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Now living in l'Olleria, south of Valencia

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

The Wedding Reception

Well, something always goes wrong at a wedding. My speciality was, I left the flowers for the main table behind!

I was almost at Penkridge, when I suddenly remembered them. But, had someone else taken them, or did I really need to go back? Unfortunately, the answer to that could only be gleaned by getting to the hotel first, and checking. Sure enough - no flowers. Oh well, thankfully, it is not to far between the 2 venues. This meant that my late return was after the bride and groom and everyone was waiting for me, so that the reception could officially start. (Sorry everybody)

The tables were beautifully laid out and the food was wonderful. The speeches were made and then everyone was able to relax and enjoy the party.

The Wedding Party in the Park

Adjacent to the reception venue (Hatherton Country House Hotel) is a beautiful park. It is, in fact an old burial ground, owned by the church, but they rent it out for 2 hour stints, for special occasions.

We were able to sit in the sunshine, and take lots of beautiful photos.

The Wedding

The weather was wonderful, if not a little too warm. As I arrived, with the bridesmaids, I was met by (son) Tim, looking wonderful in his usher's suit. I almost didn't recognise him.

It was lovely to see all of the people in the church. Many of Tim's family have been christened / married in this church, which is why it was so special to them. The vicar was lovely and the whole service a delight. It was especially nice, that many of the congregation were able to see the register being signed, as this was done in a side knave, rather than in a separate room.

As usual, afterwards, there was the photographer insisting on assorted groups for the photos. His assistant was often in the way (as usual) but was not unpleasant when everyone stood near him for the shots!

Once we got to the reception, we were lucky enpough to have access to a nearby area where we were able to take lots of more relaxed photos. The father of one of the bridesmaids takes many wedding photos and he took lots later on too.

The Wedding Preparations

On the morning of her wedding, Jessica went to the Body Shop to have her make-up done. We had also been the day before, for a practice run and lots of customers commented on how lovely she looked. The lady was really nice, and did her face with a beautiful fresh look. However, as we walked towards the shop, Jess joked that Tim might be in the barbers - I blocked her from the shop window, but, as we walked around a corner, Tim and his best man Stuart, walked towards us! Both Tim and Jess covered their eyes, and we all laughed as we walked by, without speaking to each other.

With her radient beauty, we then went to Jackies house - Tim's grandma. She was kind enough to hand over her house, for the girls to get ready. Tim's aunty Nici did Jessicas hair, as we chatted and watched, drinking bucks fizz. What a wonderful start to the day.

As the clocked ticked on, I suddenly realised that we were running out of time "come on girls, time to get dressed". The 3 bridesmaids got ready in one room, and Jessica in another. As I took her dress out of the bag, a tear ran down my face. Then, after a deep breath, I was able to help her step into the dress. However, as she turned around, and I started to lace her into it, tears simply poored from me. I had to keep stopping, and mopping up my face, leaving her half-dressed. I couldn't smile for the camera, as I was so emotional. I was so proud of her. She looked so lovely and she was so happy, and I was so glad to be able to share that special time with her.

The Hen Party

On 18th June, Jessica, Anna and I set off for Reading, in preparation of Jessica's Hen Pary. We stayed the night at Emma's student digs, and then, on Saturday, the four of us went to Thorpe Park.

Thank goodness for Jessica's passes! Free entry and 25% off our lunch bill! The first thing Jess and Emma did, was to go on one of the newt scarey rides 'Saw'. This has a vertical climb, followed by a drop that goes more than 180 degrees back on itself - Anna and I gave it a miss! We did, however, go on the Tidal Wave water ride and the Colusus ride and had a really good day out.

In the evening, we went out for a night on the town. After a false start, we had a fun night in two of the bars/clubs, finally falling into bed at some unearthly hour (actually, it wasn't too late, because we were so tired from the day out)!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010


Accommpanied by a guitar, many of us read out poems. Several of the classes read them out as a 'team effort' but not all.

