As usual, I’ll start this post with apologising for not keeping my blog updated. However, in the 5 weeks that have passed since my last post I’ve been kept very busy, hopping over Spanish/UK borders here, there and everywhere, celebrating my birthday, struggling with the year abroad blues and trying to sort my life out for next year (i.e. module choices for next year…). As there’s so much stuff I’m just going to give you the highlights:
16th February: I went to Benalmádena to meet up with my brother and his girlfriend who were here in Spain on a school music tour. I was only there for a few hours, but it’s clearly a Brit hotspot – you could spot the white legs and socks with sandals from a mile away!
22nd February: It just so happened that the French school holidays coincided with my birthday weekend, so my North American assistants friends from Toulon stopped off in Estepona as part of their travels around Spain. Of course the minute they stepped foot on the Costa del Sol it started raining, so we spent a really good evening catching up.
23rd February: As part of the ‘How Many Countries Can We See Each Other In’ game, we headed off to spend the day in Gibraltar, just an hour away from here. Although it’s not a particularly picturesque town, and the cable car was closed so we couldn’t get up the rock, we still had a good time, the weirdest part being having to walk across the runway to get to the town! Julia, Lauren,Victoria and I went to a good old English pub for fish & chips and steak & ale pies, bought plenty of Cadbury’s chocolate and PG Tips and stocked up on Marks & Spencer’s goodies. We also saw the infamous monkeys playing around in the town and we spent ages watching them team up on people, stealing things (which was funny until they stole one of Julia’s bags!) and generally being naughty!
In the evening, we made crepes with some of my Estepona friends and then headed out to the port for some dancing!
24th February: My 21st birthday!! As the girls were heading up to Granada on a bus from Malaga, I decided to go to Malaga with them for the day. Cue lots of tapas and giggles in the Picasso Museum. It was a good day, although it was strange not being in England for my birthday for the second year running (I was in Paris last year)!
28th February: Día de Andalucía! A lovely bank holiday so my perfect opportunity to do the puente (bridge), meaning taking the Friday off work to make it a 4-day weekend and head back to England to celebrate my birthday with the family and lots of curry! One three hour Ryanair flight later and I was back in the motherland! After lunch out with Mum and a nice 4-hour siesta I was treated to fish & chips (and curry sauce, much to my mother’s dismay who remains adamant that it’s a ‘northern thing’). So nice to be back in a house with carpets and two floors!
1st March: Quality Mum time, with a day spent at the hairdressers, visiting people and shopping (i.e. buying another 6 months worth of tights from Primark). After getting my fix of the British highstreet, my mum was insistent that we rushed back home to see my dad who had been working away for a few days. I was rather annoyed, insisting my mum be ‘more Spanish and chill out a bit’ as I wanted to spend more time shopping, however I obliged, wanting to see my dad and thinking they had a surprise present, like a car (I know, dream on) waiting for me.
We got home, I walked into the house to dump my shopping bags and LO AND BEHOLD, who was standing in my kitchen but Lucy, Lucy, Leo and James, my housemates from Sheffield!! Apparently my parents had had it planned for a month and had organised for them to come down for the weekend, contacting them through FB, etc… I had NO idea at all! Although, I look back now and realise there were quite a few clues… I was so happy as I thought I wouldn’t be seeing them for another 6 months and so impressed that everyone had managed to keep it a secret!! We spent a while catching up before all heading out to my favourite Indian restaurant with my family and the boyfriend’s parents. It was so good to finally be eating curry again so we stuffed ourselves, then the waiters brought out the birthday cake that Simon’s dad made for me and gave me a huge glass of Bailey’s!
2nd March: Saturday was my last day at home so we all had massive lie-ins before continuing our Articulate competition that we had started at 1.30m the night before… Unfortunately, the day passed too quickly and after a roast dinner and a walk in the countryside, the Sheffield lot had to head back up to Sheffield as I was flying back at 7am the next morning. And yes, there were tears!
8th March: One of our bosses at work was invited to speak at TEDx Marbella (those of you who don’t know what TED is, google it 😉 ), so as we were invited to be in the 100-person audience (such a privilege!), we all headed up to Marbella for the day. It was a really interesting, if long, day and great practice for my Spanish as the majority of the talks were in Spanish!
9th – 10th March: After a lovely bout of homesickness and to celebrate mine and Rachel’s birthdays, I had arranged to go up to Granada again were we were going to go paragliding! However, the weather was too bad so we’ve postponed it until it’s sunny again… We did however have a good chilled weekend drinking lots of beer and eating lots of tapas! I will never get over the novelty of free tapas!
I think that’s just about everything for now, but prepare for a big one next week: it’s Semana Santa and I’m to Morocco!
For now, enjoy some photos (some courtesy of Julia, Victoria and Lauren!)