Construction work

Last weekend we spend almost completely working in our house, from early in the morning until it was too dark to work (we haven’t got light everywhere yet…). And I can honestly say that we’re fed up with it!

I have spoken to people who told me that they like to work in their house to relax a little bit after working in the office, but I rather have a beer in a bar to relax.

This weekend I prepared the walls for painting; filling the holes, taping off the windows and the doors, etc. Maria José helped me and started painting our living room. Now all we have to do is put the paint on it. We hope to have time for it this week, but I think that we’ll have to do it next weekend.

Besides working ourselves, other people also have to do their jobs. If everything goes well, this week they’ll put the marmer and the electodomestics in our kitchen, connect the toilet and the shower, finish the electrical installation and maybe come to put the floor. But our experience until now taught us that things rarely happen on their planned schedule, so we’ll see what’s going to happen this week.

At least we have five days to get some fresh energy for the work of next weekend…

Another update

Guess we’re just plain busy at the moment… Anyway, it’s about time that I give you all an update about life in Lleida.

Last weekend we had a good excuse not to work in our house: Marcel and Rebecca were in town and we spend the weekend with them sightseeing. We had a great time, but afterwards felt a little bit guilty about the time we could have worked in our house.

Speaking about our house, things are going well. We have new windows and out bathroom and kitchen are almost finished. In the mean time we’re trying hard to paint the walls. In fact, we’re only waiting for the moment that the new floor arrives, and we’re ready to enter our house. This afternoon we’ll hear the date for that, hopefully they’ll be able to do it next week.

Friday my father flies over to help us with the work as we have a short holiday. On Wednesday October 30th we’ll fly over to Holland to spend some days over there. After that, I’ll stay some more days as a business trip.

That’s it for the moment…

Update

I guess some people are missing their weekly update about my life. Not that nothing happened in my life the last couple of weeks, but I just didn’t feel like writing. For all people addicted to news about me, here is an update.

First of all our house. The planning was that the kitchen should have been placed two weeks ago. But unfortunately the worker hasn’t finished the prepatory work (electricity, water, floor, ceiling,…) yet. We hope that he’s going to finish it this week, so within a week or two we’ll have our new kitchen (which will be the first room completely finished then). In the mean time, we have started painting the ceiling of our bedroom. All in all, it looks like things are finally getting better!

Secondly, my professional life. These weeks my colleague is on holiday, so this gives me some more responsabilities and work. I’m now communicating with distributors and clients in Holland, Australia, Bolivia, Mexico, U.S.A., … Strangely enough I find that in a lot of places Dutch people are working, and as a result I’m speaking Dutch half of the time.

Finaly my personal life. This weekend we had once again visitors from Holland: my sister and her boyfriend. For them it was the last change to visit us for a while, since after December they will have to take care about their little child (we don’t know yet whether it is a boy or a girl, although we guess it will be a boy). We showed them the ruins which will become our house and of course we went to see some of Lleida’s touristic highlights. In the evenings we explored some of the culinary habits over here. For them it was the first time to have supper at midnight, and I discovered that this Italian waiter could speak fluently Dutch. We were really happy with their visit. After visiting us, they spend two days in Barcelona. If everything went right, they are now home again.

Ready to go

The tent is washed, the car is washed, the candy and lemonade has been bought and our packs are packed. We are ready to go!!!

So the next three weeks no updates or e-mails from me, but instead of that, some people will have an increased risk of meeting me in person…

Tomorrow we will leave early in the morning and drive up to Nouan-le-fuzelier, where we will meet my parents on a camping. Tuesday we continue and hope to arrive in Harmelen at the end of the day.

See you in Harmelen!!!

More pictures

I’ve kept my promise and found my old scanner again. As a result, the image gallery is updated with some pictures taken from February to June.

The quality is not too good (understatement!), but what else can you expect from a 12 euro second-hand scanner. Those people interested in better quality pictures will have to drop by to see them over here 😉.

