Lonely Weekend

Two days without Internet and two boys in my living room playing on the Playstation has meant a lonely Kitey. 

On Friday, the living room was rather chaotic with papers strewn all over the floor in a state not dissimilar to that which I found myself at university when that time came round to hurriedly rush off two thousand five hundred words the day before the “beautiful” essay was to be delivered to the HQ of the department of modern languages.  Except this time, it was considerably less exciting work to be handed in.  This was for monthly school reports. 

On arriving home from work, I found the flat mysteriously empty with the light still on in the living room and the balcony door wide open.  About 15 minutes later, there walks in two boys laden with shopping: crisps, chocolate, pop corn and chocolate filled pastries.   An hour later and there arrived another boy to join the Playstation festivites, thus leaving Kitey to start reading the copy of An Introduction to English Pronunciation that the boss has lent me. 

When you read a book describing English Pronuciation, especially one that openly admits it is describing the Received Pronunciation variety of English, it is wise to not start thinging bad things about the book when it tells you “This is how English people speak.”  I had to go through the drills speaking with an RP (or as near to as I can master) accent and it was very difficult not to laugh when it said that the “w” sound in tower is being increasingly pronounced as tar.  All I could do was think of “The Worst Weak of my Life’s Alison Steadman calling “Howard!” in this particularly “posh” accent compared to my “uneducated” northern accent.  It is an interesting read so far, helping me to understand things I have previously been aware of but not really known the mechanics for, such as the ways we say “little” pronouncing the “ttle” with the sides of the tongue.

Saturday morning saw me waking at the unearthly hour of nine o’clock after some caffeine-induced difficulties in sleeping.  The reason was that I had to attend a talk on Cambridge PET and FCE exams (although I don’t teach FCE).  Needless to say, it was very informative and left me feeling more clued up than I had been feeling previously.

Afterwards, my colleague and I had tapas in a bar, one of which I chose was the salmorejo, which was delicious.  I’m going to try to make it myself as I’ve been told it’s very easy.  I’ll let you know how that goes.    As this is the first time I’ve been out with a work colleague in this new job, it felt a bit “new” for both of us.  As it turns out, we have some of the same interests, like painting.  She said she knows a bead shop in Cadiz and so she’s going to show it to me.  I love beads.  When I have the time, one of my favourite things is to sit down and make earrings and necklaces from beads and wire. 

When I came home, I had a well-deserved (or so I think!) siesta.  Well, I am in Spain!  Later, with nothing to do and no Internet connection, I spent some time revising Portuguese basics with my Hugo Portuguese in Three Months.  Of course I have a higher level, but I’ve forgotten so much through never using it, so it is useful to flick through a short course such as Hugo to reacquaint myself with the conversation Portuguese that has gone on a long voyage to the back of my brain.  I decided that I’d make some colourful vocab cards and have five envelopes, one for each day.  With a small set of cards, I can quickly go through them in a ten minute break at work or even on the bus.  It takes time to make the cards, but after that, the cards are an unintrusive way of keeping the words in your mind on busy days.

Today, I woke up very late and started reading Sense and Sensibility in Spanish.  I think Jane Austen in Spanish is the way forward, as the content is interesting enough to help you overcome any language difficulties in the text.  I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into it properly on the wintery afternoons during the build-up to Christmas with hot chocolate in my Scouserware mug.  I need ways to make Spain christmassy.  The truth is, much as people rave about sunshine, I’m a winter gal, and I always will be.  I love winters in the build up to Christmas.  I love walks in the crisp winter air.  I love drinking tea and coffee in wintery cafes with burning open fires and colourful paintings on the wall.  I love chocolate cake and carrot cake.  I love piping hot roast dinners.  I love wrapping up to go outside in the chill.  I love wintery films.  I love Christmas shopping.  I love….oh I love….. and since I associate all that with Inglaterra, I’m left with no choice but to winterfy or christmasify the whole of Cadiz.  Single-handedly.  And I will!

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3 Responses to “Lonely Weekend”

  1. Ceri Jones Says:

    Good luck with the winterifying! Takes some doing 😉
    Ceri

  2. crazykites Says:

    I take it you’ve tried, then?

  3. johnnytownmouse Says:

    Really really great Spanish book:

    La Tregua by Mario Benedetti

    Actually, he’s from Uruguay I think, but it’s written in Spanish of course and it’s SUCH a good book. I won’t tell you too much about it because I don’t want to spoil it but it has this point where you just get chills because it’s so unexpected. Read it!! It’s not too long and it’s so so good!

    I found in Spain there were lots of chestnuts roasted on the street: small moment of Christmas?

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