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AMAZING ARTEMISIAS

´m a bad driver in August, I admit, so perhaps I´m lucky to still be here in September. The problem with August is that we go away on holiday then; one eye is on the road and one is roaming through everyone's gardens. After all, it´s new turf and you have to see what´s growing there. This year we went to the beautiful Cantabrian coastline where the weather can be – and was – very changeable, often with strong salt-laden winds. Plantings were fairly predictable and there were four absolute stalwarts of coastal gardens – Pittosporum, Hortensia, Tamariscus and Artemisia. The first three fairly shout at you but Artemisia is a little more sneaky; not always instantly seen but almost always there.

CREATIVE PROPERTY MARKETING

In years gone by, selling privately meant a hand-made for sale sign in the front garden or a lineage advert in the classified section of a local newspaper. How times have changed!

Today, private sellers are able to find their buyers in exactly the same way as the estate agents – via the internet. Estate agents in Spain rarely have the luxury of a high street office with foreign buyers passing the door on a daily basis, so they rely on property portals (websites they pay to advertise on) to attract buyers from around the globe.

At last, private sellers in Spain now have access to these websites with the help of Creative Property Marketing. It is still not possible for private individuals to advertise directly on most of the property sales websites (particularly the very best ones) however, with the help of David & Sarah, who run Creative Property Marketing, it is now possible to get the best exposure for your property at a fraction of the cost of using an agent.

WALKING THE CAMINO PORTUGUESE

It's that time of year again!As I write this (15th April 2014) it is exactly one year to the day since I set off with my daughter, full of trepidation, to walk the camino de Santiago, 'Frances' route from the French side of the Pyrenees, westward across northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela and further to Finisterre, a total of just under 1,000 km.

And in two weeks' time (1 May) I shall be setting off again, this time walking the camino Portuguese, starting in Lisbon and heading north through Porto, across the spanish border and once again to Santiago de Compostela. Not such a long route at just 615 km, but my big challenge this year is that I shall walk alone. Few people start this route in Lisbon, most preferring the shorter stretch from Porto, so the first couple of weeks might be a bit lonely.

ITS THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN

It's that time of year again! As I write this (15th April 2014) it is exactly one year to the day since I set off with my daughter, full of trepidation, to walk the camino de Santiago, 'Frances' route from the French side of the Pyrenees, westward across northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela and further to Finisterre, a total of just under 1,000 km.

And in two weeks' time (1 May) I shall be setting off again, this time walking the camino Portuguese, starting in Lisbon and heading north through Porto, across the spanish border and once again to Santiago de Compostela. Not such a long route at just 615 km, but my big challenge this year is that I shall walk alone. Few people start this route in Lisbon, most preferring the shorter stretch from Porto, so the first couple of weeks might be a bit lonely.

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