I had come to Barcelona to stay with my nephew who is a multi-talented man in the construction business. He has a workshop in the city where he has lived for 15+ years. I had come to build out the inside of BlueBelle into a home, my home on wheels that would make me independent and take me home to Zimbabwe on my drive through Africa. My nephew’s workshop was the ideal place to do this.
Note that, like many in Barcelona, my nephew has made a living space in his workshop and there wasn’t really room for one more, but he turned his office into a makeshift bedroom for me. I became accustomed to the sound of machinery and heavy metal music from early morning to late night most 7 days a week, the smell of metal being welded and the dust of regular sawing and sanding.
The good thing, I had a place to stay with internet and a shower, when you are homeless and have less stuff it is amazing what you can be happy with. The other good thing is he shares the workshop with some great guys who chipped in when necessary to help me out with welding, electrics and carpentry advice as well, the workshop came fully equipped with pretty much every machine and tool I would need.
I arrived at the end of July 2017 and it was hot and getting ever hotter into August. The difficulty with arriving slap bang in the middle of the holiday season is that the wood and some of the materials I needed were not available as the merchant suppliers were closed as they were on holiday until early September!
There was nothing to do but wait and plan and keep working to earn much needed money. One thing that did happen is that I found that I slept and just could not stop myself sleeping for a couple of weeks I had no motivation (unlike me), no desire to do anything but sleep. In this time I started to think what could have triggered this ... apart from tsetse fly (sleeping sickness) ... it dawned on me that I had been in a difficult relationship and under immense stress for some years, I had in recent years struggled with constant colds and chest infections, sciatica, loss of pets and in the last 9 months I had just been literally homeless, staying with friends and family and living on very little money since I gave up my home and most of my possessions to walk away and start a new life.
I resorted to an internet search and found that I had all the symptoms of Adrenalin Fatigue Syndrome. So I did what my body told me and just slept, drank water and let it all pass through my system. The constant stress had put my adrenal glands and my body into hyperdrive and now that I had stopped for a short while ... my body just stopped too.
So hot as it was outside and crowded with tourists I just took my time to centre my mind and heal myself for the next phase I knew was coming.
Lesson learnt – Listen to your body always!