I leave for home next week. When I first arrived in Spain I intended to stay all the way through until the New Year. I had reserved my apartment until the end of December and although I didn’t have a plan, I just assumed something would come up and I’d find my way somewhere to celebrate the start of 2015. However…I underestimated how much I would miss my friends and family when the creep of Christmas began in November. I have always loved the festive period and as biased as I am, I have to say that London can be quite magical at this time of year and surprising even myself I could not resist the urge to be part of it. So, in a way I am sad because I left the first week of January and by going back the week before Christmas I haven’t been away the full year but over-riding that is the excitement of seeing everyone again.
I do have another week to go but I won’t be blogging again from Spain. I wanted to post this last entry as a way of saying goodbye but I won’t be writing about my time here in full. I think I need a couple of week’s distance to be able to sit down properly and reflect on my time here. Part of that reflection will no doubt come from the opportunity I have to talk to my friends and family. Being on my own is fine but once I start talking about the experience I am sure hitherto unrealized thoughts and emotions may spring forth and I want time to digest those before writing again. I hope to write a blog post sometime either just before or just after the New Year that reflects on my year away (…my almost a year away...) which being truthful is more for my own benefit than any altruistic sharing reasons. I hope that by examining what I have done in 2014 I can be honest about how I feel about me as a person, the challenges I set myself both personally and as a writer-in-training, and most important of all, answer the questions: Was it worth it?
I've been playing around with Google Photospheres this week...it's harder than it looks to get right and as you can see, I am still in need of some practice. It's good fun though and a nice way to share places with people and have a more immersive way of remembering yourself, compared to flat images. Anyway, I will use this in conjunction with some of the other projects I'll be starting in the new year so I will tell you more about that then.
The blog post after that I will share with you my thoughts on 2015. While I have been here I have done a lot of thinking and set myself a lot of goals and targets, and I mentioned previously my efforts on producing a business plan. I’d like to talk those though with you and again, selfishly, it’s for my own benefit. I want to put some coherence into the work I will be undertaking; then I’ll get on to the real business of what stories I am working on, the social media projects connected to them and other literary related projects in general.
So for now, I will leave you by saying that if you happen to be someone who has read some of my posts this year, thank you very much for giving up your time to listen to the rambling and unguided thoughts of someone groping their way through the excessively mapped jungle of starting a business and trying to become a writer. You can see by the length and uneven flow of that sentence I have a long way to go yet.
I won’t mention any names here because it is unfair to publish personal matters but should by some unexpected circumstance any of my new Spanish friends read this, then to add to the thanks I have said in person, I would like to sincerely thank you for your friendship. I came here not knowing anyone and you have all been exceptionally welcoming and helpful. You have put up with my atrocious attempts at learning the language, you have taken the time out to show me new towns and cities, explain customs and traditions, invited me to share food, drink and celebrations with you and most importantly accepted me as part of the community even though I have spent a lot of time isolated simply reading and writing (I know how odd I must have seemed, this stranger always walking about with his laptop and Kindle sitting on his own, keeping himself to himself!) I have made some great friends that I will keep in touch with and although my immediate future is unknown to me, it is a guarantee that I will visit again some point down the line and catch up with you all.
For now, I am going to enjoy my last few sunny days, walks along the beaches and drinks with friends, while containing my jittering anticipation of seeing home. I very nearly can smell the grass of my local parks, the stale (in a good way) ale infused wood of my local pubs and, with the risk of sounded overly soppy, feel the comfort of the streets I have walked a thousand times before but can appreciate now more than ever always feel like home.
Bet it’s going to feel cold...
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