1 0 Archive | August, 2013
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running when you aren’t even being chased

For the past few years I’ve been running for exercise. I try to get out there every day, or at least every second day… and failing that, I make it a go to run at least more days during the week than I don’t. I find it helps to keep me alert during the daytime.

September marks our third month staying in the south of Spain, and while we’ve been staying here I’ve been taking my runs down to the seaside at Isla Plana. Well, the other day, Yvonne found an even better location to run (she’s been running, too) – and it’s also a great place to take the kids for an evening walk. Apparently, there is a really nice walking/running/biking path between Isla Plana (where we are) and La Azohía, the neighboring town along the coast to the east. The path runs between the beaches of the Mediterranean and the desert-like landscape common to this part of Spain. Murcia, while not as hot as some places, does not have much precipitation… we’ve been here since June and have only felt a few drops of rain (I remember that day well… I think it might have been two Thursdays ago). Apparently most of the region’s precipitation falls during several days of the year.

Anyway, I took a few pictures of the new running spot with my phone, and here they are. I guess I should probably try to take more before we leave this place, since I only took the pictures from one spot (near where I started my run), but I didn’t feel like running around with my phone in my pocket!

Running trail

The running trail between Isla Plana to La Azohía

Murcia

The other side of the running path… not much there, other than some “reverse greenhouses”

Costa Cálida

This is the view of the coast when you don’t have those orange signs in the way

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from France to Spain

It has been a busy couple of months!

During May, June, and July I managed a six-week project in Paris. The project itself took place in Nanterre, to the northwest of central Paris, but while in Paris I stayed in a hotel at La Défense. It was a challenging project, but both our internal team and the client team worked very hard, and in the end the project was a success. I was very happy to meet and work with many new and interesting people, and I had a lot of fun in the process.

As I was in Paris for six weeks I managed to tour around quite a bit, for the most part with a friend and co-worker who was working on the project with me. I had a Navigo pass – a no-holds-barred Métro pass that certainly came in handy. During the evenings I, or I and my friend, would explore a different quarter in Paris – Montmartre, Saint-Paul, le Madeleine, la Place de la Concorde – and perhaps find a restaurant to eat at while we were there. What I really like about Paris is all of the interesting spots that you can discover… Paris is rich with culture and history, and it is always a joy to stumble upon someplace new and interesting.

Grande Arche de La Défense

The Grande Arche de La Défense. During the day, people often come to sit on the steps and have a snack

Montmartre

Sitting on the steps at Montmartre

Frogburger

My friend and I found a restaurant called Frogburger near Place de la Bastille. What the heck? Don’t worry, we didn’t end up eating there!

Jazz festival electro set

An electro music set at the Paris Jazz Festival, that took place at La Défense

Where is Brian?

Every French person who has ever learned English knows the phrase “Where is Brian? Brian is in the kitchen!” – trust me, I heard this phrase nearly every time someone learned my name…

After my stay in Paris, I stayed for a couple of days in Reading, England, with time spent working in Basingstoke to wrap up the project and come up with time and cost estimates for future phases. While I was there I stayed with a friend (rather than in a hotel), so I got to tour around a little bit. It was a short stay, but it was nice to see a bit of England again.

Reading, England

On a walk in Reading

In the meantime, my family picked up and headed to the south coast of Spain, where we’ll be staying until November or so. I am currently sitting in a shady spot overlooking the small town of Isla Plana, near Puerto de Mazarrón, and the Mediterranean Sea beyond. It was definitely a huge switch to move from Normandy in northwestern France – a beautiful spot, but rather chilly and rainy – to southern Spain, where it hasn’t rained since I got here, and most of the terrain is rocky and very dry. We’re a short walk from the Isla Plana beach, so we’ve spent quite a bit of time on the beach, and have visited the pool at our complex at Isla Plana every day – sometimes more than once! But don’t worry – we’re slathering ourselves with sunscreen, and have for the most part been sticking to hanging around outside in the mornings or evenings; the mid-afternoon is siesta time!

A beach cove in Bolnuevo

A beach cove in Bolnuevo in southern Spain

Rocky coast of Spain

The rocky coast of southern Spain, near Bolnuevo

Along the coast of Bolnuevo

Along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea near Bolnuevo

On the rocks at Bolnuevo

On the rocks at Bolnuevo

Spanish ham

In France, I marveled at the huge cheese selection they had in the grocery stores… in Spain, they have huge selections of Spanish ham, or “jamón”

Amelia being fabulous

Amelia being fabulous in her sunglasses

Kids and cacti

The kids and some cacti – of course we had to check out what they had at the local garden store in Puerto de Mazarrón

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