Newsletter number 6 – week 49/2021


  • the dog
  • the fox
  • the chicken
  • the little bird
  • the renovation
  • pruning
  • Moringa
  • living in Spain
  • staying here in the neighbourhoud
  • Spotifylist

Dear reader,

This time I have a few updates on older stories and some other information and new stories. This week there was a lot to share.

About the weather: we still have breakfast and lunch very often on our terrace, but as soon as the sun is gone, it is getting colder. Sometimes there is a lot of wind, but there is still a lot of sun.

The dog

After we had put up posters in even more places and I had posted some messages in groups via Facebook, I asked a friend for advice.

This Dutch friend has a dog and has lived in the area for a number of years. She gave me the name of a woman who lives near here. This woman has a network of dog shelters and adoption and through this friend we were able to let him read the chip at a friend’s house the next morning in the village.

And he had one. While we had just arrived, a man came up to us and said that he had found the owner and that it was our neighbor a little further down the road. Our neighbor had already given us that tip, but when we went for a walk in the neighborhood with the dog, he didn’t make any effort to go there.

Later in the day the neighbor came to us and the dog, who had just stolen tasty pork chops, had some snacks and had been begging to be petted all day, automatically ran off onto the property, home.

We have each other’s phone numbers now, so if he comes to visit again, he is most welcome, then we also know how to get rid of him. By the way, his name is Jerette and we have corrupted it after Gerrit, because that’s how you almost pronounce it and we remember it more easily.

The fox

Last Sunday we were standing and talking with the neighbor, while we stood on the terrace and looked at the chicken coop. 

And suddenly there he was: the fox. Near the hen house, while I was too busy to find my camera on my phone, the neighbor and John had noticed that it was an old, skinny fox. 

The dog immediately ran after it, but it was quickly gone.

So it is even more important that the coop is properly closed and that no fox can get in somehow. So John is reinforcing the underside with cement and we have placed the loft in the middle of the run.

The chicken

The chicken is still on her own and she is still alive. Our first plan was to let the chicken stay at our neighbourshouse when we are traveling, but we decided to buy two new chickens and they will stay in their own run.

That means that this week we will go back to the nice shop where we were yesterday to buy food and wood cuttings. It is a very large store, where people who work professionally with horses, chickens, etc. do their shopping. Always nice to see what kind of chickens, ducks and other birds are for sale. I especially like the ducks, but that’s too much hassle with water. I can always pick up the straw, which we use for the cupboards, from the ground. Just need a little.

The little bird

and there he was on wednesdaymorning: a very small cute little bird. He made a lot of noice, while he landed on our sofa on the terrace.

He was very approachable to and very soon he was sitting on our heads, shoulders and stayed there nearly the whole afternoon.

He also occasionally bit our fingers, neck and arms, which was less. He just as easily went in at night and slept all night on top of a shelf in the hollow of a summer hat. The next morning he bit especially John a lot and ate well.

When I got back from my yoga class around nine o’clock, he was still there and had a nice nibble on a piece of bread and then he took off. The day before it had been quite windy all day and now that the wind had died down it must have been easier to fly.

Hope he stays away, John said, he bites me too much. I hope he comes back someday. 

The renovation

They were supposed to come last Saturday, but no one came. But last Thursday the first things were brought and from Friday morning 7 to 11:30 p.m. two or three men continued to work with short breaks.

I myself had stepped out of bar Toni the day before with the wrong foot. Mind you, it was 8:30 in the morning after a cup of coffee with my yoga teacher. Anyway, I did feel that my foot felt a bit sore, but came home with ease and I even showered, but after that there came a period of 12 hours that I could no longer walk on it at all, so John had to support me to the bathroom. In the meantime two days later it is still a bit sensitive, but I am walking like a lapwing again.

But because of that I have not seen anything of the floor dumping, only heard and the photos are of John. The floor now has to dry well for a few days and we are thinking about leaving our things under the fig trees for the period we are in the Netherlands. The windows are ready, but will be installed in January. After that there is still plenty to do, but we can start decorating it inside.

The floor was laid on Friday, Saturday we went to our other house in Castellon and on Sunday John went back and who has been around? Probably, judging by the thick legs, Gerrit, the dog.


Pruned the grape bush above our small terrace this week and also made the fig tree small. Of course we keep as much wood as possible to use later (which can be half to a year) for the wood fire.

