First day of the year and celebrating with my first mince pie of the holiday season! Better late than never (and great for breakfast). Thanks to Lucy @sparkybakewell for bringing some back from the UK for me.
Happy New Year everyone!
Yesterday was the festival of San Juan. It was also my saint day (Shawn = Juan). On the eve of San Juan the tradition is to build bonfires that people then jump over – the idea is to burn away all the negative shit that’s accumulated in your life and start fresh on the other side of the flames.
Well, these past few months have been very difficult, for various reasons, but they have also made me take a hard and honest look at what is important in my life. Which has been both difficult and sad. Then just when I thought I’d reached bottom, that I couldn’t possibly feel any sadder, I found out that my friend and wonder twin Jed had died. On San Juan day.
One thing I know is that I’m done crying, because I’ve been crying a lot. And I’m also done with falling into this crippling sadness that’s been dragging me down for so long. It’s time to burn all that away, let it go, and start on a new chapter. Wish me luck! x
Yesterday was Peter’s birthday, and it was a big one. So we celebrated the big day by doing … well nothing much. Because Peter was still in the throws of moving house and I had an evening tapas tour and also an afternoon We Love Tapas training session with José. But it turns out that Peter and José share the same birthday, 25 years apart, so here they are having a Birthday Beer together at our meeting.
And so we are going to do Birthday Lunch on Sunday, when there is usually not much else to do, and by then Peter will be settled into his new home. Since moving out of Casa Azahar in October he has stayed at a couple of temporary places, but now he has found a really great permanent apartment near the Feria Market. An ático with two terraces, tons of light, and feels very homey. Looks nice, doesn’t it?
A photo of the “office” this morning, with an important difference. Normally Peter’s laptop would be set up on the white table on the right but, at least for this month, he has moved to his own place. We’re still not sure if this will be a temporary situation or a permanent one, but we both agree that it was a necessary one.
Don’t get me wrong. We are still very good friends, and I hope will remain so. But after over 13 years of being flatmates and workmates it was time for a break. I have to admit this was mostly my decision, but I do think it will be a good thing for both of us. I guess I just got to the point where I had forgotten what it was like to just be me at home, and not have another person there, always around, and always reacting to this other presence in my house.
During my last visit to Málaga in August I went through all kinds of emotions when I first got there. I don’t know why, but I was feeling a bit fragile and a couple of times I was even downright panicky. Also sad. But I was also comfortable staying at my friend’s place and visiting my other Málaga friends. The only thing missing were the cats! Then Peter came down for the last two days, staying at a nearby hotel, and suddenly I was “reacting” again to this dynamic we’ve developed over the years, rather than just feeling like myself. And it made me realize that it’s only when I’ve been away that I’ve caught glimpses of another Shawn, either someone I used to be, or someone I could be, and I really wanted a chance to pursue that fleeting feeling. At home. With my cats.
So yesterday I helped Peter move stuff over to his new temporary home. Finding short-term rentals here is almost impossible now due to AirBnB, etc, so whatever happens this place will be temporary as it’s quite expensive. But just for one month it will be fine. And depending on how things go, Peter may come back here in November, or he’ll look for a permanent place of his own.
Right now I don’t really know how I’m feeling. Waking up on my own and feeding the cats, making coffee, turning on the computer… there is both sadness and relief. I can plan my day without having to think about someone else, which maybe sounds selfish, but this is just what I need right now. Maybe a month will be enough of a break for me to feel grounded in myself again, maybe I’ll need a few months, I really don’t know. I do know that if this wasn’t an initial one-month arrangement I don’t think I could bear the sadness. I couldn’t have watched Peter leave with his last batch of clothes last night thinking I’d never see him again. But he’s still around, just over in Santa Cruz, and that’s a comfort.
I’ve actually got a busy day lined up for today, so I’d better get moving. I won’t be posting this on Facebook, which I usually do with my blog posts. I actually seldom use my personal FB, and it was only a year or so ago (maybe?) that I started auto-posting these posts over there. Things have become a bit muddled, as I now have a bunch of “friends” over there, and I’m not sure I want to share this with them all. But this blog has always been where I talk to you guys. So once again, thanks for listening, and for being here. Will let you know how things go – wish me luck! xx
About ten days ago I posted a photo of La Campana with a huge banner across the front, asking people to sign a Change.org petition in order to get the city council to reinstate its terrace permit. Well, I was walking past La Campana yesterday and saw the banner was gone, so I went inside and asked – “Did you win??” – and there were big smiles all around. Yay!
I was told that due to the usual government red tape the terraza won’t actually be back for another month or two, but it’s something to look forward to.