but it is a rubbish thing to have and mighty embarrassing. I lived with my Grandmother for a long time, there were issues with my parents – so my brother and I went to live with her for a long time. We had a reasonably good life with her, she was strict, and not particularly affectionate but we were well looked after. After the age of 11, I went to boarding school and eventually moved back to my parents at the age of 16. I moved out of my parents home when I was 17 and moved in with my boyfriend, who is now my husband! I answered a question a while ago about writing a book about our journey to Spain. I have recently realised that, events in my childhood, have impacted on my life as an adult, more than i ever knew, so that is the direction, my very naive writing is going, and to be honest, it is more cathartic than anything else….

–Rowena Yes this is the toughie. They have been very supportive and encouraging all the way. They are both very settled in their own lives now, and that makes things much easier. We 4 are very close, and I have naturally had wobbles now and again, Emma our eldest has already been out for a visit and we expect her again in Sept. Helen the youngest, we hope to see soon, but she has just changed jobs. We Skype every week, its not the same but it helps, but generally all is well. They love the fact that they now have a bolt hole in Spain!

Rowena Cardwell: Wow Tanya Stevens, well done. You sound like you have overcome many obstacles in your life. Good on you for that. It doesn’t sound like you have had an easy time of it, but you seem happy now. Good on your girls for their support. I have two girls as well (one is in Uni and the other in high school) so still a way until they are settled.

Tanya Stevens: Jill Brookes I have suddenly thought of another adjustment which we are dealing with, being together 24/7. We have been together since we were 16 years old, but being together in the married sense of, working, children daily chores etc. Now not only are we in a foreign country, with everything that goes with that, we are with each other 24/7. LUCKILY we have enough land to disappear for a while if we need to, I can see now why some women say – God since he retired he is under my feet…. LOL but we have been together too long to let this affect us, but it is a big adjustment….

–phew coffee anyone



Rowena Cardwell: Thank you Tanya Stevens, I think I’ll join you.

Cherry Gregory: Thanks for the coffee, Tanya!

–I think you’re so right about how much of our younger lives impacts on our present, even if we don’t realise it at the time. From what you say, you didn’t have an easy childhood exactly and although you’ve over come obstacles in your life, some things remain with us. I also find writing very cathartic and although I write fiction, I’m sure it’s a similar process to writing a memoir, because you give so much of yourself in both cases: you’re running through emotions and learning things about yourself all the time!

Tanya Stevens: They certainly do Cherry Gregory, and it is even harder when those who you feel let you down can be hurt by what you say, its a hard one. Or maybe we let things affect us too much, not sure either way really

Cherry Gregory: Yes, that must be the hardest part of writing a memoir. Hard decisions, but I’m sure you’ll get the balance right.

Dodie Shea: Good morning Tanya. What type of jewelry do you make? Is this something you will be doing now that you’re in Spain?

Tanya Stevens: Hi Dodie Shea Anything really, necklaces, earrings and bracelets mainly, before we came to Spain I would have loved to learn how to use metal clay – see pic – but as with life before Spain no time and no money, now lots of time but not lots of money, so I think I will have to see if I can get a kit on Amazon and teach myself, I find making things in general – using my hands – very therapeutic, I do all my crafts for pleasure and or for giving gifts, but not for selling..but you never know. maybe one day



Tanya Stevens: I need 30 mins out to feed dogs etc!. Please leave your questions and I will answer as soon as I am back!



Philip Whiteland: I’m coming to the conclusion that everybody lives in Spain now and I’m going to have to switch the lights off here in the UK if I ever go! I’m a bit geographically challenged, whereabouts is Extremadura? Hope you have as good a day as I did yesterday

Jacky Donovan: I used to love knitting Tanya Stevens I remember battling with a french knitting pattern when I lived in Rouen – knit one, purl one and all the twiddly stitches were hard to translate but the end result was fabulous (tho I was never sure if it came out like it was meant to thanks to my potentially dodgy translations!) Have you tried buying any spanish knitting patterns?!

Julie Freed: Morning Tanya – such a fun thread. My daughter and I love making jewelry. We started when she was around 4 – I love hand made gifts too. It’s love and time. What kinds of materials have you used? We are on the coast so we’ll collect all kinds of things on the beach and turn them into earrings

Julie Freed: I would also love to know your secret(s) to 39 years of success!

