Thursday, January 25, 2018

January 2018, New Year, New Phone!

Fountain installed in 1844, Plaza de la Magdalena, Muse Caliope
I'll tell you now, the pictures in this post have no real relationship to the writing, all parts of the same fountain.

I bought an iPhone SE and love it! Gold in colour to match the MacBook, well I don’t know why but might as well match. Exciting for me and with a year’s worth of nagging, not really, but urging from Ryan to get into this century. Since this is an Apple product I am adapting to it’s features easier. My tech friend Gary in Canada, you will be proud of me! Reading the manual and it can do everything and more my MacBook can, real power in a bitty machine. Ryan and Angela are coming over for lunch tomorrow and giving me help setting it up, least I can do is feed them for the favour. 

He looks bored!
Menu for lunch morphed from enchiladas, due to my failed making of the sauce, I used paprika powder instead of chile powder, one taste after about an hour’s work and didn't like it so, if I don’t, who will? Dumped and lesson learned they are not the same peppers. Now instead of Tex-Mex theme, we decided lamb kebobs would be good with tabouli salad. Being Saturday I didn’t want to brave El Corte so went to our local grocers. Well, one learns to be very flexible when shopping in the small stores. Butcher didn’t have lamb, bought chicken, veg shop’s parsley looked like road kill but I was able to salvage enough of it, no bulgar for the salad, used couscous instead. It all worked out, luckily, just not what I had planned. Ryan also said he makes “killer” enchiladas so mine may have not been to his taste anyway.

Ryan’s patience with me and my fumbling fingers on the phone was epic! He also installed WhatsApp on it which is a cost free SMS or text messaging version which now I’ve added Rocio to and Erwin texted me from Ottawa since he likes to use it here. Bought a Moshi cover for it mostly because I don’t have a good place to keep it scratch free in my purse. Discovered another reason after the cover was installed, Lexi had swept it off the table and it survived! Moshi is a company I was unfamiliar with but looking on their website, they have high quality products and with very limited options at El Corte, I am pleased with what I bought.

Under the bowl
Elevator and heating broke all at once. I used the elevator while the heat was on and it toasted the connection, no fire thank goodness, just a shut down of both, breaker cut in. Our friend and electrician Pepe is out of town for three weeks in Dubai and Copenhagen but he contacts Juan Luis heating/air conditioning person who installed our unit last year. Long story short, heating now works, elevator not, and I am sure it is a simple fix, my attempts, turning off the power, etc, haven’t worked. I have decided to make a Pepe job jar, my Dad did that with my ex-husband when he wasn’t my ex. Small jobs that can be done and not forgotten between visits. 

Tuesday was almost as busy as our usual Wednesdays this week, I had a mani/pedi done by Maria Jose and am now more confident of her skills and instrument sanitation. Then a meeting at Kakure with Ivan and Shane to catch up after the Christmas season. Had a great lunch, food is always good there.

Wednesday, and it’s Angel and Rocio day but I decide to take the hour while Bruce has his massage and go to the Museo de Bellas Artes to view the Murillo exhibit that is on until April 1st. The impetus was an email from Jeffrey and Adrienne in Freiburg saying they wanted to see it and also wanted to escape the cold weather in Freiburg right now. The exhibit was absolutely wonderful and while I didn’t know much about Murillo before going (he’s a local Sevillano) I really enjoyed the works showcased. They are very large for one thing, colourful, and depicted people in a realistic manner, far ahead of his time I think. I brought back a small notebook for Rocio with print of mother and child on the cover done by him, and give aways of a postcard and book mark. We are communicating a bit better now over coffee when she gets here. Today I thought I would get away without the coffee but asked and she wanted one, okay, all good, and it does give us a bit of social time together, she corrects my accent. 

Bottom, I like the shells.
Coming back from a mini shop and we see Ryan and Angela at Granado so stop into chat with them. Mama Pepe and friend Mercedes are also there, hugging, kissing on both cheeks occur as usual. Mercedes now greets me as a friend as well. 

Did a major shop again and bought another pair of slippers. Frankly those I showed you in a previous post weren’t working for me, these have more support for the footsies and I don’t walk with a shuffling gait which is bad for my back.

Finally we took the C5 bus around the inner city with the goal of going to Linoyfino for the shirts I wear. I hadn’t eaten and Das Brot was next door, supposedly a German bakery, I thought it would be great to get a bretzel, well they had fake ones, but no real ones, had a horrible muffin instead. 

The LinoyFino shop was supposed to be open but nada, closed. So we got the bus again to come back, it only goes one way round, a couple and teenager got on board soon after we boarded and they were loud. The husband appeared drunk, the noise coming from them, the bouncing over cobblestones, and the heat got to Bruce so we got off in the touristic neighbourhood, one we recognized and walked home. He said as he got off the bus, I am never going on that again! The shaking, heat, noise, the second driver had the radio on really loud with someone yelling, not pleasant! 

I find all public transport that way, either really great or terrible, depending on circumstance, luckily it’s ratio is usually to the good. The ramp didn’t work properly, there was an arm sticking out from the driver’s seat into the aisle that got in the way of Bruce parking in the designated spot. The driver stopped without a bus stop, or missed pick ups at bus stops. Bruce says the whole thing was second rate, I agree this trip was. My two previous trips on this bus have been much better, crowded sometimes but better. The route is a really good way to see other parts of Sevilla, small neighbourhoods and tourist areas both. Upshot, I’ll be taking it again, fare is €1.40 per trip, cheap enough, but I’ll be going on my own and meeting Bruce at the destination.

