Counting Your Chickens – Don’t

Not all Rosy

It would be wonderful if we were able to predict the future. We would probably be better off financially and maybe even live better healthier lives. Unfortunately, to see into the future is beyond us mere mortals, so all we can do, is do as we see fit, given the knowledge we have at hand. Obviously, rash decisions should be avoided at all costs and the rose tinted glasses so many wear, removed before embarking on new adventures of any kind. Frequently one reads of younger couples wishing to pick up sticks, leave their secure employment and a system they probably know well in search of the dream of a better life. Often, these younger couples have little or no savings and expect to move to another country to fulfil their dreams of a better life. Seldom will it be so easy and on countless occasions, frequently lead to disaster due to unemployment and language problems. The dream of Portugal will be no different if not more of a challenge than some countries due to its economic situation.

Many more established and financially stable persons will wish for the dream of a better life also and what is wrong with that? The retired may come into this category. The people may sell their UK homes and have what appears as adequate funds to succeed in a possible life long dream.

I’m possibly slightly unique in that I am of pre-retirement age and have taken the first steps to live the dream and retire considerably early. At the start of this blog, I said I was going to tell the story as it unfolded and this remains my aim.

Problem One

I never expected problems from the outset, few do. This said, the first hiccup has raised its ugly head and cost many thousands of pounds already. During my previous visit to Spain, the land of illegal builds and lost hope, I was extremely unfortunate to purchase diesel fuel from a garage in Cantoria, Andalusia. The fuel purchased there, it appears was contaminated in some way. I drive a high performance diesel engined BMW and consequently the fuel injection system has been destroyed.

At this garage I purchased around 50 litres of diesel fuel and following, managed to travel some 60 miles north of Madrid and maybe a total of 280 miles since filling the tank. At this point, the engine management system came on advising that power was being cut due to an engine malfunction. The power is cut supposedly to protect the engine. I was making this journey to return to the UK and my ferry was the following day from Le Havre, France. Due to the failed power output, I had the car taken to BMW Madrid where a diagnostic test of the problem revealed contaminated fuel. The diagnostic tests cost €780 only to learn that the cost of rectification was in the region of €9020. Needless to say, I was less than pleased and arranged for the car to be shipped backed to the UK. So the moral of the story is, don’t count your chickens before they are hatched.