Philip Whiteland: Perhaps the fact that she agreed to wear clothes for this might give you a clue, Julie?

Julie Freed: Lol Philip Whiteland!

Jill Brookes: Re 24/7, I’ve yet to meet a couple for whom this did not take some adjustment, and some marriages have fallen by the wayside as most people don’t realise that you bring any problems with you when you emigrate, they don’t get left behind, and can be magnified when everything is strange.

Frankie Knight: Just reading through and catching up after visit to the Doc’s. Good morning Tanya! Interesting to hear your comments re your childhood affecting you today as I am realising the same…. I kept a diary since I was 12 and have taken them with me whenever I moved house. After I’d been ‘Spotlighted’ on here I started thinking and reading some of them – scary!!!

–Do you so far miss anything here in Spain that you had in UK? Have you yet been back to visit? If so, what did you think of it?

Tanya Stevens: OK In order!

–Phillip Philip Whiteland Extremadura is the west of Spain, bordering Portugal It is a stunning area to live in, full of wildlife, especially birds, it is said that while the rest of the world is in the year 2014, here in Extremadura it is about 1974



Tanya Stevens: Jacky Donovan Not as of yet, I have so many patterns to go through, and the internet holds a wealth of freebies, but maybe one day i will give it a go. Current projects mainly crochet are a baby blanket, which will have a quilted backing



Tanya Stevens: and a navy/white wave pattern blanket



Philip Whiteland: I quite liked 1974, Tanya. Sounds like a great place to live

Judi Bedford-Keogh: Re 24/7. Do make sure you both have a social life apart and friends of your own. I was lucky for the first 9 years as hubby is a golfer so I lost him for at least 2 days every week. I developed my own circle of friends (or they adopted me?) And have the best set of “girlfriends” anyone could have. Himindoors has developed a back problem so has had to give up golf. I’m hoping he will take up bowling.

Tanya Stevens: recently finished cushion



Tanya Stevens: Julie Freed see Phillips answer! Re Materials, I am a cheat and collect beads and old costume jewelry from boot sales etc to recycle.

Nancy McBride: Good Morning from the Northeast, USA! Hope you’re having a wonderful day, so far. (A family friend used to say, “Its OK, SO far.” Kept folks on their toes.) I’ll check fred and see wha-zup, and be back shortly with a cuppa.

Julie Freed: Ha! Fabulous – that’s easy enough!

Tanya Stevens: Frankie Knight Mmmm that’s a hard one, I will exclude family because that is an obvious given. It is hard to say at the moment, because we are very much still in the Honeymoon phase! Probably food shopping, not the food itself but finding what I need in different format. Husband misses Ice Cold Fresh milk, fresh milk here would curdle before we got home. I love cooking and baking, many of my recipes require Fresh Cream, have not found that yet. Husband has just predicted the future and said within about 8 weeks we will miss Rain!!!!!!!!!!!!!

— Oops Frankie Knight No not been back, Husband will be going back in a few weeks to sort out some stuff, I do not see myself returning for a while yet.

–Julie Freed – Seriously we have been together since we were 16ys old, to be honest, I think we were soul mates to begin with, do not get me wrong, we have not been all romance and roses, but we just seem to fit

Judi Bedford-Keogh: Tanya it will probably take more than 8 weeks to miss rain and you will be lucky if you find fresh cream, the nearest we get is UHT. Most of the things you would make with it would go off if out of the fridge for 15 minutes

Tanya Stevens: Philip Whiteland it is a great place and time to be, if only I was as thin now as I was then………..a photo from the year 1975


Frankie Knight: I’ve lived here for 10 years and find most of the things I need in local shops. There are one or two items I buy from ‘Brit’ shops ie branston pickle, Horseradish sauce, bisto and Oxo cubes (Spanish ones are far too salty) but there are none close to me as I live away from most Brits. RE learning the lingo – if you try, and are happy to make a total prat of yourself, your neighbours will love you. If they haven’t already, you will soon be getting Red Cross parcels left outside your gate of local produce, whether you want them or not. I got a huge bag of spuds left yesterday!

Philip Whiteland: Me too, Tanya, but my photo doesn’t look as good as that!



