Tuesday, February 13, 2007


I taught last night, and I got off early, the last student of the evening was away ill. Fine by me, I got to tuck my kids into bed that way. It is surprisingly difficult to teach English sometimes. As a native speaker, you have learned the language, but not studied it. OK, here's an example. What is the difference between much and many? Any ideas? It took me a while, but I figured it out. Much is for uncountable nouns, and many is for countables. Don't know what those are? You cannot put an s on the end of uncountables. Like, flour, luggage, rice, etc. So we use many for pieces of luggage, cups of rice, shoes, etc. Yeah, that took me a while to figure out, though I am pleased that I got there.

This morning was a run around day, I hate doing errands, and I find that if I am not careful I end up doing one or two a day every day, and become convinced that I do nothing else in my life, so I prefer to pack them into a day here and there. Does make it a little tiring though.

Up extra early to walk his Chuckiness as he would be left for hours later. Then got the girls up. (IWILLNOTGOTOSCHOOL! IWILLNOTGOTOSCHOOL I. WILL. NOT. GO. TO. SCHOOL.) I ran out for salami for their snack, which is substantial here traditionally because a lot of the kids have barely had breakfast if they have any at all. Managed to get the eldest to her gym class in one direction, and the youngest to school in the other on time. The little one choking back tears as I dropped her off. Tear my heart out now please. Anyway, she went in under her own steam.

Then to the grocery store, home, pat the dog, walk the dog, run back in and lock the poor dog in the front hall as we cannot entirely trust him yet, and it is too long for the porch where he might get chilly. RUN to the bus to Barcelona and made it *puff puff* N.B. Mules are NOT made for running. Is that what shoes without heel cups are called? You know, you just slide your feet in...

Anyway, march over to the Carrefour in BCN and buy a new WASHING MACHINE!!!!!! Yes you read that right, after Thursday, in theory, we will no longer have to time our showers around the laundry, and the man will not have to shower with the laundry ever again. Hopefully. Despite my linguistic handicaps, it went fairly smoothly. Point at the machine and wave a visa card around. Worked just fine.

Bus home, arrived first of the family to a hysterically happy dog, then the man, then the kids arrived. Lunch and play. We are all still in recovery mode so I am not working too hard on the English homework with the kids. Indeed barely at all.

We have these multi-coloured geometric wooden tiles that the youngest and I spent a fair chunk of time making into a town, and driving toy cars around. Dogzilla only visited twice, once to try to eat a house. He was shall we say, strongly discouraged, and then we had a slightly seismic event involving a long and furry tale. All very funny.

The youngest has jazz tonight, and the man and I are visiting with the eldest's teacher about the screaming math extra-help lady. That should be fun. Actually, it should be OK, as her regular teacher who we are meeting with is a dream, and very reasonable so it should all work out in the end.

Exciting plans for the weekend shaping up. I had my dates wrong, disappointingly my folks aren't coming until Friday, but then a day in BCN on Saturday, while the little one goes to a birthday party for her very best friend in the class. Why do these things have to overlap? Ah well. Then it looks like we will be taking a road trip down to the husband's cousin on Sunday. YAHOO!

This week is Carnival, or Setmana Sants. Saint's week leading up to Lent I think. The kids are supposed to be dressing up at school. The eldest has some idea of what is going on, but is not very interested. The younger is game, but hasn't a clue. Yesterday they were all supposed to wear medallions to school it turns out. Geeky us didn't manage it. They were supposed to wear numbers today, which we also didn't manage, but they made one for the little one at school. Tomorrow is baseball caps. We have one. The husbands, and it is a wee bit sweaty. The eldest has refused. Lets see if the little one wears it. There is a parade on Friday in full costume. I think Thursday is shorts. We'll see. The local kids are clearly excited. Mine don't seem to be, I guess it doesn't stack up against Halloween.

Gonna go walk the mutt again before beginning the next round of activities.

Oh, and we may have found a bed frame for the elder child, someone was binning one, with drawers built in underneath and everything. It weighs about a million pounds, I had to drag it into the stairwell, and I am strong. I think we'll measure it BEFORE we haul it up. On a charming note, the girlfriend who lives downstairs, who says Hi, but is not all that friendly offered to help me haul it all up. I declined, she had on these sweet little kitten heels, and I don't think she could have managed the weight. It is a beast. Hopefully it fits though. With those drawers too, there is now NO EXCUSE for all the crap on the ground. Not that that will change anything.


Beth said...

Busy times...
Hurray for the washing machine!
(Still waiting for pictures of Chuck...)

Dorky Dad said...

It sounds like you had MANY things to do! You will be exhausted for MUCH of the time.

Many are the times when comments just don't flow well, so I'm grateful for much of what you wrote today, because it gave me many ideas of what I'm going to do for much of this comment.

oreneta said...

Beth: I know I know, working on the pictures....

DD: Thank you so much, many many happy returns on your many comments. There is so much to say, no?

kate said...

I strongly recommend that you get an English grammar book (Swan's Practical English Usage is good and not hard to find here.) It really helps for when you have to explain these grammar points to English learners, because of course we native speakers never had to learn things in that way. Are you using a textbook with your class?