Monday, July 24, 2006

Job Hunting, Going to the Cinema, Too much chocolate, Iberia Plus dinner, Ruby's latest adventures, Sara (Salita Guapa) came to visit.

Hello again

So, since we came back from Montrondo, we haven’t stopped. I’ve been busy with my job hunting: more interviews but for very funny companies, one of them makes bingo equipment, plus a massive direct mailing to over 100 PR agencies in Madrid (thanks Susi and Eladio for your help printing, writing envelopes, etc). We’ve had time to go to the cinema and went with Fátima last week to see the latest Roberto Benigni film, The Tiger and the Snow. I had loved “Life is Beautiful” but this wasn’t half as good. Eladio hated every minute of the guy’s theatrical acting. He goes a bit too far I must admit. What I can’t understand is why he likes to be seen constantly in his underclothes. He looks so unsexy.

Bit of a down this week on the weight front. I haven’t said much about that for a long time but had actually lost 15 kgs when wows of wows last week I put on half a kilo. I know it is the fault of all the chocolate I have been eating or rather it is my fault for eating too much chocolate. So, yes, once more, I shall have to be stricter. Bloody Hell. Excuse the French!

We also went out to another Iberia Plus freebie dinner. They still don’t realize that I no longer have a gold card but I am NOT telling them! – so much for data bases. It was at the Mesón Cinco Jotas in Pozuelo and of course, we ate and drank too much. When we left at midnight, it was 30ºC. So for all of you UK readers, that is real heat, not what the UK papers are complaining about.

Oh, yes and I must tell you about Ruby’s latest adventures. She has been found twice in a row in the middle of the night floundering in the swimming pool. José, the Rabbit Hero, heard her and got her out. We are not sure whether to blame Henry or not but there is probably nothing else to blame. So from now on she sleeps in her cage at night. Better safe than sorry.

The nicest thing that happened this week was Sara (Salita Guapa) coming to visit with her parents, José Antonio (Eladio’s beloved brother) and Dolores. As you must have read by now Sara is currently living and studying in China and only comes home twice a year. We had a lovely family day together with good food, siesta, swimming pool and plenty of time to catch up with eachother’s news.

The 3 cousins together, Susi on the left, Sara in the middle and Oli on the right.

The group photo, the 2 families around the lunch table.

A great picture of José Antonio and Dolores.

Oli has gone to Galicia (a village near Santiago de Compostela) this week with her Universitiy pals, Laura and Ana, so we will be small numbers this week, just Eladio, Susi, Grandpa and I.

Cheers till next time

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The girls

So Susi and Laura came back from London today. Alicia, Laura’s younger sister and our God daughter came back with us from Montrondo to welcome them back too. I couldn’t resist taking this picture of the 4 of them looking great in their new London dresses. Also I couldn’t resist adding this picture of darling Oli who looks lovely in the new yellow dress she bought to go to José’s sister’s wedding this weekend while we were in Montrondo.


A weekend in Montrondo

So this weekend we drove to Montrondo, Eladio’s family’s beloved village, to take Ernestina there after her stay with us. There were no plans for a big gathering as there is the annual one coming up for Santa Marta on the 29th July, but the word spread from brother to sister and all the “grown-ups” ended up spending the weekend together, just 18 or so of us, no big numbers really! It was a lovely weekend, up in the mountains with lower temperatures than in Madrid. My Father had a great time, as you can see in the picture on one of his long walks with Eladio and Toño. We will be going again soon for the annual gathering of all the family when we will be around 30 people. We are certainly looking forward to that. Hectic but fun.

The cat and the rabbit. Who said they couldn’t live together?

So Ruby and Henry finally met face to face. Poor Ruby, Susi’s rabbit lives in a cage on her own in the new house (better than in Río Tajo where she lived in Susi’s room!). So Ruby has been taken out a few times now and allowed out of her cage to romp in the grass. And romp she does but mostly when Henry the cat is on the prey. We have had to be very stern with him but there have been a few hilarious chases. Actually Ruby is faster though and has survived so far. The first picture was taken after a couple of chases and they both seemed to have calmed down a bit. The other is a lovely close up of Ruby.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Eladio and his Mother enjoying her stay at our new house.

Hi again.

Now that blogger uploads photos again, here are some pics of Eladio and his Mother together during her stay. They spend most of their time talking about old times in Montrondo.

