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Who lives in Spain?

(70 Posts)
nkf Tue 02-Sep-08 07:15:44

Whereabouts? Is it as wonderful as people imagine?

fussychica Wed 07-Nov-12 14:31:34

Amapoleon the house is selling at just under 60% of the original valuation/asking price - hard to accept that it's significantly less than we paid once we add in the reform costs (it was a semi - ruin) but have to move on and having it is stopping us from doing just that. Hoping for completion in the next 4 weeks.(Pleeease!)

Your kids are both young enough to settle back - if you are going to do it though the next year or so is probably giving the eldest the best chance to settle and get familiar with the UK education system before GCSEs start. Just choose your spot in the UK carefully if you want to minimise culture shock!!

Sorry about your friend - our neighbours are retired and fairly comfortable but I know they worry for their twenty/thirty something kids and still hep them out.

Amapoleon Tue 06-Nov-12 20:05:24

Hi my kids are nearly 6 and nearly 12. I am not worried about the little one. Well done on selling your house, that is no mean feat in the current climate. I had a really long chat with a Spanish friend and came away knowing we have to properly get out. It was so depressing, she really felt she had no hope.

fussychica Fri 02-Nov-12 16:47:28

Amapolean how old are your kids now? DS had led a very simple, quite sheltered life in Spain - what an oldie like me would call a proper childhood! He has settled right back into UK after spending his entire teens and more in Spain. I think he did the right thing by not picking a uni in a big city so it's been an easy adjustment for him. We were increasingly worried about his future prospects in Spain - afterall it's bad enough in the UK where unemployment is running at a fraction of that in Spain.

Sorry to hear you are another one who never really settled. Like you, many of our British friends left Spain over the last couple of years and you could feel the place being dragged down, economically.

Since my last post DS has been told he must spend his year abroad in France rather than Spain and we have just accepted an offer on the Spanish house - now keeping fingers crossed that it all goes through and we can move on with our new lives in the UK. However, the bloody weather here does make me miss it all the more so I'll not rule out spending time there again.

Amapoleon Thu 01-Nov-12 22:27:21

It's funny seeing this thread four years on. I have lived in Spain for 10 years now and have never really settled. Like everyone else we are stuck because we won't be able to sell our house. We actually now live between Spain and Gibraltar due to my husband's work. When I moved to Gib, I thought it would be paradise because it is British, in reality i am now a foreigner in 2 places! I went to UK for the first time in ten years ,this summer and it felt like coming home. I'm fed up of always being the foreigner and want to come home. I have no friends or family left in Spain, everyone has gone back because it is just too hard to live here. I have good friends in Gibraltar but just want to be in my own country again. There are good things about Spain but not enough to keep me here hahaha. My kids have led quite sheltered , simple lives and I do worry about them going back to the UK but on the other hand there seems to be a lot more for them to do. My dd was blown away by WH Smiths, that says it all really.

MediaEspanola Tue 16-Oct-12 21:16:18

Hope you don't mind me just jumping here in the hope that there may be some of you knowledgeable about Spanish/English divorces, I could use help with my thread here

fussychica Wed 10-Oct-12 15:29:39

lagartija I think we would still be there if dad was still with us as I wouldn't have up rooted him again. I miss him like mad even though it's almost 2 years ago since he died. At least he had a fantastic few years living his dream. Strangely we rarely missed the UK when we were in Spain but I do feel that with the crisis things are changing and not for the better so sometimes I'm glad we're out of it (certainly glad my DS is). We have settled well here in the UK but still having the house means we are drawn to going back whereas if it had sold that would have been the end of it. Now DS is talking about going to the house next summer as part of his year abroad (he's doing Euro languages) - all very unsettling.
Do you really think you'll never live in the UK again? That's hard to contemplate if you aren't totally happy in Spain.

lagartija Wed 10-Oct-12 12:09:53

Sorry to hear about your Dad, fussy. My mum lives with us too. It's the reason really I'm stuck here as if she hadn't come I'd probably have been forced back by lack of work and the impossibility of buying here without help. I do love it sometimes and I think in some ways I have a better life here, but sometimes I just miss the UK and I struggle sometimes with the idea of never living in the UK again.

