It was a brief catch up with Dawn yesterday, who Darrell hasn't seen since he returned from the UK. Dawn has been busy working, as the summer season kicks in, here in Spain. The weather was perfect, so we had a few pints, sat outside Zest, putting the World to rights. Dawn's husband flies in tomorrow, so there will be one less 'No Wife' for a while!
So yesterday I reached the grand old age, of 46, not something I was looking forward to. To be honest. Since I reached the age of 40, I haven't really celebrated Birthdays. I don't see the point of celebrating, getting a year closer to death. That sounds morbid doesn't it; it's not meant to, just a fact of life!
It was good to finally get out last night. I hadn't been out and about for a while, mainly due to illness and looking after Lily, as she came to terms with her companions death. Paul and Michele had invited me out for a meal at La Bodeguita, a place I have been to before, but never for a meal.
Had a wonderful evening at Zest last night. Most of the 'No Wives Club' were there, enjoying a glass of red wine or two. It was good to see Katie, who I haven't seen for a few weeks, since she started working at Jet2; all going well, by all accounts; After a long day out, we were home relatively early. Darrell made me an avocado, emmental, red pepper, tomato and herb, toasted baguette. He wouldn't tell me, what the herbs were, but it tasted gorgeous. Considering Darrell never cooks, I was pleasantly surprised. He will most certainly, be cooking more in future!
We had a couple of drinks and a catch up with Dawn and Andy last night. I actually don't think I've chatted so much for ages. We must have totally chewed Steve's ear off, behind the bar. I don't think he minded too much and was happy to join in our conversations, commenting 'We do chat about some strange things, don't we?' Our chatter did range from 'what was your favourite time, in your life?' 'motorbikes,' 'religion' and 'death.' The thing I like about Zest, is the staff, their welcoming nature and the relaxed atmosphere, always a pleasure having a drink or two.....Thanks Steve for putting up with us!
Andy finally flew in to Alicante for the summer on Sunday, the last of the 'No Wives Club' to come back to Spain. Only Pete is now out of the country, working abroad. It was a day of drinking at Zest, after picking Andy up from the airport, with Paul and Michele joining us in the afternoon and Dawn in the evening. The weather was glorious in the main; it was lovely, sat in the sun chatting; nearly all of us back together in the same place.
The whole process should take a few months to complete, then finally we will both be legal in Spain. We do seem to spend our whole life, filling in forms, because of the relationship we have; that is something, that will continue for a lifetime. This is just how it is, if you have a foreign partner, who is non EU; on top of that , Brexit will have its own problems, for our ability to stay in Spain. Other factors that are aggravating the issues we are facing, include, Australia not recognising gay Marriage and Darrell's 'Indefinite Leave to Remain' visa, expiring once he has been out of the country, for two years. Added together, we have quite a few hurdles to overcome, still.
Yesterday morning I was up and about early, very early, so went for a walk around Gran Alacant. At 1pm I met Paul and Michele for a drink at Zest. I am finding myself, more and more at a loose end at the moment, so it is good to get out of the house once and a while, especially now the weather is improving!
I was about to leave Zest, when Katie came in. The internet, in our urb, had gone down again, as it often does here; when that happens, there is no television, internet or telephone. I have no idea, why Grannet can't solve these connection problems; they are getting worse and worse; another downside of living in Spain!
I spent the evening with Katie who cooked a meal back at her house. Salmon and noodle sir fry; it was a welcome change from the austere rations in my freezer. It was an evening of discussing the highs and lows of living in Spain. There are more lows than highs at the moment and surviving can be very difficult at times. Katie has recently found out, she has a new position, working for an airline at Alicante Airport, so that is something to look forward to. My circumstances remain as difficult as ever, but these testing times are really life and character building. I am stronger, wiser and more resilient than I ever have been.
Of course I am not the only person who has ever experienced issues when living in Spain. Many people I have met, have had their own problems to deal with. As people we all believe our life, is at times, worse than our peers; this may or may not be true. Challenging periods are a reminder, that not everything comes quickly. In my case I have to bide my time, until the winds of change take hold.
I am struggling, every day that goes by but nothing is forever; I just hope all of these trials and tribulations pay off in the end: there are no guarantees of course. Hard work and determination is the only way forward. Whoever suggested going to Spain, 'living the dream,' wasn't fully telling the truth. Spain can be a wonderful place but nothing prepares you for the struggles ahead. Those of us in the 'No Wives Club', are here in Spain for many different reasons, but the things we have in common have bought us close together as friends, a team if you like. These people are extremely important to me and offer hope when I am feeling down. Everyone offers advice and a sounding board for offloading problems and discussing solutions.
I just wanted to say a brief word about blogging in general. People blog for many different reasons; for me it is about recording my life in Spain. I have had many emails from people, thinking about moving to Gran Alacant or Spain in general, thanking me for my honest approach, when writing about my experiences. At the moment, for me at least, there are a lot of negative thoughts and emotions, whilst dealing with some difficult circumstances; those that brought us to Spain and continue to play a major role in our life; employment difficulties, survival as well as living apart from ones partner. I will always write honestly about what I am feeling at a particular juncture in my life. Writing for me, at the moment, is about offloading, reflection and releasing. My style of prose, just like an artist paining a picture or any creative pastime, is very much dependent on how I am within myself; there is no point hiding the truth, claiming everything is rosy in Spain's back yard. Quite honestly, for me, there is very little positivity currently, consequently, my muses will reflect that.
The 'No Wives Club', lift my spirits, every time we meet, that is the positivity in my life, until Darrell returns and the stability we desire is finally a reality. Everyone needs someone, I am just lucky to have found a good bunch of characters, in which to confide, converse and chat with, that can't be bad!
When you take the plunge and move to this Country, it is vital that you form friendships, especially if you do not know the local language. For an expat, living alone, like myself, people are a link to normality, when there seems to be none. My life hasn't been easy or normal for many years, so anything the projects an aura of alacrity is welcome. The 'No Wives Club', is my stable link, my Spanish family and my key to success; everyone needs their own special group, I've found mine, now I just have to wait for everything else to fall into place!
We had a few drinks down Zest, last night, Nigel also joined us, our newest member of The No Wives Club. I haven't seen Paul and Michele for a while; I have been hibernating in this dreadful Spanish winter weather, so it was great to catch up with them.
It was farewell to Nia, Paul and Michele's daughter. Today she left for Toronto, Canada, after spending Christmas with Mother and Father here in Spain. It was a joy getting to know her and I look forward to seeing her again in the summer. We spent a pleasant evening, with a few drinks at Zest, to toast her journey home!