Casa Rosales

Casa Rosales

Saturday 26 June 2010

Moving on..

We've booked a removal van, we've booked our ferry crossing to Spain, we are going on 4th August.  Where to in Spain is still not quite confirmed but we've got 5 weeks to sort it and Cesar is off next week to go check out our options, pay deposits and finalise arrangements at the Spanish end. It's very exciting.
And in the meantime, yesterday was my birthday, today is our 9th wedding anniversary - what a lovely day we had nine years ago - next week is Cesar's birthday and the week after that is Mateo's. Then another week or so of school.. then finished for the children.
This week, Cesar has started clearing out the garage - though from the picture it's hard to see just how much he's done!

The house arrangements remain flexible - I still feel we could find a buyer before we go - it only takes the right one to come. I guess eventually, we might have to rent it out for a period, which would be better than it being empty over the winter. But I really do remain optimistic.

Today is Ruy and Romy's school summer fair and we are going in a little while to throw wet sponges at the poor teachers there, who give and give and then have to take and take! It's a glorious day but very hot so plenty of suntan lotion and hats all round.

I am feeling very nostalgic because I spent the day yesterday with a friend I haven't seen for 6 years, whose own life could fill a book and probably should, and with whom I spent a lot of time in my late twenties and early thirties - pre-Cesar and children - when we did countless wild and really rather wonderful things. Helen is a woman who deserves several medals - and who is dealing with her increasing blindness with more courage, humour and sense than most people deal with headaches. I am sure this comes from her incredible 'inner vision' and empathy and intelligence. But she's a naughty, naughty girl and extremely funny!! 

Sunday 20 June 2010

Don't panic, don't panic!

OK, I feel like panicking but I am trying very hard not to.  We've had a silly offer on the house - totally unacceptable - after weeks of waiting for a decision. I don't know if they will come back with an improvement but there is too big a gap between their offer was and what we would accept for it to be filled this time. And whilst I thought I wasn't counting on it, I find now, that deep down - I was!! Big sigh and preparation for starting all over again with fingers crossed for the right viewer to come soon.

In the meantime, FR and I have been trying very hard to decide on the best way of getting our things over to Spain - we have both been very trying, particularly to each other! And now we've decided to do it the least troublesome way, which is to get someone to bring a big van, load everything in and take it to Spain for us. You might wonder why there was any discussion... you don't want to hear the many different ways we COULD move!! (Or who it was that was coming up with them.) Anyhow, I know we've made the right decision in the end. Without wanting to risk tempting fate and although I haven't actually booked the ferry yet, I feel I should commit to saying that we are planning to leave the country on 4th August.... I can't tell you how scary it is to actually write it down, but I feel I must. As I said in an earlier blog, as an ENFP and an activist, I really just want to get on with it!  I will now need to accept those offers of help from my friends who are good at packing because I think I am pretty rubbish at it. Mateo and I have spent all day going 'aw, look at this' and 'hey, remember when you did that' as we've started to clear some of his things up. I'd forgotten just how prolific his drawing has been - tomorrow, I will have to photograph some of his creations as they are really superb. But he is as bad as I am at clearing things out.

FR is going back to Spain on 1st July to finalise arrangements for renting. We decided we'd feel better if he did that because we do want to be in La Urz, but need to know that the family will be OK there, of course. The alternative would be to either go to Valladolid and stay at FR's parent's house - where there is room and we know what it would be like - or to start over looking for rented accommodation as near La Urz as we could find. There is very little available in the village, so if the house that Israel has found us is OK then that will be excellent. It does feel a bit like we're about to jump into a very big void and not know exactly where we'll land. Interestingly, it's only Romy who is asking me difficult questions about 'what will happen' as Mateo and Ruy seem to be accepting of the situation. Romy does want to know quite a lot of detail!
Must stop - am extremely tired and despite the house situation - at both ends of our plans - I am optimistic for the coming weeks and looking forward more and more to our starting out in Spain.

Sunday 13 June 2010

Feeling tranquil

Cesar has just left with the children to go to the cinema to see 'How to train your dragon' - a book Mateo has read many times and was last heard muttering in inimitable Mateo-style that a film can't be as good as a book but he'd go anyway.

And I am left in utter peace for about 2 hours and then, joy of joys, I am going for a wonderful session at Titanic Spa, which is based in converted mill in Linthwaite. I was bought a voucher for this pleasure almost a year ago by my lovely work colleagues when it was my 50th birthday. We celebrated on the day by going to the Temujin in Milnsbridge, which is a Mongolian-style restaurant, again in a converted mill - there are lots of these in Huddersfield obviously - and where some very spectacular stir-frying goes on! We went there again on my leaving do, so fond memories being 'stirred'. Both of these were lovely evenings, though I think the meal out that will forever stick in my memory is when we went into Bradford to the Mumtaz and laughed so much it almost hurt. Despite not having drunk a drop of alcohol as none is served here, we were all as giddy and giggly as it's possible to be without obvious cause. And whilst the story of the chicken and the egg may potentially feature as another posting...(or may be not) ... it is now permanently linked to the Mumtaz in my memory.

