Thursday, September 29, 2011

When will mosquitos stop sucking my blood?!!! I will have none left soon! Or malaria. One or the other.

The Sun doesn't bother to get up here until nearly 8am! And its only September! - Ok well the end of! 
At least thats something in UK's favour, although Spain is also balanced out by it not getting dark till 8.30-ish

Monday, September 26, 2011

There is a class of two 6 year old girls that I take once a week and Ed the other day. They originally started off as sweet and innocent but have now turned into shedevils. The last time I took them they refused to do any of the reading that I had designed for them, then they refused to play any of the games I had. So I asked them what they wanted to do and they said draw, so I said no as this is English and not Art class and I refuse to be dictated to by 6 year olds.
Anyway it ended in me making them sit in silence and not do anything as they went on strike and wouldnt answer me in anything but Spanish.

This week I decided that I would try to win their favour by making the lesson more fun, so I brought a cheap fishing game, (you know the kind where they have magnets and you try and attach the magnet to the fish) and some cheap letters and I plan to get them to fish for the animals once we have learnt their names and then they are to use the letters to spell out the names. EG "SHARK" "TURTLE" "DOLPHIN" If that doesnt win them over I don't know what will!

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Today we headed to Pamplona early to register me and Welshy at the tax office to become official residents of Spain. Reassuringly I was told that this was a huge Basque area and we had to leave the car open so it can be checked for bombs.
We registered easily enough and then were set free to explore. We were told that the only bus back was at 8.30. It was now 10.30. We were very glad to discover this wasnt true and we could get back at 4.30.
So armed with a map, our first task was to find some brunch.
Of course with Welshy's special diet this was harder than planned and we went in and out of two or three places before finally getting somewhere to cook for us.
We wandered about the large department store as it said it contained Osasuna goodies but that was a bit disappointing, we found the book floor sold naff English books and we saw Geronimo Stilton, beloved by Spanish kids everywhere and the first page looked easy enough so we got it, and then sat in another bar nursing a drink each for an hour trying to descipher it. It quickly became apparent it was harder than that first page.
We did a bit of sight-seeing, found a statue commerating the bull run, and an exciting sweetshop that sold pickled onions!
After a small problem we managed to get the bus and return home!
Pamplona sum up? Ok if you have a car and dont have to rely on a long wait for a bus! Lots of shops if you're into that kinda thing. There seems to be a lot of old things to go see but it was a bit hot to get out from the shade of the city so thats a good reason to revisit.
San Adrian's 13th annual Ludo tournament starts soon. Just 20 euro to enter. Rock and Roll.

Friday, September 23, 2011

worry that you are ready for bed at midnight when ..... Kids are running about with abandon" Tweets Welshy.

The other night when we went out, we came home at 2am, feeling that was a good time to be getting in and congratulating ourselves.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

All of my lessons had gone well so far this week. However Today went a bit tits up. Well two were good and the other two were a writeoff.
First bad class had just rowdy disruptive teenagers in. I battled and lost for their attention.
The second bad class had just two 6 year old girls in it. Previously they had been lovely, sweet, almost cute.
Today they turned into monsters! They refused to go and do any work set, so I gave them the option of other stuff which they refused.
They only wanted to draw. When I said they couldnt. They then went on strike. Refusing do do anything and only speaking Spanish.
With 10 minutes left I felt like I was hitting my head against a brick wall. So I made them sit in silence. Childish I know but I was completely at a loss of what to do with them!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Today I had my first attempts at teaching! I think they went ok!
MY first class was with a 16/17 year old and a test of his reading comprehension. To be honest I forgot to test the understanding. But he clearly followed the football review and he seemed to be into the Robin Hood story. Am sure he followed it though. 

Second Class and I prepared a getting to know you quiz that I would play with the other class afterwards.
These were I guess early secondary school aged. It was fun, although I realised that I hadnt bargained on the fact that the quiz wouldnt fill an hour. So we played again, which left us with 10 minutes to kill. Luckily they had been messing about a bit, so I made them get their books and sit in silence writing down the rules.
Then as they failed to complete the task I made them wait in silence for the last few minutes.
One girl had been good so I let her go at half past, but the other two who had been cheeky, I told them that they were going to have to wait for my other lesson to finish. This upset them.
"But we have football! We have dance!"
I dragged it out for another minute and then let them go. 
I like the idea that I may get a reputation for strictness. The other calss went pretty similarly, but the game lasted 50 minutes. This was a primary aged class and they too are a bit loud. So I went through the same pattern with them at the end.

Hopefully it will make them think twice about behaviour. I'm sure it was just a test the new teacher out kinda thing as they're all pretty good kids really from what I've seen.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Today was the 3rd day off in a row and I was really fidgety. So I convinced Welshy that we should walk to Calahorra, its only 3 or 4 miles away. The weather wasnt brilliant but at least it wasnt hot so win win.
We thought there was a path amongst the undergrowth at first but that then led us into a farm where some angry dogs shouted at us and we had to scramble up a bank and onto a rather busy looking road of fear that took us the rest of the way into town.
Once there we found the train station and then set off on a fruitless hunt for either a pet shop or a bar that might be showing the premier league games.
Calahorra was dead however. Didnt help that we arrived during siesta-time. So we had a traditional spanish meal of Burger King, failed in an attempt to get the bus back and ended up walking along the road of fear home.
It was village sports day or something so we watched some of the local kids and our students race 50m down the lane, I had a vague attempt at a chat with one of the parents. Mostly conducted in mime.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I'm slowly getting accustomed to the Spanish lifestyle and the bells. Especially the bells and the sleeping. Its good getting up late, having a bit of a potter and then a siesta, dinner and then work.

