Sunday, July 12, 2015

The record heatwave continues, Oli and Miguel on holiday in Almeria, farewell Nokia mobile phones, Muguruza reached the Wimbledon final, Gloria is 40, friends for tea, goodbye Dr. Zhivago and other stories.

Sunday 12th July 2015

With Gloria. She turned 40 this week and is as lovely as ever.

Good morning everyone.  It’s another Sunday and “blog day” to quote my Father and my friend Jackie.  It’s incredibly hot as it has been for weeks now and it is quite suffocating.  But more about that later.  Let me start where I left off which was on Wednesday 8th July.

That day Suzy continued to have pains in her stomach, more precisely in the pelvic region.  She had been suffering from the pain off and on when I was with her but it got worse when I left. I persuaded her to go an A&E at a hospital so off she went to Guys who then sent her to St. Thomas’.  Funnily enough my Mother’s sister, Dara, was a nurse there before the war but I have never been there.  They found that her blood pressure was very low, gave her pain killers and then referred her to her GP.  He took more tests and thought it may well be appendicitis.  Thankfully the pains seem to have receded for the moment so hopefully it was just a storm in a teacup and nothing serious.

On Wednesday I worked from home quietly.  I was very busy though as I had to call all the main journalists and read out a statement about our quitting negotiations with Orange for their network assets after they had bought Jazztel, a fixed line operator.  We had showed a lot of interest in the assets but they turned out to be mainly adsl with only 5% fiber which in the long run would not allow us to make competitive convergent offers as sooner or later adsl will be an obsolete technology. 

I had time that day of course for my early morning walk and for once during the week I did the cooking.  I showed Salud, our home-help, how to make meat loaf, one of my specialities.  Just as we came home from the walk my Father had fallen in the bathroom as he tried to get into his wheelchair.  Salud was a marvel, lifting him up from the floor all by herself and thank God he wasn’t hurt in any way.  No damage done.  I always fear a fall and worry he may break his other hip.  We shall have to help him more in the bathroom from now on.  He took it very lightly, laughing and praising Salud for her efforts.  I’m not sure I could have lifted him up from the floor by myself. 

It was that day that I wore the little flowery dress I had bought at Pull and Bear in Oxford Street with Suzy.  It’s sort of funny to buy clothes from a Spanish shop abroad (Pull and Bear belongs to Zara) but when I saw it I knew it was for me.  It was on sale too and only cost 7.99 pounds!
The flowery Pull and Bear dress
One of the reasons for wearing it is that it is cool and perfect for a hot day. As I said at the beginning of this post the  heatwave continues and there have been record temperatures for so long now I can’t remember when it started.  Most of the country is on alert for wild fires of which there have been many.  Just look at the map and you will be amazed at the heat.  Some parts of Spain reached 45ºc, such as Zaragoza.  Here in Madrid it has been between 39 and 42ºc which at times is unbearable.
The heatwave in Spain
Meanwhile Miguel and Oli continued their holiday in Almeria.  We spoke once this week and Olivia told me it was unbearably hot there too. 
Oli relaxing on holiday in Almeria this week
Almeria is perhaps the hottest province in Spain. I remember going on holiday there with the girls when they were toddlers and my parents and I swore I would never return in the summer.  Thankfully they are right by the beach and spend a lot of time in the water. Here they are kissing whilst snorkeling.
Oli and Miguel kissing under the water in Almeria
I got another photo from them later where they are cooling off with two delicious mojitos in Cabo de Gata.  Olivia will be returning tonight.  Sadly I won’t see her until next week as I am off on my travels too later today.
Oli and Miguel drinking mojitos in Cabo de Gata
I was pleased to hear they were having a good time, relaxing and feeling very happy.  On the topic of happiness, it was this week that I read the results of a survey taken in Spain.  It revealed that Spaniards are a happy nation despite the crisis and that 8 out of 10 said they are really happy.  I am not officially Spanish of course but I can tell you that I too am happy living in sunny Spain; a great nation to build a home.
8 out of 10 Spaniards say they are really happy - despite the crisis.
Whilst the Spaniards are happy, I can only imagine the Finns on Wednesday were very unhappy with the news that Microsoft published that day. The American software giant had bought the Finnish mobile phone division where I used to work.  It seems, according to the announcement from the company’s chief executive that the deal is to be a sort of write off – unimaginable – and that 7.800 jobs from the phone business are to be axed and many of them in Finland.  My heart goes out to the people who will lose their jobs and to Finland which has lost part of the jewels in its crown.  Thankfully the company Nokia continues to exist, the part that makes and sells network infrastructure.  However Nokia will never be the same again. Commenting on the subject, my dear Finnish friend Anne who lives in Salo where the company has been most hit, posted a photo of her collection of Nokia Mobile Phones.  I remember launching many of them; some of them together with my dear friend Anne.  Those were the days.  It is sad that they are over.
Anne's collection of old Nokia phones.  I wish I had kept mine.
Thursday was a hard day for me.  Fasting in the heat never helps of course.  I had to work on the press coverage of the previous day’s PR activities and send out a report to Stockholm.  That took up most of the morning. 

