Collect moments, not things

Spain, you really are more wonderful than I thought! I’ve been fortunate enough in my life to have visited Spain many times before on family holidays and with friends, but this year I’m discovering there is a lot more to Spain than the sun (which has finally returned, keeping my fingers crossed) and the sandy beaches. The truth is I love exploring new places and travelling, for me it’s an important thing in life. I love disconnecting from busy life and escaping to a new place. I also love new adventures and finding things off the beaten track, there are lots of magical things in this world to see. Life is short and the world is wide.

These past 2 weekends I have made the most of having friends also on their year abroad. Last weekend I went to Granada and I fell in love. I was able to be a real tourist by going to visit Alhambra. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen and it truly captured my heart. It also made great photographs on such a sunny summer feeling day. It wasn’t just the Alhambra that took my breath away,Granada as a city was incredible, although I still don’t understand why it’s called ‘pomegranate’ when there aren’t any pomegranates in Granada. My friend and I made the most of international food options and went to an all your can eat Chinese restaurant, one day I’ll learn that just because it called ‘buffet libre’ doesn’t mean I have to try and eat everything 😂. We also went to the Nevada shopping centre, I love shopping but sometimes, like any young girl, I buy a little too many! I loved Granada so much that I didn’t want to come back to Lucena, I could’ve lived in Granada quite happily, but of course I secretly love Lucena.

Granada was such a dream that I thought i wouldn’t find any other Spanish city that I loved as much. I was wrong. This weekend I’ve been in Cadiz to see another friend. I really love being able to see friends whilst I’m here in Spain, people who I can be completely myself with and have a genuine catch-up with. Also, both of these friends are also language assistants so it’s nice to compare stories and have a laugh over funny stories we have; there’s always something new with teaching  and no day is ever the same. Thank you for each having a unique character that makes each day new and exciting, you really are helping to make my experience in Spain a lot better!! 😌 please don’t become rebels anytime soon!!

I’ve been to cadiz twice before, I went in June when my dad and I came to see what Lucena was like. I decided to go for a solo day trip to Cadiz. That trip wasn’t very successful because I got off at the wrong train station far away from the city centre and nearly missed my train home, but mishaps make stories eeey! I also went back in October to see my friend then, and we spent lots of time on the beach and talking about how being abroad is actually really hard. It’s nice to see how much my friend has achieved and how she’s built a new life in Cadiz since I last saw her. Unfortunately the weather this weekend has been awful, there was no beach opportunity, I nearly got blown away with the strong winds. We decided to explore a new place. We went to Puerto de Santa María. When we first arrived, there wasn’t anything interesting to do, so we went to Aldi, it was very exciting and brought back university memories. But eventually we found the tourism office and discovered there were things to do. We went into the cathedral, saw the castle and a palace. It was a really cute place and I would definitely visit again. My favourite part about Cadiz was being able to see the sea. I love the sea, it’s such a calming place and I love the sound of the sea.

I hope all of you have had the most amazing weekends too, and enjoying the sunshine! I’m sure a lot of you are enjoying Araceli’s pilgrimage down the mountain.

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Friendships are like 4 leaf clovers: hard to find but lucky to have! 🍀☘️

I thought I would write a little about friendships for you all. The truth is that whilst I am here in Spain I really miss all of my friends from back home in the UK. I am fortunate because i have an amazing group of friends from all over the UK. I have met these people throughout my life; some at university through dance, some through charity work and some on my course. But i also have friends that I have grown up with, we’ve been through a lot together.

I have 4 best friends at home and they are really amazing and special people in my life. They always support me, have my back no matter what and make me laugh. They’re the people I can cry and laugh with, they’re with me through the fantastic times and the tough times. I’m not sure what I would do without my friends, they’re the family we get to choose! 💕

I’m also very lucky to have made some great friends whilst being here in Spain, I didn’t expect to meet so many super lovely people, and for that I’m very grateful. I think we meet people in our life for a reason and some of them become some of your best friends when you least expect it. It’s great having new friends from different countries, of different ages and with different interests because I have learnt lots of new things, been given some amazing life advice and enjoyed myself. I’m lucky that I can make friends in new places, but as my dad always said to me: ‘you attract the people you want to attract and if you’re nice to people they’ll be nice back, kindness gets your a long way in life.’ I think friendships are about fining people you click with and feel comfortable around.

