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Update on my resolutions (I)

So three weeks into 2012 and my new year resolutions are not doing all that well…

1) Stop biting my nails – This so far is kind of 50% successful. I HAVE stopped biting my nails, but they are still looking minging, which makes me think whether my nails are just plain ugly and it’s got nothing to do with the fact that I bite them. Well, I suppose I must give them more time. 3 weeks is nowhere near long enough and I will persevere.
I wonder, though, if I should go to one of those manicure places and get them to shape them in a way that will grow better? Or maybe they can give me advise on how to cut them or what to do with the cuticles…

2) Wearing more skirts and dresses. I am failing miserably with this one. 10% success more or less. I have worn one dress since my resolution came in place, and it’s one of my old ones.. not even a new one. And that is because I completely failed to buy any new clothes at the sale as I promised myself that I would do. I did try, though. But I would go into a shop, look around, and suddenly feel uninspired (ie, overwhelmed by my lack of interest in buying clothes + suffocated by the big mass of people in the shop). So I didn’t buy anything. I think I may give online shopping a go, although I am always concerned about the hassle of having to return items if they don’t fit, and all of that…

Thank god I didn’t give myself any more resolutions to fulfill, I think I know myself by now… 🙂

I will try to update in a monthly basis and maybe by the summer my nails will look a bit more decent…

My nails as of 21.01.12

I am still here

I know I am not being very consistent with my posts, but I simply can’t get to sit down behind the desk to write blog posts any more. Sorry if I am inconveniencing anyone 😛

Lots and not much at the same time happening in my life right now. Routine is my friend and I am sticking to it. Despite the fact that I am finding waking up at 6 am harder and harder each day.

Christmas is getting closer and I am enjoying the festive mood. Christmas carols at work, the tree and lights in the house, and the shopping. We will also be celebrating the social aspect of the season soon, by meeting lots of friends in quite short period of time, before we actually spend those special days with our families.

And what else has been happening lately?

I have been making lots of Christmas cards. My list of people is not “too” long, only about 35 (compared to my mother in law, who told me yesterday that she had 80+ on her list, and that was without counting neighbours and distant friends). The surplus of cards that I had I am selling at work, and it’s going okay! Funny though, one of the designs that I like the most people are not sold on… They find it too sombre…

My neighbourhood will have a brand new community centre from next week onwards (the grand opening is this Sunday) and I volunteered to run a craft evening once a month. We start on the seconf Monday of january and lots of people have signed up. It’s really exciting that finally, after 18 months living in Rooksdown, we are mingling with the neighbours. Also, Jon and I attended a Parish Council meeting a couple of weeks ago, and it was really interesting! I wouldn’t mind attending from time to time, just to learn what’s happening around me.

Entertainment-wise, we haven’t seen many films lately, but we’ve watched lots of TV series. I am really enjoying True Blood. I struggled with the Southern accent in the first few episodes, but I’m okay with it now. I think we’ve watched 3 seasons now, and we are awaiting the 4th. Whilst we wait for the fourth, we are watching the first season of Game of Thrones. We are on episode 9 and I still get a bit confused sometimes with the names of the characters, and I get a bit lost sometimes because I have no idea who they are referring to. But the series are SO good! I’m really hooked on its “honesty”.. I mean, finally you see blood on swords and the crudeness of real life (without being real life, you know what I mean).. No more rosey coloured scenes meant for TV. I love how Sky introduce the show with “this show contains strong language, adult content, violence, nudity etc”.. Jon loves pretending to tick boxes when they read this list 🙂

What else….. Not much, really… It’s supposed to start snowing soon-ish, and I’m really looking forward to it. This is our second winter in Basingstoke and each day I love our house more and more. We had the summer (4.5 tog) duvet on until only last week because the house is so well insulated that we hardly felt that it was cold outside. Sometimes I miss our little place in Byfleet – it needed less cleaning, it was in the heart of the village with all its facilities, and it had a lovely -if smokey- fireplace. But then I think of how cold it used to be. We had to have the heating on for most of the day, and still it was still cold. Some rooms like the kitchen, loo or bathroom were terribly cold. And when I think of that, then I suddenly don’t miss Byfleet any more (I don’t miss the  noise from the upstairs neighbour either)

On a completely separate and totally random note, I have to say that I’ve got a weird crush on Gareth Malone 😛 He’s just too cute! Hahahaha… 🙂

And that’s pretty much it for now!
I will be writing soon to let you all know what my new year resolutions for next year will be 🙂

Not the best few weeks.

I want to apologise for the lack of updates lately, but Jon and I have just gone through the worst and most mind-challenging weeks of our history together.

I can’t face writing a long post about every single thing. This whole set of events has actually affected me in a bad way. I won’t say I am depressed, because I am not. But I am definitely not in a mood for much.

In summary, the set of events run like this.

