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Archive for October, 2006

A day on the beach today – it has been GLORIOUS weather again after a few days of utter drear. We scooted off this morning utterly oblivious of clocks changing or anything remotely practical like that, armed with a picnic and gardening tools. By the time my 6 year old wanted lunch, his nose was SO blocked I started looking for tissues – NONE anywhere. So, ever resourceful, I had an idea. Dig a hole and blow your nose into the hole. TEN MINUTES LATER this child was waving his head around with the scariest entrails hanging out of his head – about a foot long on each side. I couldn’t bring myself to help, I thought I was going to gag, so left him to it! He finally sorted it out by burying it an inch at a time until it finally decided to reluctantly detach.

Utterly disgusting!

Do visit my more humane blog at my website : www.amanda-hamilton.com – that’s the artist site!

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I am learning the saxophone! Actually, I have had a tenor sax for over 6 years, but a very sensitive pregnancy meant I couldn’t bear playing it, and then a baby – well, as my sister beautifully put it “you’re either busy, very busy or asleep”. Hence I am learning it now, 6 years later, nearly 2,000 metres up in the mountains. Oh, and also, at 6€ per month for four loosely half hour lessons (for loosely read roughly an hour), I feel I am onto a winner, even if my mouth and tongue do feel like Jah Jah Binks’ tongue zapping in Star Wars I.

The heart attack – not literally thanks be to my Guardian Angel, came when I exited the School of Music to see my son hare-ing round the corner on his bike. That is nothing new – all the children here hare everywhere on their bikes, however this particular corner leads to the “main road” – down which juggernauts cannon, followed by a convoy of cars.

I asked my son if he had been on the “Main Road”, to which he sheepishly told me he had, and how sorry he was.

I asked if he had done it before with his friends, to which he answered yes he had.

My blood ran ice cold. The child I thought I knew had deliberately lied to me, and not only lied to me consistently, but over something ENORMOUSLY dangerous. A death inducing danger, seriously.

How to handle? A first for me – all our problems thus far had been relatively easy to resolve with a Star Awards Chart for good behaviour etc – and now this – a REAL biggie.

Obviously the bike had to go in the garage. Trust had been breached, so the bike was banned. A lunch party today was cancelled, as was football practice. But none of this seemed to hit the spot for me, and I couldn’t put my finger on why.

I like meditating – so I created a space to get quiet, and during a bit of quiet time felt the need to put a giant sheet of blank paper on our kitchen table in our tiny kitchen with pens, crayons, glue and paints. My hope being to “see” something through creative drawing with my son.

Well, he drew. He drew the Music School, the Plaza, the Tree, and me playing my saxophone. He drew a loop of him bicycling. But no Main Road. I asked “where is the main road? We need to draw that in” and I put it in the other side of the Music School. He then over and over drew his path on the bike ….. NOT ONCE did it go onto the Main Road …..

Turns out, he thought that the Plaza was a Main Road because a lot of cars park there – when I said “what about the “vueltas” (circuits) round here?” pointing to the Main Road, he looked at me wide eyed and said “But Mummy I would never ever go THERE without you”!!!!!!!!!!!!!

PHEW!! Heaves a HUGE sigh of relief that my son isn’t a liar, he does value his life, and he does respect his Mum’s house rules!

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Who Needs Nutcrackers?

We went almond picking last week – it was the Day of Pilar – I don’t understand the Saints here yet but there are lots and that means days off which we love. Armed with 3 plastic bags we headed off up the hill.

The trees are teeming with almonds at the moment – hard to understand how the Spanish charge 4€ per 200g when they are dropping off in their thousands – except of course when you come to opening them – or figuring out how to open them.

But that’s what I love about a simpler life – who needs nutcrackers that pinch the flap of skin between thumb and fingers when you can sit with a socking great big stone in your lap and crack them with a hammer?!

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This is my first post even though I have been living my dream here in Spain since May. I want to share my experiences, the ups and the downs, in the hope of giving courage and inspiration to people who want to pursue their dreams but feel they can’t, for whatever reasons.

A brief history : I have wanted to move to Spain for a decade, but my life circumstances at the time made it impossible. However post a divorce, impossibly expensive cost of living in the UK and encouragement from some very loyal friends, I bought a campervan and began my explorations.

A year later (oh, and a few court cases), I and my then just 6 year old son arrived in the Sierra de Gudar mountains, about an hour inland from Valencia. In a campervan! Every nook and cranny was jam packed with food, paint (I am an artist by profession), natural remedies, clothes to last through +40 degress and -15 degrees, and all the other bits and pieces that the removers said could not be stored in Madrid.

We had been here before, but we had no friends as such – acquaintances, yes. Knowledge of SOME spanish traditions, yes, but essentially (and looking back with six months under my belt), we, more importantly I, knew nothing!

Keep reading to hear more of our adventures here – I have a boy to get out of a lovely bath!

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