Barcelona, November

Week 21

13/11/17 – 19/11/17

This week we meet our halfway mark. It is now week 21 out of 41. The weeks have went by so quickly, and we have had some crazy, unforgettable experiences in the past 21 weeks. With 20 weeks to go, I’m sure we will make even more amazing memories. It’s 5 weeks until we go home for Christmas, and we were always told that once it gets to Christmas, it flies in from there. We will come back to Barcelona in January and then return to Belfast for good on the 30th March. I just can’t believe it. With our last visitors gone, we will be occupying the coming weeks with Christmas shopping, Christmas movies and Christmas decorating. Marty informed me that he has booked a surprise trip for my 21st birthday in December. He’s so mysterious.

The past couple of months have been months of secrecy. Well, for Marty anyway. We spent this week preparing and packing because…we went home!!! After too many emotional goodbyes in August, we decided in September to surprise our families and come home in November. I knew for a fact that I wouldn’t be able to keep it a secret when we were going home in September, so I surprised my family when we were home, with an invitation to the Christmas markets in November. Fair play to Martin, who has been able to hold his tongue, even with visits from his family. I didn’t think he could’ve done it. I was counting down the days for weeks on end, excited to see my family and Bella. We definitely needed a break away from the crazy city. Plus, the flights were 45 euro return, why wouldn’t we?

I worked from 9am to 1pm on Thursday and met Marty at the bus stop to travel to the airport. We arrived in Dublin Airport just after 7pm and waited for our 8pm bus to Belfast. The 2 hour journey felt like a 2 day journey, as two drunk men decided to entertain the bus for the duration. My Daddy picked us up from the bus station at 10pm and Ornagh greeted me with my favourite drink – a Capri Sun! It was great to get home to my cosy house, see my family and meet the new cat (more to come on him). We ordered pizza from The Pizza Company and I decided to go to bed as I was wrecked from all the travelling.

After an unsettled night due to claws and purring, I woke early on Friday morning and drove to see my Granda. We had both been counting down the days since September, so it was a much anticipated reunion! After going to the hairdressers and chopping off 4 and a half months of unhealthy hair, Marty picked myself and Ornagh up and we went to B&M to see some of our old friends and buy some crap we didn’t need. Our next stop was the hospital, to see my beloved Grandmother. Despite being fully aware of who I was (the one from Barcelona), she was a little bit confused during our conversations and at times she didn’t realise that she was in the hospital. We found out that this was due to the trauma of her fall and that it is a normal thing to happen.

On Friday evening, my friends Rachel and Madeline picked me up and we went to Café Vanilla for a long awaited catch-up. Despite the fact that I have put 2 kilos on since moving to Barcelona, I ordered banoffee waffles with a side of coconut ice cream. After a good gossip, we decided to drive around one of the ʻposhʼ neighbourhoods and look at all of the houses weʼll never be able to afford. When we were finished window shopping, Rachel dropped me off at my Grandaʼs house for a sleepover. Before I had even sat down, he had a vodka and Sprite ready for me. We chatted and watched TV, and after 3 vodkas decided it was time for bed. I love keeping him company, and one of the hardest things about living in Barcelona is the fact that I canʼt be with him every day. Although, he is doing a great job of looking after himself and is now a professional laundryman and chef.

My Mummy picked me up on Saturday morning and I relaxed at home until my family came to visit me. At 3pm my Daddy dropped us into Belfast city centre, as we had planned to do some shopping and have our annual visit to the Christmas markets. They were cold, overcrowded and overpriced, as usual. But I still love going and stuffing my face. This year was no different. My Mummy, Ornagh and Conor had some chicken, garlic potatoes and a funky-smelling cheese dish from a French stand. Conorʼs girlfriend Nicole and I had chicken and falafel fajitas from the Mexican one. For dessert, Ornagh and Conor spotted ʻbubble wafflesʼ, cone shaped waffles filled with chocolate and ice cream.  I was craving churros with Nutella, which ended up all over my face and coat. My Daddy arrived at around 7pm and by that stage our fingers and toes were numb from the cold winter air. We left the markets (more like rolled out of them) and headed home to watch TV and well, eat.

On Sunday afternoon, Ornagh and I took Bella to the park. (I had promised her so I couldn’t back out). She was a very happy dog, chasing the ball through the leaves and of course, the mud. We had an early dinner, at around 2pm. It was amazing: champ, stuffing, brussel sprouts and a Quorn lattice. After dinner, I drove to my Auntie’s house to see my cousin and then headed up to Marty’s house to see his family. In the evening, myself, Ornagh, Conor and my Mummy went to the hospital to see my Granny again. She was in a much better mood and her confusion had lifted a little, which made leaving her a bit easier. I showered and got into my pajamas when we got home, and settled down to watch the new season of I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. Ornagh decided to go to bed early, leaving me to tend to the devil cat, who wanted to play at 1am.

It was a memorable, enjoyable weekend, spent with my friends and family. Unfortunately, a weekend just isn’t long enough and there were so many other people I wanted to see and other things I would’ve liked to do. Fortunately, weʼre home for Christmas in 4 weeks on Friday, and weʼll have plenty more time! Until then, weʼll try to relax and maybe start a diet so that we don’t have to pay for 2 seats each on the flight in December.

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