Casa Rosales

Casa Rosales

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Another last post

My pleasure in the new, in the next and in moving on is at its height today. It's our last day in our rented house - it's been a good one for us and I will not knock it now as we're leaving.

Tomorrow, we start loading the van with big stuff. A lot of the smaller stuff, we've been moving in to our new home over the past week. My clothes hang in the wardrobe. My jam is in the cupboard. The children have their books and games in their own space.

We'll find out whether our bed fits tomorrow. And whether we can get the lounge window open in order to squeeze our huge sofa in. We don't know how long before we have telephone and internet connection...hence this post.

I leave you for a little while with some random images I captured last night as we felt that at last, our new home was getting ready to receive us - and the signs that we've packed up our temporary one.

A change of clothes, a trumpet, a mattress on the floor. 

Our famous bedframe; bookcase. Mirror belongs to the house.

Ruy - you've left a poster on the wall! And CLEAR YOUR DESK!!

Mateo's dreamcatcher. 
And possibly the best tortilla I've ever made - almost a rival to Cesar's cousin, Ruth's. So proud. It's a good sign.

Off we go to start our new life in Casa Rosales - a house with a bit of history, I'm pleased to report....more of which will be as soon as possible.


Saturday, 23 March 2013

Tut tut, it looks like rain...

I love Winnie the Pooh. I love the part in the story where he disguises himself as a little black rain cloud in a cunning plot to steal honey from the bees. And I love that Christopher Robin is asked to walk up and down with an umbrella to emphasise the likelihood of rain falling from that little cloud. 

Last night, we drove to Granada airport - the sweetest little place with stunning views of the Sierra, if that sounds quite right for the description of an airport - to collect FR from his trip to France. He's had an exciting and exhausting time there, dashing between Rouen, Paris and Beauvais. They saw the first night of Edward Bond's play 'Existence', in French, performed at the theatre in the Louvre and for the first time in several years, FR spent time with Bond himself. The group he was with had first met last year in Budapest and at some point in the future, they will all meet in Spain. As I am the 'Administration Team' for FR's company, I will have to organise the event. But we'll deal with that one when it gets a little closer! 

I was thinking about Winne the Pooh. We've booked a van to remove all our things for Wednesday this week. FR is at Villalobos with a plumber right now, sorting out the boiler and sorting out a couple of piping issues (so I can get my dishwasher plumbed in as soon as possible!) So it's all happening. (That's not meant to sound like I didn't believe it before....) 

I am pretty sure that our bed will NOT go up the stairs to our bedroom. We have a large iron bedframe whose top and bottom is almost five feet high and there is no way that the clearance up the stairs is big enough....hmmm...I posted this problem on Facebook this morning and had two very sensible answers. One, buy a new bed. Two, change our bedroom window to french windows, put a balcony and take the bed frame in through that. I like both options. In the meantime, we'll put the mattress on slats and sleep on the floor....

I checked the weather forecast (getting to the point at last and sincerely hoping that my sister is herself far too busy to be reading my blog again) and it says rain. I did a visual check....

And I know that many of you in the UK are suffering from too much weather - particularly of the white, cold and slippery sort so I'm not complaining. Even if it rains, I know it won't last long.

Oh look, another cloud!

Off to pack up my kitchen now. Though may just walk the dog before the deluge arrives.....

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Where are you?

You are here...

I love this little map. I love that just now, I logged onto look at any comments you kind people had left me and as my little map was twirling round, I saw I had a visitor from my home town of Bradford.

Can't explain how very happy that made me!

We talk about a small world. Why, if you waved, I could SEE you!

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

In trouble...

The old-fashioned kind. The one where your mum catches you doing something you shouldn't. And gives you a telling off.

Fortunately, my mum has given up doing things like that to me these days. However, my sister hasn't.

She had told me she didn't read my blog much but sod's law has it that she read recently. She saw that I was blogging when I should have been packing. Eeek - I got a bent ear. She was tempted to let rip in the comments box but refrained - (shame, I'm sure you'd have enjoyed it..) but she gave me what for over SKYPE.

Everytime we've moved house recently, she's helped out. She knows I am sitting here - typing - when all around me are things that need packing in boxes, things that need throwing out, things that need dismantling. She knows. She's right.

She told me some home truths and said I must show her on SKYPE video what I have done and what I haven't. So don't tell her I'm writing now. I'm going to start work just as soon as I've had my coffee. But I just needed to register how silly it all seems.

This is how it should be done!

Now I must go before my sister sees this and tells me off again. (Though the bottom line is that I really don't manage too well without her.....)

Thursday, 14 March 2013

To blog or not to blog

That really is the question at the moment.

I SHOULDN'T be blogging because I have a backlog of things to do - but here I am. I just need to unburden myself a little and realise that blogging really helps me to do that. I'm sure that once I've hit the 'publish' button, I find the space to see what needs to be done next.

As you may be aware, we've found a house after a long time looking. We're able to start moving our things in as from now even though we're not moving properly until the end of the month. This means no mad dash last minute pressure to get out of our current home. However, I'm finding that the lack of pressure for me means that motivation is low. I've packed a few boxes and sorted a few bits out here and there but I need to do it in a more concentrated way. Believe it or not, I've spent more time reading up on how it SHOULD be done on the internet than doing it. And I've moved house enough times myself to have the knowledge already. But I'm definitely employing avoidance tactics. Get a grip, woman! Yes, yes, OK. I will. I will.

