Back on the horse

Stunning Buenos Aires sunset

Right then, where were we?

Ah yes – the World Cup. After some overdue Messi magic against Nigeria, any brief flicker of hope that the Argentinians had was promptly snuffed out by eventual winners France. Meanwhile, the English gave a disarmingly good account of themselves, finally falling in valiant defeat to Croatia in the semi-finals. It didn’t come home after all then, although incidentally I did.

Due to a wedding (for which I was best man) being moved forward because of an illness, I dashed back to London at very short notice at the start of July. There was I, two days later, somewhat improbably, stood outside a pub in Clapton cancelling my flights to Moscow for the World Cup final immediately after England had been dumped out 2-1 in extra time. Having booked them literally that afternoon to jet off the morning after the wedding, I managed to get my cancellation in just before the midnight deadline. As planned, albeit for only a matter of days, my next flight was the return haul to Buenos Aires after all.

Since being back here, perhaps as a consequence of trips to New York and London in June and July respectively, I feel more settled than ever. Surprising perhaps, given that we are not yet at the halfway point of a 90-day consultation period at work and I have also recently been tasked with finding a new apartment for 3 weeks from now.

It’s this stuff that makes you feel alive though. Through my own fault, by the end I was bored and unchallenged and comfortable in London. Not here. In fact, after 9 months in Argentina – despite the relative chaos in which I am currently enveloped – this change of scene has galvanised me (as planned) to actually do what I wanted to do, and not just talk about it.

  • Write regularly: 30 posts in 30 weeks, until the recent hiatus. This led to my first paid article and the opportunity to do more – a goal of mine for 2018/ever. When my writer’s block dissipates, I’ll throw myself into this more fully.
  • Pursue entrepreneurial interests: An Irish expat friend and I meet up every weekend to share and develop business ideas. It might feel slow at times, but we are definitely making progress and moving forward each week.
  • Upskill myself: I always feel like I could be better, but I am about to finish reading my first novel in Spanish (Gabriel García Márquez’s Chronicle of a Death Foretold). In a moment of wisdom, in London I bought the English version so that I could fill in the plot gaps afterwards, of which there are many. This is my next job.
  • Care less without being careless: Buenos Aires is the best environment I’ve ever been in for appreciating what is and isn’t important. I am self-consciously slowing down, whilst at the same time becoming more decisive. Both are deeply empowering.
  • Drink less: Although I initially utilised my trusty Trojan horse of marathon training, to distract me and ultimately preclude excessive tippling, I’ve since postponed my Punta del Este outing to September 2019. Marathon training is only a short-term fix anyway, yet it seems that I’ve fallen into good habits because generally I’m only drinking one day a week these days.

As a by-product of all the above, I’ve even found a Maria as well. In fact, we had a civilised afternoon of introductions and lunching with her parents just two weekends ago. By choosing a good cake I passed the competency test, fortunately for everyone involved, and was even deemed worthy enough to hijack the obligatory family selfie to commemorate the occasion.

Yesterday afternoon the two of us headed towards the planetarium as late afternoon was transitioning beautifully into early evening, along with the rest of the city apparently. Predictably it was full when we got there. Happily settling for a stroll in the park instead, we crossed Sarmiento at dusk under the watchful eye of General Justo José de Urquiza on horseback, marvelling at the skies overhead. Towards summer we canter.

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