I think friendships are one of the most important things to have in life, and I’ve learnt this a lot more recently! Friends are the people you can argue with and fall out with but then realise you can’t live without and everything always goes back to normal. They are people that inspire you every day and know more than you do about yourself and your life. They are something that need to be cherished, because although I like alone time, my friends make the world a better place. What do you think makes a good friend? Do you think friendships are important?

As I am getting older I realise that true friends will always stick by you and that it’s more about quality than quantity!

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Life back in ‘sunny’ Spain

Well, where do I begin? It has been 2 full weeks since I have been back in Spain permanently. Firstly, I would just like to thank you for making me feel welcome upon my return; I have kept the poster you have made me in a very special place.


Thanks to you all because Wow!! Spain, sadly you haven’t been as good to me! I am going to be a stereotypical British person now and talk about the weather; in England we always talk about weather a) if you don’t have anything else to talk about b) to fill awkward silences and c) because some British people like to moan. WHat has happened to that summer feeling I was expecting? I thought Spain was supposed to be tropical and sunny? I thought this would be the year I would finally get a tan (Sadly I am not blessed with skin that has a sun kissed glow) but it appears this will not be the year. I appreciate that the rain makes me feel like I am at home in England, but I would really like to not have to worry about my umbrella turning upside down or whether I can make it to school without getting completely soaked. The rain even stopped some of Semana Santa’s processions, but at least the sun came out for a few days that week. I definitely took advantage of the sun with my mum and sister. We went to Malaga beach, enjoyed a sunny Cordoba and walked up the Sierra de Araceli. What do you think about this weather? Anyways, at least it means I can play some of my all time favourite songs ‘Umbrella by Rhianna’, ‘It’s raining men by the weather girls’ ‘ Rain by The Script’  and ‘set fire to the rain by Adele’  (There are some recommendations should you want to brush up on that weather vocabulary). But believe it or not, here are some positives to this awful weather and it is always important to look on the bright side of life. The countryside is beautiful and very green. It reminds me of home because I live near lots of green English countryside and the river Thames: I actually miss seeing water. Another benefit is that now when a sign says ‘rio’, there is actually a river there. Also, it makes you appreciate those sunny days a lot more.

Well, I am sure this lovely weather will fb be here very shortly, and then I will probably moan about the heat because it is too hot and still an unacceptable temperature to wear shorts 😛 when do you think it will get warm again? What do you do when the weather is bad?!

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OUR GERMAN FRIENDS FROM VERL

Our German friends have received our letters; look at their happy faces! We are looking forward to seeing them next October.

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CHRISTMAS IN THE UK

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

There is something about this time of year that I love. It’s the time to be happy about everything and anything. Or as a great song would say ‘it’s the most wonderful time of the year’ It is a chance to appreciate the people around you and love the ones close to you. But best of all, it’s the time of year to eat lots and lots of food and enjoy things that you can’t the rest of the year! And it’s also a time you can wear red lipstick and Christmas jumpers.

I cannot wait to eat a Christmas roast dinner this year, I haven’t had a roast dinner in 3 months and they are the best food. It is roast meat, roast potatoes, vegetables, gravy and Christmas pigs in blankets (sausages wrapped in bacon) and a Christmas pudding for desert. What do you normally eat at Christmas time? I also cannot wait to spend time with my family and friends who I have not seen for 3 months, and go out and enjoy the festive spirit. Also, In England we have a day called Boxing Day on the 26th as people used to give workers a gift on this day. Now we go shopping in the sales and eat leftover food. So I will make the most of the shopping opportunities!

