It used to be so important to have something to look forward to … the weekends; birthdays; anniversaries; Christmas etc. And they had to be perfect, with lots of organising and build up to ‘the big day’.
We’re coming up to three years here in Spain, and living with nature as we do, these special days are just, well, another day now. I’m not sad at all about that … it says to me that every day is special to us. We get up each morning and live that day – it makes no difference what day of the week it is.
I actually think those special occasions used to be so important as I was always on a countdown to having time off work – two more weeks then a week off for Xmas etc – I’ve always loved just being at home! Don’t get me wrong, I always worked really hard, but all I ever wanted to do was to get back home again.
Our views on gender roles have also changed somewhat. We used to both work and share most of the household chores – whoever was there would run the Hoover around! As we have adapted to living here it has become really obvious that men and women are better at different things! I know that’s probably not politically correct, but it’s the truth when living this type of lifestyle. I will give anything and everything a go, but I just don’t have the strength or stamina for some of the more physical work here – those of you that know me, I’m not exactly a ‘girly girl’ and so it’s taken me a while (and some injuries!) to admit that this is the truth 😂. There is just no way that I would be out strimming while Rog bakes bread! You have to play to your strengths in order for everything to get done here.
Shopping – I used to love a nice new handbag or a pair of shoes! Now I get excited at farming machinery and equipment!
Time … we sometimes forget what month it is, never mind what day it is! The only day we have to remember really is Wednesday – market day! We’ve had to start using a shared calendar on our phones to remind us when things need doing because we lose track of time so badly! We do have a paper calendar up in the wall, but we never remember to change the month! It’s a bit bad when your calendar is still on August when it’s actually October! In our old life, everything was governed by time. Here, it’s more about the seasons in terms of timing – when is it time to harvest, plant veg etc.
Entertainment – when we were at home the TV was always on, and more often than not the radio too in the kitchen. We used to enjoy going out occasionally, to the cinema, for a meal, or a mooch around the shops. I loved going to the gym and yoga center regularly, and I would spend a lot of time cleaning (I know, I actually used to enjoy it!). None of those things are possible now – we can have the radio on in the day when it’s sunny, and we have a little tablet to watch a bit of a film or program at night, but I love the quiet. In the winter, we take the dogs for a walk in the afternoon, light the fire when we get back, and then I have an hour or so before I cook dinner – the perfect opportunity to curl up in a chair in front of the fire with a book – it’s heaven! I haven’t read this many books for years! In the summer in the evening we sit on the roof terrace and watch the bee eaters, swifts, eagles and kestrels and just enjoy the view. We do still have our phones of course, and enjoy a bit of Facebook and YouTube! But we never get bored, and never need things to entertain us now. If we have a day where we have no electricity, then I’m happy with a bit of sewing or crochet, and Rog will learn new things watching YouTube.
Priorities – it feels very real living here – I’m not sure I can explain it very well, but it’s less about owning stuff, technology and how you are perceived by the world in terms of success, and more about actual daily living – food, water, shelter. Simplifying life like we have means there aren’t a million thoughts and worries worming their way around your head, and it feels peaceful. I have said many times in the past that all I wanted was some peace – and I was right to want it. I think we all deserve that.
I’ve always been a home loving person, but I do find that the longer we’re here, the less I want to leave the finca to go anywhere. I do think this has been partly compounded by the pandemic, but the bottom line is that I feel safe here – just me, Rog, the dogs and the chickens – it’s like our little micro world where the big bad world can’t get at us. I thought I’d at least miss going on holiday, but I really don’t – there’s nowhere on this earth I’d rather be.