Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Lots of things happened, Tiger balm and Chinese tapestry. It was Oli’s birthday and we went to Montrondo again.

José Antonio and Eladio cutting the grass the old fashioned way with a scythe this weekend in Montrondo.
Hi again

It’s Tuesday and I’m late with my blog but I have an excuse as we went to Montrondo this weekend. Everytime I write my blog I do a sort of summary or list of things to include and this week there are lots, more than usual it seems.

The week was very social and was full of birthdays and a communion as well as a memorial funeral. Even a baby was born, no not mine (hahaha). So let me begin.

On Monday I had lunch with Julio and Fátima to celebrate Julio’s birthday. As usual he got something from Lacoste, this time a bathing costume (well that request came with the lunch invitation actually).

On Tuesday I had lunch with Jill who had just returned from India and had brought me some of that marvellous tiger balm. We had a good old gossip over a lovely lunch at De María in Majadahonda.

On Wednesday I had lunch with Lisa, my Chinese friend who used to appear on the TV chat programme with me and Jill until it ended in December. I must say I find it culturally enriching to know Lisa. I could nearly be her Mother but when there is chemistry age does not matter. She later sent me a lovely piece of Chinese tapestry she had bought for me in China. Thanks Lisa.
Lisa and I in one of our TV "appearances"
On Thursday Tomy was born to Ana and Tomy although we didn’t hear about it until the next day. Little Tomy came one month early but all went well. I sent a baby hamper to the hospital on behalf of Jill, Susana, Zenaida, Fátima and myself as we were not able to go and see the baby. I hope to soon though. Congratulations from here to this lovely family.

And Friday was Oli’s 24th birthday which began with a lovely family breakfast where we gave her our presents. We also used our great new Saeco automatic coffee machine which makes superb gourmet cappuccinos, or expressos or whatever you want.
Our new coffee machine.
Suzy and Oli and her friend Ana spent most of the day cooking for a party to be held at home in the evening. Lunch was again a family affair and here is the photo to officially record Oli’s birthday. The cake was her favourite, raspberry mille-feuille from Mallorca cake makers. With the cake I bought a “singing candle”. It’s amazing the things there are these days for parties.

Whilst the party was beginning, Eladio and I made a quick and quiet exit and drove to Majadahondo to have dinner with Roberto and Mari Carmen at Mood. Just as we were going for a stroll after dinner it began to rain and the heat wave we had been experiencing came to its end. By the time we got home there was a full storm and Oli’s party, I’m afraid, came to an abrupt end.

On Saturday morning, Eladio, my Father and I left for Montrondo for the annual memorial mass to commemorate the passing away of Eladio’s father Antonio who died on 20th May 2005. Every year we meet in Montrondo on a weekend around that date and it is Antonio who, from wherever he is, continues to unite us all. (This was my entry last year).

The girls couldn’t come. Oli had another big birthday party at home again but this time for her work colleagues. Suzy had to go to a wedding of her boyfriend Gaby’s cousin, in Cádiz as you can see from one of the photos she gave me.
Suzy and Gaby at the wedding this weekend.
The trip to Montrondo was much like all trips there. We stopped off at the Palacio de Bornos in Rueda on the way which has become obligatory on all trips to León. It’s obligatory as it’s too good not to stop at. It is a “bodega” which apart from selling the best white wine in the world also sells lovely local products and serves fantastic ham and cold cuts.

On the Saturday not everyone was there but on Sunday we were 24 at Mass and at home for lunch afterwards. It’s a pity the girls weren’t there.

Time was spent making meals mostly but there were also moments for catching up with each other’s news, congratulating Ana and Roberto on her recent pregnancy, visiting the little house Primo and family are building, mending the lawn mower (Eladio and his brothers of course), cutting the grass with a scythe like old times or going for a quick walk to nearby Murias like I did here with my sisters-in law.

(L to R) Dolores, Adela and Yoli by the "Peña de Diós" rock on the old road to Murias.
Mario took the time to practise for his driving test which was on Monday. I took a snapshot here and whilst I did I told him he would pass. He said no way but the good news came yesterday when I heard he did. First time too. Congratulations Mario

Very soon it was Sunday and after a splendid barbecue, including a birthday celebration for Primo (there you see, another birthday) we said our goodbyes and drove off. We then had to return twice, the first time to get Eladio’s glasses and the second to get our toilet bag. Then when we arrived home I realised we had also left my brush and Eladio’s mobile phone charger. Are we just scatter brained or are these the first signs of old age I ask myself?
(Here is the link to the small selection of photos I took this weekend in Montrondo).

On Saturday in Madrid it was also Fátima’s daughter, Fátima’s First Communion which we were very sorry to miss. First Communions are still important in Catholic Spain despite increasing secularism. In most cases these days they are done more out of tradition than for any religious meaning I think.

Oli was waiting for us when we got home and thank God Zena, our cleaning lady, had been there in the morning to help diminish the signs of two parties. I don’t think any of us want any more barbecues or parties for quite a while now.

Meanwhile my friend Amanda had a nasty little operation which she has come out of fine, thank goodness. And talking of friends, I have found Amanda’s old neighbour, Gill, née Eastwood on Facebook. Jacky and Gill lived in a house which bordered the end of Amanda’s garden and they were my friends once removed so to speak. We have been corresponding these last few days catching up on 30 odd years in just a few lines. Facebook is great!

And so is Spotify. I mentioned that in my previous post. Well now I know it is available (the free version at least) in Spain, UK, France, Norway, Finland and Sweden. And for those of you who live in those countries and haven’t yet got an invitation, you can register without one here. This link is not at all publicised and was quite a find, so join up if you haven’t and spread the word. It is quite amazing – free music, nearly any type on your computer whenever you want.

Amazing too was the Spanish blogger granny, María Amelia who died this week. If you haven’t heard of her, here is her blog. She was until very recently the oldest blogger on internet and quite a personality I gather.

Another amazing woman is Susan Boyle (who needs no introductions). The news about her this week is that she has got through to the Finals of Britain’s Got Talent with this performance. I really hope she wins.
Susan Boyle, a singing phenomenon from Scotland
The week has been so full of events I have hardly had time to follow the news. Soon, though, it will be the European Parliament elections, next week in fact. Yesterday there was a big debate on Spanish TVE with the top candidates from the Socialist and Right Wing (Partido Popular) party. And my little daughter Oli was there at the studios covering the event for the RTVE website. Her task was to write about the behind the scenes and how the candidates looked and behaved. And this is what she wrote.

And now I must stop writing because I still have to publish this, add the photos, edit the content and add the links and Eladio keeps coming in and out giving me signals that he wants to go for our daily walk.

Till next week, enjoy this one.

Cheers Masha

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