Saturday, October 25, 2008

Barcelona and home with a bang


Wow, how I do begin to describe this past week? Well this time last Saturday Eladio and I went to see the film Camino. I think it has gone straight to my top ten of films as it has all the ingredients I like, children, love, religion, hospitals and above all emotion. I highly recommend it. The main character, Nerea Camacho is the loveliest young girl I have ever seen. She is 11 and comes from a town in Almeria. After the film we had dinner with our friends Roberto and MariCarmen at, yes, you guessed right, La Alpargatería.
Nerea Camacho in Camino
On Sunday Eladio and I travelled to Barcelona as I had to do a site inspection for locations for events during the big telecoms congress in February, the GSMA. Time was spent working in my room, site inspecting and all the free time was taken up by being pure tourists. Funnily enough I have only really ever visited Barcelona for work purposes so this was a great occasion to enjoy the city too.

We stayed at a great hotel, the 1898 where we made full use of the spa every day of our stay which is a great way to relax.
Me working in the hotel room
The hotel is right in the middle of La Rambla, Barcelona’s famous walk way. It’s a unique street, full of people from all over the world, kiosks selling everything under the sun, flower stalls, human statues out to make money, live animal stalls, endless tapas’ restaurants, artists offering to draw portraits, people selling loose cans of beer, “ladies” selling their bodies and old age pensioners sitting and watching the world go by.
Me on La Rambla
The weather was amazing for the end of October with temperatures of over 25ºc throughout our stay. We visited the Gothic Cathedral, walked into the famous Boquería fresh food market, made our way to the Gaudi unfinished cathedral, “la Sagrada Familia”, strolled past the Puerta de Angel, the Plaza de Cataluña and up the Paseo de Gracia full of wonderful houses such as Batllo and Casa Mila, otherwise known as La Pedrera.
La Pedrera
We had lunch at La Gavina by the sea in Port Vell (old Port) and dinner at La Venta in Tibidabo, very recommendable places I never fail to visit when I am in Barcelona.

You can see a selection of photos of this trip, here on Facebook.

The day we drove back which was Wednesday, the weather turned for the worse and it was rain all the way back. Just as we had started our journey Olivia rang to say Susana had had an accident with the Volvo on the road from Pozuelo to Boadilla. This was certainly bad news to come home to. Poor Suzy, who came away unscathed, thank God, as did the other passengers, drove round a bend in the rain to find a queue of cars standing still because of what she later learned was a fatal accident. A police car had crashed into a bus and the policeman was killed! Susy was unable to control the car and crashed into 2 other cars. The Volvo, unfortunately, is very badly damaged and it was only insured for third parties!!

To top it all, the next day someone punctured the tyre of the Alfa at the Complutense University. It was around lunch time and she had to wait for ages until the AA (equivalent) arrived. All in all she was waiting around for about 5 hours!!

The week got better, or at least back to normal eventually. On Thursday I went in to the office for 2 meetings. I now work from home nearly most of my time and can’t begin to say just how beneficial it is all round. I’ve got so used to it now I don’t think I’d ever want to go back to a sit in the office job ever again.

Whilst in Barcelona, I finally got the internal motivation necessary to go on a diet. And, yes, I started my diet number 1000 odd on Thursday. Let’s see how it goes …….. Wow that was one important decision to make in my life!!

Oli seems very happy with her new job even if it is quite stressful. It must be worse than a traditional newspaper to work for a website, such as RTVE’s as the deadline is permanent because the news has to be 24/7. This week I’m proud to include her article on the demolishing of the Carabanchel prison, that symbol of Fashist repression under Franco.
The famous Carabanchel Prison
The article was posted on the front page when it was published. Her timetable is all up and down. For instance she is working over this weekend and in the short future will be working at night for 2 weeks, from 12 till 7 am.

To top this week’s bad news, we found out today that our dear Ukranian cleaning lady, Zena, has cheek cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy!! That’s a very sad story.

To cheer ourselves up, and after all today is Saturday, Eladio and I will be going to the cinema tonight to see Nights in Rodanthe which promises to be highly romantic and right up our street. Hopefully we will have dinner with Roberto and Mari Carmen afterwards.

I look forward to a better week next week.

All the best everyone,

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