2008-06-17 14:56:09
I finally got my "tarjeta de extranjeros", otherwise known as a NIE, today. Which is very exciting. As in exciting enough to write a post about.
2008-06-15 23:46:05
This morning I was leaving our bedroom, having just got dressed, when I heard Juan yell, "¡hostia!", and then some form of crash, in more or less that order (Juan is Spanish so he rightfully gets upside-down question marks).

Firstly, let's rewind. Earlier in the week some people came to fix our lack of water pressure in the shower. We seem to more or less have hot water, but the pressure in the shower had dropped so much, somewhere along the way, that it didn't start up the water heater. We were told they needed to replace the pipes going to the shower, and that it could be done in 2 days.

So after a lot of clacking, clanking and so forth I came to see what had been done, seeing boxes about I thought the water heater had been replaced. What had actually happened, was that a water pump had been installed, figuring water pressure was the problem, the water pressure had been increased. Unfortunately the thing makes a racket so we quickly started turning it off whenever we weren't actually using the shower. This more or less brings us up to...

This morning I was leaving our bedroom, having just got dressed, when I heard Juan yell, "¡hostia!", and then some form of crash, in more or less that order (Juan is Spanish so he rightfully gets upside-down question marks).

I rushed into the bathroom to discover Juan trying to halt the flow of water coming out from under out sink. Turns out the water pressure had been a little too much for our antiquated fittings and one of them had cracked and the hose going from the wall to the (hot) tap for the sink had broken. So we had boiling hot water spewing into the bathroom.

The one thing I didn't mention was that the plumbers (if they are actually plumbers) had taken the tap out of the pipe that cuts the apartments water and replaced it with a stopper promising to be back the next day to replace it. We had no way of turning off our water.

So now Elisse and I are waiting at home for the next catastrophe, we've had the water to the whole building cut and, worst of all, I've run out of coffee.
2008-06-07 10:39:48
This afternoon we had a major breakthrough - I enjoyed my first warm shower in 4 days! Then it fell down.

Recently our apartment has started to crumble around us. After 8 months of relative peace, the washing machine began disgorging relentlessly upon every use, by contrast our toilet stopped flushing entirely and we were filling up a bucket every time we wanted to go. Shortly after, water started dripping from the toilet roof, followed by bits of roof which would land on you in a white puff when you were sitting there peacefully. Then the building inspectors deemed our balcony mortally unsafe, and we've had to remove the three plants we had out there (rosemary, jasmine and basil). Then our hot water started playing up.

The guy who came to look at it was talking about something wrong with the water pipe that ran next to the oven - clearly a gas pipe. He then started to mess around with the shower, which resulted in screwing it up even more and since then we could only get a 1-stream trickle out of it - too little to kick in the water heater, even if it worked. Washing my hair in the sink is not so bad, but by god you miss a hot shower when you don't have one.
In the meantime our landlady bought us a 'solar shower' - basically a big plastic bag you fill with warm water that falls out in a controlled stream. Having nowhere to hang the thing, we put it on the shower rails, and it was fine for me, then fell down taking the shower rails with it during Hayden's attempt.
So it's all been a bit of fun and games.
At least with the current mad sun/stormy weather we can count on some sort of daily showers..
2008-06-05 10:54:41
Since I now work from home in Barcelona, I can sometimes be a little out of the loop regarding what's going on back in London. Of course the All Staff internal mailing list sometimes brings in more interesting information than how much cake available is that I can't get to. I got this one today, sent by Ed (one of my IT cohorts).

An unexploded World War II bomb unearthed in Bromley-By-Bow is being disposed of tonight. This will cause serious disruption on the following train lines until at least tomorrow afternoon:

[snip] boring train timetable information [/snip]

Expect the disruption to last until tomorrow afternoon, unless the bomb is accidentally triggered. In that case you'll be able to phone up with the best excuse ever:

"I can't come into work today, the train line's been destroyed by the Nazis"

Perhaps we should extend this to, the best excuse ever if you're under 70, but seeing as that's over retirement age I think it's safe.
2008-06-02 16:31:38
woooooooo000 I'm going to CANADA!!!!!!!
2008-05-31 05:47:20
We had a party last night, celebrating (amongst other things) Elisse finishing her level four Spanish course and, of course, our getting a BBQ. And we well and truly broke it in last night, I spent at least 2 hours of the party standing over BBQ cooking, it was fantastic.

Sitting around the kitchen this morning, we took a guess and figure there were about 30 people there last night. We had lots of people from Elisse's class, as well as a few people from my Spanish class and even a few friends from uni rocked up.

All in all another successful terrace party, and now we've got a BBQ too. Pictures to follow.
2008-05-28 04:42:31
We moved our internet line at work today, which is no mean feat given some of the servers had already moved and were pointing at a different router, which had to be rectified before we could actually do the move. I'm obviously not in the office and I was freaking out a little that it would all go tits up and I wouldn't even be able to connect to try and fix it. It wasn't the likely hood of problems that I was worried about, but the consequences if there were some.

Anyway, far more importantly, just before we started our new BBQ arrived (una barbacoa en castellano). So if I can find one of those irritating gas bottle guys today we might be able to test it out tonight.
2008-05-26 11:06:45
The plan was that two girlfriends from my spanish class, Hayden and I would quietly and nerdily lock ourselves in and enjoy the fruits of this year's Eurovision song contest. However - as is common in this vibrant place - one thing led to another, and we ended up with about 18 sweaty, excited people crowding around our tiny tv in our tiny living room, honey joys in one hand and vodka jelly shots in the other. We whipped up tacky decorations, provided official score sheets, a betting draw and were encircled by a chorus of gay guys oohing at all the shiny handsome men on the tv.

In other news I have my 4-hour official school exam on thursday, so I'm cramming in all the pluscuamperfecto de subjuntivo + condicional compuestos and pronombres relativos that I possibly can. Following that, the aural is on friday, and I can SEE THE LIGHT in the culmination on friday night, when we will inaugurate the newest addition to the household... the soon-to-arrive BBQ in a very special ¡Barbacoa fin de curso nivel cuarto!
Oooh goody!!

2008-05-17 15:32:34
I've put up some photos of Shepsi, taken in year 10 for a media project at school. I have great memories of the shoot, the cranky old SLR and cooking them up in the dark room. Sadly the shop-scanned negs just don't have the same feel to them, and I can't seem to find any that I'm really happy with, despite my meagre attempts at prettying them up on the gimp. Nevertheless they're a good sample of the beautiful, fun-loving fifth member of our family who made it to a ripe old 17.5 years old.
2008-05-14 08:42:30
It always seems to happen that when I haven't posted anything for a while I end up posting about something entirely unrelated to, well, anything.

It turns out, according to The Age, that the revolver carried by the Victorian Police "is now listed as an antique firearm." I thought that was quite entertaining.
Occasionally Human
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