That was 2017 - done and dusted. Most hectic year EVER.

I started 2017 employed and living in Scotland but knowing that the Scottish offices of my company were closing and we were being made redundant in April. I'd been offered a transfer to the English offices but wasn't at all sure I wanted to move back to England. So I went on holiday in February to Spain to think about it, to cheer up, to get some winter sunshine ...

Result - I fell in love with a house long on potential and decided to buy it, despite not speaking Spanish, or knowing anything about refurbishing large dilapidated 100-year-old rambling Spanish townhouses. Returned, put my house on the market, did a TEFL course and started teaching English online and found I loved teaching (phew). Income sorted, at least in theory. Sold the house in Scotland after 2 false starts, packed up and bought a super-cheap camper (never been a camping enthusiast) to get myself and my pets to Spain.

Problem - when it came to the crunch, because of the falling pound I could no longer afford the house in Spain, but went anyway because what else could I do? I'd sold up, turned down the English transfer, burned my Scottish boats. Plus I wanted to get over in time for a bloggers meet in September with a particular special visitor from Malaysia I had wanted to meet for a couple of years hug And wintering in a campervan in Spain would be warmer than Scotland (that turned out to be a very good decision, Scotland is having a stoater of a winter, brrrr)

Made the meet with barely a day in hand, then started some serious house-hunting (there have been blogs laugh ) which ended when the house I had originally wanted dropped its price into my price range and wintering in the van was no longer required - luckily, since it is colder than usual here too, days around 16 to 18 C degrees, nights occasionally dropping as low as 8 degrees. The van was a wonderful stopgap but 8 weeks of living in it was an elegant sufficiency.

Since moving in, I have been bossed mercilessly by #1 CS buddy (building expert of note) into stripping old walls of dead paint and plaster, stripping down old wooden beams, doors and windows, treating walls then painting them, and even carrying 25 kg bags of building materials, albeit not very far or very fast. With his priceless help my shabby elefante blanco has become a stripped carcass, slowly growing room by room into a home and, hopefully, a self-funding future.

Writing has ground to almost a complete halt, and teaching has been on hold while the extremely noisy Spanish builders are in situ. My hands are calloused, I am semi-permanently paint-freckled, my hair stands on end 90% of the time, and my biceps are becoming alarming. As we are now working on the upstairs levels, my leg muscles are becoming steel springs. As you can imagine, after reading that, #1 CS buddy is not a romantic entanglement laugh My Spanish-speaking CS buddies have also been worth their weight in gold.

I’m not quoting any names - against blog rules, for one thing. They can identify themselves, if they see this blog. However, this whole change in my life is pretty much a direct result of joining CS a few years ago and being lucky enough to make some quality quirky friends here. Funny how life works out.

wine cheers hug

It has been an interesting year. 2018 promises to be even more interesting. I use that word deliberately - I’m told there is a Chinese curse, “may you live in interesting times”

Feliz año nuevo to all and may 2018 bring you happiness in the things that really matter.

I'm leaving comments open, would be great if you talked about your 2017 if you do comment conversing or that this will spark other blogs about the year gone.

Comments (89)

Well done and wishing you all the best for 2018 and your new life.
Emmy, hoping to get chat going about 2017 - it was a hectic year for many of us laugh and 2018 is predicted to be a year of growth and change for us all - where are we coming from, where are we going?

If comments are only about my blog, eek, how narcissistic, I will dump it rolling on the floor laughing
Midnight already? wow

Early start again tomorrow wave
good to see you are happy and content and I hope this coming one brings good for you your a brave sould or stone mad im not quite sure anyway good luck girl
I just loved your Blog Biff, speaks my language lol! Your energy and spirit are contagious, wish you all the best for this year, you got the attitude and enthusiasm, being a spaniard, it feels quite good that Spain is in your plans of succeed and happiness hug
Fantastic year. !!

all the best for 2018wine
JJ I suspect stone mad laugh but if this whole adventure doesn't kill me it will be something to look back on with a grin. Everyone, once in their life, has to seize the day, I left my day a bit late in life but glad I finally did do something mad.
Cach, cheers, and from comments you've made, 2018 is going to be your year of huge changes? Wheeeee!
Bogie, thanks hon, same to you wine

Seems I am, after all, the only one roaring out into print about being mad in 2017. Maybe I was the only person who went mad uh oh
What i learned in 2017...if you really want something...don't rely on anybody else...go out and get it!.

I took a last minute flight to Turkey...checked out alittle piece of heaven...and it did not dissappoint!...

Have found a wonderful community of english expats and traditional turkish life....its so are always saying..'WHAT!!' ...scenery of mountains, forests and oceans...leave me breathless!...

2018 will be my year....of realising a dream....!

Glad you are happy...adventures are to grab!...
My 2017 was a bit of a downtripp, so now I`m aiming uppwards again....

...the politichians makes it hard to make a living as a fisherman, if you don`t have a large wessel ...

and no youre not mad biff... just full of life!thumbs up

cool wine
Yeap! we go again, we are on the road again ...this is kind of weird ´cause it´s not the first time but it feels very different, it´s ok.... I´ll do it anyway grin
Hi Biff wave
My 2017 started with a promotion and ended with a reward. banana
And my 2018 started with heavy duties. blues
But I am sure things will get better.. much better..! cowboy
Jazz - YAY - sounds idyllic, if a bit of a surprise since you really, really didn't want to go there!

