Friday, 20 July 2007

Looking for the archetypal Valencia photo

El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía

L'Hemisfèric and
El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe


I searched my database of photos of Valencia this evening, to find a photograph suitable for our 'moving card' to give to friends with our communication details before we depart. I could find no better than the stunning new performing arts centre, El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía, designed by Valencia's own son, Santiago Calatrava. This is but one of a string of buildings for which he is famed in Valencia alone, including L'Hemisfèric, El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe and L'Oceanogràfic. However, his talents are now marked worldwide with, amongst others, the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Chicago Spire which is currently under construction. OK, so we found our photo for our moving card, but have we convinced anyone else to visit us when we move? If not, stand by for some photos of the beautiful old city itself...

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

The first of the goodbyes...

Well, we have over a month to go before packing up in Blighty and shipping out (literally) from Cambridge via Portsmouth to Barcelona and thence to Valencia.

And tonight, Chris has said his goodbyes to Cubs, following a BBQ at the scout hut. With a year's sabbatical, he is assured of a welcome back when we return to the UK next year. School breaks up later this week, so that'll be the next watershed event.

The next 'goodbye' was interesting, but for a different reason. Gema, our fantastic Spanish teacher - herself a genuine Valencian - is off 'home' to Oropesa (near Castellon, Spain) with her family in the early hours of tomorrow morning. Somewhat heroically, she came along to our office tonight to give us one final Spanish lesson - supposedly to revise what we had learned this year. To Liz and I, we feel it was more to highlight what we don't know! Well, Gema, now we must fly solo when we finally hit the Spanish mainland, though we're really rather hoping to meet up again when we both travel to Valencia for a long weekend next week in our last minute search for accommodation! Just one more run through of those verbs, tenses and vocab, por favor!

Now, we really need to get all our communication details out to our friends and those of Chris and Jo if we are going to have a hope of staying in touch. We have our new, working VOIP phone, Skype and Windows Live Messenger are a godsend - now we just have to teach our friends and elderly relatives how to use them!

It seems to be hitting home that we really are at the beginning of our adventure, not least due to the increasing workload both at home and in the office. At home, we need to sort out all the various insurances and other paperwork both for things here in the UK and whilst we are in Spain. In the office, we have a lot of the usual workload which we are gradually going to have to either pass over to colleagues or work out how to translate into a 'virtual' workload from Spain. God how we pray for a good broadband connection in Spain or we're stuffed!

And then there's a shed load of new work initiatives which will be launched a month or so after we depart (codenamed 'AJF' for those involved!).

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Sculpture in the City of Arts & Sciences

Here is one millionth of the one reason for the move to Valencia. Public art on virtually every street corner - this example in the City of Arts and Sciences where we are hoping to live for the year.

Preparing to launch...

This web 2.0 is a whole new ball game. Not only do we need to pack for our trip to Spain in August, sort accommodation, find out when schools start in September in Valencia, but I'm also trying to figure out a whole new bunch of technologies so we can keep in touch with the folks back home and show off our adventure.

So I think the first few posts may be an amateurish affair, but hopefully we'll be 'pro' by the time we depart...