Sunday, January 25, 2015

Home and grounded, setting up my office in bed, visitors and lovely presents, a special meeting at home, watching lots of TV series, Bradford City make football history, cheated by a false Michael Kors website, Suzy and Oli in a makeup session and other stories

In my new "office" in bed - here with the lovely basket of fruit from Teresa and Tony
Hi everyone,

It’s Sunday and the time to write my blog again.  This time last Sunday we were on that fatal walk in the mountains in Montrondo, the walk where I broke my ankle and which has caused me to be grounded at home for at least 2 or 3 months as you will have read in my last post.

I left off on Wednesday this week.  I was very much cheered up that afternoon with the arrival of a spectacular bunch of yellow roses from my team at Ketchum, our PR Agency.  I don’t know how to thank Carlos, Isabel, Mario and Ludi, except that to say they are a wonderful team.  This is the photo of me with the flowers.  I don’t how they knew but roses are my favourite flowers and yellow my favourite colour for roses. 

Then later that night when Olivia returned with Miguel she brought with her a present from her colleagues from the programme she works for “Aquí en Madrid”.  It was a box of gourmet Belgian chocolates and a huge card signed by all of them.  I was very touched.  Here I am with their present.  Thanks guys, when I’m up on my feet again I will go to your newsroom to meet you all and to thank you personally.  I should add that I won’t be eating them until then.   That’s because in my position I have to be very careful with my diet as I am doing little exercise.  Thus I am steering clear of anything fattening and an on a high fiber diet as prescribed at the hospital.
Thank you Oli's colleagues from Aqui En Madrid!
You are probably wondering how I am getting on.  Well I am doing the best I can.  First of all I have decided this will not beat me.  My ex-boss Johan commented on Facebook “what does not kill you makes you stronger”.  I loved that piece of advice and as always the smartest boss I ever had is right.  So yes it’s been chin up and carry-on.  I move around on the top floor where our bedroom is using my computer chair with wheels so I can at least get to the bathroom on my own.  You may wonder why I am not using crutches.  The answer to that is that my arms are not strong enough and when I tried to use them a few years ago when I sprained my ankle, I fell flat on my face, hit my head and had to be taken to hospital.  I am quite happy with the chair with wheels and will stick to it rather than risk crutches. Gema, our new Moroccan home help, has been a marvel and is treating me as if she was my Mother.  Not only does she have to shower my Father now but she has to help to shower me too.  I don’t know what I would do without her. 
Gema, our Moroccan home help.  She is a jewel.
As for getting up and down the stairs that is more difficult but I manage to do so using my backside and the exercise is great.  I can’t sit down on a chair for very long as the blood rushes down my leg and the pain sets in so mostly I am in bed with my leg in a horizontal position.  As to the pain, well it comes and goes.  On Monday I shall be going to the hospital to have the cast and bandage off for them to see to the scar after the operation which at the moment itches a lot.  Then on 4th February I will be having an X-ray and seeing the orthopedic surgeon who I suppose will be telling me how well the bone (fibula) is heeling.
My way of tackling the stairs at home!
On Thursday I was cheered up again by a phone call from my ex-secretary Monica from our Nokia days.  It was great to talk to her.  She also recommended all sorts of TV series to watch and I am taking her advice.  I was also cheered up that day by the arrival of a beautiful basket of fruit, flowers and biscuits from Tony and Teresa, the directors of Ketchum.  They come from a company called “Naranjas de la China” which I highly recommend.  The photo illustrating this week’s post is of me in bed with the hamper and my pc next to me which shows you what my new “office” in bed looks like. 
The beautiful hamper from Naranjas de la China
So here I am surrounded by my pc, mobile phone, headphones and all sorts of cables (mukula in Finnish right Anne?). It’s amazing what you can do from bed.  I started catching up with my work on Wednesday as I have a lot on my plate.  My biggest project coming up is our participation at this year’s Mobile World Congress at the beginning of March in Barcelona.  I won’t be able to go so will be delegating a lot to my teams from Ketchum and QuintaEsencia for our main events there, a blogger trip, a big party and a press conference.  Thus I called a meeting at home on Thursday afternoon which they attended.  Here is a photo of us around our dining room table.
A meeting with a difference at home in our dining room on Thursday with my two teams.
It was certainly a very special meeting and lovely to see my team.  We went over the main project points and now it’s just a question of executing them one by one.  Gloria from QE (QuintaEsencia) my events agency brought little Yoigo – you know, the miniature chocolate coloured and smooth haired dachshund, who was the centre of attention.  Here is a photo of me with little “Yoigo”.  I can’t wait for Yoigo’s girlfriend “Pippa” to arrive at the end of February.
