Thursday, 9 December 2010

Water on the bridge - by Theo

Spain seems to have no end of "Puentes", or 'bridge' weekends, where a holiday during the week means that people invariably take the workday off to extend their weekend. Last weekend was a particularly long one with Constitution Day (Dec 6th) falling on the Monday and the Day of the Immaculate Conception falling on the Thursday (Dec 8th), hence meaning some people effectively got a 5 day weekend! Not me - I had to work the Saturday and Tuesday - but I'm not really complaining. It was, however, an extremely wet weekend, the rain bucketing it down, and hence we spent most of it indoors.

On Sunday we entertained our Senegalese friends, Prince and Ibrahima. Rosie has met the brothers several times before, though of course she has no memory, but after a bit of staring she quickly relaxed and had a great time with them, as you can see!

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We first met them in our Spanish class, and although we communicate now in Spanish it's embarrassing how much better they are than us considering we've been learning for the same amount of time. They also speak about 4 other languages, although not English. Ibrahima plays football for 1st division youth team (Las Rosas), so we're hoping to go and watch when he plays Real Madrid - should be something!

The following day, Monday, we headed out to San Sebastian de los Reyes, to Belen and Cesar's, where we were joined by David and Nataly (David, as ever managing to stay out of the photos.)

Belen cooked us a delicious veggie paella and Rosie had a fab time attempting to eat their rug, Cesar's pointy Moroccan slippers and Nataly's hair. She seemed particularly enamored with Nataly, permitting herself to be cuddled, which she almost never does with us.
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I elected to do the afternoon buggy nap, but miraculously the rain clouds stayed over the town, while I walked Rosie around the park laid out on the outskirts - very strange and fortuitous!

Tuesday night, after a relatively quiet set of classes - many students were away - it was our staff party - bowling and drinking. To do full justice to both my colleagues and the evening will require another blog, but suffice to say I stumbled home at 4.30am rather worse for wear. Kate, lovely, gorgeous, sensitive woman she is, let me lie in until 11.30am, though I still woke tired, hungover and really, really pleased I'd invited friends for both lunch and tea!! What a good idea of mine! Hence I found myself pretty quickly in kitchen cooking lunch when I really wanted to be lying in bed feeling sorry for myself.

In the end though it was a lovely lunch, with Jon and his new girlfriend Sophie, who seems charming and mercifully happy to speak English - I was in no state to attempt Spanish! They even brought pudding. I did the afternoon nap with Rosie which went some way to helping to clear my head, and then I got back to have tea with our photographer friend Anne (who had been invited to lunch but had declined on dietary grounds) to round off our very sociable, if very damp puente.

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