Images

I just found a nice picture of my office and decided to put a copy of it on my web site, so everybody can see how it is to work in Catalunya—yes, the tourist office is paying me for this kind of messages… 😉

Notice that this is not a very typical office, most companies don’t have this luxury.
Soon I hope to find some time to gear up my scanner and show you some more pictures.

[Update 31.07.2003]: I updated the link to the photo after changing the location of the photo gallery.

Holiday plans

The last two weeks of August and the first week of September, Maria José and I hope to have holidays. If everything goes well, by that time there won’t be a lot of work left in our house, so we probably will take our little tent and leave the country.

Were we will be going? Surprise, surprise… Holland!!!

We expect to stay there about 10–12 days. Most of the time we will be in the house of my parents in Harmelen, but we also plan to spend some days camping on one of the beautiful campgrounds of the NTKC.

Furthermore we are thinking of visiting the Floriade (after all we are tourists from Spain…), and of course the Crespon Tentfeest!! Besides that, we will fur sure visit some old friends and/or colleagues (quite a while ago, isn’t it?).

Anyway, if somebody has more ideas or wants to see us again, just drop me a line and maybe we can arrange something.

Geek

It has been a long time ago since I last updated my Geek Code. So I set to work, and here it is:

----BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK----
Version: 3.1
GB/IT d+(--) s++:- a C+++$ UBLAVHIOS>$ P+>++
L++>+++$ E W+++ N++ o K--? w !O- M+ V PS+ PE-
Y+ PGP+ !t- 5? !X- R tv- b++ DI++ D- G++ e++ h-- r++ y
z
----END GEEK CODE BLOCK----

Enjoy

Last weekend I had a few moments that I was realising what a great life I live. These moments were not really special, but just small things which I appreciated a lot.

The first moment was Saturday at lunch time. We had spend the morning searching for furniture and just decided to buy the furniture we have seen two weeks ago. Heading for this shop, we stopped for lunch. That morning we prepared our ‘bammetjes’ but instead we went to a restaurant at the beach. The food was great, the wine was great, the weather was great, we were on the beach, so we could take a bath after lunch and we had finally decided which furniture we want. Yes, at that moment we were very happy.

On Sunday evening my very happy moment was more simple. We were sitting on our terras drinking a beer, when I realised that I could spend hours like this.

Opera

La Seu Vella is the most important monument of Lleida. It is situated in the middle of the city, on top of a high rock, and as a result you can see it from far away. La Seu Vella consists of an old cathedral and an old fortress. Yesterday the cathedral served as the perfect housing for a baroque opera.

‘Los elementos’ was written by Antoni Lliteres (I also never heard about him) in 1704. It describes the relation between the four elements fire, water, earth and air, together with dawn, harmony, the time and the dead. But in fact the opera is about the political situation of Spain at that moment, where Felip d’Anjou (fire) and Carles de Habsbourg (water) were fighting for the Spanish throne. Fortunately, everybody received the whole explanation on beforehand so that it was easy to follow.

The old cathedral had a beautiful atmosphere, but for the acoustics it was way too big. Also the chairs were really uncomfortable, but what disturbed me the most was the fact that the musicians had to stop in the middle of the opera to adjust their instruments.

Fortunately, the quality of the artists was high, the costumes expressed the right atmosphere and the opera was entertaining. All this made it 5 quarters of listening and viewing pleasure.

Progress

So far, things are going well. The worker has done a nice job; he removed one wall, and moved two doors to another position. In the mean time we (or better: mostly MJ) have removed one wardrobe in the hallway and are working hard on removing the paint from the doors and the door posts.

Now it is time to start building up again. We are still hoping to move in shortly after the holidays, but this depends mainly on the moment our furniture is going to arrive. Anyway, I’ll keep you informed…

Weather

Just after writing that the weather is alright over here, the sky became grey (or better: black), it started raining a little bit, it started raining hard, small pieces of ice were coming down, and eventually really big pieces of ice were coming down. I’ve never seen anything like this before. The stones were up to 5 cm big, destroying everything.

