So, what did 2011 bring?
Although this is a slightly late annual review, I’m still within the holiday period so here you go.
Normally, annual reviews of the year are done by month, but that would be tedious so I’m doing it thematically. In no particular order.
First – Finca Revamp
I wrote last year that our poor sad finca in Spain had been neglected due to Partner working 30 hours a day, eight hours a week, 60 weeks a year. OK, maybe a slight exaggeration but not that far off the truth.
Who else works for 18 months solid, including nearly all bank holidays and weekends, and only takes one week’s holiday? And gets laid off the month after the holiday?
Yeah, good money, but not at the price of our life. So suddenly, working for ourselves, we are back down to the hit and miss of when work comes in. At least it gave us time to start on the finca.
One day, I rubbed at the nasty damp patches on the wall – and they cleaned up. Impressed (for once) with my efforts, Partner started on the huge redec project. Because it wasn’t just a lick of paint – it was also re-rendering a load of the walls, filling, sealing etc etc etc.
So basically, every time we went back to the finca, a tiny bit more got attacked. Poco a poco.
By the end of the year, the only things remaining were the filling and painting of the bedroom walls, the front door (completed), and the bathroom windows and sitting room door to patio (need paint for metal so need to be done together). A good year’s work.
Second – the work thing
The work thing that brings in money, rather than just doing up our own place. The first half of the year was not good. I will make no bones about that. Simple. We dug into our savings. But at least in the second six months it picked up somewhat, and we got a few decent jobs, enough to make us feel a bit more enthusiastic about running a business in Gib.
Thirdly – our dog
This time last year, we were so pleased he was still with us. He was diagnosed with erlichiosis canina (tick disease) back in December 2010 and we really thought he would not be with us for long. But he is still around, twice as feisty, after any and every cat under the sun – and all thanks to our super vet Pedro for his quick and efficient diagnosis.
Fourthly – geocaching
We ended up archiving all the geocaches we had placed in Spain. Three had been destroyed/trashed, and the remaining ones became inaccessible when a huge fence went up around previously accessible ground to glorious viewpoints. Sad. We started off the new year well by finding the one in Comares, and ended with finding a couple on the coast. Maybe next year will see more finds. Hope so.
Fifthly – fitness?
Well, not sure about that one. Less cycling and no swimming due to most Spanish weekends being spent on the finca refurb. However – due to the new exercise parks in Gib, I did at least get chance to play on those new toys. Ironically I jumped on the scale today and am still hanging around the usual 55/57kgs. I can live with that.
Sixthly – Gib changes
We’ve seen a lot this year – the new Mid-Harbour development, the airport (!!! of which more later), the strange tales of the missing Gib bike scheme, the ripping down of the Public Works Department (el Patio Chico) to form a new pay and display car park, and probably loads else that I can’t even remember. Oh the buses. Free one minute and new routes. Change of routes and local cards needing to be applied for. My head was spinning.
Seventhly – and finally
Elections. Elections in Spain where the Partido Popular was elected in favour of the ruling PSOE.
Shortly afterwards Gibraltar went to the polls on December 8. By a narrow margin of 2%, the GSLP/Liberal Alliance came home. Hurrah! Time for change indeed. Hoping that the new government manages to deliver some of their election promises, in spite of the huge debt they have inherited from the previous GSD government.
Some years ago, (the 90s) I remember when the Labour government regained power again in the UK and there was a new spirit of optimism. At the time I worked in the public sector and people were very excited about the potential new changes. How quickly that changed to disillusionment. I really hope that doesn’t happen here in Gibraltar.
Good luck and very best wishes to our new Chief Minister Fabian Picardo and the rest of the GSLP/Lib Alliance ministers in the government.
On a personal note, 2011 wasn’t quite as traumatic as 2010 – if you haven’t read about that strange year in my life – here it is. Looking forward to another relatively tranquil year in 2012. I guess it is a sign of your age when a new year dawns and all you wish for is ‘no grief’.