Great job by the way, it feels a bit like haircutting , but now the cut doesn’t matter that much.

Last year I didn’t dare to touch a tree, but this year I just put the cutter in it, because many fruit trees didn’t do that well.

I can only start pruning the grape bushes once all the green leaves have disappeared and that is not quite the case yet. We also want to remove some grape bushes and create a large vegetable garden, but that is of course another job in itself and we have enough to do for the time being.  


The Moringa plants have had a hard time the last few weeks, because the little cats used the planters as a litter box. Since they have to be in a somewhat sheltered place for the winter months, I’m busy checking them for shit and shielding them with plastic. until there is a better solution. Also consider setting up a large box of sand so that the cats can use it as a litter box.

What is very special is that one of the older Moringa plants suddenly has a few buds.

I don’t expect flowers to come out in December, but I’ve never had a bud, let alone a flower.

Only seen it at Moringa’s finest, in the Netherlands, where I was visiting in April, but it was very hot in the greenhouse there. 

In Africa, Asia and South America, these trees can grow up to 12 meters in height, with many white flowers and long beans with seeds. In those areas it is also called the Drumstick tree

But you can also keep it as short as you want by pruning it regularly. 

Now we have to wait and see and keep an eye on it, that it won’t get moldy this way, but until April, if I can muster the patience, I won’t water them. This year it took a very long time for some life to come into the plants.

It wasn’t until mid-June that they started to give a sign of life.

At home in Rotterdam behind the glass, I already had them in full growth in April, but outside it is more dependent on a lot of sun and not too cold nights. In the spring I want to put three of the somewhat older and sturdier Moringa plants in the ground at the edge of the site. 

Another article I wrote about my Moringa plants, you can find here.

Living in Spain

Many people think about it, dream about living in another country and maybe Spain. And I totally understand why, of course. The possibilities, the inventive possibilities to live in somewhat impossible places are so diverse and findable online that it is possible for more people. 

For those people, who are interested in living in Spain, I have made a page with information. 

Information about which sites to visit to look for houses and places and also information about what to take into account in terms of legislation. Especially in Spain and perhaps everywhere, very important to know what you can and cannot build there. I know very little about it myself, so please refer. 

So for those who are interested, take a look at my page and if you have an addition, I’d love to hear it.

There are many beautiful and interesting areas in Spain and although I have been to a few places in Spain, I am not familiar with many areas. 

So I can mainly tell you what I find special about living here in this area. First of all, I especially like that it is mainly very Spanish. There are other nationalities living there, but there is no interference from any tourist ugliness. What there is to tourism are guided tours, medieval performances and neat signs. No ugly tourist shops, or English menus. A lot of people in the cafes in the morning and lunch at two o’clock in the afternoon.

If you want to see a tourist film about Cabanes, take a look here.

Many special and beautiful buildings, but also many ugly ones. Unfinished, empty for years. But that is slowly changing. Buildings are being renovated, but a lot is still empty.

I come from South of Rotterdam myself and it was always nice to hear from other people what it is like to live in a village.

Coincidentally, we now live close to a small village and get to know more and more people and these people know a lot about the history and certain places. When we are together we talk in English with my yoga teacher. When there are other people, I still talk to a lot of hanging and strangling in Spanish and they regularly talk Valencian among themselves, which I understand half or less of. But I’m happy that I allow myself to make a lot of mistakes and still make myself clear. 

For a shorter stay

And for whom ever wants to stay for a couple of days, a week or longer in the area where we are living, for those people I have made a page with information about hotels, houses, campsites

Spotify list

And finally one of my favorite topics: the weekly playlist. With 15 songs, very different, but all very convenient for me. Although the year is not over yet, Spotify already came wrapped with 2021 and in general what it says is correct. I’ve listened to 1535 different artists in the past year and 128 different genres. Have fun listening and I’m curious what your favorite is and also what you didn’t find interesting or beautiful. 

As Thursday we will drive, if everything goes normally, to the Netherlands in 1 day. 

On Wednesday 23 and Thursday 24 December I will make sure that the stove is on in our workspace and that there are tasty coffee/tea and snacks and I invite everyone who wants to meet each other again ‘in real life’ to go to our workspace, which is near the Rotterdam Zuid NS station.

There is olive oil for sale and some other things, but only if you want it. I like it when you want to come long.

Wonderful if you have reached reading until here and thank you for taking your time to read my stories , and till soon,

Bye Lieke

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