fussychica Wed 10-Oct-12 10:21:07

peterpie We came back for a number of reasons. The house in Spain is large and my dad who lived with us in a self contained annex died very suddenly and I found it difficult being there. Only DC then decided he wanted to come back to UK for Uni so we thought perhaps it was time to do the same. In a way it was a good job we did as DS was rushed to hospital in the middle of freshers week last year with a spontaneous pneumothorax shockso it would have been even worse if we had been in Spain. However, not having been able to sell the house in Spain has been a strain and we have pretty much given up on the idea. After a recent trip there we fell in love with it all over again so I won't be surprised if this time next year we aren't back there, even if it's only for the short term.confused

peterpie Tue 09-Oct-12 20:57:08

Aww fussychica, I do understand how much the weather has an influence especially when it´s constant rain and grey skies. I don´t like the heat but equally not keen on rain, some kind of happy medium would suit me much better. I am from North West England so well used to rain and grey skies and it does get you down after a while.

I am glad to hear that everything is OK with your place, I saw what had happened on the news and it was awful. You must have been out of your mind with worry, you feel totally powerless when so far away.

Do you mind me asking why you returned to the UK?

fussychica Tue 09-Oct-12 15:04:43

We returned to the UK last year but still have our place in Spain. As you all say we would be sellling for peanuts if there was anyone buying. I hate leaving it empty and found the news about the terrible flooding in our region last week really worrying as I couldn't get through to my Spanish neighbours for a couple of days. Luckily everything seems alright but it's an old cortijo so it's not really an ideal lock up & leave place. Really missing it right now as the weather is so crap here and DS back at Uni. Going for New year but want to go today!

peterpie Tue 09-Oct-12 11:16:08

Me too, "all those little cultural references" I mean. I really don´t want to be a foreigner anymore and as the years go by I find myself retreating into my shell more and more which is not good. I am a SAHM and Spain isn´t a good country to be one of those is it, I have become weary of trying to find other Mummies that are around during the day, they are few and far between. I must be mental doing all this again grin
That´s a shame about the job but don´t beat yourself up about that, hindsight is a wonderful thing and my God how I tortured myself for years wishing I could go back in time, it got me nowhere.
I often think I would be better suited to living in a country like Holland. (I hate the heat!!) I went to Germany for a wedding in the Summer and I felt much more "at home" there. It reminded me of England, the landscape, climate, the parks, the bread, even the people to a certain degree!
I remember your thread about the Olympics, I posted on it. I was back at the time and I have never felt more proud to be British. The music, creativity, diversity, was fabulous!

lagartija Mon 08-Oct-12 22:39:27

"on your own turf" that's what I think is getting to me atm. I feel more of an outsider lately and more homesick. I'm fluent (I work as a translator/teacher) but I miss all those little cultural references. The olympics opening ceremony made me really homesick (I even started a thread about it.) I went on holiday to Holland and loved it as I think it reminded me of the bit of the UK I'm from. I even found myself looking at the guardian jobs page the other day. There was a job I could do, something in fact I thought of trying to move into years ago, but chickened out and was still enjoying Spain then. I think if I could go back in time, knowing what I know now, I'd go back to the UK...iyswim.

peterpie Mon 08-Oct-12 14:43:13

Yes, it is a vicious circle lagartija. My DH (Spanish) was very open to the idea of looking for work back in the UK and a couple of years ago a job came up but when we sat down to analyse things financially it would have been a real struggle and to have to leave an empty propery behind would have only added to the list of stresses. Needless to say the job didn´t come to fruition.

I am lucky in hat I have been able to go back fairly regularly over the years and although it is not perfect I always feel I would be happier living there. Don´t get me wrong there would be other different issues to deal with but I still think they would be easier to cope with when on your own turf iyswim.

I am now expecting DC3 and so going back seems even less likely at this moment in time...

