Sunday, February 24, 2008

After Barcelona, a school reunion and someone from the past.

Amanda (then Sharon) and me in Upper VI at St. Joseph's collge - 1975, our last year there.
Hi again

Life has been very quiet and back to normal after Barcelona. Last weekend we duly went out to dinner to celebrate St. Valentine’s. Of course, we went to our current favourite restaurant, La Vaca Argentina where we now nearly always ask “Amelia” for table number 16 or 18. Half of the meal was paid for with the loyalty card which is a very good programme. Last weekend we also purchased a colourful second hand Iraki carpet for about a fifth of its price which is now in pride of place in our main lounge.

This week has been busy with a big internal event I organised at work. I wasn’t sure what the turnout would be or the interest but judging by the numbers I should never have worried. I had lunch with my Swedish colleague Mikael and must have been very tired because when we left the restaurant I fell flat on my face!!!

The week was also full of media encounters; two visits to Intereconomía TV and a lunch with Javier Inaraja and Ana Pérez from Emprendedores and Quo. They are media friends from my previous job and it was superb to catch up with them again and chat in a relaxed way about the telecoms market.

This weekend has been quiet too except for some socialising. On Friday we went to dinner to Alberto and Olga’s new flat. Alberto was Eladio’s boss when they worked in the Ministry of Education a few years ago. You may remember a post entitled “Love is in the air” where I wrote about Alberto and Olga’s visit to our house last year when they had just fallen in love. Well they are still very much in love to judge by many details on Friday night, not lest the amount of times Alberto kissed Olga!!!

We also went out with Roberto and Maricarmen to La Vaca Argentina – ¿cómo no? It was a belated celebration of my birthday. Dinner with Roberto and Maricarmen is one of our favourite weekend pastimes. We are so much at home with them and always on a similar wavelength.

Eladio and Roberto

Maricarmen and me
When you hit 50 I think there is something that makes you want to revisit the past and seek out people from your youth. I think that because I can find no other explanation for my sudden interest in a school and University reunion. Before now these memories were in the back of my head only and now there seems a need to find some of the people in these memories that meant most to me.

When I was with Grainne in Barcelona recently she mentioned the St. Joseph’s Catholic College centenary year. I had already thought about a reunion with Helen King, Stephanie Mandzuik, Brenda Maher and Ellen Burns who all live in the Manchester area together with Amanda. So now I am considering a reunion around the centenary year. I have already visited the school site and seen there is a gala dinner on Friday 9th May. Come what may, Amanda and I will certainly go and she suggests we stay at the The Devonshire Arms which I think is a great idea. It is located at Bolton Abbey one of my favourite childhood haunts.

And talking about people from the past, I got an email from Andrew Dale right out of the blue. Andrew was a pupil at the famous Norwich Russian courses where my parents taught for many summers and where I learned many of the facts of life as I went every year from about the age of 12 to 20. I have many great memories of those courses. I myself never went to learn Russian. I just went along for the ride. It was a very international place and you met people from all over the world. In Andrew’s email he mentions Javier Solana, the ex Secretary General of Nato as having been on the course in 1973!! I specially remember the concerts my Aunty Masha put on at the end of the courses where I often played a leading part and sang. Oh, those were the days. Andrew’s email refreshed my memory but he very obviously remembers much more than me.
He reminded me that the last time we saw eachother was at Oxford railway station in 1978 where I had been to visit Amanda (then Sharon) which makes it 30 years since we last met! So you can imagine how surprised I was to receive his e-mail.

Andrew found me through my blog, would you believe. He is now married and lives in France and works in Geneva in the U.N. He has 4 children, the youngest called Olivia like my daughter. I trust we will be more in touch from now on.

And that’s all for the moment folks. Except that I have to say Happy 20th birthday to my niece Paula. ¡Felicidades mi niña”.

Next week will bring many professional encounters, some social ones too plus a big employee party organised by me which takes place on Wednesday.

Cheers for now


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