Saturday, 5 December 2015


Hola de nuevo! Sorry I'm super late with this again, I keep *thinking* about writing it, and then I just don't. But I do have a few photos and stuff to put in this one to make up for my lateness.

 So school has been really fun recently; last Thursday I even went with a few of the English classes on a big school trip to the Gijon Film Festival, and we saw a new film called 'All The Wilderness'. It was a bit of an odd film, but films at these sorts of events often are, because they're being celebrated as being 'different' and 'interesting', so I embraced it and thoroughly enjoyed it. All The Wilderness was a bit like Perks of Being a Wallflower, in that it was, in essence, a sort of coming-of-age story and how one teenage boy was coping with things that had happened to him in the past. But it also reminded me of Perks of Being A Wallflower because the film had some quite dark and serious themes running through it, and the coming-of-age stuff was a sort of cover for what the film was actually about- coping with death and sadness. It was incredibly effective, and although some of the students didn't really like it, I think they all followed it, and enjoyed it all the same. 
 I really liked going on the school trip, because I got to talk to lots of the students in a non-classroom-y setting, which was mostly them jibbering in Spanish and then quizzing me in broken English about various things! Some of the girls even saved me a seat so I could sit with them during the film (I know, adorable.) Some of them wanted selfies with me and wanted to know all about how I learned Spanish in England and school etc, and I now even have about 7 of them following me on Instagram!! It was just a really lovely day.
 Something else I've particularly enjoyed recently at school is that now it's December, I can start talking about Christmaaas!! I'm so excited about going home for Christmas, so it was really fun talking to the students about mince pies, advent calendars (of course I told them about my awesome PlayMobil one), Christmas pudding, and the importance of brussel sprouts! In order to have a bit of context for talking about how I celebrate Christmas, I asked my friend who I give conversation classes to, how Christmas is celebrated here. The main differences, are that here in Spain, traditionally Christmas Eve (la Noche Buena) is the day when Christmas Dinner is eaten, all the family gather together, and they'd have the leftovers for Christmas Day. Also, Santa Claus is not really popular here- I was told that sometimes they get a couple of 'Santa' presents, but mostly they receive their gifts from the Three Kings; they leave out offerings for them and their camels in the same way we leave out mince pies for Father Christmas. Also, one of the funniest questions I was asked was about Christmas Stockings, because the word for stocking is the same as 'sock', so several children asked me how on earth Father Christmas is supposed to fit all our presents into a sock, which I found quite amusing to explain!
  The great thing about fun lessons like these, is that the students actually listen, behave, and want to learn about it, because it's such an important celebration and they like to tell me how they celebrate it, and ask me hundreds of questions! They were so good in fact, that the quick, 10-minute Christmas song-learning activity I had prepared turned into a full group singalong which had all the students sat on the floor watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on the smartboard, and singing all the words! I can't wait for next week when I can do another one with them!

Plaza del Fontán Marketplace Mistletoe
  It's really beginning to look and feel a lot like Christmas now too ("eeeverywheeere you go...") because the past couple of weeks have been so gorgeous and cold and frosty in the mornings! I sit in the staff room wearing a tshirt most days, and one of my teachers always looks at me in shock and says "How? How are you wearing short sleeves, I look at you and I get cold!" but the school is always 100 degrees so I refuse to wear winter clothing unless I'm sat outside when we go for a coffee at breaktime, but even then it's beautiful sunshine! My advent calendar is doing a great job at making me feel festive, and I've whacked out the Christmas playlist on Spotify for when I get ready in the mornings so I'll be in full Christmas mode when I come home in 2 weeks. Yep- TWO WEEKS! *happy christmas dance*
The lovely mountain view from my bus-stop

 Last weekend I went to Parque Principado- a big INTU Asturias shopping centre! - with a couple of friends, and it was so nice to just wander round the shops. There are plenty of good shops in Oviedo city centre, but they're all quite well-dispersed and some can take quite a while to find, so the shopping centre was lovely! It had a huge variety of places, and the McDonald's even had its own fancy little coffee bar which sold Macarons (or should that be McMacarons?) and posh pastries! I liked the shops so much I actually went there again yesterday morning, as there is a bus every half an hour from a bus stop just over the road, which takes you to right outside the entrance of the shopping centre. That is one thing I do like very much about where I live in Oviedo, it's *so* well-connected, I can get on practically any bus I need to in a maximum of 15 minutes' walk. Anyway, yeah! So that's another thing found which I can do at the weekend, and I expect I will explore more of it in the weekends to come. 
 I've also been walking to the library in the old towny bit near the Cathedral a lot recently, just to print and copy various things when I forget to do so at school! But it's been quite nice because although I explored that area thoroughly at the beginning of my stay here, because that's where all the Town Hall important places are, I haven't really been there much since, so it was a good opportunity to remind myself how much I liked it! I had a wander round the market in Plaza del Fontán, which this time of year is overflowing with people buying and selling poinsettias (reminded me of you by the way Mum) and sprigs of mistletoe in little beribboned bags. All very pretty!

The market just outside the library!

Last week I also had to go and find the special courier parcel-delivery collection place to collect my surprise advent calendar ( :D ) which meant I had to wander round a far-flung part of Oviedo I had never explored before! But luckily, it was on my way to the house of the little boy I give English classes to, so I could hop on a bus and get off a couple of stops early to go and find it. Once I had found the first street I had to walk up (Google Maps is despairingly bad here for some reason) I only had to walk in a straight line for 10 minutes and there it was! Since I had expected it to take me a lot longer than that, I had a bit of time to wander about taking photos of the very colourful and funky-looking buildings in the square nearby!

That's about it for my recent adventures! A friend is hosting a Sunday roast tomorrow, so I'll be going to that in the little town she lives in nearby, and I can't wait for amazing UK-style food!
Hopefully I won't be quite so late with my next post, but if nothing happens between now and next week, I'll probably wait until after Christmas to write again. 
Feliz Navidad!

Pretty sunset with the view of the mountains and the cathedral