-Where were you born?
-In which country and city are you living now?
Montoro, Córdoba, Spain
-Are you living alone or with your family?
With wife and two daughters
-How long have you been living in Spain?
-What is your age?
-When did you come up with the idea of living in Spain?
We were just sick of the rat race and we made the decision to move sooner rather than wait to receive our state pensions - which probably would be worth nothing in 30 years' time!
-Was it hard to get a visa or a work permit?
Luckily we didn't need any.
-Was it difficult for you to get medical insurance before you went there or when you first arrived?
A lot of people (not only the English) are under the impression that the European Union health card (it was blue?) is valid - but I soon found out its validity is only for 30 or 31 days.
-How do you make your living in Spain? Do you have any type of income generated?
We decided, like many others, that the only way to make a living was to work for ourselves and become self-employed. We found a country house to buy with the intention of running it as a B&B, until we found out it had no water! We ended up (after living two years without water with temperatures of 45 degrees!) giving the house away. Five years later we are still paying the price for our stupidity.
-Do you speak Spanish and do you think it's important to speak the local language?
As my daughters are fluent I have learnt a lot from them. I still don't have the confidence to say I am fluent! But I know that if I didn't speak the language now, I would not be working.
-Do you miss home and family sometimes?
My wife does but after being in the UK for a couple of weeks this year, I know I miss nothing.
-Do you have other plans for the future?
Now I am working, I plan to try and recuperate my losses! The truth is, if we had been working from the start the whole experience would have been so much more pleasurable.
-What about housing, have you bought, or are you renting a home? How much do you pay for it?
The market is dead at the moment so it is a good time to buy. A three-bedroomed flat could be negotiated for around 100.000 E (there is actually one on ebay.es at the moment, I just looked!)
-What is the cost of living in Spain?
It used to be a lot cheaper, but the prices are slowly creeping up! From my recent experiences in the UK, the food is still around a third cheaper.
-What do you think about the locals?
They are really different, once you get to know them and speak the language. I have found this the case in many countries.
-What are the positive and negative aspects of living in Spain?
The main positive, obviously, is the weather. The community spirit is something else I have noticed. When my grandmother said she used to borrow a spoonful of tea from her neighbour, I never believed it happened! Here I do it all the time, only for wine and Jamon!
-Do you have any tips for our readers about living in Spain?
NEVER BUY. FIND WORK. Always, always, always rent. Give yourself time to find out 1) If you like the place 2) If supporting yourselves in the future is viable. If I had rented first I would still be living like a king. The mistake was taking advice from people I didn't know. In hindsight I would have spent at least a year renting before I found people trustworthy enough to work with.
-Do you have any favorite Web sites or blogs about Spain?
I am now working for a local company that manufactures and maintains olive oil extraction machinery. So if anyone is planning to buy an olive farm (something I planned to do originally!) you can see our products in Spanish at www.industriasdelarosa.com