Sunday, May 03, 2009

1st May bank holiday at home, Vappu, more swine flu, Obama’s 100th day in office, sex on the Queen's lawn, a woman Poet Laureate and other things.

Fancy having sex on the Queen's lawn at Windsor Castle!

This week has been good. I got a new car, a great big 4wd and am very proud that I took to driving automatic within a few minutes despite my hesitations. The week was short too as Friday 1st, being international Labour Day, or rather “San José el Labrador” here, was a holiday. The night before, Eladio and I went to dinner to Mood’s, to use up some of the 20 or so free vouchers I suddenly received from my VIPs membership club this week too. It must have been my lucky week.

On Friday as I wrote in my last post, we celebrated my Father’s 90th birthday. Afterwards the girls went off, Suzy to Cádiz with her boyfriend Gaby and Oli to our place in Santa Pola with her friend Miad. Just the three “oldies” were left.

Determined to enjoy our bank holiday alone, on Friday evening we went to see the film, The Young Victoria by Martin Scorsese. It was a truly gorgeous film and I loved it. However the current Queen was not too happy with some of the inaccuracies, such as the attempt on Prince Edward’s life which apparently never happened and the fact that the costumes were “too German”.

Our Bank holiday was quiet, spent enjoying the weather, our own company, as well as our animals as all meals have been outside.
Phoebe and Joe eating in harmony
Norah enjoying our company in the good weather
I also enjoyed some relaxed cooking (Suzy’s favourite potato salad) and reading the papers leisurely on Sunday morning together with Eladio.
Eladio caught unawares reading the paper this morning. We are at our happiest reading the newspapers leisurely on a Sunday morning.
While I cooked, Eladio did some gardening, planting lovely new flowers we got from our local garden centre. This time of year is so beautiful at home with all the vegetation in full bloom. I love May. The weather is great and you have the whole summer to look forward to.
Eladio planting flowers in the garden
Who also love May are the Finns. On the night before 1st May they celebrate what they call Vappu which in English translates into “Walpurgis” night, whoever he was. It is their spring or 1st May celebration and they all go out picnicking and probably drinking themselves stupid. The students celebrate their graduation on this day and everyone goes round wearing what look to me like sailor caps. I got these great pictures from my friends Anne and Anne-Marjut who celebrated Vappu together.
My Finnish friends Susa, Anne and Anne-Marjut celebrating Vappu this year.
People picnicking this year at Vappu, all wearing sailor hats.
Who will not be celebrating this week will be the swine flu victims as the pandemic spreads. As I wrote last week it started in Mexico and at the beginning of the week there were just 2 cases in Europe. Now it has spread further into places like China where it will be difficult to deter. Most of the deaths seem to have occurred in Mexico. The sufferers elsewhere seem to experience normal type flu symptoms. This is something hard to understand.

In Mexico schools have shut down and people have been asked to stay at home for 5 days. Only vital services are running. I have a Spanish friend living in Mexico who posted this picture on Facebook of people in a supermarket stocking up with food with masks on their faces.

And in Holland they were celebrating Queen’s Day but now the country is in morning as a madman tried to crash into the Royal family cavalcade this week in Appledorn near Amsterdam. He did not manage to hurt the Monarch, the 72 year old Queen Beatrice or her family but killed instead 5 people in the crowd.
The attempt on the Dutch Royal Family this week resulted in carnage.
President Obama celebrated his 100 days in office this week. There is and was high expectancy in him to deal with the recession in the United States and in 100 days not that much progress has been seen. It’s probably too early to tell and we should probably give him the benefit of the doubt. To his credit it must be mentioned that he has done two very positive things since he started in office in the announcement of the closure of Guantanamo and his opening the door, finally, to Cuba.
President Barack Obama. This week was his 100th day in office.
A very special woman in England will also have been celebrating this week. For the first time in history, a woman has been named Poet Laureate. Congratulations Carol Ann Duffy.
Carol Ann Duffy, England's first woman Poet Laureate
And this week a message in a bottle from 6 concentration camp inmates was found by builders outside Auschwitz. They listed their names there as if they wanted to record their existence before their dreaded extermination. I read that 2 survived the holocaust and hope they are still alive to hear that their message was discovered so many years later.
The message found in the bottle outside Auschwitz this week
After that piece of news it seems frivolous to record that a couple were found having sex on the Queen’s lawn at Windsor Castle this week too. But it’s very unheard of so it caught my attention. I wonder what the Queen had to say about it or is she no longer shocked by anything I wonder?

This week’s blog post ends on a very positive note. I have read that white tea (what is it please and where can you buy it in Spain?) is a natural slimming ingredient and that has been the Chinese best kept secret until very recently. Now isn’t that good news?

And that’s it for this week on this very sunny afternoon on Mothering Sunday, in Spain at least.

Cheers and have a great week.

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