Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Birthday Weekend

Last weekend was not only my Birthday weekend - I reached the grand old age of 28 - but was also, rather awesomely, 4 days long. Thanks to the fact that we don´t work on Fridays and that Monday 12th was a holiday here in Spain for some reason or another, I had plenty of time to relax and enjoy myself.

Our first guests at our new flat arrived on Friday - my old school friend Dom and his Lithuanian girlfriend Justinia - and we quickly dashed to IKEA to buy a couple more chairs so we´d all have somewhere to sit. There had hitch-hiked and bussed their way to us from Braganza in Portugal where her sister is studying, and it was really nice to host them for a couple of days. A night out together on Friday featured all our favourite haunts - El Gato in Pueblo Nuevo, La Solea Flamenco Bar in La Latina and Choclateria San Gines - punctuated with in-depth political discussions; Dom and I have similar masters degrees (International Development and International Relations respectively) but different views. As Kate and I largely agree with each other in the political sphere our conversations on the subject rarely challenge us to justify our views, whereas Dom and I were still good-naturedly going at it when we dropped them at the airport on Sunday morning!

In between we hosted our first fiesta at our new flat, inviting a few friends over for drinks and tapas on Saturday night - I wanted to avoid the hideous Spanish tradition of the person whose birthday it is having to pay for everything - to warm the flat up. Rather stupidly we completely neglected to take any photos. Kate gave me a series of useful presents; shirts, a juicer and a hand blender - though she rather hilariously decided to start things off with a couple of kilos of oranges which left me rather perplexed, until the next present provided the rationale. A wonderful bottle of Venezuelan Rum from David and Nataly, some very fine wine from Cesar and Belen, a bottle of port from Dom and Justinia and some lovely scented stuff from Jero and Jose has helped make our flat even more homely.

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