Sunday, May 30, 2010

The last week in May, storms, news from abroad and more.

The rainbow after the storm.  View from  our bedroom on Friday.
Hi again

Today is the last Sunday in May and summer is in the offing. It is hot again, although we have had thunder storms this week bringing a few showers. I never like rain but must admit I love rainbows like the one I saw from the terrace in our bedroom on Friday and which illustrates this post.

The volcano called Pacaya which erupted in Guatemala this week.
It has been raining too in Guatemala. In fact a powerful tropical storm called Agatha struck the country and added to disruption caused by the erupting volcano called Pacaya.

News from countries we have been to always strike me more than those I haven’t and as Oli was in Guatemala this time last year I was more interested than normal. She will be on her travels again tomorrow. She is going to Brazil for 12 days with her friend Cristina to be with Laura who has been travelling around Latin America for the last 3 months. I keep telling her how dangerous Brazil is and of course it is so I hope they have a safe journey and time there. They will be joined by Gerardo, Laura’s brother so at least there will be one man with them which should make them slightly safer. They are flying to Rio de Janeiro and then bussing it to Salvador de Bahía. How exciting. Brazil is the country I had planned to go to for a year when I first met Eladio and because of him I never got to go. In a way, Oli is following in my footsteps.

The news that made most impact on me this week, apart from the Spanish Parliament’s vote to pass the new bill for austere cut backs to help decrease Spain’s enormous foreign debt, came from abroad, from my old home town Bradford in West Yorkshire England. It brought back terrible memories too of the infamous Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe, who lived very near our home. He was convicted of killing 13 women in 1981 over a span of quite a few years. I very well remember when he killed his last victim, a student of French at Leeds University where my Mother taught Russian. I was living in the area then and studying in Leeds and on the train back to Bradford each day I would look at the men around me wondering if one of them was the Ripper. I remember one headline warning women not to trust their fathers, brothers or husbands. Those were very frightening times.

The grim Magistrates' Court in Bradford where Stephen Griffiths was on trial this week accused of the murder of 3 prostitutes in a  case very similar to the Yorkshire Ripper of the 70's and early 80's.
This week has brought terror back to Bradford in a similar case to the Ripper’s. This time an evil man called Stephen Griffiths has been accused of murdering 3 prostitutes. When asked what his name was in the Bradford Magistrates’ Court, he answered: “The Crossbow Cannibal”, in reference to the method of killing he used. I don’t want to put his picture here to sully my blog but have decided to include a picture of the very grim Bradford Courts which also bring back not too good memories of that rather dark and depressing city. My father has fond memories of Bradford,  his 40 years in Yorkshire and his teaching years at Bradford Boys Grammar School. My fond memories are not of the city but rather the outskirts: the Yorkshire Dales, the Moors and pretty towns like Ilkley and Harrogate.

The week, for me has been quite uneventful.  Eladio was invigilating University exams all week from 08.30 to 20.30h and the house felt empty without him. At least I had Suzy to keep me company to have a cup of tea with in the afternoons. I went into the office 3 times for an interview, a very technical meeting about frequencies, a coaching session and on Wednesday for a Yoigo Morning. We hold the latter every 2 or 3 months and I organise them. They are get-togethers with the staff to update people on how the business is dong. Newcomers get the chance to introduce themselves and this time we had a guest speaker from Facebook Spain. My hidden agenda was to get more people to use the Facebook employee page and it worked. The Yoigo Morning this week coincided with the opening of our recently reformed cafeteria which I imagine will be the envy of anyone visiting who does not work at Yoigo. It has been doubled in size and includes a caterer from outside, Viena Capellanes, a fully equipped kitchen, vending machines and a leisure area including hammocks for resting, a dartboard, billiards, a wii games console and even table football. There is a chill out area too, so all very Silicon Valley and more than anybody could hope for in a company cafeteria.
The wii games console in the newly renovated cafeteria at work this week which is not unlike one you may see in Silicon Valley
Soon it was Friday and the weekend. Eladio and I had a very enjoyable dinner at Tony Romas in Majadahonda, one of our favourites we hadn’t been to for a long time. Norah is very happy we went as we brought back all the rib bones which are sitting nicely in a Tupperware in the fridge to give her as a treat occasionally.

On Saturday the girls left early for Yecla. They were going to Merce’s wedding and returning the same day. Suzy had slept just one hour so thankfully Oli drove. They were back last night very late with tales of a nice provincial wedding. They had, though, missed the church part. I think this was the first wedding of someone in their circle. It will be probably be the first of many.

Without them the house was empty. Of note on our walk yesterday we came across huge bags of rubble someone had dumped on the path. This is so typical in Spain. When I was a child there was a campaign called “Keep Britain Tidy” so it is impossible for me to throw anything in the street and I hate the way people do here. They tend to keep the interiors impeccable, i.e. their houses, because they belong to them. But no one seems to care about the exteriors because they don’t belong to anyone in particular. In England it's actually often the other way round!  I must admit I prefer cleanliness inside and outside. Eladio took a photo and later sent an email to the Town Council. I wonder whether it will do any good.

The rubbish on our walk which Eladio reported in an email to the town council.  Will they remove it?  I wonder.
Yesterday, Saturday, was the Eurovision Song Contest for which I lost any interest many years ago. It is just not the same as when I was a kid. Now there are far too many countries and the voting seems completely biased and has no credibility. Countries vote for the countries around them. Spain of course never does very well and surprisingly the UK came last this year. I used to at least like the voting part in English and French but even that has lost its magic. So I had to wait till this morning to find out that Germany had won. The singer was 19 year old Lena Meyer-Landrut and the song is called Satellite. She’s very pretty and the song nothing special. I really prefer the songs of the 70’s and 80’s to the ones contesting today.  But maybe that's a sign of my age.

Lena Meyer-Landrut, the 19 year old girl from Germany who won this year's Eurovision Song Contest with the song "Satellite".
Today has been a typical Sunday at home which I am enjoying after the last 2 weekends away in Valencia and Montrondo. Over 3 hours of it was spent making a very British Sunday roast lamb with all the trimmings including mint sauce which everybody appreciated, especially my Father. But before that I had spent an hour after breakfast preparing a picnic basket for Oli who was going to have it with her new beau somewhere for lunch today. As I prepared it I realised I was contributing to or nurturing young love, a very laudable thing for a Mother to do.

And now when I publish this I look forward to finishing my book by the pool with a cup of tea and who knows, I may even take my first dip of the year. Tonight Roberto and Mari Carmen will be coming to join us on our walk after which we will probably be going out to dinner somewhere near; all in all a lovely Sunday.

And that, my friends, is the end of this week’s blog post. I hope you all have a great week.

Cheers Masha

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