Tanya Stevens: LOL don’t know Philip Whiteland those beige trousers were the real deal!

Frankie Knight: Wow, Philip. I now picture you in a totally different light!

Tanya Stevens: Frankie Knight LOL yes we have a fridge and a freezer full of produce from our neighbors, we are lucky that I speak some Spanish so conversations can be had, I am sure by next year I will be almost fluent!

Nancy McBride: With so many of the WLMers living as ex-pats in Spain, I wonder if its the siesta that calls, “Yoo-hoo!” I note that your neighbors have urged you to chill back and enjoy. Changing rhythms must be an interesting shift. I am delighted you just followed tour hearts, took the clues, and went. I am in the downsizing , shaking off mode, and the door is open… you inspire.

Frankie Knight: Don’t count on it!!! Also you may find if you learn from close neighbours, when you go elsewhere in Spain they will not understand a word you say…. The accent in my village is totally incomprehensible beyond a radius of 5klms!

Nancy McBride: My friends, I am off (but we knew that…) for a few days at the shore. I’ll miss you. Not planning on wifi, but will fetter it out if it rains, and Apples to Apples game dulls me, too much!

Jo-Anne Himmelman: Good morning Tanya Stevens. Just read thru the thread and can say congrats on the 24/7. My husband and I have been married 44 years in August. I am retired but he’s not fully. He has a business and even though my son works with him, he thinks the place will fall apart if he is not there at least 2-3 days a week. That gives my 24/7 concerns a little reprieve. I was wondering, does anyone watch Coronation Street? I am addicted here. Never heard of the Archers. I know a way back, you guys lost BBC – do you get your shows via the internet? I love Spain and one of these years ( secretly hoping within 2 years) I want to go back. This time to rent a place and stay for at least a month. My husband also likes Spain so he will be on board. Re Nutella, have no idea what it tastes like. One of our grocery stores ( Pete’s Fruitique, Pete Luckett is from the UK, you may have heard of him as he did a syndicated foodie show) carries a lot of British food – Nutella is on his shelf so someday I’ll have to try it.

Susan Jackson: I also love,the Archers, I live in the US but listen to the Sunday show on the internet

Tanya Stevens: Susan Jackson If you have I-Tunes you can download it as a podcast, my Sunday night treat, cup of tea in bed and the familiar theme tune https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNEawM6vZf4. Tumty tumpty tupmty tume tumpty tumpty tumtum

–I have just seen you can download this as a mobile phone tune.. Thats now on todays list!

about an hour ago · Like · 2

–It was apparently a tune for maypole dancing in the 1940’s

–god I am sad

Frankie Knight: I hate the soaps, do not care for the Archers and loath Nutella!!! There, that’s my confession for today….

Julie Haigh: Popping back in again-in and out today as working/hospital/just seen my sister off to airport as she’s back on her way home to Spain today. Re your having worked in Operating theatres–do you ever fancy doing one of those confessions types of books? I love reading those sorts of memoirs-eg Confessions of a GP/ Confessions of a Male Nurse/Paramedic etc. Have you got lots of tales, good, bad, sad from those days that might make a book? I keep trying to get my sister to do a Confessions of a Dental Nurse book but she won’t!

Tanya Stevens: Jo-Anne Himmelman Good morning, Nutella, heaven on a spoon! Congrats on being married for so long, its hard work. It is probably good that he is working a bit, active minds an all. I am not a huge fan of TV soaps, mainly I think, because of my previous job as an Operating Theatre Nurse, the hours were not regular enough for me to get engrossed in a TV series.

–Frankie Knight I do not like TV soaps, but then again, not a big TV watcher, even less now, practically none to be honest. As for loathing nutella, you and my husband are one on that, which is good, because I get the whole jar! LOL

–Julie Haigh I have stories to make your toes curl, but I want to keep my pension!

Jo-Anne Himmelman: Tanya, you are right working does interfere with watching soaps. I was never a Soap fan until I retired. I watched a couple episodes of Coronation Street and was hooked. I don’t watch any of the others – not realistic enough. Re nurse stories, my sister is a nurse. She works as a service provider in the Home Care System now so she feels free to tell her stories. OMG they are too funny – gross but funny. When her nurse friends join her I get a laughing headache.

