Saturday, 31 December 2016

Things I (officially) want for 20!7

☆ Design my own postcard collection and sell it somewhere. (And make my own ink and paper and send it to a friend.)

☆ Learn more French.

☆ Be able to play at least two pieces on the harp well without looking at the scores.

☆ Update my wardrobe into a more elegant composition, of which one should be a dress with 3D flowers. I might make it myself.

☆ Continue making the world a better place.

☆ Visit Portugal and Andorra.

☆ Find a research project/topic that will [get attention and] be useful for further debates on the matter. If all this can change the world to the better, the better.

And for the world:
☆ We need a new perspective on wars. Wars are obviously no longer a fight with where it is clear who the opponents are, WHERE they are and what everybody involved wants. We don't need as much military personnel as smart ways and structures to welcome and help refugees, and I see few countries as role models in receiving refugees. And if we cannot handle the big migration wave because our counties lack a system for this, then act in the ways you can. Help to identify the problems that made them flee and help to mend that. Talk in schools about what the situation of the refugees is like with real life examples. Talk about it on TV and the radio to make more people involved and to stay up to date; that media doesn't report on it doesn't mean that refugees stopped coming and that everything is fine. Don't stop reporting as long as the situation doesn't improve, and keep improving it. Together. 

Friday, 30 December 2016

Roadtrippin'

 Cuenca.
 La Granja. 
Toledo 
and tonight Segovia. Happy new year in advance!

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

A little bit of yesterday.

Insurance meeting, ringing the door bell of a friend's friend's girlfriend to give her a birthday gift, returning and buying a shelf - and then a quick lunch at one of my favourite burger places in town. They still insist on having cold bread and fries are not hooray, but the rest is nice AND they offer caffeine free Coca-Cola. 
 Then I came home to Christmasy postcards. Silvia suggested I could imagine the red flowers are Santa Clauses. Bless the imagination, regardless of the season. 
 Then I called Pepe, who wanted to go for a walk. The walk started by tea and cookies, then a car tour to see the oldest almond tree in town, then a car tour to have dinner. 
 I got lots of inspiration for food I could make myself - not related to this at all. The least common denominator would be that both dishes are tasty.
 It was getting colder, and driving further up the mountains, to Bullas, made the temperature drop from 8 to 1.5 degrees. 
 Which is very good to practice before the trip I am starting tomorrow, to a place that might not get warmer than 3 degrees. 
In Bullas, we met with the producer of this wine - they make about 10,000 bottles per year - and talked about everything, till the clock struck past midnight and it was her birthday :)

Monday, 26 December 2016

List of stuff from 2016

What I did but had never done before:
Took harp classes. In French. My fingertips are getting a harder skin now and I am getting better at reading scores.

Attended a Spanish wedding. And I wanted to go to one for a very long time! How I got invited is a very nice story, I can tell you when we meet.

Saw a Spanish monologue at the theatre. Without knowing enough Spanish, but it was a great actor and I met the crew behind the whole thing: I went with them to the theatre by car and helped them to put together the things on the stage afterwards.

Saw a comet. Unplanned and sudden and very, very nice. Looks like a luminiscent movement of a paintbrush that dissolves into thin air, leaving you in an amazed state, wondering what just happened.

Almost designed my own dress.
Turns out that the parts on prom dresses seem to be "just wrapping fabrics" are the hardest to make.

Recorded a song I had written the lyrics and notes to.
The composing took ten minutes altogether, the recording and practicing several hours - for a song that is 44 seconds.

Wrote more postcards and letters in a year than ever before. I really have to make my own international card collection now, it is indeed time for that.

Rented a house just for me.
And built up two gardens, at the inner yard and on the terrace. (This does not mean that all plants survived). Decorated indoors with prints and outdoors with colourful bars. The view is both mountains at a distance and cute houses everywhere. So cool to have a house: more places where to lose your belongings, but also better insight into how architecture and housing engineering works.

Countries visited:
The Netherlands (Amsterdam)
Germany (Berlin and Potsdam)
Spain (Murcia, Madrid, Alicante, Málaga, Granada, Cartagena, Caravaca de la cruz, Granada, La Manga, Los Alcazares, San Javier and some more) 

How did the goals for 2016 go?
I started playing the harp, learned some Spanish (I abandoned Arabic quite early, which was a vague plan initially). I didn't even think of the art exhibition properly, but was creative in many other ways. I did go to unvisited countries! But did not start to write the essay for a competition - I am contemplating interesting topics still, and write many other kinds of texts. As for my wishes for the world - nurses still have low salaries and economic bubbles still not gone.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

A Spanish Wedding in December.

