Sunday, May 31, 2009

Chuck's exciting day.

Chuck had a busy day. First he went walking with a lovely five year old, and was a complete gentleman. Didn't pull on the leash, barked at all comers to protect her, and manage to bolt after a cat, only when she had dropped the leash. For his efforts he managed to score a nice fresh dish of cat food.

That was good,

Then he went for a big fat long walk with the man, culminated by a run in the chicken filled property that he loves and knows he is not to go into.

Sadly he was a very uncomfortable dog when he came out. Shaking scratching spinning head tipped ear-wobbling mess. The man said that walking him home was like walking a corkscrew.

He got home and wept and whined and shook and scratched and paced here there and everywhere. He even let me look in his ears.

Off to the (emergency $$$$) vet.

He let her look in the bad ear with only a whine/cry.

The good ear though...having none of that. The silly woman was looking in the wrong ear, thankyouverymuch. Wiggle wiggle squirm bark.

He got taken off back where three different folks held him down and looked him over.

Did you notice that seed-like thing up there shaped kind of like what an arrow would look like if it were GM'd with a porcupine?

That, my friends, was buried deep in his ear canal. Invisibly deep without that special look-in-your-ears tool....

No WONDER the dog wasn't happy....if I had that in my ear I would be some miserable.

He had a long nap when he got home, and is mostly better now. Still shaking his head from time to time, but I imagine it is still a little irritated in there right now.

Poor Chuck.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Leftover ponderings, as opposed to pondering leftovers.

I am still dwelling on the excitement of the game.

Everyone was exited, but young men were the ones who were really really really over the top hysterical excited, and I cannot quite figure out why.

The looks on their faces were like nothing else, they were so utterly happy; no. Ecstatic. Different from the day they get married, or their children are born, a manic edge of ecstasy that is unique to these kinds of events.

I get it that there is a certain amount of gregarious victory; that there is a certain amount of tribal pride; here there is a fair amount of nationalism bound up in it.

I get that young men feel compelled to prove themselves and in today's culture there are far fewer clearly defined means of doing so.

I get that they want and need heroes and mentors to emulate.

I still just don't quite get it.

The emotions run


A little bit of everything.

What a day.


Youngest won her last basketball game of the season, they came third in their league! GO YOUNGEST!

Cafe-d around BCN today and shopped at this incredibly cool used clothing store with my friend and her nearly six year old and we had a GREAT time....I was restrained, mostly.

Walked in the hills with a crowd, babysat two of my three godchildren, had a fabulous lunch (thankyou Nomad and Family!)

And eldest is sick.

Visited the local health center too, and moved all the kids around so the sick one wouldn't infect any others.

What a day.

Fun and full and it feels like about three days.

You know how that happens? The morning seems impossibly far away.


Hope you're having a great one.

OH I also have to wonder about the second Easter thing....Monday is Segona Pasqua, and theologically I am having a little trouble with the idea...I mean how many times can you rise from the dead? Honestly, I don't get it....I suppose I should wiki it and then I would know.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Goodness all around

Nomad is here, with her kidlets and life is sweet sweet sweet.

Good food, good company and good times.

Loving it all.

Maybe a beach day tomorrow too!

(Must remember the camera)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A little more about the Barça win

An experience and nine tenths.

Can I just say that it was really really freaking LOUD!

Every bar was full, but they also opened up the local sports center, set up a GIANT tv and Rolling Stones Concert worthy sound system that they simply turned up to 10.

Then there were the people screaming, the horns blowing, including air horns like on a boat, the whistles....


We all definitely incurred some permanent hearing damage last night. Good thing it doesn't happen often.

That first goal? They were h y s t e r i c a l.

Completely mad with happiness.

Like nothing on this earth I have ever seen before. The place was full...completely, all of them screaming with their arms over their heads, hugging, yelling...I have never before seen a couple of thousand people try to hug each other simultaneously. Never.

We were too.

Ronaldo? He probably shouldn't come to BCN on vacation for a bit. Boy are they hating him right now.

It has left me with several memories seared into my mind, and some questions too.

I am too sleepy tonight to get into the questions at this point, maybe tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

We won it ALL!







Sometimes life gets just a little weird. I went down to the market to pick up some fruit and veg for the week, and bought all sorts of lovely goodies including some chard.

I took it all home and put the chard into the sink to wash and soak, this stuff really comes from the earth and sometimes comes with a lot of dirt, some ants, a snail...

