Thursday, March 31, 2011

Our Building from up on the Hill

There we are. The big brown building. The sun is going down and from up here it's quite a pretty view of Granollers. Just down below in the garden is a micro bat catching insects. The sun lights up its wings as it turns.

Preparing Speeches in English

Well, here I am, in between presentations, thinking over each yawn and considering how I contributed to them and how to avoid them in the next class. I've never had to talk about Australia before, as if being Australian makes me an authority on the subject. I was looking online for Australian qualities and I was surprised by how much I identified with their descriptions. The sense of 'fair go', and 'no worries' along with 'have a go' seem to sum up my philosophical outlook pretty neatly. I didn't realise I was such an Aussie at heart.

Bikini Season Farewells

I guess it's no surprise to you, but I like to eat pastries. You can see cheese cake above. I finally had to admit to myself that the 2 or 3 stops at the bakery a week was more like 5 or 6 and I truly couldn't fit into my old white pants all of last year- so, hence the running and the liver cleanse diet. I'm down to 53 kilos and still have 2 to lose before I'm at my optimal weight. It's going well. But its also time to say goodbye to my sweets. Though I'm sure we'll meet again, just not so frequently.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My Jasmine

From my bed, during my afternoon nap, I can see my beautiful pot of jasmine. It's in full bloom.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

And We Did It!

Yes! My first half marathon and Albert's second. We finished in about 2 hours and 11 minutes. I was aiming for under 2.30 (and missing disqualification), and Albert ran with me to encourage me along. The main sponsor gave us a huge box of goodies.

The Video of the marathon 

Rain for My First Half Marathon

We're on our way to the race. Its pouring! Once we start it won't be a problem. It's just the getting wet part that's the problem. Wish us luck!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Listening to Monks Chant

After our lunch we went for a guided visit to the Royal Monastery of Santa Maria de Poblet. Here is Montse and Jett during the service.

The BBQ of the Calçots

The onions are grilled over a hot fire until they are black on the outside and juicy and soft on the middle.

Growing Calçots

We're going to the first onion eating festival of the season. We're a bit late, but it's worth the wait! Here you can see the calçots growing beside the restaurant.

Friday Morning Pastries

So this morning we sat in the sun and had our coffee. Lovely weather. Fair Sarah even caught some rays on her face.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Rain, Make Up and Great Tapas

Today we went to Barcelona. It was the wettest day of the year. We were lucky enough not to be in the city for the early morning down pours. We went shopping, had our make up done, met Albert for lunch and had yummy tapas. Jett stayed with Montse during lunch time.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Our Shepherd's Pie

We ate a Shepherd's Pie with a lentil, mushroom and tomato base for dinner. It was huge! There is plenty left for Albert's tapa tomorrow and another dinner!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Beers 'n' Barça in a Bar

What more could you ask for on your first night in Catalonia?

Welcome Sarah!

Sarah is here safe and sound from Italy. Yay!

What a Goofy!

We Finished Granollers Solidariti 2011

They are just giving out the prizes now and holding some sort of raffle. It's been glorious weather and there were lots of people. Albert didn't suffer from his knee problems, Jett did pretty well considering he had a cold two days ago, and unfortunately my skin itched like crazy, and I had to walk most of the way! In two weeks we have a half marathon. Wish us luck!

Fun Run- 8 ks

There are heaps of people here. Its a walk/run for charity. Granollers Solidari 2011.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

No, it's True

I'm sure its hard to believe but I started scrubing the floor and Jett ran in and begged to be allowed to do it. He loves cleaning. No, seriously. . . ! I'm as surprised as you.

Detail from Our Balcony

This is a beautiful chime given to us from a lovely couple Xavi and Patricia. It's pretty, even on an unrelenting wet day like today.

Ghost Tiffy

Just a torch light and voila! Ghost!

I Love Coffee

Friday, March 11, 2011

Our Balcony in March 2011

Here it is. The new additions to our lives. Everything has survived so far. I come out every morning to tend the plants and sweep the balcony. I have one empty container waiting for Sarah to design.