You may also know that I make chocolates...and this is one of the busiest times for a chocolatier, however small her enterprise might be. I made about a dozen eggs to take to the local English shop, where I sell my chocolates. I was really surprised to find that most of them have sold and I've had orders for another 9. I'm delighted, of course, but dismayed because I have so little time left to make them and also to prepare for the stall I've booked at the Saturday Market. That's this Saturday.

And my teaching? Well, it's exam week so I've been preparing texts and tests and reading through topics that have been submitted for the summer exams. The students are tired, that's clear, but my youngest class is soaking up their language learning like the proverbial sponge. I am constantly delighted when they demonstrate that their ability to put each week's learning together into longer and more complex sentences. On Monday, we'd been looking at vocabulary about buildings in towns and had a little town map showing where different places were. The preposition we were working on was 'next to' and I was asking questions like, 'Where's the swimming pool'  in order to get the answer, 'It's next to the school' - just imagine my delight when one bright spark gave me the answer, then said, 'Or - in front of the park; or opposite the cinema; or behind the supermarket!' And he set the standard for all the others - who followed with equal detail. Yey!!!!

So, today, for the first time in at least a week or more, the sun is shining and all seems much more settled in the outside world. I think I have a plan for the day. First hour - milk chocolate eggs. Then, walk the dog in the sunshine; next, dark chocolate eggs; next, empty the hall bookcase; next, make lunch; next, prepare for my classes this afternoon; next, collect children from school; next, teach; next; pack one of the lounge bookcases; next, another milk chocolate egg session and packing of the mornings eggs. It's a plan - an ambitious one but a plan.

And what is FR doing all this time? I wouldn't even like to start on his itinerary - it's as crammed as mine and includes going to a conference in France for five days on Sunday....though of course, this arrangement is my secret weapon in getting organised! When he returns on Friday, all will be sorted. Probably.

Enough procrastination, onwards and onwards again. As the Bard said, 'In delay there lies no plenty'. I know, I know. (But how true the following cartoon feels!!)

Thanks to Dave Walker.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

What do you do...

at 5am when you can't sleep?

For years after I had my children, I would be creeping round the house at between 3 and 4 in the morning - unable to sleep til around 6. The last hour in bed often brought wonderful sleep with amazing dreams and I never felt I suffered because of lack of sleep.

Then, since moving to Spain, I seem to have grown out of this habit. I often wake at the same time but drift off without the need for a prowl. Tonight has been an exception and I'm down here now, with an active dwarf hamster (did I mention we now only have one? Technically speaking that is; this one carries the remains of her sister inside....that was a traumatic day. I can't really recommend having two hamsters...)

I have a lot on my mind. And we've had a few anxious moments but seem back on track again. It will be fine. I'm not just saying that.

But what I do when I'm prowling in the wee hours is to make a cup of nice, weak tea - preferably Lady Grey, but I've run out of that - and a sandwich. And my sandwich of choice is banana and Marmite on granary bread. I'm not alone in enjoying this particular combination - though I suspect we are a small and select bunch - and found this lovely write up on The Lady Bites blog.

And it's working its magic. I feel grounded again; safe; warm-tummied and yes, just a bit sleepy. Thank goodness it's Saturday and Mateo will take Darwin out in the morning...

Looking forward to a few sweet dreams now.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Taking aim

Whilst FR stayed at home to collect 'the keys' (yes, we have them now!!) the rest of us went off to the Santa Rita Natural Park Visitors' Centre. On our fossil hunting expedition a couple of weeks ago, I noticed that another activity they had organised was an Archery course. Mateo had tried this when he was in England and had enjoyed it, so I booked for him to take part - and of course, Ruy and Romy wanted to have a go too.

Today was the day and it was quite a chilly one. I packed some sandwiches and some of my special hot chocolate and off we set. And we had a great time.

Explaining the different types of ...pointy ends....
One with a very point end!

Manuel had the group of children and he was a great teacher

Marking the distance to the target

Ruy - the left-hander - receiving his first instructions

Romy's turn

Take aim

Mateo the archer

Not bad for a first attempt

Getting the hang 

and looking the part

Who scored the bull's eye?

Yes, Ruy!

As my feet had turned to absolute stone after four hours being supportive and appreciative - which I was, the time absolutely flew by (no pun intended) - and the session drew to an end, I had to insist that we left. I couldn't believe how much my children had enjoyed the morning. I had a go and fired three arrows, after which my fingers hurt so much I couldn't have done more. Obviously I hadn't captured the technique but all three of mine absolutely looked the part. Ruy was exceptional and Manuel, the teacher, has given me his number to see if Ruy could join the club that meets in Priego de Cordoba on Sunday mornings. It's a long way to go so we'll have to see... But one of the other tutors on the course had been the Spanish champion for two years running, so he would get some excellent support if he went. Some of the other tutors on the day used their archery skills for hunting and they demonstrated some scarily accurate and lethal weapons for this purpose.

When we got home, we had a delicious roast dinner awaiting us and we were absolutely ravenous. And, of course, the keys to our new home. That story will commence shortly.

For now, we're just addressing that target, finding the nocking point and setting the right trajectory. Archery -  and its Zen qualities - is an excellent metaphor for starting out in a new home. And I do so like to think I could take the following approach to moving....

“Don't think of what you have to do, don't consider how to carry it out!" he exclaimed.
 "The shot will only go smoothly when it takes the archer himself by surprise".   

from 'Zen in the Art of Archery' by Eugen Herrigel

(but somehow, I'm not sure...)