InFiernes: Friday, I’m not in love

Any ideas on the song reference in the blog heading?  Of course you do. Whether you’re a music fan or fashion fan who wears Pixies and Metallica t-shirts for fun, you’re sure to have heard of this one.  Scroll to the bottom (preferably reading the post first) to find out if you’re right!

So the title of this blog stems from the very simple equation below.  Much liked the loved-and-hated-in-equal-measure Kimye, Brangelina and blast from the past Speidi, here goes my fickle fusion:

viernes + infierno = infiernes 

(Friday + hell = Friday from Hell)

It works much better in Spanish…obviously!  That’s why you should speak different languages! While you’re in that frame of mind, book an amazing class of mine at Converse with Chloe.  GO ON!  There are reviews of me on iTalki and Tus Clases Particulares too.  I’m 5* you know!  If you book now I’ll let you read the rest of the blog post!  If you’re a bit of a wordsmith and you like these horrid hybrid names, check out this tío for a little chuckle or nine.  Some of the suggestions are funny, some just groan-inducing. Private tutoring sites have been great for me so far.  Actually, scrap that and cue use of the pluperfect past tense:  they HAD been great until this morning. I received this little gem:

spank

Four times in the last three weeks I’ve been on the receiving end of the inappropriate behaviour of men.  In light of the whole #metoo movement, I actually typed out two separate statuses for social media, posted them on Facebook and very quickly changed my mind and made the posts invisible to others (‘me only’).  I think a couple of people might have seen them and sent some very lovely messages of support/encouragement.  Thank you, you wonderful folk.  We’ve all done it; the question is why?  I did absolutely nothing wrong in either circumstance but I almost felt guilty for posting this. I like to think of myself as a modern, liberal, woman-and-man-loving feminist (feminist meaning ‘promoter of gender equality’), someone who is prepared to stand up for quality and speak out when the wrong thing happens. For years as a form tutor in UK secondary schools I spent hours talking to many teenage girls about how they have the right to express themselves as much as boys, how they do not have to look a certain way to please any apart from themselves and how the world unfortunately is still a man’s one.  Despite Beyoncé’s greatest (and contradictory) efforts.  How can you say ‘who runs the world? Girls!’ and then ‘if you like it then you should have put a ring on it?’  No, I don’t love Beyoncé.  Shoot me!  Why do girls feel the need to brush their hair and apply make-up mid-lesson? In my experience, boys rarely do this.

I was even targeted myself.  Yes, by teenage boys.  No, the endurance of countless sexist comments is not addressed in teacher training.  Then again, I did train the Gove era.  What a mistake he is.  Sorry, I mean what a mistake that was… A wolf whistle, a sordid cartoon depicting how they imagine I look naked and the refusal of certain young men to listen to any female teacher whomsoever.  Feel free to vomit.

So the four main incidents that have happened recently:

  1. Being shouted at in the street a few times (general terms like ‘guapa’ and ‘rubia’).  Nothing too sinister but still something that no-one should have to put up with.
  2. Guy at a gig deciding to describe in some detail, to my face, about how large my ass was and how many of the stage lights I blocked out for him whilst on novio’s shoulders at a JAWS gig in Manchester (part of the amazing Neighbourhood fest). JAWS were pretty good, by the way and I did not have the biggest ass in the joint.  You know what though?  It shouldn’t matter a bit if I did. Someone’s got to have it.  neighbourhood (2)
  3. Being hassled by prospective students for ‘private lessons’ in return for ‘alternative methods of payment’.
  4. The ‘spanking’ request mentioned earlier.

spank

Thankfully I received a polite, apologetic and prompt response from the website concerned who blocked the user for good and promised to take more security measures to prevent repeat incidents in future.

<< En primer lugar decirle que lamentamos mucho que haya tenido una mala experiencia con un contacto realizado a través de nuestra página web. Desde ************com trabajamos para que los contenidos y anuncios de la web se ajusten a nuestros criterios de profesionalidad y rigurosidad, pero fuera de la página resulta imposible mantener dicho control.

Como le decíamos, lamentamos lo ocurrido y le agradecemos que nos haya informado de ello. Nuestro equipo de moderación ya ha bloqueado al usuario >>

 

I do feel that more should be done, though, especially considering that some minors use that website and may not feel confident enough to reply to such vomit-inducing messages with words as strong as the ones I utilised.

