Musings on having only three days left before my trip to Vietnam.

Today was my last day at work before my trip. It didn’t really hit me, however,  until about ten minutes before I left, when I had a feeling of “now things are starting!”

The day went surprisingly quick for the kind of day it was. I kept finding things to do. Also, people kept coming by to wish me a good time. I feel I deserve points for not only remembering to change the message on my voice-mail, but actually recording it, which is one of my least favorite things to do ever. I deserve extra points for listening to it when I was done to make sure it was audible and sensible. I doubly hate listening to myself. (For assistance, I wrote myself a script a few weeks ago AND set a reminder so I had no excuse whatsoever. Except maybe if I didn’t want to.) I especially enjoyed writing on the vacation board that I won’t be returning until August 11, exactly one month from today.

This evening I started packing and re-packing and generally editing my bags. It was in a bit of a manic fashion so I thought it would be best to leave the house so I’ve come to the studio to watch a bellydance show. This is the group is was in a show with last year, and I didn’t really get to see them, but what I saw- the finale, from a weird angle behind a lot of people- looked interesting. I can’t really pack until I do laundry tomorrow, anyway.

Edit: bellydance-circus fusion.

I don’t feel very good today. I’m afraid that I’m sick again after just getting better from the last time I was sick, like, a couple weeks ago. It feels like the same sick, too, where I’m all weak. Shit. I’m having warm liquids and echinacea throughout the day. Oh right: my throat is sore too as I was just reminded when I swallowed. I’ll have to see how I feel when I stand up again: I am on the lunchroom couch at work.

I don’t want to be sick because I wish to dance this evening. I’ll nap after work and if I don’t wake up then I won’t go. I think there’s a sub tonight anyway.

Boo.

Last night I wasn’t feeling good with sore throat so I went to bed just before 7 and listened to Ideas and played solitaire on my phone. Mono-style. Rock. On.

I was totally too busy last week. One might think that having Monday as my flex day would have helped but it did not. It started then with dance Monday night, followed by four days of work as is normal, but instead of having Tuesday and Thursday evenings off, I had plays to go to. They were good,  but I guess I didn’t really think about having so much to do in my week when I booked them. It was a long week where I didn’t spend much time at home. I was pretty tired by Friday and had a pretty miserable second dance class – I sort of got my second wind half way through I guess but I was super tired after. Then on Sat I had ballet closely followed by a visit from Susan and Amber and Mia. And in between there I also sewed the edges of my duvet cover to make it fit better. I had about 1/2 hour rest on my chair on Thurs before I went to dinner, but I didn’t get back there until noon on Sunday. After Am and Mia were gone. Fun times but exhausted.   This wasn’t helped by me getting up at 4 in the morning on Sunday to watch Canada in the gold medal hockey game. I snoozed a bit during the third period and Am and Mia (who were in my living room) slept through from sometime in the second period right through until a normal getting up time around 9.

This week I have much less to do, though I might do flamenco class on Wednesday again. Not to much hardship on my part since it’s right after modern. The only problem is if I am too tired.

Actually it’s not so bad that I was busy with things to do in the evenings last week as the Olympics were on so there weren’t too many shows to watch anyway. I might have had to read a book or watch a new show or something. I tried watching a new show yesterday. I chose it based entirely because it’s from Australia. I watched part of the first episode. It was actually a soapy medical drama that started in 1998 so it was not only cheesy but filmed on square video that didn’t fill up my monitor as well. Not that this last factor would stop me from watching if it was any good. If it was any good I may not have noticed. I only watched the first half of the first episode so I guess it might get better. I’m not going to bother finding out because the Olympics are over so presumably my regular shows will be back.

I forgot my oatmeal this morning. Rather, my oatmeal was in the same type of container as my hummus so I had hummus for breakfast instead. I sort of remember thinking as I put the hummus away last night that I mustn’t mix them up in the morning. This wasn’t enough of a warning for me when I was rushing to leave.

I couldn’t go to dance today because I’ve strained all the muscles in my left leg. I did this at the last class, of course, and I didn’t notice it was bothered until yesterday, and today it really hurts. Only when I walk though, and try to stand up from sitting in a chair. So lame. (Literally!)

I have no plans for the weekend except to clean my bathroom, which is getting crusty (I think that’s the right word for it…) Also I want to make something with the tomatoes that my parents brought me last weekend. A sauce, perhaps, or many many bacon and tomato sammiches. You may guess that I am leaning towards the later, and you would be correct. Or hummus and bacon sammiches, maybe, since those are, technically, healthy, and I enjoy them a great deal (though not as much as the bacon version). Pepper is an important ingredient in either recipe.

I’ve been reading “Divisidaro” by Michael Ondaatje. I compare all books by Mr. Ondatje to “The English Patient,” which I read when I was nineteen, so there’s never any comparison, really. BUT, he seems to get more “accessible” as he goes (from one book to the next) so that means that more people will want to read them. So that’s good. But for me it means that some of the mystery is lost. I haven’t read anything (ANYTHING) earlier than TEP so I should probably go back and see what he was like before. I’d give an example, but my copy of TEP is in Duncan (I hope). Later.

I’ve also recently watched “Still Life – A Three Pines Mystery” on the CBC television. I only watched it because it was flashed on their online watching site and I was all “hay! I like mysteries! And it’s Canadian!” (this is how I talk). It took me a few tries to get through it because I kept wandering off in the middle and/or going to bed. After watching a lot of British mystery shows of late, it was refreshing to have a similar set-up only with Canadian accents. (It was like that time I went to England and was so happy to hear Peter Mansbridge talking on the airplane on the way home.) But the novelty of this wore off pretty quick as I kept watching and noticing CBC obviousness (dude’s impatient… so he Looks At His Watch) and some overly dramatic acting.

Tonight I did not want to go to dance.  I’ve had a headache all day and feeling crummy and floaty (from the headache still being there but not being able to feel it due to 2 kinds of painkillers!  Maybe).  And totally unfocused!  But then as usual I got hom from work and immediately made my supper, got changed into my dance clothes, then ate and napped and was off to dance class.

I walked there, and I was so pleased.  It’s been a while since I’ve had the strength and energy to both walk to the studio and then do a dance class. I wasn’t totally wiped out for class from walking there and then up all the stairs.  I was feeling strong and like I remember feeling when I was in amazing shape one-and-a-half years ago.  Or getting there at least.  Happy.

I walked home, too, to try and tucker myself out.  Wednesday is going to be a bad day for going to sleep, I think.

***

My goals for the winter are as follows:

  1. Never be cold.
  2. Learn to cook a roast beef.

 

I’ve spent the past few days dancing and resting and drinking and watching (spectacles). The day before yesterday the bunch of us went for a tasting at the Gonzales Byass sherry bodega. For 19 euros we got a tour of the place, four samples and tapas. Thank goodness for the tapas because the “samples” came in the form of four wine glasses of sherry right in front of us. Result: happy group. Result 2: I don’t think I like sherry- at least not four samples of it at the same time.

I could have met up with the Alma de Espania group who are here and doing a day trip to Cadiz today but I have not gone for the following reasons: my feet are sore, and I need to get groceries.  Stores aren’t open on Sundays and I’m out of food, particularly, breakfast food.  Also last night we were up late following some native Jerez-ians to a pena* and so no one has gotten up in time.

We are losing 3 of the 6 smart women who have been sharing the apartment here. Two are off to Ronda and Granada for the sights and shopping; one is back to Germany, where she lives.  However we have acquired a new roomie for the remainder of the time here: the new dynamic shall be 3 smart women and a guy.

*Pena- should have a swoosh over the N, so it’s pronounced “pen-ya”.  According to our Jerez-ian guides, it’s a small, intimate show, in this case, a singer. Also in this case, a few hundred people “intimately” packed into a small venue.

Neat class this morning.  We had a substitute teacher as our regular teacher was in the hospital.  I didn’t catch the whole story there due to no Spanish skills but one of the other students translated.  The sub was a man, opposed to our regular lady, and he is the regular lady’s husband (I think).  He was a bit of a dream come true for some of us as we were meant to do our choro.  solo today (half the class went yesterday, the rest of us were meant to go today.)   The new guy started slowly with hands and arms and ran us through individually our marking step.  His big lesson was that flamenco is about emotion and that technique and doing the steps perfectly is Less Important than personal expression and being able to show that to your audience.  I need to work on that part. The technique too, but ths showing off part for sure. Really, this holds true for all dance,  and performance, but no one really says it.

He also went over listening to the singer (there’s a singer and guitarist in each class) so we know when to start our choreo. I’m not sure why I can’t hear it.  Everyone else seems to. I’ll try again tomorrow with new ears.

The apartment’s hot water (and all hot water in houses in Spain) is provided from a propane tank that is kept under the counter in the kitchen.  Usually.  Right now it’s in the middle of the kitchen, empty, sitting next to a new tank, waiting for someone who can hook it up as we are all frightened.

EDIT: As I laze over here writing, one of the smart women has figured it out. Our original plan was to ask the guys staying upstairs to help (by which I mean hook it up for us)…  Or is it not working now?  New subject.

EDIT 2: (1 hour later)  Nope.  Still no hot water.  Post-dance showers are cold.

I haven’t found any place to WiFi here yet,  so these entries are being stored on my phone until I hook up again.)  I went to my first flamenco spectacle last night. There was gunk on my left contact lens so I couldn’t see the show as well as I might have. But it was pretty amazing.  We ate at a place before the show and met up with other dancers from Victoria.  Also there was wine so I was sleepy at the show. Also there was shopping yesterday (before the eating before the show) but I haven’t bought anything yet. 

I can get to the venue for my class on my own. This is a feat as the streets here are ancient and narrow and mazey,  but we sussed out a route.  We also sussed out a route to my next week’s venue as several people have a class there this week. Score.

I’m going to miss a few places in Victoria while I’m out of the country.  The Thrifty foods by my house.  The dance studio. The library.  I don’t go to the library very often (I go to the downtown branch)  but I was there the other day returning a book before I left so I didn’t have to pay a fine and I appreciated how nice it is to be in a familiar place.

I was at my neighbourhood Thrifty foods this morning to pick up some candied ginger and again, I looked around, and noted that I wouldn’t be visiting for a few weeks and I was pleased to be breaking my routine for a little while.  But I’ll get back to it soon,  and then I’ll be pleased to get back to it.

I’ve spent the late afternoon today at the Vancouver airport.  We arrived 4.5 hours early for our flight.  This is entirely due to us taking the ferry over: always take an earlier ferry,  just in case.

I’m traveling with 3 other smart women, so that’s why my pronoun might occasionally switch.

I’m about to board my first plane: one to London, then the second to Madrid. I’m going to nest in and have a cozy overnight flight. I have a Chatelaine magazine to read and Melatonin. Good night.

2011 by Lindsie

January.
Nothing. I don’t remember. No wait. I started a new job. Did I report on this last year? I started a new position with Liquor Licensing (BC Gov) on Jan 4, 2011, the same date I started with them in 2008. It was a pleasant reunion with everyone (there was hugs!) and I’ve had a good year working there. It’s nice to have a permanant job*.

*For now**

**Mum doesn’t like it when I add that part. Hehehe.

February.
Nothing. February sucks.

March.
My birthday. Everyone celebrate!

April.
Nothing. Oh! Except I moved at the end of the month, so I spent most of April worrying about that and packing. Fun story: on April 29 I decided that I Would Watch The Royal Wedding (as this is something that Lindsie is meant to do, having memories of the other royal wedding that happened in 1981). In order to stay up that late- the thing started at 2 in the morning or something,-I needed to keep myself occupied. As I was about to move, the kitchen needed that end-of-occupancy clean out, so I watched the wedding coverage while scrubbing out my fridge and pulling out the stove. I made it all shiney. My landlord was super impressed, and also amused with my Royal Wedding Story.

May.

Dance recitals. I was in two this year, since I was doing classes with two studios. Fun and all but I’m only at one studio this year so hopefully only one recital. This year I did tap with the teacher I had in Duncan (Nanna!) at a new school. We danced to Michael Jackson. That show was at Victoria Event Centre, where they serve alcohol. Note: performing at a place where they serve booze the whole time makes for a fun show, especially if you are late in the line-up. The other show was at the Royal, which isn’t as intimate as the other place, but has a really nice backstage area. Mum and dad came and watched, and my friend Susan, as I did some flamenco and ballet. Good show. We went for dinner afterwards.

June.

Nothing. Actually I think in June I went to Vancouver to see Wicked. That was with my friend Julie, who is my musical theatre friend. We both bought t-shirts even though neither of us meant to. P.S. I love musicals. They make me cry and want to sing along and I love them.

July.
I watched the whole of West Wing and Knitted. Summer! Also, my friends Amber and Mia visited. In our second annual summer fun time, we did fancy dinner, and took double decker busses, and went Craigdarrough castle. We also ate cupcakes.

Aug.
Some summer dance workshops. Some moping around. Went to work. Benefitted amply from the wealth of my dad’s garden. (Speaking of which, did you know you can buy green beans at the grocery store? Both fresh AND in cans. *Why Would Anyone Do This*? Doesn’t your dad grow way too many and make you take them?)

September.
Whined a lot.

October.
This wasn’t that long ago. I should remember. I got sick around Thanksgiving, which was also exactly when I took my vacation time. I didn’t have any big plans or anything, but I was Quite Annoyed. All year my health has been really good. My doctor suggested, though, that I’m now just catching everything I hadn’t caught yet. I’ve also figured out my asthma so that it’s under contol. I puff a puffer twice a day, with an “emergency” inhaler for when I need it, most importantly, just before my dance classes. Breathing Lindsie is happy Lindsie.

November.
Seriously. I bought flamenco shoes. I don’t have a couch yet, but I do have flamenco shoes. Priorities. I realize that this letter is rather dance-centric, but I think about it a lot. That and how I’m going to feed myself around all my dance classes. Two of my favorite things are dance and eating. Another favorite thing is watching TV but that’s not really something one writes about in their Christmas letter. However, I’m only writing this right now because there’s nothing on to watch.

December.
Hasn’t really happened yet. So far so good. I just vacuumed a bit. I’m trying to make my house clean and tidy before putting up Xmas decorations.

January, 2012.
This hasn’t happened yet, either, but I want to keep going….

February 2012.
I’m going to Spain to take some flamenco workshops. I’m also going to drink sherry, and do other Spain things. Spain has never been on my radar of somewhere to visit so I don’t know what to expect!

And here is a bonus story .