With little "Yoigo" at our meeting at home on Thursday
Gloria and Miguel surprised me too with a present, an amazing hamper of gourmet vegetables, oil, bread and ham.  They later told me they had bought the produce from a new gastro gourmet market called Platea in Colón in Madrid.  When I’m up on my feet I really want to visit it.
I was delighted with the vegetable hamper I received from QuintaEsencia
This week with so much time on my hands, mostly thanks to my non 2 hour walks a day, I was able to watch Olivia on the television.  That evening she reported on the snow from a village in the mountains of Madrid called Braojos.  Here is a photo of her doing that.
Olivia reporting on the snow in a place called Braojos in Madrid this week
She also did a report on what is called in Spain “la cuesta de enero” – the “January hill” which refers to people’s reduced spending power after Christmas.  Here she is in this report too.
Olivia doing on a report on people's spending power in January
That night the girls’ friend Copi who they have known since they were 3 and 4, came to have dinner. She mainly came to see Suzy who is here briefly.  I have to mention here that it wonderful to have both daughters at home while I’m grounded.  We had a great dinner mostly made up of QuintaEsencia’s veg and Tony and Teresa’s fruit.  We forgot to take a photo. However Copi spent the night and took some photos of Suzy which she made into this lovely collage I want to share with you.
It was great to have Suzy here this week (collage courtesy of Copi)
Whilst the girls spent time together after dinner, I of course went back to bed.  There is nowhere else for me to go these days haha. That night Eladio and I watched a BBC drama called Hawking.  I thought I had bought the new film about Stephen Hawking, The Theory of Everything, but alas I hadn’t as it isn’t out yet.  In any case the BBC version is good although it only focuses on his early days in Cambridge in 1963.  We nearly coincided with him there as I was born in Cambridge in 1957 but we left I think in 1960. 
Enjoyed this film with Eladio this week
I haven’t been following the news as avidly as usual since I had my accident but I was interested to read on Friday morning that the ailing 90 year old King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, the third biggest oil exporter in the world had died.  He will be succeeded by his half-brother Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, aged 79, also with frail health.  Within the royal family of this harsh Kingdom for women, there is a dispute about the succession.  I was ironically surprised to read that King Abdullah was actually considered a moderate reformist but still Saudi Arabia remains to be the only country in the world where women cannot drive and still need permission from a male member of the family to work, travel, study, marry or even receive surgery.  How awful it must be to be a woman living there.
The "so-called" moderate king of Saudi Arabia died this week
It was on Friday that Olivia did one of her most entertaining reports on TV so far.  It was about the pros and cons of the Father being present in the delivery room.  She had to interview a gynaecologist in a delivery room and to do so the whole team had to dress up in the standard sterilized outfits.  Here is a photo of the three of them; Oli with the cameraman and technician.  I asked her what the conclusion was and she said it went both ways. I remember when I gave birth saying I wouldn’t do so if Eladio wasn’t present.  Funnily enough in my first delivery with Susana things went wrong and they had to get her out using suction and Eladio had to leave the delivery room.  I think I was not even aware that he left.  Thankfully he was there the moment she was born and I will never forget the joint emotion, the same as when Olivia was born.  So, yes, I’m for Fathers being present in the delivery room.
Oli having fun doing a report on whether fathers should be present in the delivery room
On Friday with my work out of the way I started watching TV series on my PC, as suggested by Mónica.  The first was The Missing which I already had.  Mónica recommended South Riding which I ordered from Amazon.  She then told me to download them free from Seriecanal (site where you can download films in English with subtitles in Spanish). I set to and realized I could finally download films and series for free without help.  You have to install Bittorrent first.  Then you go to Seriecanal and select your film or series which takes you to a Bittorrent link.  And voila, you download it on your pc or on an external disk.  Sandra then recommended The Honourable Woman and wow did I get hooked on that after finishing The Missing.
The Honourable Woman, a great series set in the turmoil of the Israeli and Palestinian conflict. 
I asked for more recommendations from my friends on Facebook and of the ones they proposed I shall be downloading State of Affairs, 7.39, Last Tango in Halifax and Happy Valley.  Meanwhile Broadchurch series 2 is on its way from Amazon.

Whilst I finished watching the gripping series The Missing about an abducted little boy in France, Suzy and Eladio did the shopping.  That day my colleague Belén rang about work and it was nice to have a chat, as it was nice to speak to Maryvonne to congratulate her on her new promotion.  It will be great to no longer be the only woman on the Yoigo Management Team!

