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Observations on a New Life in Spain

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Old friends visit from far flung countries

7 October, 2015 (05:59) | Living in Europe | By: admin

We’ve had a series of old friends passing through Barcelona all month, which has inspired us to make our new abode *ours*, meaning our art goes up, we buy basic furniture, new appliances, etc. Within no time it looks like we’ve been living here for months. Among my more far flung friends to visit this month, came my tennis coach from New Zealand, Jane Pannu, with her two kids who were mere tadpoles when I lived in NZ but have grown up into good looking young adults. Saravinda and KP are now headed to Columbia University on tennis scholarships.

1 – Jane’s kids, Saravinda and KP are off to USA on tennis scholarships after their European trip, while Jane heads home to windy, wet, chilly New Zealand to an empty nest. 2- reunited with Kiwi tennis coach, Jane Pannu. “I feel like I’ve just lost 20 years of my life” she pronounced (Saravonda is 20). “I really don’t want to go back to windy Wellington. I forgot how much I miss beautiful buildings. We don’t have many of those back in NZ¨.

Seeing how Mark and I live has inspired Jane with ideas to move on with her life now the kids are grown. She talks of moving back to London, where she was originally born, with her husband, who is a private contractor and can work anywhere. She’s lived in NZ for more than half her life now. ¨New Zealand lacks the cultural stimulation that Europe can provide,” she says, “Ï do not look forward to returning there.” She retired from playing tennis a few years ago due to injuries. Also, the pressures of being the best player on the regional team got to her. Sadly, she no longer coaches either, though one could say her biggest masterpiece (other than *me* of course, as she turned me into a fine tennis player) are her kids, who were born and raised playing the game. Her son K.P. hopes to go pro, while her daughter Saravinda is not enjoying tennis itself as much as she used to before leaving NZ as the next big Kiwi hope. The pressure and work involved in keeping her (2nd year) tennis scholarship has put her off the game itself though she’s committed to it for the duration of college. She likes the educational opportunities tennis has created for her and loves America, but at heart is just a blooming young woman who loves to party. It would not surprise me if she eventually falls in love and marries an American.


1- Mark’s nephew, Anson hit it off famously with 17 year old KP. They played video games and got along like old friends. He had engaging conversations with both Jane’s kids.

2- Anson stayed in the MLV Hub Headquarters for his two week stay. It was like having a mini Mark around; eager, sweet, willing, athletic and respectful, while exhibiting signature Lewis humor. For Mark it was like having his kid brother to kick around with again.

“We are alternative adults¨ I informed him when he got here. “Pretend like you’re renting an apartment and we’re your roommates.”


1 – Anson and Quixote became good buddies. 2 – Mark’s new “Gaddalfi look” suits him. Next he wants to get a blonde chihuahua dog accessory, like Micky Rourke. He loves Micky Rourke’s eccentric fashion sense.  Now Anson can return home knowing more about his crazy uncle (and aunt) who have lived abroad for most of his life.


Although I haven’t written much about all the visitors we’ve received in the 9 years we’ve lived here, now that we’re settled in what we believe to be our “punto final” (we expect to live, retire, and probably die here in this beautiful beach location) I will include these meaningful interludes of friends and family catching up in future blogs.