Suzy had another red letter day that morning when she received the final confirmation of her registry with the HCPC.  I’m so happy for her.  Well done darling.  You are now an official UK dietitian.  It took a year of paperwork but it was worth the effort.
Suzy's letter of final confirmation
Most of England this week will have been watching Wimbledon.  If you live in England life revolves around top lawn tennis for two weeks of the year. After that the English don’t watch much tennis.  With Nadal out in the early stages Spaniards had lost interest in the championship.  We all knew that Murray, Djokovic or Federer would get through to the men’s final.  Now we know it will be Djokovic and Federer playing this afternoon. My hopes are for Roger Federer.  As to the women’s tennis well Spain didn’t have a good woman player did it, not since Aranxa Sánchez Vicario who reached the final or Conchita Martínez who won the tournament in 1994.  So there was a big surprise when we heard that a tall 21 year old girl with a funny name, “Garbiñe”and surname “Muguruza” who is really Venezuelan but has a Spanish father and Spanish nationality, had got through to the final.  I mean she was number 20 in the world.  True she had beaten Serena Williams in last year’s French Open but one could hardly hope she would even get through to the quarter finals on a surface which is not hers, grass.  Even Garbi, as she calls herself, couldn’t believe getting through to the semi-finals and beating Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland. This is the photo she posted on her Twitter after the match when she knew she had reached the finals of Wimbledon, the greatest tennis championship in the world.  How could that be?

Garbiñe Muguruza ecstatic at getting through to the finals at Wimbledon
She played Serena Williams yesterday in the final.  My heart and most of the spectators wanted the valiant newcomer to win but it was not to be; even though she put up an extraordinary fight.  The outcome was 6-4 6-4.  Garbi is young and Serena is in her middle 30’s. Maybe one day, Garbiñe Muguruza will take her place and will become a household name too.  I, for one, hope so. 

Friday was a long day.  These days I tend to wake up at 6 in the morning and that is what happened on Friday.  If I get up early I can pack an awful lot into a day and that’s just what I did that day.  I had meetings all day in the office as well as in town in the afternoon. One of the meetings was with my events agency QuintaEsencia which is headed up by 3 sisters, Cristina, Bea and Gloria.  They came along with Yoigo, Gloria’s dog, our company mascot and boyfriend to be of Pippa as they are identical in breed and colour.  It was Gloria’s 40th birthday that day and from these pages I want to say happy birthday again and to thank her not only for how well she works but for her friendship.  She is a lovely outgoing and beautiful person, both inside and out.  This week’s front page photo is of Gloria and I together at the Yoigo summer party recently.  She’s lovely isn’t she?

It was on Friday afternoon that the world heard the famous Egyptian actor, Omar Sharif, had died of a heart attack aged 83.  I was shocked.  For me he was Doctor Zhivago, perhaps my favourite film of all times, one I have seen countless times and never tire of.  I read later that he himself didn’t like his acting in it because of his big watery eyes.  Well I, like many other women around the world, do not agree. He was drop dead gorgeous to quote Lady Diana.  It seems he is equally famous for his role in Lawrence of Arabia which I actually haven’t seen. I shall have to remedy that soon.  It was sad to think that he has died.  Goodbye Dr. Zhivago, goodbye Omar Sharif. 
Omar Sharif in Dr Zhivago 
In the early evening I had friends for tea.  My dear Nokia girlfriends, Juana, Marta and Fátima came to have tea with me.  I think it was the only personal engagement of the week.  Thanks girls for coming. One of our topics was of course the Microsoft announcement but we also had a great time gossiping about other things.  Hope you liked the British tea and Betty’s biscuits.

Saturday was just as hot as Friday, Thursday and Wednesday. Whilst poor Garbiñe Muguruza was fighting Serena Williams on Wimbledon’s centre court, we spent the afternoon by the pool and in the water.  At times little Pippa joined me.  She doesn’t want to swim but is happy if I hold her and sit on the steps so long as her head is not in the water.  Here is a photo of the two of us yesterday.
With Pippa in the pool yesterday. She will only go in if I hold her and sit with her  head above the water!
Eladio’s mother is still with us.  I suspect she would love to go into the pool too but as she hasn’t been in a swimming pool for years, if she ever has been in one, she contents herself by sitting by it with her feet in the water.  Here she is enjoying the moment.
Eladio's mother with her feet in the water this week
And today is Sunday.  After lunch with Eladio, my Father and my mother-in-law I will be off on my travels and won’t be back until Tuesday. 

Wishing you all a great week, cheers till next time


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