Sunday, January 24, 2010

Dreaming of travelling, more on Haiti, the end of La Señora, the Queen of suspense, and other news.

The final reconciliation of Angel and Victoria in the last episode of La Señora on Monday was thwarted by the script writers with their unexpected tragic ending.

Hello again and another week of January has passed. The year is starting slowly and the weather, grey and dull and rainy, certainly does not help raise ones energy level or morale. December was so busy compared and I am getting a little bored and looking forward to action.

Action, of course, comes from travelling, our favourite activity. The world map I ordered from arrived to replace the one Oli took to work. I also bought a new map of Europe and this is what one corner of our kitchen looks like; a sort of Geography class where we can dream of travelling by looking at all the possible destinations.
The maps on our wall in the kitchen with which we all travel in our dreams.
My trips coming up are to Barcelona on 14th February for the Mobile World Congress. The girls will be joining me which has now become a tradition. As soon as I get back I will be off to Brussels with Eladio for the reunion with Sandra and Adele, fellow students and house mates at Nottingham University. Then in March we have New York to look forward to. Oli, by the way, will be visiting the Holy Land next week with her ex school friend Begoña. They will be staying part of the time with Miad who they both went to school with and who now works in Haifa. We too will very possibly be visiting the Holy Land, though in September, a quiet month for me. We are definitely an itchy feet family, as my Father described my brother George when we were young. It’s quite obvious the girls have inherited them from me and their Grandfather.

Unfortunately poor Grandpa, my dear Father, can only dream of travelling at the moment as now his feet won’t let him. Recently they have been giving him problems and his mobility is rather hampered. We suspect the operation on his toe may not have been a complete success and the joint that was supposed to have been cured seems not to be. He frightened us this last week when one morning he was not in the kitchen early as is his custom. Of course that got me extremely worried so when I knocked on his door I was relieved to see him sitting in his chair. But he couldn’t get up and spent that day in his room and we feared a rapid decline in his well being. Slowly though he is moving again and right now I can hear German military marching music coming from his room, a sure sign he is feeling better physically and mentally. We will, however, make an appointment to see a specialist. It’s easy to say “what can you expect at the age of nearly 91?” but he has always been healthy and walking is a way of life for him. He has always been a great traveller and it is my hope he will get better soon and we will include him in our plans for travelling somewhere he likes this year as we do every year.

Where we will not be going is to Haiti I’m afraid. The situation after 13 days is only just beginning to stabilise but aid took too long to get through. Right now the US forces have more or less taken over the running of the country if that’s what you can call it. Latest estimates are that over 100.000 people have died. Hiati was further hit this last week as another earthquake (6.0) caused more destruction. On the bright side they are still rescuing people from under the rubble. So far 132 people have been rescued and every day there is a story of another miracle. I can’t understand how they could have survived and the newspapers do not explain. They must have had water nearby. This last week a 7 year old boy called Kiki became world famous as he stretched out his arms as if in victory but actually to be handed to his sobbing Mother, from the rubble he had laid under for 8 days. His smile is contagious and a smile of victory.
Kiki, the 7 year old boy who survived after 8 days under the rubble from the Haitian earthquake. He holds out his arms in victory or in joy to to be handed to his sobbing Mother. A true miracle.
Haiti, already one of the poorest countries in the world will have to be reconstructed. Funnily enough Olivia went yesterday to the Spanish International Tourism Fair (Fitur) and surprisingly came across a small stand promoting travel to Haiti. And promoting travel was the Haitian ambassador in Spain herself so Oli took the chance to interview Madame Yollete Azor-Charles, a charming lady and passionate about her country. This is the interview. It transpires that Madame Yollete, just hours before the earthquake, was in the middle of a meeting about how to improve buildings in Haiti to withstand earthquakes and hurricanes. She is now on a mission to convince the authorities that the country's capital, Port au Prince, should be reconstructed elsewhere. Let’s hope people’s enthusiasm and solidarity for the Haiti cause lasts long enough for that to happen. I am on your side Madame Yollete.
The Haitian ambassador in Madrid who Olivia interviewed at the Fitur exhibition on Saturday.
But maybe I should start at the beginning of the week if I want to reach the part in my headline about La Señora, or rather the end of La Señora as last Monday night was the last episode. La Señora for you people not living in Spain is Spain’s best drama series I have ever seen in all the years I have lived here. It is set in the north of Spain in Asturias and begins in 1920. Above all I love the scenes on the cliffs where most of the secret amorous encounters take place. One day I swear I will visit the place which I think is called Cuerres near Ribadasella in Asturias in the north of Spain. As I wrote before in my blog, it has all the the ingredients I love, romance, history, marvellous scenery and clothes of the era, superb characters and an impossible romance between the beautiful Señora (lady) Victoria and a working class boy, Angel who is forced into the priesthood to avoid any relationship with her.
The beautiful cliffs in Cuerres, Asturias, where Angel and Victoria always met. One day I will go there.
On the rebound she marries the Marqués (Gonzalo) who is the evil protagonist of the series but whose Achilles heel is his absolute love for her. Both Victoria and Angel suffer throughout the series and only in the last episode do they finally get together something all the spectators were hoping for. In the end it is discovered that the Marqués had killed her Father and that he was an imposter and even a bigamist. Angel finally leaves the church and with the coast clear he and Victoria had a future to live for. Unfortunately the script writers of the series spoiled it all by killing Victoria off to the wrath of most of the spectators including myself. On the website forum there is huge criticism of the ending, the main feeling being that we have to suffer enough in real life to have bear an ending like this. I totally agree. The funny thing is the series is going to continue (but not until the end of the year:-)) but I cannot imagine it without the beautiful, generous, independent, courageous and loving Victoria.
Why did La Señora have to die? The scene where Angel carries Victoria, already dead, and her family and servants come running to her.
You can see more photos from the last episode here.

