Tuesday, February 21, 2012

It is not pancake day, you are mistaken.

What really is carnival? I know it's the big party and parade and dancing and stuff they do big in Brazil, but for me here it seems to mean people in fancy dress and adding feathers to any art project. Last week was Valetine's themed, this week carnaval, no wonder I've practically missed Pancake Day!

So I've decided to postpone Pancake Day to the weekend. It's one of my favourite days of the year, honestly, I think sometimes I prefer it to my birthday. So, seeing as I'm moving into my new flat on Friday (!!!) it will be a good start to New Stuff of 2012 to make a huge batch of pancakes. Providing the cooker works, and I can find kitchen equipment... damn I'd forgotten about that, I don't have any bowls, forks, pans or anything and my flatmate isn't moving in until Monday! I don't have a bed either, which maybe should be more of a worry. Hmmm. I just don't have much time before Friday to sort out any of this, and I have no money either, which is going to be fairly restrictive. But I got the keys today, there is electricity (though no lightbulbs) and a new washing machine and a front door doorknob will be fitted this week. Woohoo!
Need to get packing...

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Things that make me happy.

Things that make me happy:

When D brings in sugar paper money to our little class and gives me some.
When I see the bus coming as I'm crossing the road to the bus stop.
It being light and almost sunny when I leave for work on a Saturday morning.
The prospect of not having to do my lunchtime class anymore.

Things that don't:

The gas running out when I'm in the shower and having shampoo in my hair, and having to go outside onto the balcony, at 6:50, at minus 3 degrees, to change the canister.
Teaching my lunchtime class every Monday and Wednesday until the next teacher starts.
Having to go outside another morning, this time at 7:45, to swap the boiler back onto the full canister of gas so I can shower, because someone took it off the night before.
The difficulty of finding real turpentine.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


My memory is faulty. I proudly told someone yesterday that when we went out on Saturday i didn't spend too much money because we drank at the party then didn't buy anything at the place. Lies! I had forgotten, so honest lies, but oh dear, how selective my brain is.
I've just been reminded about not only the fact that I had a drink but that I accidentally drank someone else's (mine had a lemon in, hers didn't), and also- shocking that I forgot really- that someone pushed me!

For no reason, a girl just pushed me hard from behind on the dance floor. I was not bumping into her, I wasn't looking at her, I wasn't even dancing obnoxiously, I was, as my friend put it, just kind of swaying. So she pushed me and I almost fell and I'm pretty sure we gave her hell for it. Why are people needlessly aggressive towards me?! I try my hardest not to be an idiot foreigner but I'm clearly failing- remember the El Tigre incident?!

So far all the anger comes from the girls; the only trouble any boy gave me was that he kept trying to hold my hand, sneakily, from behind while we were dancing back-to-back, separately in 2 separate circles, which I thought was weird. It was as if he thought we were having a secret affair behind our friends' backs, but we definitely weren't.

If anything else is revealed to me I'll let you know.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Blues, the good type

On Thursday night I went with some friends to see a blues band at La Coquette*, and it was so good! I hadn't seen any live music for ages, and now I want to be a musician again. It happens every time, that and fancying the moustached band members. The band were great, but I can't remember what they're called! Definitely want to go back, it had a really nice atmosphere.

Did I tell you I'm moving house? Pretty sure I did. I'm imagining where all our stuff will go, what to bring over from Scotland to make it really feel like home, what bedclothes to buy in IKEA, etc... and keep forgetting that priority #1 is a mattress. At first I thought I'll need to buy a whole bed, but-  it can't be that hard to build a bed, can it? We'll see.

I wish there was a better rugby pub in Madrid, or that I could magically hop back to Scotland for each game. The one I was in today has staff who are like greedy hawks, as soon as your glass is half empty you can feel their 'buy another or get out' thoughts boring into your skull. Though if we had won I'm sure I wouldn't care! A try is a try at least.

Last night I went to a house party with the girls I work with at one of my many jobs. The flat was amazing, it has one of those showers that have jets that come from the sides, I was tempted to just get in right then. But it was odd because I think there was one Spaniard, one Brazilian, and the rest of us were Brits. It was the most English speakers all together I've seen in ages! And unexpectedly, I wasn't bothered. (At Christmas when I went to the pub i had to be dragged away, talking at top speed at anyone who looked at me, like I had too many English words to fit in my head.) Instead of being sociable we gossiped amongst ourselves and drank. For some reason recently I've been straying from my usual rum and drinking gin, or in this case, vodka I had leftover from another night. No more. Rum is my friend, it doesn't make me fall asleep in taxis or feel rough the next day. Vodka, unless you are caramel flavoured, I do not want you. Gin- you are nice but you make me fuzzy and almost immediately headachey. No thank you.

Anyway we went from the party to Rock and Roll Radio Club at Alonso Martinez and that was Fun. They played loads of old music and we danced our thick socks off. (It's freezing here at the moment, I am getting through lots of socks washing from layering them up.) I eventually left to get a taxi just before 6, and luckily the driver had a decent memory when i told him my address because I promptly fell asleep until he woke me, parked right outside my door. I hope I wasn't speaking or snoring. Lucky for me he was a nice taxi man and the meter only said 9 euros something so it's evident he didn't cruise around running up the charges while I slept. Thanks taxi man!

I watched Breakfast at Tiffany's today to soothe my hangover, it is so lovely.


Now I'm writing this while I wait for Glee to load. Maybe by midnight I'll get around to doing the things that I've written in my diary to do since Tuesday.

*La Coquette, number 14 on Calle de las Hileras.
I want a bath sofa!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Fizzy fizzy, good karma please!

Oh I AM TIRED but still fizzing a bit with nervous energy- I just did my movement class, that I normally do two lunchtimes a week, as a show for parents. So, picture me in my lovely p.e. kit and with Siberian wind-slapped red cheeks. Picture a big primary school basement gym with a green floor, with benches around the edges and big dance-studio style mirrors on two walls. One cd player, some foam coloured stars, a book, and a bag of scarves. Then add 15 tired Spanish children at the end of a long week and various family members, coats and wooly hats.

To be fair it went quite well, the parents on benches provided a barrier between the kids and the mats and jumping-horse thing, and some of them told their kids off when they were ignoring me. I found A Lot of nervous energy and jumped around like a maniac to the songs and tried not to make eye contact with the adults in the room. I tried to pretend they weren't there.
Because I was so hyper and the kids couldn't run so far away we got through the class in about a third of the time it normally takes, so maybe now the parents think they aren't getting their money's worth... maybe they'll stop sending their kids to class, that'd be nice.

Big sigh of relief that's over!

And, I don't want to jinx it, but we saw a niiiiiice flat today that I would very much like to live in, and we have to wait to Monday to hear if they'll take us with just one month's worth of deposit. Fingers crossed please, and I'll be building up as much good karma as possible this weekend. If I owe you a favour, now is the time to cash it in.

It's meant to be- we'd met to go for a walk around, looking for flats with 'to let' signs on, and stopped outside one with a browned old sign on and were phoning the number just in case. A woman stopped outside the door just then and was looking for her keys. No answer on the phone and we both thought, let's ask her if she knows anything, and lo and behold she was the woman! She let us in to see the flat right then and miraculously it turned out to be nice, with massive wardrobes and balconies with plant-pots and big blue inside shutters and not too far out of budget! So, I'll let you know on Monday if I'm extremely happy and packing or crying, gutted. x