rebness: (Heimat)

I’ve just watched a huge Aida cruise liner leave port from the observation deck of Barcelona’s World Trade Centre. I love how people wave to us from the ships, but the best thing ever was that the ship started blasting out Enya’s Sail Away as it, er, sailed away.

 

So kitsch. So awesome. I must bring my camera in next week! :D 

rebness: (Esmeralda and Djali)
I am waiting and hoping on so much right now that I can scarcely concentrate on anything else, hence the lack of posting. But anyway, for now...

BON VOYAGE to [personal profile] saffronlie , on her return to Australia. I really, really hope you have enjoyed Blighty and I can't wait to see you posting again, chica. <3

O hay, reading:

The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver
Oh, Lionel. Kevin was such a great book; one of my very favourites of this year. So you follow it up with a book about snooker? (Do Americans really pronounce it snucka?) People, this is as boring as it sounds. The protagonist, Irina, either falls for a Cockney snooker player that uses Northern terminology ('pet', anyone?), or stays with some guy who works for a Think Tank. It's Sliding Doors without the Aqua soundtrack. It is boring. The end.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Oh, wow. Vendettas and escapades and mysticism and people fainting, turning pale and trembling at the turn of every page. I loved this novel, despite all its cliches and silliness, despite its dubious science on poison. I've taken two weeks to finish this and I'm really sad it's over. It was awesome. I just love the melodrama of the old French and English canon. I'm watching the film version now (the one with Guy Pearce.) It's crap.

Anyway, back to waiting and hoping and trembling, perhaps turning pale and fainting... :p

O hay week

Jun. 28th, 2008 08:02 am
rebness: (Scorchio)
I am so, so, so so so so so so busy. I haven't had one day free since last Thursday, when Hannah's sister and a couple of her friends came to stay for a bit. They were lovely, actually, but the whirlwind of clubs, restaurants, beaches and bars has been ongoing for far too long.

My lovely [profile] wickedmanifesto  is on a European tour so stopped to visit for a few days. I've had a brilliant time and loved showing her around the sights, but even more loved just sitting in Parc Ciutdella with some cool beer, jamon and manchego, enjoying the craic. She left in the early hours of Friday morning for Amsterdam, so I trundled along to work and wished I hadn't bothered as I was inundated with annoying stuff.

I wanted to go home and laze around in pyjamas last night, but my very good friends Amanda and Nicola are returning to the UK next week, so I had to put in an appearance at their leaving party. The 'appearance' lasted several hours and somehow I agreed to take on their freaky terrapins.

Stumbled into bed last night and just woke up. The flat is a bit untidy, but I only have an hour before I need to leave to collect [personal profile] tsaress at Sants station. She is coming up from Alicante for the weekend to see me - I wonder if I can convince her to lie on the beach with me for a day? >:)

Shopping

May. 27th, 2007 02:30 pm
rebness: (Mercedes)
Had a really nice, relaxing weekend after a terribly hectic week. The sun has been blistering and I´ve enjoyed just sitting out on the balcony, relaxing and reading. This was less a choice than something that was forced on me because I didn´t have enough cash even to just mooch on the Ramblas, but that was okay.

Due to various surprise!bills and miscalculations, plus only receiving half a month´s pay last month, I´m down to my last fifteen Euros until I get paid on Wednesday. I was all annoyed because I thought I´d be living on chips and my precious imported curry for a week, only to die of scurvy. The money´s going further than I thought, though.

I picked up a load of fresh asparagus for one Euro, green peppers and potatoes for fifty cents or thereabouts each, lemons for a few cents, chickpeas and lentils for 32 cents each and beef steak for a couple of Euros. Top that off with a bottle of red wine for 98 cents and I´m eating pretty damned well for not having any money. I made a nice Sunday roast today, but with a Spanish twist. It was damned tasty, even if I do say so myself. As for the rest of the week, I only really eat salad when I get in after work because I´m so dehydrated and tired after tackling the hill o´Do0m to get home, so I´m sorted in that department.

Shopping for meat is quite stressful, to be honest. I worked out that ´cerdo´ referred to pork, which I avoid, but the descriptions switch between Spanish (which I can follow) and Catalan (which likes trick descriptions), so I´ve focused on teaching myself the names in both languages for all cuts and types of meat. Couple that with stuff like rabbits tending to come with big, staring blue eyes still intact and poultry with head still attached and it´s still pretty much a learning process. I feel like an ignorant, sheltered softie sometimes and whilst I don´t come the asshat and grimace at these things in public, inside my guts are churning. It´s to my eternal lulz, though, that every time I go to get my produce weighed, nobody knows what parsnips are called in Catalan and they have to scramble to find the explanatory list. Ahahahaa.
rebness: (Catalonia)
There is a passage in the Bible where the Devil stands with Jesus on a mountain that looks upon "all the kingdoms of the world" and says, …Et dixit illi haec tibi omnia dabo si cadens adoraveris me-- "All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me." Imagine looking out on all those riches, offered so much power! What a tempting, horrible moment. What a story.

It´s a dark, intriguing story, to be sure. And suppose you worked on the outskirts of Barcelona and all you had to do was turn to the right and look out of the window to see this imposing mountain named after that story rising up above the city, crowned by a church, omnipresent and impossible to ignore. In the end, Laura, my colleague, had to ask what I kept looking at and I told her. She enthused about going up Tibidabo, and how one can see all of Barcelona from there. Hannah chimed in with the story of Jesus and how she always thought about it when she saw the mountain.

