Thursday, March 22, 2007

Safety, a vet, Catalan and tall kids.

Jessica left a comment asking about where in Barcelona we like to go, and here is a link to a photo of the restaurant we ate the gorgeous cuttlefish we ate from the blog of the friend who was with us, and I will hopefully post some instructions about how to find the place when the man gets home, he may remember the name of some of the streets...

At work today we were asked to comment about some of the safety aspects of the school where we work. I went to town. The place wouldn't have been able to open in Canada without extensive structural changes. They had covered all the dangers like electrical outlets, and coffee makers, and the dangers of things falling on you, but the place is a firetrap....wood floors, and only one narrow stairway, and most rooms have no second exit of any form, plus no smoke detectors, no CO detectors, no fire drills, nor any posted plans....then there is the shutdown procedure, which they honestly don't need most likely, but there is nothing in place around non-custodial, or abusive parents, nor allergies, etc etc etc. They have exposed hot water pipes, that are very very hot... well anyway, I had a rather long list. They asked me......hope it is OK.

The Chuckster got a rabies vaccine today, they claim that they don't have it here, but as we are planning on flying the poor boy back to Canada with us this summer, we are going to need it. The vet was a dream, she is going to phone the consulate and make sure that we fulfill all the requirements (I am going to as well and double check) and make him a passport....and she spoke English, yippeeee. I know, I know, I need to practice the Catalan, but sometimes it is a relief to come out of an interaction being fairly sure that you have understood what is being said to you.

I also found a new Catalan text book at the library, which I am going to be buying. It has theory, followed by exercises, and then the answers. It is a little short on explanation, but as there is a school full of Catalan speaking language teachers, I have a good source of people to ask. There are moments that are rather amazing though. One person I was teaching today is most comfortable in Castillian, so we were working on English, when he got lost enough I would talk in Catalan...imagine how confused he had to be for me to do THAT, and then he would take notes in Castillian. Geez.

I looked at the kids today and realised all of a sudden that they have both completely outgrown their pants. I mean, two or three inches of ankle showing when they are standing....about time we do something about it, looks like we are going to be shopping this weekend. I have been pumping the other Mom's about places to buy kids clothes that are decent and not too expensive. It's looking like we are going to have to buy them quite a bit. Am I the only one whose kids grow three inches overnight, and the pants that, I swear, fit yesterday suddenly don't at goodness.


Beth said...

Geez, the school sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. Glad you "said" your piece but I bet their standards are not like ours. ($$$???)

Kids growing like weeds - it happens! I don't envy you the clothes shopping. (I hate it.) Do your girls love to shop? Do you?

Jocelyn said...

Sifting through your life with you is such a pleasure. I love my mellowing visits to your blog.

And my kids have both just outgrown their pants, too. Must be Spring!

Dorky Dad said...

I don't think that your kids are the only ones like that. In fact, I know they're not. It just seems like they are.

Joanne PL said...

HI!!! have just written you the longest and really spectacularly entertaining comment (ha ha) and had it disappear without a trace hmmmmmmmm.............
well - who cares! More important is to be back reading your blog again! Have been many places, done many things and meanwhile missed reading your blog totally - and am now in catch-up mode. Decided to just right all comments in one - right here:
CHUCK - I love Chuck from the photos - WHAT a cutie! also like photo #3 - he looks so deep somehow (that sounds really really dumb but maybe you know what I mean).
OTHER DOG: water pistol water pistol water - definitely - although blowing in dogs ears or face is also something they hate and usually cannot figure out where it is coming from. Although must get quite close to the dog to do that - but not actually touch the dog so....
CONTRACT: waaaahhhhhh! That is a positive wah as in great! Room full of 14 year olds chills me to the bone - but you are the master!
HEAD: Certainly hope that it is totally better by now.
FIRA: oh jealousy - vs cava, cheese, pottery, chocolate – we have: cabbage, beer, um... can’t think of anything else.... (OK – WILDLY unfair – but still somewhat accurate ;-))
NAP: also read a great article in the Economist about napping being an essential part of a healthy life – unfortunately no signs of a couch turning up in my office... Does X want me to save/send some Economists? Or are you getting a source from M&D?
VOLLEYBALL: FULLY SUPPORT YOUR DECISION – had one of the most unpleasant experiences of my life playing a pseudo fun game of volleyball together with work colleagues on the same “team” as my main rival and arch enemy at former job. Really – some people can use sports in a nasty way to pursue their own evil agendas – and I don’t say that at all because I am not a particularly talented volleyball player :-0 (sarcasm DOES work no?)
JUST ME: I figure I have by now lost all of your regular comments readers – and this is now like an answer to your e-mail – you are right! I have not been in touch for AGES – I was in Budapest for 4 days on training – wow – it has changed! It is beautiful! Then had a lot of work – took a “real estate” tour with our team around Poland for 3 days – looking at potential locations – that was fun and interesting – saw places I have never been in 10 years of living here – and generally have been hectically busy. Today we had a “safe driving course” for the Board – which was mostly somehow interesting – but a bit boring to spend most of the day in your car – but there were a few really good bits – practicing coming out of a spin on a curve for example – or making your car do a 180 degree turn with the hand break – yeeehaaaw!!!! (Do you remember Dad doing spins on the ice in the church parking lot way back when?)
Change, challenge
Question, Push
Ponder, Adore

That is so..... smart!! I love that about you – you SO use your head ( not just as a stairwell shaper)
First words that came to my mind were:
Well – slightly more limited scope – but hey – can’t see the forest for the trees sometimes ;-)
TALL KIDS: I know that the access is bad – but French hypermarkets like Carrefour and Geant are really good for clothes – great prices and the quality is NOT bad – if your guys can stand shopping for clothes in a hypermarket. I have bought a t-shirt in Carrefour that I’ve had for at least 4 years – holding up great – and one of my favorites! More fashionable stuff – have you tried Zara? Spanish chain – so shouldn’t be too expensive – in Paris it was one of the only places I could even think to afford – and they have kids line – and it is SUPER TRENDY – so it should meet expectations on that count – and they should be everywhere.
Getting very late – glad elder is liking the Xmas gift – and that they both are enjoying Amazon stuff.
When do you go to Canada? And when do you come back? Thinking of going all out and taking boys with me to come visit you.
Love ME.

oreneta said...

Beth: With so many buildings here dating from a two or three hundred years ago, or much more, a certain amount of grandfathering in occurs, and you just sort of get used to it....and NO I don't like buying clothes. In Canada we used to get so many great hand-me-downs, and then on the boat you barely need clothes, and the social norms are not exactly strict, so this really bites.

Jocelyn: I am glad yo enjoy dropping by. Your blog manages to be humourous and insightful and funny all in each piece. A lovely place as well.

DD: WEll, I am glad I am not alone in it all

Nana: So glad your back...glad you think I use my head for more than a stairwell scraper anyway...LOL Love ya tons...why don't you all just come on down...we are booked for late May through early June, but other than must have some points...and I do remember Dad pulling stunts in the parking lot...ooops, do you think we just got him in trouble? That must have been pretty cool getting to do it yourself, I've never tried it.