Hola a todos, I hope you’ll all be pleased to read that I’m still managing to type with my aged fingers! I turned 21 on Thursday in Spanish style! I’m joking about being old but in the UK, 21 is considered a milestone birthday and the age at which, if there was any doubt at 18,you are definitely an adult! The Spanish have a very different view; when I told some colleagues how old I was, they cooed about how young I was and one man said “But you are just a child!”
I was a bit worried about whether I’d enjoy my birthday in a land far, far away (I think I must have seen Star wars and Shrek a few too many times!) from the people and things I love, but I had a really good day! It started well: I opened my cards and presents whilst eating my first birthday cake of the day for breakfast in bed, courtesy of my flatmates (thank you)! A big thank you also to everyone in their different parts of the world who sent birthday love in various ways, I really appreciated it!
As I’ve mentioned before, I usually really enjoy work, so I wasn’t too sad to have to go in on my birthday. I enjoyed it even more than usual thanks to some lovely surprises! These began when I walked into the staffroom to find the other teachers singing happy birthday, which they’d practised in English! They also gave me cards and traditional La Riojan jewellery, which is so thoughtful and was completely unexpected, especially because the Spanish aren’t big card-givers like us!
Also unexpected was the party my sixth-form students threw for me! I walked into their class to find the lights turned off and all of them singing! Already, I thought this was really sweet of them, but when they turned the lights on I saw that they’d all brought in food from home. One boy had even home-made a cake, my second of the day!
A Spanish birthday tradition is to pull the birthday girl’s ears, and this is something I experienced first hand! My ears were pulled once for each of my 21 years! It was a lot less painful than birthday bumps but maybe they were just being nice!
Perhaps the best suprise came halfway through the class (if I can call it that!) when I was delivered this beautiful bunch of flowers, almost half the size of me, from my family at home! They are looking even more beautiful now more of the lilies have come out!
I had my third and final birthday cake, this time in the form of muffins, at my after-school class. I was really touched that the mum had made them and bought a 21 candle especially! It was a backwards meal because I then went out for pizza and drinks with some friends!
I think it’s fair to say my birthday involved a lot of food, which was extra sweet because I’m supposed to be on a diet! I’d worried that I might feel a bit lonely but that was absolutely not the case!
My birthday weekend was hot, hot, hot! I spent it really embracing the Spanish siesta, fiesta lifestyle!