27 March 2008

Holy Week Batman

Holy Week has passed for another year. Its an exciting time of year but I am damn glad it is OVA! The streets are pumping and full of people. I can hear the beats of the drums and music from my house at almost all hours of the day.
There are nazarenos (those types doing penance that wear the KKK looking pointy hats with the eyes cut out.) cover the streets on their way to/from their procession. Its Seville´s busiest time of year and those sevillanos surely love their holy week.

All these photos complements of Jo...my camera is broken...
Tuesday night I couldnt get into my apartment cause a procession was passing right by my door. Had to wait till the giant jesus and virgin passed and then the people scattered on their way to see another jesus or virgin pass by at some other random point in the city.

Last year we were bad, (well we had just moved into a new place) and saw no processions. We hibernated in the house and avoided processions at all costs with out handy little Holy Week daily map book. (Most people use it to follow the processions but we use it to avaoid them) It seems the only time we go out to see any is when we have visitors who have come to see Holy Week and we must take them out to show them whats what, where to go and which virgin is which, clarifications that are very very important. This year we had mystery guests stay. Long story but when I was studying spanish here in 2003, I met a fab Canadian called Kristie Anne, her friend Lia was in Madrid working as an aupair and studying spanish just like us and she came down to Seville many times to hang with us. We also became friends and still keep in contact....anyways, her sister and her sisters boyfriend who live in London, came and stayed with us for Holy Week. I´d never met them before but I know that Lia is lovely and lots of fun so I was positive her sister would be too. I was right, Mia and Mike were lovely and great guests and they thankfully didnt kill us in our sleep!
We also had, although not officially "guests" but still guests to seville, as they stayed in a hotel, friends from London. Mike (2 Mike´s at once!) who met Amanda in London when he saw her at some rugby final drinking beer at 11am and decided he wanted to be friends with her. They became pals and amanda later rented a flat from him, which I, then Marcos later moved into. So officially he was our landlord but we met him at the pub for trivia night and in the park for dinners on the heath, so he was more of a pal that we gave money to once a month. Anyway, so Mike and his lady Jo were also in Seville and we had a great time hanging out and catching up with them. Its so nice to see old friends, freakin fun people!

Here we are having tapas at our favourite tapas place. Note the tiles of the virgin behind me... I am sure this was the virgin that left this church and blocked my way home last Tuesday night! Damn Virgins!

18 March 2008

Chilean Dinner

This dinner was actually celebrated a while ago but naughty Maria just sent me the pics... These guys are my "spanish friends" I have other spanish friends and workmates but these guys are my favourites! L-R Domingo, Miguel, Marcos, Me, Isabel & Maria. I have spoken about this crowd before. Domingo & Miguel both ran the marathon with Marcos (freaks!). We often meet up for genearl revelry and we also take turns having a "themed" dinner at each couples house. Themed meaning that we chose a country and cook up a storm. Maria & Miguel had just gotten back from Chile so they went spaz at the supermarket in Chile and bought things for the dinner on their return. We drank Chilean red wine and Pisco Sour cocktails (Yum!) ate clams and a spicy salad for entree, empanadas, corn soup and yummy lamb cutlets. This pic of us was taken just before Marcos spilled his whole glass of red wine all over the tablecloth and his and the 2 spare emapanadas. Cant take him anywhere. And look at me, dang Ive got the shoulders of a front row forward with posture issues. I had to make the photo B & W cause my face was just so red. damn red wine. Its our turn for the dinner next and we have a New York themed dinner in the works, (in homage to our upcoming USA adventure!) including Cosmopolitan cocktails which these spanish kids have never tried! The Horror!

10 March 2008

Little Betty´s first smile

Well I dont know if its her first smile but certainly the first one Ive seen. Show us yer gums!

Pretty Manda!

My lovely friend Amanda was recently bridesmaid at her friend Renae´s wedding. Just thought I´d put a pic of her on my blog cause she just looks so stunning! I miss you Amanda! Mua! xx

7 March 2008

The Marathon

No dont get carried away, i DID NOT run any marathon. I would NEVER run a marathon, my running career ended with the 12km race I did a couple of years back where 6 hours after the race I still thought I was going to die. Marcos, 2 of our friends Domingo & Miguel AND Mary Anne, go girl, one of the americanitas, all ran the marathon a couple of weeks ago here in Seville. Marcos had been training regularly for this and was completely into it after running his first marathon in Madrid (with no training...Freak!) a while back. He started eating healthier, (no more choclate milk and broken biscuits for breakfast!) and with all the training he actually lost crap loads of weight and is a shadow of his former tubbier self. The race was on a sunday and I had to forgo my normal "sleep in till midday" sunday rule and be a model marthon racer girlfriend. I went along at 9.30 am (shudder) to the 10km mark with Marcos´s Mum to be there to pass Marcos his first bottle of blue powerade and an energy bar as he whizzed past. Marcos´s father was all nervous excitement and went along on his bike to follow Marcos!! Marcos said at one point he told his father to get the hell away from him (very suble the spanish are). Then I met up with Miguels model marathon runner girlfriend Maria, who had a map with strategically marked points that Miguel had prepared for her and "energy gel" to pass on to Miguel. We went to the 20km mark to pass the gels, bars and powerades like good little girlfriends and cheer as they went past. It was actually quiet exciting, I liked cheering on random people and its nice to see strangers there just cheering the people on for support.

We then went on to the 30km (in a car of course) where we met Isabel, who made it with only seconds to spare to see her husband Domingo whizz past her. (here he is, looks like he is running to the shops!) All three of us then rushed to the stadium, and we were rushing, even running at one point, I mean REALLY. why again?

We made it to the stadium to see each one finish.
Here is MaryAnne finishing, just behind Marcos, and actually came in 11th place out of the women! Good effort!!!

Here is Miguel finishing, he is SMILING! He saw us in the crowd thats why and we were cheering like he was Kathy Freeman winning the 400m at the olympics.

Marcos finished in 3hours 27minutes and was very happy with himself cause he wanted to beat his fathers own sevilla marathon 3h30min family record. Although never one to be beaten his father added later that he did it as a 45 year old so that has to count for a few minutes extra! I was told later that around the 25km point, Marcos´s Dad was riding his bike and filming Marcos and he ran into a "señora" and completely stacked it off his bike! He is 63! Bloody maniac! He was fine except for some sore ribs!? and got back on the bike and continued filming!
We all went for a beautiful lunch afterwards and I said to the other girls, "20 bucks says that every sentence from now on out of the boys mouths will start with..." At kilometre blah blah" And yes I was right, but it wasnt just for the day it went along for the whole next week, along with the screaming of pain everytime Marcos moved. Mmm marathons. Fun.