Jon’s car goes for a MOT and we need to spend a small fortune to get it fixed. Right after that we go on holiday to Cornwall (which was a very good holiday, I am not complaining about that – but it’s what came next in the story line), a couple of days later Tommy breaks his tail. Horrible and stressful few days looking after him, taking him to the vet, etc. Next, one of Jon’s grandmas died. Very sad couple of days as well. Then came my operation – which was a positive experience as I already described the other day, but the days before it were quite nerve-wracking and quite heavy and intense (I didn’t want to do it and it took me quite a while to auto-convince myself that it was the right thing to do). I had to take a few days off work and then explain to my boss the whole thing (you see, I thought I would be able to go back to work right straight away, but when I was discharged I was told that I had to take 2 weeks off work. TWO weeks!). Right after this comes my car going in for a MOT. Failed and we were told that to bring it up to scratch it would cost us around one thousand pounds. WHAT!? We wanted to have the car MOT’ed so we could trade it in for a nicer, bigger car, and now it turns out that we have to spend some good money for something that would have costed us nothing six months ago. Stupid us. And last but not least in the saga of the horrible things that have happened to us in the last few weeks is that due to still not being completely 100% after the op, and the whole issue with my car, Jon and I had to miss the Taking Back Sunday concert that I had been looking forward to go for months. (I am fine, I would say I am 99.9% okay, but spending the night standing at a concert, being pushed and stuff, maybe is not the best idea for my recovery)

Sorry for the massive paragraph and the lack of “returns”, but it has more impact if everything is told at once, because that’s how it feels to me that happened: all at once, with no much time to recover from one thing to the next.

Now I keep my fingers crossed in the hope that the next few months go back to the usual “everything is cool and I enjoy life just the way it is”. I certainly miss 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

i30

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!

News news news, or a quick update

Many things have happened in the last few days. I still have no (decent) internet connection at home so I struggle to find the time to maintain the blog updated. Working on the house takes up most of my time…

So I thought I’d write one of those blog entries where I mention many things but don’t talk about anything in particular or in detail.

You are now leaving Surrey
My first impressions about the move from Surrey to Hampshire.

– Council tax in Byfleet was £1,295 a year for a two bed maissonette with barely any grounds. In Basingstoke we pay £1,365 for a three bed fully detached house with garden twice the size and a huge garage. That is £5.8 extra a month. Sounds like a great deal to me!

– Basingstoke and Deane Council are collecting our black bins every week, rather than fortnightly. Very handy, especially when you’ve just moved and are generating tons of crap for the first few weeks.

– Basingstoke people are not Surrey people. And you will only understand this statement if you’ve lived in Surrey… 🙂

– The road system that I already mention the other day is way better than any roads I’ve ever driven around Surrey. More double carriageways and better looked after (except the potholes in my neighbourhood/building site)

– The shops in Festival Place open until 8pm every working day. They only open until 8 on Thursdays in the Peacocks centre in Woking or the Guildford one…
I survived my day trip to Madrid
A few notes that I wrote down on my “lightining visit” to Madrid last week: (I will write a bit more in detail about this “episode” in a day or two)
– Men are still wearing tons of hair gel in the old-school-posh “repeinado” style and are wearing their jumpers over their shoulders. (I’m really struggling to find a photo that represents this, which I find amazing because there are soooo many men with that style in Spain!)

– People are still smoking too much… everywhere… even inside the airports!

– Huge publicity banners and posters everywhere, especially by the side of major roads, where I thought they had got forbidden a few years ago because they are distracting to drivers…

– Impressed about the amount of detached and terraced houses that could be seen in the outskirts of Madrid (I always explain to everybody that 90% of “houses” in Spain are flats, but I think I’m going to have to start changing that figure to at least 75%, as they are building more and more houses -unifamiliares-)

– How green every thing looks from the airplane, although I must say that it is a different shade of green. In the UK you find a more yellowish-green, whereas in Spain the shade is darker (of course, it is due to the very different vegetation)

– Women generally smell gorgeous (they make an effort to look clean and elegant)

– The horrible English language/accent that the Iberia flight attendants speak (now that BA and Iberia have merged, I hope that the company forces them to improve their level). I really struggled to understand a word they were saying, and I really believe that native English did too.

Other general stuff maybe worth mentioning (or maybe not):
– I don’t like Chris Moyles very much. I miss Scott Mills in the mornings (I also don’t find him “that” funny in the afternoons. I thought he was better at 7am)

– The house is looking great, although I am still panicking about the huge amount of boxes still left in storage that we have to take home with us and try to find a place for.

– The shop attendants at Paul Simon in Byfleet seem to be retarded. All of them. Three times we’ve been there ordering/collecting curtains and all three times we’ve been served by someone who is clearly missing some important neurons in their brain. Shocking.

– Traffic has started getting worse in the mornings. And the journey home->work is averaging 1 hour now, instead of 45 minutes. Let’s hope it doesn’t get worse than that, otherwise I’ll have to start stealing petrol somewhere…

– I need to dye my hair and have it cut too. I simply don’t have the time and the increasing amount of grey hairs in my head aren’t doing me any favours.

– In the last few weeks something very weird has been happening to me. We don’t have a dishwasher yet (actually, hopefully Jon will be installing it today if it gets delivered in time) and I’ve been doing the washing up by hand. The thing is that when I start washing up, all these weird old memories keep coming up in my head. I think of people that I had almost forgotten, situations that happened a long time ago and had been buried in the “not worth remembering” side of my brain. And I can’t find an explanation to this “phenomenon”. I have no idea what has triggered all these old memories. The funny thing is that almost 95% of the time that this happens it’s whilst I’m doing the washing up, which is something that I have never done on a regular basis for different reasons (in the family home my mum would do the washing, at Uni I was in not-self-catered-Halls, then the last three years we’ve had a dishwasher…) so I can’t associate the fact of “doing the washing up” with all those people/situations… Very weird and it’s doing my head in…

– My new favourite “fashion” programme is Project Runway. With Sky+ I can record all programmes that I like. I just happened to watch the first episode of Season 3 on Sky one day and I loved it, so I set the whole series to record. And now I am hooked! Season 4 has just begun and of course I am recording it as well!