Things I Miss

So, after eight years can I say that I have left everything about England behind? Well, no. Don't misunderstand me; I love Spain and I love living here. But everything comes at a cost.
The biggest cost is being detached from family life by being so far away. Both our daughters live very busy lives and have only a certain amount of annual leave so they are seldom able to get over to Frigiliana. As it happens, both are coming soon, one with her children in May, the other with a couple of friends at the beginning of June. Only, we won't be here. That's when we are travelling across Europe in smart trains as our 'big event' celebration of our golden wedding. 
We'd also like to see more of the wider family, and of friends we left behind. We have a full and satisfying social life here, so it's not that we feel lonely, just that we miss those relationships.
Spain's wines have improved enormously over the past ten or twenty years, and there's a huge choice, way beyond what you will see in the Spain section of a British supermarket. But you rarely find wines from outside Spain, and that's something else I miss - a good NZ Sauvignon Blanc, for instance, or a Chilean Merlot. Or wines from France, Argentina, South Africa. 
On the subject of the inner man, I miss the wide range of traditional British cheeses; I grew up to appreciate lovingly matured Lancashire cheese, creamy, heady and - the best aged - capable of blasting the top of your head off if not treated respectfully. Or Wensleydale, Caerphilly and Cheddar. Oh, we can get cheddar cheese here, but the result of factory scale production, at best a very bland, moist concoction described as 'extra mature'; so strong that you could safely serve it to a baby. We were in England last month and I bought some cheddar from a local farm shop, along with some Shropshire Blue and Cornish Yarg. What a cheddar! It almost brought tears to my eyes - tears of joy.
I'll often bring back proper Bury black pudding too, bought from Chadwick's stall on Bury market.
And on a completely different topic, there's a church in Guildford that I've discovered where I can submerge myself in a Sunday Mass celebrated in my own language. I'm happy enough in the normal way of things with the mass in Spanish at the little chapel by the side of the cemetery, but it's good to worship in English now and then.
There are lots of things I don't miss, but that's for another day; maybe.

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