Thursday, June 26, 2008

Family party, all the secrets are out, Anne Marjut came, in San Sebastián again and off to La Rioja. Olé, Olé, Olé, Spain is in the Euro Cup Final.

Hello again

So does the title seem exciting? It really is as life is fast and full this month. I have 5 events this month. 4 are over and I’m in the middle of the last one, here in San Sebastián (with Oli) for the company employee and partner Summer party which is a great place to have a party.

The most important of all the events was the party I created for Oli to celebrate her triple graduation at home with her friends, our friends and the family. She knew who was coming but didn’t know about the surprises. For the surprises big thanks go to Cristina and Bea from QuintaEsencia. With their help and creativity we created an album and video of her life in images since the day she was born (yes, I scanned over 200 photos from 28 albums and dug out loose photos from all over the house!). I also have to thank Rafa for providing us with 3 photographers!, 1 for photos and 2 for a video would you believe. Furthermore Cristiana and Bea got Emilio to do the sound and image. When they arrived at the house at around 7 to set everything, up that’s when Oli got her first real surprise. Maybe I should mention also that at one point there was a bit of wind and the screen fell in the swimming pool! Luckily it did not affect the show later.

We also did a graduate kit with all sorts of fun things inside such as pink glasses to see “la vie en rose”, a Miss Graduate bow, etc, etc, as well as some more serious things like a serious dictionary (after all she is a journalist now). The kit had a picture of her as a child in her school uniform but with a graduate mortar board on her head.

The graduate kit
We made a badge for everyone with their names and there were place names at the tables as well as printed menus.

The badge and the menu
The organisation of food was thanks to Zena (our Ukranian home help) and her niece Ludmila. I must say the food was excellent and as usual there was enough left over for the next 3 days. There were speeches from her friends from school, from University and from her God Father, José Antonio and from Marta, her oldest girl cousin. Oli was bowled over by all the surprises and I was relieved that finally everything went according to plan and that I no longer had to keep any secrets.

Oli's spontaneous speech.

Paula, Miguel and Susana at the party
The family from León came for the occasion and brought with them the Abuela, Eladio’s Mother who is now staying on for 2 or 3 weeks.

Eladio's sisters, Adela (left) and Pili (right) with Ernestina, his mother.

Last minute touches to the tables.
The next day we had a great “left over” lunch together, had a lovely lazy day and thoroughly enjoyed the swimming pool.

The family lunch the next day
Soon the party was over and I was left emotionally and mentally exhausted after so much planning, but then I had another huge event to go in San Sebastián, prior to an opening of our first shop in Sagasta number 8 on Tuesday night.

But on Sunday night something amazing happened and that was that Spain beat Italy (for the first time since 1920) in the European Football Cup and actually got past a Quarter Final which is something they haven’t done since 1984. This means they meet Russia tonight in the Semi Final. It also means it coincides with my employee Summer party tonight as we will all have to watch the football whilst having dinner.

Before I get to the San Sebastián part, I must also tell you that yesterday, as Oli and I were leaving, Anne Marjut and Jupe from Finland were coming to spend a few days at our house in Madrid. Unfortunately I won’t see them but really hope they have a good time. Well they are in good hands, aren’t they? I mean, Eladio is the perfect host, isn’t he?

Oli and I came to San Sebastián yesterday to be here to greet the guests today. 150 company employees and partners are arriving to celebrate Midsummer and there are all sorts of fun things planned, such as a gymkhana around the old town. We were able to grab some free time yesterday and actually managed a swim on La Concha beach, that most wonderful stretch of water on the Basque coast and which is an integral part of the city.

Oli in San Sebastián by the Concha yesterday
We also had lunch in the port at a lovely little place called Bar Igeldo and in the evening, prior to checking the Guia de Campsa, Spain’s equivalent to the Michelin guide, we tried our luck at Urepel Restaurant
and wow was it good. The food was fancy but not too fancy and absolutely delicious. We needed an hour and a half walk afterwards to work off all the days excesses and here I introduced Oli to the delights of the walk from the Zurriola beach to the Port. What a lovely place San Sebastián is.

Enjoying the desert at Urumel last night.
And now I must go and greet the guests and get on with today’s event. It has taken so much preparation that secretly I want it over and done with, specially as tomorrow awaits something I have been looking forward to for a while.

Tomorrow when I return to Madrid, Eladio will pick me up and we will be going to La Rioja for the night as invited guess by the Spanish association of Communication Directors (Dircom). We will be staying at the most wonderful of places called Hotel Marques de Riscal. But more about that in next week’s post.

And that’s all for this week.

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