Yesterday, Gosia drove Ania and I to Finisterre, about an hour and a half drive down south of Coruña. It's been coined "the end of the world" (or "the edge of the earth") since the Roman times as that was what it was once believed to be true, and then later as the westernmost point of Europe, although now it's proven to be neither (there is somewhere in Portugal that hold the westernmost point title). In any case, it kind of felt like we were at the edge of something because right at the cliff's edge it looked out into a never-ending seascape. There wasn't even a definite horizon line separating the blues of the sky and sea. It was so beautiful and it reallt looked like some kind of heaven - I got a really weird and almost humbling feeling just standing there and looking out into to the endless.. endless nothing. It's also one of the last stopes on the Camino de Santiago route so around us there were small blackened patches on the ground from the remains of fires and random shoes and things littering the rocks left by the pilgrims.Read More
Today was a bank holiday so I took yesterday off too so that I could have a 4-day weekend. My original plan to go away somewhere fell through so I ended up staying in Coruña the whole time which was initially just super depressing (considering it was also my birthday weekend) but it turned out to be a good thing and perhaps better in that I was still productive and relaxed and well rested.
I took advantage of the fact that yesterday was still a normal Monday so without needing to wake up extra early or missing the bus to work, i went to the Town Hall to register my address. I left it a little late, even though it was only a minute walk from my apartment, but I got there at 12pm and it was only open for another 2 hours. I pulled a ticket as #22 in the queue and somehow the number on the screen was only at #2!! I stood for a while and then took a seat and then contemplated walking out because there didn't seem to be much of a chance of getting seen. But so many people had come in after me and after an hour a lady sat down next to me and I saw her ticket with #55 on it and the screen reading #18. In the end I only waited around an hour and fifteen and with a few barely cohesive Spanish 'sentences' and a lot of pointing, I was registered!
After lunch, with all my new papers I walked to the hospital at the very edge of the Old Town and registered for a doctor, should I ever need to go to one instead of the one we have at work. AND THEN (because I was already on such a roll) I went to the ING Direct bank to open an account because it seems to be better for me that they're international and also don't charge any extra fees like Santander.
Ok so it was a pretty boring and mediocre day in normal standards but when I think about all three of these things that I would have asked Jess to come along and help me with early in the morning already stressed and anxious knowing that we couldn't miss the bus and so would have taken at least 3 separate morning to complete (!!) - I feel like I've achieved a lot. So just let me have that.
On Sunday (working backwards here) we all woke up late and Gosia took us for a drive in her new car for 'breakfast' on the beach. We bought bags of croissants from the bakery and ordered our coffees to go and filled the boot with blankets. We listened to R Kelly and sang along to Ronan Keating and I learned that Gosia's car was my new dream car because it could switch between manual and automatic.
We followed the road towards work and then drove off one of the roads to an almost deserted beach. And it might have been behind the industrial site but with the sunshine at its best, it was the prettiest picture. The sea was so clear and the waves were wild but closer to the shore the tide was low. We walked by the water and Gosia and I waded across a (kind of) shallow channel of water to get to a small island of sand that was somehow being avoided by the tide. On the way back the tide came back around and filled our path with water and thank god I was wearing a skirt but it reached over Gosia's knees and so her jeans lay drying on the sand for the rest of the afternoon.
So I ended up eating 2 and a half croissants that day which is gross but as always the sun made everything feel (and look) better. With our backs to the sea there was the industrial site that could have even been considered 'pretty' with all its colours and shapes in the light. There was a large pool of water near the back of the beach with a wooden bridge crossing over it and without the telephone tower in the background, the whole picture looked like it was from some oriental garden. It was so beautiful. Harley and I took it in turns to take our Instagram pictures and we climbed the rocks and basked in the last of the sun before it set behind the hills in the distance.
The drive back was filled with The Calling and Wheatus blasting through the speakers and I got home still high on the smell of the sea.
The weather has been so good this week so naturally work has suddenly gone crazy busy and we're stuck inside all day long. With the realisation that the clocks are going back this week - yay to more sleep, boo to less sun - we all kind of freaked out a little and googled the time of the sunset for today. 8.40pm : there was still time for us!! After a last minute meeting at the very end of the day with a supplier, we ran (like literally ran) through the studio and down the stairs to the car park desperate to catch as much sunlight as possible. We concluded that Google clearly lied because the sun was already falling behind the hill but it's only a 5 minute drive to the beach and the sky was still all shades of orange and pink.
It was the first time I'd been to this beach near work. So far I've missed out on all of the beach lunches because only when the weather is so lovely did I have Spanish class through my break. But today I finally made it and it was one of the prettiest places I've been to. Perhaps the sunset helped but there were hills and grass and rocks and proper sand and everything was so perfect. It was so windy by the sea and yet so calm. Elin took off her shoes and went running around in the sand like a child high on sugar. But just being there, it was the best feeling. It was our release.
We had a drink in the one bar next to the road and we drove home in the dark. It was still early but already it was dark and I was surprised at how grateful I felt for our little after-work detour, chasing the last few minutes of light. I forgot how great a change of scene can be sometimes, just to break from the moment. And I forgot how much I needed it too - this release - and for those precious moments on the beach thinking about absolutely nothing but the picture in front of our eyes.