Another manic day!

This morning, I spent time catching up with some clerical work, and then finished designing and printing the Wedding Invitations and envelopes, most of the work had been done by Marcela\’s sister,Sandra, before I arrived, we just had to make a few alterations to get it into my software program, and then print them off… all ten of them, because in Colombia, the Invitation, goes to the whole extended family unlike in the UK.

After lunch, we set off again to the shops, I\’ll be glad when this is over, it is a never ending job, starting from scratch, and shopping, unless for tools, has never been my favourite pastime! Today, we have bought the Fridgefreezer, Washing machine, and kitchen equipment, the first two are being delivered tomorrow, so it looks as if I will be at the apartment all day, it will be interesting in the morning, my first encounter with Security… I hope they let me in!

We then went back to the furniture store, and paid the balance for the items bought there, the bed and sofa are being delivered tomorrow, but the dining suite next week, as we wanted non-stock chairs!

By the time we had returned home, it was dark, belting down with rain, following a violent thunder storm, (which has not cooled off the temperature one bit), and I was shattered. So we have unloaded the car for the night, had some dinner, and that is it for today!

When will things slow down!

Saturday, we went off hunting for the computer printer again, Marcela took me to what I am sure will be my favourite store over here, Home Centre, tools at every turn, but I have resisted the temptation so far, because I am still getting used to the value of the peso, and some things are very expensive. We went from store to store, and eventually came home with the printer, and phones to put in the apartment.

Yesterday, I thought being Sunday, would be a day of rest… think again! Marcela, her Mum, and I made the decision that we we would start our diet today (Monday), so we spent hours both making lists for things to buy for the diet and also for the apartment, then Marcela and I went off to the Supermarket to buy food in for the diet. After lunch Marcela and I were whacked and had a siesta, missing Sandra and family visiting.

On waking, it was off to the Commercial Centre, with Maria (Marcela\’s mum), and we found an electric plancher, which was something I would not be without for cooking, but here they are a lot more expensive than Spain, We also bought some more bits for the diet, and went off for a big bowl of icecream, before having to abstain!  

This morning, we set off about 9am, after a couple of other calls we went to drop my passport off, at the Office dealing with my visa, to be told that now, they were having to redo some of the documents, as the Ministry had changed the format, and we would have to go back to the Notary to have them authorised… I was ready to blow my stack, there was no way that had happened without warning, it was negligence on the part of the company, and to top it off, they said they had sent emails last night and tried the house phone this morning to forewarn us, funny that when we checked later, there were neither emails, or missed phone calls.

We left the Office, and had to rush into the City Centre, as Marcela had an appointment, we then went to another Notary, had the forms endorsed, and then returned and dropped the forms and my passport off at the Office, and now hope that my visa will appear in due course.

We also spent some time trying to find somewhere to send a fax to the Company in Spain dealing with the export of my belongings, but apparently Companies are not able to fax outside the country, why?… I have no idea. I have ended up having to email my credit card details, and hope they are not intercepted.

On the way home, we stopped at a furniture shop, where Marcela knows the owners, and we have purchased a bed ( big enough for now, but ideal for the apartment, eventually will be a guest bed) a dining room suite, and a corner sofa unit, tomorrow we will look for a fridge freezer and washing machine, then we will have the basics to get started.

From there we went on, and paid for the apartment for six months, and recieved a key, so on leaving the office, we immediately had a couple more cut. Then it was back home, by which time it was nearly dark.

I then christened the plancher and cooked the tea, after which, it was time to do some work on the computer.

I had an email to say there has been a slight delay in the sale of my Spanish house, due to a cock up in the paperwork by the Bank, fortunately Andrew has resolved that, as my papers were in order, they will have to have the new papers registered, which will take a couple of weeks, before going back to value the house!

And it all starts again tomorrow…

It is the same where ever you go!!!

After breakfast, Marcela and I walked round to see the apartment, it was still filthy, and Marcela said that she would not sign the contract until it had been cleaned, but it is in a reasonable location, with some nice views, in a gated community, and will be fine for six months.

I should have known better, nothing is easy where ever you are. We rang the company dealing with my visa, and I was given a one o\’clock appointment, on arrival, I do not think they had even looked at the documents I had sent over previously, and they certainly had not prepared the paperwork, so we were there for a while. I was then sent off to get a set of photos, and get all the documents authorised at the Notary.

I have to admit that the Notary system here is far more efficient than in Spain, and extremely quick, but no shortcuts on requirements. Whilst we were out, we went for lunch, and then returned to hand over the completed documents for my visa, but the Security could get no reply from the Office, so it ended up we had to ring the company, to ask them to contact Security to let us in!!!