So, I’ve been to uni, I’m reasonably intelligent, I speak a few languages, dress to express myself (thanks, Cate), work hard, act professionally and that’s the thanks I get.  Yea, go figure!  That’s pretty much why I’m behind the #metoo campaign, although I do not believe that women should feel obliged to share their stories.  It’s a personal decision.  I don’t know any woman 18+ who hasn’t fallen victim to some sort of sexual harassment, belittling, mansplaining or abuse.  This doesn’t even skim the surface.  I’m asked at least once a week why I don’t have my own children.  I work in education in which the majority of employees are women yet the majority of managers, directors and headteachers are men.  Again, go figure.

Girls generally outperform boys at GCSE level, and have done for some time now, and I just read that in Spain this year, in 13 out of 19 Comunidades Autónomas woman outperformed men – read more here. This is not reflected in today’s society.  Trump, Weinstein, Kesha. Say no more.  I kind of agree with the argument Clinton makes here.  I’m actually currently thinking of the best feminist project to start up. If you have any ideas, please pop them in to the comments box below.

BACK TO INFIERNES:

Needless to say I was experiencing a slight resaca from the previous night’s shenanigans [Hinds gig, drinks with the support band, bathrooms with transparent doors, beers and one large G&T] so me quedé en la cama a little longer than usual, got up around 11am, rushed around ironing clothes with my housemate’s amazing steam iron and finally packed a few things to take to work with me so I could go directly to Cabanyal after work.  Why?  Because my novio was coming to visit. YEY!  I wanted his first time in Valencia to be perfect.  I wanted him to come back.  He’s more than alright, that one, after all. So having literally rammed eight Mercadona own-brand Belvita biscuits down my throat, I set off for my appointment at the local Social Security office to ‘dar de alta’ (register as freelance).  It’s a shame that my gestor (accountant) used my old surname (remind me, why do men not change their surname?) so it was assumed that I was some sort of illegal psycho alien dressed as a blonde British girl, here in Spain only to infiltrate the realms of private tutoring and translation and write meaningless blog posts about how good life is compared to this time a year ago.  Hang on a second…!  Anyway, I managed to convince the extremely pleasant yet suspicious civil servant that I was, well, ‘me’ by showing him photos on my phone.  Thanks Mam for looking like me and being on Stalkbook.

I rushed back to my apartment, grabbing the usual cheese sandwich on the way.  Correction, I didn’t ‘grab’ it.  I ordered, chatted with the overly gregarious and quick-witted panadera on Av. Cortes Valencianas and then discovered that I had 67 cents in my backpack (along with water, to keep me hydrated of course) and no purse. Mi monedero había desaparecido.  Mierda.  I definitely didn’t lose it the night before which was one saving grace. But where was it?  Rushed home.  That Valenbisi journey was 8 minutes long but it felt like an eternity.  Ran upstairs to the sixth floor instead of taking the lift; the lift beat me anyway.  Open the door. Key got jammed.  Left key.  Slipped on Corte Inglés plastic bag in the corridor. Caught my top on a door handle. Almost did the splits.  Opened bedroom door.  TA-DA!  PURSE.  FOUND!  Then, the whole day went smoothly…

Jokes.  Of course it didn’t.  I wolfed down the sandwich, headed to work and realised that I was going to be late, jumped in a taxi and got my bag strap caught under the seat, adding 3.5 minutes to the 4 minute ride.  It would have only been 9 minutes by bike!  Once at work and settled, the classes were great; Fridays are definitely my favourite day.  Morrissey wasn’t right after all, with his Friday Mourning.  Novio arrived, hugs exchanged, wine drunk and some food eaten.  Black squid ink and random fish innards were moved around on the plate: how do people eat that stuff?  Taxi couldn’t find me so after a 10 minutes of walking up and down the same street, we eventually made it and set off for the bright non-city lights of Cabanyal coast.  AirBnb lady was hostile to say the least but her parents, who were there on our arrival, were amazing.

Wine, cute Cabanyal surfer bar, mosaics aplenty, casual strolling and my favourite person later and finally…

Friday, I’m in love.

 

Yep, you guessed the song!  You WordSMITHS you!