So today, I am in reminiscent mood again and will continue to think of all my lovely colleagues as I relax in style this afternoon. 

Friday 11 June 2010

Corners of my garden.

Well, I got my lovely new camera and now I need to practice using it. So far, I've only had my rather scruffy garden to try out. These are some little corners of it.

My old watering can - and yes, it has a hole in the bottom and is of no practical use whatsoever!

First cut of the new chainsaw.

We've had this tree stump seat for ages and it will be going to Spain with us too!

Spider's web highlighted by wood dust rather than raindrops. (Chainsaw)

My only flowering geranium so far this year..

Clematis in amongst the apple tree.

And finally, not a corner but one of my favourite little people often found in the garden. Wearing a rather nice cardigan I note, which used to be mine until my husband decided to do the washing one day.....sigh, at least she looks gorgeous in it! Taken with old camera and I think you can just about tell...?

Oh, and I have a new layout - please let me know what you think!

Tuesday 8 June 2010

Only about 7 weeks to go...

I have started packing today - putting all winter things and all clothes that are still for Ruy to 'grow into' (poor lamb is always dressed in hand-me-downs but always looks a million dollars) - and have labelled my suitcases so I know what is where when I need them. I've sorted all Mateo's clothes out, all mine, most of Ruy's and some of Romy's. I will be culling FR's appalling hoardings very shortly but need him to be out of the house. He is hopeless at throwing things away and has been known to 'rescue' things from the recycle bin and the dustbin that I thought I might have managed to dispose of.  I have two big bags for our local charity shop and a few things I will be putting on eBay in a couple of weeks. Oh gosh, such a lot to do and time is starting to slip away!
Did I mention we haven't yet sold our house? We haven't but I am remaining optimistic that we'll get an irresistible offer at the eleventh hour - which isn't until the middle of July.
I am awaiting delivery of a new camera!! Should be here tomorrow and then I will be snapping anything and everything. Hopefully it will prove that my old camera was not up to taking good shots, rather than the person behind the camera.... if so, then it's time for some practice.

In the meantime, here is a photo of my latest domestic skill revival ....knitting. Here are two woollen buffs in some gorgeous Japanese wool by Noro which is a delight to knit.

I had intended to knit a scarf to start with but decided that a buff was a much better idea - finished in half the time and just a little bit different!

Thursday 3 June 2010


No - I'm not sad. Sad means unhappy or feeling weary or down; dark-hued or sombre. I made a cake the other day which was 'sad' in the middle - I don't know how widely this term is used now but when I was little, my granny used to make 'sad cake' (on purpose, I hasten to add, unlike the one I made!) which meant that it was heavy and a bit uncooked in the middle - often you'll see a cake that is unrisen at the centre - I can guarantee it will be a bit 'sad'.  If you know the term, you may find it a bit strange that when I went to University in London, this use of the word was completely unknown. I didn't find this out by baking cakes or eating other people's cakes.
No, I found this out by reading 'Beowulf', an epic Anglo-Saxon tale written some time between the 8th and 11th Century. I was studying Anglo-Saxon as part of my English Lit. degree - which I did really badly in but that's another story - and as a result, I have vague memories only of the story and what happened. Very briefly, the King of the Danes and his 'warrior-princes'  (who spend their time drinking and raising a bit of havoc around - putting me in mind of a programme I saw last night called 'When Boris met Dave') take it badly when a monster creature called Grendel starts attacking them. Beowulf is called in to help and he has a fight with Grendel, during which Grendel loses an arm. Grendel then runs home to his mum complaining bitterly and his mum rolls up her sleeves and sets off to the castle to take issue with Beowulf and the Danish court.  After that, I'm afraid I don't remember... but I liked the concept of the Anglo-Saxon monster having to call in his mum to help.
Now - where was I with 'sad'. During our discussions - probably in seminars - it came up that the warriors had suffered so many attacks from Grendel before Beowulf came on the scene because they always had dreadful hangovers from too much wine and revelry - and the description used in the text was 'win-sad' - meaning 'wine-sated'; heavy with wine; sodden with wine - you get the picture. And at that point, as one of the few Northerners in the group, I was able to provide an example of where a word has continued in its old usage for many a century at a local rather than national level via my Granny's sad cake.
However, I will have to work at my cake because it was not meant to be sad - it just was!