OK, so really it’s five things I love about Spain and five things I miss about England. Yes, I managed to find five things I miss about overcast old Blighty. Here goes!
Five Things I love About Spain
1. Need I say it? The weather!! Everything looks and feels better in the sunshine; it seems easier to feel positive most of the time.
2. The attitude to drinking alcohol. Alcohol accompanies food; enhances the flavour; is a savoured pleasure. For the majority, it is not a route to oblivion.
3. The children are dressed as children, not as adolescents or even mini-adults. (3A.) The clothes they wear are really cute, 1930s style!
4. The cost of living. Everything is much cheaper than in the UK so we do not feel consistently ripped off.
5. The social life. I don’t need to book an appointment a month in advance simply to go for a drink with a friend. In fact, I can even ask them the same day that I fancy going out! Both the locals and expats are easy-going and keen to live life.
Five Things I miss About England
1. This one goes without saying: family and old friends. People I have a shared history with: that takes time to develop and is a huge part of who I am.
2. The English language. Sometimes it is frustrating being unable to express myself and having to plan what I want to say. I am learning, though.
3. Fruit scones with butter and strawberry jam. Despite the plethora of pastries in Spain, there is nothing like a soft, sweet, English scone with a pot of Yorkshire Tea. Aaaah, yes…
4. The English countryside, especially North Yorkshire. There really is nowhere else like it. But unfortunately for me, the copious quantities of rain required to keep England so green have been enough to push me rather far south to sunnier, drier climes.
5. The cosiness of a winter night at home, watching a film while sipping a dark red wine. This is one of the very few things I enjoy about an English winter. However, in Valencia the year round sunshine and warmth obliterates the concept of cosy. Our bright, airy apartment is certainly homely, but cosiness requires the cold and dark. Fortunately for me, the sunlight more than compensates for the absence of cosiness.
So there you have it, a fairly balanced view expat life? For me, for now, Valencia is where I am happiest.