Thursday, March 26, 2009

Diez mil lectores. ¡Qué va!

Many thanks to the readers out there who have visited so far, ten thousand views and counting...

We are in the middle of an exchange student visit at the moment in the hungry cottage. We hadn't bargained on a "tall, dark and handsome" 14 year-old from Germany; our preconceptions were someone more like Tom's own size (a bit short like his mum). Still, he's clean and well-behaved. The only downside is that he's vegetarian, but does at least like fish. I thought that I might have to go out and get a whole new cookbook - we are confirmed omnivores in the hungry cottage.
The school itinerary looks quite curious. Today, for instance the students are off to London for a "cultural" experience; London Eye and Tower of London. I'm not quite sure how this squares with the billed lunch at Burger King!
This weekend we will be free to give our own cultural education. I've suggested a pub lunch, possibly Portsmouth Dockyard and in the evening a fish 'n chip supper. Lady wife agrees on the food menu, but quails at the expense of the Dockyard tour, 55 pound sterling for a family ticket (only five people). A lot depends on the weather, the wind and rain will have to ease a bit first.
So much has happened since leaving Casares. The Teacher Training fell through after failing to get a grant. Didn't qualify as a home student because I'd been out of the country for over three years and failed as an EU student because that won't pay for a Masters course!
To help pay the bills I briefly did a paper round, then managed to pick up a cleaner's job at a local school.
I had applied at the end of November for a driver's job for a local company but had to wait around for ages for the CRB checks to go through. Surrey County Council were fine, but East Hants have been a complete nightmare (as is true for almost every department in Penns Place). They wouldn't accept the letter of good conduct from the Spanish Ministry of Justice (that Surrey did) and insisted I get another. This had to be done through the FCO and British Consulate in Málaga. I got the request off before Christmas, only to find on enquiry that the application was sat on some FCO "merchant banker's" desk in London in late January. And they wanted 121 pounds for the service. If you go in person to the Ministerio de justicia office in Málaga they'll do it for you for 8 euro. I could literally have flown out and done it myself for less than the FCO charged!
Eventually I got the paper back and so now I have taxi driver licences for Hampshire and Surrey (which explains the Facebook profile photo).
Not that taxi (or school bus) driving is an end in itself. I am retraining for something much more lucrative...

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