Now, as a bit of background for the next part of the story, Spain is hot. Spain is dry. Spain is arid. Even in the spring.

When I took the chard out of the sink to put it into the pot look who was in there:

That's right.

Tadpoles, in the chard.


Fortunately we have neighbours with a pond, and we made a little excursion over there to liberate them. These little guppies had one heck of a rough day. Our working theory is that there was a puddle of water in the base of the chard where the stems grow out and the frogs had, in some considerable desperation, laid their eggs in there.

My life is very strange sometimes.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Some observations, some things that make me wonder and a fact.

The flashdance look seems to have come back into fashion. Alarming on a child riding a moto. All that bare skin and flapping poorly secured fabric.

Has there not been a new style since the 90's? How much longer are the baggy-*ss pants going to hang on?

The word sporran always reminds me of sp*erm

T'estimo, "I love you" in Catalan, looks to me like test*icles.

I don't like Cat Stevens.

The to-do list expands to fill the available time.

I am so over paying interest.

Doing the taxes is a drag.

One of my very favourite things to do is sit in the woods with the dog listening to the birds and looking at all the flowers. Makes life very very sweet.

Hope you're having a great day.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Cook books/ Food

I made another highly successful truita today, the third one, and a smaller size...still excellent, except I forgot to add the salt. Whatever.

Learning to cook local dishes is one of the things I love about living here, I can make a reasonable paella now, not a brilliant one, but a reasonable one. I make a wicked fideu (noodle) dish. The truita? TOMA! Then there is that stunning lemon cream, which I gave you all the recipe for, and I am just going to have to make THAT again, very very soon.....the beans cooked with pernil....oh, I am making myself hungry hungry.....wild asparagus, artichokes.....

Next I have to work on a Crema Catalana.

I have always loved to eat food from all around the world, and with small kids and limited budgets that meant learning to cook it ourselves. Living on the boat with limited supplies lent another entire dimension of creativity to the endeavour.

So, I got some great cookbooks, fortunately before we left to go sailing, they helped a whole lot when I was inventing. Except for the unfortunate pumpkin surprise soup. It was surprisingly terrible, and suprisingly embarrassing when complete strangers came to dinner. As an aside, lemon and tofu don't mix well either, especially with cheese, that was another experiment that didn't work. Looked, smelled and tasted a lot like barf. The two worst meals I ever made in my life.

Back to the cookbooks. Some were gifts and some were requests and some I bought myself.

This post found it's genesis in a comment I left in someone's blog.....sorry, I cannot remember whose.....but I thought it was worth a post. I love to eat, so I learned to cook.

I also love to travel, and these books tell you something of the country as well as the food.

My favourite cookbook, oh heck, what's a favourite, goodness, but one I love is Honey from a Weed by Patricia Gray, , which I simply adore, it is still trapped on the boat, but next year....indeed this summer. The book is subtitled, 'fasting and feasting in....Catalonia, Italy and ????' She is the wife of a sculptor and they live where the marble is, and cook there.

On Rue Tatin by Susan Hermann Loomis is good; she's an American who went to the Cordon Blue in Paris, then moved to a run down old house in, oh, heck, somewhere in Northern Francish..... and she does cooking classes too! She tells the story of their move and the house and having a kid, with recipes!

Then there is any book at all by Jeffory Alford and Naomi Duguid, they are more than cookbooks, but contain enough background info and travel log that they are great to read as well as great to cook out of. The recipes are also really sound, you can make the food well, the first time....LOVE THEM ALL.

M.F.K. Fisher is a BRILLIANT writer and a brilliant cook and she has great books, dry, witty and harsh, filled with great food. She was buddies with Julia Child! She is little known which is honestly a shame, they are great stories to read and filled with good recipes as well.

That's my tale for today.

I'd rather talk about food than the animal invasions we are suffering in the house in Toronto coupled with the possible sleeze bag animal control guy who is maybe trying to scam us. Ho hum.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Two sides.

Here's a question.

Do you give out peoples phone numbers and e-mail addresses to people if they ask for them?

I don't. I offer to pass the message on, or pass the number of the person asking on.

Seems that is not the system here. My friends happily give out my number to everyone and anyone, and my e-mail address too. Not totally happy about this. A little privacy please ladies and gentlemen.

