Sunday, June 29, 2014

Suzy at Oxo, Olivia our royal correspondent again, a silly fall, to the hospital, a Motorola reunion dinner, to Montrondo for the weekend and other stories.

On the early morning walk to Murias and back on Saturday 

Hello again another Sunday, the last one in June.

Here I am writing from Montrondo where it’s quite cold so I am inside, in José Antonio and Dolores’ kitchen.

I left off last Sunday and just as I had published my post, Suzy sent me a photo of her with some of her team at Oxo 2 where she is the catering manager.  She will be leaving soon and hopefully by July or August will have a job as a dietitian with the NHS.  Her team has told her they don’t want to lose her and that their jobs will just not be the same without her. I’m sure she makes a loveable boss.
Suzy and her team at Oxo 2 in London
Monday was my fasting day which I always find easy to do after an excess of food at the weekend.  That afternoon we were delighted to watch Olivia on television reporting on the new Queen of Spain, Doña Letizia’s first solo engagement. She was to be opening an important El Greco inspired exhibition at the Prado museum.  So Olivia continued in her role as royal correspondent which had started when she reported on the ex-King’s abdication the day her new programme, Aquí en Madrid, started at the beginning of June.
Olivia, the royal correspondent, reporting on the new Queen of Spain's first solo engagement
On Tuesday I had another silly fall which only served to make me realize just what a clumsy sort of person I am.  It happened when Eladio and I were returning from our walk coming down the street towards the turnoff to our house.  I always walk behind Eladio with Elsa pulling at her leash behind him and Norah.  We go at such a pace I cannot see the ground so didn’t see the stone on the pavement when I tumbled over it.  I landed on both my knees with an awful bump and ended up lying on the pavement not sure I could get up again.  Fortunately I had only scraped my left knee and bumped the right knee, the one I had already bruised when I fell in Toledo.  Once again my wonderful husband came to my rescue.  I was very cross to see that I had torn my favourite M+S jeans at the knee.  I know torn jeans are in fashion but perhaps not for someone of my age!  Thankfully I hadn’t done much harm and was able to go on my second walk later that evening.

Again that evening we watched Olivia on the television.  This time she was reporting on a suspicious envelope containing a dangerous looking white substance which had been sent to the Madrid Standard and Poor’s office.  Her mission was to explain how the specialist bomb disposal police and firemen put into motion the process of investigating the contents which can be highly dangerous.
Olivia reporting on Tuesday on the chemical alert
On the work front that day and every day of this week I have been busy with final preparations of the Yoigo summer party which takes place next week.  I have a budget for 225 people but it looks like the event is so popular the turnout could be anything from 260 to 290! 

Wednesday was not a good day.  We were worried about my Father who had had traces of blood in his urine for quite a while now and which didn’t seem to be disappearing despite the bout of antibiotics his GP had prescribed.  He was nearly finishing the dose so we rang Dra. Martín who recommended he go the hospital to A&E and she ordered an ambulance for him.  I hate his routine to be interrupted and I know he hates hospitals, probably more than I do, so this was going to be a huge upheaval in his life.  I went in the ambulance with him and Eladio followed behind in the car.  We were taken to the brand new King Juan Carlos hospital in Móstoles, the biggest suburb in Madrid, where we ended up spending the whole day.  He was well attended to but the process was very slow; a whole day just to do a blood and urine test.  At 4.30 pm we were told he would be discharged but then the ambulance didn’t come until 7pm.  Meanwhile because of a typical misunderstanding between Eladio and myself, he and my Father left me behind at the hospital whilst they went home in the ambulance.  You can’t imagine how cross I was.  You probably want to know what the diagnosis was and here we don’t really know as the tests didn’t reveal much and as there are no other symptoms, we were told that more specialist blood tests would have to be done after which my Father will have to see a urologist.  I found that rather frustrating.  I mean, why couldn’t an urologist have seen him at the A&E ward?  On the bright side it meant my Father wouldn’t be admitted to hospital which would have been awful for him and for us.   So we were all happy to be home again.

I came home just on time to watch Olivia continuing in her role as “royal correspondent”.  If on Monday she had reported on the new Queen of Spain’s first solo appointment, on Wednesday evening she was at the Royal Palace to report on the first salute from the new King to the Armed Forces of which he is now head.

Thursday was a busy day, more frantic preparations of the big summer party coming up.  Even so there was time for two walks and even the weekly shopping.  I only managed to watch the end of Olivia’s report that day on the Spanish national ham cutting competition! 

