The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

Dave and Beb are moving to Spain

Dave and Beb are moving to Spain.

On Monday I helped my Dave move a car load of stuff from his flat in Glasgow to his Mum’s shed not far from Dumfries.

They don’t have a job to go to.

They haven’t learnt the language yet.

They don’t even have anywhere to live.

They just decided that after 4 years they were fed up with Glasgow and fancied being somewhere else.

Dave carves small stones with Celtic designs on them and sells them as pendants on the street; Beb is an artist and French.

They’re heading for Andalucia.

They’ll probably stay in a hostel or something until they can find a place in a mountain village somewhere.

They made enough money over the summer, mostly street trading at the Edinburgh Festival, to cover their expenses through the winter.

There’s just the two of them.

They’re flying out on Tuesday.

They have only the roughest of plans, which mainly consists of “we’ll figure it out when we get there.

I’ve never been to Spain, so have no idea whether it’s somewhere I’d like to live.

After the struggle trying to learn a few words and phrases in French for our holiday back in the summer, I don’t have a strong desire to learn a completely new language.

I’ve still yet to figure out how to make an income in the UK, let alone in a foreign country.

While Rogan is likely to be very adaptable, Meg prefers her routines and I’m not sure how enlightened some other countries are when it comes to supporting people with Down’s Syndrome.

Language, income, the children’s education – all these things mean that I wouldn’t consider doing something like that for a single moment.

Not at all.

I wouldn’t.

Really. It’s not my kind of thing.

So where does that yearning ache of envy come from?

Why do I feel like I’m bit dull and boring?

I’ll be looking for an excuse to go and visit once they’re settled though.

17 comments

quinn said...

It is normal to have those "pangs" because we are middle aged or there about to start with. I often like the thought of those that can just pick up and go and really do not need to worry. If they need to live on mac and cheese or peanut butter sandwhiches for a week they will. IT is easy to do when you are not responsible for dependants. I would never want to put my family into a possition of pick up and go etc...I think it also depends on just your own personality.. some of us are caregiver types... we prefer to be providers and supporters to those around us and think of our own needs last.
Others never give that a thought and seem to run on the more primal instincts of "me first" when it comes to needs of anyone.

I think for your friends though the fact they this fits both of their personalities and really they aren't having to be worried about dependants in a new country..I think it is very cool and likely will work out well for them.

Hope you can go and visit them too!! that would be good for you , even if you do though I bet you dollars to donuts after about a week you would be clawing to get back home to your family and your comfort zone ...

SafeTinspector said...

Normal, man. Freedom and adventure and courage make good movies because we tend to like them as ideas.
The reality of scrounging around for a living in Spain is probably far less liberating than your ache would have your non-achey parts believe.

Anonymous said...

As an Englishman living in Asia (Tokyo), I consider all the EU pretty much home. I am a proud European, and to live in Spain, France,Italy, wherever, just seems more familiar than things here. We, in the EU, have the privelege of having European Passports. That means that we can move around OUR continent with ease, as well as being protected by the same rights. Eat it up, folks! My European friends on the mainland, have had their horizons opened for some time, living all over.

One of my friends, a Danish man, finds it no sweat to live in Switzerland, after having lived in Germany, Holland and Belgium.

Fear of difference sometimes blinds us of similarity. Trust me, Europe is home.

Rhonda said...

I think that ache is normal - the path not traveled always leaves us wondering if it's better, no matter how much we love our chosen lifestyle.

fatmammycat said...

I've lived in Spain, it was great and I enjoyed myself to the hilt-when I wasn't working my arse off, but I was just as happy to come home and earn an actual real decent wage.
It's normal to yearn for pastures new, Kim, especially with Winter knocking on the door. Go visit, have fun when you do, but remember-as I told all of my friends at the time- Spain is not all sangria, tapas and sunshine, and rural Spain can be just as clannish as Wexford or Carlow, the language is a must and you must work hard to integrate. That said, I've friends from Scotland who are completely at home there after six years and they have three kids. But I don't really envy them, you should see the amount of wook they have to do just to earn a living. Eeek. Not of the faint hearted.

Mark Williams said...

