Sunday, March 15, 2009

“Todo va bien”, everything is fine and the wrong places at the wrong times.

Blossom in our garden, the first sure sign of Spring.
Hi again

Another week has passed and it’s a sunny Sunday in March. I am sitting at my pc wondering what to write. I just commented that to Eladio and he suggests I tell you “todo va bien” (everything is fine) so I decided that would be the title of this week’s post.

He is actually right that everything is fine. I cannot complain. We are the lucky ones. Not so lucky is my Ukranian cleaning lady, Zena, who has cancer. She is my only worry and I have been wracking my brains how to help her. It’s amazing to see how she still comes to clean even when she is having chemotherapy and it makes me feel terrible. I so understand the fate of immigrants from the story of my Mother’s family. Luck in life very much depends on where and when you were born. I was obviously born in the right place at the right time and Zena was not.

Talking about places, Paula and Miguel, my niece and nephew are in Cuba this week, although they won’t see each other. They will however both see Rosi, Eladio’s distant cousin who visited us recently and who was also born in a challenging place, like Zena. Paula is there with student friends to celebrate their mid way degree studies (a very Spanish habit called crossing the Ecuador) and Miguel went yesterday for a short holiday with some friends who found a cheap ticket.

Funnily enough now 4 members of Eladio’s family have crossed the Atlantic to Cuba in America as Spaniards call Latin America. It’s interesting to observe how the Anglo speaking world means North America when they say America whereas the Spanish speaking world mean Latin America. I suppose the origin of this Spanish habit comes from when they discovered America.
Paula, Rosi and her daughter Maria Carla on the right this week in Havana.
Meanwhile, Juan, Miguel’s brother is trying to make his fortune in London. Juan is a very enterprising chap and his first job was doing a video for his sister’s flatmate who is the marketing manager for a publishing group. The video shows how older people are catching on to internet. I think it’s great. He’s now got to do one on an ex Russian republic whose name doesn’t even ring a bell. I’m sure he’ll make a great job of it. Meanwhile enjoy the video which was probably shot in Hyde Park.

This week in Spain has been marked by the good weather but it was also the 5th anniversary of the 11th March train bombings which cast a shadow on the week in general. It was also a week when the peace in Ulster was threatened by new attacks by splinter groups of the IRA. The victims of these attacks were also in the wrong places at the wrong times.

On the home front and as the title suggests, life went on as normal and we enjoyed the good weather with walks with Norah whenever we could.
Norah and Suzy ready for the walk, look at the lovely blossom on our drive
Suzy has been sunbathing most afternoons and would text me to join her and Norah by the pool. Often I would find Norah lying on the sun bed and Suzy sitting on the floor. Norah is definitely living in the right place and is a very spoiled puppy.
Suzy and Norah sunbathing this week. Look who's on the sun bed!
Oli has been busier than any of us this week and on Friday proudly attended her first press conference. It was the presentation of Pedro Almodovar’s new film “Abrazos rotos” which was preceded by the press premiere. I later read that it was the most numerous cinema press conference ever held with 300 journalists attending. There was great interest in the new film, of course, but equal interest in seeing Penelope Cruz for the first time in public after winning the Oscar. Here is Oli’s chronicle (in Spanish) which at one stage was on the front page of RTVE. I am looking forward to seeing the film when it is launched to the public next weekend.
Penelope Cruz, Pedro Almodóvar and Blanca Portillo at the press conference for his new film "Abrazos Rotos" this week.
This week I further corresponded with my distant Lieven cousin, Tanya, in New Zealand. She sent me photos of herself and family and it is uncanny to see the similarity in looks, the blonde hair and wide faces, wow!

The weekend has been quiet and marked by the good weather too. Thus we got out some of the garden furniture and had our first barbecue of the season on a lovingly laid table in the garden in front of the kitchen which is really our summer dining room.
Eladio grilling the chorizos etc for the first barbecue of the season with Norah placidly enjoying the sun nearby.
Tonight we are going out with our friends Roberto and Mari Carmen who, no doubt, will have lots to tell us about their trip to Turkey.

And that’s about it for this week. As you can see everything was fine, “todo bien”. Let’s hope this week coming up will be just as good.

Cheers for the moment,


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