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the last 12 months – phew!

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6 months living aboard

The last year has felt like a marathon of activities and events hurtling me towards change, towards now, towards Valencia, Spain.

First there was the news we were being turfed out of our cute house in the leafy, quiet mews.

Then a year ago this time, Ian and I took responsibility for a 71-foot canal boat on the River Lea.

Simultaneously in a magical juggling act of time and space, we also visited Valencia a second time to continue our research related to moving here.

Then on the last day of July 2015, we moved on board full-time.

I went to South Sudan for work at the end of August for 3 weeks, and to Spain for a course in November.

And in between we moved the boat every two weeks, as well as seeing to basic boat household chores like filling up with water, getting diesel, doing basic boat maintenance and sometimes extra stuff like installing solar panels.

On 31 January, we gave the boat back, and the next day took the ferry and train …. to Valencia. Finally, we made The Big Move.

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looking for home

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3rd time lucky with the house hunting

We stayed temporarily in the historic centre at first. The flat and the neighbourhoud had a quaint, cheery buzz – cafes, restaurants, buskers, families, tourists. It had heart, it had soul, but it didn’t have the vibe of an ordinary neighbourhood.

In March we moved into our own flat in an ordinary neighbourhood a 30-minute walk from the centre. We like it a lot. It has heart and soul as well as cafes, restaurants, families, a few buskers, and happily very few tourists.

 

 

… distractions …

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fallas, a local festival

Kaboom! Suddenly and loudly it was “fallas” season and very difficult to get anything much done.

Concerned and distracted by Gustavo’s detention, in my world March ticked along sometimes minute by minute, sometimes whole days felt missing.

We had visitors. There was furniture gathering, buying, assembling. Bureaucracy:  tax, social security, foreigners’ police, banks in London and here, mobile phone service to sort out here and in London, utilities here. Paint, repair, hang things on the walls, unpack, settle in. It’s a long process.

home sweet home now

Two days ago I returned from two weeks in the Pyrenees where I was facilitating a new course. Coming home, I am noticing a shift in my willingness and interest to settle in more.

 

At the end of April we unpacked some boxes and hung a few things. But for a while now, framed pictures, other things have been piling up, waiting to be in place. I have bought a few more house plants.

home sweet home a year ago …

Summer. Solstice. 2016. Another year.

I have no regrets that we live aboard the boat for 6 months. It was hard, it was interesting. I was in my discomfort zone a lot, but it was (generally) lovely waking up on the River Lea in

 

East London. We had two months of serious cold when we had to keep in mind to gather fire wood and/or buy wood and coal. It has made me yet more conscious of my resource consumption and lifestyle impact on the planet. Living aboard a boat was life changing in more ways than I understand right now.

now

Similarly I’ve no regret that we’ve made the leap to Valencia, Spain, and the leap was easy, it’s the on-going settling in that sometimes is hard:  the transition … to another time, another era of life, to another place, finding new friends and meaningful projects. Now that’s the blood, guts, sweat and tears of the change/transition process!  Eventually though, I trust, as has happened before,  …, it will all come together, and Valencia truly will feel like home. It’s just a matter of time and a bit of effort. “¡Olé!” and that’s how it is now.

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