Monday, January 11, 2010

Diana was born, Kings’ day, a lot of snow and an adventurous dinner at Julio’s.

Our walk in the snow this morning, what a joy.

Hi again

As I begin to write my weekly post this Sunday afternoon in January it is snowing quite heavily outside. We are having a very cold spell with extremely low temperatures for Spain all over the country (-15ºc in Burgos for example) and it was even snowing today in Seville, something nearly unheard of. The cold spell has affected most of Europe and I know for one of people snow bound in the UK this last week where chaos reigned with cancelled flights and closed schools.
A great satellite photo of Great Britain snowed under, or as the Daily Telegraph wrote one day: Great Britain in a deep freeze.
Who will not have noticed the snow will be my newest grand niece, Diana. Diana was born on Monday 4th January to Ana, the wife of Roberto, the son of Adela who is Eladio’s sister. She came into this cold world at the beginning of a new decade in a peaceful and uncomplicated way. Her parents are delighted with her as is everybody around her.
Baby Diana born last Monday 4th Jan.
We sent the proud new parents a gift for the new born baby in the form of a baby hamper, my favourite present for babies from a website called Don Faldón. I judge that very subjectively as I know I would have loved to receive something like that when my girls were born, much more than flowers and plants that only die in the end.
Proud parents, Roberto and Ana, with their newly born baby girl Diana posing by the baby hamper we had sent them to celebrate her birth.
My girls, together with Gaby, Suzy’s boyfriend, are actually on their way back from León from visiting Diana and the family this weekend (see their photos here). In fact they should be walking in the door any minute.

The girl cousins around Ana and Diana this weekend.
And they did walk in and it was snowing and time for our walk and so we braved the weather as you can see here.
Eladio and Norah ready for our walk yesterday just as the snow began.
Very soon everything was covered and cars were having difficulties going up the road and Eladio was threatening not to go out tonight to Julio’s annual dinner (more about that later). I loved the silence the snow brought and the crunchy noise you hear as you step on fresh new powdery snow. It was like that in the fields and we were the only ones on the walk. You had to be careful not to step on puddles which had snow on them as the ice was brittle.

Now I am back and writing again before we leave (or try to leave) for Julio’s annual dinner, something we always look forward to. Let me start before though at the beginning of the week.

On Monday, the day Diana was born, I went into the office mainly because my remote corporate email vpn had expired. It was nice to see colleagues and gauge the atmosphere at work. That day I also went shopping with Suzy and ended up buying 2 coats (pink and and black and white) in the sales which were oh so cheap I went back for another one the next day (white).

On Tuesday, my up day (oh yes I’m still doing up and down days, hahaha) we went out to dinner with Roberto and MariCarmen, to celebrate MariCarmen’s birthday to De Brasa y Puchero in Boadilla.

Wednesday was the 3 Kings’ day (Epiphany) and officially the last day of Christmas in Spain (see previous years' entries on the subject here). Most Spaniards give their presents on that day and the 5th of January, the night before is the biggest sales day of the year. It certainly was in the case of Yoigo where we made record sales. Of course we celebrate Father Christmas so none of us were expecting very much that day. As it turned out, the Kings had left presents for us at Gaby’s house (Suzy’s boyfriend) and at José Antonio and Dolores house too for which we were very grateful.

The day began with breakfast all together where we ate the traditional roscón which you can see here. We bought 2, one with cream for lunch and one for breakfast without cream which we always toast. We got them from a superb bakery called Viena Capellanes thanks to vouchers we get at work. So thanks once again Yoigo for feeding the family, hahaha.
The typical "roscón" cake which is eaten by the ton in Spain on the 3 Kings' day.
As is tradition in this house on the Kings’ day, Eladio’s brother, José Antonio and his family are always invited for lunch. This year we had the pleasure of the company of José Antonio, Dolores and Juan as you can see here in the photo of them round the lunch table. We had a very English meal actually, roast beef, Yorkshire pudding and all the trimmings.
The traditional 3 Kings' day family dinner with José Antonio, Dolores and Juan.
The next day, Thursday, the weather was infernal and bad enough to thwart our daily walk. We did, however, brave it to go shopping as we had to get a few more presents to give out at Julio’s dinner.

