|Today's family barbecue, the first of the season.|
This week’s blog post promises to be short as my last entry was just a few days ago and not much has happened since then.
Whilst I am writing this Sunday afternoon, there is a classic tennis match going on. Rafa Nadal is playing Roger Federer in the final of the French Open commonly known as Roland Garros. If Nadal wins it will be his 6th win of this Gran Slam, equaling tennis legend Bjorn Borg’s record but more importantly he will retain his number one status. There were fears that Djokovic, the Serbian number two, would win both the title and take the number one spot, but the championship went differently. In the semi-finals Nadal beat Andrew Murray of Scotland and Federer beat Djokovic. Nadal has not had a great season, but now seems to be back in form. Right now he is leading by 2 sets but I cannot watch as I find the whole thing far too tense. Maybe when I end this post we will know. Right now all I can say is “vamos Rafa”.
|My botched hair cut|
Thursday set the scene for a girly week. I had lunch with Suzy after which we went for a quick shopping spree to Centro Oeste. As Oli was away I seemed to spend quite a lot of time with Suzy this week especially as she works from home. As I told you last week we both have set up office by the swimming pool. On Friday afternoon we went to have a coffee nearby and as we were doing so a lady came past with some beautiful red roses. We thought she was selling them but in fact she was giving them out free to promote her newly opened flower shop. Here is Suzy with the rose she got, looking very summery.
|I spent a lot of time with Suzy this week. One day she will leave and I know I have to enjoy her now|
|Oli in London this week with her ex Erasmus friends|
The highlight of the girly week was lunch with the Nokia girls: Jill, Zenaida, Ana, Susana, Juana and Fátima. I nearly always arrange these encounters and on Friday we went to La Vaca Argentina in Las Rozas for our reunion lunch. Only Jill, Zenaida and Fátima still work at Nokia (Nokia Siemens Networks) but of course, much of our conversation centered on the company’s fate at the moment. Last week Nokia for the first time in years issued a profit warning. They are being squeezed at the top end by the likes of Apple and Google (Android) and at the bottom by the cheap Chinese brands. When we all worked there at the beginning of the last decade Nokia was the jewel in the crown of mobile phones. However Nokia’s downfall should not surprise me at all as I have seen similar movements in the sector happen before. In any case it still has an impact on me because of my emotional involvement. It was at times a great company to work for. Sadly that is no longer true and many people I knew no longer work there.
|The Nokia girls reunion lunch at La Vaca Argentina on Friday|
|The cottage I have booked for our holiday in Yorkshire this Summer|
I chose the cottage because I liked it, the price was right but also because of the location. I wanted it to be near all sorts of places we must visit such as Ilkley, Harrogate, Keighley (to see Kath and Phil), Haworth, Bradford (my old home town) York, the Dales themselves of course and maybe even the Lake District. I am so looking forward to this new trip down memory lane, to my childhood haunts but also to get recharged with some Englishness and some “Yorkshireness” too. It’s funny how I used to hate the area when I lived there as a teenager but now I sort of need to go back. I am still hoping to organize a school reunion dinner and really must get down to writing to people this week. Can’t wait to see them all again.
I have now reached the broken plates part of this post and I’m sure you are wondering what I am talking about. I refer to my lovely EmmaBridgewater collection of breakfast crockery. I have been collecting it now for a few years and buy it online here and it is not cheap I can tell you. It’s something I want to leave to the girls one day but I had been noticing lately that a lot of it was broken or chipped. The culprit is Olga our live in maid who doesn’t want to own up to it but I must say I was very cross when I counted at least 11 affected pieces and then noticed certain pieces missing. I had no alternative but to order replacements only to find that some of the patterns have been discontinued. This last week the parcel arrived including the new pattern, “Blue Hen”.
|Some of the Emma Bridgewater crockery I have had to order to replace the broken and chipped pieces|
I have been a bit naughty and inspired by the new arrival, promptly made another order including another new pattern to add to my collection. This one is called Hellebore and you can see it here. You see my collection includes the same pieces (small mug, big mug, plate, small jug and cereal bowl) but in different patterns (flowers, polka dot, speckled hen, pink hearts, starry skies, auricular). Hopefully it will arrive this coming week. Olga has been warned well in advance not to break any more of it but I am not very hopeful as she is terribly clumsy.
|Eladio and I by the barbecue just before lunch today|
There are a few more photos here of the occasion, as you know I love to graphically record the highlights of my life and today was certainly one of those.
We had salad with our barbecue but not cucumber. Actually we are not great cucumber eaters but as you know its consumption is very much affected in Europe because of the E-colli bacteria found in it which has lead to the death of about 20 people mostly in Germany. At first the German health authorities pointed at produce imported from Spain and also included lettuce and tomatoes, thus damaging Spanish exports tremendously. They have now gone back on their word but the damage is done. It is still not sure how the bacteria got into the produce but the centre of the outbreak seems to be in Hamburg. Meanwhile the Russian government has banned all import of vegetables from Europe and the USA threatens to do the same. So the story continues. One thing we have all been advised to do is to wash our hands more frequently. I think I am not in danger as I forever wash my hands and do not really eat much cucumber. Let’s see how this cucumber crisis evolves. At the moment it is not looking good.
I have just reached the end of this week’s post and have also heard right now that Rafa did win the French Open against his arch rival Roger Federer. For the record he won the match 7-5 7-6 5-7 6-1. This is his 6th win which equals Bjorn Borg’s record. It is also his 10th grand slam but most important of all he is still number one in the world and probably Spain’s best ambassador for sport. Well done Rafa!
|Rafa Nadal who has just won the French Open for the 6th time, probably Spain's best ambassador for sport|
Cheers for now