My name’s Rich and I’m an English teacher. I live in a small Spanish village near a city called Segovia, which is famous for its Roman aqueduct. I live here with my wife and two young sons, who can speak much better Spanish than I can! I’m not originally from Spain, of course. My hometown is Sheffield, in the UK. Sheffield is in the north of England and is built on seven hills, just like Rome, but I think the Italian capital gets a few more visitors than Sheffield.
Sheffield is famous around the world for steel and metal goods like knives and forks, which have been made in the city since the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century. Sheffield is also called the Steel City and one of the city’s football clubs, Sheffield United, is also known as the Blades.
This was the team I first supported as a boy and I remember going to the matches with my dad as a kid and then with my friends as a teenager. They’re not doing very well at the moment but I hope they get back into the Premier League soon. If they play Liverpool I won’t know who to support!
Here in Spain, I support Gimnastica Segoviana, which is a little team in Segovia. They get about 1000 fans at home matches. Most people support Real Madrid or Barcelona in Spain and when the two clubs play in 'El Clasico', everything can go a little crazy.
I love to eat...
... seafood. My favourite food is 'pescaditos fritos'. These are little, fried fish, usually sardines or anchovies. You eat the whole fish - the bones, tails, heads and everything! It might not sound great but they are delicious. On a Saturday afternoon in a Spanish square with a cold drink - a plate of little fried fish with freshly squeezed lemon is just the best!
I live in the centre of Spain, so fish and seafood is not the local speciality. In Segovia, we have something called ‘cochinillo’, which is piglet. Nearly every restaurant in Segovia sells it and it’s delicious. It’s part of a very big meal - usually three courses. To start, you might have a big bean soup with bits of meat, then you have the ‘cochinillo’ and a cake for dessert. It’s not something you can eat every day or even every week but for special occasions on a cold winter’s day it really fills you up!
Now I love Spanish food - paella, tortilla and all different types of seafood, but there are things I miss from the UK. I love fish and chips and different types of pies, which are things I can’t get in Spain. Did you know that it’s a tradition to eat a pie at halftime at football matches in the UK? But the meal I miss the most is a Sunday dinner - roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, gravy and lots and lots of vegetables. It’s funny that I’ve spoken a lot about meat - my wife is a vegetarian!
I love to go...
... to the mountains. I live next to the Guadarrama mountains, which is a high mountain range near Segovia. The highest mountain is nearly 2500 metres high. I’ve never climbed to the top but I enjoy walking in the mountains on a Sunday morning with my family. Most people think that Spain is hot and sunny but while I’m writing this, I can see snow on the mountains and it’s minus four degrees outside! If I get the chance, I'll take my boys sledging. I've lived here for nearly 10 years so I should really learn to ski (lots of people do) but I find it much easier to sit down than stand up on snow and ice!
I would love to be...
... John Barnes! When I was growing up, Liverpool were the biggest and best team in England. My hometown team, Sheffield Utd, were not very good. I couldn’t go to Anfield because my dad said it was too far away. I, like lots of my friends at school, decided to support Liverpool. We used to play football at break times in the playground and every day after school on the school fields. They weren’t organised matches, just friends playing together. We usually used jumpers for goalposts and didn’t play offside. The matches would often finish 25-24, after two or three hours. We would always pretend to be our favourite players from our favourite teams. I was always John Barnes - he was brilliant. If you don’t know who he was, check out the goal he scored for England in 1984 against Brazil in the Maracana Stadium!
What do you think?
Did you learn anything new about life in the UK or life in Spain? Do you do any of the things that Rich wrote about?
Tell us about where you are from and some of the things that are special about where you live.
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