We then went off shopping for a computer printer, but so far, we have failed to find one that satifies both our needs, so we will try again today.

Back home, I received an email, to say that the visa Company should have taken my passport from me, to have the visa stamp entered. Without going into detail, I have let them know, that I am unhappy with their service.

In the evening we received a call to say that Marcela could go and sign the contract for the apartment, so we walked all of two minutes, around the corner, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that the apartment had been cleaned up, and will do fine as a temporary home, and I think Marcela\’s Mum will be a regular visitor along with Marcela\’s nephew because we have use of the communal swimming pool!!!! small but very clean.

This morning Marcela has contacted the phone company, and they will come on Tuesday to install the phone, internet and satellite TV, that is efficient!!

A new beginning!

I left Cadiar at 4am yesterday, and arrived in Bello at 1.30am Spanish time, (7.30pm Colombian). The trip over was uneventful, there was as short delay at Madrid, but that time was made up on route, however I did not get much sleep, the plane was full, and there were plenty of crying babies!

I was met at Medellin Airport by Marcela and her brother-in-law Oscar, and back at the house, Maria (Marcela\’s mother), along with her sister Sandra, and nephew Sebastian, were all waiting, with belated birthday celebrations, what a lovely welcome and a great surprise!

After a good night\’s sleep, it is time to start getting busy again, hopefully we are moving into a rental apartment nearby, next week. My main priority now, it to organise the final arrangements for my Visa, which hopefully will get underway later today.

What don\’t I miss at the moment… the cold… it is lovely and warm here! and what am I most looking forward to… my new life with Marcela!

Ready to go!

I didn\’t sleep that well, last night, and gave up at 6.30am, so now the kitchen is clean, everything packed, and most Good-byes said, I am a little sad that neither of my neighbours are at home, but I have left messages for them with another Spanish friend.

Everything except my computer has been dismantled, and that will be done, as soon as I have spoken with Marcela this afternoon.

My alarm has been set for 3.15am, and then it is Colombia, here I come!! So I will sign off from Spain, and my next entry will be once I am up and running in Medellin.

Time is running out…

This morning, I was camped at the door of the Dentist when he opened, he gave me an appointment for mid-day, I returned and he has done some work, hopefully there will be no problem, but until the anaesthetic has worn off, I will not know.

I went back to the Farmacia yesterday, and they said I coulñd buy more of my tablets, but they would have to order them in, and so this morning, I called in, and bought two more months worth of tablets to keep me going, so that is another worry out of the way.

After my Dental appointment I had to rush home, because Andrew was calling, as he has Power of Attorney  for me, and then at 1pm José was calling with an update. When José arrived, he did not have much time, as he had a funeral to deal with, however I introduced him to Andrew, and he is now happy to deal with him, he then said, that the Bank were coming round to value the house tomorrow, but now  I have told him when I leave, they might contact Andrew!!

Counting down!

Initially Marcela said the apartment she went to view was OK, but I think it was just to please me, and have an apartment to go to, on my arrival. It was obvious she was not happy, so I have told her, not to worry,  forget this apartment, and take her time looking, if we have to stay a couple of weeks in the family house it is not a problem, as long as her Mum is happy.

I was taken out to lunch yesterday, and I think whilst enjoying the food, I have lost a filling from another tooth, no pain, but I can feel the pressure when eating. Hopefully it will survive until I reach Colombia, because I won\’t get anything done now.

I have started visiting my Spanish friends to say good-bye, and they are all wishing me well, which is nice, a few more to go, before I depart.

I am now ready to walk out of the door, my cases are packed, except for essentials, and now I am about to get stuck in with duster and polish!

Highs and Lows

On Thursday I went to the Medical Centre, and the Doctor said he was giving me a prescription for three months worth of tablets, to give me time to register with a Doctor in Colombia. However the system has now changed, and you are not given a prescription, you take your medical card to the Farmacia and the computer throws up the prescription. I was told they did not have the tablets, and to return today, which I have done, only to be told that the computer lets me have a maximum of one month, and if I want more I will have to return to the Doctor and get a written one, but there is no time… hopefully I will be able to buy the tablets over the counter, if not, I will just have to be careful.

Last night, I told Marcela, that I was not happy with the way she was being dealt with by the Agent dealing with the apartment rental, and sent her links to others, as a result, she is going to look at another today, which hopefully will be easier to rent, and give us a bit more room. I will know more later today.

