Sunday, March 09, 2014

This year’s Oscars, wonderful pre spring weather, another new dress from Zara, Oli and Miguel went skiing, suddenly to hospital and other stories.

Olivia skiing this week at La Bola del Mundo near Madrid

Hi again,

Believe it or not I am writing this week’s post from the Montepríncipe Hospital in Pozuelo.  I will get to the reason why later, but first let me tell you about the week in chronological order as usual.

Last Sunday I should have included some good news.  The Spanish journalist, Marc Marginedas, from El Periódico de Cataluña, was freed after having been kidnapped for six months by a fraction group of Al Qaeda in Syria.  He was absurdly accused of spying for the west. His release gives us hope that his fellow Spanish journalists Javier Espinosa and Ricardo Garcia Vilanova from El Mundo will be freed soon too. I certainly hope so.

Sunday night of course was the Oscars night, but I only got the news on Monday morning.  I was quite pleased that 12 Years a Slave, the film we saw recently, got best picture.  It got 3 awards and Gravity got 7.  I don’t think I will be seeing Gravity.  But the main news that came out of the Oscars was about a selfie (that word again) photo.  The presenter, Ellen DeGeneres, took a Samsung sponsored selfie with other famous stars and it has turned out to be the most tweeted photo ever with over 2.5m retweets! Interestingly enough the presenter tweeted other photos but from her iPhone – I’m sure Samsung weren’t happy about that.  One of the photos was blurry and Nokia took advantage by retweeting it because of its blurriness.  It’s funny how much protagonism the mobile phone manufacturers got from the Oscars. It’s also funny to think that the word “selfie” didn’t even exist at last year’s edition.
The now famous Oscar Selfie
Monday was quiet, my fasting day of course.  I had breakfast with Oli as I did most days of the week.  I also got in two walks that day as I did every day of this week. The walks on Monday and Tuesday were extremely windy I must say.  My fitbit is giving me great statistics from 2 hours of walking every day.

On Tuesday morning I decided to go to the local doctor as I have been having coughing fits at night for two weeks now which give me terrible nights.  Basically I needed him to prescribe the only medicine which keeps the cough away for a few hours and allows you some sleep – it’s called Codeisán in Spanish.  I suppose it’s pure codeine and quite strong but it is effective.  I was happy to hear from my South American doctor that the cold had not reached my lungs.

Tuesday was Shrove Tuesday, “Mardi Gras”, “Martes de Carnaval” in Spanish. In English it is paganly known as “Pancake day” too.  I toyed with the idea of making pancakes that night, the English custom, but decided not to in the end because they are so filling and fattening.  In the end I made a delicious healthy salad for our dinner.  Fátima was very impressed and asked me to take a picture.  Here is my salad made of tuna fish, onion, tomatoes, asparagus and boiled eggs:
The salad I made instead of pancakes
On Tuesday I had a good long talk on the phone with Suzy who is very happy with her job.  Now she just needs to find some decent accommodation.  I wish her luck in this respect.  I can’t wait to see her again and hope she will be able to come for her 30th birthday at the end of April.

On Wednesday this week’s glorious pre spring weather began.  It has made our walks much more pleasant.  The dogs enjoy it too and rather than being cooped up in the kitchen they have been looking for the sunny spots outside.  I caught them both sleeping in these photos below.
The dogs enjoying this week's sunshine
That afternoon I had a meeting in Madrid with a telecommunications association with my counterparts from the other Spanish operators.  We are forming some sort of work group to respond to the press on topics we all agree on; mostly regulatory issues.  I arrived a little early and went to sit in a park nearby and suddenly realized I was sitting in the park we used to take the girls to when they were tiny and we lived in the middle of Madrid.  I don’t know its name only that it’s on Maldonado Street and off Principe de Vergara.  We spent many afternoons with the girls there when they were babies and toddlers so as I sat there on Wednesday afternoon, it brought back many happy memories. It was actually quite a dusty and dirty little park but the only one near where we lived.
The dusty and dirty little park we used to take the girls to when they were little.
I was keen to get home before dark so as to go on my second walk.  These days in Madrid it gets dark at about 8pm, so I managed it thank goodness.

Thursday was another beautiful day.  I recorded 20c on my iPhone as I went on one of my walks that day

But 50km from Madrid in the Guadarrama mountain range there was still snow.  Miguel had come to stay with Olivia this week and she took two days off to be with him and on Thursday they went skiing.  They had a great time.  It seems funny that I was on my walk with short sleeves whilst they were just a short distance away skiing; what a contrast.

That morning I had an appointment with the chiropodist and also had to go to the office for a couple of errands.  But I needed (notice the word needed) to go to Zara, in between, as I had to return a dress which didn’t suit me and time was running out to do so – nearly a month was up since I had bought it.  Of course once there I took a look around and spied a wonderful deep blue dress to go with the shoes I had bought from Clarks.  Then I spied a matching bag and voilà I had acquired a superb matching outfit.  These are the three items which I entitled Spring Blue:
My "Spring Blue" outfit from Clarks and Zara.
Friday was another beautiful warm day.  It was also Eladio’s Mother’s birthday.  Ernestina was 92 and Eladio and José Antonio sent her a bunch of flowers on Interflora.  My sisters-in-law said she was very touched. Here she is looking a lot less than 92 with the flowers.
Eladio's Mother Ernestina was 92 this week and Eladio and José Antonio sent her these flowers
That night Eladio and I had dinner at La Vaca Argentina.  Thanks to Oli’s boyfriend Miguel we found out we could enjoy a discount of 40% booking via The Fork (El Tenedor).  It is one of our favourite restaurants and we wished we had known before.  But now we do and will be using The Fork to book a table there often in the future.  A superb dinner for two came to just 37 euros.

Saturday, yesterday, was International Women’s Day.  These sort of celebratory days don’t usually interest me much but I can sympathise with part of yesterday’s celebration as women are still not equal to men in many ways.  But I got on with life as usual.  We washed the dogs, or rather Eladio did (no problem with equality in our house, hahaha), Eladio sold one of the girls’ cars as we no longer need 4 cars as Susana is living in England permanently now. Also yesterday I discovered a great mobile phone photography app, instant collage, thanks to Suzy who sent us a photo collage of the family.  I immediately installed it and created this photo below of us. Nice eh?
Playing with a great photo collage app on my phone.

And today is Sunday and time to tell you why I am writing from the hospital.  Well at breakfast Eladio suddenly felt faint and started to sweat.  His face went white and I immediately decided to drive him to the hospital.  He felt sick on the way and we had to stop.  We came to the Montepríncipe private hospital in Pozuelo which was very quiet and we didn’t have to wait in A&E.  The doctors were very thorough and did all sorts of tests: electrocardiogram, blood pressure and blood test.  They couldn’t find anything and suspect his problem is gastric but insisted he be admitted under observation.  It is strange to be with him here as he usually so strong and has absolutely no history of illness.  In fact it is the first time ever that he has been admitted to hospital.

So here we are sitting in a private room which feels like a hotel.  He is feeling a lot better now and I am sure it won’t be anything and we will be out tomorrow.  Olivia and Miguel came immediately to see him and brought a lovely plant and newspapers and magazines.  Later I went home to get our pcs and other necessary stuff and then I had lunch with Oli and Miguel in Majadahonda.  Oli very sweetly invited us.  Thank you darling.

That my friends is the end of the tales of this week.  It has not ended as we would have wanted but we are not worried and are quite enjoying the peace together in this pleasant hospital room.
I will leave you now as I will leave Eladio too for an hour or so as I go for yet another walk.

Cheers till next time

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