Casa Rosales

Casa Rosales

Friday, 6 September 2013

Looming....

'Looming' implies something rather threatening, doesn't it? It also means imminent. In our house it's a bit of both. On Tuesday, Romy - being our only Primary student now - starts back at school on her own. And she's going to a new school - again. Since we moved house, we've been trying to persuade the local council to allow our children to use the free school transport but they haven't budged. If we want to use the bus, we have to send our children to the specific schools - and last year, Ruy and Romy went to the Primary school that DIDN'T provide for children from the villages.

Just before the end of term, Romy agreed to go for a few days to the other school, just across the road from her own, where the bus collects and returns the children to the villages every day. And gives them lunch too. (Not the bus, the school, of course!) Under no pressure, she gave the new school the clear thumbs up and said she'd be happy to go there in the new school year. Alcala is a small and close enough community for her to already know several of the children there and, as a bi-lingual child who has achieved excellent standards in her Spanish studies, she's being welcomed with open arms...

And she's really rather excited about going in on the first day and getting to know her new classmates - whilst still having lots of friends in her old school. Being a sociable and adaptable girl, and rather more mature than many of her contemporaries, I have no doubts she will be absolutely fine. More than fine.

Ruy has finished Primary School and now, like Mateo, is entitled to take the bus to any of the two main Secondary schools in town. He starts at Alfonso XI next week, just a day before his 12th birthday and admits to being a tad nervous. Unlike when I moved to Secondary school, not knowing how many of my friends would be there or who would be in class with me - all but two of Ruy's current classmates are going to the same school. I think he will be fine too. It's a big jump from Primary to Secondary, but Ruy is always wanting to be slightly older than he really is - so much so we often get confused at his birthday time. From the day after he was 11, he has talked about being nearly 12 - and even before he actually reaches this number, he's ready to be a 'proper teenager' at 13. I suspect it's all because he is desperate for a mobile phone. Apparently, he's the only one in his class who doesn't have one. Tough!

And whilst I do hope it doesn't mark the end of the close relationship he and Romy have - they've played and laughed and fought and generally been great company for each other for many years now - it feels like this summer might be the one of the last where they really haven't needed anyone else as long as they've had each other.

And Mateo has grown up and changed so much in the past few months. He's still a boy in many ways, but I caught him with my zoom lens the other day - you can tell he's a tad suspicious in the second photo - but he looks very grown up all of a sudden to me. He got contact lenses about a month ago and is just doing that 'emerging' from behind his specs that I remember doing when I was 16. He starts his final year in ESO - which is the last of obligatory education. He's chosen social science subjects as he harbours a strong interest in studying Anthropology at University. He'll have to apply himself to the subjects he's not so keen on too in order to get there.

But I do believe he knows that and I should just let him get on with it. (This is a 'note to self' that nagging has a negative effect and I must try and remember!)


Yes, that look is definitely a suspicious one!


The new school year is also a 'loomer' for the family that is part owl and no part lark. We are all dreading the early morning rise. There have been days when Mateo hasn't seen the morning hours at all other than those between midnight and 2am...

Our first summer in La Casa Rosales has been a lovely, long and lazy one. I have adjusted remarkably well to not working in the afternoons - by working just about every morning! I've been teaching two little girls twice a week and it's been an absolute joy. The good thing is they want to continue after school begins so I shall go and teach them at home a couple of evenings a week. They've made a book of Nursery Rhymes over the course of their classes and have illustrated each of the songs. The eldest, Rocio, has a real artistic (and linguistic) talent and her book is a real credit to her - it's been a pleasure to teach them. And another real pleasure came this week when I heard that all our students taking the Trinity College exam have passed! Every single one and some with Merit. It was a day of great rejoicing when we found this out and I have bumped into several of them in town and they are over the moon themselves. Couldn't be more delighted for a super group of students. And a good start back for their new teacher - it would have been such a shame if anyone of them hadn't passed.

So, September starts and the summer passes. My cupboards are creaking with homemade tomato sauces, sun-dried tomatoes and fig jam. We have frozen peppers and tomatoes and a store room full of melons, peppers, potatoes and courgettes to eat in the coming weeks. FR has been busy building us beautiful and original shelving units to store all the things he's just about to fetch down from the barn in Leon and he's also worked wonders in the garden, filled the outhouse up with enough wood to last us for the next few cold snaps and cooked us some pretty amazing barbecues. And now he's ready to start back with his drama group in Granada.

I have a nice feeling that we will all manage the changes rather well. And the end of September brings us a little stream of visitors, including Janice and Mark! SO looking forward to them coming. Then my mum comes - and then later in October, I'm hoping to meet up with another old friend who is coming out to southern Spain for a couple of months and has promised to come and see us.


And guess what - the verb 'to loom' apparently comes from the Old Norse verb 'ljóma' - meaning 'to shine'! That must be what I meant in the first place.


16 comments:

  1. Not just moving house but moving school...but it all seems to be working out so well for all of you.

    You're prepared for the coming winter too...cupboards full, wood stacked up - and friends to visit you.

    Very 'shiny' indeed!

    Are you looking forward the the stuff coming down from Leon?

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    1. I'm still cheerful on a day to day basis - even waking up to an incredible thunderstorm hasn't dampened the enthusiasm just yet.

      I'm hoping for a few surprises when FR brings everything down from Leon - I know I have a few nice bits that I shall be glad to see again though i don't have much of real value. I'm desperate to get my hands on my books again, especially my chocolate books. Hence the need to build some bookcases before he goes...we both love to read and have a pretty big collection.

