ciento volando

travel, stories, and other flights of fancy

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Chapter ???

School’s out for this academic year, and I find myself once again in limbo. Whilst the kids have finished exams and are clearly on their long summer break, I’m in a slightly confusing no man’s land between three cities, some random work/life/bureaucratic ‘to-dos’, and a deceptive amount of free time (which sometimes feels like too little, sometimes too much, but mostly just never fully presents itself).

Having 3.5 months school ‘holidays’ is definitely a blessing and a curse. At the moment I’m holding on desperately to a dwindling number of private classes, to see how far I can stretch them in to the summer. Unfortunately not many people have ‘ganas’ to study once the term wraps up and the heat kicks in. But fortunately I do have just enough students to get me through the next few weeks, and whilst these classes get in the way of most other plans, they also break up the day and give me a good reason to keep myself showered and sober :-P

So other than sitting in the sun and staring longingly at frosty beer taps, how else am I planning on filling this idle, gaping, gap in commitments? And what’s on the other side of it?

On the other side of it is Madrid, where I’m due to start work in a primary school next October. I know little about the school, other than that it’s conveniently located just inside the Zone A metro perimeter, the website is pretty, the students look to be suspiciously non-diverse (did they pick out all the blond ones for the photo shoot?), and they’re terrible at responding to emails (which is not surprising). Despite my initial preference being to work in a secondary school, now that I’ve received my placement I’m starting to get pretty excited about teaching kids again, and I’m hoping that infantíl (pre-primary) will be included in the bilingual program. I wouldn’t mind another year of finger painting red apples and yellow bananas with three year olds – I’ve missed the little ones!

But October is a long way away. At the moment I’m hanging tight in Segovia for as long as my private classes continue, whilst sorting out the move to Madrid (find a flat, renew visa, start carting stuff eastward). Other projects include trying to get the sticky blu-tack residue off my walls, finding creative ways to use up all my dry goods and condiments, and filling any other down-time with creative writing (not self-indulgent blog posts). Kayaking with a big group of 14 year olds is also on the cards.

In early July an Australian friend is coming to visit in Segovia and help me polish off all the alcohol, because glass is just too heavy to move house with. (Books are also heavy, if only she could help me quickly read them all!)

Then in mid July, providing I don’t get cold feet/chicken out/acojonarse, I’m setting off on the Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage/series of walking routes which start all over Spain and Europe and finish in Santiago de Compostela, in the North West corner of Spain. I’ll be doing the Northern route, starting from Irún and walking some 800km along the coast, via places like San Sebastian and Guernica… hopefully all the way to Santiago, and hopefully at a fast enough pace to make it home in time for my flight to Australia in late August.

Most of September will be spent in Melbourne, where my little brother is getting married, and lots of people are turning 30, and I will be undoing six weeks of wholesome hiking with just over 3 weeks of solid socialising (if my last trip home was anything to go by).

And then it’s back to Madrid for the next chapter (or has that started already?)…and continuing the continuous cycle of constant movement but no real progress in any direction. Perhaps I will take another Spanish exam in November, providing that the trauma of the last one was worth it (still no news).

So, friends, family and random readers, that is the short term plan for the moment. It’s pretty much my long term plan as well, and of course, subject to change. I might experience an epiphany on the Camino and decide to become a nun of the cloister, or swim to Canada, or study economics. Stranger things have happened. But for now, if you are in Melbourne, keep warm, and I look forward to seeing you in August/September.

Everyone else, Madrid is a great meeting place from October onwards!

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150 palabras


Hace un tiempo escribí un cuento para “Rincones de Segovia”, un certamen anual de microrrelatos convocado por la Librería Antares. El desafío, como uno se puede imaginar, era escribir un relato de solo 150 palabras que hiciera referencia a Segovia. Para mí fue todo un reto, no sólo por la cuestión de idioma, sino también por lo mucho que me cuesta ser concisa. Comparé lo que suponía escribir un microrrelato con el famoso “Cubo de Rubik”, es decir, me parece como un rompecabezas. Sin embargo, disfruté del proyecto y, gracias a la ayuda de una amiga que me corrigió el texto, quedé contenta con el resultado (aunque no sea perfecto). Por supuesto no gané el concurso, pero eso tampoco era mi objetivo.

Como ahora se están acercando las vacaciones, estoy pensando mucho en escribir. Será uno de mis proyectos veraniegos. Por eso, el microrrelato, que tenía olvidado, me vino a la cabeza. Me di cuenta de que este año la colección de entregas no la publicó la librería. ¡Qué pena! Me habría gustado ver mi cuento impreso, y leer los otros, sobre todo los premiados.

Bueno, no pasa nada. He subido el mío, ¡qué fácil es “auto-publicar”! Así que, si os interesa, pinchad el enlace abajo. El microrrelato se llama “La huida”. Por supuesto, se agradecerá cualquier comentario, ya sea crítico o consejo.

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