The first week of my freedom after the shadow cast over my year abroad by having to do an investigative project should, in my mind at least, have consisted only of sun sand and sangria. Trust me to forget that I still have to work at least three days a week until the end of the month, highlighted by the fact that I forgot to turn on my 6:27am alarm on Wednesday. Luckily the sunlight woke me up at 6:57 and I managed to catch the train just in time.

In fairness, the sun hasn’t stopped shining all week, the sangria has flowed (not copiously but a little bit), and the sand has also been visited! So I am still living the “expat” dream, just luckily 50 years earlier than most of Benidorm’s residents! Wednesday was the last day of the school caretaker’s working life and in true Valencian fashion we celebrated his retirement with a hell of a lot of noise and almost as much food! When he went to open the gate for the last time he was greeted by a batucada (basically an orchestra entirely made up of drums) and the whole school shouting his name, and then the children improvised a globotà, popping all of the balloon we had given them!

On Thursday I gave a presentation to the Year 4 class. The textbook has a chapter about castles and the castle represented was Warwick Castle, which being my hometown, meant I knew a fair amount about it. The kids were also super interested in Henry VIII which led me to search for the Horrible Histories song about his wives.

Then on Saturday we visited Jess in Gandía for what was probably the last time all three Sotonites plus our honorary Sotonite, Laura, meet up. Jess should definitely be a tour guide as she led us around to all of the interesting places, before heading towards the beach to eat Fideuà and sunbathe for a while!

And in other news, I finally have a house for next year, so there’s another load of stress off my back! So now to enjoy the last few weeks of my official Year Abroad and the Summer Holidays!

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