Tuesday, December 05, 2006

My Life in Boxes

The packing is going well with most of the house now packed away and the junk either in the pile to go on eBay or in the skips at the recycling center.

There is something strange about seeing your life reduced to about 40 boxes. The boxes are currently stacked in a 30 Sq ft storage unit. We have packed in the boxes everything that we do not need to have immediately when we arrive, also the particularly valuable items and especially fragile things (Like Telescopes) will be coming with us in the Van.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Spending Spree

Well in preparation for our move to La Palma early next year we have been on a bit of a spending spree buying things that we need for our new life out there. The main items we have been buying are the things that will be very hard for us to obtain once we are there.

One of the main things that I have been getting is all the equipment that I require for my astronomical observatory which I will be setting up over there. Below are a few of the items that I have purchased so far.
10" LX200R Ritchey Chretien Telescope Tube

Sky-Watcher Pro ED80 80mm Refractor Telescope

EQ6 Pro Skyscan Equatorial Mount

Once I start to set these up and use them I will post more detailing the progress. In fact I am still waiting of the EQ6 Mount to be delivered.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Meet Bertha


Let me introduce you to the newest member of our family Bertha.

As you can see Bertha is a car, or to be more precisely she is a Citroen Berlingo. She has a 1.8 litre engine and most importantly she is left hand drive, Why you may ask ? Well the plan is that we will in March of next year (2007) drive Bertha across the channel down through France into Spain and to Cadiz where we can catch the ferry to the Canary Islands.

Bertha started her life in Gibraltar and was imported to the UK in 2002. As part of her importation several things have been changed that we would have to put back when we import her to Spain, These are;

  1. Headlights - These have been replaced with UK versions and need to be swapped back to the European versions.
  2. Fog Light - This has been converted from being on the left to being on the right, this is easy to swap back as the wire has been cut and another wire feed to the bulb on the other side, so cutting this and reconnecting will not be to difficult.
  3. Speedometer - This has been altered to read in Miles per hour in order to convert this we need to remove the stickers that have been placed there and replace them with the correct kilometers per hour readings.
We will keep you abreast of the ongoing developments with Bertha. The next thing to do is plan our route though France and Spain.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Narrowing the Search

Below is a list of some of the things we are looking for in a property.

1. Edge of Village

We want to be reasonably close to a village for access to shops and other services. At the same time we don't really want to be right in the center of a large populated area.

2. Lack of Light Pollution

As my hobby is astronomy and being out in La Palma is an ideal place to pursue this, it is important to be away from any sources of light pollution. While La Palma does have laws that limit the amounts of light pollution there are still a number of places on the island that have large amounts of light.

3. Good Views of zenith an Western Skies

Again on the astronomy side of things it is important to have as much of the sky visible as possible . This would mean avoiding being in a dip or surrounded on all sides by tall trees or other obstructions.

4. Land to build Observatory

Ideally it would be nice to build the observatory a little distance away from the house to limit the effects of the air turblance caused by the heat rising from the house .

5. Accessible

Obviously a house would not be much good if you have to be a mountain goat to reach it. Now there are places in La Palma where access may entail a drive down a rough road but there are limits.

6. Ground for Vegetable Garden

As part of the new life style that we wish to have we would like to be able to grow a lot of our own food. This would entail us having a reasonable sized plot of flat land to use for vegetable growing and an area for fruit trees.

7. Services

There are a few basic services that we would need, the main ones being Electric, Water, Sanitation (even if this is a septic tank). Another critical service is an internet connection, being as some of the plans that we have revolve around web based services, being able to access the web is a must.

8. At least One Habitable Building

Even if there are parts of the building that cannot be lived in straight away as long as we have at least one place that we can eat and sleep warm and dry we could live in that while we finish the rest of the property renovations

Tuesday, October 10, 2006



I have been looking for quite a while on the net at properties that are available in La Palma. Here are a couple of the ones I have found but I have at this stage rejected for various reasons.

Ruin in Mazo
While this property is cheap at only 55,000euro it is in a very bad state of repair and the ground is very over grown, also where a new road has been up in at the bottom of the grounds the access to the property has been limited. Whilst I do not know the cost of putting in a new access I feel that this would limit the funds we would have left for our plans. The other major factor in rejecting this property would have to be the overall cost of the repairs and extensions that would be required.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Our Dream

Our dream is to find a place in the sun that we can turn into a self sufficient retreat. We are fed-up with the high stress life of working and living in London and want some place where we can be at peace with life. Sounds like a load of words full of cliche's but that is what I am looking for.
Until recently it was only a dream but now it looks like it is going to be a reality, due to being made redundant. Now we have the money to make our dreams a reality.

Friday, March 31, 2006

An Introduction

Just to introduce ourselves and what our quest is about.

I'm Theresa, A 35 Year old Unix System Administrator from South London. This is me here sitting on a bench out side the town hall in Mazo. Now where is Mazo you ask? Well Mazo is a small town on the Island of La Palma in the Canaries.
It's our aim someday to come and live permanently on the Island. This Blog will follow us as we look around the Island (physically when we can but most of the time on the Internet).

This is Helen, My partner. Helen is also a Unix System Administrator. It was Helen that first introduced me to the Island of La Palma back in 2003.

Helen was first introduced to the Island when she went to work for the Royal Greenwich Observatory which has several large telescopes based on the Island. These are on the Island due to the extremely good observing conditions which exist due to the location.

Helen's Former work place in La Palma. The William Herschel Telescope