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Spain Again

John Wright


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Well six months on and here I am again.


The work is nearly done, so much for the time estimate of Easter.


I now have a farm house with four bedrooms, all good size doubles, two kitchens, two living areas which each have a double sofa bed, three bathrooms and two kitchens. It divides into two, two bedroomed units. The pool is done and all I am waiting for is the air conditioning to be finished. I have made final payment to the builder subject to a three month, 5% retainer.


I go over in early August to finalise the furnishings.


My architect and advocate still have not got the cedulla, the certificate for habitation which allows me to get a permanent electricity supply, they cannot get it because the local authority, from which the people before me bought, has never had it valued for rates, even now 5 years on.


It was local, regional and national election day last time I was over. I am on the electoral list so I get all the election pamphlets, Querol is a very strange place.


As well as the national left and right there are the Catalan regional autonomous left and right then there are the Catalan extremists, then the Querol rate payers and then the stop developing Querol and your brother is corrupt party followed by the party for a free Querol and a few others. Mind there are only 300 electors so I suspect everyone bar me was a candidate.


It is clear that one group think that the only way forward is to develop like mad, to bring back people to an area which has been depopulation on a big scale over the last 50 years. It is near enough for the daily commute to Barcelona. Vilafranca is twenty minutes away and is a station on the new high speed Barcelona to Madrid line.


There are others who are rabidly anti developments and allege that favours have been done in laying out plots and with connection charges, Each group not only puts up posters but paints slogan on the road, NON! QUEROL POR....! They also issue public Denuncias, the stuff put in those is strong compared to our own forums.


It seems to be rates related. Not that I have any to pay with a place with no rateable value. I understand the rates would be about €50 and water, which I do pay for, is €10 per month. I have no bin and have to use a public service about 200 yards away there are no street lights and I have my own private poo treater which I have to pay to have emptied occasionally. As it was built for a 100 cover restaurant I reckon about once a decade!


Thing is to meet the cost of all the works to install water and electricity and out in new estate roads the rates are now going to rocket because the Tarragona region of Catalonia is refusing to subsidise any more and no one is buying. They have laid out over 500 plots


I worry a bit, but they are all so nice to me.


The building has been fun. An English builder supervising with Romanian workers. God they work hard. They were staying on site to avoid travel, went up every Monday at 09.00 and stopped at 14.00 on Fridays. I chatted in our common language, English. They are Seventh day Adventists, persecuted by Ceausescu and still at the bottom of the heap at home. They make more in a week in Spain than in a month at home. I made coffee and found out they don't drink caffeine, no cola, no tea. (paging DJDAN).


So what else has happened to post about?


last time out I arrived at El Prat airport about three hours before flight, with only hand luggage. Bedlam, all the check in computers were down, took 2 hours 35 minutes to check in.


Better still I have now stopped the car losing power in my absence. nasty tale of entrapment to be told there some day


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