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June 20th 2009
Published: June 20th 2009
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I arrived back in Oviedo last week for the final 17 days of my year abroad, and somehow, 11 of them have already disappeared! Time has mainly been taken up with revision and exams, and Oviedo, in its inimitable style, has provided us with mostly grey days, although it is just proving me wrong at this moment by bringing out the sunshine. I have my three final exams next week, and then it is all over. There's a lot to do apart from revision, not least cleaning the flat and packing up or getting rid of all our possessions. It does feel a bit like deja-vu, as I was doing exactly that in Perpignan six months ago (Six months? already?!), but this time, there is nowhere else to go to, no new country to live in.

Without lectures to go to, and with everyone revising, there have been moments of boredom, but we have mainly snapped out of those quickly by going for lunch together or revising together. However, the revision and isolation did get a bit much yesterday. Mainly I was fine, but then I realised I was alone in the flat, so Rosy had gone somewhere, without even telling me where. I was a bit miffed, mainly because I wanted to be out of the flat, with my friends, and they'd gone without me. Then just as I was feeling really annoyed, Sarah texted to ask if I wanted to go over for dinner and a film. When I got there, Jo's friend who was visiting opened the door to me, and said that Jo and Sarah had popped out for some things they'd forgotten. So we went into the lounge and.... SURPRISE! They all jumped out at me with streamers and whistles, and only then did I notice the balloons and the party food! It was brilliant, if a little shocking - my birthday was over a week ago so I really wasn't expecting it at all. But that's probably the effect they were going for!

They'd thought of everything - gluten-free bread for me (I had a whole plate of bruschetta to myself!), crisps, spring rolls, onion rings, potato smileys, sparkling wine, cheese (Caroline, our resident cheese fiend was very defensive of it!), cherries and strawberries, and a brightly coloured, tiered cake made made entirely of sweets - only in Spain! And that was just the food (there was also jelly and icecream, mozarella sticks and another load of everything else, but we didn't make it that far!) I also had a massive birthday card that they'd made, Jo had drawn a peacock on the front - our favourite resident bird in Oviedo, and there were paper plates, balloons, glasses with cherries in for the sparkling wine, and party hats. A couple of hours later, we were all slumped on the sofas, after crashing down from our sugar highs. It was brilliant - I'm feeling sad that our Oviedo gang is soon going to be split up.

Hopefully if the weather continues to be sunny as predicted (but Oviedo doesn't do predictions really) we can hopefully fit in one more trip to little industrial beach of Gijon. The beach itself isn't particularly industrial - you do lie on sand rather than oil slicks - but the view is. But on that beach you are somewhat protected from the winds that whip through the neighbouring, larger beach, San Lorenzo, and there, depending on the tide, there may not actually be any beach on which to sit.

Apart from that it's just exams, one of which, although I'm not failing to prepare, I am preparing to fail. The introduction to Spanish literature module has been the bane of my life here, and we have to have read eight texts in order to be able to answer any question that might come up. I've read six, but already they're all merging together in my head, and I've just had to race through them, without fully getting the meaning as I usually would.

The other two should be alright, and then it'll all be over. This is my last weekend in Spain, my usual blog-writing time, but I will fit in a final one before I leave, probably in the midst of clearing and cleaning. I don't want to get too reflective yet, after all, there's still six days left, it's not over!




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