That said, I am happily feeling very much part of the poble this weekend, despite my so-so Catalan. I cannot even count the number of people that we ran into that we know. I contentedly spent the entire weekend here in town, busy and happy. It is not a big town.

I went over to two peoples houses, watched two excellent basketball game (YEAH TEAM!) and went to the theater, as well as a cafe, and several walks in the mountains. Also I know a whole lot more gossip, and visited a four hundred year old house that is going to be radically renovated someday soon.....

Feeling really at home.


Speaking of fashion

Now, far be it from me to claim that I am a fashion goddess, but somehow I think this outfit was misjudged.

Butt cleavage? Check.

Tag showing? Check.

Wildly mismatched bra/shirt combo? Double check.

Someone needs to check the back view in the mirror me thinks.

Friday, May 22, 2009


Can I just say that the new trend I have noticed around here, is not exactly to my taste.

You know those baggy-*ss pants the guys wear with the waistband halfway down their butts?

Seems wearing undies under those is now out of fashion.

Can I just say that there are some seriously hairy butts around here?

Can I also mention that it is far. too. much. information.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Nothing like a little truth.

One of the great things about being a language learner is that you get to say all those things you would normally edit out, or sugar coat because you are expected to use more nuanced language skills.

(freakily, my computer isn't giving me a cursor right now, so this is a little like invisible writing!)

Eldest's tutor, who is actually quite dedicated, occasionally irritating and essentially excellent phoned me today. A tutor here is not what you think, but rather the teacher who is assigned a particular group of kids who they are required to track and make sure that all things are going tickityboo.

We got talking about the upcoming four day-three night field trip her school is going on, which is actually pretty cool, involving a trip to some ruins, a marsh, kayaking and windsurfing.

Eldest does NOT want to go.

After our experiences with the school, I am not at all sure, so she is not going.

Eldest is very sure, she does not want to go.

I ended up talking to the tutor as this trip is somewhat obligatory. The excellent part though? I got to say, straight out, that:
we don't trust the school enough to send her.
(Can I just say that it felt GREAT)

I did soften it by saying that I trusted her individually, but we don't know many of the teachers, and this has not been exactly a good year.

The conversation ended up being really pretty cool in the end, and we got talking about some issues that needed airing, and which I thought might not be brought up at all; some of the challenges that Eldest is facing on a number of it was all good.

Can't believe I got to say that straight out, no minced words.

It was....sweeeeeeeet.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Such a freak

The sun is freaking hot here now.

Somehow Chuck seems to have missed the memo about shedding. The poor pooch is suffering. We have taken to brushing him madly in an attempt to reduce the fur load, but he is going to have to help us out at some point.

*pant pant pant*

Eldest drew a great word picture one day when discussing what it would be like if dogs shed all at once, and they sort of shuddered, puffed and threw of this explosive cloud of fur!

I would hope that the did it outside.

I wore my bright red straw cowboy hat out today, as I could feel my brain frying as I walked down the street. You know that searing feeling you get on the top of your head that leaves you a little stunned and breathless?


Can I just point out that the local folks here do not normally sport hats at all. Indeed I am not sure you can buy a cowboy hat outside of carnival season, and certainly not a bright red one.

I think folks may be talking about me again.

Sadly, for them, I love that hat.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Had the first meeting with the local board of the theater/bar/galleries...

Those folks can talk.

I left at 11:45 pm. They were still going strong.

More later, I must sleep.

How do these Catalans do it?

Monday, May 18, 2009


Are you getting tired of hearing me rant about Eldest's school?

Hope not.

I am tired of the school though.

All I really ask is that they do their jobs, you know, teach the material in the curriculum in an effective way and ensure the children don't die.

Seems the gym teacher didn't get the memo.

Eldest is largely fine, though sore and sucking back ibuprofin. She's lucky.

See, the gym teacher thought it would be a good idea for the students, as a mandatory requirement, to build variations on human pyramids.

There are a lot of different pyramids. If they don't successfully build these, they fail. No points for trying.

There are also very few mats provided. We discovered this today.

Seems one of the things they had to do was lift one of the kidshorizontally over their heads and hold them there straight armed. SO Eldest got heaved off the ground by three other girls, and dropped. The first time, she grabbed onto another student's head. Must have hurt. The second time they dropped her, from above their heads, flat on her back, straight on the floor; please note, there was a mat, about the size of a door and approx 2 inches thick. However the kids staggered away from it while trying to hold her up, and two of them had to do a half turn while she was up there (don't ask me why).