Lorna Penfold: Hi Tanya, what a great morning you have had, you have been a busy lady. Nutella!!!! I knew we had more in common that just been crazy ladies that moved to Spain

Tanya Stevens: Jo-Anne Himmelman Yes, black humour is part of the job I am afraid

Julie Haigh: Easy getting around that one Tanya-write the medical memoirs under a pseudonym!

Tanya Stevens: Lorna A fellow Nutee! then, new you were nuts, busy busy busy, thats what I keep telling Alan but he just laughs at me

Alan Parks: You’re not busy! My guess is you spend your day in your underwear, telling Blane to make you tea and coffee while you put your feet up on the terrace and watch the dogs!

Tanya Stevens: Bugger, thought I had turned the web cam off, although we do spend some time pondering about the world



Judi Bedford-Keogh: Have you run out yet



Tanya Stevens: LOL Judi Bedford-Keogh I try not to buy the stuff, if it is in the house, I swear I can hear it calling from the cupboard eat me, eat me, If I buy it to make the Cupcakes, my husband hides it, usually not very well, so now If I am making the cup cakes I have to buy two jars, one for cooking and one for eating, and then they bought out those HUGE jars OMG its like being an addict

Lorna Penfold: Have you got Lydl near you Tanya? They do the most AMAZING hazelnut and chocolate spread MMmmm! It’s in their posh range. The only good thing is it’s not very big, but the only bad thing is it’s not very big

Tanya Stevens: LOL Lorna Not sure if we have a Lild here, will have a look, if its not Giant then!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Tanya Stevens: I really do not have a particular sweet tooth, but ……………….Having said that, I have been to WDW Florida about ten times now, and try to fit one of these in on each visit, when I went with my 6 year old Niece, she nearly past out when this arrived.





Susan Joyce: Good morning Tanya Stevens from Uruguay! What an interesting Fred. Your needle art is wonderful! Congratulations on your loving and still going strong marriage! Trying to catch up with questions you’ve answered. Learning a few new things here … Archers?

Tanya Stevens: Susan Joyce Uruguay WOW off to read your profile!. Archers – A very long running radio program about the farming community in the UK, A soap on the radio, but at a gentle pace, sheep in top field, the pigs get out, there is the odd affair and bad doings but generally you can sense the summer breeze coming out of the radio all very English and Genteel.

Susan Jackson: Frankie Knight, I loath Nutella also and everything made with the yucky nut they use in Europe–oh yeah, hazelnut!

Susan Joyce: Tanya, I’d love to hear about your ER adventures. Bet you have some bizarre tales.

Cherry Gregory: Tanya, what made you choose Spain as the country to move to?

Susan Jackson: I have an IPad so I have ITunes I just have to figure out what to do,with it! I would love,to,have it on my IPad. When I worked in England I always wanted to be in my car when it came on. My husband have some kind of wifi on his radio and he gets it–I heard the theme song when I walked into the house the other day.

–My sister is an emergency room Doctor–she loves the work.

Tanya Stevens: Cherry Well, to be honest, if it was not for the economic climate we may well still be in the UK. Far back we always wanted to be rural, with a modicum of self Sufficiency, but as the years past, it was obvious to us that, there was no way, we could afford to live that way in the UK. Property and land is so expensive, there was always Scotland or Wales, or my mothers native home of Ireland. However, husband prefers the warmer climes!. So we thought about France, we have enjoyed many holidays in France, but after research and visits we decided that France was not for us. Again more years past, and then the world was hit by the banking oh hum, how can I say this, balls up, property prices plummeted and our dream suddenly became affordable. Again we looked at France, but while researching on the internet my Husband came across properties for sale in Spain at the most amazing prices, Our first port of call was Andalusia, but I had always, even as a young girl, liked the sound of this place called Extremadura – we visited and we fell in love, so I suppose Spain chose us!

–Yes we had some great times. Susan Jackson When you are working in an Operating Theatre you can be there for a long while. Some of our ops would take up to 15 hours, you have enjoy and work as team to get through the long stints. On calls at weekends would be 48 hours, despite what the EEC working time directive would tell you!.. It was work I really enjoyed, but towards the end, it was do more for less, with less, and focus on money not on patients, so that helped in the decision to leave, many of my experienced colleagues feel the same and are gradually leaving the profession, many years of experience lost to what is great , free at the point of use , healthcare system

Cherry Gregory: That’s wonderful, Tanya, and great to hear you’re making a go of it. The banking fiasco shook a lot of us up and caused (and is causing) so many problems, that it’s great to hear of someone who has achieved positive things out of it.

