Living in Spain – 16 months in….

I’ve not wrote a blog for a while. This is on the basis that I’ve got bugger all to write about. Not a good platform to write a blog.

This is the thing about moving to Spain, strip away the village gossip, and the constant challenge of earning enough money to pay the bills, not much else happens. Well this is why we came here wasn’t it, to live in a world where not much happens? 

The brains a complex thing. When you have spent all your life in a fast-paced environment with not much time to think, you survive, adapt and just crack on. You know the environments not good for you hence why you try and book a holiday to switch off and think about how good it would be to live that life on a permanent basis.

Well living in Spain doesn’t quite work that way. For a start, unless you’re retired with a decent wage you’ve got to work and finding work in Spain is not easy. Secondly, on holiday you’ve saved up enough money, so you can do nice things on a day to day basis. When you live here, clearly that’s not how it works.

The problem is, and it doesn’t half sound precious when I say this, when you don’t have much to think about, you start to think about shit that’s not worth thinking about and you can go around the bloody bend quite rapid. I’ve quickly learned (well I haven’t it’s taken me over a year to realise) but we all need things to do. Whatever the purpose, we need one. You need to keep the wheels rolling and if you’re an over thinker like me, this can be a bit of a problem trying to adjust.

Roles have reversed over here where currently Gail works much more hours than I do and earns much more than I do, whilst I’m on call the school runs, and looking after the garden as we aim in time to make it look fab and become more self-sufficient. Clearly, I can’t grumble, who wouldn’t want to be in such a situation? Wondering whether to move the Oleanders to the other corner of the garden, looking up how to propagate Bougainvillea’s to keep the costs of gardening down, feeding the citrus treas or tending to jobs on the house that need doing.

Without getting the violin out, having more time on your hands at 41, with an over active mind is not what it’s cracked up to be and I often remind myself that this is the life we fought tooth and nail for. I can’t speak on behalf of Gail as she works damn hard which in some ways works for her as she’s not a stay at home person either. But for me, unfortunately being human, you do now and again become complacent to the beautiful countryside and beaches over here. That’s something that i’m currently working on as I search for ways to become more content with what I’ve got rather than constantly looking around the corner for the next project. 

Gail and Olivia attend Spanish lessons with with Laura (pronounced Lowra over here) a lovely Spanish lady in Pinoso and I’m proud of how they’re both doing with the language and there’s no doubt about it, emotionally and practically, they’ve adapted to their new life in another country much better than I have. It’s certainly taken an adjustment period and I think there’s more to come. Our world in the UK is so far removed to the one we have now, you just can’t compare the two – It’s impossible and 16 months in, we wouldn’t and couldn’t go back to what we deemed was a life of survival and existence.

Another thing I’ve noticed is how intolerant of the cold we’ve become and how tolerant we’ve become to the heat. Anything below 16 degrees and Gail becomes a shivering Mike Tyson. She really hates the cold and I’m not a huge fan either. We can get some 25 degree days in January but it’s still nippy in the evenings and the log burner is needed through December, January and February.  Were really looking forward to the scorching summer heat again although there’s a lot over here that struggle to cope with high temperatures. I suppose it’s another mind over matter scenario, but some people become so lethargic come July where as I’m happy to be working under the sun and sitting outside in the evenings swatting the flies. One man’s heaven is another man’s nightmare.

Gail and I have started exercising again which was so important to us both in the UK. It’s not just keeping fit but it’s what it does to the mind and living in Spain’s no different. I still have to work very hard to keep a positive attitude to life, which I thought would come naturally over here but unfortunately it doesn’t. It’s something I’ve always had to work at. I always felt I had an excuse in the UK but strange when you live in paradise eh!

When Gail read this blog she said I’d have people feeling sorry for me – well that’s not how its intended. I’ve always believed in striving for the utopian life and I refuse to believe that life is just about “If it’s meant to be it will happen’. Sod that, you’ve got to at least nudge yourself towards a direction that allows you to live your life with no regrets and this blog was always intended to provide a balanced insight into moving to Spain, not a romantic, bullshit version of events. So, if you are thinking about making big changes in your life, don’t procrastinate, just do it. Life is way too short to just dream about what life could be about. But I caveat, it’s not easy, but nothing that’s worth having ever is.

Well, not having a bloody clue what to write about when I started, I can clearly rattle on about all sorts of bollocks if I get the opportunity, so I apologise if this one’s not been riveting but hopefully it helps provide some insight for those that one day want to take the leap. As I write the Almond blossoms are starting to flower a beautiful pink which is the start of optimism and hope for the summer ahead. Bring it on I say.

Take care friends and remember, no regrets!

Hasta Luego

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Neil Hammond says:

    Just to make you feel better it’s snowing here!

    We are still trying to sell up and get over there.

    Sent from my iPad



    1. Lee says:

      Selling up always seems a struggle for everyone. Lots of ups and downs, and it’s a waiting game. It’s hard as to a certain extent it’s out of your control. Always found April onwards is the time to sell in the UK. We’ll catch up for a few beers when you get here. Get Martin over as well.


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