Sunday, March 11, 2007

Going to the Cinema, the influence of communism and the Second World War. Spring is in the air. Anniversary of 11th March Madrid train bombings

Hello again

The week has been quiet so when the weekend came we felt a need for going out and what better than going to the cinema and then out to dinner on our own or with friends? So on Friday we were just the two of us and on Saturday we were joined by Eladio’s beloved brother, José Antonio and his wife Dolores. It’s thanks to Dolores that I first met Eladio, so she is someone very important in my life – but that story is for another time.

On Friday we went to see The Lives of Others which won this year’s Academy Award for the best foreign language film. Frankly it’s one of the best films we have seen for a long time. Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's film is about the horrific system of observation in the former East Germany.

When I told Susi my daughter what the film was about – basically life under the Communists, she opened up my eyes to really how much my life has been influenced by Communism and the Second World War. The fact is both my parents were affected by both and at home the topic of conversation always revolved around them. So many of our guests and visitors were of the same condition; either Poles who had survived the war, Russian friends who had survived the Leningrad Seige, Soviets visiting the UK and telling the tales of life under communism (queuing up for bread or milk, empty supermarkets, …), my Mother’s stories of being imprisoned by the Germans in Berlin, her cycling around Vienna in a dare devil game when it was being bombed or my Father’s medal for having contributed to the liberation of Norway when he was a young Lieutenant in the British Navy. But all that’s another story too.

To gain some sanity we went to Mood for dinner afterwards and spent the whole time talking about the film which had made so much impact on us both.

On Saturday Susi and I made brownies and I must say they were the most successful we have ever made – actually I am not the best cake maker in the world. And in the evening, after our daily constitutional (walk), we went to see The Departed with José Antonio and Dolores. It is the Martin Scorsese film which won four Oscars this year, including “Best Picture”. It stars Jack Nicholson and Leonardo Di Caprio, amongst others. It’s all about the Irish mafia in Boston in the 20’s and is extremely violent. Actually none of thought that much of it and would have preferred to see “The Good German” – another Second World War film to feed our permanent interest in the subject. Food for thought was at La Alpagatería but that you must have guessed by now.

Not much mention of the girls this week. Susi sent me a message at just before 10 am this morning from her bosom friend Copi’s house, not to expect her for lunch. The way to interpret that is that her night out finished just after 9 am this morning. Oh to be young again!

Oli will be back next Friday for her Easter holidays. We are dying to have her home. Her room is so, so empty without her. Her Erasmus University Exchange programme will soon be over really as she will be returning definitively to Spain at the end of May.

And we will also be welcoming my dearest Finnish friend, Anne, next weekend. Friday was her birthday which she celebrated with my other dear Finnish friend Anne Marjut who was here with us last week. Hi girls, hope you had a great time this weekend in lovely Somerset together.

Meanwhile Spring is in the air. And here is a picture to prove it – Eladio, holding the reluctant Henry, against the backdrop of one of the trees in blossom in the garden.

The only sad note today, Sunday, is that it is the anniversary of the 11th March Madrid bombings. Who will ever forget?

Cheers until next week.


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