In addition to the usual dashing around, I've been chocolate making and selling. I made up a little time for all the other things I have to do by very nearly selling out completely at my first stall, held at the English Centre - 'A Little Bit of Britain' - here in Alcala la Real on Saturday morning. I was absolutely delighted and rather dismayed at the same time as I'd intended going to Montefrio on Sunday to another craft market there. I don't have enough stock to do it now because as well as an excellent morning, I've had a stream of personal shoppers coming to the house. So, having squirreled a few chocolates away for my niece (hope you read this Emily, I got the message from your mum!) I'm pretty well cleaned out! It hasn't been a profitable exercise - it rarely is - but neither has it left me with kilos of chocolate left with no takers. A big 'phew' and a big 'hurray'!!!
Exam time at the Academy - in the last week of term, which I find very sad but I was told that the children need to be motivated to work right up until the last lesson and exams are the way it's done here. I did try to argue for them to be a week early but no, not an option. Although I only had to arrange the exam for the first level, the group I teach entirely on my own, I also had to administer the Listening and Speaking tests for the other groups and it made me unexpectedly jittery. Anyway, glad to announce that they are all done and finished and my level one children produced some wonderful results and we still had time to play. In fact, with a couple of classes, we managed to play some of my favourite games - including Pictionary, Kim's Game, using vocabulary they've been learning recently, of course - plus a madcap game we used to play at my own childhood parties. You need a bar of chocolate - wrapped - on a tray, which can only be eaten using a knife and fork. Everyone sits round in a circle and takes turns to shake the dice - a six allows you to attack the chocolate but you must first put on a hat, a scarf and a pair of gloves, preferably two sizes too big! Whilst the lucky person makes a start, the dice continues and as soon as another six is thrown, that person must don the required apparel and continue attacking the chocolate. And so on. It's great fun and I played with an equal amount of enthusiasm as the kids. And ate my fair share of chocolate too...I haven't always had time to eat properly these past few days and I was very hungry!
|Scene from one of the many performances at Alonso de Alcala Primary School|
Nativity plays and Christmas theatre at school. I missed Romy's performance as I was teaching but was able to go to Ruy's the next night. It was great fun if rather chaotic and very loud! His class were the last one and whilst the other two year six groups performed plays, rather well it must be said, Ruy's class performed two songs including playing the accompanying instruments - it was beautiful and so appreciated that they had to perform an encore. Ruy clearly loved every moment and his parents were a tad emotional. Romy also confessed to feeling like she was going to cry...
This is another group whose performance I particularly enjoyed not least because it included a very touching scene showing well how the school integrates their pupils with special needs. The Star is a girl who has autism and cannot cope with being touched. She was given free rein to run around the stage, which she clearly enjoyed, whilst gentle but comical stage play was made by the Kings - who, of course, had to follow her. She eventually came to a stop and remained on stage to take the applause.
And eventually, I too got to see Romy's performance as yesterday, all the performances were repeated for the benefit of the whole school. I was misinformed many times about the timings...resulting in me running back and forth from school four times that day - nay, five as I had to go to collect her at the end of the day too! I have a very distinctive black and white raincoat with a Rennie Mackintosh design on it and as I crossed the road for the fourth time, the migrant workers who are here for the olive harvest but who spend most of their time on a wall outside the bus station, all cheered me on as I sped off yet again - this time to deliver a dozen chocolate snails to a friend who was meeting me elsewhere in the town!
Romy's class were the last on and they did a little play written by their teacher. I confess to not understanding very much of it - the microphones were too loud and exaggerated the children's lines so I couldn't work out what they were saying - but I followed the advice I give my students... I listened for gist. I got the gist. Romy played a grandmother and made a lovely one. Her lines were as clear as a bell and she had plenty - she was pleased about that. I didn't have the camera though as FR had it with him in Granada, but I had taken a couple of Romy the night before - though FR took none of her or Ruy on stage preferring to video them in their performances. He doesn't have a blog-mentality at all!!
But here she is in character in our house.
Last night was my last teaching day until 8th January and I felt some relief as I came home and saw that Romy had decorated the tree. And now I must away to clean and sort my scruffy house and move beds and furniture around in preparation for the arrival of 'mis suegros' - my in-laws - who arrive tonight. FR has gone to Marbella to an Arab Sheik's for lunch. Honestly - sounds ridiculous, but our friend is negotiation an oil deal with the Sheik...olive oil, that is....and he needs a translator. Should be quite a good lunch, I think.
This will be last post before Christmas. The children and I are flying off to my family's on 26th, so hopefully will be catching up with friends there too - we are rather excited. I suspect this has been a disjointed, rambling post - I don't have time to proof-read it either - but hopefully after today, I can slow down and really enjoy a lovely double-family Christmas. We're back on New Year's Eve.