Local resident and writer Trudie Le Beau recalls her winter “moving-in” experience into the Hondon Valley many years ago to “live the dream”. She opted for a new build as many did in early 2000’s as Hondón redeveloped itself. Of course new builds have to become homes and that means getting stuck-in! But it’s a happy ending.
Thank you Trudie, here at Hondón Villas we wish you many more happy years in this gorgeous tranquil part of rural Spain.
When in November 2004 my husband and I moved into our villa in Hondon de los Frailes it sat lonely and unadorned in a plot of dirt with not a blade of grass in sight and which, much to our dismay, still represented a building site inside.
Snagging the Property
Fortunately we had one day free before our furniture was due to arrive so, instead of treating ourselves to a celebratory lunch, we hastened along to the Ferretaria in Hondon de las Neives to buy buckets, mops, scouring pads etc and spent the rest of the day sweeping up cement dust, mopping floors, cleaning gunk off windows, scrubbing grout and cement from various surfaces and falling into our camp beds exhausted.
Not the best start but thank goodness our furniture arrived as planned and things soon began to look much more homely once we had somewhere to sit and the fire (of which our builder Paco was very proud) was lit.
Over the next few weeks Paco visited on an almost daily basis to attend to the odd snags that presented themselves, like the radiator leaking, the shower head being put on back to front and the boiler not working. We also had bathroom furniture and wardrobes fitted so for a few weeks the place felt more like Piccadilly Circus than home.
A Pool? It’s all going Swimmingly!
The next thing to organise was the swimming pool and once we had decided where to position it, we set things in motion. Earth was excavated and a frame of re-bar and the pipe work were fitted, and that was when it began to rain. Our dirt patch soon became a sea of mud but, dear old Paco came to our rescue by laying a path of scaffolding boards from the gate to our steps, but unfortunately each time we walked on them they sank a little deeper into the liquid, brown slurry and almost disappeared.
The rain continued relentlessly so naturally we assumed that the pool installation would be put on hold, but how wrong could we be! The next day a cement lorry arrived to pour in the base of the pool, which it managed to do but by which time it had sunk into the mud up to its’ axles; at that point we closed the door, put on the kettle and switched on our VHS recorder (we had no television at that point) in order to drown out the raised voices and what we were sure were Spanish expletives!
Eventually the pool was finished and our plot resembled a stock car racing track but peace reigned. It was February by then and freezing cold, so much so that when the water lorry came to finish filling up the pool the water that was already in it was frozen. Never mind, we were starting a new life and we’d discovered that booze was cheap and the natives were friendly.
Slowly but surely the Hondón summer feels more like the “dream”
Things improved no end through the summer months. We began to plant out the garden (with the aid of a kango hammer) and had plenty of visitors who didn’t seem to be phased by the frequent electricity cuts and days with no water – at least we had the pool. We were able also to have a telephone and wi-fi installed as well as a television – all the creature comforts of home.
New Furry Friends
By this time we had acquired two dogs that needed homes. One was a beautiful Husky that had belonged to the bathroom fitter whose circumstances had changed, making it difficult to look after her and the other, an Alsatian cross who had been abandoned. There seemed to be so many dogs in need of help then but over the years, thanks to the wonderful people at Hovar and Barkinside to name just a few the sad problem of feral dogs has receded.
Hondón is Still a “Gem” all these years later…
If we ever had any doubts about moving to Hondon de los Frailes they didn’t last long. Over the years we have seen the village gradually grow and improve so that at present it has just about everything one could ask for in the way of amenities, yet it still retains the quiet peacefulness that first attracted us to the Hondon Valley.
What could possibly be better than sharing a meal with friends and family whilst watching the sun set on a beautiful summer evening in Hondon de los Frailes?
Can’t think of anything?
No, nor can I.
Copyright 2020. This article was kindly written for Hondon Villas and the Hondón Community by Trudie Le Beau, a member of the Hondon Writing Circle . She has recently published her book “The Petite Chronicles”.
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