This week has been all about becoming Spanish residents.
It started with needing to buy a car - with the steering wheel on the correct side so that joining a main road would not be quite so dangerous. Straight forward you would think - wrong!
We found a car - great under a scheme that's called 0:00kms. These are show room cars, already registered but not sold in the time they should be. We found one - a lovely Peugeot 2008 for a very good discount. So, all we had to do was transfer the money, right? No, not quite so simple!
First of all you need your documentation as a foreigner - your NIE document. Now, we have had an NIE number for about 12 years, but the lawyers never gave us the document, so buying a car is impossible - even in this digital age when all our info is on someone's computer anyway.
Our lawyers don't even exist under the same name anymore so we set about going to the local National Police station to get a replacement - easy? No!
A volunteer rattles off what we had to do, including having our wedding certificate translated with an appointment to get it on 6 November. Will we lose the car? No, a deposit will suffice - heave a sigh of relief, but the NIE, did we understand what we had to do - not sure!
However, I thought we should ring oour original lawyers and - miracle - they had all our stuff archived and could send us an email to get he buying of our car underway. Hooray!
Now for the money transfer - yes, really straight forward. Money in account, but hang on - can't transfer it to car compnay - over our limit. Grrr! Money in account, this is crazy. Visit to bank - issue sorted out!
Now all of this must be understood in the context of prayer. A few months ago, while preparing an opening word for Heart2Heart in Hornchurch, I was thinking of Jesus' words about prayer. He said (words to the effect of..) "If you pray in my name, you will say to that mountain, 'Move' and it will move. If you have faith as small as a grain of mustard seed you will do great things in my name" .
Now, I always thought (forgive me, Lord) that was a grave exageration. :0\} 'That is silly" I said to myself. Until, I prayed about it and realised the "mountain" was/were the seemingly insurmountable thing(s) in our lives. In His name, pray and these things would move.
Now last Sunday we wnet to the church called "La Iglesia de la Palabras de Poder" (The Church of the Words of Power), and that is exactly what the preacher spoke about. So, all this week when we have found the Spanish bureaucracy threatening to over whelm and confound, this is what we have thought about - and "Ain't no mountain high enough".
Bit, by bit the mountain has come down and we have seen the apparently impenetrable cliff of paperwork come crumbling down - we should pick the car up early next week!! Yeah!!
Meanwhile we have enrolled in the local and European voting system so that the local council can claim money for us from the EU govt and we can moan about services - should we wish to!!
We also now have an appointment to become residents for Nov 11th - Remembrance day and our son's wedding anniversary. For this we need to prove we will not be a financial burden for the state (Spain) and we are married (translated marriage cert!) [40 years all told - and they want proof!!!]
So, there we are - settling in . Are we discouraged? Not really. Frustrated? Sometimes! Happy ? Yes!
You'll also be glad to know, Oscar is settling in and receiving more medical (preventative) care than we are!
My brother and sister-in-law come next week and we are looking forward to sharing our new home with its (currently) glorious weather with them.
We are able to keep in touch with family and friends thanks to Facetime, Facebook, Whattsapp, Skype and phone!
My drawing class is coming on well, but more importantly I am getting to know people through it, while John is studying more digital photography.
Here's the car!!