So, of course, the logical thing to do was to go up there and maybe it would stop intriguing me so much. Though nothing is ever so easy in Barcelona. It is an attention h0r of a city, which is why I shouldn´t have been too surprised to get off the metro only to be confronted by a huge willy ).


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rebness: (Catalonia)
Oh hey, you know what´s so not a good mix? Iberian sun and pasty Celtic skin. Whee! However, I shall continue being slightly pained and sort of golden, because the novelty never wears off for a Brit. Never!

Anyway, today Catalonia, like England, celebrated St. George´s Day, or Sant Jordi as it´s known in these parts. I know that England shares its patron Saint with about 10,000 other countries and territories, but it still feels good to have some tenuous connection. However, whilst celebrations in England may extend to a flag waved from an SUV and an "En-ger-land" chant before a pint down the local pub, in Catalonia women get roses and men get books.

We´ll ignore the fact that men get the sweet end of the deal to wonder why on earth England doesn´t come up with some cool, non-violent tradition in this way. I mean, the Irish have a monopoly on drinks and parades for St. Paddy´s, so why not try the same as Catalonia and give something vaguely more romantic in that it came from a surly street vendor and not Hallmark? Just sayin´.

I did get a rose today, but it was from my manager. American Company That Owns My Soul likes to get in on the local traditions, and while it would be easy to criticise, I think that´s pretty sweet. And the rose had that gorgeous "I was plucked at my prime and shall now wilt dramatically" smell, so it was neat.

They also sell all kinds of cakes and stuff in the local patisseries all done up in the Catalan colours (strawberries for the red stripes, custard for the yellow), but I opted for Creme Catalan instead. It´s glorified Creme Brulee, but I don´t care, for that, too, was beyond awesome.
rebness: (Aidez)


I was going to wait until I had various Spanish pictures *cough[livejournal.com profile] jaffacakequeencough* to punctuate my ramblings about the Ramblas, but I'll start my multi-post now.

Unfortunately, the illness would not leave me alone, even for Spain. Hence, Penny and I were standing in Liverpool airport and the voices of the screaming children around us were muffled to me, thank God.

Check-in was delayed blah blah wine and catch-up blah blah gossip blah blah got on the aeroplane.

Now, England has been covered in near-permanent cloud since, like, June, so I wasn't hopeful of seeing much even at the window seat. All of the North was covered in thick cloud below, but it began to clear as we moved South.

At one point, I gazed out of the window to a massive, sprawling city of light beneath. Not Paris, but London. Dude, it was so pretty from above. Pity it's the opposite on the ground.

Across the English channel and over France. We all oohed and ahhed at a frankly massive fire blazing somewhere down in the North of France. "Pen," I screeched, "What if it's Paris?"

"You're nuts." Or near equivalent.

The flight went well, except for when the pilot landed too quickly and my sinuses made me feel like I was being stabbed repeatedly in the nose. The pain was terrible, but half of the passengers seemed to suffer the same thing, so hah.

Anyway, various airport boringness. Pen's umbrella was stolen by someone either in Liverpool or Barcelona. Got to the train desk, and I stammered out "A ticket to Barcelona, please" in pathetic Spanish.

Scary train signs that I couldn't read all that well, brief wondering if we were going to end up in France or something, and then we were on the Ramblas.

The Ramblas, dude: blazing light, a throng of people, hotels, shops, tree-lined streets and general excitement. Hello, I was in love.

But there were more pressing concerns-- such as finding the bloody hotel. Lots of stammered Spanish and shrugged shoulders. Found an Irish Bar (but of course) and got directions to the Theatre Liceu, which I knew to be opposite our digs.

Muy handsome Donnie Darko-esque hotelier. Scary hotel. Cheap, gaol-like, with a shared bathroom. Bah. Penny and I looked for some comedy Spanish television, but found little. Lots of boring newscasters, so we got ready and decided to hit the Ramblas...

rebness: (Scurf)


What a strange, happy day. So, I've finally learned me some Catalan for the Evil Hotel Owner, thanks to the lovely [livejournal.com profile] ozfille. We jet out on Monday and I have my Euros of Doom to spend on various Spanish-y goodness. Hurrah!

My last pay was messed up because (oh noes!!) I took one whole day off. This month, it's pretty substantial. I guess I'll be buying that FC Barca shirt after all. Ha!

Last night, I was given a chance to have The Last Word regarding some drama from a while back. It was like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I won't go into it too much, but honestly, I'm that argumentative that this was all I wanted. Am all gleeful and happy.

I was then subjected to CAPS on Yahoo Messenger from a certain someone, which had me nearly crying with laughter. I don't know why they crack me up so much, but that girl makes me laugh me head off. Nameless, you're a nutter, but I loves ya. :p

Then, to top it all off-- I got the first Christmas card of the season today, from Australia! [livejournal.com profile] kay2004, you rock.

Oh, and some kind soul has brought Cadbury's Yule Logs into the office. *Gazes up to heaven* Thank you.

Heehee.

rebness: (Default)


Last night, I stayed up to watch a pretty innovative documentary on BBC2 about George Orwell. They used fake footage with an actor speaking his words, giving already powerful or amusing thoughts on everything from the death penalty to the Spanish civil war to patriotism to making a cup of tea.

One part of the documentary focused on his days spent with the British police in India when it was controlled by the Empire. He mused at one point that it struck him how inherently wrong, and how hypocritical it is, for a power to force itself on another country and then presume to police it with force and expect the inhabitants to be grateful.

I wish we had a writer as powerful as Orwell around to record the events of today.

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