 

 

 

The Cure: Friday I’m in Love

I don’t care if Monday’s blue
Tuesday’s grey and Wednesday too
Thursday I don’t care about you
It’s Friday, I’m in love

Monday you can fall apart
Tuesday, Wednesday break my heart
Thursday doesn’t even start
It’s Friday, I’m in love

Saturday wait
And Sunday always comes too late
But Friday, never hesitate

I don’t care if Monday’s black
Tuesday, Wednesday heart attack
Thursday never looking back
It’s Friday, I’m in love

Monday you can hold your head
Tuesday, Wednesday stay in bed
Or Thursday watch the walls instead
It’s Friday, I’m in love

Saturday wait
And Sunday always comes too late
But Friday, never hesitate

Dressed up to the eyes
It’s a wonderful surprise
To see your shoes and your spirits rise

Throwing out your frown
And just smiling at the sound
And as sleek as a shriek
Spinning round and round
Always take a big bite
It’s such a gorgeous sight
To see you eat in the middle of the night

You can never get enough
Enough of this stuff
It’s Friday I’m in Love

I don’t care if Monday’s blue
Tuesday’s grey and Wednesday too
Thursday I don’t care about you
It’s Friday, I’m in love

 

Advertisements

Cataland Ho!

referendum

 

Don’t forget to guess the song!  No olvides adivinar la canción…
¿REFERENDUM CATALAN o BREXIT?
 
Una pequeñita demostración de que la política actual se basa en retórica.
 
Es un juego como ‘Hotdogs o Legs’ pero con apuestas más grandes (y menos ricas…) utilizando citas aleatorias de varios queridos diputados.
**esta entrada de blog no tiene nada que ver con mi opinión personal**
 
1. ‘Ustedes se basan en una identidad excluyente cuando Europa se basa en la ciudadanía.’
 
2. ‘Estamos en medios de una crisis total.’ 
 
3. ‘Nadie quiere abrir una temible caja de Pandora en Europa.’
 
4. ‘Es una traición inadmisible.’
 
5. ‘Lo considera inadmisible declarar_________ para luego dejarlo/la en suspenso de forma explícita’
 
6. ‘No sabe si es una mayoría o no’
 
7. ‘Es un noble ‘si’ a la rebelión.’
 
8. ‘El único resultado de todo esto es que ahora hay miles de personas que viven con mas incertidumbre.’
 
9. ‘Lo han hecho con mucha socarronería.’
 
10. ‘Es un líder que pisotea a su gente.’
 
11. ‘Tenemos que consolidar la democracia y aumentar el espíritu. No quiero ser adversario de mis vecinos y mis compatriotas. No nos va a romper.’
English version:
A little demonstration of the fact that current politics are based on rhetoric.
 
It’s a game like Hotdogs or Legs but with higher (and less tasty) stakes using random quotes from various beloved politicians. 
 
**This blog entry has nothing to do with my personal opinion**
 
1. ‘Your politics are selective whereas Europe is based on citizenship.’ 
 
2. ‘We are in the middle of a total crisis.’
 
3. ‘No-one wants to open a frightening Pandora’s Box in Europe.’
4. ‘It’s betrayal and it’s unacceptable.’
 
5. ‘We consider it unacceptable to declare_________ to then explicitly suspend it.’
 
7. ‘We don’t know whether or not there’s a majority.’
 
8. ‘It’s a noble ‘yes’ to rebellion.’
 
9. ‘The only outcome of all of this is the now there are thousands of people living with more uncertainty’.
10. ‘They’ve been very cunning about it.’
 
11. ‘She/he is a leader who tramples all over his/her people.’
 
12. ‘We have to reaffirm our democracy and raise spirits.  I don’t want to be an enemy or my neighbours or my fellow citizens.  They’re not going to break us.’
The song is / La canción es…

BisQuit Playing Games…

atardecer

Buenas tardes 🙂

So, it’s been quite a while since my last post on valenciandoporlavida which means that I have a montón of things to talk about today!  Wahoo!  *Don’t forget to try to guess the song reference in the post title* What would your life be like without puns?  Actually, don’t make me think about that.  I don’t like it one bit.

To avoid wasting any time here I’m pulling out the big guns first…BISCUITS!  After a sneaky one-hour shift at work yesterday (to make up for the six years of torture teaching in the UK state sector!) I had a routine trip to Mercadona and picked up a few delights including strawberry-flavoured gin and some lovely little bargain eye gel patches for travelling (only 1€ which is so cheap compared to the ones I’ve seen in Boots.  Hoorah for Mercadona!)  The eye patches are currently in my travel suitcase (as Manchester Neighbourhood Festival and a weekend wit mi cariño approaches) along with the obligatory hair straighteners, a teeny travel pot of foundation (minimal make-up needed with top tan – wahey!), geisha-style dressing gown bought in Thailand as a pick-me-up when I had inflated legs after 8 flights in a week and my new coat from Zara that I can’t wear here because it’s still too hot and sunny.  Did I mention that?  It’s 27 flipping degrees still and I am still getting mosquito bites.  This little Zap-It has been my hero! 

