Friday, 17 July 2015

Three books, 15,000 words, and some new shoes.

Three weeks in and not a drop of rain or a storm in sight... Usually at about this point on an extended trip away I am reaching the point where I am almost ready for home. I miss people. But not this time; this time I am more home than I am at 'home'. It is easy to be home in this little first floor 3 bed Spanish apartment with tiled floors and strange little ornaments. It is noisy outside, I am afraid to take the lift because of our traumatic experience last time, it has no air-con, and I am yet to work out whether the landlady is like a Spanish mother or a crazy tax-avoiding woman (I think she's the former). But thankfully no whistling kettle this time and no 'Mary' on the wall. This feeling of home may have something to do with the fact that half my belongings actually at home are currently packed in bags ready to move house, the necessary things are with me here in my case, and my bed is stored in my Mother's partner's garage. I am at a point where I am looking forward to the next part - looking forward to moving house, to being closer to my work and my friends, being closer to where most of my life is, and living with one of the oldest friends I have. I've felt more life here in Barcelona than I have felt over months and months in England yet my life has been the calmest it has been all year. I am in disbelief about how three weeks has flown by and now my sister is about to fly out for the last leg of this trip.

Since Tasha left last weekend I have read three books from start to finish (three and a half now..), used an entire T-10 metro ticket, walked my old sandals entirely to threads, written 15,000 words, eaten probably my own body weight in melon and then worked my way through the bottles of red wine I have been keeping in the kitchen. I've been swimming in the sea every single day without fail, felt brilliant to be able to keep up with emails and friends, and discovered that my nationality based on appearance is somewhat contestable to say the least. I could be German, Australian, French, Russian.... (note, never English...).

The metaphor of the week is when my sandals finally became nothing more than a thread between my feet and the ground. I went into a shop and purchased some new, sturdier sandals and changed them straight away. I was then carrying this old beloved pair of £5 sale shoes that I got two (maybe three) years ago for a winter job in Marrakech, I have worn them and loved them ever since. They have been a second skin in the summer months. But I have walked so much here - so many miles, seeing so much and determined in some way to walk away my worries (note: that does not work... you only get blisters, pulled muscles, bruises and broken shoes.) Worries still exist. No shifting them, just accepting them as they are. So the hour I spent walking carrying this old excuse for a pair of shoes around in a plastic bag with the new ones on my feet was an hour I spent sort of entertaining myself at the hilarity of what I was doing; why was throwing away the 'old' such a hard task to do? I reasoned with myself fairly well. What if the new shoes rubbed? What if I didn't like them? What if I wanted the old ones back comfortably on my feet? What if the old ones weren't as tattered as I thought? What if, what if what if.... Actually, what if the new ones are just brilliant? They are, so it seems. I saw sense and smiled at myself and chucked the old ones in the bin. Less 'old' to carry around and more of welcoming the new.  With the amount of 'things' I have thrown away over the years of moving and being a student and packing things and moving them around in my old 1999 corsa (things HAVE changed since then...) you'd have thought I would be better at being detached from the sentimentality of old meaningless 'crap'. Old habits die hard... Metaphorically speaking, I did a good job with those shoes.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Adventuring #4: Calella and the Coast

It is fairly late in the evening now, although not so late for Spanish living. There is still noise outside the balcony and I am sat in the living room next to the open door of the balcony with an iced drink next to me. I have spent the day alone after Tasha left at the weekend.. I read half of an entire book in one sitting this afternoon, gathered a few more freckles, had no castings, so I wrote a little more on the PF. Just a little, I am working at snail pace - probably even slower than snail pace to be truthful. Finally I am using the space here for what I intended it to be for, even if I am writing at the pace of a small shelled creature. Slow and steady perhaps? 

Here are a few pictures I took last week; we walked some of the cliff walks along the Costa Brava coast, taking the coastal train out midday and spending time on some of the small beaches and bays along the way back. It was paradise; literally breath-taking paradise, and as all of last week was, it was simply wonderful to spend it with Tasha finding some peace.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Adventuring #3: Montserrat

That concept of being 'on-top of the world', on a mountain top and seeing for miles and miles around, being higher than the clouds... It does give perspective. Seeing so much life and nature all in one view is quite spectacular. As was the cable car ride up...

I type this as Tasha has just landed back in England and I am in the apartment about to get ready to head to castings and then take one of my books to the beach after. I can combine PF work with some sunshine surely..... My favoured Jeremy Holmes attachment book will be used for referencing for some of my case studies so I will take that with me in my bag and it is fortunate the casting is next to the Olympic Port by the beach.

I couldn't not share some of these views. Nature always (always) astounds me.. Perspective.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Adventuring #2: Laberint d'Horta

We decided that as the heat was almost unbearable we would stay closer to home and go to the North of the city to one of the 'hidden' botanical gardens. The heat was indeed almost unbearable but it was beautiful nonetheless. We then treated ourselves to a dinner out in the evening where I learned that even the most unexpected places can be wonderful, and although it had been brilliant with some head space and time alone, having the company of Tasha here is just lovely.

Adventuring #1: Tarragona

As my very good friend and future housemate Tasha is here for the week and we know the city fairly well, we decided to have a week of adventures. This has means that my writing has been somewhat sparse, I have only been able to attend a couple of castings, and our legs are feeling like we have run marathons each morning, but we have been having the most wonderful days out of the city. The purpose of my trip here was to write, work, and relax, and re-store the balance in my life. There is no better way to do this than to take a break with a good friend and explore places that are breath-taking and beautiful and new. On Monday we took a coastal train out to Tarragona. Here are a few of our pictures. I have not wanted to over-load social media with them all, but the day was pretty spectacular so this blog is the perfect platform to use to share them...

Saturday, 4 July 2015

From Barcelona

I wanted to write a short post before it gets weeks down the line once more. I am here in Barcelona. It is almost 11am on Saturday morning and outside my apartment window it looks like the world is only just waking up. It is quieter out there right now than it is at 2am with the cars driving past and sirens buzzing. The week has been a mixture of castings, walking for miles on end, reading on the beach, and trying to write some of this Practice File. I cannot even write the dreaded word, so 'PF' will have to do... I need to restore some balance. I am here to get some space to focus on writing and preparing some things for my research, but I must also find some balance, so this week I been taking things day by day, taking life as it comes. I needed that attitude last night when I arrived back to the apartment to find my Spanish landlady moving my bed out of my bedroom and I hadn't a clue why or what she was doing... Turns out she is replacing it with two new single beds. Not sure why. Mayte does not speak a word of English either so it makes communicating with her a little tricky and awkward. We usually use Whatsapp and google translate, but when we meet face to face there is a huge barrier of communication between us, and she is a rather forthcoming woman. It is difficult to read her! I should really focus some energy on learning some Spanish.. I know a little and it is enough to get me by, but I believe it would be much easier if I took the time to learn a little more!

So, I helped Mayte move my beloved double bed out of my room whilst seething inside not having a clue why this crazy Spanish lady had gone mad and was taking furniture from me... Anyway, 'what will be will be'. All is OK, I think (hope) she is returning today with the other bed for my room and to sort out the dismantled furniture she has left.... Anyway, I needed that attitude of 'what will be will be'. Accept what I cannot change... That seems to be what gets me through most days recently. It works very well when I try hard enough and I must admit that despite its madness and chaos, Barcelona has a calming effect on me. And yes, I did just question if I used the right 'affect' or 'effect' there.. Still not sure. I think I did!

Anyway, keeping to me plan of a short post, it is the weekend and apparently there is a yoga conference on here, so I am going to go find it...