Happy New Year lovely readers. Hope you had a lovely Christmas and have had a good start to 2013, can’t believe it’s 2013 already, where do the years go?
So I left you last time asking for luck regarding taking the girls to PIN, the Christmas fairgound, and also to hope I have the Friday off for Santo Tomas, the festival of cider and talo (chorizo wrap basically) – well, good news, both events went very well! The Thursday (19th Dec) I spent the whole day at PIN and the girls behaved incredibly, I was actually very proud! Nevermind the second we get home they were at each others throats… no no, I can deal with that in the house but out in public is much more difficult – so I was over the moon they behaved so well! They decided we should take it in turns to choose what ride to go on; me first, then Ines then Sofi etc (guessing it was age related), and we’d eat at a certain time and place and all go to the toilets together, no separating etc. Worked very well! We spent about 5hours in this huge place and came out exhausted. In fact it was the girls who asked ‘can we go home now?’ I was happy because I got my face painted, Ines was pleased with her stuffed horse toy she won and Sofi was all excited after going on the dodgems four times in a row. All in all a good day.
The next day was the day I regressed to a 19year old and behaved most inappropriately. Nah, not really. But I did endure 12hours of drinking cider and by the end of it I was so grateful Javi was with me because I couldn’t walk or talk and I don’t remember being able to see things either… despicable I know. But you know, well, it was a lot of fun, and hey, you only live once and all that. So I met Eder and Lucil at 12 and we went into town to begin the festivities. Eder was brilliant entertainment, barking at us when we poured slightly more than the 1cm serving you’re supposed to pour cider at here. Roughly fifteen minutes after we arrived at all the brightly lit stalls selling cider by the bottle and talo and other food and souvenirs, the three of us were soaked (yep, in cider) and starving already. So you sample the talo, obviously. Phwoar was it good. And big. We wandered around with the other thousands (I honestly don’t think I’m exaggerating) of people and I finally found this bar I’d been to once in Casco Viejo that does wonderful mushroom pintxos. I’d had trouble finding it again but a few bottles of cider and I remembered the way. Later Javi found us and then some of his work colleagues and usual friends I know joined us – the rest is history really. We got back home to Javi’s about midnight and I am told I passed out within seconds of the front door closing. Brilliant day.
So the next day we went to Sansan, yay! I should have felt ten times worse than I did, but I merely had a headache and got more and more tired as the day went on, but the excitement of having Javi accompany me to Sansan (finally) where we spent the day with the Nana and the Hoopers and Tohers (too many names there) kept me awake until we got on the bus back to Bilbao – then I had the right to konk out. Javi too. Was really nice to see those lot before going back to the UK for Christmas. Sunday that’s exactly what I did and Javi’s brother-from-another-mother Jorge drove me to the airport which was mighty nice of him. I was a little apprehensive of the flight as we’d had weather warnings regarding the strong winds here in Spain recently, but luckily it was completely smooth and turbulence free, phew.
I won’t go into too much detail about my Christmas visit as most of you who read this are the people I spent it with, so you know anyway, but I’ll outline my days. My wonderful Nan and Grandad picked me up from the airport as usual as they live so close and I stayed at theirs for the Sunday night (and bored them with all 834 of my photos so far of Spain) and then Dad and Luke picked me up on the Monday, Christmas Eve, to deliver me to the Garden of England. I spent the next 10 days in various houses: Dad and Katie’s in Maidstone, Mum’s in Medway, Gemma’s in Winchester. Along with lots of day visits of course – I squeezed in drinks with one of my oldest friends Antony, an afternoon with primary school friend Del and the kids, an afternoon with Alex putting the world to rights, lots of long dog walks with Ciddy, a lovely dinner up London with lots of people from various places in my life, girly time with stepmum Katie, pub lunch with Mum and the cousin Belen, and MANY Christmas dinners and silly games with all sorts of sides of the family, oh and meeting Dad’s new kitten Bond – what a guy. By New Year’s Eve I was a little sick with a cold so I barely saw midnight but we shared some wine and paxaran at Dad’s to see the new year in. I was happily exhausted by the end of my 10 day ‘holiday.’ Oh and I managed to squeeze in an eyebrow wax literally in the last few hours of being in the country haha… nearly a mistake though, had a different girl to normal and I neglected to remember that the current ‘fashion’is big and bold and odd shapes aka hideous. I got away with it though, she could have provoked The Rage (which hasn’t risen it’s ugly head since I’ve come to Spain) but luckily she didn’t do them too bad. No one has noticed anyway so that’s fine… close call.
