Sunday, January 03, 2010

Happy New Year, the family is growing and love at first sight.

Me and my wonderful husband on New Year's Eve this year.
Hi again, my first post of the New Year. I have just realised that I have more than 30.000 readers, that’s a lot of readers for a private blog and I wish them all a very happy new year. 2009 was a wonderful year for me and hopefully 2010 will be just as good. I would not dare to ask for better. For starters Eladio and I will be going to Brussels in February for a reunion with my Nottingham University friends, Sandra and Adele and then in March there is our much awaited trip to New York to look forward to. Hopefully there we will meet up there with my cousin André, our long lost friends Rosa and Angel and of course Javier and Ana. Yeah it’s gonna be good as the Americans say:-)

What was also good was the run up to the New Year. The week after Christmas was quiet and we spent our time looking after Eladio’s Mother who tends to need a lot more company than my very independent Father. To fill her time we gave her knitting to do and she knitted us all woolly socks and a scarf for Suzy. We also took her out, with my Father of course. Once we went to Zielo, the new shopping centre in Pozuelo which she loved. We all spent money here, at the bookshop (a gold mine in cheap English books), at the perfume shop (yes, “Lola” by Marc Jacobs for Fátima for Christmas) and also at the superb super market, Sánchez Romero.
Lola by Marc Jacobs, my favourite perfume at the moment.
Soon her stay with us came to an end and on Saturday 31st we set off, just the 3 of us to León for New Year’s Eve and of course to take Eladio’s Mother home. Olivia had to work and Suzy stayed behind probably out of solidarity, I don’t know. It was the perfect excuse for my 90 year old Father to stay behind too as I think late night rowdy and multitudinous dinners are something that tire him out. They tire us out too as you will hear later.

It rained all the way, as it had done all week but of course that didn’t deter us from stopping at the Palacio de Bornos in Rueda for a coffee and, of course, a plate of delicious ham. Unfortunately I couldn’t have the lovely Rueda white wine owing to a stubborn headache. From Rueda we drove straight to León and to Pili and Andres’ house where we to have lunch. We were greeted outside by Andrés and Mario and their adorable dalmation puppy, Trebol and it was love at first sight. Trebol has brought much joy to the family and seems to have united them even more. They are all in love with it and treat it as a new born baby and as a new member of the family. I don’t think they can envisage life without Trebol and I can quite understand.
Me and Trebol, love at first sight.
The afternoon was spent at Eladio’s other sister, Adela’s house where his Mother lives. However before we left (it’s only across the road), I helped Andrés create a Facebook profile which I hope he will be using regularly. One by one we all arrived at Adela’s to be together but also to celebrate her son Roberto’s 38th birthday. Roberto is the oldest of the nieces and nephews and is fact about to be a Father. Here is a picture of Ana, his wife, on 31st December very much pregnant as she was actually due yesterday. We are waiting for news of the birth of their daughter Diana which will make the whole family very happy.
Ana, Roberto'w wife, due to deliver Diana any day now.
Alvaro, Alejandro’s son also came to visit with his “wife” Bea and their adorable one year old Liam who had us all, the women at least, enchanted as you can see in the photo. Bea is also pregnant and expecting a little girl in February so the family is really growing. Here, by the way, is a video I took to capture Liam's visit.
All the women in the family crowded round Liam the first great grand child
The afternoon ended and we all left to get ready for the dinner but before some of us went on a quick walk to work up an appetite and get rid of the lethargy created by sitting down all afternoon in a crowded atmosphere.

Dinner was to take place at Amancio, somewhere we have been many times over the years. The food is great but maybe the place itself could do with some renovation.
The outside of the Amancio restaurant in León where we had dinner on New Year's Eve, nothing special but the food is superb
This year we were only 19 people. Marta and Fernando, Suzy and Oli and Alvaro were missing and Roberto and Ana too, although they came for coffee afterwards. As usual I contributed to the celebration with lots of funny hats I had acquired at the Christmas market in the Plaza Mayor and with crackers as well as a raffle at the end of the dinner of all sorts of bits and bobs I had accumulated over the year, well in fact over 2 years as last year we were in India. This all seemed to be much appreciated as I was given a standing ovation at the end of the dinner.
The family at the New Year's Eve dinner this year.
Of course after dinner the younger generation went off for more celebrations and we “oldies” went back to Pili and Andres’ place where most of us sunk into the sofas and sat watching the stupid programmes on the TV that seem to saturate all stations at this time of year. We didn’t get to bed till past 3. Very kindly Pili and Andrés had lent us their bedroom so we should have got a good night’s sleep. In the end I woke up feeling like something the cat had brought in (and I had hardly drunk the night before I promise) and Eladio had symptoms of the beginning of a cold. We both spent most of the day feeling awful and the journey back was difficult for us both. I think the older you get the worse for wear you feel when you do not respect your normal routine.

We were very well hosted and Andrés took me out for a coffee to the superb cafeteria they have beneath their flat, Flecha and where we bought some cakes for my Father who always says that’s where the best cakes are made in Spain. Andrés also took me for a long walk along the river Bernesga near their house whilst Eladio watched the Vienna New Year Concert which, of course, my Father was also watching at home.

Pili put on a splendid lunch again and we were 13 round the table on New Year’s Day. Adela contributed with some lovely local fare called “botillo” which is known as “llosco” in Montrondo. We were all so full. I have been trying to do my “up and down” diet despite the Christmas period and it has proven tough. It will be much easier when all the eating is over.

It’s nice to be home again. Christmas is nearly over but not quite as Wednesday 6th January is Kings’ day and we will be having another special meal. We will be joined by José Antonio and Dolores making it even more special.

And as I come to the end of this first blog post of the year, I must send birthday greetings to our friend Mari Carmen whose birthday it is today. We will be celebrating with her and her husband Roberto on Tuesday at yet another dinner.
Meanwhile have a great week and a fantastic year 2010.

PS you can see the rest of the New Year's Eve photos in León here on Facebook.


Ana said...

We are looking forward to seeing you soon in NYC!!


Masha Lloyd said...

Thx!!!! We are too!