Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Oli is back from Almeria, a new deal for Greece, sweltering in Spain, visit of Isidro and Yoli, a TV interview, Elsa finally took the plunge, Suzy got her HCPC card, Alicia beginning her nursing career, Toño and Dolores back from Cuba and other stories.

Tuesday 21st July 2015

Working for the BBC would have been my dream job
Hi everyone,

Sorry I am late with my blog but in all honesty I haven’t had a moment to myself for more than 10 days. Finally I have found the time.

I left off on Sunday 19th July.  That day Olivia came back from Almeria where she had been on holiday with her boyfriend Miguel for a week.  From all accounts they had a great time and above all Oli relaxed and recharged her batteries and is now back at work.  Here is a photo of the two of them enjoying a cocktail in Cabo de Gata.
Olivia with Miguel in Cabo de Gata on the last day of their holidays
On Sunday no one was surprised to hear that Djokovic beat Federer in the Men’s final at Wimbledon.  I had lost interest in the championship since the Spaniard Garbiñe Muguruza lost to Serena Williams in the women’s final.  I was far more interested that day to watch Real’s goalkeeper, Iker Casillas, announce alone in the Bernabeu Stadium press room that he was leaving for Oporto.  His announcement was sad and a farce as he was not leaving of his own will and everyone knew so.  He is a legend in the team and one of the best captains they have ever had.  I just hope he will still form part of the Spanish national team, “La Roja” and that it is not a real goodbye Iker.  What a gentleman, what a player, what a pity Real Madrid let him go.
A sad goodbye for Real Madrid's captain and goalkeeper, Iker Casillas
Monday was a big day for Greece.  The previous Sunday the Greeks voted no against the conditions of a very strict deal.  The week in between was difficult for Greece and for Europe.  Would they leave the Euro? Would they leave the EU?  What would be the implications for the rest of the countries?   But finally Alexis Tsipras reached a new deal on Monday after 17 hours of negotiations.  The irony of it all is that the conditions of the new deal were actually worse than the previous ones and now the new young Prime Minister will have to call new elections. The good thing is that Greece will remain in the Euro and in the EU.  However their population will now have to suffer an austerity that will bring many of them to their knees.  In my honest opinion I think they should have been allowed to be forgiven part of their debt as they are never going to be able to return it all.  It’s a bit like Monopoly really, the bank always wins.

Alexis Tsipras returning to Athens to explain the new deal to the Greek Parliament
Most of the week I worked from home, bearing the heat the best we could.  We are at the end of our second long heatwave and just as the temperatures are decreasing by just a few degrees we are now on the verge of an even more intense heatwave. This is the hottest summer I remember in all the years I have lived in Spain.

I had good news and bad this week.  On the one hand my friend from school, Maureen, who has been battling with cancer at the Bradford Royal Infirmary where she has been staying for months, is now clear of the dreaded illness.  She has been a heroine and instead of moaning or getting depressed which I am sure most people would do in her situation, she has made real that super English expression, “chin up” or more likely made use of the very British “stiff upper lip”.  She went out to celebrate with her friends from school, “girls” I was at school with too.  I would have loved to have been there too. I am delighted for you Maureen. 
So happy my brave school friend Maureen (front right) is now cancer free
The sad news is that my dear friend Adele who went to Nottingham University with me, lost her mother this week.  I knew her Mother and Father from our student days and know what a lovely family Adele has.  My heart goes out to Adele and to her family.  Their only consolation was that they were all with her whilst she died and that she did so in peace surrounded by her family.  Darling Adele, I’m so sorry for you and know what you have gone through and what you are feeling.  I only have to think about my Mother to say so.  R.I.P. Mrs. Brierley.

Friday was a big day for me.  It was the day Yoigo’s mother company, TeliaSonera, announced the quarterly financial results.  We had made an ambitious PR plan to present our results locally, with statements, q+as, interviews etc which bore its fruits.   I was happy later to see headlines such as this.
Yoigo announced good financial results last Friday
That day I had an interview on the television.  I sort of mentioned to the producer that I would have loved to work for the BBC and the dear man took a screen shot of me on camera.  Later he edited the photo for it to look as if I was presenting the BBC news.  It’s the photo I have chosen for this week’s cover photo.  Certainly it would have been my dream job but I never knew that when I was young and now of course it is too late.  In a way my daughter Olivia is doing what I should have done. 