Tanya Stevens: Yes it did, it caused us issues as well, my husbands business suffered, and having already lost a business and a house in the UK recession back in the 1990’s we were not going to suffer again because of others greed and avaricious, my husband had spinal issues for a while and refused to take time off of work, because we needed the money. But when eventually the surgeon said, you have no choice, the decision was made. It has not been easy, and we do not have much money, but now, what we have is ours, and no one else’s, Its not fancy here, no pools or marble floors, basic, but it is home and we love it here. We are living a lifestyle that we could never have achieved in the UK, and feel very blessed

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: Out with the goats now. Managed to get 45 mins kip. You haven’t ran out of steam yet!! Did you have dogs in England?

Cherry Gregory: The rural life must have been quite a shock at first, even if you had dreamed about it for years!

Tanya Stevens: Years ago Diane , I had a couple of Borders Collies and then we had German Shepherd. But then as I started to work full time again, Dogs were out of this question. BUT not now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

— Cherry Not really, I grew up in the country and in the UK we lived in a small rural village 13 houses and 1 pub, car trip for a pint of milk.. My husband grew up in London, I have gradually been moving him away over the years!. I think to move to rural Spain or anywhere rural, you have to know what you are getting into, no “popping” our for a pint of milk!

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: Me too. Always had German Shepherds but was dog-less for 10 yrs due to work commitments but now 7!!! Living in the Campo you have to get used to a house of dust. I hold my nerve until we have visitors then genny on and hoover. Every day is a new adventure. I too work 24/7 with husband. Thank god I’m partially deaf and he is just hard of hearing so we can’t hear the odd swear words that are chucked at each other.

Tanya Stevens: DUST ARGGGGGGGG no i have dealt with that, like you ignore it, except for the weekends, when our Spanish neighbours visit there Finca’s and pop in for Drinks and Tapas, quick scoot around and we are sorted, plus we use the Genny for pumping up water from the Sondeo at the same time I do the weekly wash an the other half runs around with the hoover, OH Yes we are living the dream LOL

Susan Joyce: Tanya, how about some bubbly to celebrate your day in the tell-all seat?

about a minute ago · Like

–Or would you prefer wine?

Becky Corwin-Adams: I have been really busy lately with the funerals and I am in the final editing of two new books – mine and my mom’s. I’ve been off work for two weeks and that is about to end (tomorrow).

Tanya Stevens: This is actually exhausting, for a while there, I think goat herding with Diane would have been easier!

–Bubbles for me

–Becky You may need some time to unwind and relax,

Susan Joyce: Here’s to you!



Tanya Stevens: Lorna try a willy warmer for Alan for xmas



Susan Joyce: To all of us!



Becky Corwin-Adams: I crochet once in a while but not like I used to. It makes my shoulder ache. I guess I am getting old. BTW, I have never tasted Nutella. I am curious now. If I try it, I may become addicted and I don’t need that. LOL

Tanya Stevens: Its been fun, I am amazed anyone showed up!

Lorna Penfold: That looks a little itchy Tanya lol, I’m sure my Chinese shop wool would be extremely itchy hahaha!

Alan Parks: Alpaca wool….

Tanya Stevens: Hold on gonna pop outside, dog alert

–No its ok, just Meg hanging from zara’s ears!. And why do the dogs eat dead Mice!

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: All across safe. 2 big rescue dogs sleep in a corral at the back of the house with large kennels, Monty my big mastin and Rita mae my working dog sleep in hay house with special needs goat Katy. Paz my old working dog, martin petes companion and Philip sleep in the house. Philip is 6months old now and will be my main working dog. Training him is so much easier having him close to me all the time. Chewing is easy to stop. Give a few toys and that’s it if they chew you or a shoe, use the tshh sound (no conversation) and claim the item then give the bone/toy. Claim by standing over the shoe/sock and eye to eye. It works. Get a donkey (rescue) paper work is easy. Gui for transport (rescue people will sort) and vet will micro chip if not done. Then once a year you re register (vet will tell you where) its really just a stamp.

