There comes a moment in every man’s life when he must make a difficult decision.
I’ve been forced to make many of these, in my professional life as a Head Chef and a Restaurant Owner, as well as in my personal life as a Husband and a Father.
Facing up to life-changing decisions is part of growing up, part of being an adult and something that should never be undertaken lightly. When I divorced my first wife, I spent weeks agonising over the fallout between us and what would happen to our two beautiful children. Looking back now, I’m glad I made the difficult decision to leave Maria. If I hadn’t have done that, I would’ve never been able to move out of London and into the British countryside where I was to meet the second love of my life.
Before you ask: no. No, I’m not about to up and leave Julianne. However, I am going to be leaving the country for a time. As much as I love working as a Private Chef here in Worcestershire, I’ve started to feel like I’m not needed as much as I used to be. This isn’t a desperate cry for help or a last ditch effort to snatch a few quick bookings before Christmas, it’s just the feeling that I’ve been getting in my work and personal life.
My children, two each from separate ex-wives, now look forward to spending more time with their friends than their Father. Of course, I know that they still love me, but for them it is difficult to sustain affection for a man that they only see for one weekend a month. More and more, they are finding that they have plans of their own which conflict with this weekend and I never have the heart to insist on them visiting me, over spending time with their friends.
Although they are not the only reason why I’ve stayed in England so long, with work quietening down, I feel like now is the right time to make my return to Spain. Julianne will split half her time between Spain and England, whilst I’ll return to Madrid, the city that taught me everything I know.
I’ve been returning there twice a year for over a decade now. Each time I have returned, it has got a little harder to leave – so, this time, I won’t.
You’d be surprised what precious items and goods you pick up over the course of a decade. A man my age would usually have a house full of children’s old toys and clothes, but those were mercifully removed by my lovely ex-wives. Alas, all the things in my home were mine to deal with.
I’m a sentimental old fool, so I’ve decided to keep the majority of my things and take them back to Madrid with me. The thought of driving a big old truck with all my worldly possessions filled with my heart with dread – luckily, a quick Google search brought up the website of a trusted British company that handles removals to and from Spain – ideal.
Don’t think that this will be the end of this blog though! As soon as I get myself settled back in Madrid, I’ll be getting involved in a whole host of interesting new projects. I’l be back in the Tapas Bar, where my professional career started, re-designing the menu and getting back on the service line. I’ll also be doing some teaching, introducing a whole new generation of Spanish boys and girls to the world of cookery.
It will be difficult to say goodbye to the people that have made my life so rich and rewarding here in England, yet I am filled with a boundless optimism for what’s yet to come.
Wish me luck!