Dedication

In the heat of summer here in Almeria, which has a hot arid climate and averages between 30° and 40° during these summer months, it can be difficult to find the motivation needed to work for oneself. It’s especially hard when our three dogs, after their morning walk, spend the whole day lying around the house avoiding the incessant heat and blinding light outdoors. Why can’t I do what they do?

 

Sleeping baby... shhhhhh

Sleeping baby… shhhhhh

 

 

Leader of the pack...sleeps with one eye open!

Leader of the pack…sleeps with one eye open!

 

 

Jilly dreams of stones... Why? Because she spends her waking hours collecting them!

Jilly dreams of stones… Why? Because she spends her waking hours collecting them!

 

 

Why can’t I just spend the day by the pool?

 

Because the landscaping isn’t finished; that’s why not!  And someone has to pay for it!

 

Seriously, though, I LOVE my new occupation!  I have all the dedication and motivation that I need.  Being able to work how I want, when I want,  is invigorating.  If you’ve ever thought about working for yourself, think no longer. Do it!  Now!

Currently, I am working as an ELT (English Language Teaching) Resource Developer.  It’s something that I’ve done as part of my teaching for the last 14 years, but now I have the time to really get my teeth into it.  I’ve always enjoyed the creative aspect of teaching; thinking of innovative ways of developing and using resources in the classroom, of creating a more exciting and enjoyable learning environment for the students, of designing assessments tailored to a particular set of students.  So now I get to build on that without worrying about getting to the classroom on time!

Of course, it’s still early days for me, and too soon to tell whether this lifestyle is sustainable. You can be sure, though, that I will give it my all.

Back in March, I told you about a proofreading course which I was completing.  After struggling a little with widows and orphans, I am finally on the last unit of the course.  Up to now, I have enjoyed it immensely and, although I have the final and toughest assignment to get through, I believe (hope?) that I will successfully complete the course and go on to enjoy a new dimension to my business.

So, dedication?  At the moment, I have it by the truck load: even in the heat of August!  Who knows,  maybe next August I’ll have a big enough client list that I can take the month off!  Here’s hoping!

Enjoy your summer!

 

 

 

 

 

©Natalie Murray, 2014. Copying strictly prohibited. Extracts and links may be used only with full and clear credit given to Natalie Murray/English in Andalucia with appropriate links to the source material.

Puppy Love – Her Name Is Rio!

We have a new addition to the family!  Which is why I haven’t posted for a while.  I’ve been too busy cleaning up wee and poop!  But we love her!  She is adorable!

Meet Rio!

 

Rio

 

We adopted Rio from a local dog rescue charity, Puppy Rescue Spain.  She had been dumped, along with her siblings, in the garden of a volunteer.  She’s around 4 months old, and we’ve been told that she might have miniature pinscher in her.  She’s a lively little thing, and chews everything she comes across!!

Our other two babies, Jack and Jilly, were not best pleased when Rio arrived.  Jack greeted her with excitement on the first day, but then proceeded to ignore or merely tolerate her.  Jilly just pretended it wasn’t happening, right from the start!  However, they are both slowly coming around as they realize that Rio’s presence doesn’t undermine our love for them.

 

First Meeting

First Meeting

 

 

Rio likes to keep me company in the office…

 

 

She enjoys sunbathing…

 

Rio Sunbathing

 

and sleeping!

 

Rio bed

 

 

Sleeping with big brother and sister is even better!

 

Rio and Jack

Rio and Jack

Rio and Jilly

Rio and Jilly

 

 

 

 

 

©Natalie Murray, 2014. Copying strictly prohibited. Extracts and links may be used only with full and clear credit given to Natalie Murray/English in Andalucia with appropriate links to the source material.

The Best Thing About Living In The Campo?

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All the animals!

We bump into Paco and his flock most days when we’re out walking.  Some days, he’s on top of one mountain while we’re on another, so we have to holler across to each other!  Others, we can get up close and personal with the flock!

 

Love them!

We also found a little visitor in the bathroom this week…

He was a wee fellow; just a baby!

 

 

 

 

 

©Natalie Murray, 2014. Copying strictly prohibited. Extracts and links may be used only with full and clear credit given to Natalie Murray/English in Andalucia with appropriate links to the source material.

Splish Splash! A Swimming Pool, At Last! The Conclusion!

Just after my last post, work slowed down a little!  As often happens in Spain, when it looks like they’re getting to the end of a job, they start on a new one…somewhere else. So, there were several days when they only worked a half day on our pool, and several days when they worked none!  However, the weather hasn’t been too jolly lately, so we weren’t particularly stressed about it.

When I left you last, they had just started tiling the inside of the pool, which went something like this…

 

 

And that’s when work slowed down.  The doggies weren’t too happy about it!

 

 

But, progress was made.  The caseta was delivered (basically, the pump set-up), and the lorry which delivered the caseta got stuck trying to get back up our rather steep, as yet unfinished, driveway!  A tractor had to be called to pull it up!

 

 

Finally, the last of the tiles were put in place and the grouting finished.  All of this under constant supervision, of course!

