The days, and especially the nights are punctuated by explosions as we work our way towards the day of bacchanalian revelries that characterizes the Day of Saint John. This is the day of fireworks and it is traditional to spend the night on the beach around a fire and (gasp!) drinking! Drinking more than one glass of beer or wine! Catalans! But it is true, as I have seen it with my own eyes. The beach the morning after looks like a bomb site with bottles, rubbish and bodies laying around in all sorts of attitudes of drunken stupor.
Lighting Fires On The Beach has, of course been banned, but that does not stop intrepid revellers from disobeying the rules and providing employment for the officers of the law and the beach cleaners.
This is the last week of contact with the kids for me. Five more days and that part of my life is over. A further week with my colleagues probably going from pointless meeting to pointless meeting in one of those managerial spasms that assumes that a teacher without classes to go to is up to mischief and must be kept on the educational straight and narrow by continuing membership of ad hoc committees! For me next year extends itself into the future and September will have no horrors for me.
Yesterday, or perhaps the day before yesterday, at the end of school I went up (dutifully following Frank) to the tunnel way to Terrassa. This was remarkably quick and probably remarkably expensive, as my little device in the car clicked up another fee to travel on the roads.
It was a rapid visit and as soon as we hit Castelldefels we went out on the tapa trail in the centre of the town. The first of the two that we had was in a place that had been closed the last time we attempted to visit it. This time it was open and the tapa was cod wrapped in humus coated with sesame seeds resting on a bed of red pepper mousse with garnish of pickled baby tomatoes with a sprig of greenery. Spectacular and tasty!
The second was in a bar we have frequented before and this time we were treated to a quite substantial tapa of minced meat wrapped in cabbage leaves and served with a vicious chilli. There was a blob of yogurt to make up for the chilli – which turned out to be necessary! Full marks for the quantity but I fear that the quality was a little lacking. The meat was relatively tasteless and the whole things were far too salty for my taste. The yogurt was nice.
So far we have been impressed with the invention shown in the tapas this year and we are looking forward to completing the first twenty-one of the tapas as our first entry in the competition for gourmet meals for two in the prize draw of the completed “passports” for those who have completed the regulation 50% of the locales printed on the entry form.
I intend to sample all of the tapas and therefore gain two entries to the prize draw – as well, of course as gaining a wider appreciation of the culinary quality of my town. Any visitors will be dragged into this enterprise as well as we will have a “visitors’ passport” for them to use which we will also enter for the prize draw too! We have, I am glad to aver, no shame!
I have now been marking, for what seems to have been most of my life which also seems to have been concentrated into the temporal paradox which has been the last few days. I have now, however, completed the majority of the horrendous marking and there is only the “light” marking of odd papers which come my way.
The true horror now starts when I try and put these marks into the computer for the day-long meeting on Tuesday of next week – which is an authentic horror in itself!
The days are ticking down and freedom is getting ever nearer. Well, freedom of a sort, who knows what the future AS (After September) will bring! But I look forward to the New Life and all other thoughts that can be capitalized!
Other teachers are now getting their final examinations and are looking browbeaten in their desperation as they ply the red biros with ever growing fury on an undiminishing pile of papers.
I am trying to remember all the haunts where I might have secreted useful teaching material in an attempt to erase all traces of my past activity before the last week of term. In theory that Last Week (more capitalization!) will be a time during which I will have masses of free time because I do not (surely!) need to attend all those interminable meetings giving helpful advice about the following term. Which in my case I will not experience. It is during at least one of these meetings I will be able to get started on all those petty tasks that usually lurk until the beginning of the term and then jump out to irritate and waste time which is suddenly more precious than gold!
At some point, well, the 27th of June, I have to go to the tax office and make a play to try and get some form of rebate – just like everyone else I know: apart form my good self. I am truly the only person I have heard of who does not get a sum of money (no matter how small) back from the tax office at the end of the year! I think this may say something about the general organization of the finances of this country and the parlous financial state that it is now in!
Meanwhile the sun shines, time ticks on and I am generally happy!