We foreigners were encoured to read out poems in our native language, so that the spanish got a chance to hear something very different. A moroccan lady, Zahora, read out a lovely which evidently got quite lively. The guitarist was very inspirational keeping up with her. (Or maybe she just got overwhelmed, and rushed the last bit.) Janice read out a very clever one on how to write numbers, and I read out a poem about summer.

It was an entertaining way to spend a few hours, but I wish we had been given a little more notice, as it would have been nice to translate the poem into Spanish, even if it no longer rhymed.

It was lovely to see even the very shy people reading their poems out, even if they did have to hang onto their teachers to do it. One gentleman read a long poem out, that he had memorised, but unfortunately he got muddled up, and said one verse twice (he even started it a 3rd time) but couldn't remember the last one at all. He was very upset with himself, but I thought he had done extremely well.

End of School Year

As with many schools, as they break up for the summer holidays, we have a selection of events for everyone to attend. This varies from playing old fashioned games, to a visit to the local observatory.

On Monday, the events began. We joined in the festivities, although much of the talking was in Valenciano, making it a little difficult. The mayor was there (as usual) along with other officials, but this year, they only spoke for a short while.

After the speeches, there was a selection of food, prepared by students. There was a very strange selection, as everyone was encouraged to make anything. Needless to say, the majority of the food was 'dulces' cakes and other nice treats!

There was also an exhibition of some of the work carried out by students, such as sewing, painting, restoration work. Thankfully, this year, we didn't have to do a play!


This year, we have had 6 baby swallows again.

Initially, I thought there were only 4, as the others were hidden deep down in the nest. But, as they grew, I finally saw all of them.

Today, they have flown the nest. At first, only 3 of them went, leaving the others to be fed by the parents. The first ones out were very funny to watch, as they had trouble landing. Normally, they land on the phone cable, but these ones kept landing in the trees. However, it didn't take too lang, and they were soon swooping around, although not as confidently or acrobatically as the parents.

I went to take a photo of the last 3, sitting on the edge of the nest and just as I left, there was a flutter of wings, and they all flew past me. I think, they leant out of the nest to see where I had gone, and then fell out!

No doubt they will now spend the next few weeks being fed by their family, before heading off later in the year.

In spain, it is considered to be good luck, if swallows nest on your property, so we must be doing something right.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Umm, why...?

On the way home today (on the bike) I overtook a work-truck with some builders in it. I dropped in front of them behind another car, as I was aware that I was just on the speed limit, and they were just under it.

After a short time, they gained on me and came very close to the back of me. I couldn't understand it. Surely they weren't going to try and pass me? Whatever are they doing?!! I looked in my mirrors again, and saw that one of the passengers had a camera, and was taking a photo of me! Surely they didn't want a picture of my (f*t) behind? Then I remembered, I had my 'Shaun the Sheep' rucksack on, and they had obviously never seen anything like it before!

Poor Shaun. He has travelled many miles ~ I wonder if anyone else has done that before!

Day Trip

After an initial hiccup in the arrangements, John and I agreed to meet in Benidorm at 11am today. I set off a little later than I wanted and got terribly held up in some traffic, but in the end, I arrived at the Benidorm toll at about 11, so I was only a little late. As I paid, I heard another motorbike beeping. I turned around to look, and John was in the queue at the adjacent toll! Both of us arrived at the same place, at the same time after travelling such a long way - perfect. We even managed to park right next to the promenade on the Levante beach.

We had a nice brunch, and a stroll around before heading off to Guadalest. I was adamant that he see it, before going back to Sheffield! First of all, we went down to the reservoir, which I hadn't done before. It was a lovely view of the castle and the water looked very tempting too (but I don't think swimming is allowed!). We had a drink in the old town on top of the hill and John was very impressed with the buildings.

On the way back, we stopped for some fuel, where you have to pay first, before you can use the nozzles. I have come across this before, but John wasn't very impressed at all!! Many things are backwards in Spain, but this is one of the more peculiar ones.