Yep, I am *that* sad. Well, last year on July 7, I stuck a reminder in my phone that today I'd look back at what I was doing this time last year and see where I was.
I'd moved to Spain.
As opportunities go, the chance to move to a different country to work on what was promised to be an exciting project to add to my CV was a tempting one. Despite having spent the previous few months making new friends and getting back into the groove of living in Dublin having spent so long away, I was once again faced with the choice of go and give it a shot or stay and regret not going. I think I made the right choice.
The south of Spain in the summer sunshine is quite a stunning place. I'd moved to the tiny village of Pueblo Nuevo de Guadiaro, a short trip from Estepona, a few kilometers away from Gibraltar
and a short walk from the top-class resort of Sotogrande, home to millionaires, golfing enthusiasts, yachters and this view, one of my favourites.
It was to be a massive learning curve for me. I'd moved over alone with little idea of the locals, the language or the way of life. "I'll be grand when I get there" was my thought before going. "Sure it's Europe. They'll speak the language. Plus I'll be in an English speaking part". I'd been spoiled by having interviews in English, in flying to Gibraltar (little England in the sun) and by romantic notions that it was going to be easy.
I'd been apprehensive, yes. The night before I left, at his birthday last year, Darren had asked me "Are you sure you want to go?" and it wasn't until the plane touched down in Gibraltar on the afternoon of August 5 that I realised that I had to do this.
I was collected by the company driver to bring me to my new accommodation, a two bed apartment where I could stay rent free for the duration of my probationary period. Was I lucky? I felt blessed.
I soon became used to views of narrow streets, of vibrant flower colours and smells and to the sound of Spain - the second loudest country in the world, apparently. I also fell in love. With a rock. Gibraltar, with its views of Africa, its windy, tourist filled streets and most importantly its English bookstores became a regular destination for me, as I explored the rock, met its inhabitants and sat at pubs in the sunshine thinking how lucky I actually was.
In many ways it was a step into a different life. Things moved at a different pace, to a different beat. The sunshine ruled supreme. We went to a Bootleg Beatles concert where the announcement:
"Ladies and Gentlemen, the management have informed us that many of you are using digital cameras and camcroders to record tonight's show without permission. We have to ask you to stop as it's the 1960s tonight and your devices haven't been invented yet".Funny, but also appropriate in many ways. I didn't have internet access (which for a web
Mañana, mañana was the reason, the excuse and the driving force behind everything. If it didn't happen today, so what? The sun is shining, the water's great. Come on down to the beach. Watch the waves. Relax a little.
So that's what I did. One of my fondest memories is the lunchtime Elizabeth and I went for a walk on the beach, just to get our feet wet. Which sounds like a great idea. And was. because playing in the waves at lunchtime is always fun.
Sitting here this morning in D15 and looking out at the waves of traffic heading to the M50, hearing the sounds of this part of Dublin preparing for another day, I can't help but smile. It's been a good year. I'll do the same next September 9.
Where I'll be, what I'll be doing, whether I'll be in front of a keyboard or transmitting this directly to the interweb using the latest in mind-to-web technology, who knows? All I know is that I'll be doing my very best to enjoy it.
Where were you last year?