Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Meet the creature

What I always called meet the teacher.

My daughter complains about being bored at school, that she could finish what they want to do and be out the door in about a third the time they use.

I agreed, but...but..OMG

Yesterday there was a meeting with parents for the kids in her grade high school.


There are no signs at all telling us where to go and most of the staff don't know either so everyone is w.a.n.d.e.r.i.n.g around the school up and down floors.

We get there.  The chairs are all up on the table, like she can't be bothered to make us welcome.  We get in, she doesn't start on time, doesn't introduce herself, passes a list around for email addresses, no concerns about privacy of information.  Her power point slide has multiple errors and the hand out is printed so small it is illegible, and the light isn't on.

Then she f*cking waffles along about freaking NOTHING.

I had to leave after half an hour, HALF AN HOUR, and I had learned 1 thing that I needed to know.  1 thing.

My poor husband had to stay for another ENTIRE HOUR!

Who in their right freaking mind holds a parent meeting that lasts an HOUR AND A HALF!

I asked my husband what else they talked about.


That's what he said.  Nothing.

And he missed a translating job while he was farting around in there.

God almighty, the teens have the patience of angels.  I'd freak right out.

I'd also fail my students if they gave a presentation like that, indeed I'd walk out before they finished.  LONG before they finished.

Unbelievably disrespectful.

Monday, September 29, 2014


How I love this city.

Saturday, September 27, 2014



I have to do a video for a class I am taking, and I thought I'd get all fAnCy!!!


not such a great idea. 

BTW, Prezi?  the free trial?  sucks. 

Back to basics.  Slides prepared in Google drive (free and easy)

The MAC lets me record the screen and audio with Quicktime, high quality and free with the Mac and DEAD easy.

I was considering using a tool to do some writing on the program like Khan academy does (they are brilliant), but...



back to work.

Friday, September 26, 2014


What is it exactly in your butt that has to toughen up when you ride a bike?  This I want to know.

Went for a short ride yesterday to my Catalan class.  Great, no problem.

Got on this morning to go to work, and hmmmmmmm

Got on this afternoon to come back? OUCH

How does that toughen up?  Do the nerves just stop complaining or what?

I can just be glad it does.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Bikes and flats

Had to dust off the bikes after the summer away, dust off is literal, but we also left my bike behind with known flats, so when it came time to get it out, we knew there would be some work to do. 

Not quite as much as we thought though.

Thought the back wheel and the spare had a flat. The front had been sporting a slow leak for some time.  You know, the pump it up once a week kind.


The man, bless him, patched at least 3 on the front, one on the back and one in the spare.  The front he had to take off and on over and over and over again.

I pulled thorns out of both tires


Then I went to the bike shop to get a new patch kit, and talk to the guys about self-healing inner tubes.  I am now the proud owner (but not yet user) of two self-healing inner tubes.  Apparently there's a liquid inside and as long as it is a minor puncture it just cures itself.  You have to go in from time to time and remove the pokey bits, but it's pretty good they say.

Next time I get a flat, I'll put in the new one!  Repair the old spare one and use it as a spare. 

Fingers crossed,

Oh, and the muscles and tush?  Not so in shape as they were last June.  Gonna ache a bit for the next week or two!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Saw a fox the other day

While I was walking on Saturday.  Did I mention that?  I think not.

He was lovely, just like Chuck, only smaller and much more afraid of me.

What is interesting to me is that so many animals have different connotations.  For instance for me in English, a fox is cunning, an owl is wise, a snake is untrustworthy, a mule is stubborn, dogs are loyal etc etc etc.

Weirdly, or really I guess not that weirdly, but it still seems odd to me, but in Catalan these animal have different traits. 

Who'd have thought.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Half speed and already having to think about breathing

Oh my goodness,

I am only up to half speed as it is, as in only half my classes have started yet, and I am already having to work hard at keeping it all in order and in line.

Definitely a time for girding of loins etc.  I know that the beginning of the year is always chaotic, timetables change, students change groups, online material is just coming together, my language skills are rusty....and I swear last year I spent at least half of my brain power keeping track of where I had to be and when.  I've not got all the gears fully engaged yet.


It's gonna be a fun ride.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Days when stuff works

Gotta love them

The days when things just work out sometimes against the odds, but they just do.

Today, for example.

On Saturday Youngest and I went to buy her a smart phone.  Through clever manipulation of maternal goals (something she's good at) namely playing the 'need to keep in touch with my sister' card, she convinced me that a smart phone was necessary.

OK fine, we went to get one.

Now for those of you out there who didn't know this, there are two sizes of SIM card. Neither Youngest nor I knew this, so when we arrived home with her freshly minted new phone, the card from the old one didn't fit. 

Great wailing and gnashing of teeth, though when I pointed out that she could still get FB, that diminished.

End result?  I went back into BCN today to get the SIM card...btw, you can keep your phone number when you do this!  HALLELUJAH!

Easy peasy!


Then.....I am enrolling in a Masters for my sins, and the enrollment process is somewhat arduous, though not too bad.  I had to get photocopies of some documents and they had to be 'acarades' which I think is something like notarized.  I asked around.  One said I had to go to a notary public - CRAZY expensive here.  Another thought the town hall could.  Went down, no, they cannot, but the neighbouring town could, for a fee.

Lethargy hit, and I decided to take all the originals in with me, (EEK) and throw myself at the feet of bureaucracy. 


The lovely lady at the desk acaraded them herself, no charge, and everything was accepted.

Now to do the course work!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Went walking

Have to say that 10 hours and 33K (which is startlingly slow for us) was probably a little further than I should have gone on the first excursion since mid-June, but heck it was awesome.

We even swam, feet off the ground swam - and was that water ever cold!  And bathed in shallows near the end.

Here's some photos. 

Beyond that edge of rock....it dropped straight down.  Wow.

That darker green patch, that's where we could swim. Bigger than it looks.

This waterfall was like a shower!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

two of me

After so many years now of living here and going back to TO in the summers, it's almost like there are two of me.  I have two lives almost.

Two sets of friends
Two different jobs, and they are very unrelated, although I teach in both.  Unrelated in content, in responsibility, in duration, in schedule.
Two different languages
Two different houses, ways of living
Two different ways of eating, we eat quite differently here than there
Two different hobbies.  There, all about sailing, here, all about walking and bicycling and mountains

And it feels like the people in the different places don't know the other me.  I am chattier in Toronto.  I talk of different things.

Same husband (thank all that is good)
Same kids (ditto)

Friday, September 19, 2014


Walking the dog today the man and I came across this snake!

Though he wasn't so active.  About the same size though.

I have been seeing a lot of snakes this month, when we were on the boat I saw 5 or 6 as well, a Garter Snake, a Rattler or two and a Hog Nose Snake and a Northern Water Snake!

Good think I like snakes!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Back in Catalunya

Well that took a while.

The joy and peace of being on the boat, (interrupted by far too many bus trips into Toronto), then the chaos of packing and leaving and arriving and getting organized

Good to be home.