We bought a rustic little finca in Mallorca that needed work done on it. I’ve often been asked why. Many people say that they knew instinctively when they found the property that was right for them, quoting a ‘gut feeling’. But in my case, it was an arrow straight in the heart.
It was love at first sight. I’ll never forget the moment when I climbed out of the hire car – completely jaded from four days of intensive property-viewing – and saw the valley spread out around the pretty little stone house. I felt a funny fluttering sensation inside me and could hear music playing. (Actually, it was an orchestra of singing birds, buzzing insects and bleating lambs, with dongling sheep bells forming the percussion section.)
I was completely smitten before even stepping through the low doorway into a large airy room (the dining room, I had already decided). The kitchen could best have been described as minimalist – it would certainly have given Delia Smith a seizure – and although there were a few plug sockets around the house, they didn’t function. The electricity system produced only enough power for a light bulb or two for a couple of hours a day – if the sun had shone on the one roof-mounted solar panel.
Love is blind. I didn’t see the inconvenience of living – albeit temporarily – without an electric toaster or my hairdryer. Neither was I daunted by the prospect of having no mains services at the house or living cheek to cheek with a septic tank. And how romantic it would be, living by candlelight!
After the first flush of romance, of course, it soon became apparent that I’d fallen in love with the property equivalent of the man who leaves the loo seat up and the cap off the toothpaste, and snores all night. But I wouldn’t have traded it for anything else – then, or now. The love affair continues . . .