As everyone who knows me will tell you, although my head has been in Essex for the past few years, my heart has always been firmly in Spain – and not always in a romantic kind of way – far from it.
Having spent 10 or so years there, on and off, I know that not only do I love the country, I love the way of life and the fact that ( trust me on this ) no matter what anyone tells you, it is so much cheaper to live there than in the UK. And the warmth, the blue sky, the light, the air, all just make you feel so much better somehow. Maybe it’s an age thing. Who knows. Who cares!
And so with all this in mind, for Jane Walters, aged 62 ¾, it is time for another adventure
I won’t lie to you, leaving some things behind is a bit of a wrench. My lovely girls, my gorgeous boys, missing them all goes without saying.
But I also loved my job at what must be one of the most stunning wedding venues in Essex, and all that goes with it. What’s not to like!
I will miss my bright and breezy colleague Jenny, who tired me out every Monday morning, with her tales of how manic her weekend had been, whilst we ate our respective lunches. Her weekends, and her lunches were always so much more interesting than mine. I loved our chats and we had so many laughs, collusions and secrets that were never secrets in the first place!
I couldn’t have wished for a nicer lady to spend my office hours with.
Then there is the lovely Paul who gave the best hugs ever. I spent many hours chatting with him about the highs and lows of wedding venue life. Paul’s major rants were only surpassed by his major schmoozing, which accounted for most brides falling in love with him on their wedding day.
Oh the irony……..oh those hugs!
And last but not least, I will miss Roz, who has no bloody idea how truly gorgeous she is. Stunningly pretty, a drop dead gorgeous figure and a smile that can light up a room, she deserves the absolute best of everything, but is oblivious to how fabulous she actually is. If you are lucky enough to be in her life, make sure you cherish her girls and boys …..Or else!
But everything has a shelf life and after 2 years of doing weddingy things, several ‘coincidences’ meant I found myself with the option of a 6 month rental on a lovely 2 bed apartment in Spain, and a little part time job into the bargain. How could I refuse?
And so after selling up half my life, and packing up the other half into 3 massive cardboard boxes, here I am in Spain – again. But this time it’s just me and my dog Buddy, no excess man baggage.
So fuelled mainly by Rioja, let the adventure begin.
When the initial seeds were sown about the move to Spain it seemed ages away. But as 12 weeks dwindled to 6, I realised I had 2 years’ worth of ‘stuff’ to offload.
Two sofas, a fridge, a cooker, washing machine, not to mention my beloved Laura Ashley bedstead. Storage costs are notoriously expensive, so it all had to be rehomed.
I was amazed at the same question I heard over and over, ‘but what about your furniture, what will you do with it?’ – err – sell it of course.
My response probably seemed quite flippant, but as my lovely duck egg blue leather sofas and my cream wrought iron bedstead were both eBay purchases in the first place. If I should ever find myself incurably homesick, and need either of them again, I’ll find just as good, if not better on Ebay or Gumtree. It’s just everyday ‘stuff’, I wasn’t emotionally attached to any of it.
And so the sell off began.
One lovely chap bought both my sofas, he’d just got a new flat and not a single thing to put in it. Other purchasers rocked up on a daily basis after successful bids on auction sites, and making me offers that I couldn’t refuse. I helped load a cooker into a car that was far too small for the load, and tied a fridge on a roof rack.
Another lady drove off with a chest of drawers hanging dangerously out of the back of her car, and she was hemmed in all ways round by the 6 drawers that accompanied it.
I kissed goodbye to books and clothes at a car boot sale and reduced the contents of my 2 bedroom rented cottage down to fit into 3 cardboard boxes that would be sent by courier to Spain.
Next came the car; a timely parting as after 8 years of half-hearted TLC it was beginning to complain, and money would need to be spent in the not too distant future.
But with a full years MOT and good marketing on my part, its happy new owner drove it off into the sunset (rain actually) the day before I left. Perfect timing.
It’s a very strange but oddly liberating experience not having a set of keys, to absolutely anything, in your bag No car keys, no house keys.
After a bit of a rowdy flight from Stansted to Murcia my friend Sandra was at the arrivals gate to meet me and on cue had a large jug of her special Sangria brewing, and after a short pit stop at her place, within 36 hours of arriving in Spain I was in residence in Mi Casa.
Everything so far had gone without a hitch but there’s always something that bites you on the bum or in my case, there was nothing to put on my bum. On closer inspection of the contents of my small carry on suitcase, I realised that I had arrived in Spain knicker less.
Yes every single pair of big pants, small pants and lucky pants, were sealed inside the aforementioned 3 cardboard boxes back in Essex.
Well as we all know, you can take the girl out of Essex, but you can’t take Essex out of the girl and in the absence of a Marks and Sparks, in such an emergency, there was only one place to go.
Off we trundled the next day to a shopping mall at La Zenia, and a few branded paper carrier bags later, the knicker emergency was over, and drawers were restocked.
Apart from the 3 infamous cardboard boxes, the only other thing that was missing was Buddy ~ but he was on his way!