Sunday, December 28, 2008

Holy Innocents Day

Today is Holy Innocents Day, which is the Spanish equivalent of April Fool's Day. Last year I got my friends in Franceses This year they got me.

They came to visit on Christmas day, and poor Theresa got stung by a wasp, just below her eye. Of course it's a terrible place to get stung, and it swelled up like she'd been thumped by Mike Tyson.

So when I phoned up today and asked how she was, Helen couldn't resist it. She said the swelling was worse, and the eyeball itself had a faint tinge of green. I was just about to offer to drop everything and translate at the hospital when Helen got the giggles, and said, "Happy 28th, Sheila."

So now I can stop feeling guilty about last year.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Muddle Christmas

First there was the job at short notice. Then there was the flu. Then there was the cough that wouldn't let me sleep properly.

As a result, Christmas preparations got done as I flew by various shops, without any proper overall planning.

And amazingly, it pretty much worked. True, there was almost no butter for the brandy sauce, so I made it with a little olive oil and added a lot of cream and it wasn't bad. I even got chance to pop out and see the tall ships in town.

The only really bad thing that happened was poor Theresa got stung by a wasp, just beneath her eye. Of course it swelled up until she couldn't wear her glasses and hurt like mad.

And now I seem to be having a relapse of the flu. I've spent most of the day in bed.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


The rest of the working week passed in a blur. I finished checking the books on the shelves against the inventory and started on the huge pile of books to add to the database and then shelve. I've done 152 so far and there's maybe 3,000 to go.

It didn't help that I've got a heavy cold, which I think is the one my son had last week.

But last night was the Christmas party in the Three Chimneys restaurant. I was a little disappointed to find out that it wasn't traditional turkey this year, but the steak was delicious. Even so, the best bit was the company. I spent most of the evening chatting to people I've worked with years ago and not seen lately, since I'm rather isolated up on the sixth floor. and the rest of the time I spent getting to know some of the new faces.

It was well worth the hangover in the morning.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

An Unusual Tree

Agarve flower stalk made into a Christmas tree.

I'm getting a little more organised. Over the weekend I managed to get the last of the Christmas cards in the post and to cook industrial quantities of lentils and chicken stew, so I've got ready meals in the freezer.

Last night I managed to get to yoga. Only three students turned up, so the teacher asked what we wanted to do. I said, "Relaxation," since my head was buzzing with everything I need to get done. The other two said, "Stretching."

So of course we did stretching. But since it was rather cold, it had to be energetic stretching to warm us up. And since the other two are far more advanced than I am, a lot of it was stuff I couldn't do at all. And boy did I ache this morning!

On the other hand, it reminded me that I used to have almost that much trouble with stuff I can do now, so obviously I've made more progress than I realised. I'm now merely very bad at yoga, instead of absolutely terrible.

The Christmas decorations are up in Santa Cruz, and most of the villages too. I particularly liked this Christmas "tree" outside a shop on the main street in Santa Cruz. It's made from the dead flower stalk of an agarve plant.

Agarve flower.

Friday, December 12, 2008

About nine years ago I knitted a cardigan for my son, using brightly coloured odds and ends. It took ages, because it was thin wool, but it was a great success. when he grew out of it, I couldn't bear to leave it in a drawer until he moths got it, so I gave it away to a younger child. Some time later, I heard she'd grown out of it and passed it on to her younger brother.

And now I hear that little Sam's inherited it - the sixth child to enjoy my knitting. Obviously all the mothers have taken very great care of it, or it would never have lasted so long.

And after Sam, maybe I'll put it away and wait for a grandchild. Maybe.

I'd really hate the moths to get it.

The Temporary Librarian

I'm shattered, even though I've only been at work for three days now. Less than that actually. At midday yesterday my son had to be collected from school with flu, so that was the end of work for Thursday, and I was late in this morning because I had to wait for my friends to arrive to look after the poor kid, so I worked until 7 pm to compensate. So far all I've done is to put the books on the shelves back in order and check about a third of them against the printout from the database. It's frustrating. I keep seeing fascinating books like, "Where are all the aliens?" and "The nerd's revenge," and I don't have time to read any of them.

Once I've finished checking the existing library, I'll be adding the books in this pile, plus the ones behind the camera. I think there's somewhere between 2-3000 of them altogether, which should keep me out of mischief for a bit.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Gainful employment

I've been offered a temporary job starting tomorrow. It's working in the observatory library, mostly adding books to the database and putting them on the shelves.

Saturday, December 06, 2008