Winds of Prairie Proportions

I cannot believe the winds I’m getting here in Almería! Of course, I’m right on the water, but it’s easy to forget that some days. It’s hard to sleep on windy nights since things rattle in the back garden and it’s quite noisy. Because of that, I was awake around five this morning. I went to use the bathroom and went back to bed, making sure that the bedroom door was firmly latched.

So imagine my surprise when I woke up about four hours later and the cat was curled up with me! My Tabitha knew how to open that style of door so I’m not surprised this cat does as well. I let her sleep with me every few nights and I think she’s decided that that’s not enough for her! I’m really in love with her, so I don’t mind. She’s so incredibly sweet and well behaved.

It’s hard to believe that I’ve only got three weeks left here! I really thought I’d get more exploring done, but the Spanish schedule and mine are really not compatible for that, never mind my incessant workload.

For example, I was able to quit at three today. Anywhere else that I’ve ever been, I would have taken off for downtown to do a little shopping and exploring before having dinner,. Here? Nothing’s open at that hour until around six and, of course, you can’t get a meal until at least eight or nine. I like ambling through cities, as you all know, but this part of Spain is basically dead in the afternoon. There’s just no ambiance and it’s not appealing. Of course, I could do siesta and go out about now, nine, to get some of the night life, but then you can’t see anything because the sun has long set. I need to be in town between about 10AM and 2PM to make a trip worthwhile and that’s just not compatible with my work schedule at present. I’m not unhappy being “home” since I have so much work to do and plenty around here to keep me busy, but I do hope I get to see a weeeeee bit more of Spain before I leave!

One thing that has astounded me since I got to Spain is how much bigger the country feels than I expected it to. I think a part of that has to do with how costly it is to get around Spain when compared to traveling around the Balkan countries. Like in Canada, it’s cheaper to go to another country than to travel within Spain! I’ve seen sits in the northwest part of the country that would be interesting, but which would cost me almost as much to get to as to fly back to Canada — insane!

Last night, I went to to La Mayor for a tapa and beer as a late supper and was rewarded with a particularly generous portion since I got a whole sausage and extra fries! I was stunned! I was there for quite a while, enjoying the luxury of being able to read the local paper, something I really missed in the Balkans. I read a couple of particularly interesting articles, including an opinion piece on Catalonian independence.

In other news, it looks like my England sit for the start of January is a go! I will be flying from somewhere to Manchester around the 6th of 7th and from there going to the vicinity of the town of Hebden Bridge, in West Yorkshire, to meet my host on the 8th and start on the 9th for a month. That area is the setting of a UK show I like (Happy Valley), so it’s somewhat familiar to me. I’m not looking forward to a cold damp month, but as I’ve said before, England is the next logical step for me and this area is particularly appealing to me. My host is going to sign me up for Spanish conversation lessons once a week while I’m there! Only £5 (about 8CAD) each, so that gives me something to look forward to. That and another cat!

So I’m now trying to fill the gap between December 18th and about January 5th. I’ve applied for another sit down the coast from here from December 22nd to January 2nd. If that works out, then I can go to Málaga for a day or two before I start. I’d also like to go to Madrid for at least a couple of days and so if that sit’s a go, I could take a bus to Madrid and then fly from there to Manchester. Time will tell!

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