Art market again being Sunday, Liz, the archeologist is quite animated today, she’s usually an understated calm person. She’s planning a solo bicycle tour around the Neckar river in Germany for June/July this year. She does like Germany, having lived in Freiburg for a dig and is familiar with the area, she also appears to be a bit of a loner. Doing her research now, she will drive to Heidelberg and bike from there. Wow! Adventurous woman and it will be so wonderful to hear about her experiences. I’m almost proud, even though we don’t know each other well.

I met another lady Sunday at the art market. We’ve talked before but I introduced myself to her, she is from Thailand, came here to study, fell in love with a Spaniard and stayed. She told me her Thai name which I repeated to her and promptly forgot, my bad, her English name is Olivia. She is talented in my opinion in different mediums.

Tuesday 23rd and there has been a major earthquake in Alaska with tsunami warnings all along the coast, since many people who live on the coast read this, I’m sure you were aware of it. I watched the news until it was lifted and sighed with relief! 

Pepe was here to help us out from his “job jar”, elevator is now fixed, luckily the elevator fellow was very close by and came within five minutes, a quick fix as suspected. Pepe put in a new bulb over the staircase which I would have had to climb over the railing to do, adjusted our window blinds to get more natural light in, couldn’t fix the bathroom light, off to buy a new one tomorrow. He showed us pictures of Dubai, what an incredible place that is, buildings so tall and the mosque is beautiful! He also went zip lining there and was provided with a camera on his helmet to record the experience, Wow! 

That's all for now folks! Cheers, Bev, Bruce and Lexi Cat

Saturday, January 6, 2018

First week of the New Year!

We had lunch at Perro Viejo, (means old dog) with Ryan, Angela, Ryan’s sister Heidi, brother-in-law Ben and Pepe. Lively group and enjoyable lunch, just don’t order the Caesar salad, for yourself only, it comes in a kitchen bowl, enough to feed probably six or so people. Here is a review with lots of pictures, although we sat outside.

Went out to do a shop and our downstairs neighbours came out their door and insisted we move the ramp, indicating they trip on it, it’s at the ledge outside their door but there is room for them to enter/exit. Well I’m sorry you tripped on it but the building management okayed for us to install it. Pepe to the rescue! He called the building management and told him to call the fellow downstairs to tell him it has to stay. Honestly, I doubt it will work, but the procedure has started. What a pain, I don’t like arguing with people, these two are sour pusses to begin with. Of course they are arguing in rapid Spanish and us in English, all not good.

On the way back we found this patio, cheered me up! The custom is, if the door is open you are welcome to stare and admire, if someone comes along you say muy bueno!, very good!

Pretty disbursement of oranges, more to come.

Right side
Back wall, those oranges!
Back wall, like the windows and stars.
Get the shop done, that wine rack is a thirsty devil, empty again, so bought enough to fill it up, for home delivery, which I love to use about every two weeks, called “enviro a casa". I always re-fill the buggy for the clerks, most don’t which means the clerk has to, so they appreciate it when I do. I’m also prepared and keep my name, address and phone number on a piece of paper for them to type into their system. I would think that if they put one identifier into the system my name and address would come up, but no, they have to type it in each time. Another mystery of the grocery retail world here, like when they move items all over the store for no apparent reason. Another service they offer is “personal shopping”, a clerk will take the list you have phoned in, or maybe online, collect all the goods and send them to you. For these services a minimum purchase of €120 applies.

Feeling a bit abandoned, all our Sevilla friends are away this week. Ryan and Angela took Heidi and Ben to Portugal; Ivan and Lola are also in Portugal. Pepe took his mom to Dubai to see his brother and from there he is going to Copenhagen, severe weather differences will be encountered on that trip! 

Bought another vacuum today, a canister type like we have in Freiburg. I lifted many models off the shelf to get a light one to help Rocio any way we can. We had done research before going but since we were on North American sites, they didn’t mention companies that are based in Europe, e.g. one from Sweden, so research should have been a bit more inclusive. Ended up with a Bosch so hopefully fine because we cannot return it. The sales clerk tried to tell me that, didn’t get it, so they took me to the multi language speaking inquiry phone, said what they needed to and the lady translated for me. I thought it was a good way to handle it and will use the function again if needed.

The Three kings parade is on tonight and children get their presents tomorrow. Read an article that this tradition trumps (not the Donald) Christmas Day and Santa by about a 2/3 to 1/3 margin for them.  It is raining quite hard in fact. I don’t envy them for sure. Another link with video of this year's parade.

We’ve walked by a paper goods store many times but decided to go in today, what is it about paper goods stores that fascinate me? Is it the possibility of creativeness? Is it the feeling when you bought your school supplies in September, all shiny and new? I don’t know, I mean really, what is exciting about a bunch of paper in different options and writing implements that I like so much? Anyway whatever it is, this new to us store has everything we have looked for in the past in different places, a large copy machine, etc. They are a chain of four stores in Sevilla, website (this reference is more for me than you, so I remember.) Anyway, bought a small notebook to help me learn Spanish better, I’ve analyzed my best methods of learning and found that if I write the words down it helps me the best, better late than never.

I bought these slippers and while they have no foot support, they are warm, a bit playful, and keep my feet from picking up every cat hair in the house. 

Bruce thinks the bows are ears!
Just to round this post out, Lexi here with her toy given to her by Ryan and Angela, Thank you!

Love my toy! (It's on a leather string so when it goes under the couch, and does, it's easier to pull out, or I can drag it around with her chasing it.)
All for now, Cheers, Bev, Bruce and Lexi Cat