Friday 20 January, 2006

not often grumpy

Filed under: Claire's Entries — claire @ 2:58 pm

Most days Jim rides his bike to work, sometimes he runs late and sometimes he doesn’t want his photo taken.

Thursday 19 January, 2006

San Sebastian

Filed under: Claire's Entries — claire @ 6:15 pm

Ok the final instalment of our Spanish holiday, we’ve been back for over 2 weeks and we were only gone just over 1 week! I find it hard to write about something and much easier to write about nothing (make of that what you will). But I know years from now I’ll kick myself, as I am already for not documenting our previous trips, but we do have the photos.

So San Sebastian less than an hour away from Bilbao and just 20minutes from the French border. Of course we had heard lots about the place and despite all the rave reviews I have to say it wasn’t on my must see list. I’m not a big fan of European Seaside Resort Towns, villages by the beach or on the coastline yes, casual cities with a beach again no problem, anyway just my funny preferences. However we had not heard a bad word about the place, it was on our way home, we had a hard time booking accommodation so the city was going to be full and after all it was still in Spain, so surely it was a good place to spend New Years. Well you would think!

Jim and I headed out just before 9pm to make an early start on the drinks and tapas, earlier on it had been very buzzy out. So as we are just gearing up for the special night we notice things are decidedly winding down, we are pretty much kicked out of a bar, standing on the streets it slowly sinks in that everything is closed and the place is all of a sudden a ghost town. I make no exaggeration here the place is deserted and everything is closed, EVERYTHING. We head to the old town to not only confirm that it is the same there but to be hit by a sudden down pour with fierce winds that blow the rain horizontally. After huddling by a door we cant help laugh, that kind of laugh when things are so bad, but not in a life or death way, that the absurdity of it all takes over. We head back to the pension, which turned out to be clean and good value but devoid of any other life or character. I of course am most upset because we have no food and as I said NOTHING AT ALL was open, Jim went off to see what was in the car. He returned to announce we’d hit the jack pot with an in case of an emergency bottle (and it was an emergency!) of Australian Sparkling, a tin of Spanish tuna, a lemon ( le Grec always has a lemon) and some stale oatcakes. In the meantime I noticed by some stroke of luck our pension had a tv and I had found a pack of cards the size of a matchbox that was in one of our xmas bonbons. So there we sat on the bed playing cards, drinking sparkling from the bottle, eating tinned tuna (but with lemon of course) and watching the New Years countdown from Madrid. At midnight we hear fire works go off and head to the promenade to find that people are hitting the streets again. So not what we imagined but nothing to complain about, we were happy together in Spain and the seaside sure looked pretty lit up by fireworks.

If you go to our flickr badge it will lead the way to view all the photos from our Spanish holiday.

Tuesday 17 January, 2006


Filed under: Claire's Entries — claire @ 1:51 pm

Thanks to Time Out’s Winter Breaks Bilbao beeped on our radar and aren’t we glad it did. Before we went we didn’t really find out much about it except it had a Guggenheim and an industrial past. We asked a few Spaniards in Barcelona and Zaragoza and pretty much got the same response that it was not a nice city and questions as to why we would want to visit. Normally locals are in the know before the tourists but in the case of Bilbao it’s the other way around. I think we were willing to give it a chance because we know that Lille has a similar story to tell, industrial cities of past making leaps forward aided in the quick turn around by embracing the Arts. Lille’s Guggenheim was being the European Capital of Culture for 2004. So with a Guggenheim in residence, which is impressive even before you walk in, I think Bilbao has the Arts covered and as well the food is amazing. Its a very attractive city, even on a grey rainy day, nestled amongst green hills with a river, but still obviously a city with a definite edge and most definitely a party city, it has a fantastic vibe.

However I like to get up early but Spain likes to keep you up late and it was starting to make me a wee bit tired so one night I decided to go to bed early at 11pm. Honestly I felt like I had taken myself off at 5pm, I felt so guilty and kept apologizing to Jim and told him not to feel he had to retire at such a pathetic hour also. So off he went out on his own, well he wasn’t on his own the whole of Bilbao was out, I mean what kind of person goes to bed in Spain at 11pm!

Monday 16 January, 2006


Filed under: Claire's Entries — claire @ 9:57 pm

Wasn’t feeling 100% over the weekend and Jim had a lot of work to do at home so we had a quite one and I did a bit of knitting.

The sales are on so I’ve been able to pick up odd balls for 1Euro and then figure out later what to do with them. This is a pattern from stitch n bitch with my own adaptation with the buttons and crocheted loops.

Jim got a beanie as well but his was made up of leftovers, the green yarn I had used for a neck wrap but had muted it with a dark green mohair, here in the beanie it’s all on its lurid own and highlighted by the black. But I think he can pull it off, no buttons or loops on his!.

This is more stylish, I like the wooden toggles, doesn’t he look handsome!

This pair of arm warmers will be finished as soon I work out what the repetitive mistake is Im making on the second edging. The first one is done so why am I having problems with the second one?! So assuming in the fresh light of day it will knit up no problems all I’ll have left to do is sew them up and pop them on. Cant be bothered blocking and pressing, it’s not a jumper, so no real need right?

Friday 13 January, 2006

so bad it’s good

Filed under: Claire's Entries — claire @ 11:47 am

This morning I was chatting on the phone with my cousin Peta in Oz. I was asking Peta to keep an eye out whenever she was at JB HI Fi for the final series of Sex and the City to go on sale. I never realy watched the show when it was on TV but having obtained cheaply most of the series on DVD am just now catching the boat. I have a love hate relationship with Carrie but as hopeless as she is with herself and with men she is lovely to her girlfriends and I love the development of Mirandas character, she’s my fave. I am very defensive of poor Charlotte who is frequently mocked by her friends and when any kindness is extended to her it is comes with a heavy dose of condescension, even from Carrie. Well she ends up well compensated with a fabulous bloke. Samantha I love for shocking Jim and making him laugh uproariously and asking Do you girls really talk like that? The answer depends on which girlfriends we’re talking about!

Anyway back to my conversation with Peta. I asked her how much she thought it would cost and she suggested looking at the JB site on the internet and then letting me know what price I was hoping to get it on sale for. Afterwards having done my research I sent her a text.

Me: Sex on the internet is $60 but I will only pay $38

Reply: Who is this?

Me: Claire texting her cousin. No?

A couple of minutes later with no reply and the slow realization of the implications of the content of my 2 texts and I was mortified!! A panicked phone call to Peta and No she had not received any texts from me! I just knew it wasn’t a random wrong number I remember copying out the number off one of our messy contact lists. If it was a friend they would of replied, OMG I was sure it was one of Jim’s many relatives. Despite being truly freaked at the possibilities of who may of received and misinterpreted the text I of course couldn’t fail to see the humour. When I rang Jim at work to tell him it was impossible to relay the incident as I was laughing so hard I couldn’t speak and tears were streaming down my face. A cycle of calming myself and starting to tell him and then the laughter would rise up again uncontrollably as I attempted to verbalize the content of the texts. When I finally conveyed all to Jim he did laugh but was very quick to ask me to give him the number I had text to, if this got amongst any humourless relatives there wouldn’t be enough Orthodox Saints to save us.

Well a bit later I did get a reply, the slow response explained by it being received by a very unfazed adolescent male, Steven, Petas son. Whew! Though later it did strike me as a little odd that we considered it a relief it was Steven and as well offered him no explanation.

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