One disappointing thing about moving to mainland Europe is that while state pensions and disability benefits are still paid, the mobility part of both the Disabled Living Allowance and Personal Independence Payment is not. Apparently, that is because the mobility element is not regarded as care.
I had previously used the mobility part of my DLA to meet the costs of a car provided through the Motability scheme, so I never saw the money – it was paid straight to Motability. The cars, that have served me well for nearly six years, came to an end when I returned my vehicle on 26th October, the day before Lisa and I sailed to America on Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas.
That means that we now need to buy a car of our own – and on Thursday we started looking in earnest. All being well, we hope to have one at some time during the next week. Be sure to watch this space for further news on this subject.
Talking of driving, and by that I mean left hand drive cars on the right hand side of the road, I have to say that it is fast becoming second nature to me. Yes, sometimes I drift a little close to the kerb or, more often, the roadside verge but, generally, it’s ok and seems to be getting both easier and better.
Several people have asked me to describe the area in which we now live. So, here goes.
Our home is in a rural community close to a small village in an agricultural area known for growing melons, olives and oranges. There are mountains just a few miles away that make a backdrop to some spectacular views, plus fringes of arid land that afford a home to desert plants.
Situated within easy reach of two reasonably small towns, and only a 10-minute drive from the Mediterranean, we really have the best of all worlds. We are well away from popular tourist destinations.
As far as the weather is concerned, we arrived in mid-November so we could not expect too much. The daytime temperatures have only been in their 70s F (21+ C) with a mixture of cloudless blue skies and those predominantly blue with wispy clouds. I have worn shorts for the last two days and have relaxed at pavement cafes while enjoying the sunshine. It gets considerably cooler at night but that is to be expected.
We have followed the news about storms Abigail and Barney hitting the UK and can only have sympathy with everyone affected, especially with those who were without power. I have distinct memories of being without electricity in North Wales. The wet, cold and grey weather with such little, if any, sun was the main reason behind our move to Spain.
It seems that the finishing touches are being put on our new home, so we hope to be moving in very soon. The place we are in, while the work is being finished, is lovely but it isn’t ours.