I am starting to feel festive here in Spain, even if the temperature does not feel like Christmas (it’s normally colder where I’m from) and the other day England got lots of snow, even my old school was closed because of it. I’m very jealous I was not able to build a snowman (cue the song from Frozen ‘do you want to build a snowman’). But Spain makes up for it with the Christmas lights and jolly people. I was lucky enough to go see the Christmas lights in Malaga and they were incredible. There were so many lights and they were shaped like the cathedral. My favourite part was when the music came on and the lights did a show to it. It was like they were dancing to it.

But even lucena feels festive. I love Plaza nueva with the nativity scene and the running water, it reminds me of when we did nativity plays in primary school ( I was always the star) and I am looking forward to trying a waffle from a food stand. I have never seen such a cute square. It is also starting to feel like Christmas because I can play Christmas music in my headphones as I walk around Lucena (it is hard not to start dancing or singing aloud) My favourites are ‘jingle bell Rock’ and ‘all I want for Christmas is you’. What are some songs you sing? It is also acceptable to watch Christmas movies. I love Christmas movies because they make me feel happy and put me in the Christmas spirit. I love the movies ‘the polar express’ and ‘love actually’ what are your favourite Christmas movies?

I cannot believe it is nearly time for me to fly home for the Christmas period. This year I will spend lots of time with my family, go on Christmas walks in the countryside, eat lots of mince pies (a festive snack in England) and I will go out with friends for New Years. We also make New Years resolutions about how we can make the next year better. Mine will be to make the most of my year here in Spain and be the happiest yet. What will your resolution be?

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE AND HAPPY NEW YEAR. I hope you have all behaved enough to get presents and Thank you for a great 3 months.

p.s. Don’t eat too much chocolate :p

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Firework *cue the Katy Perry song*

Hello everyone,

and so here is my first blog entry and what better to talk about than a special celebration in the United Kingdom (afterall, I am the first assistant from the UK) It is called Bonfire night or Guy Fawkes night, and was celebrated on the 5th November.

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WHY DOES  BONFIRE NIGHT EXIST?

Bonfire night is a special celebration in the UK that happens every year on the 5th November. If you like History…Read on! It is the day that King James escaped his death in the houses of parliament. Therefore, we celebrate the failiure of the Guy Fawkes plot on November 5th 1605. In November 1605 a group of men decided to make a plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London.The plot is known as the ‘Gunpowder Plot’ and the leader of the plot was called Guy Fawkes. The plot was made as the men were angry about the way the Catholic people were being treated in England. The men thought of a plan and decided to put 36 barrels of gunpowder in the cellar of Houses of Parliament
and then waited for the King to open Parliament, and blow it up. Guy Fawkes was the man who was going to light thegunpowder and cause the explosion. However, guards found the gunpowder before it  exploded and they caught all the men involved in the plot. They were caught because of a letter that was sent to friend who was a member of parliament warning him to avoid parliament that day because of the plot. The men involved were tortured and killed by being hung, drawn and quartered.

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HOW IS BONFIRE NIGHT CELEBRATED?

Every year the people of the UK celebrate the survival of the Houses of Parliament and King James. In the early years, church bells rang every 5th November, but it has developed into a  big celebration. All over Britain there are firework displays with friend and families and light bonfires with models of Guy Fawkes which are burned on the fire. It’s normally quite cold on Bonfire Night so people wear warmclothes, hats, scarves and gloves to spend the evening outside. Traditional Bonfire Night food is jacket potatoes and toffee apples. Normally my family and I buy fireworks and sparklers for our garden, and also light a fire. We put sausages and jacket potatoes in the fire to eat and also toast marshmallows. At university, I go to a firework display with my friends and drink mulled wine.

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I have really missed Bonfire night this year, it was sad seeing everyone in England with fireworks on their snapchat and instagrams. But maybe next year! Luckily, i had the dia de los santos to make up for it… even if i do not understand what it is?

What other exciting traditions do you have here? or celebrations?

 

 

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