|Eladio by the Christmas tree just as I had finished decorating this week.|
I last wrote on Tuesday of this week, later than usual owing to our trip to London. But here I am again, on time, on Sunday. It is a beautiful sunny day and life is good. Eladio has just washed the dogs and we are now waiting for the technician to come and install optical fiber, I wonder if it will only take one session but I am so looking forward to high speed internet.
On Tuesday, over breakfast with Olivia, we read that 2 Spanish journalists, Javier Espinosa from El Mundo and freelance photographer Ricardo Garcia Vilanova, had been kidnapped in Syria back in September by a group related to Al Qaeda. The paper was only revealing the news this week so as not to hinder negotiations with their captors.
|The two Spanish journalists kidnapped by Al Qaeda in Syria. Javier Espinosa left, Ricardo Garcia right.|
But of course the main news that day was about Nelson Mandela’s funeral, the biggest state funeral probably since Winston Churchill's in 1965. Three pieces of news emanating from the event, possibly the biggest send off in history, had little to do with the man himself. The first shock was a photo of Barack Obama shaking hands with his arch enemy, Raúl Castro of Cuba. It must be said that at the funeral Mandela united all sorts of friends and enemies. There has been much criticism of the gesture but the Cuban leader shook off any importance by saying it was just a salute by civilized people. That was possibly the photo that most illustrated news of the funeral the next day in the papers.
|The unplanned handshake between Barack Obama and Raúl Castro at Mandela's funeral|
|The selfie between David Cameron, Barack Obama and the now more famous Danish premiere Helle Thorning-Schmidt which had Michelle Obama looking away in disgust.|
|The beautiful Danish premiere Helle Thorning.Schmidt who became more famous after the "selfie" at Mandela's funeral|
On Tuesday I had lunch with my friends Julio and Fátima. It was to be our annual Christmas lunch out. At Christmas the three of us have three annual engagements, lunch out, dinner at our home and dinner at Julio’s. So at El Buey (our favourite) in Boadilla on Tuesday we agreed on the dates for the other two engagements. As we are such close friends we also told each other what we wanted for Christmas!
In the afternoon, as on most afternoons, Eladio and I went for our daily walk with the dogs. Here is a lovely photo I took of Eladio with Elsa (our labrador) and Norah (our beagle).
|Eladio with our dogs Norah left and Elsa right on our walk on Tuesday|
For the records Wednesday was 11/12/13, a very attractive consecutive date I thought. It was also the day Motorola announced its return to the Spanish market after having left it one year ago. I was pleased with the news but rather annoyed that many of my ex colleagues had been fired a year ago for nothing. Will some of them be hired again? I certainly hope so.
On Wednesday, Christmas came to our home. Strictly speaking you should not decorate your home until 12 days before Christmas. At home we used to put up the tree just a few days before, so I resist the temptation until I really begin to feel the Christmas spirit, which this year came about during our trip to London. What really goes against the grain with me is decorating your home before the beginning of December or Christmas produce in the shops in October!
It took quite a while to decorate, most of which I did myself. Of course Eladio brought up the decorations in the big box and set up the tree and the lights, but he left the rest to me. Whilst decorating, I put on Christmas carols to enhance the festive spirit and I lamented that neither girl was there to help me. However I do know they appreciate the effort once it is all done. Here is a panoramic photo of the lounge with some of the decorations. You can see the rest of the photos here.
|Christmas came to our home this week|
|Pope Francis, this year's Time Magazine person of the year.|
On Thursday I was busy with two important engagements that day that saw me very early in the morning at the hair dressers. By midday I was at the first in the centre of Madrid at Club 567 in the elegant Velázquez Street. I was meeting with my fellow jurors of the Premios Elocuent – prizes for the best personal communicators in Spain in over 12 categories. We were to meet to cast our final votes. The ceremony will take place in January at the Faculty of Communication at the Complutense University. The project is quite ambitious. There are two types of prizes – the pop ones voted by the public at large and the top ones voted by the jury. So far over 8000 people have voted.
Meanwhile Suzy was working hard at the venue where she is the catering manager for Create Food and Party Design, at the iconic Oxo Tower. This time of the year is the busiest with corporate Christmas events taking place there every day of this month. Finally she sent us a photo of her working. She pointed out she was equipped with a walkie-talkie to be in touch with security, the chefs and other personnel. Doesn’t she look great?
|Suzy busy at Oxo|
Friday of course was Friday 13th. The only unlucky thing that happened that day was that it rained for the first time in a long time. Thus our walk was thwarted that afternoon. In the evening I went to do the food shopping with Fátima but was in a terrible rush to get back home on time to leave for the cinema with Eladio. I had bought tickets for us to see the film about Lady Diana, “Diana”, played by the not as beautiful Naomi Watts and directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel. The criticism was negative but I am sucker for stories of the Princess of the British hearts and am a great admirer of that wonderful, lonely, beautiful and sad woman. The film or biopic as it is called focuses on the last two years of her life after divorcing Prince Charles and is mainly about the impossible relationship with the Pakistani heart and lung surgeon Hasnat Khan, who, apparently, has dismissed the film as a betrayal of their relationship. Be that as it may, both Eladio and I thoroughly enjoyed it and I shed a tear or two at the end, as I did when she died on 31st August 1997 so tragically in that Parisian tunnel followed by the paparazzi that never left her in peace in life or in death.
|I loved the film Diana we went to see on Friday night.|
Thankfully today I feel better. It will be a quiet day, no girls, Fátima has just left for her weekly break and as I write the Movistar technician is installing our new super-fast internet connection (optical fiber).
Olivia has been away all weekend with her group of friends commonly known as “la manada” (the herd) and I haven’t heard much from her. They have gone to stay at a guest house all for themselves called Dalt La Figuera in a village called La Higuera a few kilometres away from Segovia. We look forward to seeing her again in the early evening. I had hoped for some photos but none have been sent or posted, so here is a photo of the guest house as an alternative to record their weekend away.
|The guest house (Dalt La Figuera) Olivia and her friends are staying at this weekend in Segovia.|
Meanwhile I wish you all a great week ahead,
Cheers till next time,