Once the decision to return to the UK was made and the flights booked, things started to take on a more positive hue. I guess it’s part of who we are and the life we lead. Julian and I usually (though not always) see the positive side of the choices we make. Almost immediately we began to see the possibilities inherent in spending some time back in the UK.
For Lily and Katie it’s an opportunity to spend time with their grandparents and other family members; for me an opportunity to more easily deal not only with my health concerns but with sorting out taxes and getting a new passport for Katie. Without us on board Julian can plan some more extensive maintenance jobs, enjoy long hikes through the Spanish and Portuguese countryside, and devote more time to Spanish study.
I could choose to see my lack of a computer or regular internet access as (a) barriers to my work, or (b) opportunities to develop new writing projects. Without internet access I won’t be distracted by emails, Facebook, Twitter and the blogs I love to read. And while having a computer is vital to the editing and redrafting of ongoing writing projects, all I need to start something new are old fashioned low-tech pencil and paper. I can plan and sketch and write first drafts to my heart’s content and when computer and internet access come my way I can transcribe and undertake the necessary background research, post blogs and pitch ideas to newspaper and magazine editors.
We have decided to commit to the Rio Guadiana for at least the next six months and I decided a trip back to the UK, which may last weeks or months, can also be an opportunity to work on our Spanish language, to acquire resources – a better dictionary, language resources for the children, etc – so we can study and improve, even while we are in the very heart of England.
The truth is, I want to be on the Guadiana. I want to see Lily and Katie playing with their quickly made friends from Spain, Portugal, Poland and elsewhere – both live aboard and local kids; I want to see them swimming in the river every day, foraging for wild food, helping to tie up the dinghy on the pontoon, and developing their independence as they run small errands in the safety of the tiny villages. I want to be on the Guadiana for myself too. Julian’s there, for a start, and life without Julian isn’t half as much fun. Carina is my home and I’ll miss being at home, in my own place, surrounded by my own stuff. And I’m a country girl, not a city girl. I’ll miss the birdsong, the blissful silence, the fresh air, the lack of urban noise and busyness.
But I’ll be damned if I’m going to feel sorry about going back to the UK for a short while. It will be a productive time, filled with opportunities for reconnecting with family, for creativity and for learning. And a time to banish those health worries that have been causing me too many sleepless nights of late.