Wednesday, 1 July 2009

A diverse day indeed!

Today was a real mixture. After the hottest night on record, (meaning that despite my managing to turn the computer off and actually try to go to sleep by about 1.30am - the earliest yet - I was still awake at about 4, drenched!), I was up and ready for brain usage at 11!

Debbie came and we designed her business cards, fighting with the confusing mess that is Word 2007! That thing is so NOT self-explanatory. During the course of talking about work opportunities, we somehow came up with a plan to provide English lessons by phone, cunningly disguised as phone sex, but in the voice of HM The Queen!!! Don't ask!

We finally made it out to lunch at 4. One of the restaurants in the local square had a Menu del Dia (menu of the day) for €10.50. Bargain(ish) for 3 courses, drink and coffee. Having stumbled our way around the menu for a bit, we realised that we just couldn't work out what was meat, fish or veggie on the main courses (needless to say, actually none of them were veggie!). My Spanish wasn't quite up to the job with the waiter, so he called out the "English speaking waitress". Her English ran to "fish" and "ice cream"!!! Still, I ended up with a very tasty gazpacho, with my own tray of finely chopped veg to throw in if I wanted it, a huge ciabatta style roll with olive oil, then asparagus and mayo with salad, then ice cream. Very nice it was too. However, time seems to fly past here and before I knew it, it was time to run off to my first lesson of the day (6pm - how civilised!)

My lesson with Nacho was......weird! As these lessons tend to, we went off on a tangent from the original conversation topic (something to do with carrying ID) onto the death penalty, people corresponding with death row inmates and then (via a tenuous link to the Spanish word for a habitual criminal) onto "kinky sex". God, how do I get myself into these things? If anyone looks at our scribblings on a piece of paper from the lesson, they'll see it degenerate from sentence, through "time off for good behaviour", judge, incarceration, "doing time", down to kinky, depraved, paedophile, bestiality. So much for the very innocent "link the noun to the adjective" game I'd had planned!

Normal service was resumed with Jaime's lesson. It's his 40th birthday tomorrow so, in what I now understand to be Spanish tradition, he gave me a cake and a drink. Well, a can of diet Coke and a doughnut! How sweet! I gave him a card which confused him as the Spanish don't do birthday cards.

And so I'm back in the hotter-than-hell flat, supposedly doing lesson plans for tomorrow but finding far too many distractions, as usual!!!

Well, there's always maƱana!!

Monday, 29 June 2009

Separated at birth?

I think I met my long-lost twin this evening.

I went to the weekly meetup/intercambio at The Quiet Man and not long after arriving, I was introduced to Maddie, an Irish girl who has been living in Madrid for over 3 years.

Somehow we got to chatting about sport, and discovered that we both play tennis and badminton.

While discussing the best method for transporting a tennis racquet on a plane, I mentioned wanting to bring my guitar here. It turned out that she sings and plays the guitar. As do I.

She organised public carol singing for charity 2 years in a row in Madrid. I told her that I used to organise the same kind of thing in the UK, under the giant Xmas tree at Gatwick Airport.

Her previous job was at Dublin Airport.

My paternal grandfather was brought up in Limerick Junction, Ireland, less than 2 miles from where she was born.

Needless to say, we have swapped mobile numbers! though they turned out to be very different!

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Lazy Sunday Afternoon

....I've got no time for worries! Etc etc.

Aaaand, relax. It's been one of those Sundays. Got up at 12 (ish!). Chatted on the net. Made a huge briam. Blitzed the flat (try not to die of shock, Sid). Yes, I even hoovered! And cleaned cupboards. Maybe I'm ill.

It's cool and quiet outside, I have nothing I really have to do. Lesson plans are in my head. Sorted my photos. Tweaked my CV a bit and emailed it to a mate who offered to improve it. She sure as hell can't make it worse!

Enjoying investigating a Help Exchange website with a view to finding something to do for at least a fortnight in August, if they're not all full ( Very tempted by 2 of them so I'll email and keep my fingers crossed.

I think Sundays sound the same the world over. Even in places where most things are open, and people are at work, there's a sound (or is it a lack of sound?) that just says "It's Sunday".

But it's nearly time not to be quite so lazy. I need to energise myself ready for The Quiet Man tonight - not least if I actually plan to speak some Spanish this week! Hmm, maybe I should study some verbs. Not a very Sunday-ey thing to do though, is it? Nah, I'll have another cup of tea and contemplate my navel a bit longer. "Waking up is so very hard to do."