The teacher was watching this.

The teacher did not do any spotting, you know, trying to catch say, her head, before it cratered.

They tried again, and dropped her AGAIN flat on her back on the gym floor.

The teacher watched, then gave them a zero.

I don't know if I am more frustrated, more enraged or more furious.

Needless to say I am going in AGAIN tomorrow.


Why can't they just do their jobs? (she whines)

Honestly, impart a little information and try not to kill them.

That's it.

That's all I ask.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


This photo by youngest.

After a weekend spent struggling with far too many tax issues, and some work stuff, and worrying about Youngest not coming back till the middle of the night (for a 10 year old), this morning we found ourselves looking at taxes again.

I also finished my fabulous book, which is always a little disappointing; I was a little blue. The Man, brilliantly, declared a beach day!


Sadly some children (who shall not be named to protect the guilty although they know who they are) managed to complain a lot about going to the beach, and managed to complain rather a lot while we were there, which made me wonder if they were actually freaky aliens beamed down from another planet. What kids complain about going to the beach, already!

We did manage to make a sandcastle, it was a challenge as the sand is quite coarse, and it dried out lickity split in the wind and sun.....

Very little sea glass, too many people lying around on top of it all.

This, however, is a little oreneta that was singing his heart out near our balcony. Despite our shared name, he wouldn't look at me; diva-like, all we get is a photo of his back.

Goodness, I love a comma today, and I have been ruthlessly removing them too!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Here and there

Barça is up for three major cups this year:

The Spanish League - Officially ours tonight as Madrid lost to Vila-Real! WOOOT

The Copa del Rei - Won that a few days ago...

Now the real test, the European Championship against Manchester.

That will be a test.



Plus, it is tough making big decisions sometimes. Hard to know if you're making the right one.

Plus, I found a fabulous half-ship model in the free-if-you-want-it pile. It is actually a special type of model that are traditionally made when one has survived a ship wreck or terrible storm, in thanks to the Mary, normally, for saving is quite an amazing piece, and seems to date, or is a replica of one that dated, from 1880.

I'm voting a replica, but I don't really know.

Plus, Youngest went off to a communion party today, a solid 12 hours she was away. I was starting to twitch just a little bit there towards the end. Glad to have her home again. She had a marvelous time. Another one next week.

Plus, the man gave me a great book, "Sacred Sierra: A year on a Spanish Mountain" sort of a Spanish "Year in Provence" except he's married to a local woman, a Valencian Flamenco dancer and he knows quite a bit more about what he's getting into...not nearly enough though....


Friday, May 15, 2009

Thanks to Jesus and his Mom.

His Grandma was there too.

This is the truita Jesus and his Mother made:

Classic amazing and delicious. I watched them make this sucker.

They were so incredibly nice. Honestly fabulously kind.

They said that if mind didn't turn out when I tried, I could come by and cook it there with them.

Don't think I'll be needing to, do you?

Thank you Jesus.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Job description: boxing ref....

I was so sleepy today that I was an eye-rubbing yawning mess in one of my private classes, and I felt bad.....not good teaching at all.

I had two hot chocolates as a kind of sugar/mild caffeine jolt to see if I could improve the situation.

Then I taught another class and things were still not exactly bright.

Another chocolate....

Much better.

But some of the kids in that second class were having some anger management issues. I have no idea what had gone on before hand, but I actually had a kid go at another kid in class.


I was nervous of letting them all go, thinking they would end up in a brawl outside....I don't know what had happened to them that day, if they had fought about something before class, or if they were just having a day.

Pulled them out, in pairs, alone....talked to them,

it got a bit better...

they all made an effort to pull it together.

I remembered they were all up till at least 1am watching the Barca game last night....

You guessed it,

Hot chocolate all around.

We left class a little early and I stood at the machine and dished it out.

Can't say they all left happy, but I think everyone got home without punching anyone.

Chocolate and sleep. Makes the world go around, no?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pulling it off.

Sometimes I can manage it so that everyone is happy.

It doesn't happen often....

but I kept on kicking away at it, and I. Got. It. Done.

I have successfully booked direct flights to Toronto! YEAH!!!!!!!!!

The dog is coming with us.

The kids are both happy.

The man is happy,

Our friends in TO are happy,

The dog will be happy,

I am happy,

and it costs less.

I even managed to swing it so that youngest can still be here for her end of year party.


