Return to Catalunya

After a few months of work on the house on Cornwall the day arrived when I flew back to Barcelona.

I was really in two minds about the journey – both wanting to see my friends and to be present for Lydia’s second birthday, and also finding it hard to leave Cornwall just when the building works were coming to an end.

And also I was leaving my lovely man behind in a foreign – to him – land.

I had been sleeping badly for the last month and so just the idea of the journey was daunting.  I had a tic in one eye and an anxious knot in my stomach.

So it was with great relief that I arrived in Barcelona airport and felt immediately that warm comforting feeling of gladness at arriving in a familiar and loved place.

Went past Fernando Botero’s lovely Horse with a happy smile

Fernando Botero Horse

Straight into the station bar for a beer and a piece of truita accompanied by pa amb tomaquet. I always feel ridiculously proud to have a train ticket already.   I don’t see myself as that organised really.

pa amb tomaquet

Since being here I have stayed with friends in Granollers and felt so much at home that I got ill and spent a few days in bed!  Thank you Tiffany, Albert, Jett and Lydia for looking after me and being so patient!

I went to Barcelona to see friends and even bumped into someone on the metro – someone I hadn’t seen in over a year. Coincidences always feel good.

I love walking around the streets in the Gotic area. The main ones are busy with tourists but turn a corner and it is quiet and atmospheric

Calle Sant Sever, Gothic Quarter, Barcelona

Amma was in Granollers once again and I spent three days there soaking in the atmosphere

IMG_8177listening to the music, and eating far too many masala dosas.


I have been back to the old house.

It feels strange to be there again and to walk around the quiet rooms. I have been kicking myself for not taking all my things back to the UK when I had the chance. But it’s not always easy to make that sort of decision is it?  To leave a part behind, just in case, feels somehow reassuring. And perhaps I will be back one day. Who knows?

Meanwhile I took everything of mine and put it in one room – a motley collection of books, pictures and my own sculptures. I realised how much I want everything to be at last in one place. But I also had to accept that unless I cancel my flight and drive back in the Spanish car, for the moment, it’s not possible.

I realised that Granollers feels more like home than Barcelona. That’s funny isn’t it?  In spite of the pollution and the commercialism and the air of small town complacency, I like it here. It feels familiar and calm. And there are some very nice cafes

Catalan cafes
Breakfast in Granollers

Things to feel good about

I can still speak Catalan

I can drive my car with confidence and I know the way without a map

In the six years I lived here I met some wonderful people and have some great friends.

After arriving in Barcelona on the train within two minutes someone was asking me directions, in Spanish. Obviously I have something about me that generates confidence in my friendliness and my knowledge. This only happens in Barcelona. But it happens every time I go there.

And there are the balnearis

Broquetas Balneari

I have been to two on this visit.  One old familiar and one totally new.

That needs a whole post to itself so I will say goodbye now and be back again very shortly with a descriptions of those.

I had to write this post first – coming back is such a strange mix of familiarity and strangeness. It is a good moment to look at where you are and what has been learned but also it gives you a sense of the passage of time and the anxiety at the root of so many decisions. For me there is always a pull in two directions – to move forward or to stay where I am. To go out or to snuggle in at home. To advance or retreat. Something works in me to get me out and moving but I often have to deal with fear before I can get going.

Moving to Catalunya in the first place, then living here for six years, then going back to Cornwall, and now coming back for two weeks……it all feels quite strange and perhaps not a surprise that I got ill and had to stop for a rest.

Do you know what I mean? Do let me know in the comments if you have felt this too.


Free Updates!

Get the latest posts from the blog delivered to your inbox.

* indicates required

6 thoughts on “Return to Catalunya

  1. It’s an impressive amount of change and movement in the last decade. And all the more impressive if you feel anxious about doing it. But surely that is what means that we are living, growing. If everything was easy, wouldn’t life feel a bit odd, a bit unchallenging?

    1. Yes it is a huge amount of change but I wonder if most people’s lives would show something similar if I looked into it? The main thing for me is realising that I have to do it accompanied by such fear. There is an interior push, a Yes voice, that I follow but there is an opposite and opposing ‘are you sure?’. A quivery voice that reminds me of all that could go wrong. When that one gets out of control then I am faced with decisions that are uncomfortable and I start listening to ‘signs’ and messages from the universe. I think of all this as coming from a very ancient part of the brain that is aware of insecurity and deals with it by trying to find meaning in everything that happens.

  2. It takes a lot of courage to make the decision for change…to move away, to move towards a new thing and especially if you hate making decisions like me.

    I will be moving across the world to a place I call home in less than two months and facing these decisions…what to take, what to have packed up for shipping, what I will need in the interim space of living out of a suitcase for the subsequent two months. It makes my brain hurt and I fear I will make the “wrong decisions.” In reality, I know that I will make mistakes AND I also know that I will manage and cope with whatever comes along.

    Thanks for the beautiful post. I always love your writing, Kate.


  3. I have gone through the same experience of trying to decide what to take, what to let go of and what to store (many of my things are in storage). It is interesting to note that belongings sometimes help me to know who I am. I am finding I need fewer and fewer objects in my life and that is freeing. Still, I miss some of the things I have let go. I’m looking forward to seeing pictures of your renovations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *