Part 1: Going Back to Spain!
I’m on my way to Spain today. And I was on my way yesterday, too, because air travel is messed up with timezones and such. But other than this, I’m “whoo!” off to Spain again.

This trip is labelled “Jerez 2016” in my email folders. Jerez being the city where the flamenco fesival is and where I will be spending 3 weeks taking dance workshops and watching shows and drinking sherry. The 2016 part is to distinguish it from “Jerez 2012” because this is my second trip to the festival and to Spain.

My first trip was amazing, so of course I would want to go back. But also, I set myself a goal the last time. I said to myself, as the trip was ending in 2012, that I would work hard at my flamenco classes back in Vic, and that when I go back to Jerez I would take workshops at the next level (basico classes instead of iniciation). So here I am, and I’m registered for 2 basico classes over the next couple of weeks. So I’ll see how that goes.

Part 2: Airplane Rides
Overnight airplaine rides mess me up. BUT I add another layer of sleepy-time each time I go. When going to Vietnam, I got the good advice from my manager at work to use a face mask and earplugs. When used together, these create a bubble of peaceful sleepy-time. Last trip, on the flight home from Shanghai, my mum had herbal jet lag pills, that conked me right out (shortest 12 hour flight ever!). This time, encouraged by how well I slept last time, I got myself a neck pillow. So the 9 hours from Van to London was pretty quick today (yesterday? It’s all one big long day when you’re travelling somewhere). I didn’t even watch a movie.

Part 3: Present context
On the plane from London to Madrid. One more plane after this to get into Jerez.

I’m listening to Crosby Stills Nash and Young!

OMG I had some food issues. Somehow my full request for a vegan meal wasn’t “logged” properly by the airline. So I got my supper last night, but there was no breakfast this morning. (I’m not vegan, but I’m allergic to dairy, and vegan is a safe choice). The attendant offered me an apple, but I declined because that didn’t seem sufficient. I pulled out my backup granola bar, and one of my travel companions offered up her rice cakes and jam, so that was OK. But then the attendant came back with a big plate of fruit, along with the apple, and an energy bar. (On a real plate with metal utensils – so from first class). She said something along the lines of this being all she could pull together for me. But it was whole tray of food! It was lovely, and I flagged her down later to thank her again.

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I made it to the ferry, where it is super loud! I am glad to have some knitting with me because I don’t think I would have been able to hear music or a movie above the din. I didn’t try reading but who knows. The people around me were speaking Italian so it wouldn’t have been to difficult to concentrate (had they been speaking English, I totally would have eavesdropped and therefore not paid attention to my book).

I’m tired. Amd getting hungry. Oh! Total bummer: I brough two slices of pizza to eat on the trip, but I ate a third slice at home and it gave me a tummy ache! Not wanting to feel gross on my trip, I threw away the other two once I got on the ferry. Fun fact: ferry doen’t have compost. I know this because I asked, having a prime contribution. But no.

My throat keeps getting sore. Maybe when I consume sugar? Not pleased with this. I’ll rest today as I have no plans for after work today. I’ve prepared myself an echinacea tea.

I watched a lot of TV on Sunday. As a result I went to the library yesterday and got a couple of books, one of which I plan to read. I tried one of them but didn’t like it much so I shall return it. Too American, but I half sort of expected to not like it because of this. It had a good premise, and from the point of view from a woman with schizophrenia, but no go. I know maybe I should read more than a chapter, or half a chapter before making my decision, but whatever. I don’t want to waste my time.

I want to watch a movie called “Hyde Park on hudson” this evening and eat salmon spaghetti. My mum bought me gluten-free pasta at Costco so I might try that. Yes. I’ve just decided that I shall, too super make sure that I feel good tomorrow.

They brought me some fruit bread, too, mum and dad. I was supposed to take it at Christmas but everyone forgot so I have it now. I had a couple slices last night after dance. They were covered in lots of luscious butter that coated nicely my mouse and chair when I dropped. Hoo. Still tasty. I’ll save the rest for next week when I have no dance and will eat what I please for several days.

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.

How To Make Corn on the Cob
By Lindsie

Ingredients

  • Corn (on cob)
  • water

Story:
I grew up with my dad growing corn every summer, and while I don’t like corn for most of the year, I quite like it in late August when my it’s from my dad’s garden.  When I lived at home I’d eat a quite a bit if it was a good year and get sick of it.  Since I don’t live at home anymore, I might get one or two cobs a year if I go for a visit at harvest time.  It is the best corn in the whole world.

My parents lately brought me a whole pile of fresh produce from the garden.  In this pile was two ears of corn just for me.  What a good idea! since it’s the only corn I ever eat.  After they left I realized I’ve never cooked corn on the cob before.  But I remember being around at home when corn on the cob was being made, so I supposed I could figure it out.  (By this same logic I have also boiled chicken bones for soup and could potentially build a rock wall.)

How to:
Remove corn cobs from their casings.  Bring water to a boil in a pot big enough for the corns to have a comfortable hot-tub. Plop naked corns into the boiling water and leave for seven minutes.

Remove corn from water with tongs (or big holey spoon if you usually survive without tongs) and eat.  Leave the water in the pot to cool and pour on your garden or plants.

I like to eat my corn on the cobs plain because this is how it tastes best. Also, I don’t like getting greasy if I use butter.

12:45, Spain time — Last few minutes in Spain.  There is a flight delay due to weather in London, but we should ould make our connection OK as there is an hour and a half buffer.

Note: sitting on a plane when it’s not moving is not a satisfying experience.

5:23 Heathrow time — OK so I should have been on a plane by now heading home,  but the trip has been delayed.  First it was delayed by half an hour (it was supposed to leave at five, but delayed until 5:30 like.)  Now it’s delayed until 8.

6:40 Heathrow — still here but plane only delayed until 7:45 now.  We talked to the nice lady at the British Air hel desk and she provided a solution to our not able to make the last ferry: we’ll go to the British Air help desk in Vancouver and they’ll find us some overnight accommodation. She also gave us voucher for food. New best friend.

Evening train to Madrid!  I love trains at night! This follows a nice day in Madrid roaming around.  I think I forgot to mention that since Jerez (so in Ronda and Granada) only 2 smart women remain. And smart we are indeed, as we have been lost only once (mostly thanks to the smart woman who is not myself) and we seem to be making our busses and trains with time to spare.

In Granada today, we tried that age-old tradition of ordering wine and sampling free tapas at multiple locations. Well we did that at two but at the second one we were hungry and ordered lunch as well.  But it was getting close to the time when wd were going to go collect our bags from the hotel and get a taxi to the train station for our 5 hour ride to Madrid, so we thought it best to stuff ourselves with ham and bread and olive oil (that was me).

We just passed a Mercadona grocery store.  This is a chain of stores in Spain, and there was one near the apartment in Jerez that I frequented. I recommend thks store not only for their selection of soy products,  but also because they play their theme song in the store a lot, making for a cheery shopping experience.

I just walked all over Granada and now I’m pooped.  Got some great views of the Alhambra, which is a big castle. I’ll visit there tomorrow.

News Flash: just as I was writing the above my food came so I stopped writing and ate, and the food was Sooo good.  We were at an middle eastern restaurant and they served Halal meals,  which I don’t know much about, but in short means that Lindsie can eat.  I had lentil soup that was thick and full of olive oil; then there was chicken with a sause that included onions and raisins. Raisins! Imagine! It was all very delicious. I could even have dessert, which was a sesame/honey thing.

But back to what I was writing before.  I wasn’t going to write any more about Granada or the castle. I was going to mention a shop I forgot to mention that’s in Jerez. It was a deli, full of meat,  with large portions of pig wrapped up and hanging from the ceiling behind the counter.  Then the counter/deli case was full of hams and sausages. Then on the wall opposite the. deli case was a floor-to-ceiling selection of sherries and hard liquors. This store smelled really good.

My my daily routine in Jerez has been as follows: get up mildly hungoverm  eat breakfast of meat on bread, soy yogurt and a fruit; flamenco class; lunch; nap; snack; rest time; snack; shopping; show, drinking; bed.  Last week when there were more girls here there was more shopping. I also try to get to the imternet place either before siesta or after.  Siesta lasts from about 2 in the afternoon until 5 or 6. Siesta is the best thinv ever. It takes a bit of getting used to because we all want to keep doing stuff in the afternoon like shop. But nothing is open during siesta so we can’t.  I’ve taken the opportunity to practice my napping skills. Though I think if you are a Spanish person you would use the time to have a masskve lunch. We haven’t really gotten used to thag parg and everyone in the apartment tends to be famished right after siesta,  which would bw our Canadian dinnertime. However, restaurants tend to close their kitchens until 7 or 8 so there’s a bit of a problem for us. I’ve tended to snack all afternoon so that sort of solves the problem.