Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Lovely Little Estepa.


I am going to miss you.

















It's easy to get used to something so much that you forget to notice the little things.
Thats what this walk was about. Finding the little things that I found so beautiful 9 months ago, now that there is only 1 week left...
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Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Team Bangs on the Run !

BIG NEWS!


Oh, look. Thats me!

Thats right!
This morning - while walking down the hill to school - I checked my emails, only to discover that -
I have been accepted as part of Team Bangs on the Run pt. 2 !!!

I went from half asleep & shuffling, to practically skipping & falling on my ass down the hill that is Estepa.

What can I say! I am absolutely ecstatic to have been chosen out of 40+ applicants and to be put in a team with these 13 other fabulous women. 

As you may, or may not know, I applied for Run To The Beat London Half Marathon, one boring & sickly night in March. I intended on running it solo.
Today I gained 13 running partners & an amazing support network.

I couldn't be happier.
I think this is really going to be an amazing adventure.

They do say, when one door closes, another opens.
And it has definitely given me something else to look forward to while my time here in Spain is sadly coming to an end.

So heres to 13 miles & 14 women.
Bring. It. On.

Ps. If you have twitter, feel free to cheer us on :)
Top row, L-R
Jayne – @beachbumbeauty Me! – @sammi_x Cass – @cassdenton Amy – @thentherewere Candice – @iCandieCupcakes
Middle row – L-R
Tahirah – @Tahirah Muireann - @BangsandaBun Michelle – @_missallen Jo – @jojogifford
Bottom row, L-R
Sam – @samcentric  Sarah – @sarahs_scribbles  Kelly – @kelanjo19  Lauren – @mizzbusby  Elle – @RunLikeElle
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Friday, 20 May 2011

Byebye!


And so it begins. 
:(
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Thursday, 19 May 2011

Octava.

Octava de Los Remedios in Estepa!

Finally! A "feria" in my home-town. 
It was small, or at least a streets-worth of casetas, a few lights, some sweet stalls & a fair at the end. 
But it was beautiful, even better, it was just at the end of our street.
Or on our street, as we discovered at 12am Sunday night.







Sunday night.
I had heard it mentioned that a parade may pass our street...
I heard some noise ( a full brass band, type noise ) and ran to the balcony to find this coming past.


 It was a pretty amazing sight.
The Church bells had been ringing for a while, the band were playing, people had incense and were slowing making there way down the street.

Our flat - opposite a church - situation finally paid off :)

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Saturday, 7 May 2011

Feria de Abril - Sevilla !


It could be called Feria, or just, the best day of my life so far.


Okay! So, for those that don't know, (not sure how you couldn't by now) Seville is basically my favourite city on this entire planet - of that I've seen. 
I normally go at least once a month, 2 hours by bus, just to shop, wander, and generally be in such a wonderful, beautiful place.

In "April" or, May, this year, it transforms into a "Feria" - Fair, for a week.
But not just any ordinary; brandy snap, hook a duck, type fair - it has tradition and history, dating back to 1847 when it was a livestock and cattle fair. Gypsies would come to sell & trade, sitting underneath "Casetas" - Tents, to keep cool. Eventually, over time, Sevillians evolved this tradition to what it is today - a beautiful event of colour, sound, food, dance & drink.


Of course, I wanted to see it.
But not only did I just want to see it, I wanted to feel part of it.
Welcome - my traje de gitana !

Now, some kids have dreams of becoming fire-fighters, nurses, or ballerinas - well, I'm pretty sure this was mine. To dress up in full flamenco dress. (Must of been a strange kid, what can I say) I used to go on holiday to Spain when I was little and would always come back with a new flamenco doll.

The more I thought about the idea of getting a "traje de gitana" - flamenco/gypsy dress, the more I knew I just had to do it. Last minute (wednesday) I went to the shop, with Jessica & Lydia to help, while I tried on a few of the most beautiful / heavy / expensive dresses I've ever tried on in my life.

When I say heavy, I mean, I weighed mine this morning, after wondering why I felt like I'd done a work-out.
3KG of dress, I wore for 9 hours.

Really not surprising is it?

And when I say expensive, I mean, we're looking at hundreds of euros. But honestly, it's worth every cent to me.



Friday - Day of the Feria!
The day came around quick, I was so excited anyone would think I were getting married.
I never had a prom (THANKS INTAKE) so, I'm guessing this was like that, but a million times better.
I picked my dress up from the shop as it was being altered, to be even more fitted, believe it or not. I was so excited to put it on, I forgot to put my shoes on first... Might not sound like a big deal, but I had both housemates helping me zip it up, so bending down was not an option.

But nevertheless, it was sorted, I was in my dress, ready to go, shuffle down the hill, and wait for the bus.
(a rather uncomfortable, breathless kind of journey, but I was so happy just to be on my way, I didnt really care.) 


We arrived! Woohoo.
First stop was food, tapas, while taking in all the beautiful women, their multi-coloured dresses, men on horses & a spanish guitarist.
I was in my element.


We walked down the street, and it really was incredible, every corner turned were more dresses, more colours, more horses, and then we got to the Feria.




I was instantly in love with everything.
If I could have skipped, I would have.


There were miles & miles of casetas; stripy tents, that were over-flowing with beautifully dressed Spaniards, eating, drinking & dancing, kids playing in the sand-like streets, horse & carts (for the more well-off, darling) coming round every corner - truly an amazing sight.



The thing about casetas is, that you have to be invited to one. They are owned by Sevillian families or companies, and there is limited space inside each one. Clearly, we didn't know anyone with a caseta, but there are public ones. Which were just as fun :)




We ate, drank (vino dulce, above), went to the fair, I wandered around in my dress, loving the rippling effect of the frills, admired the atmosphere, dodged the horses, and the horse "gifts" in the street... 
I don't think there was any point that I didn't have a smile on my face.



We finished the day eating tapas, "huevo a la flamenca" (above) was particularly good, although a school boy error on my half; I had to eat with a constant tissue under my mouth to avoid chorizo splatter on my dress.



All - in - all; an absolutely perfect, beautiful day. I've never seen anything so spectacular in my life, and I'm not sure anything will live up to that.

Quite literally a dream come true...
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Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Realisation.

Exactly 4 weeks today - all things that are now, finally, normal to me, will no longer be.

Smiley happy faces.

Dramatic but true.

Roof-top views.

I only really realised when I was in class today with 3 Non Bilingual - A class that I have once a week, every other week. 

I think its fair to say that they struggle with English but they're a bunch of big personalities, loud characters & just generally funny kids.
This is why I like them.

  • The teacher I work with, Nuria, mentioned to them that I "will be leaving soon" - strike 1.
  • Then, we realised, I actually only have one class left with them - strike, 2, 3 & 4.

This was followed by a lot of - "Oh noo"'s, and even some sad faces - (I'm pretty sure they realised I would leave at some point. But clearly not as soon as it will be - neither did I, to be honest!) 

By the end of the class they decided they want to throw me a party.
They just like an excuse to not do English, but it still made me feel pretty loved.

I will be sad to see them go.
...And this is just the start.

Pass the tissues!
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