Inauguration

Although 2 months ago we started working in our new office, the office has been inaugurated officially yesterday. The last week a lot of people have been working very hard to make everything spick ‘n’ span. A new gate, small white stones around every plant in the garden, repair the basket ball net, finish the kitchen in our guesthouse. Inside we cleaned everything and I supplied the two vacant desks with brand new HP e-pc‘s and Samsung TFT screens. We also created a nice screensaver with the ICG logo.

Before the guests arrived, the mayor of Lleida was shown around in the office and the gardens. I was ‘lucky’ enough that he was waiting for our CEO next to my desk, so I could have a short talk with him.

Present were the representatives of the local government, the biggest clients from Lleida, some other relations and our distributors from Andalucía, Madrid, Portugal and Mexico.

The mayor revealed a memorial stone on the wall, the CEO and the mayor held their obligatory speech, and then we could enjoy the cava, tapas and live classical music in the gardens.

Some people already told me that the new office looks like the house off a mafia godfather. Well, yesterday with this set-up and all the people in suits with sunglasses walking around, I certainly could agree.

The big work has begun!

After some months of preparations, yesterday the big work finally started. OK, we already did some small things, but yesterday the worker we hired for the big works started.

And he started well! In one day he removed the wall between a bed room and the salon, giving us a bigger living room. Besides this, he is going to close one door, move two doors, lower the ceiling of the kitchen and the bathroom and install the kitchen and the bathroom. Plenty of work for the next weeks…

To celebrate, MJ and I went for a drink at Llobregat.

English web site

The last month I have been working in ICG’s international department.

We are a software company, mainly focussed on Spain, but we also sell in Portugal, Mexico, Uruguay, Holland, Sweden, Austalia, Canada and the U.K. One of the things I have been involved with, is to make sure that all product information will be available on our web site in English.

And as of today the English web site is available. I have to admit that it’s not finished yet, but there is plenty of information at the moment. So I would like to invite all of my readers to have a look at www.icg.es/eng/.

E-mail

Once again I had problems with my e-mail account. It appeared that a lot of messages I have sent the last month(s) have not actually been sent! Or better: they never arrived.

When sending they were accepted by the SMTP-server, but there they have been deleted.
The problem is that I am using some forwarded e-mail addresses like mail@jeroensangers.com and jeroen.sangers@fimcap.org. Mail send to these addresses are being forwarded to another mailbox, to which I connect with my mail program.

So far no problem, but I also want to send e-mail using the above adresses. Therefore I change the ‘from’ field in my mail application. But now, a lot of providers don’t allow this, to prevent spam. Usually, the SMTP server will reject your message, so your not able to send it. My latest provider however, accepted the messages, but didn’t sent it further (yes, to /dev/null!).

At the moment I am looking for a new provider. Until that, I will not be able to send my messages using jeroensangers.com or fimcap.org.

(Sorry for this quite tecnical message, but I know that at least half of my readers DOES understand it. If you don’t: just forget it…)

Nickname

Sant Joan is an important saint over here. At least important enough to have a free day on June 24th. Combine this with the general strike last Thursday, and the result is that half of the country moves for five days to the beach.

Instead of the beach, MJ and I decided to move with our tent to a camping in the pre-pyrenees, next to a lake near Tremp.

As a result, this weekend we have done absolutely NOTHING. Every day we wake up quite early due to the heat in our tent, we ate some magdalenas with a coffee for breakfast, we took a bath in the lake, read a little bit in the sun, took another bath, etc…

After two days of sun it became clear again why they used to call me ‘zwarte’ (black).

37°

The summer has yet to start, and the temperature has risen up to 37 degrees. I’m so happy that last weekend the temperature was a lot more comfortable. Last weekend my parents visited me for the first time since I left Holland, and of course I wanted to show them around in Lleida.

We had a wonderful time together. We showed them the city, the place I work, the house we’re going to live in, the place we’re living right now. They also got to meet the parents of MJ and despite of the language problems they got along really well.