Javi picked me up from the aiport which was WONDERFUL as I’d missed him quite a bit you know. Yeah yeah, gag gag gag. I did feel like I was coming home too, which I’m hoping is a sign I will make a life here. That was a bit deep, but I think you get the idea. I was promptly presented with a shiny set of keys to Javi’s flat! Well well! Lovely! Was rather happy about this but, if Javi isn’t just trying to be cool, it’s purely for convenience, i.e. if I forget something or if I want to go home earlier or later than him when we’re together at the weekend. Alright. Ok. Whatever man, I was overwhelmed! Hehee. So my first day back in Getxo I spent 1.5hours with Ana’s sister doing conversational english. Apparently when she came up from Madrid for Christmas on the 23rd she’d asked if I’d be interested in giving her classes and then I buggered off to England. Woops. Well, we did four classes over the next four days and I did not have a CLUE how much to charge. She asked me numerous times what my ‘rate’ was and I was like, err, can I consult my friends first then get back to you on that one? After lots of completely different suggestions from various people I said 20-25 per 1.5hours and in the last class she gave me 100 euros, so I was chuffed with that. We just walked and talked and drank tea basically, but I do need to stop putting myself down. Although that’s what it felt like to me, it was incredibly useful to her as she goes to Miami frequently for work and needed to improve her English for meetings etc. So yeah, that was rather nice to get some cash as soon as I got home! Thursday 3rd Jan I came back to the house and saw the girls for the first time – God they were excited, which was both flattering and adorable. They opened their presents from me (they’d been waiting for me) and I opened mine (which I did not expect) – a nice top and necklace from Zara. The Friday I was with the girls all day and we spent a good two hours on the beach, see pics, was an absolutely perfect day weatherwise – blue sky, no clouds, sun blaring, cold but the sun did have some strength. On the Saturday just gone I had the 3rd class with Marta and also the 1.5hours with the kids upstairs – wasn’t quite sure how it’d work but I did the two classes back to back while Javi had lunch with his parents and then we met back up after so was fine. And more cash! It’s amusing how you think you’re rich if you have a 20euro note in your purse when you’re an au pair. Ha. That evening we (Javi and friends) watched the Christmas 3 Kings parade in the street where they literally lob hard-boiled sweets at kids – was quite funny. Not for too long though, those sweets can crack glasses you know. This was when I met Javi’s friends’ new little baby boy, Alvaro, he’s only a few weeks old and gorgeous, so tiny. Sunday Javi and me spent the day in Plentzia – again, a perfect, sunny, crisp day, got some nice photos.
Oh I forgot, the girls got a Wii for Christmas including Just Dance 4, the fit board and everything and we are all LOVING it. They’ve never had anything like it before and I’m all for encouraging them on the Dance, it’s simply the best game ever. They have asked Ana if Javi can come and play on Friday so if he’s free for a couple of hours, I think we might all be in for some laughs. Going on from the Wii and dancing, I have seriously started this week to be healthy, eat less and better, and exercise more. Now, for the moment, any exercise I do is great because I don’t normally do any here (baaah I miss my gym round the corner in London!) but this week I have attempted a run (holding off with that now as this cold is hanging on and I got a bit wheezy), power-walked 7.5km and done 2 workout videos at home. That’s in 3 days. Doesn’t sound a lot but trust me, it is better than my previous efforts. And, thanks to Alex, from next week I am going to attempt the Insanity Workout – Google it. It’s a 60 day programme, one hour a day, guarantees huge results. And I believe it, not because of the crazy before and after pictures or the ‘guarantee’ blahblahblah, but because an hour of these hardcore workouts really is guaranteed to do something to my body – I tell you, it’s like military training, but stuff you can actually do (or work up to haha) so yeah, come Monday I will begin! Really am going to try to keep the motivation to do it EVERY day and no excuses. Shall blog about it no doubt.
So where are we… oh right, that brings us up to today, hooray! Well, tomorrow I am meeting a friend to speak only Spanish which I’m looking forward to, and Friday meeting Lucil for what I know will be a long catch up. Then Friday night I think Wii Dance with Javi and the girls hehee – will be great. To be honest if he doesn’t come I’m always happy to play that game anyway so roll on. Sometimes I am glad I don’t have Fridays off – saves me a hell of a lot of money and now we have the Wii for entertainment anyway, wop wop! Javi and I are in the process of picking a weekend to go off somewhere, just local, like Burgos and Vitoria. I need to start exploring but unfortunately money is a vice, but now I have some cash from classes and am trying to network and get some more teaching work to bring in more pennies. Oo oo, Ana has said that I can go on holiday with them to Cadiz when they go for a month in summer, how kind and lovely is that! If you don’t quite understand the big deal, it’s because my ‘contract’ ends when the girls finish school and then what happens is the family go off on holiday and then get the next au pair the next September. They’ve never taken another au pair away before, so of course I was flattered. That’s the significance. I promised Sofi that if I can I will come visit her in August in Cadiz because it’s her birthday. I fully intend to. Would be a great reunion!
I’m not sure if I hold my fingers in a funny way when I type as they are aching considerably but luckily I have reached the end of this second mammoth update. So to conclude, New Years Resolutions for 2013 are as follows:
> Become fluent in Spanish
> Eat healthier and less
> Exercise/INSANITY workout every single day
> Get a job and see as much as possible
> Blog more regularly (new addition)
So I have come to the end, as I said, hope you enjoyed and are not too sleepy after reading. Hasta ahora!