Monday with the tragic end of La Señora was a wash out. Tuesday brought with it the annual Nokia Spain press lunch. As you know I worked for Nokia for 6 years in Spain and was their Corporate Communications Manager. I left in very unfair circumstances, something which hit me hard at the time and has left a wound which will probably never really cure, although the job I have today is even better. I get invited because I am a mobile phone operator communications manager. I was attending for the 4th time and went with mixed feelings as I do every year. It took place at a rather dismal location called Teatro Quinto on the outskirts of Madrid and was a simple affair, very different to the unique events I used to create for the media in Nokia.

Work wise the week was quiet, too quiet really and I have spent more time than necessary working on closing my PR report for Yoigo for 2009. I would far rather already be working on my 2010 plan. Thus I had time to go the dentist twice. I probably wrote that on the night of the snow and on our way to Julio’s dinner, my crown fell out. Tuesday was my 3rd visit, this time to measure my teeth for a new crown (hate that part as it always makes me feel sick) but it was aborted as I was made to wait more than an hour. Thus I went back on Friday and thankfully the measurement part is now over. I think I have 2 more visits which all seems a lot for just one tooth. I also had time to go to the hairdresser, something most women love but which I hate, nearly as much as the dentist. However it was time to hide the roots (oh yes when you are in your 40's onwards you have roots in your hair which is the grey or white area you have to dye every now and again unless you don’t mind showing yourself to the world with your natural greying hair. I do not). So why do I hate it you might ask? Basically because I find it a waste of time, one of those tasks you have to do, like filling the car tank but which I don’t particularly enjoy. Plus I don’t really like anyone else touching my hair. Hopefully the hairdo will now last me a couple of months. What I have retained is the cut; short at the back and longer at the front.

Friday was my most active day. I met my friend Elena for churros (very fattening sort of delicious fritter cum donut). It was my up day so shouldn’t have mattered however lately I am not losing as much weight as I should. I know that’s because I ‘m eating too much on both the up days and down days. That will have to stop. Elena needed some cheering up in her job hunting but it’s not easy. I wish her lots of luck but mostly a positive attitude and a will to enjoy her time despite not having a job. But that’s easier said than done.

On Friday too I had a girly lunch with Suzy and Oli and we went to Ars Vivendi in nearby Majadahonda. It’s a nice cosy little place with excellent Italian food. Friday was certainly a day for food as in the evening Eladio and I went out for dinner too. We went to Mood where we spent the last of this month’s restaurant vouchers that are a job perk. We got back home in town to see the second half of film we have watched over and over again through the years called “Los Santos Inocentes” - (the holy innocents) about rural Spain in the 70’s and the domination of the landed gentry over the peasants who worked for them. It is a masterpiece directed by Mario Camus and based on the book with the same name by one of Spain’s best living writers, Miguel Delibes.
Los Santos Inocentes, one of my all time favourite Spanish films.
This week was also the week I discovered a new writer and now want to read anything by her I can get my hands on. A chance remark from a friend in Facebook about a book called “Daddy’s little girl” by Mary Higgins Clark had me order it on As I read it and praised the author in my Facebook status another friend commented, “ah yes, the Queen of suspense”. And indeed she is. Her books are basic “who dunnits” but superbly written and keep you hooked from the first page to the last and are thus hugely entertaining. Since then I have ordered more and the other day read my second book by her called “Where are the children” which I highly recommend. I am now well into my third called “A stranger is watching you”. And because I have become hooked on her books, this very morning I ordered another 4 or 5. It's not exactly high brow but I am like my Mother and can enjoy both.

And now I must leave you to carry on reading “A stranger is watching you” and enjoy the rest of this Sunday which is fast coming to an end.

I hope you all have a great week. Me too, I very much hope.

Till next time

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