Friday morning did not start well. ‘Tracey’ my Indian ‘assistant’ was most unco operative when I rang the bank because I was having trouble transferring money. It seems when one changes countries, Microsoft and many other companies like to shut down accounts! I was down to my last 25 euros and the it’s ‘so easy to top up card’ was proving quite the challenge. I gave up and raced downstairs to run to the bus….only to find they have changed the bus schedule overnight and our regular bus left ten minutes earlier! Thus began a 3/4 hour wait in the biting wind. We talked to the sheep nearby and watched the rabbits in the garden opposite. and chatted to this beautiful puppy dog while we were waiting. spring is starting to evolve and the countryside is becoming more colourful every day
Eventually the bus came and transported us downhill into Santiago. My favourite part of this trip is crossing the Roman bridge that only fits one vehicle at a time and causes such a traffic jam in the mornings. The locals who catch this bus are beginning to get to know us and the local Mrs Mangle (gossip) who is always out in the street, smiles and laughs at/with us every day. I must find out her name.
We ran to school from the bus stop, desperately grabbing a coffee on the way, and arrived 5 minutes late and flustered. I hadn’t done my homework but brilliantly bluffed my way through the exercises and settled in for a morning of intense learning. Poor Monica caught my cold and was feeling so shitty. It was hard for her to concentrate. The rest of the day was spent doing nothing much and I collapsed into bed early at 10.00 completely exhausted and brain dead after my first week of school!
I was thrilled to be able to stay in bed and rest on Saturday morning. We have Amie Chilson staying with us for a few days, so we went into town, and showed her around the local park. She met the two Marias, and then we went to sit in the beautiful garden of Casa Vella and drink wine. I had a clara de limón (beer with lemon soda).
Parting ways as Amie had to work and Monica needed a Hairdresser, I went home to play with the dogs and we reconvened later to travel to the local mall and go grocery shopping.
I am getting used to doing stuff late in the day after siesta. Gonzalo drove us out there at 7.30pm, and left Monica and I watching the Miss Galicia finals. Grace, our lovely little Australian friend from up on the hill behind our house that I spoke of the other day, was actually ‘Miss Santiago’, so we wanted to support her. Gonzalo wandered off to get food, but we took photos and cheered her on. Of course he made it back in time to see the swimsuit parade. Unfortunately Grace didn’t win but we were proud of her and it was nice I think for her to have some support. She looked gorgeous.
It was nearly 11pm when we got home!
Sunday, today, was Mother’s Day. It was to be a hard day for Monica so I tried to keep her busy. The little church on top of the hill at Alameda Park has been opened, a grand feat organised by Sybille Yates and Alan(from Australia), so we went to church. I have cast aside my Church if England faith and taken up Hindu belief. Monica is Catholic. however, this is to be a multi denominational affair so it was really interesting. She was allowed to take communion and the highlight was the handing around of the scallop shell in which was placed a tea light. As each person held it, silent prayers were said and it meant a lot to both of us. Monica prayed for her daughter and I prayed for my friend Meg and her family who are going through a particularly rough time. It was so special. Copious tears were shed and the priest was really compassionate afterwards, taking time to comfort Monica. It was really beautiful. Thank you Sybille for this opportunity!
I met this little guy in the park near the church too
We wandered around the park taking photos and then bundled ourselves onto the bus home. Monica wanted to plant a herb garden and I still had to sort out my money situation.
And then this afternoon, Grace and her Spanish host mother came to visit, bringing a beautiful cake fresh from the oven. We sat around our large country kitchen table chatting for hours and I’m now about to crash into bed (at midnight) prepared for another week of school, more laughter and adventures with my lovely family here, and lots of dog love with our resident canines.
Our family has never done much about Mother’s Day, so it wasn’t a big deal for me, but I did chat briefly to my kids and I wish my daughter Annie a wonderful Mother’s Day. She is an incredible mother and I’m so very proud of her.