End of July 2010

After receiving endless reports and emails from all the professionals on the finca – each one complaining about another we shouted ENOUGH OF THIS – and took the step of writing to each member of the team to remind them of their contract obligations and that we are their clients not their mediators.  We told them that due to this situation we had decided to “absent ourselves” for a while and expected them to resolve their differences through mutual respect and professional communication.  We became only available for serious emergencies and took time off from the project for 6 weeks.  BLISS!


We went to the UK to celebrate Scarlett’s big birthday with friends and family and had a ball.  We:

*attended a family reunion with Scarlett’s family on her father’s side near Dunster, Somerset – so wonderful to be with them after more than 3 decades.
*stayed and dined with Vivien and David Holmes in Cheltenham – special quality time with dear friends
*picnicked with our daughters, grandchildren and one son-in-law at Cliveden House, Taplow (near to where Scarlett grew up) – what a joy to see so many of the grandchildren together
*stayed the night there and had dinner with Scarlett’s life-long friend Teresa Taylor and another friend Jane Russell
*had a great time tasting amazing food in London at Maze, Grosvenor Square and Pont de La Tour, Butler’s Wharf
*took part in a photography session to celebrate both Teresa and Scarlett’s 60th (their birthdays are a week apart)
*then went to Cambridgeshire and stayed with June and David Kelway – precious friends for 41 years
*dined at the 2 Michelin starred Midsummer House in Cambridge – a fabulous experience
*Tried our hand (for the first time) at clay-pidgeon shooting – with mixed results!  Chris hit 38 out of 40 – Scarlett needs more practice!

Scarlett, our grandchildren, daughters and one son-in law at Cliveden House sending off wishes with ballons,

Scarlett later shared the thoughts she had when freeing the balloons with our daughters: “It would be unnatural for my birthday not to have had a tinge of sadness for me.  However I have reached 60 before losing my father and aunt so I was thinking just how lucky I am.  I was hoping that both of them are happy and at peace.  I was hoping that all of you continue to thrive and be content, that you continue to support each other and that Chris and I continue to enjoy a long retirement in good health to see our grandchildren grow and achieve in their own right”.

Chris "controlling" photo session to celebrate both Teresa and Scarlett's 60th


We got back to Spain exhausted and very happy and spent the rest of August just relaxing at home, being tourists in Granada and heading for the beach.

23rd August 2010

Glynn, Scarlett, Billy, Willow, Ship's Mate Brian, Teresa, Chris, Jimmy, Antonia and Anne


Ocean Kiss anchored off Cantarrijan beach

At the end of the month we joined friends and family for a terrific sailing day off the Costa Tropical, meeting up with more friends for lunch at our favourite beach, Cantarrijan, near to La Herradura. We have sailed with Michael Harwood before – he always makes sure everyone has a great day.

Cantarrijan from La Barraca restaurant

We were delighted that that friends Anne and Glyn Snelling and Antonia and Jimmy Connell were able to join us on the yacht. Alex and Jenni Swan and their boys and Lyn Baker and Elaine Crawshaw joined us for lunch at La Barraca a great beach restaurant. It was very special that Scarlett’s friend Teresa was able to be with us from the UK as well as our daughter Bridie, her husband Martin and our Spanish based grand children Willow, Billy and Lucia. Much sangria was drunk and ice cream cake eaten!

Teresa, Willow and Scarlett’s birthdays are within the same week – two are 60 and one is 10 – its sometimes hard to tell who is what!

Returning to the yacht - Antonia boarding the Gemini

All aboard!

One of the many highlights of the day for Scarlett was to swim from the yacht to the beach – and back after lunch – with her best friend and our eldest granddaughter!  Another special day.





















Scarlett and Willow in a racing each other around the yacht Willow won by half a length!


We thoroughly recommend Michael Harwood and his wonderful yacht Ocean Kiss.  If you are interested go to for more information







Early every year we receive an email from Hugh.  Hugh and Pamela come to stay with Antonia and Jimmy Connell at El Cortijo del Piño each September, Hugh loves to paint with Jimmy and Rafael, another regular.  Each year Hugh books us to provide a celebration dinner for Pamela’s birthday and we enjoy the company of the three men and their wives.  He always leaves the menu to us which is a grand challenge – particularly as we have all year to think about it!

This year we have discovered the wonderful restaurant Maze, in Grosvenor Square, London.  The three meals we have had there this year were the inspiration for our menu. Some of the recipes for this dinner are on the Casa Amelia Website.

2010 MENU

Chilled Pea Soup
with parmesan ice cream and polenta tuile sandwhich

Salad of cured salmon
with white Japanese radish (Mooli), red radishes, fennel, coriander and orange

Coq au vin
with potato purée, caramalised onions, tarragon emulsion and bread wafer

Chilled rice pudding
with cherry soup


Marinated peaches
with basil sorbet and strawberry jelly

with petit fours


5th September 2010

The view from our room

To ensure a good rest Chris took Scarlett off to a secret location as his birthday treat. The secret did not last long! We went off to Mauritius for a week and generally relaxed in the wonderful luxury of the Oberoi and its exquisite environs.

However we did not laze around all the time as we attended a really enjoyable Mauritian cookery course (the recipes are on the Casa Amelia website) and spent a day at the second oldest race course in the world watching the races – and making a profit on our bets!

At Cookery School in Mauritius



A stunningly beautiful island, Mauritius and its multi cultural population are fascinating proof of the benefits  of living in an environment of mutual respect and harmony.

We returned to Spain restored, relaxed and ready to see the Finca Project once more …..!

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