We've been busy learning our way around buying domestic products (Don Limpio = mr muscle) And we had an attempt at making a cake that wasnt too successful as they dont seem to have self raising flour here. Also I think the heat kept the buttercream runny so it all just oozed out when I tried to place it together.

I feel like I'nm kinda coming to grips with the language though. It is far too quick for me to follow but I can recognise the odd word now and apart from the problems with my cake I can buy food ok.
Welshy at the moment is at the bakery, "Una Barra Por Favor" A Barra is what they call a loaf and us a baguette/french stick.
A euro for a lovely fresh, crusty loaf :) Bargain!

I start my teaching on Monday, but did a little practise on Thursday, they asked me about what football team I liked only they'd never heard of Charlton. :(

I also went to Calahorra to register as a Spanish resident and now have a NI number for here. We discovered how to get the bus which is fairly cheap so we can explore further afield.

Yesterday we were off so a lazy day, Will introduced me to Red wine and lemon fanta which was tasty and then we went to a bar where I tried a mojito (didnt like it) and met a giant penis walking down the road. MAybe it was a spanish stag do. Who knows?

Anyway. Welshy is back from the bakery and its roll time!

Monday, September 12, 2011

I had a nice uneventful evening flight to Zaragoza, apart from the slightly smelly child that was sat next to me and I got picked up by Welshy and my new bosses and we drove to our new place via a small tour of San Adrian. Slightly disturbed by all the bull fighting posters I saw....

The town apparently used to be quite industrial but now a lot of the factories have moved out of town and its being slowly regenerated from what I could see.

Welshy proudly showed me around the flat so I could be impressed with his domesticity and the exciting shutters that work at the windows.
Its a nice size for the two of us and plenty of sofas for visitors! (hint)

And then to sleep... Or attempt to.

There are bells you see.. Three bells. To chime the hour and half hours. Upsettingly they work at 6 minute intervals.
All through the night...
I think I named them at one point last night. The first bell is Clara and she is the big bell. Then there is a masculine sounded dong and he clearly is Bill the Bell.. 
Welshy assures me that I'll quickly get used to them. But this morning I feel like Quasimodo. "The Bells! The Bells!"

Anyway when he drags himself out of bed I'm off to explore the sights of San Adrian!

Friday, September 09, 2011

So this is it.
Last night I left the museum for the very last time. It seems so odd that something that has been such a huge part of my life for the last four years (3 months and 11 days - as I kept on saying!) has come to an end.
I always felt that when I went, it would be amazing. I'd go mental and tell everyone how much I hated them, I 'd feel such relief but instead I was so sad. 
All of this week I've been saying goodbye to people. I had my last ride on Tuesday and Ian kindly fell off in a very dramatic fashion and Bess was the lovely funny little pony she is.
We had drinks after and I hope I can come back at Christmas and ride there at least once!
Goodbyes and leaving cards and presents from everyone. Swapping addresses with Maggie, Ernie and Mark. 
Finally cleaning out my locker after years of holding the mess back. I left my stickers and ribbons as a surprise for who ever gets it next.
I'd love to know where the ribbons come from. They just seemed to arrive.
My final PHP show (Sky tonight) with Colin. Then that final dash to the Yacht.

I got stupidly drunk... Stupidly quickly. What do you expect when I hadn't eaten all day and Ben's giving dirty vimtos and Darren poisoning my system with flatliners? Honestly I still feel slightly sick when I think about that grim combination.

I cried lots and I have been SO touched by everyones best wishes.

Started packing today. My hand luggage limit is 10kg. My laptop weighs 2.5kg. So I've packed into the remaining space, my riding hat, 6 pairs of pants (why are they pairs?) a camera, a kg block of slightly melted Red Leicester cheese for welshy, hair straighteners, a biological statistics book and a photo of me and my Dad.

I have a 20kg limit for cabin luggage. I have to fit my riding boots and body protector into that as well. I think I'm better off wearing all my clothes to the airport.

Just before I shut up rambling. I went today to buy some new shirts for new work. I got my arms stuck in the sleeves when trying to take it off. I fell over trying to wiggle free and nearly dislocated my arm in the process. At least I wiggled free before having to submit to the indignity of asking the dressing room attendant to help cut me out

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Just watched a man tether a bull and then try to ram a javelin through its head... YUCK.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

If anyone out there cares/is interested. Whilst in Spain I have set up another blog, this one is so friends and family can keep in touch with my adventures. I plan on adding to this as and when time permits and if stuff happens that they are not to know about.
Anyway. check out