So, we went back to work for a week and a half. We finished off marking projects. We had our 1:1 meetings for the spring term. And now the Easter holidays are here.
I’m certainly not complaining.
After Easter, I might well find myself incredibly busy again. It looks like the Advanced Intensive course might restart, taking up two of my mornings and dramatically increasing the amount of marking I have to get through each week. But I’m not complaining about that either. It’s a valuable source of extra income – and that’s vital when you’re facing two months of summer with no pay.
I tried looking for summer jobs the other day but – just as last year – there’s pretty much nothing in terms of summer schools, which makes sense given the ongoing restrictions. To be honest, I’m not sure I’d want to spend two weeks (or more) working from morning to night in such close contact with a large group of children right now anyway.
Filling the time is not a problem. I’m currently doing yet another Norwegian MOOC, continuing with my Duolingo habit (I’m now up to 542 days), continuing to write (and edit!) short stories and doing an online course about Teaching Primary Learners Communicatively. And in the afternoons we’ve been getting out and about on our bicycles, exploring the parks, villages and huertas in and around the city.
These holidays will go in a flash – five days already have! – and the summer, I’m sure, will be no different. I’ve barely even looked at my Catalan course this year, although regular contact with Valencian speakers is giving me plenty of listening practice.
Speaking of which, we spent the last two days walking with friends (and friends of friends) in and around Almenara. The first day was overcast. We walked some 12 kilometres along the seafront and back, stopping for lunch at a campsite, ending up at a beach front bar for G&Ts.
The second day was a huge contrast – clear blue skies and the bluest of seas (though there was still a cool wind blowing). We walked from the seafront to a nature reserve, where we were lucky enough to see herons and flamingos. Then we headed back to the seafront for lunch, and back to the bar to finish.
It made a nice change to get out of the city – the first time we’ve done so in ages. For a long time there was a restriction on leaving the city at the weekends. Fortunately, that’s now been relaxed, although we’re still limited to travel within the Valencian Community, which is a little bit galling when there are tourists pouring in from abroad. But the Valencian Community is plenty big enough to be going on with, and certainly has its charm. I chose to live here, and I don’t regret it one bit.
As for summer holidays, we shall have to see. It may be that restrictions are eased by then – although it wouldn’t surprise me to see them tightening up a bit after Easter. But if we end up just taking day trips out of the city, there’s no shortage of places to go.
In the meantime, we have just over eleven weeks to work before the summer starts again. And before that, I’ve a week of holidays left to enjoy.