Alan Parks: Why do they eat live ones? Or birds?

–Or frogs? Or poo?

Becky Corwin-Adams: Because they are starving and never get fed. That is what my dogs would say. They are always hungry. An hour after they eat, they are hungry. Mine have breakfast at 7 AM and lunch around noon.

Tanya Stevens: Great, the Mastin has a large kennel and corral, at night, and at times during the day for “rest” periods. Like you Meg is going to be my obedience//agility dog, so is with me. Its all going well, Diane, I need to get more chewy stuff for the Mastin, But you were right about Meg, she soon lets Zara know when she has had enough, trouble is, they never seem to have had enough at the same timeLOL


–Becky Yes we starve them Actually last night I Skyped my Mum in the UK her comment was. ” Do you give them water” No mum we make them dig there own bloody wells!”

Alan Parks: What kind of agility do you do Tanya, trapeze and stuff?

Sharon Carter Figueiredo: Hi Tanya I also crochet and knot I find both very soothing and I enjoy creating things. I subscribed to one of the sited on your FB page thanks

Tanya Stevens: The future at our finca



Tanya Stevens: Sharon what is knotting??? Glad you like the link there are more on my blog which I follow that have some great ideas to follow

Sharon Carter Figueiredo: Oops damn autocorrect I meant knitting lol

–I also like needlepoint and am now trying mu hand at painting

Tanya Stevens: LOL I was off looking for Knotting!

Cherry Gregory: I so understand what you mean about a car trip for a pint of milk etc…I was brought up on a farm and although I’ve lived and worked in towns and cities since then, I now live in a small village with no bus service and no shops. It’s very peaceful and friendly, but you have to be organised!

Tanya Stevens: Needlepoint, i have done that in the past, I love the kits by Elizabeth Bradley



Sharon Carter Figueiredo: Oh yes I like her kits as well and when I have finished the one I am doing I will look for another. Tanya Stevens where do you now live in Spain is it near the Portuguese boarder?

Tanya Stevens: Cherry the hardest thing when we first arrived was the shops closing in the PM. We would forget all the time, or not being able to eat out until 9pm in the evening, we have it sussed now, and as you say, organisation is the key and adaptability! is that a word?

Tanya Stevens: Extremadura

Sharon Carter Figueiredo: Ok where is that (I will also look on google)

Tanya Stevens: Sharon have you tried these, I love these http://www.crossstitchers.co.uk/product.php?xProd=615



Sharon Carter Figueiredo: Cherry Gregory we also live in a small village with no shop or cafe. But we have a family in the village who own a grocery truck and they deliver to all the villages around. They have a huge storage facility and they open on Wednesday and Sunday for people pt purchase. They also deliver fresh fish on Saturdays. If you run out, you can go and purchase at any time. Three different vans deliver bread every day and in the summer there is even an ice cream – frozen goods van.

— Thanks Tanya Stevens I will have a look.

Frankie Knight: Tanya, what’s a Sondeo? I had no leccy for 20 months when I moved here and bought a genny. I had thought when I viewed the house and saw light bulbs etc that it had leccy laid on. It was only at stage of signing that the secret came out. Hated it as it seemed to eat diesel so fast and only lasted until 10 mins before the end of a favourite TV programme so I never saw the end. Took me ages to get used to turning lights on at night and not walking around in the dark. the worst thing was having to buy ice every day to put in the big cool box to keep stuff fresh(ish)

Alan Parks: Sondeo = Big hole full of water Frankie!

Tanya Stevens: Frankie oops A sondeo is a Borehole – Deep well, we had one drilled here as the old well, was not going to last the summer. They drill down about 100 metres , they strike gold or oil or in our case a lovely underground supply of fresh spring water!.

Cherry Gregory: Gosh, Sharon Carter Figueiredo, that’s very useful. It reminds me a bit of my childhood when we had delivery vans come up to the farm…one day it would be the baker, the next day the butcher etc. Nothing like that now though!

–What’s the water like, Tanya?

