This Time Last Year

Was absolute mayhem. I remember it well, never to be forgotten. Just over 8 hours to go till our “silly o´clock” flight, when we could say goodbye to the UK and begin our new life in another country. But we still had so much to do!!! No time for sleep either, the last night of slumber aboard our boat had been and gone. The clock was ticking and we were both running on empty, only able to function thanks to adrenaline flowing through our veins…

As I write this we had 5 hours till the taxi to the airport arrived and we were still juggling jobs:

  • Finishing off all the cleaning we thought we´d already finished off. (The boat had to be pristine for the new buyer who´d already paid a deposit). We were covering all bases in case he had another viewing and due to a speck of dust in the wrong place changed his mind… So JIC it all went ass about tit, the place was ready for a first viewing from someone else too. PRISTINE meant we didn´t have to go back at all, just leave it with the brokerage place. (More about the scepticism later).
  • Making double sure we´d packed everything. It was a bit complicated because we´d already put SIX HUGE BOXES of personal stuff in storage ready for transit. But had we forgotten something important that wouldn´t go in a suitcase? {Horrors}
  • Where to draw the line, all fixtures and fittings were included. But beyond the furniture there´s a blurred area which mainly belongs to kitchen utensils, such as pots, pans, matching plates, cups, and breakfast bowls? Fortunately we´d already inherited that kind of thing at the house here in Spain so “stuff the rest.” However it still had to be rummaged through one last time. Well, several actually, just in case an item with history and sentiment had been overlooked. Meanwhile in the bathroom department, does one leave the toilet plunger or not? After all, minus the sentiment it had history too…
  • Categorising things was a bummer of a job, and it had gone on for months. Stood by the storage locker with another mountain of stuff to shove into it, the number of times Dave said “Do you really need to take THAT?” At first I used to explain why IT had to come with us, after a while I gave up with reasons and just said “Yes,, now leave me alone.” However he did have a point when we were discussing items that would be shoved away in a BIG box on the top shelf of a wardrobe here. Never to see the light of day again, probably. But sentimentality rules, and I´m safe in the knowledge that the likes of all the kids schoolbooks, hand made cards, works of art, and shiny photos are just upstairs…     

I´ll also never forget hearing the potential buyer say to his son “I want that boat.” Had all our delays and hard graft had paid off? Well…

The scepticism crept in because a very promising potential sail sale fell through earlier in the year. They had a buyer for their house, so we asked the question: “Have you got enough assets to fall back on if your house doesn´t sell??” Reply “Oh yes.” Unfortunately their house sale did fall through, and there were no assets… Dreamers,, they´d paid a deposit on the boat too… We´d been “played” good style, even took the boat off the market on their behalf. THEN got loads of enquiries and had to turn them all down…

This time was different though, whatever happened, we could leave it all for the boat company to deal with. Apathy on our part had set in, we were worn down as far as the boat was concerned. When the money from the sail sale was transferred to our account in December sometime, we looked at the figures and just said something like “oh, right, ok then.”

Months previous I had a vision of us jumping up and down, cracking open a HUGE vat of champagne and celebrating on a cloud of relief. The reality was to rub hands together in the warmth of the sun and simply breathe a sigh of relief instead… Good times with good friends were the golden times we´ll remember, and we´ve made many good friends here in Spain too. {Life afloat began to fade when we moved to a different marina in the hope that we´d be able to get out on the rivers close by,, but they were always flooded}

When the taxi arrived at 3.30am to take us to the airport (what would be tomorrow morning). We closed the doors of the boat, locked up on that way of life, then flew away on our one way ticket towards a new life and our house in the sun. No regrets, no going back, this freedom of lifestyle is easy to embrace, to treasure, and LIVE TO THE FULL…

When the plane landed here and we finally arrived home, well that´s when the champagne (on ice) really flowed! There were two bottles stashed in the fridge, one from the previous owners and one from our estate agents…

So cheers on our first anniversary of living here,, I´ve only got a can of cider in my hand but never mind…!

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