Monday 8th- Sunday 14th June 2017.
Another week has been and gone and oh my has this one been a cracker.
Mom and Joel have been and gone and we´ve had so much fun.
Its also been slightly (MAJORLY) stressful, so much so that i was nearly sick on a train.
My week got off to a boring start as three of my lessons were cancelled on Monday as Year 1 were visiting a farm. The poor devils had been waiting months for this trip as it had been rescheduled twice due to bad weather.
After sending out countless emails to various English primary schools last week, i had received a few offers.
But what i thought would be a simple task, turned out to be an absolute nightmare.
One of the schools requested to see my Spanish CRB certificate, so i promptly sent them a copy of my ICPC, the criminal check i needed to work here in Spain.
But as it turns out, this isnt what they wanted.
I was informed that i needed a different one, that basically proves that i´ve not been in any trouble with the Spanish authorities. But at the time i had absolutely no idea what this was or how to go about obtaining it.
Cue the panic.
I spent most of Monday glued to my laptop, desperately trying to find out what this thing was.
It turns out that the Spanish equivalent of a CRB/DBS is a `Certificado de antecedentes penales´ and there is only one office in Barcelona that you can get it from.
Did i mention that without this certificate i would be unable to teach in England? Slightly concerning as this is what i wish to do with my life….
On Tuesday i danced the Hokey Pokey song (blast from the past) and spent the morning emailing every Tom, Dick and Harry that could potentially help me out with obtaining my Spanish certificate of convictions. CAPS were as unhelpful as ever, Aston Uni had no clue what i was talking about and all the information online was in Spanish! Great!
3C relieved some of the stress as we played a series of games and concluded the lesson with competition to see how many times ´hello´could be written in 60 seconds. I won of course, with an impressive score of 47. Boom.
Then in Art with year two we drew some flowers before i spent the final two hours of the day going over Cambridge English exam papers with year 3.
I pushed the boat out and straightened my hair for the third time in 2017 on Tuesday night. Whilst living in Spain i have been leaving it curly and embracing the bush, but i thought i´d make an effort for Mom and Joel.
Not gonna lie though, i had completely forgotten what a PAIN it is, especially now my hair is EVEN longer.
Normal laziness when it comes to my hair resumes this week.
Year one wrote about their daily routine and we finished off the Space display in the corridor.
Then in year 6 i helped them write the scripts for their fairy tales and then in p5 we played memory games and made puppets.
After school, i found two strange looking tourists hanging around outside the school gates…. oh wait that was my Mom and Step Dad Joel!
They were a tad sweaty after getting lost and having to speed-walk up the giant hill that leads to the school. So we wasted no time and headed to a local Cafe and Tapas where we sat in the sun drinking beer and berry smoothies.
Then we hopped on the metro into the centre and bought a few bits and bobs from El Cort Ingles- including lots of snacks and a replacement toothbrush!
For dinner, we went to Placa Reial and shared tapas and paella. After raving about the delicious paella me and Claire had shared back in March, it fell short of expectations this time around. Despite the pesky chicken bones, which neither me nor Mom were a massive fan of, it was still nice.
The topless acrobatic dancers however, did not dissapoint.
Once the temperature had dropped, they lit the fire heaters which kept us all toasty. We stayed there all evening until it was time for me to go home and for them to go back to their hotel.
On Thursday i had a cheeky lie-in and walked to school. I arrived just in time for second lesson where i had to supervise the year two´s poster making task. Their work at the moment is based around travel, and each team has been given a country to research.
I spent the rest of the morning with Maria Jose, and together we worked on my character reference. She had written it over her break which was sweet, and together we fine-tuned it and then she printed it on posh paper with the logo on before signing it. I just need one more from my tutor and then i am good to go for my work experience in July!
I also printed out the forms that i needed to take with me to the Ministry of Justice and Queralt helped me to fill them in correctly, because of course, they were all in Spanish!
As Irmas was away i escaped and went home early after lunch. I had a cheeky snack and then headed to the centre to meet Mom and Joel.
We walked around the gothic quater and stopped off for a drink. Joel with his beer, and me and mom with our green tea.
The Barcelona Hard Rock Cafe was our chosen destination for dinner. We shared a huge platter for starter and then i opted for the salmon for main.
We didn´t stay out long and after an early dinner i was home for just after 7pm.
I caught up with Joe, showered and rested my battered feet before having an early night.
Today was the day.
I set my alarm bright and early and was out the door at 8.15 am. I caught the metro, and two changes later i arrived at La Sagrera and whipped out my map. I located the office relatively easily and was dismayed to find a queue of people waiting outside despite it only being 8.30. The office opened at 9, so i decided to try my luck in the bank and pay the €3,70 tax before i joined the back of the line. I coiped the people in front (who were holding the same forms as me) and paid the man behind the window. He stamped it and then off i went.
It was then that i started to believe that i could actually do this on my own.
And i did.
I joined the back of the line and waited fot the office to open. Mom and joel found me in the line but i sent them to a local cafe while i sorted myself out.
I got a ticket and sat down, waiting for my number to be called.
i was only number 35 in the line and it didn´t take long. Soon i was in front of a man who spoke as much English as i speak Polish. He took all my papers and asked to see my ICPC, then to my delight (and immense releif) the printer sprung to life and he presented me with my very own Certificado de antecedentes penales.
I am so dam proud of myself.
I did it.
All by myself.
Something i would never have been able to do 8 months ago. GO ME.
I then found Mom and Joel waiting for in the cafe next door. After hearing the good news, we got the Funicular up to Tibidbo and spent the morning admiring the views and eating tapas in the sun.
We then wandered back down to the city centre and explored a bit more, stopping off for tea and cake mid-afternoon. Me and Mom shared the most delicious lemon and lime pie, so good! The weather was amazing but i managed to burn the one side of my neck, meanwhile Mom was sporting two juicy nat bites on the side of her face and the bottom of joels feet were covered in blisters!
As the weather was so good, we decided to hit the beach. We wondered along the promenade and cooled off with some icecream (or sorbet in my case). As the F1 was in Spain, the harbour was full and there were lots of expensive cars on display.
Then we found a cute restaurant tucked away in the Gothic Quater and left Joel there with a beer. Me and Mom had a mooch round all the local shops and treated joel to a pair of havaiana flip flops.
We had dinner and then i headed back to Drassanes station and caught the metro home.
After a well-deserved lie-in, i got ready and met Mom and Joel on the steps of the Catherdral at 12.
We wandered around, drank tea and then walked up Passieg de Gracia. The family met us at around 2 and we had a lovely italian lunch.
Esteve and Arian were very generous and treated all of us. We all had a lovely time and it was nice for them to get to know each other a little better. I´m so lucky.
After lunh, Joel headed to an Irish Bar to watch the Stoke Vs. Arsenal match while me and Mom walked to L´illa shopping centre.
We bought pick n mix for joel (which actually ended up coming home with me by accident), Mom bought a top from Zara and i was treated to a baby blue day dress from Bershka and some body shop goodies.
We then got the metro to Urquinaona and found Joel in the bar. We had a ginormous plate of nachos to share and then it was time for us to go our seperate ways.
It was strange saying ´see you in June´ as its actually not that far away now!
I´ve had a lovely few days spending time with them, eating amazing food and enjoying the beautiful city of Barcelona while i still can.
When i walked away, i didnt feel sad. I just felt grateful.
Grateful to have such made such wondeful memories and to feel as loved as i do.
The last few weeks have been suprisingly hard for me, as i miss home more than ever.
But there are 40 days left… 40 days!
And I´m off to Madrid on Friday.
Bring it on.