Frankie Knight: Thanks for explaining Alan and Tanya! My water comes form a huge underground reservoir below the village and we all benefit from it. Costs less that €40 a year1

Tanya Stevens: Great, however we are not supposed to drink it yet as the test has not come back, but we have loads of the stuff

Sharon Carter Figueiredo: Yes we are very lucky. I love the bread as it is all made locally and so nice when fresh. Tanya Stevens and Frankie we also have wells here. Where we live has a good supply of spring water and it flows through the wells. They are called pocos here (I can’t get the little tail on the c)

Tanya Stevens: here they are referred to as a Pozzo

Sharon Carter Figueiredo: Very similar

Tanya Stevens: I am off for refreshments and other such stuff will pop back later if needed. Gotta stroke the husband and pat the dogs! I have a new blog which I have started. It should follow our lives here and other stuff, the crochet, knitting, cooking and of course my musings! See you later and thanks




Sharon Carter Figueiredo: Have a great rest of the day Tanya Stevens

Jo-Anne Himmelman: Oh my gosh reading your posts about no electricity, the water sources, trucks making food deliveries – so not what you’re expecting to hear. It would definitely take getting used to.

Sharon Carter Figueiredo: Ahh but the benefits are wonderful Jo-Anne. We have electricity but all the gas is bottled so still need to be careful. But the quality of life and eating fresh home grown food and wine is wonderful. Village life is completely different to city life and a lot of fun.

Tanya Stevens: I am back, because I knew Sue was around! Jo-Anne It does take some getting used to but as Sharon said, the benefits outweigh anything else

Sue Clamp: Can I just mention how I first met Tanya? It was when we were both wannabe expats and ‘met’ on an expat forum. At that point we were both at similar points in our research and asking similar questions. We then ‘bumped’ into each other on Facebook and then on WLM! I’ve been following Tanya’s move to Spain with interest since then and ‘m so happy for her that she’s finally got to where she wanted to be. I’m not there yet, but I know that one day I will be.

–I’ve only started working my way through the thread so I’m going to scroll back up and carry on. Back in a while!

Alan Parks: She turned up on my doorstep a year or so ago, after reading my book!

Tanya Stevens: yep watch yourselves, especially Victoria as yours was the first ever book I read about moving to Spain, I am still scouring google earth for your location!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Victoria Twead: Oh dear, Tanya Stevens, as you now know, I changed the name of our village in my books.   🙁

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: I used to be terrified of heights, snakes, spiders. But now none of these things bother me. I have just had a water snake swim right past me as I walked in the river. This life is so different and it challenges you every day but it is Living and although I sometimes wish for rain in the summer and central heating in the winter, electric and a new roof! I wouldn’t change my life.

Tanya Stevens: OK we have Spanish Friends coming for Dinner on Saturday, so I am going to ask a question to you. What should I prepare for Dinner, nothing Spanish, I have 2 recipes, A chocolate chilli or a Lamb and date tagine.

Alan Parks: Diane, we wish for the same things and maybe a new car!

–Nothing Spanish???? You will scare them!

Tanya Stevens: Diane This is so true, we have Snakes / Scor here and to be honest, sensible shoes and an awareness of what might be under a rock and your fine!

–Trouble is Miguel’s, wife is a brilliant cook, her Paella was to die for. Also the gas cooker, I am still getting to grips with that so something top cooked. Lemon Meringue Pie for pud and some cupcakes with NUTELLA of course

Alan Parks: We took a load of English treats in for a xmas party at Lorna’s zumba class, but they were scared of everything. Hardly anything got eaten, although one woman did enjoy three mince pies lol

Sharon Carter Figueiredo: Alan Parks and Tanya Stevens it is the same here. They prefer their own type of food but I introduce some things slowly and it seems ok. We also have snakes here but nothing to compare with the snakes in Australia

Alan Parks: Chuck some onions, potatoes and peppers in a pan of oil over a fire. They will be happy with that

Tanya Stevens:



Sharon Carter Figueiredo: Along with some meat and a salad

Sue Clamp: I would go for the tagine – it’s closer to home. The chocolate chilli will freak them out! Papas a lo pobre, Alan? Yum! Actually I have a wonderful recipe for carne en salsa de almendra that is easy peasy and very Spanish, if you’re interested. Can’t put it in the WLM book as it’s not my own recipe.