On Friday morning I did something terrible and forgot my date with Elena for coffee nearby. Thankfully she didn’t seem to mind that much and we have rescheduled it to the end of this month. Sorry Elena, how forgetful of me!!! I was making “cocido” for the family that morning and was so immersed I never looked at my diary. Here by the way is the result.

My cocido - Cocido madrileño is a very Spanish dish from the Madrid area which consists of different sorts of meats and bones and chorizos with chickpeas, potatoes and vegetables. The stock is used to make a wonderful soup with noodles which is served as a first course. It is the speciality of this household by the way.
In the afternoon we went to the cinema, not before visiting Leroy Merlin to get Eladio’s Christmas toy from my Father, a badly needed leaf blower which you can see him using here and which is going to come very much in handy in our huge garden.

Eladio and his new toy, a leaf blower.
We went to see a Spanish film called Celda 211 (celda means a prison cell) and was about a prison mutiny. It was quite violent as I had predicted but had a fantastic plot. Afterwards we went, of course, to have dinner to our favourite restaurant, La Alpagatería, where we dined at our favourite table, number 7. I do like tradition, don’t I?

Friday, actually, was also the day Spain took over the European Union Presidency, a big day for Spain as you can read here.

On Saturday, when the girls had gone to León, we had visitors for afternoon tea. Suzy’s friend, Rocio’s parents, Esmeralda and Juan came to see us to get advice for their trip to India in March. We hadn’t seen them since the girls were at school and it was nice to catch up and chat about India for 2 or 3 hours. You will remember that is was with Rocío the girls visited India in October.

And that brings me to Sunday, now yesterday as I have broken off to write this blog post several times now. Sunday of course was the day of the snow and the annual dinner at Julio’s house with Fátima, our best friend who lives nearby and who worked with me both at Motorola and Nokia.

As I said at the beginning of the post, it had begun to snow and Eladio was worried about us driving to Madrid. However nothing was going to stop me or the girls cancelling the dinner. After all it is a once a year event and means a lot to us all. So we ventured out very cautiously and slowly. It took us 1.5h to get to Julio’s house but we made it!!! It was mainly thanks to our wonderful car, a Volvo XC90 which is not only a 4WD but has a magic “W” button which we reckon stands for “winter”. Suzy drove there and Oli drove back. You are great drivers girls!!!

Dinner as usual was fantastic, the food being provided by Julio and Fátima, including the traditional roscón with cream which we all adore. Credit also goes to Fátima’s mother for making 2 delicious tortillas. Thanks Gloria.
The annual dinner at Julio's this year, a bit of an adventure to get to but well worth the effort.
And this morning we woke up to the heaviest snow fall we have seen in the last 10 years and certainly the heaviest at our new house. The first thing I did of course was to rush outside with Norah and take photos to remember the day before it melted.

You can see the whole selection of the photos of the snow at our house and also of our walk in the snow with the girls and Norah here on Facebook.

The snow, however, did not melt and is still here. In fact we are trapped at home, the only way out being with the Volvo which actually Oli has just taken to go to work this afternoon. Eladio’s Open University classes have been cancelled this afternoon the same as all schools and Universities in the area. This is a big day for Spanish weather, quite extraordinary.

It was so extraordinary, the four of us decided to go for a walk in the snow with Norah which turned out to be pure magic as you can see in the photo illustrating this post and in the photos in the link above as well as this video I have uploaded to You Tube. and in another one where Eladio and Suzy have a snow fight, haha. Good watching!

And on that magical note, I leave you until next week.

Hope you all have a great one. Cheers till then


Anonymous said...

You are great mummy, I love your blog!!! ;) kisses Suzy

Masha Lloyd said...

Glad you do darling, in a way it's for you. Love Mummy