Let me also introduce: my new camera, at your service! Well. The instruction manual is long and time short, so some photos are not PURE joy, but image it as if you were there and enjoyed the moment more than the lens.
We gathered in a small village near Cartagena. A "morning wedding" here means that is will not be very cold and the dresscode directs dressess to be short(er).
 The church was perfectly small, you could see everybody except the choir and vice versa. Ceremony quite similar to the Swedish. My favourite part was when the couple's friends brought various objects to the altar: an actual keyboard "for good communication", and "for humour", the red noses of a clown.
 At the exit, one could pick a golden bag with rice from two baskets. 
 Mucha suerte! 
 The pre-reception took place at a place known as the botanical garden.
 In the middle of everything, on the lawn, a lady was cutting a huge ham and a mister frying eggs that were served directly. And look, tables with our names! I was seated at mesa 11, spelled as Iana. 
Then we went inside for a lunch that would last for surely three hours. Followed by a dinner, followed by a barbecue.
On my left was a young woman with great future plans.
"El novio, el novio..." but then the others stand up: "La novia, la novia..!"
I of course didn't sit still for all those hours. I explored the area and found out that there was room for two more simultaneous wedding celebrations. 
Actually, let's have a better look at my dress. It matches my eyes very well.
A Medieval fairy with a mermaid's shell handbag. Dragonfly green meets algae, no?
 
"Sea shadow", maybe.
More of the wedding guests walked around. Love men that are dressed up.
And back to indoors! Here is another lady's bag. Many bonus points for looking capacious - most party bags were invented before the size of a mobile phone became established standard.
The groom's youngest sister also had her 23rd birthday this very day, so the couple celebrated her with cake. Good photo, no? You will never recognize them in town and yet have a clue about how lovely the circumstances were.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Sent! Received!

No, I take it back. Letters from Spain might take 3 days to arrive abroad (within Europe), but postcards can also be lost. Louise is my least luckily receiver. 2/3 of what I sent went missing. I shall start photograph it all as a backup. A sent photo of a sent postcard, a new paradox!..
Feliz Navidad as a puzzle to some old colleagues. 
Inside: detailed information about the Nobel festivities you will not find on the news!
And Swedish stamps I have not seen before.
The fellow teachers and the headmistress from my school in Cehegín suddenly wished me a Merry Christmas with a golden bird :)
Sun, blue sky and a glimpse of a Casino. All in Murcia, sent to a snowy, cold Stockholm to cheer people up.
 A jungle that actually fit in an envelope.
Big square in Madrid I have visited and two towers I have passed by. The other cities, Toledo and Segovia  (by the way - similar to the fictional name Genovia in the Princess Diary movies), are in prospect.
Hello from a cabin in Slovenia.
Neigh from Sweden.
And some Christmas antigravity.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

"What do you want for Christmas?" "Tjernobyl."

Or a baby, a bird and Playstation 4. If you ask the kids. Tjernobyl is probably not exactly what you think it is - it is the name of a game where you PREVENT explosions. 

Monday, 19 December 2016

...and then the floodings came

So glad to have come to this part of Spain. They have mini monsoons here - it rains rarely, but when it does, red alerts can happen. Some schools have cancelled all classes as you have to cross outdoor pools to enter, roads can be covered with uknown amounts of water and teachers can't come (depth is hard to predict when it just looks like a lake) and electricity can be gone from time to time. Thunder is frequent. Garages underground become dangerous, because they can be filled with the water rinning down. And I find it all very exciting! This photo is from Thursday, when the rain just started off a little. 

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Kids do

A Christmas ant.

Photos of animals get pink glittery stickers on their eyes, because "they are popstars".

I am a walking advertisement for the teacher profession, no? :)



Wednesday, 14 December 2016

The importance of a weekend.

 In Sweden, you strongly deviate from society if you don't ask your fellow people about their weekend. With this in mind, my colleagues (the men) giggle and pose this very question. This is what I didn't tell them: the visit to Totana.
 The discovery of a nice building composition and the temporary tinnitus caused by harp playing. 
 That some of the leaves where I live look like sweets.
 That this cool pendant, which is a gift, can be length adjusted.
That I bought a Christmas tree. In this shop, they had trees with roots, so it might survive years ahead. We'll see about that. I dressed my tree at home, took a few steps back and realised that this is a really stupid tradition. I will not have a tree the coming years, methink. Still love them all glittery in shops, though. 
 My firstly observed walnut tree.
 Orange eye candy.
 About one month more, and this sort will be at its best.
 Countryside house.
 But though they seem to be plenty, buyers wouldn't touch these:
 they are considered too few for a street market. 
 Well, more orange juice for the owner! 
 This is how mice eat almonds.
Squirrels take a big bite, split the nut in two and so long.