She also did a report that day that I didn’t see on some unlawful housing case in Aldea del Fresno, a small town on the outskirts of Madrid.  Something funny happened when she was there.  Three little girls approached her and recognized her, telling her they watched her every day on television and asked her for an autograph.  This is the first sign of her being recognized in the street!  They were so pleased to meet her they did some lovely drawings for her too.  This is a photo of them with Olivia and the drawings. Olivia, who loves children, was tickled pink.  I was too.
Olivia with her little fans and the drawings they did for her
The highlight of the week was a reunion dinner that night with many of my ex Motorola colleagues at the Clérico restaurant in Las Rozas.  I went with my great friend Fátima.  We had a wonderful time, as we always do at the ex-Motorola events.  I started working for the American telecoms company in 1990 and was the fourth employee to join.  We were such a close team and have some great memories, many of which we spoke about at length that night over a great dinner.  I couldn’t believe it was 12.30 and we were still chatting and catching up on our lives, when, a bit like Cinderella, Fátima and I left the party, but not before taking a group photo. 
The group photo of the ex-Motorola reunion dinner
My thanks go to Vicente for organizing the dinner.  It was great to see Pepe, José María, Alex, Nuria, Inés (the only surviving Motorola employee), Alberto, Fernando, Ignacio, Carlos, Ruben, Chisco, Gonzalo, Juan Luis and all the others.  Today nearly all of still work in the sector and are representatives of both the big operators and manufacturers.  We are all competitors or customers of one another, but there is a strong bond that remains and when the going gets tough we know we can rely on each other for help of any kind.

Friday was a rush.  I had to get my work up to scratch before leaving for Montrondo in the afternoon with Eladio, José Antonio and Dolores.  I was up early as usual despite having slept only five and a half hours.  I wanted to get a walk in before leaving but that just wasn’t possible.  By lunch everything was done including packing our suitcases and the food to be taken – there is no shop in Montrondo or the surroundings so you have to take everything.  José Antonio, Dolores and their mongrel dog Nuba arrived to join us for lunch; a wonderful home-made pizza made by Fátima.  We left at 4.30 and were in Montrondo a bit later than we had hoped for because of a flock of sheep that held us up on the way in Canales near La Magdalena.  As we were arriving, our house builders, Benito and Recaredo (what a name!), passed us in the car and then rang to say they would turn round and return to Montrondo to show us how the building was progressing otherwise we wouldn’t see them during our stay.  The reason for going to Montrondo of course was to see how the building was going but also to pick up my mother-in-law, Ernestina, who will be staying with us for the first fortnight of July.
Building progressing on our house in Montrondo as seen this weekend.
Benito and Recaredo had started on our house on 20th May and in just one month and one week have made a lot of progress.  Right now they have started building the extra floor which you can see in the photo above.  However, it will take many months for the house to be finished.  Right now it still looks like a shell as they have taken down all the inside walls and will be removing the floors which means they will have to build everything inside to make the four bedrooms, four bathrooms, lounge and kitchen.  Eladio is quite excited with the progress but to me the house still looks like a ruin. Not until the walls and floor and built will I begin to imagine how it will look when it is finished.

I made dinner for everyone that night, after which Dolores and I went on walk at dusk to Murias and back on the old road.  It was past 10 in the evening but there was still some light.

On Saturday morning we were up early and Dolores and I walked again to Murias and back before breakfast as I would too this morning.  Everything was green and lush and the only noise came from the birds singing.  I asked Dolores to take a photo of me for this week’s blog and it is the photo I have chosen to illustrate this post.
Montrondo, so green at this time of year
Soon other members of the family came from León to join us: Pili and Andrés and their dalmation, Trébol, my mother-in-law, Isidro and Yoli and finally Alejandro and his Paraguayan wife Carolina, who having just past her test drove for the first time to Montrondo.  Their arrival was accompanied by a downpour and we thought the day had been ruined but luckily the sun came out in the afternoon although it was always in between clouds and the air was chilly.

We were eleven around the table for lunch.  All of appetites seem to increase when we have meals together in Montrondo.  It must be because of the country air and mountains.  So we polished off my chicken curry, Pili’s beef stew and pineapple dessert as well as Yoli’s superb apfelstrudel. 

Our only topic of conversation seemed to be about building our houses; i.e. Pili and Andrés’ and ours, theirs being far more advanced than ours as they started their building in the autumn.  I got a bit tired of talk about building so went off for a second walk to Murias and back to work up an appetite again for dinner.  Pili and Andrés stayed the night whilst the others returned to León.  So for dinner last night we were just 7. 

And today is Sunday, our last day here.  Thankfully the sun is shining. The morning has been spent quite lazily and the only work was done by Eladio and José Antonio who cut the grass on the path to the house with the very old scythes their Father used to use. We shall be staying for lunch and at about 4 o’clock we will hit the road, once again, back home to Madrid.  The car will be full as we shall be five plus all our suitcases.
José Antonio and Eladio cutting the grass with scythes this morning.
Next week promises to be even busier than last week. I have meetings at the office and of course my big day will be Thursday, the day of the Yoigo summer party but more about that next week when, finally, it will all be over.

That’s all from me this week.  Cheers till next time,

All the best


No comments: