Tuesday, 4 October 2011

THANK YOU BARCELONA


Okay so this is a food blog, not a personal blog so Im sorry but I've decided to reflect a little on the last few months which have changed my life. Don't worry food has played a big part because thats my life, or at least its about to be.

I left my job in April this year, a very stressful job in Television Production in search of what ever it was that would make me happy. I had a little savings which I was meant to spend paying off my student loan but I decided to invest in my mental health, happiness and future. I realise Im lucky to have this opportunity and I appreciate especially Nick for giving me the chance to go away and sort my self out because thats exactly what I needed to do.

Sometimes you are so busy working to live you don't have time to think about what other possibilities there are for you out there. In order to be successful in life we're told we need to go to school and study hard then go to university and study harder then get a job, usually 9-5 or in my case 9 - whenever and devote your life to your craft. That was exciting at first but in recent years but I didn't feel content truthfully I felt sad.

A little over a year ago whilst really down about my work situation Nick and I started brain storming things that I liked. I was convinced I was useless at anything else and therefore I was trapped, I didn't know how to do anything else. I thought I would have to stay in my job because I had no other skills and the only other choice was is to go back to school and study something else which I couldn't afford to. I'm still struggling to comprehend the first debt let alone get myself in to more.

The list of things I like included, vintage, travel, festivals, brunch, cakes, eating out and food in general. Nick and I were lucky enough to be eating at some nice places at the time and we decided to start a blog about it. As well as writing reviews I started to bake a little plus Nick is a great cook and I knew he could post some interesting recipes. We went to Fernandez and Leluus supper club and were inspired to start our own focusing on our knowledge and passion for brunch. We based it on what we get at home in Australia and New Zealand and felt we couldn't find in London.

Suddenly I realised I loved this and I could use my organisation skills I already had from Producing, to create an event such a brunch club and coordinate the menu, the preparations, the day, the service and at the end of it all, unlike some of my past clients, the smiles that we received from our friends eating at our brunch made me so happy.

After much thought I took a huge step and left my job. I needed some time out for myself to make myself better before I truly had the strength and courage to try something completely different off my own back.

Living in Barcelona has been in my mind ever since the first time I came here, it has something special. I've been intrigued with it ever since 6th form art history class, the first time I saw a picture of the Sagrada Familia. Its the sunshine, the sea, the way people sit outside in cafes and talk to each other every day, the fact you can go in to a bar alone and not feel intimidated to strike up a conversation with a stranger. The size of the city is perfect for me, I can ride around it easily taking in the architecture which constantly takes my breath away. Around every new corner there is something beautiful.

The people seem happier than the people in London, I really believe its the weather and I am affected by the weather massively. Grey wasn't just the colour of the clouds in London it became my state of mind and I needed to get out of that.
I needed a guaranteed supply of yellow, blues and greens and I knew I would find it here.


With determination I booked a 6 week Spanish course in Barcelona and I found a lovely place to live with wonderful people who welcomed me and became instant friends. The happiness came upon me in such a rush that I was over whelmed with how good I felt, because I hadn't for so long. I suddenly felt I had to stay longer and I doubled my course length. My leaving date disappeared and I was set to stay.

I actually had time now, to think about what made me happy. I started cooking, I started enjoying it. I continued my baking which I already loved and I sought out underground supper and brunch clubs within Barcelona. (Cosmosoiree and Brigettes Brunch) I found them and I met some lovely people who have become great friends. But I realised I missed my brunch club and my style of food which isn't usual here.

I finished my course in September and it was around this time I suddenly I started feeling some emotions I hadn't felt for a while, they included passion and ambition. Although work had caused me so much stress in the past its in my nature to work hard and have goals. I want to succeed.

With this new found desire I started thinking about how I could go about starting a business in catering, food or events. Right now Barcelona is a hard place to start a business, apart from the recession there's the high level of unemployment, bad pay, my lack of Spanish language, the fact the main language isn't Spanish anyway and lets not forgot the wonderful Nick back in London waiting patiently for me to sort it out. I started to get confused again, stay here, wait and try and earn a little bit of money and maybe eventually start doing some brunch clubs here or get a job in food events or go back to London and just do it right now. I'm a little impatient, I know what I want and I want it now.

My partner in crime, Nick, wants the same thing and together we are stronger. So after 4 months here and with a new clear head Im going back to London to start again.

Barcelona seems to me a place to come to distract yourself from your past demons and I mean that in a good way. Its has been very healing but I could see myself getting completely lost in the fun here, staying forever but never quite achieving what I wanted. I thank friends for helping me to figure out a path back towards what I want and letting me know I haven't failed by leaving here, rather gained all my confidence back with which I can go forward with my dreams.

Barcelona is just one fiesta after another for me, Primavera, Barcelonetta, Sonar, Monegros, Gracia, Sants, Merce. I followed musicians parading down the streets on a sunny afternoons, watched the sunrise on the beach, danced in the desert, had a brief appearance on a Catalan tv channel, gazed at fireworks, drank too much beer, ate too much ice cream and it was all amazing.

If you ever feel lost or down or unsure of where you're going I couldn't recommend this place more. Its saved me, Im not joking.




My favourite things Barcelona are..... My house in Eixample, the beach, (just being able to look at the ocean and not feel trapped by anything is the best feeling) Bar Salvador, the most welcoming bar in Barcelona, Placa del Sol in Gracia, Mosquito bar in Borne, Federal Cafe (whenever I felt homesick and needed a Flat white) the 'Magic magic, fountain fountain!' and getting lost in the maze of streets in Borne. Most of all the lovely friends I met here, I'll miss everyone and everything.


Around the time I was deciding if I should come back to London Nick sent me this quote he'd seen whilst in Bristol, actually on looking it up its from a poem by J.R.R Tolkien and appears in the first Lord of the Rings novel. The first two lines were what Nick sent me and I thought it was very true for how I was feeling at the moment. So here it is...


All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king



6 comments:

Dzoli said...

You have done what many people only dream about.Good on you.I hope you continue your dream.Life is too short to spend it in ..waiting..

B said...

Thanks!! Hopefully I've made the right choice. Feels good right now. Im know Im very lucky :)

Hel said...

Yay Bex, that's awesome. Magic Magic Magic Magic!!! Now on to the next amazing chapter! x

Anonymous said...

Good on you for taking a chance and doing something you love! I am reading this thinking, this is me, I am in the exact same position as you although I am currently in Switzerland rather then Barcelona, trying to figure it all out! I would love to discuss this with you further as I am looking at business options at the moment..

B said...

Thanks for all the comments.
Its difficult to leap in to the unknown but its not to hard once you're there. Its kind of exciting to have all these ideas in your head and suddenly theres no time to do them all. Im off to buy lots of ingredients now.. Need to bake!!

ferdiesfoodlab said...

I think I lived about 100yards from the lifesaver postin in your photo when I was in Barcelona!
You'll have to tell me all about Cosmosoiree and Brigettes Brunch!! See you next week, pop into the kithchen and come say hello the both of you!!
Hugs
sx

Post a Comment