Monday, August 11, 2008

Home again, the Olympic Games, Russia invades Georgia, life goes on and I fell flat on my face on spilled wine!

The opening ceremony of the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympic Games probably the most spectacular ever.
Hi again

Here I am again updating my blog by the swimming pool, in between replying to and filing e-mails. You see even though I’m at home I’m not on holiday officially and am actually quite busy with all sorts of preparations for two events at the beginning of September, one in Santander and the other in Bilbao.

It has been extremely hot since we arrived in Madrid from the north and after 10 days of 20ºc, the high 30ºs is just a bit much. Thank God for the air conditioning which we have had on nearly every night since we got back. We have also spent every afternoon by the pool trying to cool off.
Suzy and Joe, our new black kitten, chilling out by the pool this week.
This week and next will be memorable for the Beijing Olympic Games, the opening ceremony of which was quite extraordinary and possibly the most technological and plastic ever to have been seen. I just wonder what the Brits will put on in London in 4 years time? I was delighted with Spain’s gold medal in the men’s cycling road race on the first day. Well done Samuel Sánchez! Cycling, as those of you who know me, know, is a sport very close to my heart and one I got very involved with in my Motorola days.
Samuel Sánchez crossing the finish line to garner the first gold medal in the men's road race for Spain in the Olympics.
In fact I have been following the Olympics quite a lot and have suddenly realised, despite being supposedly British, just how patriotic I am about Spain and sport. That probably has to do with the fact that I have now lived half my life here. Spain has done so well recently, winning the Giro, Wimbledon, the European Football Championship, the Tour de France and now the men’s cycling road race in the Olympics. I wonder how many medals it will garner this year. The all time record was in Barcelona, of course, with 22. At Athens Spain got 19 and actually the forecast for this edition is again 19. We will see in the next 2 weeks.

Meanwhile while the whole world was watching China, Russia was invading Georgia in a 3 day war which finished today when it completely devastated the capital of South Osetia. Just how can wars like that happen these days and nothing be done to stop them? The fact that this war has generated so little interest demonstrates the power of the media. It probably also demonstrates our complete ignorance of the politics of that part of the world and thus our disinterest.
Russia causes havoc in Georgia whilst the whole world watches Peking host the Olympic Games
And life indeed continues as mine does. Since we got back from Montrondo mine has been full of little uninteresting events and activities for anyone outside my circle.

So what have I done? Well I went to have my hair cut and the roots seen to. I ought to add that in contrast to the majority of women I absolutely hate going to the hairdresser and get very impatient during the whole session and completely relieved when it is over. The only good thing about going to the hairdresser this time was bumping into Fátima, my best friend in the Corte Inglés.

I joined a wine club. You may have noticed our penchant for wine from my recent posts. After a bit of surfing on the web, I decided on Vino Selección. The boxes have arrived but we’ve yet to try the wine out. We now have a considerable little stock of wine in our very own bodega which I am determined to keep well stocked. Well if I can’t smoke, I might at least enjoy my wine, don’t you think?

I’ve been reading too and just recently finished Cherie Blaire’s autobiography which my Father has just read too. I think she had very bad press in the UK whilst she was the wife of the Prime Minister and in this book she sets out to put quite a few stories right that I am not actually familiar with. I was more interested in the parts about living in Downing street and the top politicians and people she met than the long descriptions of her activities in the legal profession. It was quite a good read overall but seemed like a book written in haste.

I am now reading “Second Honeymoon, the latest book out by one of my favourite authors, Joanna Trollope. It’s quite relevant to me as it’s about a family with kids in their 20’s who are all leaving or have left the nest and the angst that causes the Mother. Interesting, …..

One of these days we will be going to Santa Pola to our apartment by the sea. We have had it since I left Motorola in 1999 and the truth is we are all rather tired of it. We can’t sell because it’s not the right moment market wise and we wouldn’t want that hassle right now either. We might go tomorrow or Wednesday or next week. Well a few days on the beach would be quite nice.

Meantime we are enjoying our home and funnily enough we are all here. Suzy is back from Montrondo and Oli is home too as she is working for Spanish Television (RTVE) as a Summer internee. She did go away this weekend though camping with friends to Asturias.

Roberto and Mari Carmen came round on Sunday to join us on our daily walk after which we went out to dinner to a local bar for some tapas. That dinner forged a plan to go and stay at the Parador in Granada one weekend in March next year. It is possibly the most popular Parador because of its location and bullding as it is literally a part of the Alhambra itself. It is also nearly impossible to book a room unless you do so at least 6 months in advance which is precisely what I shall do to achieve my small dream. Life is full of dreams isn’t it?

The final piece of news for this week’s blog is that I actually fell flat on my face this morning. You might laugh to hear that it was on a spilled bottle of wine at the local supermarket. There are no broken bones, just a few bruises, some alcohol drenched clothes and the nasty shock of course. Eladio very gently reminded me that these days you can claim insurance for falling practically anywhere. I myself thought of that the moment I fell. However I was brought up in the days before claiming insurance became a big business and put out any temptation to do so. I see no need and certainly don’t want to upset the shop owner and actually find the whole idea rather immoral.

With that out of mind, I am now looking forward to news of more medals for Spain, for England of course (well done Nicole Cooke for that gold medal in the women’s cycling road race yesterday) and also for Finland, another country close to my heart after working 5 years for Nokia and visiting it some 30 or 40 times. So well done also to Satu Makela-Nummela for winning the Women's Trap gold with 91 hits.

Satu Makela-Nummela from Finland celebrating her gold medal.
Cheers till next week and I hope you haven’t found this post too political. It wasn’t supposed to be.


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