Everything is so slow!

The wheels of bureaucracy turn extremely slowly. Yesterday, I heard from the company sorting out my Visa, and once I arrive and hand over the original documents, they will take five days to translate and legalise, then a further ten days to obtain the Visa, which is longer than I was lead to believe.

In the afternoon, I spoke with José, who is buying the house, he has heard nothing from his Bank regarding his money, but that is not really a surprise, with Christmas, New Year, and Three Kings, I think that the Bank has been shut more than open. José is going to speak with the Bank on Monday, and coming here, to discuss the situation on Tuesday morning.

Then this morning, I had an email from Marcela, to say that she has been delayed in renting an apartment for us, because of the papers the Management Company want before they will rent to her, so we will be living in the Family home for a few days at least, which is not a problem, because now at least, I will be with Marcela when we buy a bed and a sofa for the apartment, which has made me happy… why? that is another story, ha!ha!

Life changing…

I established that Marcela lived near Medellin, she had never been married, and had no children. She asked me, whether it was of concern to me, to have a relationship with a black woman, and I have always done my best to impress upon her, that colour is not important, it is the inner person. Likewise I asked her, why she had contacted someone so much older than herself, and she said that in her case, it was because younger men, were only looking for one thing…

The initial problem for me, was one of cost, because, I had used a sister site previously, and spent a small fortune, all contact had to be through the site. I decided to be upfront with Marcela, and from the outset she understood, and we quickly arranged for a phone call, during which, we were allowed to exchange details, and from that day onward, we have made good use of video Skype.

Our relationship quickly went from strength to strength, and I arranged to visit Marcela at the beginning of November 2011, I rented an apartment in Medellin, and gave Marcela the option of whether she wanted to stay with me or not, I am happy to say that she did, and that meeting confirmed our feelings for each other.

Whilst with Marcela, I asked her to marry me, and she accepted without hesitation, that was the happiest day of my life. We then started making plans for the future.

I have met all Marcela\’s immediate family, and they are both lovely and loving, they had been concerned as to my intentions, which was only understandable, but after our first meeting, I think that their fears were allayed.
It will seem strange, as it will be the first time I have had a mother-in-law who is younger than me!!!!

After two wonderful weeks, I left Marcela, knowing that my life was to be with her, and that meant changing my life completely, there was never any question of Marcela moving, she has a good job, and she is close to her family, I have no ties in Spain, and I can keep in contact with my family and friends in the same way as I do now. Also, it is easier for me to obtain a visa to live there, than the other way around.

Having returned to Spain, I started making the arrangements, and after a week, I was off on my travels again, this time to the UK, to see my family, because I have no idea when, I will be able to afford to visit them again.
My house was put up for sale, and I arranged a house contents sale, for the week after returning from the UK.

I had a constant flow of people coming to buy bits and pieces, prior to the sale, and everything had to go, I could not afford to send my workshop, built up over a lifetime, out to Colombia, so I will start again from scratch. On the day of the sale, I had many visitors looking to get something for nothing, and I didn\’t expect anything more, after all we all like a bargain, but I was a little sad to see how much my life had been sold off for. As someone said to me on the day, it must be weird, because normally such a sale, is after someone has died, not whilst still living, and they had a point.

However some good came out of the house contents sale, because that night, there was a knock at the door, and a local Spanish couple were there, the husband had been to the sale, and they asked if they could look around the house, after which they said they were going to the Bank to see if they could get a loan. I waited and a few days later the husband returned with his Father and Brother as moral support, and the bargaining commenced…

I agreed on a price, at the bottom end of my price range, but within the limits I had set, bearing in mind I had no Agents fees to pay. The next day, he turned up with a deposit, and we signed an agreement, giving 90 days for completion. Not a problem for me, because I had expected to wait a minimum of six months to a year before finding a buyer, and I have given a friend Power of Attorney, to act for me, so there is no problem.

To enter Colombia, I do not need a Visa, I can go for 90 days in any 180, but to stay in Colombia I will need one. After much research I have employed a company, to complete the process for me, to avoid any mistakes, Colombiavisas.com, and I am going to stay on a Retirement Visa, I only have to prove my income, which I now have the papers for. Unfortunately I have to renew that Visa every year for the first four years, which means getting a document from the pension provider, but then I will receive a permanent resident visa on the fifth year.

I now only have a week to go before leaving Spain for the last time, it will be sad, because I always thought that I would end my days here, but I am excited at the thought of an even better life with the person I love, in a new country, starting totally afresh.