Saturday was a great day.  It was the day Suzy received her HCPC card which means she is an officially registered UK dietitian.  We can’t wait to celebrate with her in person.
Suzy's HCPC card
That day Isidro, Eladio’s youngest brother, came with his wife Yoli and their youngest daughter Alicia for lunch.  They also came to take my mother-in-law home.  In the summer she stays 2 weeks with each of her offspring. I am sure she was happy to leave sweltering Madrid and go back to cooler León.  Here is a photo of Eladio with Yoli, Isidro and Ernestina, my mother-in-law, on her last day with us.
From left to right, Yoli, Ernestina, Eladio and Isidro
That night Oli and Alicia went out with some of Olivia’s friends and here is a great picture of them both enjoying what looks like a mojito.
Alicia and Olivia out on the tiles on Saturday night
Alicia is my goddaughter. She graduated very recently as a nurse and is now working at a big Madrid Hospital, “Ramón y Cajal” in the intensive care unit.  I asked her for a photo and this is what I got.  I’m extremely proud of her and was happy to hear her tell me that this is her dream job and that she would like to work there forever.  Not many people can say that about their jobs. Alicia, who is her in her early 20’s knows now what she wants to do in life, unlike me who only knew later on in life when it was too late.  However I’m not complaining.  I have always enjoyed my job.  It’s just that I never chose it.
Alicia, my goddaughter, the nurse
Yoli brought me some lovely summer shoes; flat white lace sneakers.  This is what they look like.  Thanks Yoli.
My new sneakers
It was on Sunday that our golden Labrador Elsa finally took the plunge and swam in our pool.   Labradors are known for loving water.  However Elsa has always been reluctant to go into water for some reason. Thanks to Juli, the girls’ friend and my “adopted” son, she finally took to the water and swam in our pool.  She loves playing fetch and Juli with a bit of coaching was able to get her to jump in, fetch the ball and come back up the pool steps with the ball in her mouth.  And she did it over and over again.  Here she is with Oli in the pool. It’s lovely to watch her.
Elsa in the pool with Olivia
Here, by the way is a lovely photo of Eladio, Olivia, Alicia, Juli and myself last Sunday which I nearly forgot to include.  I just wish Suzy had been with us too.
From left to right; Juli, Alicia, me, Oli and Eladio
On Monday after our early morning walk, Olivia and I tried to coach Pippa into the pool too.   She was able to swim but kept swimming back to us.  Pippa prefers to sit with me in the water on the steps.  Here is the photo I was able to capture on my camera of little Pippa swimming.
Pippa swimming

Yesterday Monday I spent the whole morning catching up with my work.  I had a lot of media calls too which I had to attend.  But by lunchtime I was semi free.  Toño, Eladio’s next brother down, and his wife Dolores, were coming for lunch and to pick up their mongrel dog Nuba.  It had been staying with us whilst they were away in Cuba visiting their son Miguel who now lives there semi permanently.  He is setting up a music school for tourists to learn Cuban Music.  It is called Havana Music School and looks very promising.  It was their first visit to Cuba and apart from being with their son Miguel, José Antonio wanted to visit the descendents of my in-law’s family who emigrated there from Montrondo in the 1920s and they travelled all over the country to do so.  It must have been quite an adventure.
José Antonio, Dolores and Miguel in Cuba
We spent part of the afternoon in the shade by the pool listening to the tales they had to tell of their experience in Cuba.  We will be seeing them again when we return to Montrondo on 1st August for this year’s family get together.  Unfortunately our house won’t quite be ready  for the occasion.  Tomorrow we are going to Ikea hopefully to sign the order for the kitchen to be installed as well as everything else we have ordered there. 

And that folks is all there is to tell this week.  Sorry it’s a short blog post but really there is not much else to tell. Wishing you all the best, cheers till next time,


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