I live just outside of Madrid

lagartija Sun 07-Oct-12 18:56:40

Where in Spain are you btw peterpie?

lagartija Sun 07-Oct-12 18:56:18

Same here, peterpie would never shift this house now in the current climate without losing so much I couldn't afford anything in Britain, and have no job to go back to in Britain, but would probably have enough from a house sale to not be eligible for benefits, but not enough to buy...vicious circle. Also, it's not like I HATE it or anything, just it's lost its shine in many ways and I find the future worrying here in many ways, for me and my kids. For various complex personal reasons I haven't been back to the UK for about 6 years and I miss it. Don't know know when on earth I'll ever be able to go back either. I was thinking about (and may still do) of starting a thwarted dreams/parallel universe thread as I've been wondering a lot lately about what ifs...what if I'd gone back to the UK/not bought here etc....would I be happier?

nkf Sun 07-Oct-12 18:00:25

It's okay. I'm not as sad as I realise I sound. I mean, I am a bit but I also think, well there are other lovely countries and we never visited those because we always go to Spain.

It sounds to me as if many people feel trapped in Spain now. And that must be hard. Is it the same everywhere? What about moving to a big city?

peterpie Sun 07-Oct-12 17:55:01

I´m sorry to hear how things have worked out for you nkf...

I also had a love affair with Spain before I moved here. That´s what is so strange for me, I always wanted to live here but once I did I found it wasn´t the Spain I knew as a student.

We would also find it more difficult to move back as we bought a property here and we´ve got no chance of selling it unless we gave it away! How I wish we had just rented now .Property prices have dropped but nowhere near the amount that is realistic enough to get things moving

nkf Sun 07-Oct-12 17:23:01

No. I didn't. And I don't think I ever will now. The love affair with Spain was was part of the love affair I had with my ex and it's all over. To be honest, I haven't even been to Spain since the divorce. And although I miss it, I don't want to.

captainmummy Sun 07-Oct-12 17:19:30

nfk - did you ever move to spain? Where were you looking?

lagartija - I'd hope to be able to get a bargain-price then? Although I'm realisic enough to know that I'm not going to be moving there for at least 5 years, and I'd be renting for a while first anyway. I did think about buying a small 'holiday' home over there, but don;t want a flat/apartment, and any remote place left for months at a time will be vulnerable to thieves.

lagartija Sun 07-Oct-12 16:23:07

No, there are millions of empty homes and millions of half built ones that will never be finished.

nkf Sun 07-Oct-12 16:03:05

Thank you. Sorry to hear that you feel vulnerable in Spain. I hear the unemployment problem is very bad indeed. I guess you can't rent out houses there any more.

lagartija Sun 07-Oct-12 15:58:22

Sorry to hear about your marriage break up nkf. My life too is very different, although I'm still in Spain. It's not that I want to go back to the UK but it's all getting worrying.....and at the end of the day I'm only a resident here.

nkf Sun 07-Oct-12 13:52:24

Very very weird experience reading this thread. I saw the title on Active Convos and thought interesting. Clicked on it. It turned out to be one I started four years ago. And if that wasn't weird enough, the husband of many years that I was discussing moving to Spain with is no longer my husband. And Spain is in recession. And I am still posting on MN. Weird.

captainmummy Sun 07-Oct-12 12:43:58

lagartija and cies - things aren't great here either! I don;t think prices here are any cheaper than spain, in fact I think you;'ll be shocked at the price of stuff (council tax, food, HOUSING, electricity) Unemployment is rising, youngsters are not getting jobs, people are getting to retirement age and realising thaat they can't live on their pensions and staying in work longer, and the weather is crapper than ever!

I'd love to move away, anywhere really.

lagartija Sat 06-Oct-12 16:07:48

So many of the expats I know here are moving back. My DH has been unemployed for a very long time and there's nothing on the horizon at all. If it weren't for having to sell a property I'd be inclined to go back myself. Not to say I wouldn't miss Spain, but i'm feeling vulnerable here in a way I haven't before.

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