Sunday 11th November
Armistice day. We remembered the 2 minutes silence at 11am. Most people were wearing poppies and the cenotaph in St Helier was cordoned off for a Remembrance Day procession. Fortunately it was a dry day, but windy, and the leaves were flying everywhere. It still feels like Autumn, but there is a nip in the air which tells us that Winter is not far away.
Monday 12th November
Hadyn, the school handyman is busy painting the window frames of the school. There are enough to keep him busy for weeks. His little framework for reaching up to the high parts is right outside the door, blocking the entrance, and the students are grumbling about having to use the other door- and it's only Monday!
Tuesday 13th November
Couldn't resist this picture of the sun appearing over the top of the big tree in the car park.It is lovely to have dry weather, and it isn't particularly cold yet. I wonder what the weather is doing in Paris.
Wednesday 14th November
My students are doing an exam mock today, so I just have to invigilate and can make a list of what I need to pack. I am taking a small suitcase to Paris, leaving the very large one for M to bring when he meets me in London after the weekend. I wonder how many kilos the little one will carry, and I hope that M will be inside the limit for flying with the large one. He should be okay on BA, as the limit is 23kilos, but that would be too many for Easyjet. I'm going to fill mine with Jersey fudge to share in Paris with my friends.
Thursday 15th November
Last day at work for a while. I don't have to teach again until 9th December! I am all packed and ready to go. I must remember to buy some Euros and to leave Cairis enough money for food for her and the cats. She is pleased that she found some Christmas berry J2O in the shop.
Friday 16thUp at sparrow-f*rt to catch the plane they call the Red-Eye. I can't wait to get to Paris, but I will spend a lot of the day travelling: Jersey to Gatwick, Gatwick to Heathrow, Heathrow to Charles de Gaulle, and then the RER to the venue. The rest of the time will be spent in airports. I finally arrived at my destination, and found that I have a view straight up the rue de la Butte au Cailles. Nice! The hotel is only a few minutes from the conference centre, so I have time to dump my bag and run down to catch up with everyone. Yaay!
Conference, food, friends and fun. See post below for what I actually did during the day. The evening was an open mike session with all sorts of fun entertainment. Brad should win a prize for his mouth music to accompany Sue Lyon-Jones. Igor managed to entice lots of people up onto the stage, where he taught them some Flamenco dancing, and Carolyn had us all in stitches with her stories. Rakesh read out some Haikus and Luke played his guitar and sang. All in all it was a good evening, which we ended by going for a very late night meal, and then Sue and I had a slight problem when we got back to the hotel and found that we had been locked out. Eventually someone came to our rescue and we went to bed about half past two, or thereabouts :-)
|a fun thing to do with light sticks!|
Sunday 18thIt was great to see Mike, who had come racing down from the other conference to support Chia when she did her great plenary. This is him chatting with Tyson, visiting from Canada with his lovely partner. Chia is chatting to Julie behind the men.
When the conference finished I had to head off back to London. I planned to stay in a hotel there for one night, and then meet M in the morning, when he flew in from Jersey. We are planning to stay in the same hotel on the return journey, so I was pleased that it seemed quite nice, and the bed
Monday 19thToday we're off to sunny Spain- y viva espana.... Actually, we'll be sitting around in the airport for a few hours today. I booked M's ticket for lunchtime, which is a civilised time, but we don't fly out to Spain until 5pm. We'll just curl up with our kindles and read, I think. We're flying direct to Valencia with Easyjet, which suggests that we could be in a little airport miles from the town itself:-(. We did book a hire car though, so we should be okay.
Well, last night was a bit chaotic, as I forgot to print off the car hire voucher!! We arrived at the airport, on the final flight of the day, and didn't know who we were booked with! Oooops! After phoning home and getting Cairis to start up my PC and email the info to me, we managed to work it out and arrived at our Apartment within a few minutes. The hotel is a block of private flatlets- very nice- which belong to the Best Western Hotel on the other side of the road. We woke up this morning to bright sunshine, and a temperature of 26 degrees. Our plan is always to take a tour bus to get our bearings, and then make decisions about what to visit and taoday was no exception. We did a tour of the historical sites in the morning, and another of the maritime part in the afternoon.This is a picture of the Bull ring in the centre. The season starts in March, so it was empty and quiet. Next door is the beautifully decorated Estacion de Nord, or Northern train station.