Sometimes it does pay to keep hammering your head up against a problem.

Barça has just pulled ahead in the Copa del Rei, the Spanish Cup final. Score is now 3- 1!

Some doofus just threw something at one of the players, he got chucked out, and the other fans were pointing him out to the cops....good on them, get rid of the dork.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A post of profound importance.

Can you make a wicked paper airplane?

Is the ability to make a fantastic paper airplane a sign of a (slightly) mis-spent youth?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Show some lovin', m'kay?

I need your help.

I need to find some books to read. We're talking beach reads, summer reading, chic lit....guaranteed happy endings, all the knots neatly tied.

The books I am reading are too heavy for my current workload/stress level and I need to find something fast, easy and good.

I am also probably going to have to read it in Catalan.

I have been slogging away with Haruki Murikami in Catalan, he is a brilliant writer, but light easy happy fiction it is not. I am reading "Snow" by Orphan Pamuk, a Nobel prize winning story of religious conservatism/extremism and suicide in rural Turkey, "A Thousand Splendid Suns" by the author of the "Kite Runner", set in Afganistan, and "Tales of the Alhambra" by Washington Irving - not as grim, but a bit of a duty read.

So folks, help me out here, authors, titles...ANYTHING!

Gotta get some lighter titles in the lineup.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Oslo and Jesus

The man is back, which is very very good. He ended up having a reasonable time along with getting all the work done.

He managed to go and see the Viking Ship Musuem as well as the Fram which if you are not a fan of polar exploration, was the ship that carried just about everyone who succeeded at what they aimed at doing to whatever frozed barren patch or wasteland caught their fancy; and home again. Amazing ship...Colin Archer designed and built too...though that little bit I find astonishing myself.

You can read about Archer here and here. Let's just say that he was one of the world's most outstanding boat designers and builders. I also have to confess that I didn't realise that he was Norweigen until just now. The list of boats he built is like the ultimate who's who of yachts and ships.

Oslo is definately a place that has made it onto the list of must visits for us...

Did I ever mention that one of the first conversations that the man and I ever had was about Polar exploration? It was really early on, and at that point I barely knew him....and that conversation made me think to myself that this guy just maybe was really really neat; indeed we were both, coincidentally, reading the same book at the same time.

I am such a nerd.

Glad he got to go to the museums, and got all the work done even if he didn't sleep or eat much....

Even more glad that he is back.

Oooooh, and I got invited to a friend's house for lunch and we had the YUMMIEST steamed mussels...mmmmmm oh my goodness!

OH!! I just thought I should also mention, I have an appointment with Jesus! Really! Wednesday at 6pm. I even asked if I could take photos and he said yes!


Friday, May 8, 2009


More on the school...

I went to the web site for the school.

There were some telling absences. When I clicked on the link for annual planning. I got one of those "404: Not Found" pages.

No guff.

I clicked on the link for mathematical materials and plans, guess what I found for Eldest's grade? Yeah! You're right!!!

"404: Not Found"

Maybe they are trying to tell us something.

Can I also say that some people here, when creating websites, seem to have forgotten that they aren't writing on paper.

You see, one of the really funky things about the, ya know, the that we can do this really cool thing, you can make links!


On another note,

Youngest is back!!!

She is also tired and cranky...but either way, it is nice to have her back after three days away.

I had a mammogram booked for yesterday. I left BCN at noon, but at 1:45 I was still standing outside the train station in the town I had to go to....the apt was for 1:30. I bailed. I had to get to work before 4 and I wasn't going to make it.

I have to reschedule again.

The highlights of the yesterday....youngest coming home and also I got to meet Mar!!! and meet Diane again!!!!


Coffee and a chat, in English!

Had a nap today, and went off to the Doc for my worsening cold...seems I have neither bronchitis nor pneumonia, but I now do have anti-biotics!

*inhale through the nose, exhale through the mouth* Then pillage.

Eldest just mentioned to me that her math class...remember, we've being having some trouble with the math teachers.....well, in her math seems that they are just winding up unit 7.

The book has 14 units.

Now this is a math teacher we are talking about.

Picture this: day one. September.

The math teacher cracks open the text book: page one. There is the table of contents. She counts the units (conveniently numbered) There are 14.

She opens one hand up and starts to list off the months, touching a finger for each: September, October, November, December, January...starting to sweat a little, she gets out the other hand. February, March, April, May, June.