Jett's Way of Filling His Bottle of Water

If this doesn't prove he's has Norwegian blood, I don't know what will. Dripping ice?

A Wine Glass for Earrings

I keep some of my earrings hanging over the edge of a red wine glass. It looks pretty, I can see them easily, and it ensures I change my earrings more frequently. I found the idea several years ago in a fashion magazine. My mum does the same with hers, but with a large crystal goblet.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Detail from my Yoga Room

Isn't she pretty? If you didn't know I take private yoga and meditation classes.

Look! A New Addition to the Kitchen

My clever Bertsie did it! Not only handsome and funny, but he went out on his own initiative and bought and installed this thing. Thanks Bertsie!  I would also like to mention that it works!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Newly Signed Granollers 2011

Just recently the local government has placed up little signs around the place giving historical information about the local areas. They are pretty but some of them have already been tagged.

The End of Carnival

So its the end of carnival and soon Ash Wednesday is upon us. The fight between good and evil. The temptation of Jesus, the preparation of the faithful, and our liver cleanse. Let the Lent begin.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sunday, March 6, 2011

My Jasmine Has Bloomed!

We've been adding plants to the balcony. The jasmine was a bit of wishful thinking (because it doesn't get enough sun), but its started to flower! Yay! We have mint, basil, sage and some pretty flowers. All going well at the moment. We even put in a tomato plant, just in case.

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Leaking Ceiling: The Saga part IV (?)

So this morning I was suppose to meet the insurance man so he could take a look at the ceiling. I totally forgot and slept in. Luckily I had my Japanese dressing gown handy so I could rush down the hall, all of my hair fluffy in all directions and answer the sounding door bell. 'Sorry dude,' I said, covering my awkwardness with extra brashness, 'I don't understand you. You'll have to speak English.' 'Good morning. I'm here to see the roof.' Oh. Well then. I swished around and opened the door to Albert's bathroom. He looked at it for a moment, wrote something on his folder, called Albert, made some measurements and left. We'll see what happens in the next episode of the Leaking Ceiling.

This all started on December the 10th. 

Cream on the Shelves

I went to the supermarket to look for whipping cream. I looked 'everywhere'. Finally, in broken and badly accented Catalan I asked where the cream was. The woman took me to the drink section and pointed to some tetra packs. I thought she must have misunderstood me. But fresh cream? For whipping? Yes. Is it just Spain, or is this the common trend everywhere these days?

Cherry Blossoms Along the Street

As we were walking along the street to the station we came across a row of cherry blossom trees in full bloom. Spring is truly here but the temperature dropped and the snow is on the mountain again. It says its 16 degrees but with the wind its more like 10.

Kate wrote about the Cherry Blossoms last week here in 'Is there such a thing as too much Cherry Blossoms?'

Mother and Son Day in Barcelona

It's White Week here. The first time that Catalonia has had these school holidays. Today Jett and I are going to Barcelona for a few hours. I have to go to the dress up shop for carnival and we'll meet Albert for a quick snack. Jett's main intention is to prowl the toy stores.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Fat Thursday!

Today is Fat Thursday. Avui es dijous gras. We're in sant jordi bakery. Its typical that people eat white sausage but we're just going to eat extra donuts. This is about ten days before lent. Carnival is coming up this weekend too. And then, the fasting.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

And! Returning Home!

To freshly cooked supper. Thank you!

Inside the Vatican

This was a detail from an angel giving a small wafer to a child. When we arrived at Saint Peter's a man was wailing loudly at the altar. Guards and tourists rushed down to see what the fuss was about.

Early Rise

Its day 2. Today is the big rugby match between Italy and Wales. We'll visit the Vatican today. That gives me another pinpoint in my countries! We're in a B n B, and breakfast is at 8.30. All well.

Arriving in Rome

We're here safe and sound. Waiting for the bus to take us into the centre. Its much warmer than we anticipated and the sun feels good. There was a lot of turbulence in the plane that added a bit of drama to the flight. Now! We're on our way.