Jenny & Mark – Profile
Hi, my name is Jenny and I have lived in Spain now for 9 years – I would like to add, that considering this, my Spanish is still not very good, so already I am very impressed with all you students that are learning English and want to come and live within an English household to improve your conversation skills. It certainly is the best way!!.
I live in in the «Campo» between two small Spanish villages – Algarinejo and Montefrio. I live with my husband Mark, who is a builder and who spent the first 6 years of us living here, converting a very old Spanish Cortijo into what now is our lovely home. We have 4 bedrooms, a pool and several large patio areas as well as an outside covered eating area which we use in the summer, and anyone that comes to stay will have their own bedroom with en-suite bathroom in our guest extension.
Mark did have quite a bit of help from me too during the renovation, but now our project is completed, and he works occasionally for other people, I seem to have a lot of spare time on my hands so I am looking forward very much to receiving Spanish students into our home to help them converse in English.
We have two grown up sons both of whom now live in London and it seems that these have been replaced in our daily lives by two young dogs! We rescued a small Spanish hunting dog in October 2012 who had been found abandoned, wandering along the road by some friends. 10 days after we took her in, she gave birth to 1 puppy – this was very unexpected and came as quite a shock to us as she didn’t look pregnant at all!.
We decided to keep the puppy who is half Spanish Mastin – so he is very big with a very loud voice! He is a big gentle giant, although first impressions don’t always indicate this. But once he gets to know you – which will not take very long – he will be a friend for life, especially if you like taking him for walks and feeding him the odd treat!
Our house is surrounded by olive trees – as most of the houses in this part of Spain are, and we also have a lot of mountain oak trees. We have beautiful views of the surrounding countryside and on a clear day in winter we can see the snow capped Sierra Nevada mountains. We both enjoy skiing and try to go when we can in the winter, subject to the snow conditions!
You need a car to get about here, as we are not within walking distance of local shops or amenities Granada is about 1 hour – this is a beautiful city and well worth a visit and we hope to be able to take you there.
Lake Iznajar is about 40 mins by car – a big man-made reservoir which is spectacular. We also have some wonderful walks along the local river in Algarinejo, with stunning waterfalls.
Before I came to Spain, and while my children were growing up, I worked in the Airline Industry on the ground and eventually became a Station Manager for Air Seychelles in the UK . After I left the Airline Industry, I worked at a local leisure centre as an Events Manager, so I have always worked with lots of people and amongst the general public and have had to be friendly and outgoing. I love talking – and I miss being able to chat to my Spanish neighbours in the way I would be able to in English, but I get by and I know I will have to think about improving my Spanish in the future.
I would so love to know more about the Spanish way of life, customs and how Spanish people feel and think, so this will be a great opportunity for me to be able to talk about these things in English with you. I will also tell you about myself, my family, why we decided to come to Spain, the house we renovated and how we did this, and what our plans are now.
We don’t have TV reception – Spanish or English – so we read a lot of books, and I use the Internet to update myself with worldwide news and to find out any information. I would hope we could discuss the news, chat about England, maybe looking at areas and cities in England that would interest you. We do have a DVD – so again maybe watching some simple films in English would be an interesting activity, which we could then discuss.
I love to cook – and would be more than happy to share this with someone with a similar interest. We have a very varied diet and eat a lot of vegetarian food as well as meat and fish. We are hoping eventually to grow our own vegetables and have just put in a 50,000 litre water deposit so we have enough water to do this.
I also love yoga and used to go to a yoga class locally but unfortunately that has now closed so I now do yoga at home. I feel that walking the dogs every day and doing yoga and swimming in the summer in our pool, I get an all round level of fitness. I think it is very important to keep yourself fit and healthy as you get older.
I would hope that whoever comes to stay with us, would feel very at ease with us , and very comfortable within our house. They will have to love dogs – that goes without saying, and also enjoy walking and I hope that by the time they leave they will feel they have improved their conversation skills in English and experienced a very English way of life.