Friday, January 25, 2008

Long time no write, lots to tell you, a black week in general, friends, voices and music from the past. Oh and Oli got a Cum Laude

Is this Tarzan?
Hi again

I haven’t written for 2 weeks but that’s because I’ve been very busy work wise and also I’ve been ill with a flue virus which I didn’t know I had till the other day.

So let me recap on what has happened since I last wrote.

At least 2 weeks ago I had lunch with Fati and Julio to celebrate her birthday. She took us to the Albufera and we had the best fideua I’ve ever had. If you thought paella was good, you should try Fideua. It’s the same but made with pasta. Umm.

And yes, Eladio and I went to the cinema last week to see Love in times of Cholera which was actually a bit disappointing. As the author is Gabriel García Márquez I should have suspected the story to be a bit fantastic to say the least. But still it is worth seeing, just not the love drama you expect.

Eladio finally got a replacement needle for our old record player and we have been able to listen to music we haven’t heard for years, such as Bruckner’s Mass Nº 3 in F Minor which I sang at St. Joseph’s College School in 1973!!! It took me back years. However as the record was not in a very good state, I went and ordered it on I also ordered a record I haven’t heard for over 25 years and which used to be an all time favourite at University: Joan Baez’s “Gracias a la Vida”. I cried tears of nostalgia listening to Rosiñol and De Colores. I went straight back in time and in my mind to my room at 10 Church Avenue in Nottingham in 1979!!

Talking about Nottingham in 1979, I got a call from Sandie, yes Sandra Lizioli, one of my best friends from Nottingham University. Sandie, whose Father was Italian and Mother is Hungarian, was born in India, went to school in the UK and now lives in Brussels. Sandra is great!!!! She rang me last Saturday to tell me she was meeting up with Sally Hughes in Brussels that very day for lunch. She and I haven’t seen Sally since we left University in 1980. Sally was a house mate at 10 Church Avenue and today she is a lawyer living in Lincoln and has 3 sons. Sandra and I have spoken about organising a Church Avenue reunion this year in Nottingham. How about it girls? We just have to find the other Sally and get Gillian to agree.

Eladio and I had dinner with Roberto and Mari Carmen at Los Pescaitos last weekend to celebrate her birthday. That occasion, I am afraid, was the start of my feeling ill. I slept badly that night and the headache that had started 3 or 4 days earlier got more and more intense.

Meanwhile Eladio got what we thought was gastroenteritis and Monday last turned out to be “Black Monday” which then turned into Black Tuesday, and so on. I got gradually worse with pains all over and a bad stomach and finally I went to the Doctor on Wednesday. She took one look at me and described my symptoms before I opened my mouth. It turns out there is an epidemic on but my version is the light one, as is Eladio’s. She told us the average duration of the flu was 7 to 12 days. As that was day 6 or 7 I realised I had another 6 to go!!! Oh, poor me!

I managed to spend that afternoon in bed feeling ****** lousy and if I swear on internet, that means it was really bad. I have to thank dear Eladio for taking wonderful care of me. The massages were the best!!

The worst thing about this week was that on Monday, with my flu, I had to give a public presentation at a Branding Conference by Marcus Evans for marketing professionals. I have decided I will never do a public presentation again. The conference organisers are a mafia. They charge attendants over 1000 euros but do not pay the presenters. We presenters spend weeks thinking about and preparing the ****** presentation which only takes up our time and, of course, gives us no money. So no, never again.

Yesterday I began to feel better and managed to attend the Nokia Spain annual January press lunch. It was a better feeling than last year. Again I sat with the other mobile phone operator Communications Manager, plus my successor at Nokia. The party was good, just a different style from what I used to organise.

And today I had lunch with my dear friend and ex Nokia colleague, Marta Acebo – the link to her blog is on mine. She visited my office and got given a nice pack of goodies and then we went off for a lovely girly gossipy lunch. Marta is starting a new job on Monday and I wish her loads of luck, although I know she won’t need it. Un beso Martita.

Talking about friends, Amanda has been in touch and it seems she and Andy and her brother Simon and his wife Gill will be over to see us at the end of February for a great Anglo Spanish weekend at our home. That’s going to be fun. Thanks Amanda for sending me the History Boys – described by you to me as “a bit of northern nostalgia”. I look forward to seeing that.

The voice from the past was from Stephanie Mandzuik (now Stephanie Wright). I got an email from her 2 days ago to which I still have to reply. Stephanie and I went to school together in Bradford and I haven’t seen her since. So an e-mail, nearly out of the blue, with a recap in 20 lines of the past 3 decades was quite a shock. Apparently she lives near Brenda Maher and Helen King, both classmates at St. Josephs. I have kept in touch erratically over the years with Brenda but had no news of Stephanie or Helen. I am now thinking of a girly reunion in Manchester where Brenda, Helen, Stephanie, Amanda and I could have a blast. How about it girls????

My final note is of praise for my daughter Olivia who, like Susana, is going through the worst exam period of the year. Oli announced very casually the other day that she had got a “Matrícula de Honor” (sort of cum laude) in journalism. We are very proud of her. Suddenly she seems to have gained a wonderful talent for writing which I can only imagine will grow. Well done darling!!!

So that’s about it for the moment. I’ve told you nearly everything that has happened and that is publishable of the last 10 days or so and reading it over makes me realise how intense this time has been in many ways.

I don’t have any pictures to illustrate this blog, except for one of Eladio pruning the trees during one of his better moments this week. He is not Tarzan but maybe sometimes he likes to think he is!!!

Cheers till the next post


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