This week’s expat interview features Sandra Piddock who moved from Devon to the Costa Blanca. If you would like to be featured, scroll down to just below the article and submit yours via the link. Enjoy!
When did you move to Spain, and where from?
We moved in March 2008 from Plymouth in Devon. We talked about moving abroad for years, then the rising cost of living and health issues encouraged us to take the plunge.
Who came with you?
My husband Tony. He was 74 when we made the move, so it was a very brave decision for him – especially as he’d lived in Plymouth all his life.
Where in Spain do you live now?
Algorfa, on the Costa Blanca. If you haven’t heard of it – and most people haven’t – it’s near Torrevieja and the salt lakes.
Do you work? As what?
I’m a freelance writer and blogger. I love what I do, and of course, I can do it wherever I happen to be, and even when I’m not feeling so good.
How are you with speaking Spanish?
It’s a work in progress. I started teaching myself before we moved here, then went to classes for a couple of years to make some more progress. Now I’m so busy with the writing, I don’t have time for classes, but I can chat with the locals if I pay attention and they speak slowly for me!
If you could change one thing about Spain… what would that be?
I think it’s very arrogant to try to change anything about a country you move to, but I’d love to slash the bureaucracy. How come such a laid back nation insist on strangling themselves with red tape.
What is the best thing about living in Spain?
How long have you got? The sun, the scenery, the food, the laid back lifestyle. The great roads, where I can drive 400 miles a day in my motor home without a cup rattling and without getting held up by traffic jams and roadworks. Oh, and the cheap vodka and cava!
What is your favourite Spanish dish?
Paella is top of the list – and that’s authentic Valencian paella, of course. Albondigas (meatballs to you). Any sort of tapas as long as it doesn’t contain offal or octopus, and gazpacho. Who would have thought cold soup could taste so good?
What is the predominant nationality of your friends in Spain?
We live on an urbanisation, so we have more English friends than anything.
If you won the Euromilliones – would you still live where you currently are?
No, in a word. We bought on an urbanisation, because it was at the height of the controversy over the Land Grab Laws, and we were told it was the safest option. Nobody told us about the petty politics of urbanisation life, though, and that the minority of loud shouters always get to run the community. We’d buy something nice and not too ostentatious in Algorfa – but not on an urbanisation!
If a movie was made about your life – who would play you?
I think I’d like Julie Walters to do the honours. She’s from the Midlands, about my age, and she tells it like it is and doesn’t suffer fools gladly. She’s also a very funny lady, and my friends and readers tell me that I am too.
If you had to describe yourself as a sandwich filling… what would you be?
A sandwich filling? Let me see – coronation chicken, I think. It’s mildy spicy and full of flavour, yet it’s easy to digest. I hope I’m a bit like that too.
Right – now is the chance to tell us all about your business/website/blog if you have one (or more of course). Go for your life!
I don’t really do technical, so when I had the chance to open a blog on Eye On Spain, I jumped at it, and it’s doing pretty well as a showcase for my writing. It’s also resulted in a television appearance and a radio appearance, because I can get a bit controversial at times.
I earn a modest living from writing for various websites and private clients, and I also like to help other promising writers to get their name and their material out there.
If I ever figure out how to do it – or if I can find someone to do it for me who won’t charge a fortune – I’d love to run my own website where I can mentor writers and provide quality content for publishers. I also have at least 3 e-books struggling to get out. If only there were a few extra hours in each day! (Ed: You’ve come to the right place Sandra – guess what we do!!! )