We have seen such a beautiful piece of land, that it is hard for us to think anything better will come up. Ever. We might even
be ‘in love’ with it; it feels romantic, the nature is beautiful, it is secluded, but has great views, it has some altitude
(650 mtrs) to prevent it from getting too hot in summer, it has mature trees in all forms and sizes (olive, almonds, carob,
orange, lemon, persimmon,etc), it has shade and sunny areas, etc.
It keeps coming up in my mind and I can really see myself living there. Same counts for Eric and Beer (who has been visiting
lands with us all this time) And the best things is; Nikki and JF agree! They love it too!
That means this is also officially the first land we all agree on!
It is the same land I posted pictures from in the last blog. I will add a movie link this time.
My mind runs wild with all we could do there. It is so fun to create all these possibilities in my mind.
There is the option to build one ‘cortijo’ (a farmhouse, which cannot be used for permanent living) and turn this into an
Airbnb or a central building for general use. Beer already saw the best place for this. Quiet, private, but with beautiful
views and surrounded by trees.
The land is about 6000 m2 and has many levels (in the form of large terraces) and also large flat areas. This gives a lot of
‘private spots’ to choose from for our own place to live. There is no permission to build a genuine ‘house’, but there are a
lot of ways around this.
Looking at a Dutch friend I found here; she has a piece of land with yurts on it. These yurts are fortified and insulated on
the inside with wood. They are enormous in size; the living room/kitchen yurt is larger than most living room/kitchens in
genuine houses. Because they can be moved, they don’t count as ‘housing’ and you can unofficially live there (although
you can’t have your postal address there).
Knowing us, we will be creative enough to come up with something, so that we can make it happen. And even if this would not
become the land we will eventually buy, it makes me happy to have felt all this happiness from it and to have my imagination
working full time again.
Land that triggers dreams.
The other thing I have been enjoying, are the Spanish classes for adults. A guy travels through the Lecrin Valley -and all its
little towns- to teach Spanish. Practically he also entertains the elderly locals, to keep their brains working and give them
some company 3 times a week.
We have been sitting there for some weeks now, unofficially. He hasn’t written our names down anywhere. I think he secretly
enjoys the diversity our presence creates in the group. And he doesn’t want to go through the hassle of making it official,
especially since we are not official residents yet and probably not even entitled to be there.
The guy, his name is Alvero and he must be in his forties, is a very happy looking dude. Very friendly, very helpful. He got it
into his head that we should perform, with all the other groups of the Valley, together, for Christmas. So he started
practising Christmas songs with us. Every lesson we take 30 min to study a few more lines of the songs. Eric keeps making jokes
with him about this (Eric hates singing) and told him to take a stick to help us keep in rhythm. So he did; he brought a stick
one time. He used it mainly to slap on the paper of one of the elderly ladies, when she kept repeating the same mistakes in her
It is really funny.
A few elderly English people (a former veteran with lots of health issues and his very timid wife) complete the group.
Every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoon we go here, at 4 pm. Eric always with a lot of mumbling about how much he hates
On the way we meet the elderly ladies who try and climb up the mountain to the school with the rest of us. One of them can’t
climb anymore; so when Alvero enters the town, he honks the horn and she comes out to join him in his car up the hill.
I sit there, in this group of people and really have fun, just observing the situation. The diversity, the teacher, the
–us-so-not-fitting-there-. When Dolores (the lady who doesn’t walk; in her 80-ies) tries to talk with only 2 front teeth and
her very heavy Andalucian accent and I really don’t get her. Or when Helena, de Greek lady who married a Spanish guy, explains
in slow Spanish what she thinks of the songs (she really doesn’t like one of the songs), or when Dave (the veteran) doesn’t
have his teeth in and his face looks 20 years older, or when the 4 elderly Spanish ladies are cracking up about something and
we really don’t get it.
One of the songs, Alvero made himself. Apparently he is also a guitar teacher. Without any insecurity or self-consciousness he
puts his ipod on and we sing on one of his songs with him. He articulates insanely extreme to make sure we pronounce everything
ok (sometimes I fall asleep at night with this image flashing through my head; oh how to unsee it!?). When we do the singing he
turns into an extremely strict fanatic, while normally he is a very easy going guy.
I have been fiddling on a website, since Ecuador. I accidently left it online for a few weeks and received –to my big shock-
some new clients, due to that. Slowly I am spreading my wings again. If you want to see what I’ve been up to;
www.tanjasmeets.com. It is a work in progress.
My target is to have fun, feel connections, have people around to 'be with' and secondary; to create some income again, but
also to start doing things for free or on donation basis, as soon as we have a basic income going. And also to do lots of
things together. Not only with Nikki and JF, but also with others (anyone? If you see yourself in here, don’t hesitate!).
Nearby our house lives another Dutch woman (not the one with the yurts); she came here 24 years ago and birthed and raised twin
daughters here. Mainly on her own. They speak a mixture of Dutch, English and Spanish together.
The girls are now 20 years old and have been homeschooled for most of their lives. I have so much respect for what people are
doing in the creation of their own life: She lives on a beautiful spot with magnificent views and everything she did there,
together with her girls, to make it even more beautiful….
Eric and Beer picked up some Dutch food from a Dutch shop nearby. They became really greedy while shopping; everything looked
so good and yummy! Frikadellen, pindakaas, hagelslag, zoete sojasaus, peperkoek, etc.
When they came home with all the stuff, Lem said; ‘if we can buy all this here, I don’t need to go back to the Netherlands
Lem has changed quite a bit over the last weeks. He has become more positive. He just sort of ‘picked himself up’ and decided
it was easier to be positive than negative. And that was that (wow, wish I could do it like that!).
We had lots of talks with him over the weeks as well.
One talk in particular established a change in all of us. Due to Beer’s input we decided to come from a different angle. Beer’s
proposal was to talk about what Lem needed from us, to feel safe with us. Because obviously he wasn’t feeling very safe in life
in general. So the question became ‘what can we change in ourselves, to give Lem the opportunity to –at least- feel safe around
That talk exposed a lot of things.
Lem told us of things of our past that had made him feel unsafe (most of them we knew, but some were new). And how he had
created this ‘mask’ and what the mask brought him, but also what it took away from him (Beer could show him this part very
clearly). It was a very honest talk between the 5 of us. Honest AND loving. It brought us all a lot closer again.
I could see so clearly how Lem represents a lot of very specific pieces of me and Eric. Not a general fear of people or groups,
for instance, which 5 of us all seem to have, but a very specific fear. Specific as in; fear of the elements on his skin (wind,
sun, looks of people, touch). Or the fear when a schedule is being slightly changed. The fear of uncleanliness.
I have the last 2 fears quite a bit. I've learned to handle them in a ‘reasonable’ way (doable for myself and my family). But I
can actually still sometimes become stressed when I want to clean and things come in between. Lem has this in an extremer way.
But it is the same thing.
When I look at this, it dawns on me that autism is simply a cramped way of doing (or not doing) certain things. And the cramp
comes from fear. That doesn’t make it easier to solve, of course. But somehow this talk and the atmosphere between us led to a
change in Lem. And, on a subtler level, to all of us.