But I didn’t only have chats and messages with friends on Friday.  I also had a visit.  My darling niece and god daughter Alicia came to dinner.  She is just about to graduate as a nurse and I’m so proud of her.  Olivia and Miguel joined us but Suzy couldn’t as she had made plans.  Here is a selfie of all of us at dinner using one of the selfie sticks we got for Christmas.  Thanks Ali darling for coming.
It was lovely to have Alicia to dinner on Friday night.
Afterwards of course I went to bed.  Well where else would I go haha.  But Oli and Miguel went out and they joined Suzy and the rest of the “manada” as their group of friends is called.  I love their friendship.  Here is a photo of them all together on Friday night I think at Elena’s house.
The "manada" on Friday night
On Saturday I spent most of the day watching The Honourable Woman.  There is nothing much else to report apart from the fact that we all had lunch together.  Gema had gone for her two days off, so it was down to Eladio to make lunch, at least partially, as she had laid the table.  In the end I came down to help but felt pretty useless around the kitchen.  It was quite frustrating seeing my family trying to do my role and my not being able to help.

What was big news yesterday Saturday, at least in England, was that Bradford City, my home town football team, beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge 4-2 in the FA Cup.  That is real merit as the former are the underdogs to quote my friend Kathy.  Bradford are in the 1st league which in my days was the 3rd division and Chelsea are of course in the Premiership which used to be the 1st division.  Bradford City FC. now called the Bantams, have made football history in England and I am very proud of them.  Even if they don’t win the next round no one will ever forget this victory.  I’m sure one day it will be included in future questions of Trivial.  If that is so and I ever get the question I will get it right.
Happy to hear Bradford City FC made football history yesterday beating Chelsea 4-2 at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup
At night Eladio and I watched some of the last episodes of the gripping detective series The Fall set in Belfast – Series 2 -   It was nearly 1 in the morning when we finished the last but one and reluctantly we have left if for tonight.  It is a great series although a bit gruesome as it’s about a serial killer.  It very much reminds me of the times of the Bradford Ripper.  I was in my early 20s and living in Bradford when he was on the prowl and remember the relief when he was finally caught.  Not a nice story.  Neither is The Fall but it’s very well done.
About to finish series 2 tonight.  This series is very gripping if a little gruesome
And today is Sunday and as is natural in my condition now, I am writing from my bed.  This morning I did something very stupid.  Remember I got a lovely Michael Kors white handbag for Christmas? Well I wanted a black one for my birthday in February.  Olivia knew and she found a link where you could buy them at a discount.  Instead of costing approximately 200 euros each, they cost about 60 so there and then I bought 3.  I was a little suspicious of the page so before buying them I googled Michael Kors Spain and the same page came up.  This is it.  It looked genuine so I went ahead thinking the discount was because the bags were from 2013 and 2014 and not new in.  Everything went well except that I didn’t get an email confirmation.  Then I began to suspect so I rang my bank.  After much questioning they confirmed the payment was being made (not yet terminated) to a company called Beijing paper something or other.  I knew then and there that the page was fake and a fraud.  So I blocked my card.  Then I rang the police and they said to make a report.  So off Eladio went to do so in my name.  Tomorrow I will try to recover the money from the bank.  Later I rang a CIO (chief information officer) friend I know and he told me the Spanish police will only be able to intervene or close down the page if it is housed somewhere on the net in Spain or in a country Interpol has agreements with.  I doubt they have any agreements with China.  Some people have commented to me I will be sent 3 false handbags I don’t want but somehow I think they will keep my money and not send me anything.  All I can say is that I have learned a lesson in life.  I should have suspected that the page was false when the prices were so low.  Oh well, you get what you pay for or as they say in Spanish “nadie da duros por pesetas”. Apparently pages like these are rife, so maybe this is a warning to some of you too.  I hope so.  I will be much more careful next time.

On a much more pleasant note the girls are not here until this afternoon.  They went off earlier to have their hair and makeup done at the Beauty Salon Copi works at for its new website.  I would have loved to go along but have had to suffice with the photos they sent me.  Here they are together, smiling and looking beautiful, don’t you think?

My beautiful daughters Olis (left with black spots) and Suzy right today after their hair and makeup session today at the beauty salon Copi works at.  Photos are for the salon's website.
Well my friends, that’s all for this week.  This afternoon my best friend Fátima will be coming and I shall be watching more of The Honourable Woman.  As to next week well I imagine it will be much the same as this bar the presents.  But as Eladio keeps saying, my job right now is to heal my ankle/leg, so that’s what I’ll be doing.

Cheers till next week my friends


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