Tuesday, September 25, 2007

PR and girlie lunches, Rudyard Kipling, a boyhood dream and another birthday

Hi again

Last week, in between being a put out a bit thanks to my back ache which is now receding, thank God, I managed to squeeze in a couple of PR and girlie lunches. The PR lunch was with Víctor, a friend and colleague from way back. He is one of the partners of the PR agency, Perception + Image with whom I have worked most over the years. They now do my press tracking and are the best at it in Spain. The reason for the meeting was to see their new offices in Las Rozas; quite impressive. But the best thing was lunch at Gobolem which turned out to be quite a PR encounter as both Víctor and I knew people on at least 3 of the other tables and there were only 5 with people on them! It was fun to greet Mamen from my Placement agency last year, looking as beaming as ever.

Lunch with Víctor also brought with it memories of a wonderful poem by Rudyard Kipling called If. Yes, we got quite philosophical about the sort of person you have to be to do PR and, of course, we both identified ourselves fully with the advice in that great poem. And here are the first few lines just to get you into the spirit. If you are English you will probably recall reading this poem in class at school many years ago.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

The girlie lunch was less philosophical, of course. It was with my dear friends Jill, Zenaida and mother-to-be Ana. As you can see from the photo, they are looking great.

Jill, Ana, Zenaida (from left to right)

And the boyhood dream, you will ask? Well, it’s very simple. Eladio has always dreamed of having a table tennis table and has surfed the web quite a lot recently in search of one. He was a bit hesitant because of the price but when I reminded him his birthday was coming up, he immediately decided to order one and then promptly instructed us NOT to buy him anything for his actual birthday. And did we take any notice? Of course not, because a birthday without unwrapping presents, a card and a cake is simply not a birthday.

His lovely table arrived on Friday but with a set of assembly instructions which looked like Chinese to me. Well, Eladio is persistent and never gives up and Saturday saw him spending the morning assembling his precious table which was up and ready for playing by lunch time.

The girls trying out the new table tennis table
Sunday was his birthday and he was 36 or so he told us. That doesn’t make much sense as we have been together for over 24 years, does it? Well, anyway, he is looking splendid. And to celebrate it with him we had José Antonio and Dolores for lunch that day. Fergus came with them and Fergus was to remind me most of the day of my start in life in Spain. Fergus who is English, aged 22 and studies Spanish at Sheffield University in the UK, has come to Spain as an assistant teacher of English in a school in Fuenlabrada as part of an exchange with the British Councill and part of his University degree. He is at a bit of a loose end at the moment because his job hasn’t started yet and he is looking for accommodation which is proving quite difficult. However, I know he is going to have a great time and that things will all work out in the end. If you are reading this Fergus, believe me, this year is going to one of your best.

Eladio and the birthday cake. Flanked by Fergus on the left and my Father on the right.
Next week brings with it the birth of a new newspaper in Spain, “Público” and, hopefully, I shall be going to the opening party. The following week will be great as my “bestest” friend Amanda will be coming to see us. Let’s just hope her “new” room will be finished on time. I don’t want to complain here about the length of the renovation which is now into its third week. No comment!!

Cheers again from here.
All the best/Masha

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