Saturday, December 31, 2016

Amazing candy

There is this really cool candy place in BCN that hand makes the most amazing candy....


I've got my finger in one photo to give perspective. Astonishing, no?

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Not in Kansas anymore Toto

I was coming up the street from the market with the man today, and a guy hopped onto his tri-bike, with aerobars...they look like this:

He was coming out of a bakery and had two baguettes with him,  seems they ride quite perfectly in the cool is that!

Saturday, December 24, 2016


I went into teaching partially cause I had loved and valued so many of my teachers as a child, partially because the vacations are great, partially cause I loved it and partially because I knew I would never get rich teaching, but I would always have a job.

I am still teaching, and I still value many of the teachers I know and work with, I am still not rich but I do still have a job.  I have managed to sort out my life so I almost never have proper holidays, which does seem stupid, but it is worth it.

There are times though when I am just tired of teaching.  It is mostly before I start a class, but you know what is still really lovely about the job after all these years?  This sounds like such a cliche, but I really like the students, very nearly all of them.  Spending time with them and working with them, and showing them how to go about teaching themselves something is still really cool.

I guess I am lucky that way.  I still groan about going off to work, and there are many things around work that are as annoying as hell, as they are for everyone; but once I am in the class with the students? It's normally really great. 


Sunday, December 18, 2016

100 climbs to nowhere

Hello Fattyfans!  and everyone else.

Fat cyclist every year holds the 100MoN fundraiser for Camp Kelsem, a camp for kids whose families are directly affected by cancer.  The idea is to do 100 miles in the smallest possible circle on a bike.  But Fatty's a good guy and he lets us do this in our way and in our own time, which is fabulous.  One year I walked it with Chuck, this year, climbs.  We're supposed to do it in November, so I'm a little late, but what the heck.

This is my rather late version of 100MoN, in a category I am sure to win.  Middle-aged woman in Catalunya climbing alone in a gym!  Weee!!!!

Chuck the dog, who accompanied me on my only other 100MoN, back in 2012, did not join me on this trip.  He hates the gym, it's unheated, so pretty damned chilly in Dec, and technically he's not allowed in.

The Preparation
I did start off the day with a solid breakfast, it was better than it looks in the photo,  oatmeal with an apple cooked in, milk, sugar, peanut butter and a good scoop of homemade marmalade!

The supplies for the attempt, till my kids arrived with further succor....climbing shoes, race number, water, a speaker for the phone so I can listen to podcasts while I grind through the climbs, and wait for the pump to subside, and fruitcake, cause it's Christmas and I love it and my eldest child brought it for me from the UK!!!

Climbing shoes need to be small for your feet.  These ones are actually remarkably comfy and quite spacious, by climbing shoe standards.  Amazingly climbing shoes are called 'peus de gats' in Catalan, cat's feet.  Love the name.

Couldn't pin the number on, so I pumped up my pipes to show the number for the post!

My wedding ring really doesn't come off, and as I didn't want to leave almost all of it behind on the holds, it had to be firmly tapped up.

The system
It seems that I cannot exert myself at all, and count.  Indeed this summer when I was doing swim training, the coach would ask me how many lengths I had done of a particular drill and I NEVER knew, I just stopped whenever everyone else did.  Too much else to think about.  He gave me a stack of flutter boards, and I had to move one over with every return to that end of the pool.  Wait, this is relevant.

With the climbing, I decided that I wasn't going to stick to the same route 100 times, I basically haven't climbed in a year, so doing the same route over and over and over again was sure to lead to injury unless I shook things up.  At first I was climbing relatively randomly but I realised, as I forgot how many I had done after the third route, that I needed a better system.  (see above!) So, I designated 5 different areas of the gym, well spaced out.  I would do a circuit, climbing each of the areas once, and at the end I would have 5 done!  Then immediately to the phone to note down the completed 5.  A quick break, and out again.  (sometimes a longer arms got pumped and my feet got really sore!!!)

Fruitcake breaks were key....this one even had TWO types of icing!  Normally I don't like icing on my fruitcake, but this was pretty delish.

After the kids came by we got a couple of action shots...

 To show you what it was like.....

and gradually it all got done.

My feet at the end?  Not so happy, indeed, they still kinda hurt now...

To end, the screenshot of my record keeping on the phone.

Good fun, though I am going to be some stiff tomorrow!!!!  Thanks again Fatty....great to get back at the climbing, and great to help out Camp Kesem.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Exhibit at Caixa Forum.

Went to Caixa Forum with the man, there is an amazing exhibit of paintings from the Thyssen museum in Madrid. Wow.

This work was outside the museum, to promote recycling.

I love Chagall, and you so rarely see his work.

This was a fascinating piece from 12?? a REALLY long time ago.  I am astonished by the simple flat planes and the meticulous perspective.  Almost Japanese looking isn't it.

Rembrandt.  Love it always and forever.  I felt like I was actually meeting the man. 

Paul Klee, who I normally love, and who it is also hard to see, but this piece?  Looks like a butcher's apron.

I don't remember this painter's name (shame!), but this was an amazing piece too.

Also saw the first ever actual Georgia O'Keefe.  (Though I didn't love it...sorry)