She counts the fingers.

There are ten.

"Hemmmm" she thinks, "that means I need to do a little more than a unit every three weeks, lets say one every two and a half....."

Then she proceeds to take approximately five for each.

- I will grant that there were a number of substitute teachers, so this is not entirely her fault.

It is the fault of the head of studies who, despite having a brand-spanking new teacher followed up by a series of semi-competent substitutes, couldn't be fucking bothered to go and see if they are moving through the material at a reasonable pace. You know, all you have to do is check the test scores on the fucking computer. If in, say, February she is recording scores for unit, say, would seem you have a wee problem.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is teaching one-oh-fucking-ONE!


Now I get to go back into the school a.g.a.i.n.

What a bunch of damned clowns.

There are six weeks left. The text is in Catalan, no one in TO can pick up this slack.

Do you think it would be fair to ask the tutor to try to cover the last eight units in 6 hours of classes?

Lets see if he can do it, no?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Nothing post......

I know this is trite, and something that I should already know, but can I just say that my entire outlook on life and the world changes RADICALLY if I have had enough sleep.

TOTALLY a happier person.

The man is going to be going on a trip for work this weekend, which is totally not our normal thing, so we are all kind of excited about to cold and chilly northern northern Europe!


He should have a blast. I hope, I hope he has enough time to see some of the city..

I am about to dive into the ugly cess pit that is local politics in a small town. EEEKKKKKKK. I have been asked to join the group that manages the local theater, the two local galleries and a bar.

They seem to have formed factions within the current group....some for things, some agin everything, and a lot of folks doing nothing at all.

I am somewhat nervous, the logistics of small town politics is TOTALLY new to me, and I suspect I will find it somewhat distastefull, plus I just don't want to end up on one side or it is in a different culture, and it is all in Catalan to boot.

Ho hum.

I can always play the language card and not understand some things.

There will certainly be more about this coming up.

For those of you who might be wondering about how I am doing (HI MOM!) Slept well, feeling much better, and I have an impressivly wheezy sounding smokers cough...though it is infrequent. I wore a scarf most of the day and it was downright HOT here today. I was a good girl and didn't go to a wildly smokey bar and scream my head off last night for the game, so I can talk and feel pretty good today...

The final though? I am SO there.

Nice to live in a place with a winning team, and when people are so incredibly passionate about it. There is no economic crisis today in BCN, EVERYONE is happy, and the kids were LOUD!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009



European cup finalists!!!!


The euphoria was impressive, loud, long and explosive.


Slept well last night after the excitement died down, I was very good and went to bed when I really kind of wanted to go to watch the game, however two hours in a smokey bar screaming my head off would probably not have been a good idea.

There is a next time, so.....

Meme from TeacherMommy:

Hi folks, I didn't sleep all that well last night either, and I am feeling worse, though emotionally happier, so this is a short quick post and I am lucky enough to have this meme up my sleeve!

Here goes, I think my wit has waned with the lack of sleep, but I did my best.

1. What are your current obsessions? Languages, getting the summer organised, walking in the hills.

2. Which item from your wardrobe do you wear the most often? Underwear.

3. What's for dinner? Icecream, no kidding.

4. Last thing you bought? Clothes for Eldest

5. What are you listening to? Eldest talking to me, continuously.

6. If you were a god / goddess what would you be? Tired.

7. Favourite spots in the whole world? The hills behind us, large swathes of the Bahamas, Northern Ontario, good big stretches of the American Southwest, parts of Holland, chunks of India, small restaurants in France, some of the reaches of Spain...I could go on.....

8. Reading right now? Snow, Orphan Paluk, Washington Irving, Tales of the Alhambra, The Land of the Naked People, ???, The Sisters Grimm, something else that I cannot remember the title right now.

9. Four words to describe you? Right this moment? Tired, sleepy, weary and worn. Generally? Optimistic, determined, ferocious and enthusiastic.

10. Guilty pleasure? I don't do guilt.

11. Who or what makes you laugh? My man, my kids, my dog, my students, my sister, my friends....silliness.

12. Favourite spring thing to do? Wear sandals.

13. Planning to travel next? Canada

14. Best thing you ate or drank lately? Lunch today, we had it out...mmmmm.......

15. Last time you were tipsy? Never.

16. Favourite ever film? No idea whatsoever, I can never remember them

17. Biggest life lesson you've learned from your kids? I am NOT in control.

18. Song you can't get out of your head? Depends on the moment, nothing recently.

19. What book do you know you "should" read but refuse to? I read what I want.

Rules of the meme: Respond and rework. Answer questions on your own blog. Replace one question. Add one question. Tag 8 people.

