Saturday, April 22, 2006

So what happened this week?

Hello again,
After the Easter holidays, there was a reurn to family life and routine. It’s so nice to enjoy meals together as a family; that’s so important for communication. We all go off and do our things but at meal times we have a chance to catch up on everyone’s lives and also talk about the things that are most important to us and at the moment, that is moving house.

Olivia has been extremely busy this week. She doesn’t always tell us what she’s up to but I do now that she’s been creating 3 adverts for the University competition next week called “Out of the Box”. But she did manage to go out to dinner twice with her lovely boyfriend, José Luis.

Susi came back from Jerez a bit depressed because after having such a lovely Easter Holiday she has exams to face next week. The first one is on Church Doctrine! That’s because she goes to a Catholic University. Oh well, she’s always got her Father to help her. The other thing that depressed her is that she and her boyfriend Gaby had a breakdown in Cordoba on their way back from Jerez and the clutch has to be replaced, all of which means he won’t have a car for a while; so with one thing or another she won’t see much of him.

Eladio has been busy checking out removal companies, getting things repaired and painted in the house on the Insurance, plus his usual looking after the garden and house in his very cheerful fashion. And, of course, he has been preparing his University tutorials.
Another thing he spends time on is looking at the pictures of the new house, over and over again – well I do too, of course. He has also found it on Google Earth.

Grandpa or Daddy has followed his usual routine of making his breakfast, going for his pre-ordered Daily Telegraph from the kiosk, going for a morning walk, lunch with the family, little nap or read, then another walk, this time with the family, more newspaper reading, dinner, news on the TV and so to bed. Not a bad life eh? This was peppered with a visit to the oculist because he had caught or got conjunctivitis which is over now and also one to the ear specialist for a check up. He sees and hears very well for someone of 86 and needs no new glasses and certainly not a hearing aid.

And me, what have I been up to? Well, I’ve been busy with the last minute preparations for the Doctor Honoris Causa of Mario Vargas Llosa next week at the University. I must say I was a bit disappointed in him when one of his secretaries sent me his “speech”. I was looking forward to some wonderful words, only to find that it was a repeat of the speech he had given in 1995 when he got the Cervantes Literary prize. Bit of a cheat really.

Working at the University you get the chance to enjoy and immerse yourself in the cultural activities going on. And this week there were books on sale for 1 euro as part of the Book Week promotion. But also I went to a conference about the Transition to Democracy in Spain and listened to quite an amazing character, Santiago Carrillo who was the leader of the Spanish Communist Party and supposedly the 3rd most instrumental man in the process, after the King and Adolfo Suárez. Carrillo is now 91, a heavy smoker and amazingly fit. I was astonished to see him talking without notes and also to hear the voice of a much younger man. People asked all sorts of questions about the politics of the time. If I had dared I would have asked him what was the secret of his amazing health and longevity.

Also I had a visit from the Director of the boys choir from El Escorial who will be singing at the Doctor Honoris Causa. It was lovely to talk about choirs and music and specially about that choir which is one of the best in Spain (Monserrat too). I had used them once before at a Nokia press Christmas event and they are marvellous. Rolando gave me a couple of their cds. I can't tell you how great I felt driving home and listening to Pie Iesu and the Brahms Lullaby! Just lovely!

And what else? Well, yes, a dear friend Rafa Gómez who is a renowned sports photographer in Spain, came to see me at the University as he will be doing the photos for the Doctor Honoris Causa next week. He had some great news, as he will be following the Formula One world Championship to take the photos of Fernando Alonso for the sponsor’s advertising campaigns.

Rafa came home for lunch with me, following my Volvo on his super motor bike. We came home to previously cooked spaghetti Bolognese. Susi had prepared the rest and laid the table. She also made the spaghetti and it was a good job she made the whole packet as Rafa had 2 enormous portions. He ate more than the rest of us altogether, amazing. He then ate the salad, some trifle and a cornetto!! Then he got on this bike and rode home to Madrid!!

Not much more to report. Am now writing here at my computer on Saturday night on a rainy Madrid weekend. We went out last night, so tonight we are staying in.

Tomorrow we will be going to Ana’s house for lunch, that is the whole family except Oli, who will be busy on some advertising activity. Ana who is a neighbour of ours was our home help for 4 years until about a year ago. We miss her so much, but most of all her cooking.

That’s all for the moment folks.


Pictures are of Rafa and Susi sitting in the sun after the spaghetti bolognese and of the location of the new house on Google Earth.

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