Sunday, March 30, 2014

March Roundup

So, only one other post this month, not because I have nothing to say but because I pretty much sleep or zombie-out on the couch when I'm not doing this:
yes, that is a wall on the floor!
Home renovations! We're in the throws of what I am calling Project Phoenix and Tall Guy calls Home Destroying (gotta love second languages). I'm looking forward to the comfortable new home that will rise out of all of this dust. It's mostly fun and obviously more economical, but sometimes I wonder if we're crazy for getting so involved in the project. It's much more difficult and way messier than the DIY shows on TV let on...

It's worth pointing out that in Spain, wood is not the preferred building choice. When you hit the wall with the sledge hammer, it doesn't just cave in. No, in Spain we've got terra cotta bricks laid with thick, old-school cement topped with more cement and tiles. Oh, the tiles. Tiles from floor to ceiling, in all kinds of colours. Don't like it? Just tile over in another colour. Or wallpaper, then tile. Yikes. It takes a lot of smashing to get through that stuff. Yesterday the payout was huge though - we discovered a supporting beam marked as very annoyingly large in our drawing is actually quite small. Make way for more cabinets for the kitchen!

Anyway, there will be more pictures and more reflections coming regarding our home makeover. It's quite the process.

I didn't post anything more about Carnaval because it literally rained on my parade, and unless it's because I have a chance of seeing Gwyneth Paltrow or Will, Kate, and baby George, I don't stand out in the rain for a parade. Sorry. Disappointing, but there's always next year!

i wish my hair really were that voluminous
I made a new friend at the place I volunteer (we've been painting with the kids this month, they love it!). She's studying here until May, but if I've learned one thing as an expat it's that when a friendship appears, hop on board! When you click, you click, so I say go book-shopping and meet up for coffee while you can.

our hairdo - we picked the same one

Another friend and I went to an event called Buns and Bubbles - come for a hairdo, stay for a glass of champagne. Don't mind if we do! It was so much fun to have a total girl evening. On the way home I discovered an Essie manicure shop, which is now on our radar for April.

Madrid peeps, we found this activity through Madrid Confidential, a great website with all kinds of alternative and interesting ideas for things to do around the city.

On the way to the hairdresser's, in true Madrid fashion, we ran into an Easter procession. The music was solemn but sounded really familiar, so we stopped to listen. Yes, it was indeed I will survive, and song number two was My Way... I suppose you could twist those lyrics to make them Biblically appropriate, but let's just leave it at this: a very dedicated group of musicians processing through the streets of Madrid to a tucked-away church, touching and memorable no matter what the songs are.

Tall Guy and I went to a wedding in Seville. I love the dress I found (my mother in law helped me pick it out - a nice bonding moment). This is pretty much as Spanish-looking as I get.

I love Seville and I was sorry it was just a quick there-and-back overnight, but we did have a lovely time - lunch outdoors, then on to the wedding in the Cathedral, and the wedding dinner cocktail hour was held outside with lots of bonfires for warmth. Dinner and dancing indoors, and we danced until 4 in the morning. We were not the last people to leave, either. Yikes!

Travel Tip: Hotel Inglaterra is a stone's throw from the cathedral and there is a super-cute bakery just outside the front door, Colette, where you can get a proper cappuccino and any kind of pastry your heart desires.

We're watching season two of Vikings. Well, Tall Guy is watching. I alternate between watching when nothing too bloody or violent is happening, and reading when it is. I'm actually watching episodes the whole way through of Season Two of Arctic Air, Season Seven of The Big Bang Theory, and Season Five of Modern Family.

It's been a month of rereading, for better and worse. I reread The Booky Triology, by Beatrice Thurman Hunter. It's a semi-biographical account of a child growing up in Toronto during the Depression. I loved this series as a child and still love it now. A good reread.

Also reread a mystery by Caroline Roe and enjoyed it even more than the first time through, since now I've visited some of the places mentioned in the book (Mallorca and Valencia).

Abandon, by Pico Iyer, was not a good reread. I liked it less than the first time. It wasn't so much hauntingly mysterious as it was irritating - the main female character was just so desperately helpless, it drove me crazy! I do enjoy Iyer's writing though, especially descriptions of place, and I'm looking forward to digging through my boxes to find another one of his books to try again.

My new read is 40 Days to Rethink Life, a Lent Bible study. It's very handily available on my phone. Each day a new challenge is presented - one day shifting away from ego-centric decision making, another day taking a "friend-entory", or dropping judgemental attitudes. A life makeover to go along with our new home.
wedding hair on the train

Online reading included Leigh's Enneagram series, which you can find here. I had never heard about this until she wrote about it a while back, and it's very interesting stuff, especially if you're into personality tests and exploring yourself. I'm linked up with Leigh's What I'm Into.

Madrid dwellers, take note: I broke a tooth (on a seed in some muesli!!) and have a new dentist. He's gentle and explains exactly what he's doing (and he asks before he does stuff), and he speaks English. Send me an email if you want his contact info. North Americans, take note: Dental work is MUCH cheaper over here. Much, much cheaper. As in, come for a visit and fix your teeth while you're here.

April is packed already - Easter, my birthday, a visitor, and of course, renovations. 

Hasta pronto, my friends!   


  1. Your hair is not that voluminous, but your braids are quite lovely!

    1. Aw, thanks, Anna! I´m working on doing that style to myself, I really like it.

  2. Enjoyed this post! Your hair looks beautiful! Checking out the lent devotional now - thanks!

    1. Thanks, Sarah! I hope you like the devotional. I've found some really good ones on YouVersion over the last couple of years, and it is so handy as an app or emailed to your inbox!

  3. Hope the renovations go well! Buns and Bubbles sounds like a lot of fun. Thanks for linking to my Enneagram series!

    1. Thanks! Looking forward to the Enneagram newsletter. :)