I'm not going to tag anyone, but if you want to play along.....

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Sometimes this lifestyle makes me crazy.

You know those days when you are absolutely sure that whatever you do it is not going to turn out right and that no one is going to be happy about it, including you?


Like that.

I hate booking flights.

I have nothing positive to say.

I am going to bed.

Here's a photo:

That's me, before I knew what I was in for. It is also more like how I usually feel.

Time for bed.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Local team played football on the weekend, this was a relatively high league, they looked to be about 24, 25 years old. It was actually a pretty close game, not too bad. Maybe not as good as the Barça win last night, but still pretty good. This seems to have been the best part of all though as far as the kids are concerned.

Why they water an artifical field at half time, I do not understand. If anyone knows I'd love to hear it.

The home team scored the winning goal in the last minute and the joy was impressive. They all, even the guys in the stands, ran down and did a massed hug. Hilariously the other team were all laying despondently on the ground, in attitudes of prayer or death.

It's a game, boys, a game.

I can never get used to the bad overacting in football/soccer. Bunch of princessas faking and diving for penalties. Bugs me still.

In one of youngest's basketball games a little tiny slip of an 8 year old girl hurt her finger and was crying on the court. The ref didn't notice and so didn't stop the game. Suddenly she had the ball. She dribbled it all the way down the court and took a shot on the net before stopping again. You could see her sobbing as she ran. Still sobbing after she took the shot.

Those men need to take a lesson or two.


Correr is to run, foc is fire in Catalan. That about sums it up.

I have written about it before here and here
and here and here Plus there is an album of photos you can check out on the right over there....

Despite all of that, I feel compelled to post a couple more photos. I tried to focus this year more on the people and less on the fireworks....

This is typical safety attire for fire runners, sorry it's blurry, but it is done after dark and no one is standing still....the kid is wearing jeans, socks, runners, a scarf over his face, a hoody, a baseball cap and a pair of safety goggles. Should be OK. ALL natural fibers. Plastics make a nasty skin fusion when they melt.

Someone in it...

I have to confess, I wouldn't have brought my baby. The camera makes it appear that they are closer to the sparks than they are, but NONETHELESS, it is not exactly a controlled environment.....right behind us, as in RIGHT behind us is the drumming band. A very loud very compelling drumming band reverberating off the walls. Talk about sensory overload. The baby was quite calm. She is about one.

The main correfoc got rained out this year, but the infantile one continued, yes, that would be kids running in fire.

For an adult this is almost more dangerous as the kids hold the fireworks pretty much at adult face level and the bang they make at the end is pretty much exactly at ear level.

One banged so close behind me I could feel the vibrations, like I had been shot. Of course with no pain or contact, but a bit of a start.....Youngest and I ran it this year, as in got in close enough to get under the sparks, as you can see from the photos. Eldest was too cool to wear the safety goggles and face scarf so had to stay back behind the band where it was safe.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Goodness it takes stamina to be a Catalan.

Barça is winning 6-2 over Madrid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Tied up the league, thankyouverymuch!


So much is on today I don't even know where to start.

Saw some Gegants, actually, quite a lot of them, here are a few to give you a sense of it all.....

You can see just how huge these things are...there are people inside carrying them, plus tenders walking outside in case they tip, plus lots and lots of musicians.....

Youngest had her lemonade stand with her friends again, All Day. They branched out into necklaces and then started simply enjoying making necklaces.

I actually got some painting done which was heavenly.

Eldest was off with buddies playing at 10pm, and youngest is still out playing in the street. 10pm.

Now we are off to correfoc.

More later.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Public service announcement

How to build a castell....

Start with the bit of paper and the plan:

Make sure everyone is paying attention,

Get everyone lined up properly, if it is sloppy here......

Good, good good,

Gather your crowd and line them all up, or at least some of them up.....

Squish three more right smack dab in the center, I don't know if you stand on these ones or the outer ones, hard to say. I think not.

Take a moment for some patty-cake,

Hands up all!

Cue the music,

First level up.....

Keep climbing,

Send out the children,

and then you only have to get back down again!

*management warns that this activity does hold some risk so maybe you shouldn't try it at home.