Some came about from attending Spanish language schools, where we had so many laughs because of what are called 'false friends', these come about because so many Spanish words are very similar to the English ones and most have the same meaning, but there are some that do not mean anything like the same and can be embarrassing (for example embarazada does not mean what one would think, it means pregnant!).

Buying Our Swiss Home

Eventually, Josephine found the flat she wanted, and we bought her house in Winterthur this was in March 2003, so once we had moved in, our possessions from Birmingham arrived safely and we then had to deal with all the paperwork required by the Swiss to allow us to live there. It was such an ordeal even though Trudy is Swiss, so many documents had to be produced and verified (we had no idea of what many of them even were!). We succeeded eventually, but it did take several weeks.

Changing Homes Every Two Months

Once we were settled, we decided we would spend two months in each home, dividing our time with our parents.

We purchased a second-hand Audi A6 allroad car (it was just six months old and had run only 6,000km) having sold our Jensen CV8.

After driving our Jensens for so many years, it was such a big learning curve to learn all about the new technology, our car had all the extras possible, and I found it was rather amazing to find out just how much had changed since the 1960's. But it was nowhere near as fast as our CV8 the acceleration from a standing start was sluggish and this disturbed me, once past about twenty kmh the car then responded well.

Our plan was to drive back to Spain to see how we felt about it, as against flying. I planned our route and booked two hotel stops, this turned out to be quite an adventure that we really enjoyed. The views were spectacular, we had the mountains and the coastal views all the way, the roads were particularly good, plus we found lots of interesting places to see and stay in.

These trips were done so that we could spend equal time to be with and to help our parents, as we were aware of them getting older. From then on, we have driven every time, with the different seasons, each trip was a distinct experience and was more like a little holiday for us.

We did have some incidents, unfortunately when driving along the Spanish coast there was a risk, especially if in a nice car, that someone would put a knife in one of your tyres. The plan was that they would follow your car and point out that you have a flat tyre and then offer to help you, whilst really at every opportunity they would steal from you. We had about three such happenings! But luckily nothing got stolen, we just had the inconvenience of getting a new tyre.

The worst time was the last time because we were driving back from Spain and still had our winter tyres on. We had got to Valencia, and no one could find winter tyres for us (never needed this far South) our insurance company tried their best, but it took three days, and the only solution was to have two new summer tyres fitted. So, we had three days in Valencia and had to change our hotel booking in France.

The heat in Valencia was scorching so we spent one day in 'Sea World' and the rest of our time in Stores, or our hotel anywhere with air-conditioning.

After 14 years our Audi had been wonderful, but to continue with this lifestyle we exchanged it and bought the BMW 3 series Grand Turismo, this car is faster and responds well.

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