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This is the last of my articles and tips on moving abroad and settling in Lanzarote – well, for the moment anyway! Part of the adventure of living is learning, so watch this space …….
We´ve made some great friends amongst the British expats while we´ve been here and we have some good times, but being with our Spanish friends is a different experience altogether. Quite apart from their valuable insights into how to get things done here, we just love their company and their generosity is, at times, embarrassing.
I´ll never forget the first time we had some Spanish friends and neighbours round to our home for a meal. We hadn´t long moved in to a house on a new estate, and we wanted to get to know as many of our near neighbours as we could. As the evening wore on and the wine flowed, the conversation got louder and louder, with more and more accompanying gesticulations, until I thought a fight was about to break out! The talking was so fast and furious I had completely lost the plot but I relaxed a little when they started dancing together. By 1.30 am my husband and I were fit to drop – it was well past our normal bedtime, but our friends were all ready for gin and tonics. When they finally realized that we just weren´t keeping up, they very politely left amidst a chorus of “muchísimas gracias” and a request to do it again soon, next week if possible!
Partying is something they are very good at and if you don´t get to know the Spanish you are seriously missing out.
There are inevitably things about “home” that one misses – for me, as for most people (women especially) it is my family and friends (and Marks & Spencer!). With the increase in cheap flights to Lanzarote trips back are more affordable for both us and our loved ones. And I think absence really does make the heart grow fonder; we appreciate each other more and really invest time and effort into the occasions we are together.
Whenever I go back to the UK, and particularly the New Forest area, which is where we´re from, I never fail to be thrilled by the amount of green there is and the variety of shades of green. Our train ride from Gatwick Airport to Brockenhurst has me glued to the window, taking it all in with exclamations of “Oh look, cows!” much to the amusement of my husband. (It used to be “Oh look, goats!” when we first moved here, but they´re too commonplace now!). And being woken at some unearthly hour by the dawn chorus has me lying there trying to force myself awake just to relish the many different types of birdsong as they greet the break of day. It´s usually Christmas when we go back and it´s difficult to get used to the bone-chilling temperatures, but I wouldn´t miss those get-togethers for anything.
Then, in no time at all, we´re flying back, suitcases filled new clothes and all the supermarket goodies I can´t get here. And as we walk out of the airport and are hit by the glorious warmth of the Lanzarote sun, we relax – home at last!