Sue Clamp: Here’s the link. You can make it even easier by using ground almonds instead of grinding your own, if you like: http://www.theguardian.com/…/oct/09/foodanddrink.shopping

Alan Parks Sue Clamp, its one of the things that really sticks in my head from Driving over Lemons. We went to a restaurant once (called The Tomato), where they had a scrambled egg dish with potatoes and ham in, it was lovely. Dont know what it was called, and never seen it again.

–A revuelto of some kind. Look for revuelto on the menu. It’s not really revolting. http://spanishfood.about.com/…/Typical_Spanish…

Alan Parks: lol, but I am fussy and they do insist on chucking mushrooms in everything like that and I can’t eat mushrooms!

Sue Clamp: Many restaurants will have more than one revuelto on the menu. Just check the ingredients. You could always ask for one without mushrooms.

Linda Kovic-Skow: Wow! Another great thread with an interesting member. Tanya Stevens, I love your needlepoint projects above. I’ve done a little cross-stitch in the past. Such a relaxing past time, don’t you think?

Sharon Carter Figueiredo: Wow we have so many people with similar interests it’s fantastic.

Tanya Stevens: Ok I will either do the tagine or a recipe from Janet Mendel My spanish Kitchen x

–yes Victoria I know LOL I do not blame you, tour buses would be arriving following your reviews, it would be chaos1

–Ok I really have to go now, as Dinner is in the oven. It has been a great day and thanks to you all for taking part. I will hand over to Alan Parks or Victoria Twead I am amazed at the diversity in the group and look forward to chatting again soon xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Sue Clamp: Thanks, Tanya, it’s been a wonderful Fred! Have a lovely evening. x

Susan Joyce: Tanya, many thanks for a great day! Wishing you all the best with all of your projects. Enjoyed getting to know you.

Cherry Gregory: Many thanks for being in the spotlight today, Tanya, and giving us such an interesting thread. Have a great evening and good luck with your new adventures in Spain.

Sharon Carter Figueiredo: Thanks Tanya Stevens it has been good to get to know you. Chat soon on WLM

Frankie Knight: Interesting to hear of the water hole being called a pozzo, because on my mountain that is where the doo doo goes from the loo! Wouldn’t want to drink anything from there! Sorry I missed most of today’s Spotlight Tanya but I’ve been recuperating from visitors last week! Reading back over it all it’s been a good one. Just hope you enjoyed it?

Judi Bedford-Keogh: Not sure Frankie, I was told Pozzo was well and pozzo negro is where the doo doos go.

Tanya Stevens: yes thats the same as here a pozzo – water and a pozzo negro- black well!

Jill Brookes: Nice chatting with you today Tanya x

Tanya Stevens: BTW got out my Spanish Cookbook basically a lamb stew with bread and then crumble, lemon meringue pie and some ice cream!

Julie Haigh: Amazing talking to you today Tanya, I’m going to read back over the bits I missed when I had to pop out a few times but what an interesting person you are-hopefully you’ll write those books!

Sue Clamp: Lamb’s good! How about some fresh fruit right at the end?

Tanya Stevens: Yes Sue def fresh fruit, but the other half is yearning for his 2 fav puds

— today we had a photo sent through from the people who bought our house and kept all our chooks. Looks like Charlie Big Bananas is doing well


Rowena Cardwell: Thanks Tanya Stevens for an interesting and informative evening. I did have to bow out and go to bed as I am on the other side of the world. Never mind.

Victoria Twead: Glad to see Charlie Big Bananas is still doing well, Tanya Stevens! And thanks for a brill Member Monday spot. Can you PM me your winners, please, so I don’t miss/forget them? Thanks!

Victoria Twead: Congratulations to Tanya Stevens’ chosen ones: Sharon Carter Figueiredo and Rowena Cardwell! Please choose a book from the header and let me know.

Sharon Carter Figueiredo: Thank you Tanya Stevens it was good getting to know you.

Terry Bryan: Sharon Carter Figueiredo and Rowena Cardwell



Julie Haigh: Congratulations to Sharon and Rowena, -hope you both enjoy your choice of reads!

Frankie Knight: Congratulations Rowena and Sharon. Enjoy your choices….

Sharon Carter Figueiredo: Thank you Frankie Knight and Julie Haigh

Susan Joyce: Congratulations, oh chosen ones! Enjoy!



Cherry Gregory: Well done Sharon and Rowena.