It's warm and sunny again -24 degrees today. We took the bus down to the beach area and walked along the coast, getting a feel for the maritime aspect. It was sad to see the buildings for the America's cup lying derelict. They also hold a Formula 1 race down there, by moving a couple of pieces of bridge and closing off the road. The building on the right was built to host the corporate events for the America's cup. It is really impressive, but falling into disrepair. It's a real shame that they don't have a use for it.
Today we had a lazy day, and did a little shopping. Our complex is in the middle of the Centro Commercial, which gave us lots of retail therapy, without having to go very far. I love the fact that the streets are lined with orange trees. At the moment they are ready for harvesting, laden with fruit.
The weather is again sunny, 22 degrees in the sun. The River Turia has a dry water bed through the centre of Valencia. It has been turned into The City of Arts and Sciences, and architects have been allowed to design the most amazing structures. The girl on the desk suggested that we should only buy tickets for one museum, rather than the three we thought we would have. I managed not to roll my eyes, but could see me spending 5 hours in one museum. But I was wrong! We chose the Science museum to start with- it was amazing! 5 hours sped past, and I was engaged at all times. If you get the chance, it is really work a visit.
Back to the city of Arts and Sciences to another place. The Oceanografic is the biggest aquarium complex in Europe.The weather was again bright and sunny. I'm really enjoying the chance to eat outside, in a t-shirt. This was another day of hours in a museum! I loved the dolphin show, which was clearly something the mammals loved doing. The aquarium is the last in the line of amazing buildings.
Sunday 25thOkay- this is Spain, and like home there is little to do on a Sunday. The shops are all closed, the bus timetable leaves a lot to be desired, and it is too sunny to stay indoors. We wandered down into town, where we came across a demonstration against Domestic Violence. Then we found a little tapas bar and did some people watching.
Monday 26thOur hotel was just on the edge of the Albufera National Park, a series of wetlands and rice fields. We took the bus out to have a look, and I left M to go on the boat tour round the reed beds, as it looked a bit precarious to me :-) . I sat in the shade of the big orange tree and enjoyed the peace.
Our last day- and we saw on the news that the weather back in the UK is foul:-(. First we had to go shopping to buy some gifts to take back. Then we checked out and drove up into the hills. After passing what seemed like millions of orange groves, we found a town called Lliria, which had the remains of a Roman bath house.
|flying above the clouds|
|I can see the water|
|Coming in to land|
Time to fly home. I really enjoyed the holiday, but I miss my cats when I'm away, and I have a fair bit of admin to sort out when I regain access to my computer. I took these photos from the window of the plane, very discreetly:-). Oh my goodness- It feels cold!!! Time to put the central heating on- and find a warm pullover too:-)
My little cat is following me around in a panic in case I disappear again! I have just about done all the paperwork which needed doing, and I will go up to the college to pick up the stuff which has to be on headed paper. I decided to take the turron which I brought back for my colleagues. Happy people! It was good to catch up with the gossip, and wish my students good luck with the exams they are taking next week.
Most of the money I left for Cairis to use for shopping is still there. She decided to eat what was already in the house and attacked my store cupboard. The result is that I need to do some shopping. I have too much to do today, so I have ordered my shopping online, and it will be delivered later this afternoon :-)
Saturday 1st December
Well here we are, into the final stretch. It has been fun doing the photo blog, and now there is only one final month to go. Today is the office Christmas party. The boss's wife is expecting a baby any day soon, and some of my colleagues are heading off on holiday, so this was the date that suited everyone. As it's only the first of December, it is way too early for the tree, however, I wanted to add a little Christmas cheer to the sitting room- but not enough to be messy:-) It was fun that our first card arrived today, too.