 

Come on, chaps!  Get a move on!

Come on, chaps! Get a move on!

And then…TA DA!  Our finished pool!  Can’t quite believe it!

Can't wait to take a dip!

Can’t wait to take a dip!

 

Now, I know that the surrounding landscape leaves a lot to be desired, but creating your own personal paradise takes time… a lot!

Watch this space… :)

 

 

 

 

©Natalie Murray, 2014. Copying strictly prohibited. Extracts and links may be used only with full and clear credit given to Natalie Murray/English in Andalucia with appropriate links to the source material.

Splish Splash! A Swimming Pool, At Last! (Part 2)

Well, I have to say that I am very impressed with the builders this time around…so far anyway!   Last week they got on with the pool at a rip-roaring pace.  They arrived early in the morning — our alarm call has been the cement mixer — and, after siesta,  worked well into the evening.  No complaints from us!

 

 

And then…they put in steps!  We were very excited about this!

 

We have steps!

We have steps!

Have you ever seen such magnificent steps?!

Have you ever seen such magnificent steps?!

 

And the grand finale to the week…Edge Tiles!

 

Edge Tiles!

Edge Tiles!

 

Fabulous job, don’t you think?

As I type, the menfolk are busy laying the ocean blue tiles inside the pool.  They have promised that it will be finished by the end of this week.  We will see.  The plumbing hasn’t been finished yet…

But like I said, we can’t complain.  They’ve done a great job, so far.  And, the weather hasn’t been great this week.  It needs to be a little warmer up here in the mountains before I will take a dip!

 

 

 

©Natalie Murray, 2014. Copying strictly prohibited. Extracts and links may be used only with full and clear credit given to Natalie Murray/English in Andalucia with appropriate links to the source material.

Splish Splash! A Swimming Pool, At Last! (Part 1)

When I was doing overtime in Abu Dhabi, I would regularly remind myself that it would all be worth it in the end.  All those extra hours in the classroom, which were, of course, always a delight, would allow us to treat ourselves later on.  That time has now come!

Last week, the builders arrived to start work on our pool!  It isn’t going to be the biggest pool in the world.  You wouldn’t be able to train for the next Olympics in it.  But…it’s all ours!

We were very excited the day the digger arrived…

 

Towards the end of the day the digger managed to get a puncture!  We thought all was lost.  But, our valiant Spanish builders soldiered on with the help of a pneumatic drill!

 

digger tyre c                                                         digger tyre 2 c

 

We didn’t want to get our hopes up that work would continue the next day.  Mañana is a long time coming in Andalucia.  But, back they came; the puncture was fixed, the hole completed, and the steel mesh laid.

 

mesh c

 

On Friday, a large lorry arrived with a delivery of concrete, which was poured into the hole.  It was then levelled out and left to dry over the weekend.  We were tasked with wetting it down occasionally with the hosepipe, apparently to reduce the possibility of cracks.  I’m told, by the man of the house, that there will always be some cracks.

 

concrete c

 

And, as the sun went down on the day…

 

sunset c

 

We wondered whether our workers would return on Monday morning…

The dogs did too!

 

Jack n Jilly c

 

 

 

 

©Natalie Murray, 2014. Copying strictly prohibited. Extracts and links may be used only with full and clear credit given to Natalie Murray/English in Andalucia with appropriate links to the source material.

 

What do you know about widows and orphans?

If you are in the publishing industry, there is probably a lot you can tell me about widows and orphans!  If you are not, then you are forgiven for being mistaken about the widows and orphans to which I am referring!

I am now a good way through the proofreading course which I started a few months back.  I am still thoroughly enjoying it, but, instead of getting easier the more knowledge I gain, it’s getting harder!  There is more and more to remember; new symbols, new terms, some of whose descriptions appear to me to be in another language at times.  I get frustrated with myself, frequently, when checking the answers to exercises, and realizing that I haven’t spotted, what would appear to be, an obvious error!  But then I remind myself that the exercises are part of the training, and that I should learn from them…and not repeat my errors.  If it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth doing, would it?

Neck pain is proving to be a side effect, too.  I am sitting properly, at a desk, on an office chair, and I’m aware that I should be conscious of my posture.  However, constantly looking down at the course texts results in neck pain.  Is it my age or is it just that it’s a different posture for me?  Hopefully, it’s the latter and my neck muscles will adjust.  Otherwise, it will be hell when I launch my freelance proofreading business and I’m inundated with work.  Which, of course, I will be!

Hmmm…after a while, my eyes go a bit squinty, too!

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As I said, I am really enjoying the course and I’m much more knowledgeable on the subject now than I was six months ago.  I know I still have a lot to learn, and that I will continue to learn on the job, but that’s the way it should be.  We should never stop learning.

What have you learnt today?  There must be something!  Leave a comment and let me know.

 

 

©Natalie Murray, 2014. Copying strictly prohibited. Extracts and links may be used only with full and clear credit given to Natalie Murray/English in Andalucia with appropriate links to the source material.