Thursday, 13 March 2014

Recognition and Equality

Today our marriage of just over 6 years is finally recognised in the country of our births. Now this might not seem like a big thing to some people but when you have spent so much of your life trying to justify your existence just because of who you are it's a big deal, I can tell you! 

Tony and I met back in 1982 (September the 14th) to be precise, when being gay was still not widely accepted. We had fewer rights and were far from equal. I remember far too clearly being spat at in the street in which we lived simply because I was a 'fu**ing poof'. One night whilst leaving a bar on our way to the tube station a group of 'lads' (read cowards) pelted us with bricks- we were lucky not to be hurt. 

Throughout my  life I have put up with discrimination, some of it so slight it should hardly matter, but it does. For instance at one point I was told that my partner/boyfriend could not get similar benefits as a partner in a married couple as it wasn't a 'real' relationship. Yes those words were really used. 

Over thirty one year ago we I was told our relationship wouldn't last yet we're still here and as strong as ever. just over 6 years ago (on our 25th anniversary) we married here in Spain, where same-sex marriage has been legal so much longer. It was a wonderful day -a day when our relationship was allowed a fairer airing. Now the UK is moving forward too. Equality still doesn't exist for us 100%, like it doesn't for so many (and I don't just mean gay people), but we're heading in the right direction, as long as you don't look toward Uganda or Russia! 

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

My day in bullets

Here's what a normal Tuesday looks like here: (although I rarely do much 'normal')

  • Got up, showered, shaved etc etc
  • fed the cats and Cuddy. Special biscuits for R2 running low- note to self to pop into the vets sooner rather than later.
  • Had breakfast - Marmite and tomato toasted sandwich -still trying to increase intake of potassium.
  • Checked e-mail and Facebook. Not much going on there- the usual.
  • Caught bus to Catalan class - by the lore it was windy out there.
  • Spent almost two hours learning Catalan- getting into the future now...
  • Dropped into the school to do some photocopying and got nagged by the secretary for not answering my phone of picking up a message. I explained that good students turn their phones off during class!
  • Walked home, bought baguette on the way, would have bought a 'baston' but they've run out till tomorrow -well it has been Carnaval
  • Had lunch cooked by Tony - Pea and sweetcorn soup with bread.Rushed a bit to get ready for next class.
  • Started a new class at Kuku -a factory just five minutes from home. Most enjoyable.
  • Came home and had a coffee and biscuits - shared with Cuddy of course
  • More e-mail, facebook time- Never a waste of time when i'm enjoying it.
  • Wrote a short story at Writey-Ho (lucky I write for my own pleasure  as viewings have dropped off again- from 715 over a week ago to 5 yesterday)
  • Prepared lesson for evening class - Hmmm how to entertain students!! 
That's it so far but will:
  • Go to class and teach English
  • Come home and eat dinner as prepared by my wonderful husband.
  • Watch something on the TV - Maybe another episode of 'Game of Thrones'.
  • Bed.

Monday, 3 March 2014

The Party's over ..(mas o menos)

Well that was Carnaval Weekend and we're taking today out to recover. Happily it's a holiday here so no school and no private classes either.  There are still a couple of days left of Carnaval but it's a little more low-key, well for us anyway, as we start to get back to some semblance of normality. 

Will this dye ever come out? 

Today Tony's been housecleaning, although I did put the washing on and hang it out (note to self to get it in!) early on. While I've been out to the garden centre then dropped in at the lottie with some strawberry plants, a couple of sage-plants and a couple of mint plants. I also bought a couple of cat-grasses for our boys here, in the hope it stops them chewing every green shoot off as soon as it pops it's head above the soil. A bag of composted soil competed my trip - ready for sowing a load of seeds for planting out later. 


Yesterday we skipped out of a Sitges carnaval visit in favour of a few episodes of 'Game of Thrones'. We're getting used to our new IPTV system now and a new way of watching. I've watched more films in the last couple of weeks than I've watched in the last couple of years. So far I've watched 'The life of Pi' - good but not great, 'X-men, first class' - a nice bit of escapism; and 'The Help' which was every bit as good as the book, a book I loved and read far too quickly meaning it was over too quickly. I'm looking forward to seeing 'The book Thief' soon as that was another book I loved, and 'Dallas Buyers Club'. Sometimes there just aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done. 

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Comparses and Camp

Carnaval continues unabated, but we are slowing down a bit.

Last night we were out on the town dressed up among our fellow Vilanovins for a bit of a fancy dress party in town. We went out mid-evening, and didn't stay out too long, but enjoyed seeing everyone out in their garb.  The El Tacó lads were out and about again in the superheros costumes, while we were out in ours. 

Some of the Tacó lads
Our Sir Lord Tony of TulStig
 and his faithful jester...

and today it all kicked off again (early) for comparses -the sweetie throwing war. Groups from different associations from all over town skip around the streets of VnG throwing sweeties, singing and dancing gradually making their way to the town square where battles of wild ferocity take place. 

Just a bit of a mess ... 
 One of the bands of jolly Vilanovins

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Arrivo y mas

So last night was the arrival of the King of the Carnaval -El Rei Carnestoltes with a parade of over 50 floats. Despite the cold we stayed out and watched the whole thing and had a jolly old time. 

This was the El Tacó float:
 This guy many of you may recognise - 
 and this guy -well he must have been froze! 
and this evening we're getting our glad rags on - fancy dress ones - and puttting on the make up ready for the fancy dress ball in the Town Square.