Tag Archives: family

Thanksgiving 2012

The States are celebrating Thanksgiving today. Along side Halloween, Black Friday and other special days, Thanksgiving has slowly crossed the Atlantic and more and more Europeans celebrate this day as well. Not because we feel the need to say thanks to anyone, but because what better excuse to gather around family and friends and feast on turkey? Jon and I already had a “Hallowthankmas” dinner with some friends a couple of weeks ago (no need to explain that Hallowthankmas stands for Halloween+Thanksgiving+Christmas, although none of us dressed up.. the Halloween bit came from the pumpkin pie we had for pudding)

So since today is Thanksgiving, and I don’t mind adopting north american traditions, here is my list of reasons why I am thankful today:

– I am thankful for my husband. He is my best friend and I honestly can’t figure out what my life would be without him. He understands me, he makes me laugh, he is patient with me and above all, he loves me as much as I love him. What else could I ask for?

– I am thankful for my job. I know I have complained lots about it in the last couple of years, but when I come to think about it, I am so very lucky to be where I am. Here I have been appreciated for my work, I have been promoted, and the most important thing is that I am comfortable. Comfortable with what I do (yes, I’ve had my struggles, but I have conquered them too), comfortable with my boss (he’s the best), and comfortable with the rest of my colleagues. I know how important it is to feel both comfortable and appreciated in the workplace, and I am thankful for having found it (despite the negatives)

– I am thankful for science. Scientific and medical developments have been an important part of my life in the last few months (more to come on this) and I am so very helpful for that.

– I am thankful for technology. For making my life easy everyday (although I sometimes reminisce and say how easy life was before we all had mobile phones…)

– I am thankful for this country. England took me in when I was trying to find myself. It protected me and has looked after me since. I love it here and I am thankful that I have never had any problems. I am also thankful for its beauty, its wildlife, its scenery and countryside, its small villages and country pubs, for its diversity and for its seasons.

– I am thankful for my family. They are all a bunch of crazy folk but thanks to them I have learnt many things in life and I became the person I am today – And I must say that I am actually proud to be the way I am. From my mum I learnt not to be promiscuous, from my uncles not to be greedy, from my older brother not to depend financially on anyone, and from my younger brother not to do drugs. Unintentionally, just by observing their behaviour, I learnt and became who I am.

– I am thankful for my friends. All those people who listen to me, talk to me, understand each other, laugh with each other, enjoy each other’s company. All of them. Thanks.

We won’t eat turkey tonight, or even meet with family or friends, but I am thankful for the opportunity to sit for ten minutes to collect my thoughts and realise that there is actually a lot of things out there to be thankful for.


Christmas flights

Yes, I have already bought my plane tickets to go back to Motril for Christmas. A couple of years ago I left it until November and they cost me a small fortune. So I had no intention to be in the same situation again.

That time, a couple of years ago, I waited for as long as I could to buy them because when I asked my brothers what the plans for Christmas were, they laughed at me saying that they were still at the beach and they couldn’t find themselves thinking about Christmas so early. Lucky them that they can still be at the beach in mid-September. For me mid September already smells like the beloved December celebration, as the shops have already started selling decorations and the such.

For the last three years running my brothers’ plan was to spend New Year’s Eve at a hotel that does a “cotillion”, with dinner, drinks and party attire included. The first couple of times was fun enough, but last year I had enough of it. The main problem laying in the fact that the music that my brothers would happily dance to to the end of the night is not necessarily the same music that I would dance to. Ever.

So this year we’ve decided to twist things a bit and go for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Jon’s family won’t spend it together anyway, so we might as well spend it with mine. I know it won’t be an easy task either, as some of my family are not talking to each other, so we’ll see how we celebrate. I can already see that my mum will prefer going to Katena rather than cook at home… Who can blame her…

And we’ll see what we arrange for New Year’s Eve, in Blighty…

Random ramblings

– Just came back from having an awesome dinner at the Hilton hotel here in Basingstoke. One of the benefits that I got from my new company is the Tastecard. For a single yearly payment of £30*, I get 2×1 or 50% off in many restaurants. And if you’re like Jon and me, you do enjoy eating out from time to time – so this will give us lots of savings. We tried the Hilton recently and we loved it. We had amazing t-bone and rib eye steaks, cooked to perfection, and the total bill -with drinks included- came to just £30: Less than your average dinner out in Nando’s but 100 times better quality!

We decided to go back again tonight, as Jon’s dad is staying with us for the week, and this was like his way of paying for the accommodation. Any other time we would have gone to Nandos or to a generic Grill restaurant for steak, but now that we know about this amazing restaurant at the Hilton, we’re never going back to eat steak anywhere else.

(*I paid £30 as it is subsidised by my company. Your average person who wants to purchase the card as an individual has to pay £80 a year)

– Jon’s now been at his new job for a week and he is really enjoying it. It is such a big change for him, as he was so miserable in his old position. But now you can see his eyes shining again with excitement and hope for the future. It is awesome to see him smile again and be happy with what he does. Well done, my boy. You really deserve it.

– I was thinking today what an important subject weather is in the English culture. You can’t ignore it. A lot of non-English people mock it, but, come on… How else would you start a conversation with strangers or anyone else? Today was an interesting day, weather-wise. It started with very clear and blue skies, then it got overcast. By lunch time it was pissing down proper. Then the sun came out and it got a bit warm-ish. But by 5 pm it got nasty again, with very heavy sleet whilst you’re trying to drive at 70 mph down the motorway… Then we had awesome clouds… The ones that you could just stare at for hours and that make you happy inside. And finally it rained again and it got clear again.

I know the Crowded House song “Four seasons in one day” was not written about England, but it does apply too!