It has been lovely to have Ernestina, despite the intense heat. The hightlight of her stay was probably the outing to the Zarzuela operetta called "Doña Francisquita" held in the open air as part of the Madrid summer theatre festival. It started at 10 at night and finished at 1 in the morning. Even the kids were asleep when we got back.

It has been really nice to have her and we hope she will repeat the experience soon.

Strolling round the house
Mother and Son
Chatting by the pool

Busy times: Pensión “El Bosque” , To London and back, looking after the old folk, housewarming party and back to normal. But oh so hot !

The buffet table
The party setting
Me, Ana and Anne
The group. Front Left to Right: André, Mónica, Charo, Marta, Fran. Back Left to Right: Anne, Masha, David.

Hello again

So, yeah I’ve been so busy I’ve hardly had time to write. Also I’m a bit put off writing because I can no longer upload pictures. So now you have a boring blog with no photos. But as you can see this post now has pictures. It seems Blogger prefers the Mozilla Firefox navigator to Internet Explorer and the Norton Anti Virus has to be switched off. So you can now look out for more photos.

Since I last wrote so much has happened: lunch with Julio and Fátima on 29th June, went to the surprise early retirement party for one of Eladio’s ex colleagues, Elena on the 30th. On the 1st July, Pili (Eladio’s youngest sister) and her husband Andrés (my favourite brother-in-law) came to bring us Eladio’s Mother to stay with us for a couple of weeks. They stayed the weekend and José Antonio (Eladio’s second brother down after him) and his wife Dolores came to spend the day on Sunday. Pili and I got some shopping in. We have very similar taste and ended up buying the same skirt in Zara (white with black spots). There is a great picture to prove it.

Then last week Susi who had been in León with her cousins came back to Madrid with her cousin Laura as they were both off to London on 7th July to stay with Miguel, another cousin, who now lives in London and works at Citibank. He actually lives in Hyde Park.

So last week was like running a small hotel with full meals for all guests, including the boyfriends. Most days we were between 7 and 10 for lunch. Just imagine shopping at the supermarket; 2 full trolleys a go. And on the 7th we had another guest, my dear friend Anne (see her blog in the left hand column). I had planned our housewarming party to coincide with her being here so’s she could kill two birds with one stone and get to see most of her Madrid friends who are also mine, in one go.

Susi and Laura went off to London the same day Anne came from London – thus explaining the title of this post. It was Laura’s first trip on an airplane and her first trip abroad, so very exciting for her. Unfortunately their plane left late and they got to Gatwick at about 2 and had to wait for the first train at 5.30 am. From what I can gather on the phone they are having a great time. On Thursday they will be going out to dinner with my great friends, Amanda, Andy, Jake and family who live near London too.

So yeah, then came the Housewarming party. While Anne was at the hairdressers I started the cooking and preparing for the party (meat loaf, chicken salad, prawn salad, tortilla, trifle, apple crumble, etc.). Suffice it to say, many of our friends came (Marta + Fran, Miguel Angel Muñoz, David and Charo, Fátima and Julio, Mónica and André, Anita Valdivieso, Manuel to name a few). Anne helped us to set the scene on the swimming pool porch and it looked lovely: tables of 6 with table cloths, flowers and candles, the main table groaning with food (all labeled of course) and the house lights all on. The result can only have been good as all the food was eaten and people stayed till 4 in the morning.

The next day after another quick shopping spree, Anne left for London and things quietened down. Oli and José Luis also left for Mazarrón, Murcia. They wanted to get away from the heat. It has been soooo hot these last few weeks, in the 40ºs which for my poor Father is a little too much. He keeps saying his favourite month in Spain is January!!

So the house is no longer full, just Eladio, his Mother, my Father and me. Yesterday we went to José Antonio’s house for lunch and an old friend of their family and distant cousin, Elenita (a 78 year old nun) joined us. Quite a cry away from last week’s times here in El Bosque but very relaxing. So here we are looking after the old folk and enjoying the house to ourselves. At least there is no more non-stop cooking for 8 or 9 every day and a bit less sheet washing and changing and we can relax a bit too.

So that’s our news for a while. On Saturday we will be off to Montrondo (Eladio’s family village) to take his Mother there to be with his sisters who are there on holiday.

So will write again after that.

Cheers to you all.

Love Masha
Pili and me in our identical Zara skirts.