That Sunday Evening Feeling
I am sure we all get that Sunday evening feeling from time to time. That feeling when, after a particularly lovely weekend or holiday, the thought of reality just comes along to remind you that life is not one long jolly.
Well, we both have that Sunday evening feeling.
Being an adult can be a flaming nuisance when you have to deal with admin and make decisions. We have to keep reminding ourselves that these are all good things, as the decisions affect our future and are, actually, all beneficial. Andrew is up to his eyes in book design work, which on the face of it is excellent, but it rather means that the work on his own portfolio has had to take a back seat. I am in the process of creating a podcast of my ‘Life Stories’ radio programmes, produced for Talk Radio Europe, to find myself having to look into all aspects of licensing for any music that I might want to incorporate into these programmes. At the same time, I have received a proposal from the owner of the English language academy where I taught last year, asking if I’d like to take it over. In the grand scheme of things, this would be a fabulous offer, but it has come very close to the start of term and would be a full-time commitment with little outside help. Our concern is that this would possibly have a negative impact on the ongoing promotion of our new business venture, Granada Concierge, and the vital final stages of our house-build. We will soon need to start whizzing around Andalucia buying tiles, bathroom suites and kitchen appliances, and this will prove tricky if I am stuck in an academy in Granada.
We shouldn’t complain, and these are not really grumbles; they are real life events that require some decision making. We took ourselves off to the beach yesterday to just take stock. A break away from our tiny apartment, and away from technology is an essential part of life here!
Setting aside these First-World problems, there is so much to be excited about here in Moclín. The new house is now getting a roof! After months of excavation work, digging out of rock and creating huge holes, the digging has all but stopped and building upwards has commenced. The progress at this stage has been rapid, and during our wedding weekend, piers were erected, floors were concreted and roof timbers installed. We can now walk around all the interior spaces and get a much better idea of what we are creating and how it fits into the landscape. This is a thrilling part, as the house is very much what Andrew and I sketched out initially, with obvious modifications made by our fantastic architects so that our vague dreams could actually work structurally and on a rocky hillside. We had one slight hiccup, just before the wedding, as we wandered up to view progress on site to be met by Juan the builder who rather went off on one. It’s always slightly tricky to gauge Juan’s mood, as his facial expression is always benign, but in his diatribe we did, quite quickly, get the idea that one of our architects had upset him and he was about to walk off site never to return. Well, that rather took the wind out of our pre-wedding sails, and we rapidly did our best to placate Juan while we tried to get to the bottom of whatever little hiccup this might be.
It transpired that, even though we have a contract for the project, Juan probably didn’t really read it. We had a fixed price for the excavation work that had been calculated on the cubic metres of rock that we estimated would have to be removed. Juan is of the old school, and he calculates everything by the man-hour and based on the cost of hiring the machinery to do the job, so his actual costs for the excavation came in at over 10,000€ more than the contract. Our architects, rather than ruin our wedding with such news, tackled the matter head on by getting cross with Juan who, in turn, took this rather badly. The first we knew was when we stumbled across Juan on the building site, and were laid bare by his wounded tirade. Emergency meetings, amended budgets, reminders of the importance of a contract all followed and, thankfully, we are back on track with a happy and productive team of builders. Andrew and I are not quite used to those meetings that are emotionally charged and quite high in volume, but as the end result was what we wanted, then we are fine with that.
So, despite that little hiccup which, we are lead to believe, is part and parcel of any building project, we are on track and the house is taking shape very nicely. We were told at the start, that the build will be finished by 15th December, and we are very much hoping to be in before Christmas.
In the meantime, our tenure of the little hobbit house right at the heart of our village may be coming to an end. The space is just too small for the two of us for this length of time. As a short-term rental, it is ideal, but as the summer has progressed, increasingly we have felt incarcerated and frustrated. There is no outdoor space, so we have rather watched summer pass us by from within our little cave. As Andrew has been busy with book design, he has been stuck in front of his computer at a desk that is probably less than 6 metres away from the bed, 3 metres from the kitchen and practically on top of the sofa. I bang my head repeatedly on the low doors, tread on fly swats that have found their way onto the floor and we both trip over laundry baskets, irons, shoes and anything else that demands space where none exists.
We have managed to find an alternative home for the next couple of months, just down the road. It is a three bedroom house, with a roof terrace, that will give us just a little more space. Our other concern has been the suitability of our existing storage space, as this has started to get a little damp due to the rain we have had during September. Given that this is where we keep our paintings and the bulk of our clothes, we feel that the time has come when we need to get these items into somewhere dry before they get ruined.
This year has passed too quickly. The end of September marks our Two Year Anniversary of living in Spain, and those two years have flown by. Yet, when we look back over that time, we have fitted in and achieved so much - far more than we had ever imagined. This was brought home to us during our wedding weekend, as we celebrated in the most gorgeous location surrounded by friends and family. It sounds sentimental to say that were were overwhelmed by the love we experienced that weekend, and we consider ourselves immensely fortunate to be able to share the life we have built here.
Already, we are making new plans for next year, building on what we have and looking forward to many more exciting adventures. As summer does come to end, we can celebrate the start of our third year in our adoptive country, we can immerse ourselves in the thrill of creating our new home and plan ahead to fill that home with visitors. Our Sunday Evening feeling is nothing of any note. It would be false to report that life here is always a bed of roses, as no life is that perfect. Life has a habit of throwing in the odd reminder not to get too complacent which is why it is all the more important that we take the occasional step back and remind ourselves of all the good stuff.