      And with Janice being so organished, I need a lot more time to unpack it all before she comes...she'll find us in a terrible mess! But hopefully still cheerful.

      Axxx

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  2. Children grow up so quickly don't they? You are lucky that they seem keen to start at new schools. It's always a bit of a worry about whether they will settle in ok.

    How lovely to have Janice coming to visit. You'll have a great time x

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    1. Mateo made me laugh - he was telling Romy not to grow up anymore. He thought she looked far too grown up the other day...and she is turning from a little girl to a rather more mature one! Ruy is desperate to grow but I tell him it will happen soon enough.

      I am not worried about that which is a source of great contentment to me - I am so proud and pleased that they are willing and able to accept change as something positive. Mateo never used to like change but he's always adapted ..the other two are cooler about it.

      Can't wait for Janice to arrive!
      Axxx

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  3. Hi Annie,
    You have such a positive outlook on life that the verb 'to loom' even sounds like something to look forward to. the children are growing up and when I think back to one of the first photograpgs you published of Mateo he really has grown and matured.

    I hope that you all have that easy transition into a new school year and that the sun continues to shine - or should that be 'loom'? - on you.

    I'll bet Janice is looking forward to the visit as much as you are.

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    1. Oh Gaynor, I can be such a miserable old hag sometimes - though I almost always blame my hormones when I am!! I do remember as a teenager cheering myself up with the word 'glum' - for some reason, it amused me when repeated over and over. I suppose 'loom' could be a brightener with the right attitude.

      This morning has started with an enormous thunderstorm! And we never saw it looming yesterday. I'd like to bet the afternoon will be bright and sunny again...

      It could be a close thing as too who is the most excited between me and Janice. That one is really looming!

      Axxx

      PS. Letter sent to Notary in Tournon St. Pierre....

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  4. You have no idea how much I am looking forward to my trip to see you |Annie. I have been with a friend in Caunes today...someone else who has been on a cancer journey, and I told her all about the whole blogging experience, and how important you have been to me ! ...and of course, how much I was looking forward to seeing you and your gorgeous family.
    Mateo suits the contacts...he looks older, more confident, more self assured....and pretty damn gorgeous ! Romy sounds to be such a wonderful child, how sensible, and adventurous at the same time. I was so impressed by her attitude to all the friends that gathered around that table in Huddersfield last Christmas. Ruy sounds as if he will be fine too....nervously excited about the future...just as he should be.
    I hope you will not find their absence during the school days too hard to bear. It will certainly feel quite different to this wonderful summer you have just spent. I'll be thinking about you during the next week, as the things that have been loomimg, loom. Shine is perfect...keep shining Annie xxxxxx

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  5. Thank you so much, Janice. Your kind words and our newly blossomed friendship means a lot to me too. I hope I don't squeal too much when we meet up - it is not dignified...but then dignified isn't really my style.
    We're lucky to have lovely children - it will be great for them to get to know you both when you come. I will, however, manage perfectly well when they are out at school, don't worry!

    Today we have rain. But Ruy has just gone outside in his swimming trunks, so I don't think he's going to let it keep him from the pool...

    Counting the days!
    Axxx

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  6. This is such a lovely, contented, fulfilled post, Annie, with your happy, growing children, lovely house and super things like Janice's visit to look forward to. I'm glad Romy has made the change to her new primary school and Ruy his transition to secondary so well. Grandson#2 also started secondary school this week and after the obligatory butterflies before he went, he's taken to it like the proverbial duck to the wet stuff. As for Mateo in his new contacts, I barely recognised him! He's really grown and filled out recently and is very much the young man. :-)

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  7. It's the good campo air, Perpetua - and all the fresh vegetables we've had to eat over the summer months! I'm just so grateful that my children can cope with change - heavens, we've thrown enough at them in the past few years - and seem to be thriving on it.
    It is a contented post and I do feel contented these days. I am looking forward to seeing how my days pan out once the children are at school...I have said I shall be a taxi driver but they haven't tested me much over the summer. Ruy is hoping to take up archery and for that, we'll have to get up every Saturday morning very early...but I promised!

    Hope the gardening is progressing nicely!
    Axxx

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    1. Thanks BtoB...it's so lovely to enjoy it all!!

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  9. Good luck to your lovely children! When it was our youngest son's turn to move up, the Big School considerately put the girls from our small village school in a class together & the boys together in another class. Unfortunately our son's name is Francis - and whoever sorted the sexes couldn't spell!

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    1. Thank you Nilly. Oh your poor boy! What a thing to happen... I assume it was quickly resolved, or did he enjoy his experience?
      Francis is one of my favourite names and I like it for boys or girls...but it's important that you get that bit right. (Couldn't have it for a Spanish child...Franthis sounds silly and Francisco (or Franthisco as they say here) is a bit of a mouthful...so is shortened to Paco.)

      Axxx

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  10. Just catching up here Annie. And gosh, yes, Mateo looks properly grown up. Good luck with all the changes ... often change is the thing you need even when you don't feel that it is and it sounds to me as if your family is more than ready for what's next :)

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    1. Thanks Annie. It remains to be seen if Mateo has grown up properly, of course...though on the whole, he's pretty wonderful!

      I think we need a bit of change now. It's been a long summer and we've all got rather lazy. The temperature has dropped by 10 degrees in the past week - most considerate - and the nights are definitely nippy again, so sleep is much easier. Yes, we're ready for a change.

      Axxx

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