Saturday, May 26, 2012

Morning Walk in El Hierro

I'm in the middle of one of my weekend escapes to El Hierro.

I woke up early and went for a lovely walk before breakfast, from El Pinar towards Las Playas and the Parador.  Not that I got all the way down to the Parador, because that would have meant hiking back up.  Besides, the path was very steep and slightly slippery, and nobody knew where I was.  Of course that meant that the view down towards the beach was amazing.

But the sunrise was amazing (and no, I haven't tweaked the colours with the computer), the light was beautiful, and the peace and birdsong did me good.

I've always loved aoniums (bejeque in Spanish) and the light on the big one by the dry stone wall was marvellous.

I think I walked for between 1.5 and 2 km before I turned back.  And on the way up, I found a tree root that looked a lot like a pipe fish.
When I got back tot he village, I felt I'd earned a bacon roll for breakfast.  Sadly, I forgot that the rolls on El Hierro are nearly twice the size of the rolls on La Palma, so it was rather a large breakfast, but I think I'd burned off most of the calories in advance.

I hope I get chance for another walk tomorrow.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Creative Friends

My friend Alba Molina has an exhibition of paintings up at El Alisio, along with Esteban Lorenzo and Juan Diego Villas├ín.  The exhibition is open from 4:40 - 8:30 pm, Monday - Friday, plus Saturdays from 10:30 am - 1 pm, until June 11th.

My friend Merche (another artist) now has her website up although it's still a work in progress.

Me friend and fellow writer Rosemary Kind has  a new website, Alfie Dog, where you can buy and download short stories from only 39p.

And now that I'm not teaching, I'm making steady progress on the guide book to the observatory.  I even had time for a walk on the beach.

Friday, May 11, 2012


I've given up the teaching job.  It didn't take up all that much time, maybe 5 hours a week, but that cut my writing time from about 7 hours a week to about 2. Not good.  Worse, I always had a corner of my mind on the look out for teaching ideas, instead of writing ideas. I wasn't getting any writing done at all.

Luckily my client had another, well-qualified teacher ready and able to take over, so I could get out of my mistake without damaging others or waiting months.


Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Warp speed 9 yet again.

It's been a mad week.

Friday last week I had a coach party from a cruise ship. They were a nice group, and I wasn't a particularly hard morning, but I felt enormously tired afterwards.  In fact, I suspect I had some sort of lurgy, because I went on feeling enormously tired and very cold all weekend.  Preparing English classes was enormously hard work.  Worse, I had an appointment to register as self employed on Monday morning, and I had to prepare photocopies of my passport, residency card, paperwork from the tax office and fill in a form written in Spanish legalese.  Worse still, we realised that Monday was the last day to get our son preferentially registered for senior high school.  That was obviously even more important, but the form was worse legalese and I wasn't sure what supporting documents we'd need.  So I took a photo of my son and printed out passport sized photos, and photocopies of everything they might conceivably demand (ID cards for all the family, health registration of our son, etc.).  My lovely sister-in-law translated the paperwork from gobledygook into Spanish and helped us fill it in.  Since I couldn't be in two places at once, my husband got the morning off work to deal with the school registration. I thought I had it all ready.

Actually, Monday was easier than expected, although we only had one car working.  We called in at our son's current school to get his school ID number, then my husband dropped me off at the Social Security offices.  To my astonishment, that actually went smoothly. And when I phoned up my husband, he said that he'd just got our son registered at his preferred high school.

Spanish paperwork doesn't usually go smoothly.

I had an astrotourism meeting on Monday afternoon, but I left halfway through because I was still feeling cold and tired.

On Tuesday I had to get up early.  I had to show a photographer around the Roque starting at 10:30, but because of the roadworks, I had to get there before 9 am or go the long way around. So I got there, and sat in the Residencia preparing my English class.

I had a great time with the photographer.  He was very interested, and I finally got to climb around parts of the huge GranTeCan that I've wanted to climb for years. But we finished very late.  I didn't get home until almost 6, so I missed the second astrotourism meeting too.

So now I just have classes to give.  That should be the easy bit.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Climbing around GTC

Most days, I rather enjoy tour guiding.  And then there's the days that I love!

This morning was one of the great days.  I got to show a photographer around the Herschel, Gran Telescopio Canarias and the MAGIC.  Even better, I finally got to clamber around parts of GTC that I've wanted to get to ever since my first visit there three years ago.  For example, I got onto the Nasmyth platforms for a close look at the instruments, and onto the higher balcony.

Now the road to the Roque gets closed for road works from 9 am to 2:30 pm, so I had to leave home before 8 am and I didn't get back until about 5:30 pm, but I took my laptop and got some writing done before I started, and it was well worth it.  I'm a very happy bunny.

Friday, May 04, 2012

May 4th

Another busy week.

It's been a busy week.

On Tuesday I went to see the friends in Franceses, go some exercise, and worked a bit on the Observatory book. Unfortunately when I got home, I found that I'd left my jacket behind (which was no big deal) with my phone in the pocket (which was rather more serious.)

On Wednesday I signed on with the tax office as self-employed, met the friends in Puntallana to retrieve my phone, and tried to sign on as self-employed at the Social Security office.  Only you need an appointment.  So I made an appointment.

Then I went home, had lunch, and gave the kitchen a much-needed scrub before a friend came round for tea.

And then I went down to Los Cancajos. I'm giving English classes again, in the offices of El Alisio, and I wanted to talk to the owner.

(If you're interested, it's mostly conversation, the classes are 8€ an hour, and we have groups for basic and intermediate level students.)

On Thursday I went to visit a friend on the other side of the island. Since she's an hour's drive away, I don't see nearly enough of her.  That was fun.  Then after lunch I went to visit the friend with the month-old baby and took photos of Fiesta de la Cruz on the way home.

And this morning I was tour guiding.

When I got home, I sat down with a magazine and a G&T for half an hour.