Sunday, August 29, 2010

The changing face of the Pedrera

The Albergue at La Pedrera has seen a lot of changes since we first moved here only a few years ago. Originally conceived as a club for the campers who stayed up there, it seemed a perfect venue for the Brits who were living on the new Villas Andrea estate.

It wasn’t long before some of the residents wanted to form a committee to organise things at La Pedrera. Conceived with good intentions and with a majority of the people living here in favour, in hindsight that was a mistake. What it eventually served to do was to split the community and cause rifts between groups that had previously got on well together.

One chairman followed another and things got steadily worse. The committee became the focus of the rifts that were forming and the voice of dissent. Eventually the committee was disbanded which was a shame because there was a lot of good done and a lot more that could be done. I suppose the bottom line was that we did not want to be organised, we just wanted to get on with our lives and find our feet in our own way.

One of the issues that Pam and I identified early on was that many of the new residents were living as if they were still “on holiday” here. They were making friends too easily and involving themselves in each others lives without the usual cautionary time period that this would have taken back in Britain. British people are by nature reserved. In the circumstances they found themselves in, the new residents had dropped that reserve and paid the price.

A lot of water has gone under the bridge. Friendship groups have split up and new ones have formed, people have found themselves in their new environment and have settled back to a more normal way of life. Sadly along the way there have been a lot of recriminations and some major fallings out but then that is human nature and I imagine it is similar in many “new towns” in Britain.

Pam and I had always wanted to become involved in the town culture rather than remain part of an English culture existing outside. Setting up ourselves up as a sub culture seemed to be contrary to our aims in moving here. I suspect the same could be said of many other residents. We have been careful not to make enemies nor to take sides in the arguments that have taken place. We’d like to feel that we take people as we find them because that is how we have always been. Making Spanish friends has been just as important, if not more important to us as making friends with our British neighbours.

The nature of the Albergue is set to change again as Darren and Hazel end their stint of running the place. It may continue as a venue for Brits or may revert back to being a place for Spanish people to enjoy. Now that we have all settled in to our new town we may no longer need the lifeline of an English bar to fulfil our lives.

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