137 – A Strange Week

I’ve never been one for the nine-to-five. And fortunately, I guess I’ve never really had to do it. Journalism involved some quite strange hours, as did provincial and touring theatre. Campaigning for the rights of community care service-users and attending late-night Council meetings continued the irregularity, as did freelance training. But retirement? That should be a whole lot more straightforward. You’d think. Continue reading

130 – A Village Christmas

Poco a poco, paso por paso ….  Little by little, step by step.  Each Christmas and New Year in a new country represents another step forward in learning about and understanding my new environment.  The first Christmas day here, I went to a lovely English-run bar for turkey and all the English trimmings.  The second, I stayed with an English friend in a Spanish hotel, and we had a traditional Spanish Christmas Eve dinner AND a traditional English Christmas Day lunch!  Followed by a German-style enormous buffet meal that evening!  This year, Christmas number three, was a strange mixture of Spanish, Argentinian and English traditions at home. Continue reading

128 – That Time of Year

128-lights1There’s never enough time in December.  It’s as though the whole month is given over to preparing  for Christmas, cooking for Christmas, shopping for Christmas, pre-Christmas gatherings, visiting Christmas lights, visiting Christmas nativity scenes, and generally focussing around Christmas. Continue reading

127 – After the Exam

Mostly, the whole experience of doing exams is almost forty years behind me.  And the Spanish GCSE, taken in 2011 at Poole Adult Education Centre, was a walk in the park.  But this DELE Spanish exam is no joke.  It’s the internationally accepted standard, so they have to be rigorous.  I wrote last week about the oral exam in “Testing Times”.  Two days later we all returned to Málaca Institute for the main ordeal, three more exams – reading comprehension, listening comprehension, and writing. Continue reading

124 – Season of Mist and Matanza

124-fire Autumn has blown in with a vengeance.  After a balmy October, the wind and the rains of November led to a rush to the wood suppliers, searching in bottom drawers for the warmer duvet, and random jabbing at the air-conditioning controls to work out how to change it to heating. Continue reading

121 – Walking Under The Moon

121-MoonTree“Un Sendero Nocturno”.   A night-time walk.  It had sounded beautiful.   A relaxed stroll in the moonlight, chatting with 30 friends and neighbours.  Starting from the next village, Casabermeja, and wandering gently up to Torre Zambra, an old Moorish lookout point and beacon, under the bright light of the October full moon, to be followed by a meal in a bar.  Lovely. Continue reading