zapit

TANGENT ALERT: While we’re still on the topic of food (mosquitoes are food, aren’t they?), I’ve been looking for sourdough bread for ages in Valencia as a certain someone may have got me hooked on it.  I’ve tried artisan bakeries, smalls supermarkets and even an old lady who lives in my apartment block.  On one rather grim Sunday evening just after my novio left and I’d been feeling pretty ill all day (two mutually exclusive events, I promise!), I had a 9pm ten-minute cycle to Carrefour, a throwback to my Dijon uni days especially the time when I was forced to steal a trolley just to transport my two-monthly settling-in shop to the bus stop.  I remember calling my friend almost in tears saying ‘you’ll have to come and help me.  I bought too many things and can’t carry them.’  Talk about First World problems… Que vergüenza.  Anyhoo, back to this particularly sad domingo when I trekked to Burger King near the BioPark in the Pobles de l’Oest and discovered that this is where the locals hang out all day and evening when almost everything else in the non-touristy parts of Valencia is closed for the sacred day-of-rest-and-paella.  I didn’t order the expected ‘queso con beicon’ sino (but rather) ‘cheese con beicon’.  It’s the absolute best speaking English with a fake Spanish accent and having the 17-year old supervisor grimace at your failed attempt to speak your own language badly.  This is definitely yet another reminder of spending Sundays in McDo in Dijon and one time actually being given a free tombola ticket and winning nothing less than a Phil Collins DVD which I subsequently bequeathed to a very puzzled étranger.  The point of all of this was to say that even Carrefour don’t do pan de masa fermentada (sourdough)but what I did eventually find in Mercadona was pan de espelta de masa madre and I think it’s the best that this self-confessed food snob is going to get. No, the food snob isn’t me.  I dunk my biscuits. Twice. Sometimes I even use a second biscuit to retrieve the first one that unsuspectingly plopped into the mug.  What a feeling that is when you manage to get it out…

Ok, back to the biscuits.  Well, actually before that let’s just briefly mention this disgusting gin I bought.  It’s probably my own fault and I foolishly bypassed the Ophir-style €15 good-value-but-not-bathtub-gin situated next to the fresh fish counter.  Mercadona, please move your fish counter or get some smell-proofing or something.  Yuk!  It was only about 8€ but strawberry-flavoured.  I mean, come on, who can resist such a pretty little bottle?  The problem may be with the gin but also potentially with the water.  I had to drink it with agua con gas instead of tónica as after 23 minutes of searching round the alcohol-aisle with Spaniards mainly browsing sophisticated Rioja (white Rioja too – which I’d highly recommend) and local Marqués del Túria.  Sorry Aldi and Tesco but there’s not 6 bottles of prosecco for £20.  While I’m here, why have middle-aged women and young women who act like they’re middle-aged already ruined prosecco for the world?  It’s like when chavs stole Berghaus or K-Swiss.  I used to love those £5 work trainers from JD Sports.  Those were the days… What an improvement from Original Shoe Co. where my boss called me and my brace-ridden mouth a pink toolbox, where I sold two left trainers to a deaf lady and had to chase her through the MetroCentre and where finally I quit my job because I ‘needed’ a holiday.  Some things never change!gin

DSC_1728[5444]BISCUITS:  So all I wanted to say on this matter was that I’ve found the most amazing biscuits ever.  THEY TASTE LIKE CHEESECAKE.  Like REAL CHEESECAKE.  I kid you not.  Roll over empanadillas and tortilla de patatas (which I will be doing a blog post on soon FYI), these are the Spanish delicacy you’ve all been waiting for. Like un-cheesy Ritz crackers with a lemon cheesecake filling.  Paraíso total.  Plus, they’re 99c and they have changed my life in the last 24 hours.  Mainly because now I look super curvy in a bikini! Check out my very Spanish despensa and its contents.  (No, despensa means cupboard, not body, or anything else inappropriate that you may have thought of! Go meditate or repent or something.  Arrepentirse – a great word I learnt recently which means to regret or repent).

DSC_1726[5442]  

Stay tuned for more really soon including a week of fun with the favourite person, empanadillas, my non-expert view of the Catalan referendum, Valencian Day, all the seafood, Cabanyal, going autónoma, the brilliant band HINDs and the lovely MYNTH.

 

Oh the song was a cheesy one to match my biscuits:

QUIT PLAYING GAMES by the one and only BACKSTREET BOYS.

Don’t listen to that song though, listen to them trying to sing Despacito instead here (3 mins in).