Update + Misadventures in Spain


I've finally returned~! Spain was interesting, to say the least. Various shenanigans occurred. I've got about three blogposts to come about my misadventures this summer, but first - the second set of shorts is formatted and ready to upload to amazon and will
 be published (hopefully) within two days! After a slew of last-minute edits and changes, I'm quite proud of these. My favorite is definitely We've Lost Our Moral Compass, which seems weird considering up until I reworked it completely I despised it in every possible way. I'm really excited for everyone to read them!

The second set of shorts will be free for 5 days. I'll post and tell you when they're ready.

Other updates: I have a facebook page now, so you can get important updates etc. from there too if you like. :>
I am also now nineteen. I feel no different.

Another thing, you might note that the cover of my first ebook has changed ever-so-slightly. The reason for this is simple. I managed to choose what is, perhaps, the only spider image on the internet WITH ONLY SEVEN LEGS.
This was pointed out by a friend of my Dad's. Oops.
I thought about keeping the spider a bit 'special' on that cover for a joke, but decided against it in the end. It's fixed now. If it ever becomes famous and you've got the one with the seven-legged cover, well, count yourselves lucky ;v

And I suppose spiders brings me on to one of the many shenanigans that occurred in Spain. Might as well do the entire post now, photos and all!

We stayed in this really nice villa, small but super pretty, because we always prefer to self-cater rather than stay in an expensive hotel. Couple of photos for you!

The pool was easily the best thing about the villa. Being from England, hardly anyone has a need for an outside pool, and they're too expensive to maintain for the five days of summer we normally get. It was a huge novelty for us. Until the so-called Spider Episode. I'll explain.
One morning, I was sitting by the pool and I happened to see what I thought was a leaf at the bottom. It was pretty big, a bit spider-like, and I thought it was from one of the plants nearby. One of my kind, helpful family will retrieve that, I decided, and left it. But by the evening when we all went in the pool, it was still there. My little brother, who continually bangs on about being a 'real man', was told by my dad to swim down and get the 'spider' as 'a real man would do that, no trouble.'
'It's a leaf,' said Joseph, but still did not dive and get it.
While they argued about the prerequisites for manhood, the hero of this story decided that a real woman would succeed where a real man failed - using a bit of ingenuity. I got the net from the side, swam over and picked up what I thought was a leaf, intending to chuck it in Joe's face with a battle-cry of SPIDER! and have a laugh at his expense.
Alas, when I brought it to the surface, I found that it was the biggest spider that I had ever seen outside of a zoo.
The battle-cry turned into a scream for assistance very quickly.

I don't think I've mentioned on this blog yet, but I really don't like spiders. I'm not a full-blown arachnophobe - I don't mind the really teeny-tiny baby spiders. Those are kind of cute. I don't mind pictures of spiders, or looking at spiders from a safe distance when they are behind glass. But anything near me, anything bigger than a few millimetres across, anything where I can see the segments in the legs, I absolutely cannot stand. The legs really, really make me uncomfortable. And this particular spider, well! - you could see those awful shiny leg segments very clearly, if you get what I mean. I'll show you.

My ipod camera was too rubbish to get a decent picture (my phone had run out of charge.) But it was far too huge for any self-respecting spider to be. Bigger than half my palm, and when I googled it I found that it was one of these.

(Image credits: jacked from here - click if you want to learn more about these blighters.)
It's a funnel web spider, and they can be extremely poisonous. I had no idea they existed in Spain! I thought they were only around Australia, but a bit of google-fu told me that there are some in Europe too. And there was little old vaguely-arachnophobic me, picking it up with the net thinking it was only a leaf and I'd get one over on my brother!
It was thrown out of the pool with some enthusiasm, net and all, and then examined from a cowardly distance. In the morning it was eaten by red ants, and thus, the Spider Episode reached its conclusion.

Moving on, these are a couple more photos of the area we stayed in. Incredible mountains, all terraced, seemingly many years ago. We were on the Costa Blanca, and visited Valencia and even Benidorm for one day, because we're classy. Valencia was so pretty, really beautiful, with every building decorated. I think my dad fell in love with Spain that day - he kept waxing lyrical about how amazing everything was, how nice the paella was, how he even liked speaking the language. The only thing stopping him dropping everything and moving out there is, I think, the temperature - which was extortionate. 37 degrees most time we were there, and it was impossible to sleep at night.

We went to Benidorm to see the Mundomar sealife centre, and watch the dolphin show on my birthday. It was amazing! They even had a tiny baby dolphin, though it didn't perform through being too young. I was at first concerned about the welfare of the animals, but they seemed to have kind keepers and the ways their welfare was maintained were all explained for us. They constantly swam over to their trainers to be kissed and have hugs, and I feel as though if the dolphins were upset or unhappy, they are such intelligent creatures that the trainers couldn't get them to perform their tricks or be so close to them.

I'm really awful when I go to any kind of animal place. I always look out to see that the animals are kept well and are cared for properly, as it's really upsetting to think of any being badly treated. Luckily most places I've visited have been at a high standard for animal welfare.

My favourite animals from the sealife centre~

The other incident that happened while on holiday was, believe it or not, on the very first day. We needed to get food so stopped off at the supermarket, where this - and I'm not sorry - stunningly good-looking human being gives us kiwis to try for free. Thanks to some picky eating habits as a child, I'd never eaten kiwi before, but found that it was really nice (also, a hot Spanish guy was giving it to me, do you think I am cold and unfeeling?) So, I ate it.
Everything was fine until my face swelled up.
So, exhausted from travelling, still tired from Holland, I had a violent allergic reaction to kiwi fruits. In front of a devastatingly attractive young man. I know, you just can't purchase this level of coolness. I was born with it.
Hey, at least I know I will never need botox in the future. I can just eat a kiwi fruit before I leave the house.

Also, can I heartily recommend Barry M's waterproof black liquid liner? I foolishly put it on without realising we were going to a water park one day, and the whole time worried my face would be melting off. But after an awful lot of slides, two goes on a rather good wave machine, several adventures with fountains and swimming pools, it was still one hundred percent intact at the end of the day. Good, huh?

But one of the best things about Spain was definitely the beautiful flowers everywhere. They're all so bright, all pink and red, and mostly huge! You rarely see flowers that big here, and they were all over the place. So many different flowers that I'd never seen before - they were really beautiful! My favourites were the hibiscus plants by the pool - the photo with my hand shows exactly how big they were.

Too bad England is too rubbish to grow any, or I'd fill my garden with them.

That essentially concludes my shenanigans in Spain, and this post! I will post about Holland at some point, with photos, but I'm on edge for releasing the next set of shorts. If you've made it this far through my ramblings, may I suggest you check the downloads page? I've updated it with a new cover that I've developed for the third set of shorts, so you can see a preview of it in thumbnail form before I properly present it to you after this second release. :> Easter egg!

 I will leave you with a picture of my face. Yes, that is a bikini. No, you aren't seeing the rest of it. Society's not ready for that yet.