Viking - tough times, fingers crossed 2018 is an upward and onward year from the start and thanks! hug

Ah Cach easier for witches ... laugh good LUCK

Kal, you had a great year, don't let them work you into the ground hug good people do tend to get stuck with all the work in 2018!
Kal I meant good people get stuck with all the work - "in 2018" tagged itself on, but it happens every year laugh
New year in Spain. I hope you ate your 12 grapes at midnight. You will love Spain , wait till winter is over and spring starts. Hope you have time to visit Cordoba or Seville, I can be your tour guide. Hope to see you soon, enjoy the weather.
Biff, my 2017 started absolutely crap with my mum dying and backwards and forwards to UK sorting things out. Then whilst sorting found so many secrets OMG not knowing who I am so I gave up . By Easter even more crap.
So I'm glad to see the back of 2017 and look forward to 2018 it can only get
I know....was always East of Antalya....went West this time....glad i found a real
Jazz, you were having a meltdown last time I saw you here, have you been sectioned for your own safety?
Jazz53 least i do 't post schoolboy pics of sausages....comfort
Jazz, I know you like that sausage pic reallywink
Emmy, that's seriously crappy for you, shock after shock after shock hug

2018 has to be better. bouquet
*tiptoeing away from the Jazz and B conversation, closing the door gently behind me*

At least 2017 was better than 2016 so hopefully 2018 will go a bit more the way I want it to go.
Eks, make it so. 2018 is your year to roar.

Yikes, missed the comment from Titch doh

Grapes for midnight uh oh well I drank 12 sips of wine. Same thing, right? grin Actually there were no bells or clock chimes and even the fireworks started 5 minutes late - I was home standing by to hold the dog's paw but she barely cranked open an eyelid. So much for the mad Spanish laugh although you should have heard the bangs and cheering and fuss when the saint came out to check on things in October. WOW.

I'm sure yours in the Big City was way more exciting and YES will take you up on your guide offer one of these days although i nearly melted just driving past Cordoba so not too hot a time of year, right? laugh

Have a brilliant 2018 Ish cool
Congrats on your new beginnings in Spain.
Heres to an even better 2018 for u.

U seem a very strong determined woman...well done on all uve achieved.

2017 was for me not one of my best ones.
Alot of health problems.
Work problems.
And relationship problems.

My health has slowly improved and getting better.
Have alot of plans for 2018 and now that i feel much better i can hopefully i can see those plans through in 2018

Hope its great for us all.

peace cheers
Well Ms Biff, you most certainly did have a full active year and despite all, you're happy NOT regretful and isn't that all that really matters yay

Sure if not for our friends.... wine
but at the end of the day little lady .... if not for YOU.

All the best for 2018 Biff wine
May you have a great 2018 El, I watched your moving and settling down. You are a brave lady. Hope you finish the renovations soon and have the chance to take few days off in a nice warm bath tub.
2017 had been very kind to MiMi please Meeting you and the rest of the gang was one of the highlights for me hug

Hope to make big changes in my life ( and my kids too ) this year.

Oh Biff, Art has promised to take me to Spain again so that we could stay at your place and have another another meet-up!! yay I hope you have a big enough cauldron for me to whip up some chicken curry for them! I know for sure that Molly would be looking forward to my cooking!! giggle

Here's to great health and a productive year ahead, Biff wine
Deedee, hug crappy year for you, and I hope 2018 is indeed a year of change and growth

I'm not sure I'm either of those things - strong or determined - but for 20 years I have let the winds of change pick me up and carry me along instead of fighting against them to stay in one place. It has made life interesting. 2000 had a hurricane, 2002 was some strong gusts, and 2017 was a whirlwind from start to finish. Other years left me in the same place but changed my life completely.

I must be in poetry mode this morning, I already quoted on Cat's blog. But what the hell - Shakespeare called it tides, not winds, same thing.

There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat.

I'm for sure not headed to fortune, but I'm definitely on a full sea. That water looks quite deep ... uh oh
Itchy, thank you, and for the Livvy vid, all best for you too in 2018 wine

What's the Irish toast? May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields.

(yup. Definitely in quoting mode today)
Usha, I got the bathtub! At last! yay

I sat in that enormous bathroom having a bubble bath and ignoring the lack of tiles on the floor and the unplastered walls and the bit of a draught round the door and I LOVED EVERY MINUTE laugh

Back to showering since then, because there's so much to do and never enough time, but it's there when I need it.

Simple pleasures - may 2018 bring many more of them to you and to me wine
Mimi, meeting you and Art was a highlight of my year too, and yes 2017 was an incredible year for you yay

Right now I don't even have a connected cooker (my kitchen was dismantled about 3 weeks ago and the new one is slowly, very slowly, getting mantled) but be sure I will get a massive cauldron for your visit, about time we bloggers had a chance to taste this cooking of yours

yay uh oh

May 2018 sail you onwards, lovely Mimi cheering
(That dismantled kitchen - ask me about Christmas dinner. Go on, ask)

(Thank goodness the laundry was painted and ready in time is all I can say)
Hi Biff
It was a good year to me. I got done what I wanted to do and my love live had some climaxes and anticlimaxes, I guess that is life. Looking forward to another great year.
Hello Biff. One favor please - before you let my Mimi cook let me die first. rolling on the floor laughing
NO chance Art devil
Cat, just promise you'll stick to jeans and not switch to mustard-coloured corduroy. Promise that. blues
Hiya Biff,

I wouldn't even try to compete with your hectic year laugh I couldn't even if I tried.

My 2017 was generally quite uneventful. I feel like I should complain about that, but since the events could have been negative, I shall not.

I do hope that 2018 holds more excitement, adventure and change for me. All positive though professor
ladyjewel: "you colour my world "(meet us in the ecards)

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