But the thing that makes me cope with the weather in this country is knowing that without it (by “it” I mean the rain) we wouldn’t have the awesome countryside that we have. It’s probably one of the things that I love the most in the UK and I am happy to cope with the rain in order to get the fantastic scenery around me. We went for a walk last Saturday in a village only 10-minute drive away from us. It was just beautiful – farmer’s fields, grass, woods, birds and squirrels, and rabbits and stags… Simply stunning. We also have the rapeseed fields in full bloom at the moment, and I can’t help but stare at the fields as I drive along the motorway…

– We’re off to Spain in a few days and it’s going to be a busy visit. Only four hours after we land I have a hairdresser’s appointment (I refuse to have my hair cut in England: it’s stupidly overpriced and they don’t get my style). Then I want to meet up with a friend for a coffee. Then the following day my brother is organising a “cortijo feast”, with roasted jamón and other delicacies. On Sunday it’s my nephew’s first communion (aka: more party, drinks and food) and then back home. And in between I have to find time to spend with my mum and uncle! Oh yes, it’s going to be busy.

– And if you know about my crafting hobby but want to see more, go and find me on facebook! www.facebook.com/craftsbymarialachica !! – I must say that the page is proving popular. I’ve managed to get a couple of commissions recently and one of my neighbours who also runs her own business wants to make a deal with me, by which I leave some of my cards with her and she offers them to her customers… I’m loving it!



Another due update

I know, I haven’t been updating this blog as much as I should… I haven’t given it up, it’s just that the other one and what it entails keep me too busy!

So here’s a summary of what’s been going on lately in the uninteresting life of Maria La Chica:

Card making. Yes, I’ve been spending quite a lot of time making cards. You can visit my other blog if you want to have a look at some of my creations. I am loving it, but it is a difficult hobby to have, because it requires lots of concentration and imagination. And I can tell you that sometimes it is very hard to concentrate on what you’re doing when your cat is jumping on your desk and walking back and forth over your card and tools…
The imagination bit I am overcoming by looking at lots of other blogs for inspiration. One of my favourite cards was inspired by a photo that I saw on the net. It was just a very rough sketch and idea, but it worked out perfectly in the end.

Work work work. Many things have been happening at work lately. I was finally given a promotion, after 3 and a half years at my previous position. I am quite excited about what the new position means and changes that it will bring to my daily routine. But at the same time, there are things going on in the office that I am not happy about. As I already told you, my company was recently bought by a multinational company and I can already see that it is going to take me longer than I thought to get used to all the changes and politics involved with a large organisation. I have had many a frustrating day lately, and there is very little I can do about it. “It is like it is and I can’t change it” – I’ve been told.
I will be travelling to Copenhagen in a couple of weeks for an Exhibition. I will be there for almost 5 days and I have plans to “disappear” for a few hours one day… There is no way that I will be in Copenhagen and won’t see any of the city! I was quite excited about the whole Exhibition thing at the beginning, but the more I think about it the more nervous I become. I am not a real talker and making small talk is quite hard for me. I am not a technical person either, so I wonder how I am going to get by. I will be fine, I know.. but all these questions keep popping up in my head.

Visiting friends. Jon and I have been a tiny bit more social lately (not hugely, but a bit more than usual). It is very handy than Jon’s best friend lives in Basingstoke as well, so he already goes out with him often enough in town. We’ve met Jon’s friend and his wife and kid a few times now and also met up with another couple who are mutual friends. We’ve also seen quite a bit of the family, doing our usual “games evening” thing (almost all of us love board games and meet up for a games evening from time to time. However, very rarely we manage to actually finish the game because we get caught in conversations, dinner and other bits and pieces and the game stays unfinished. I don’t mind too much, but Jon finds it frustrating and you can see his face and whole attitude changing the moment he realises we won’t finish that game…)
We also went to meet fellow Spaniard Elena and her other half (aka the Welshman) in the roman city of Bath just the other day (sorry, the photos are still in the camera!). It was a very enjoyable day, despite the freezing cold weather. I’ve just had my hair cut quite short too, so my poor little ears were suffering considerably…
Bath is gorgeous, I love it… The roman baths were very interesting.. you can’t beat a bit of roman history! And the company was great too… Sometimes it’s weird meeting someone face to face when you’ve only met them online. It’s strange to finally put a voice to the face and things like that… But at the end of the day, you realise that it is the same person that you’ve “known” for all these years!

Changing car? I am thinking of upgrading my car. There is actually nothing wrong with my little Micra, but if I am honest it is not the most comfortable car to be doing 70 miles everyday on. It probably isn’t the safest either if I was to have an accident (god forbid). So I believe now is a good time to make the change.
The biggest two contestants are the Ford Focus and the Hyundai i30. I like both and can’t really decide. I think the Focus is a bigger car (longer) and maybe I would struggle a bit more with it than with the i30. But the Focus is a safer bet than the Hyundai (despite the 5 year guarantee that Hyundai give you when you buy new). There are other cars that I like too, but they are far too expensive for me.. for example the Audi A3, the Mazda 3 or the Mercedes A160 (among others).
I will keep you posted in the coming weeks with these dealings…

Focus Zetec


Other “smaller” issues:
I am a great aunt now… My teenage niece had a baby just last week. It’s a little cute baby girl who will be called Aroa (I hate the name… what’s wrong with “Maria”? xD). So yeah, my 17 year old niece is now a mum and my 40 year old brother is a grandfather… Wow.

I am really looking forward to our little break in Cornwall at the end of April. We’ve rented a self catering apartment for a whole week for only £250, which is amazing value. Plus I have never been to that part of the country and I am really excited about it (I know Jon doesn’t count holidays in England as real holidays – but for me this is amazing! Hopefully we will also be having another break abroad, so Jon can say that he’s had a proper holiday this year, lol)

And I believe this is pretty much it! I promise to update more often!