A highland fling

our wee adventure on the Black Isle

Why is retirement so much work?


Kenton and I moved to Spain with a rough idea of being semi-retired. We didn’t want to stop working, mind, we just wanted to change the type of work we did. Now, we were not so naive that we thought farming in Spain would be easy! Which is a Good Thing, as it is definitely not!

Summer is usually our slow time. The olives are just…well, growing olives. Chestnuts and walnuts doing their thang, too – no interference needed on our part.

So the biggest chores are usually gardening and preserving. But this year we really expanded our garden, and somehow it increased our work load by more than we expected! Not to mention the fact that we are improving the internals of the house, e.g. building wardrobes, painting, and so on.

And by end of summer we also need to make Lujos products, launch the website (to great fanfare, of course!), replace some guttering, treat the outside corner of the house, preserve all our tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and squash, spray the olives. And replace the battery pack for our energy system.

And then there’s today. I left Kenton painting the lounge, while I went into town to go to the dentist and take care of some chores. 3 hours later, I’m home (don’t even ask me about why it took so long in town!!) So then there’s a few things to do after I get home at 2pm:

  • fix lunch
  • can 2 jars of tomatoes (yesterday’s pickings)
  • can 3 jars of cherry tomatoes with garlic and basil (ditto)
  • wash the dishes
  • help clean the lounge after Kenton’s painting
  • water and feed the greenhouse and flowers

So now I’m knackered! Thank god dinner’s ready.

Author: Ann Larson

One-time IT executive who lives on a 22 acre olive farm in Spain with husband Kenton and 2 boxer dogs. We make Yunquera Gold olive oil, and soap and skincare products from same. We aim to make natural, fresh, and handmade products at affordable prices!

5 thoughts on “Why is retirement so much work?

  1. “So now I’m knackered! Thank god dinner’s ready”

    no – thank the delightful husband !


  2. any regrets??or a silly question…trying to convince my husband that we really DO want/need to live in spain instead of here in ireland-rural spain or rural ireland??tough choice(not)


    • No regrets at all !! Even on days when I am absolutely knackered, I am still very glad we live here. We have a totally different life – no long days in the office, just long days in the fresh air. We grow all our own vegetables and are totally off-grid.

      Where in Spain are you thinking of? Do it, you won’t regret it!


  3. sorry lujos,only just read your reply(too busy on spanish homes for sale sites!!)The alpujarras…i think i would like to live near orgiva,but seems very few homes for sale or what is,is very expensive.we are torn as he needs to work but we both want very rural,self sufficient as possible-solar panels etc,am done with the rat race but still want a few treats!we have a 6yr old and 2 older teens(they may not move,just visit).we have chickens here,and would like to do the same in spain,we also want another donkey,so we already indulge in semi -self suffiency and are well suited to the rural life!