The early days of Masia Lavanda

The early finca days © 2011 stephanie de leng. All rights reserved.

Here, because so many people are asking about Masia Lavanda, I will be concentrating solely on this mad finca adventure; its beginnings, middle and yes, even somewhat of an end. As it is entirely off-grid, it has been quite a project. This … Continue reading

Trying to find a builder

Trying to find a builder in Spain © 2011 stephanie de leng. All rights reserved.

I don’t think I would have bought Masia Lavanda if it had not been for the fact that I was recommended a builder “who was very reliable, spoke English and loved old construction”. When you live two thousand miles away and … Continue reading

Being taken by a rogue

taken in by a rogue in Spain © 2011 stephanie de leng. All rights reserved.

So there I was, not happy with Paco, and I meet a man, even more charming and decidedly intelligent who I related my woes to. He was a man whose wife had cooked an amazing meal for me already, and … Continue reading

My masia bites the dust

My masia was kanocked down in Spain © 2011 stephanie de leng. All rights reserved.

Before this man knocked my house down, he took off the roof. He then charged me a small fortune for this, also to rake out the stone work, and then consolidate the walls with cement on the inside. I had … Continue reading

Euros to the wind

© 2011 stephanie de leng. All rights reserved.

There comes a point when you decide to get out and cut your losses and this maybe should have been one of those. But I didn’t. I couldn’t. It was like throwing euros to the wind and this particular wind … Continue reading

My lovely cabin

my lovely stone cabin in Spain © 2011 stephanie de leng. All rights reserved.

I went back to Liverpool, bereft, and yet strangely full of hope. Another part of me wondered if I was a lamb (ok an old sheep) being led yet again to the slaughter. However when something happens that you have … Continue reading

The real work on the masia starts…

the real work on the masia starts © 2011 stephanie de leng. All rights reserved.

It was agreed that the masia would be re-built come the 7th of September 2009 and I would spend three months living in my new lovely cabin supervising. I re-arranged all photo jobs around this date and regularly emailed Carlos for … Continue reading

Rain, rain, and more rain

© 2011 stephanie de leng. All rights reserved.

So to get back to my arrival in EL Maestrat, and the start of a very long adventure, I back track over the last post a little. Near the end of March James fixed a roof box to our Skoda … Continue reading

The Phoenix from the rubble

© 2012 stephanie de leng. All rights reserved.

  Let me tell you something that may come as a surprise. It is not always sunny and warm in Spain. Spain is a very large country and the climate varies enormously depending where you are. As it is, where … Continue reading

July and the roof

© 2012 stephanie de leng. All rights reserved.

May rushed by, and then June arrived with the dying wild flowers and an increasing heat. The masia went up, the roof went on and my hero of the moment was Carlos. It was the honeymoon period. I could not … Continue reading

Time marches at the finca

© 2013 stephanie de leng. All rights reserved.

As it happens no cracks showed. James returned to England, as I did for a while in order to sort our two boys out in further education. Then I returned to the finca at the end of September. The roof was … Continue reading

Moving in poco a poco

© 2013 stephanie de leng. All rights reserved.

  Of course I did move in eventually, but it took some time. Bit by bit I carted sacks of clothes, pans and also my generator (not a joke) 300 meters across stoney uneven ground up to the new build. … Continue reading

‘The Sewage Treatment Plant’

© 2013 stephanie de leng. All rights reserved.

  In time, I pulled myself together and continued my Spanish fantasy. Let me explain. On my 21st birthday my mother came me a jigsaw puzzle of a magnificent Bavaria castle rising towards the skies. On it she wrote, “She painted … Continue reading

Masia Lavanda gets solar!

The job was neat and tidy © 2014 stephanie de leng. All rights reserved.

II had paid my deposits, signed my contracts, and solar man Antonio applied for a EU solar grant. In fact I can honestly say that this was what tipped the balance in his favour. He had given me a competitive … Continue reading

The Finca Diaries Revisited

My masia was taking shape © 2016 stephanie de leng. All rights reserved.

So. It has been a long time since I have been on this page, maybe two years. Something that John Lennon said “life is what happens when you are busy making plans”. I am not going to bother looking this … Continue reading