Friday, August 31, 2012

Blues and Whites Compete for King of the Dominoes!

I Just Saw...

Its Festa Major. Every now and then someone let's off a firecracker of some sort that is incredibly loud.
Today one went off while I was drinking my coffee at Ferrer. Across from me a small family were seated eating donuts. They have a little boy of 3 or so. When the firecracker went off, the child became very still for a moment and then continued on as normal. The parents were laughing and jumping about, as were others, but the child acted as nothing happened.
Dogs were barking, another child started crying and one of the waitresses said 'fuck', and the child, even stuffed as he was on white sugar, didn't do a thing.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

It's Raining!

What, it must be a month since the last rain! And its suddenly really cool. Lovely!

What Surprised Me Today

I was in the bank. A woman with three children came in. As the woman interacted with the ATM, her children ran or rode their scooters up and down the corridor; on the carpet as well.
The mother did not correct their behaviour.  Indeed, I was surprised! I haven't seen it before.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

33 degrees!?

It's been 30 plus for the past month. Walking in the morning has become quite sweaty. Looks like thunder storms are coming for the weekend.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Festa Major de Gracia

This afternoon we're walking around the streets of Gracia, an suburb of Barcelona.
Each street is responsible for its decoration, catering and entertainment. The decoration is mostly recycled items. It's a really nice idea.
It's mine and Jett's first time.

English Anyone?

A sign I saw downstairs today.

DD Doom

Dear Men Who Make Computer Games,
I am currently in the computer game area of Fnac in Barcelona with my game obsessed son.
Every female on the cover of the games has a ridiculously sized bust. Sorry, but you are helping to create unrealistic expectations of the ideal woman that can never be fulfilled.
What about a few busts, just to even it out a bit, in the aa or bb region?
Thanks, Tiffany AA

Friday, August 17, 2012

Tres Xemeneies of Barcelona

We're staying at a compact but pleasant hostel near Montjuic.
We walked around this evening and found all the Indian shops I've been looking for the past 6 years.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Monastery of Sant Cugat

My first visit! Very pretty and close to us! Vichy O'clock!

That Perfect Moment

Everything is ready. A moment of stillness. A moment when all is perfect and the smell of fresh basil from your balcony beckons. Bbbbb

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Lounge Clean - Check!

Jett's home tomorrow. He's the only one I know who will check under my dining room table to see if I swept properly, so I have cleaned. Now to the other 7 rooms..... :O

Two Down and a Horse

Today there is a horse on the path!

One Down, Eleven to Go

Off to the Viena. Started a little late, its hot but quite a lot of people about.

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Dangers of Housework

That's my bloomin' nail! Three off in one go! Damn it.
(I was shifting the table back into place)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Fucking Spain

That's what the graffiti says.
We're in the heart of the wine area of Catalonia. There are quite a lot of independence flags. Even the gypsys look and speak Catalan.

Pizzeria La Llar de la Vila

We've just had pizza in Vilafranca.
We had a nice evening.
The pizza was not bad. 
Of course, we are totally spoilt by our Italian Twins, so its hard to like pizza in general.
The rose was nice. Wine of the house. :) the coffee was good. Too full to have dessert.
The spicy oil wasn't really spicy either.

Sant Joan's Chapel

We're visiting the main wine region of Catalonia. We're in the capital, Vilafranca del Penedes. Lovely so far and with great views of Montserrat!

Montmelo Viena

I love the walk ffrom Granollers to Montmelo Viena. I think I am addicted to it! It is about 2 hours, give or take a few minutes, return.
I am drinking orange juice and before 12, they give you a free mini croissant. :)
And the best thing? Mozart! After a long walk in the heat, sitting in cool comfort with Mozart's playfulness is just wonderful! And the mini croissant is yummy too. (And the cashiers friendly!)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Start of Our Cork Collection

You have to start somewhere.
I saw some corks packed into a great glass in Palamos and decided I would like to do it too.

Proof I am on Holidays at Home

The washing basket is completely empty! I can't remember the last time there was not one thing left to wash!
And I am ironing. God.

Three Years and Still...

It's summer time and the living is very easy.
And I notice, after my friend Kate went on holidays, that I didn't have any friends!
I didn't have one person to call for a casual drink.
A couple of friends from Norway sent me messages earlier in the year chastising me for not being their to catch the rays of sun with them and I laughed indulgently.
It's been weeks at a time now where I sit for longer and longer periods on facebook talking to friends from other parts of the world.
I feel heavy and unwilling to change.
The people here have friends from when they were 5, or 15 and they are not really willing the invite you into their group. They don't need another one. Of course, none of them have lived abroad, either.
It's true that I don't do much to gain friends. In practice, I don't really want any either. They take a lot of time, and I don't have it. But, it could be nice to have one on the shelf, for when you needed one.
Anyway, I wanted to share part of the reality of living in another country. It took me three years in Norway to get a group together, and it's taking longer here because I have a partner.
Don't get me wrong, I have never had a lot of friends, and I love my own company. But it is true, that occasionally it would be nice to have someone to call for a drink, if I so happened to want one.
Anyway, Kate will be back soon and I will have forgotten this moment ever happened.

Virtual cheers dear reader.

And just in case someone was in the same position as I but wanted to change it, I just saw this nice poster:

Poster by Karen Kerney

Edit 14th of August 2012 - Hi guys. I just wanted to say that a few people, after reading this post, have contacted me affirming their friendship. Thank you for that. I appreciate it. 
However, I really didn't mean it to be a call for friends!! I just meant it as a factual report from a foreigner living abroad. It is one of the problems we all face at one time or another. 
Thanks to everyone though!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Me and My Cava Bottle

We're sitting watching highlights of the Olympics.
Albert is talking to the cava bottle. You'd be surprised how much conversation one can have while pouring bubbling drink into a flute glass.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Candela Restaurant, Palamos

While we were on our holidays, we went to a small but cosy restaurant called Candela.
It's worth a mention because it had delicious vegetarian options and used lovely local ingredients.
It stood out as being patronised by locals and was still close to the tourist centre.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I Love My Gym

This decked roof top is awesome. It's perfect for asana/qigong practice, it's perfect for catching some sun and it's a minute walk from my apartment.
The gym is small but fully complete. I am very happy with it!

Soon Festa Major of Granollers, 2012!