Monday, 25 February 2013

Zen Kyu Maestro eBook Final Cover Choice

OK, here it is, the revised cover. We changed the green chalkboard to traditional black, popped a stick of chalk under it for those of you (us) who didn't realise it was a chalkboard, added the 'TES' strapline and recaptioned the snaps. 

I think it looks great.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Gulliver's Bed.

The Parque Jardín del Turia is the dry river bed left behind when Valencia's authorities diverted the river Turia to avoid the regular flooding. It is now a 9km sunken park providing residents and visitors with footpaths, cycleways, sports facilities, cafés and much more. 

For this post, I'm going to showcase one of the most striking facilities in the whole park. Meet Gulliver...

Chica contemplates a steep slide (tobogán) through Gulliver's hair.

The Parque de Recreo Infantil Gulliver is a 50m long (10m high) fibreglass model of Jonathan Swift's famous character. Located between puentes (bridges) Reino de Valencia and Ángel Custodio (nearest metro, Alameda), it offers children (and a lot of their parents) an opportunity to scramble up ropes, slip down slides and get themselves lost in the tunnels and caves that make up his sleeping body. 

'Give us a hand.'

I was there on a sunny February Saturday and it was pretty busy. In the summer months they limit access to 450 people. If you have pre-teen children and you're planning some time in Valencia it's a must. Although you might want to detach your usual 'elf 'n' safety antennae for the day; Spaniards seem a bit more free and easy when it comes to clambering around giant statues. It was free when I was there but I understand a small admission fee is charged in the busy months. 

My only gripe would be the lack of a small café for parents to sit while supervising their children.

But then, I didn't see too many parents sitting on the available benches. Most of them were up on Gulliver, having a whale of a time alongside their kids.

Now be honest, who's having the most fun?
No, I don't have extraordinarily long legs, so I didn't take this last picture.

If you like the blog why not read the eBook? Zen Kyu Maestro, An English Teacher's Spanish Adventure available from Amazon. 
For a free sample chapter, click HERE.


Tuesday, 5 February 2013

The Things They Say... (Part 6.) I peeled the dog this morning...

A classic 'zenky' this morning! I'm taking the register and ask 'María' if she has any news to tell me.
'Oh yestoday, I pelar my dog.'
I don't know the Spanish word 'pelar' so I look blank and scan the room for help. Some of the kids are looking as bemused as I feel. Raul is waving furiously. 'I noweet!' he screeches. (There might be a house-point in this. He'll kill for a house-point.)
'Raul,' I say.
'Ees like when you have platano (that's banana) and you quitar (take off) de piel (skin).' 
You see, I do have a bit of the old español.
'Peel?' I ask, a bit taken aback. María is already nodding like she's trying to shake her head off into her lap. '¡Eso es!' (that's it!) she says every time her face isn't butting her tummy.
'You peeled your dog?' I ask, with mouth gaping. I have to struggle to keep a straight face. My one English child is looking like she thinks she's joined some 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' training school. Some of the Spanish kids are edging away from María, she might not get too many more sleepover invites by the looks of things.
A little 'snipping' motion from María's fingers finally suggests to me that the word she really wants is 'cut' (cortar). I suggest that she was cutting her dog's hair and the nodding fit intensifies frighteningly.
Everyone relaxes a fraction as I explain the difference between cutting a dog's hair and (theoretically) peeling one.
Never a dull moment!

If you like the blog why not read the eBook? Zen Kyu Maestro, An English Teacher's Spanish Adventure available from Amazon. 
For a free sample chapter, click HERE.