Sunday, August 08, 2010

Stuck at home, Suzy in Montrondo, curry in Bradford, Michelle Obama in Marbella and the week Olga came to stay.

Happy go lucky Suzy in Montrondo this week.

Hi again

It’s been 11 days since I fell and injured my ankle.  I was prescribed 10 days of complete immobility which I’m afraid I haven’t stuck to and tomorrow I have a doctor’s appointment to see how it’s faring.  I have been stuck at home for 11 days, apart from last week’s day trip to Montrondo and I am feeling rather fed up with the situation and extremely bored.   If my ankle is better we will probably go to Santa Pola for a few days and if it isn’t I will just have to stay put.  Keep your fingers crossed.

So how am I spending the time you probably wonder?  Thank God for internet, my mobile phones, newspapers, television and for Mary Higgins Clark.  I have read 3 of her easy to read who-dunnits this week.  That was after finishing the entertaining and interesting book called Notes from a Small Island by the sometimes funny travel writer Bill Bryson.  He had been recommended to me by Tim at the course in Barcelona.  The book tells of his trip around England after having lived there for 20 years to analyse just what he loves so much about the country.  The book promises to be funny and it is but only in parts.  In any case I loved it as he describes places I know so well. 

He visits Bradford where I lived in West Yorkshire, that dark, ugly, industrial town with an enormous percentage of Asians and he describes it like this:  “Bradford’s role in life is to make every place else in the world look better in comparison, and it does this very well.  I couldn’t have put it better myself.  Bradford’s saving grace is its curry house and here I totally agree with Bill Bryson.  I first tried curry at the Kashmir, or the Kash as we used to call it, in the early 70’s.  It is located next to the city morgue which we used to joke about.  At the time it was the only curry house in town.  There was no cutlery and you had to eat with chapatti bread and on offer there was korma, madras and vindaloo, the latter being the very strongest which my brother George would  order every time.  I remember we always needed a huge jug of water to accompany our wonderful but very hot meal.

The Kashmir curry house in Bradford which I used to frequent.

But I am transgressing.  Where was I?  Talking about how I have my spent my time with my foot up at home.  Ah and thank God for friends too.  I received a visit from dear  Elena on Tuesday.  Also Fátima has been a constant companion, coming to see me most afternoons and having dinner with us.  Today she is driving to Marbella for her annual holiday so I will miss her.

Fátima's visits cheered me up enormously this week.

Whilst I am stuck at home, Suzy stayed on in Montrondo and has been having the time of her life with her cousins Laura, Alicia, Paula and Sara and of course their friends.  They will have been turning night into day as always, will have enjoyed meals made by Pili, Adela and Yoli, will have walked to Murias and back most days, spent the siestas by the “Sagrado” (the sacred land by the church), will have gone to the bar in Senra in the evenings and had endless botellones (bottle parties) with JM and his crowd at the “salon” in the village.  Tonight Suzy will be back but not for long as on Thursday she will be flying off to Ibiza for a holiday with her school friends.  They will be staying at Erika’s summer house there.  Oh to be young again and fully mobile.

Suzy with her I love Montrondo t-shirt and Trébol walking to Murias
The week was brightened up too, first by a lovely get well card from Sandeep which arrived on Monday.  It was custom made and I just loved the words:  “get bem soon Masha” and picture of a bandaged foot.  The “bem” word comes from the Portuguese/Brazilian expression “tudo bem” (all ok) which Olivia has introduced us all to since she returned from Brazil.  Thanks Sandeep for cheering me up. 

Sandeep's original get well card very much appreciated.

 And then quite unexpectedly a big parcel arrived from abroad.  Eladio thought it was more Emma Bridgewater pottery but no I hadn’t ordered anything.  It was a parcel from dearest Sandeep and Sumit containing amazing chocolates which they must have ordered at this website.  They are delicious and certainly made my day. Thanks again boys.  You are the best.

The wonderful parcel of chocolates I received from our Indian friends Sandeep and Sumit, it was nearly worth injuring my ankle just to get these.  Thanks boys. They are delicious.
Meanwhile the US first lady, Michelle Obama, her daughter Sasha and some 40-60 friends were having a superb holiday in Marbella.  It’s supposed to be a private visit but has involved security of presidential level, a huge entourage, some 100 cars, 60 rooms at the palatial Hotel Villa Padierna in Benahavis (starting price here is over 300 euros a night) and of course huge expectation.  For Spain her visit has enhanced the image of Marbella which used to be jet setter’s paradise but had slumped because of so many financial scandals.  However in the US the visit has been much criticised because of its cost whilst most Americans are having to fasten their belts in the financial crisis.  The visit included shopping in Marbella where Michelle Obama bought 2 white dresses for herself and her daughter at a little boutique called Blanc de Nile.  They cost 84 euros which was paid by visa by a blonde lady in the group.  I thought that was an interesting piece of information.  I

The luxurious Villa Padierna near Marbella where Michelle Obama and her entourage stayed. Supposedly the most luxurious hotel in Spain.   No wonder her visit has been criticised.

The visit also included dinner at Restaurante Buenaventura in the old town of Marbella, a trip to Granada, including the ice cream parlour Los Italianos, the cathedral, a 7pm dinner at the Parador in Granada and of course the world famous Alhambra, followed, of course by a gypsy flamenco show.   I can only begin to imagine the publicity these places have gained thanks to the visit.

America's first lady shopping in Marbella.  Her visit has caused a lot of expectation and some criticism but it has also done a lot of good to Spanish tourism.

Instead of adapting to Spanish time tables of afternoon siestas and late dinners, the group have imposed American hours on the visit and have of course suffered from the heat with some of them fainting whilst visiting monuments at 3 in the afternoon which had to be opened specially for them.  I wonder why their advisors didn’t take such things into account?  45m2 of beach in Estepona had to be cordoned off for them to use privately, with everyone of course gawking at them; something virtually unheard of in Spain.  It is not easy for a first lady to go on holiday but if she wants to go to a beach, wouldn’t it much easier to go to one where less security is needed?  Yesterday they visited Ronda and today they will be having lunch with the King and Queen of Spain in Palma de Mallorca. 

And all that was happening whilst I was at home with my leg up.  On the upside this week, our new home help, Olga came to stay.  She started on Monday which was great, as she could cook and clean whilst I was immobile.  Olga who is from Argentina, is 35 years old and has lived in Spain for 3 years working as a domestic help.  She seems to be a good cook and has a very cheery disposition.  We may have found a jewel.  I hope so.   If we have, she may turn us into the lord and lady of the manor as suddenly we will be freed of all those daily domestic tasks which take up so much time.  We have been asking ourselves what we shall be doing instead and I don’t yet have the answer.  It’s a very strange feeling having someone else doing the cooking in your house and waiting to be called for a meal.  It’s even stranger getting up from the meal and not having to clear anything away.  It makes me feel slightly guilty. Eladio, on the other hand, says he could get used to it forever.  Only time will tell.  Meanwhile we are very happy to have Olga living with us. Norah is too as they have both hit it off very well indeed and that’s a very good sign. 

I am now at the end of this week’s blog post.  Oli is away too for the weekend with friends in Gandia on the Valencian coast which means that I am alone at home with just my 2 men.  I always prefer the girls to be here as they add so much life to the house.  Luckily they will both be back tonight.

On that note, I leave you for this week. Have a good one and keep your fingers crossed my ankle is better.

Cheers for now

No comments: