Monday, June 25, 2007

Midsummer in Salamanca, catching up with friends again, Isidro and Yoli came to lunch, the first swim of the Summer and peaches in the garden.

The two brothers, Isidro and Eladio relaxing before lunch
Hi again

Summer is officially here and last week I was in Salamanca with all my colleagues from work for a Midsummer team building event and party. We learned how the Swedes celebrate Midsummer and a lot of it has to do with alcohol which I’m sure does not surprise you. In most Nordic celebrations there is a Toast Master and there are speeches and I was asked at the last minute to make a speech about men, as one of the men was asked to make one about women. I used as much creativity as I could muster and had people in stitches when I told them I had been married for 24 years; to the same man and that my husband was my best friend, my partner, my coach, my adviser, my gardener, my plumber, my electrician as well as my lover!!

Thursday brought a dinner engagement with Pedro (of cycling fame) and Ludy, their friend Enrique and my best friend Fátima. A table was booked at for 10 at Piu di Prima, a very chic and famous Italian place in Madrid. And on this occasion the tables turned because we were nearly an hour late trying to find a place to park and Pedro and Ludy had arrived on time which is not their trait as they are usually very unpunctual. So we ended up starting dinner well past 11 and got home at around 2 in the morning which had me completely knocked out the next day. It was good to catch up on each other’s news and to see our friends looking in good shape.

Friday had me attend a press conference at the Madrid town hall with the Mayor, Alberto Ruiz Gallardón, the Spanish singer, Nacho Cano and the head of the Anti Drug Association, my old boss, Ignacio Calderón from my Defex days. It was quite uplifting to hear Nacho Cano talk about how he used to take drugs and what they did to people. It brought back many negative memories of my dear brother George and his experience with drugs which caused so much damage to him as any one who knew us as teenagers will remember.

The weekend brought with it good weather and a visit from Isidro, Eladio’s youngest brother and his wife Yoli.

On Saturday after a late walk with Roberto and Mari Carmen we hired a film called Las Vidas de Celia – totally unrecommendable and bought some great Chinese food from our local take-away which the girls recommended.

Sunday morning brought a semi unexpected visit from Isidro and Yoli. They had come from León the night before to take Alicia, my God daughter, to the airport on her way to Paris to stay with Sophie, the daughter of my second cousin, another Masha. And on their way back to León they stopped by for lunch.

Lunch was a family affair with 8 of us round the table by the pool terrace and it being a Sunday we had roast chicken and all the English trimmings such as sage and onion stuffing and cranberry sauce.

When they left, the girls and I decided it was time for our first official swim and that was where I spent the rest of the afternoon, also enjoying Diana the Intimate Portrait recently bought on

Poor Suzy was upstairs swotting away as today she had her last but one exam of the Summer. She was not going to sleep the night again and do her Red Bull trick. She looked so wide eyed this morning.

The reference to peaches growing in the garden comes from the picture I took of one of the lovely peach bushes in the rock garden which seems to be producing an abundance of peaches. It’s such a beautiful and luxurious plant, I could not help but take a picture of it to illustrate this week’s blog.

That’s all for now folks.

Have a great week

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