Archive for January, 2011

Barcelona, and an announcement.

Posted in Not Kayaking on January 16, 2011 by Jim Kennedy

Warning: self-indulgent personal post ahead, almost nothing to do with kayaking…

Two months into 2010 and my Dad passed away; a few weeks later I lost my job. On the surface, not the greatest start to a year that I had already ear-marked as The Year of Great Change. Being single and with my 40th birthday looming large on the April horizon, it was time to take myself to the mountain, as it were, and have an aul think for myself. I resolved not to look for a new job until the end of the summer (hooray for redundancy money!) for fear of just rolling along into the next unsatisfying chapter. It was time to set aside the Manana Manana motto for a while and make some solid choices.

Moving on

So over the course of the spring and summer, lots happened – some great kayaking trips, a fantastic hiking week in Corsica, my sister got married, myself and Bex started going out, but mainly I was ruminating on what to do next with my life. In the end I decided that my long-postponed idea of moving away from Ireland had to happen this year or likely it never would happen. I fixed my sights on Barcelona or Grenoble, the latter for its proximity to the alps and its, you know, Frenchness. Barcelona was always the more likely outcome, given that it’s been on the top of my list of livable cities since I first backpacked through there 10 years ago. Every city I’ve been to since has been measured against Barcelona and found wanting. In September I started applying for jobs in Barcelona and by mid-November I was at a desk with this view out the window over Passeig de Gracia:

Passeig de Gracia

Bex, being the amazing girl that she is, announced that she would follow me out in a while. 2010 was drawing nicely to a close; I even managed to leave Ireland before the Nordic winter kicked in. I was pretty happy with the way things were starting out, for the first time in years I had laid out a plan, and carried it through. Then, the cosmos decided to have a bit of laugh at my self-congratulatory smugness. You can see where this is going, right? Oh, yeah. My plan for moving to Barcelona and changing my life was about to be taken in a direction I had not contemplated.

Bex goes to Tipidabo

I’m here two months, Bex gets here in about two weeks, and a little baby that we’re making will get here in July. 2011 is going to be so far above and beyond what I had hoped. That’s all I’m going to say for now, for fear of getting all incoherent and soppy.

I love you Bex, thanks for taking this big leap with me.

To celebrate, you should click on this link and listen to the Animal Collective song that’s been in my head for almost two months now:

Animal Collective – Baby Day

I’m off to Camp Nou to watch Barcelona, and put the kid on the waiting list for the youth academy. Watch out for a little Hiberno-Catalan kid on the left-wing about, say, 2030. Woo!