While I think your pang of envy is understandable, I don't think you should underestimate what you have already achieved in terms of risk and freedom for you and your family: like selling your business, moving to the good life in Dumfries and Galloway and you embracing a precarious existence as a writer and tutor, Maggie as an artist. This is way beyond what most people would dream of, let alone actually do. The majority seem to struggle on, trapped in jobs they hate, never breaking free, living lives, as Thoreau said, of quiet desperation. To them your life style change is as extreme as that of Dave and Beb to you - so it's all a question of degree. Credit where credit's due. Personally I don't envy Dave and Beb one iota. I've done the hippie thing and I don't need to revisit it. My experience of it was squalid. I like home comforts and rituals but I know too that should the need arise I would have no problem selling up again and breaking free.

OddMix said...

I know exactly what you mean! I wouldn't trade my life, my wife, my kids, for anything... but sometimes I see things like than and say, "Wow. That would be something I'f have liked."

Kim Ayres said...

I think it's ultimately about the sense of freedom - that feeling that you can just pack up and go if you want to - that is so appealing.

Of course the reality is that we are much freer than we realise. It's too easy to get caught up in feeling that we are trapped when if we have the will and the desire then we can change our lives.

As Mark reminds me: I already have.

SheBah said...

Freedom is a state of mind. Transplanting yourself to other places doesn't necessarily change your mindset. What travel does for me is give me a sense of perspective - my little local home problems seem trivial when I am viewing them from, say, Thailand. Their problems seem so much greater. So regular vacations, even within the UK, work for me. I adore travelling, but I am always so pleased to come home. It's a great country with freedoms undreamt of by some of our brethren abroad, and no lethal insects, volcanoes or dangerous earthquakes!

Eva said...

The grass is always greener on the other side...eh..
I always dreamt of seeing the world, and I have now lived in 6 different countries. A few years in each place.
Educating, fun, exciting.
But it can also be a total pain in the ass.
Like life in general, no matter in which country.
Only difference maybe is that you become bit of a chameleon. You fit in everywhere (and nowhere).
I like my choice of lifestyle, but it's not for everyone.
And the grass is not greener elsewhere, just a different shade of green.
Each to their own.
By the way Kim, so far Scotland has been one of my favourite places in the whole world - so rest assured, you're in a GOOD place :-)

Kim Ayres said...

Shebah - it's good to be reminded when going abroad that depsite the British media giving the impression that Britain is the biggest and most important country in the world, we are in fact little more than a small island hanging off the north end of Europe, of little more importance than one of the Shetland Isles

Eva - welcome to my ramblings!

I do like Scotland, and I particularly like this corner of Scotland, which is why we moved here. This entry isn't so much about not enjoying where I am, but about how unsettling it can be when someone you know just ups and goes.

happykat said...

I'm in the same place as you, Kim.

Not that i want to leave my little plot of land (or do I?), but I would love to have the freedom...the option.

*sigh*

IS this a phase of life we must all go through?

Nikki said...

I had wondered what had happened to Dave's blog.

Please wish he and Deb the best for me.

I hope he finds what he's looking for.

Kim Ayres said...

HappyKat - most probably

Nikki - I tried to convince him to leave his blog up and add to it when he got there, but it was too late - he'd removed it.

Which reminds me, I'd better remove the link.

Stella said...

Ah Kim, the grass is always greener. And yes, like you, I wouldn't REALLY want to do that, it's probably their freedom we yearn for.

Anonymous said...

Kim, Hola amigo.

Just thought I´d reply to yer blog.

First, each to there own.

Sure, Granada is a beautiful place. When you compare it to what we had to put up with in the previous shithole... trying to find a place to live is proving difficult. We will persevere. Who ever said that the Spanish have to work loads to earn a living obviously hasn´t been here. The Spanish work on a different timescale... akin to the geologic.

Again I have my own reason for moving. The reasons would fill a book and I ain´t going to bore you folks with them.

Finally:

MARK WILLIAMS. you might have once ´done the hippy thing´but I assure you sir I am no fucking weak ass feeble minded hippy. you can kiss my ass!

sorry Kim but that remark pissed me off. Hippy... goddamnmit! I hate hippys.

Kim Ayres said...

Hi Dave - despite remaining anonymous I'd recognise those dulcet tones of yours anywhere.

I wish you'd start up another blog so I can read about your progress. Hope you find somewhere to live soon.

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