Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ludo on the Weekend

Albert wins again.

Rough Waters in Canyelles

We woke up this morning to the sound of seagulls and waves breaking. The ocean is heaving today. The temperature is mild, the wind warmer than the apartment. Usually I wake up to the sounds of traffic or loud music pumping from a passing car. My usual view is of the bus station, an abandoned courthouse and a square locals nick name 'what the fuck' (the expression most people ejaculated on first laying eyes upon the renovated square). I wake up on days like today with a feeling of being lucky. To see the ocean, the horizon of dark grey ocean meeting light grey sky, to smell the sea air. I'm a girl from a 'sun burnt country, a land of sweeping plains, of rugged mountain ranges, of droughts and flooding rains.' Give me vast horizons any day.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Off to Canyelles for the Long Weekend

I doubt we'll be in our swim wear, but to the beach we're going. This is what it looked like last year at about this time - Autumn on the Costa Brava

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Last Rose of the Season

Albert bought me a rose tree for St Jordi. It's been flowering non-stop. These last few roses are taking their time to bloom but they are beautiful.

Goodbye Summer 2009

Monday, October 25, 2010

Trash or Treasure?

Since I've lived here, I've seen some African men going through the bins and taking out scrap metal, old electrical equipment and other interesting bits and pieces. Other people seem to ignore them. There isn't a big second hand mentality here. I think the economical climate maybe changing people's attitude. In Australia there is a big push to sell our old things. One person's trash is another's treasure.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Time For Leggins and Scarves

Today was seriously cold in the morning. I'll need my gloves already it seems. The air is clearer. I can see the mountain clearly from my balcony. People are filling the coffee shops. But we're lucky. The sun is still warm in the middle of the day and we're not scraping ice from our wind screens, like in Norway. Happy Autumn everyone.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Autumn Beach Time

It's mid October in the middle of the day, and here in canyelles cove there are people stripped down to their swim wear and bathing in the sun. They are mostly northern Europeans. Many with small children. The sea smells fresh. There's no bite to the sun. The little ones are playing in the shallows. A lovely autumn weekend. Certainly beats more mushroom hunting.

Autumn 2009

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mist and Rain

(Third day.) We've been driving from one side of the island to the other today. It's been raining almost non-stop. Jett's fast asleep. Albert's in typical good humour. Soon we'll see the sea.

Another Day

(The second day.) Today we'll see our first Nuragic site in Palmavera. Ancient ruins predating the Romans by several thousand years. We'll also head along the north western coast line. Every one slept well. Albert picks up the car now. Lovely weather.

Blog problems

Our mms didn't work in Sardinia! So I couldn't upload photos as we went. There was a surprising amount of rain, but we were lucky with bursts of sun. We're back home now, and we'll be receiving Jett's papa for a long weekend visit.

Planning is Part of the Fun

We've spent most of the day in the old part of Alghero. We walked the ramparts, looked in the old shops, patronized the vegetarian restaurant and had a luke warm coffee (Sardinian style) in a pretty plaza. Now we're planning tomorrow's trip. Its hot here! The sun is still burning. We're heading to the beach tomorrow. Sadly or not, our favourite place was the pirate sweet shops. Kept Jett happy all day.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

On Our Way!

Sardinia, here we come. I've heard its just beautiful there. Forgive me if I don't come home.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Trying Something New

Mm! This one was really good! It's the bakery in the church square and its some kind of pastry literally dipped in sugar syrup and then topped with white icing and nuts. It was lovely!

No, it's Dirty!

I was walking home from my Catalan class today and overheard a grandmother teaching her 2 year old grandson about where to walk. He wasn't allowed to walk along the gutter because it was dirty. The word dirty was accompanied by an urgent and disgusted tone of voice. Dirty is 'bad'. This reminded me of conversations I've had with other locals. Their horror of dirt, the ground, touching the trees, insects or anything that survives outside of 5 star hotels. Then you've got the hippies who happily embrace all of the dirty. But they are merely in reaction to the others. As I'm writing this, I just saw a woman use some anti dirt gel before she started to drink her coffee. She's a local.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Planning Our Trip to Sardinia

On Thursday we're going to an Italian island. It's well known for its beaches. The Catalans conquered part of the island way back in middle ages and there is still some sort of relationship between them. We'll see for ourselves when we get there. Albert is unhappy because the Lonely Planet reports that Spain conquered the island. Even Sardinia itself promotes the Catalan flag in the tourist shops, and not the Spanish flag. Anyway, we'll see once we get there. Jett is just looking forward to the food.

It's Easy Right?

That's what my Catalan teacher said yesterday. Today I'm staring at my verbs and not feeling so sure.

Monday, October 4, 2010

My Stool in the Entrance

I had this stool in the bathroom for about a year. I never used it or understood its purpose. It was there when we arrived. One day I decided to move the stool. I looked about for a likely position. It ended up here, at the front door. Now during the summer I didn't use it so much, granted. However, ever since my boots have made their appearance, this little stool has come in handy. Three cheers for finding uses for dust collectors.

Catalan Classes Started Today

I'm enrolled in B2. I am repeating the same course as last year. It goes for 4 months. They got straight into verbs, this time in past tense. I had to repeat because last semester we went on the Camino for 26 days. Also, I am truly slow learning the verbs! Wish me good luck!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

I Tant

The title of this post means 'of course' or 'that's right'. When football fans are talking/shouting at the TV its important to realise that the only possible answer is 'i tant'. Otherwise, expect the worst.

Watching Soccer in a Bar

Before coming to Granollers, I'd never watched sports in a bar before. Here, it's pretty normal to watch football in a bar. Some of the games are on television and some are not. We watch every Barça game, so some of them are in a bar. I drink a 'clara'. That's a shandy. And we eat olives or chips. The bars as smoky because you can still smoke in bars and restaurants here. Though they say it'll change next year. People often ask me if I like football/soccer. I don't. I like Barça.

Pour Your Own!

So, its the end of lunch and the shot glasses come out. I'm horrified when Albert pours his own drink first, and then offers it to the guests. But again, he's breaking my protocol, but nobody else seems to notice. Sometimes I feel like a stiff white shirt in a room full of soft silk.

The First Sip of Wine

I'm never sure when to drink! We're at a lunch or dinner with a bunch of locals, they pour the wine and then somebody takes a sip, and others begin eating, and again, there seems no protocol for when to begin! Are we British colonials so rigid, or is it just me? I look at my wine, and I just can't seem to drink! I nudge my partner. 'say cheers!' He laughs and says 'You're the weird one, you say it.' Uff! So I wait until my thirst is greater than my need for order.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Book Fair

Today Jett and I went in to the bookfair in Barcelona. There was one stall, Happy Books, that had a wide selection of English books. I even picked up one on the golden tara. Jett is reading prince caspian as I write.

Quiet Before the Storm

I work in Vilanova, in a yoga studio called O! Yoga. I take childrens classes in English. I like these quiet moments of preparation just before the children arrive.