Valerie & Miel – Profile
Being asked to write a profile about oneself is quite difficult. It tends to turn into a list rather than being an interesting document.
I will start with my name: I am Valerie Keijzer, a native British born and speaking person who married for a second time to a Dutchman called Miel in 1994. I subsequently moved to Holland where I lived but travelled with Miel on contracts around the world as he worked as the supervisor for the construction of large glasshouses.
I have had a long association with Spain through owning vacation property since 1980 and working for 3 seasons in Mallorca at a 5 star hotel in the Spa. We finally purchased our current house in Andalucía in 2008 and were allowed to retire, emigrating officially to Spain 2012.
I was born in Gravesend – a town on the River Thames about 20 km East of London where I attended Grammar School. I married at 19 and had 3 children who are now all adults in their own right and still living in England. Whilst they were growing up I was a foster mother for adolescents and after my divorce I was a host mother for foreign school age children of a similar age group to my own on school visits and exchange schemes. Later as my children grew older we had longer term foreign students for a full study year at a time- most were attending the London School Of Economics and were from non European origin. This fact was not a difficulty because by then we were living in Lewisham which is a multi cultural society in the South East outskirts of London, with 17 minute train connections to Central London.
I feel that the exposure to so many languages and cultures has enhanced the lives of both my children and myself. We are fortunate to have friends from many countries. It is difficult to say what stimulates an interest in other people, maybe it is that ability to adapt to and embrace the differences between people and cultures, maybe it is due to daily exposure, or just a true caring interest. Who knows?
A profile will change over time since we ourselves change. I am aware that I had a very normal and conservative upbringing, working as an accountant whilst my family was still young. I developed an interest in yoga and meditation from the times that I was a teenager which led me to my psychology (Hons) degree and a career as a therapeutic and relaxation masseuse, which I still do part time from my home now that I have retired. Looking back to the period around and after my divorce I see that I developed into myself as in individual – turning my back on “what is expected from me” to being “what I am – warts and all”
Miel and I had a great time travelling around the world before we retired. (Our dog came along as well). We would live for between 5 and 7 months in rented accommodation in that country, and he would have to sort out everything on site often solving problems with lateral thinking. I would wear every hat that was necessary – often being required to act as secretary, wages calculator, nurse, masseuse, chef, purchase manager and personal confident for the staff employed. We often refer to this period of our lives as being nomads since we were constantly having to change our roots. Although it sounds glamorous this part of our lives was in fact very hard work but very exciting and interesting.
Life in Mures is really rather satisfying. We live near enough to Alcala la Real to pop in whenever we wish but far enough to have space around us. We have a wide circle of friends who we see and socialize with frequently, and culturally Granada is only 40 minutes away by car- I think that we are ideally situated and have bus connections starting only 30 metres away.
Miel used to be a dog trainer and in fact won 2nd in Europe for field trialling, so he has many interests with wild life, hunting, conservation of habitat etc. He has joined a fishing group who regularly fish together once a week, and messes about on internet a great deal. He loves music, especially folk.
I on the other hand love gardening and have joined a local choir. I get involved with fundraising for charity events from time to time- usually cancer care. We both enjoy music and cooking. We have both attended classes to learn Spanish. Having both been in the position of learning a language and conversely helping others to learn we understand those learning blocks and how to overcome them in fun ways, and feel that our input to “One to One “ would be beneficial. Miel’s English is of course fluent having worked most of his earlier life as an export manager, and we speak English in the house.
In conclusion, I think that you must see that we are all complex people and this profile can only give you a snapshot of us. Why not come and spend your time at our home and meet us personally? We promise that you will not be bored as our range of topics of conversation, interests and activities are so wide, plus we have a genuine desire to meet you.