Sunday, February 07, 2016

RIP Terry Wogan, “Men still run the world; I’m not sure it’s going so well”, a radio interview, Pedro Sánchez said yes to the King, lunch at El Bohio of Spanish Masterchef fame and other tales of the week.

Saturday 6th February 2016
Lunch with my team from QuintaEsencia was the  highlight of the week
 Hi again everyone,

It’s been a quiet week for me at least and there’s not much to tell so this post will probably be shorter than usual.

I left off last Sunday which was the day Terry Wogan who was aged 78 died (1938-2016). If you are from the UK you will know who he is as he was a media national treasure.  He was actually Irish and began his career in TV and radio in the 60’s but worked for the BBC for almost all his career.  I well remember him when I watched TV or listened to the radio as a teenager growing up in Yorkshire.  To refresh my memory, I looked up some of his interviews on You Tube.  I was most interested to see how he dealt with Margaret Thatcher, aka The Iron Lady and laughed out loud at an interview he did with George Best who was drunk at the time.  Unlike with the recent death of David Bowie, my Father certainly remembered Terry Wogan and added that The Daily Telegraph had dedicated 4 pages to his obituary, as opposed to 8 pages for David Bowie!  He had a lovely Irish brogue when he spoke and certainly the Irish “gift of the gab”. He will be sorely missed. RIP Terry Wogan.
Terry Wogan, such a familiar face.  RIP
Talking about TV, “my programme”, i.e. the Undercover Boss series I featured in, was broadcast again that night.  It must have been the 6th time and once again I received all sorts of messages, some from people who merely wanted to say how much they loved the show and some from people in need.  I have tried to help anyone who has asked for help and have answered each and every one of them.  I’m still a bit shocked at the reaction to the programme.
Me in the Undercover Boss programme which was on again last Sunday night
Monday was my fasting day and as usual I did my two hour long walks in the morning.  The first one is always early in the morning.  I try to escape so that Pippa doesn’t see me but she nearly always does and that makes me feel guilty.  It’s not that I don’t want to take her but she gets a walk later in the day with the other dogs and I think 2 long walks would be a little too strenuous for her short legs and little body.  Here she is looking at me from the top of the stairs.  I can’t resist her. 
Irresistible little Pippa, our eternal puppy.

I read a lot of news during the week. I get most of my information from Twitter, from Facebook and from online media: The Times, The Daily Telegraph, El País, El Confidencial.  Many articles catch my attention, but perhaps the one that made me stop and think most this week was an article about Gender Parity.  I am not a feminist but I am not stupid either and know that women are still not equal to men in this world. It hasn’t often bothered me but it hasn’t been easy either to reach the position I am in today, especially in a country like Spain.  So when my friend Sandra posted an article entitled “Gender parity quotes from Davos” I was interested to see what could possibly be said in favour of women in that male dominated elite forum.  The best ones came from women and they were women at the top like Christine Lagarde, the head of the IMF.  She said:  “We’ve heard a lot about the Internet of Things – I think we need an Internet of Women.” I thought that was really touché.  Then Justine Greening, the UK Development Secretary put it even more clearly by saying:  “No country can truly develop if half its population is left behind.” My favourite, however, comes from the COO of Facebook the rather famous Sheryl Sandberg.  She couldn’t have put it better: “Men still run the world; I’m not sure it’s going so well”. She made me seriously think that if women did rule the world it would be a much better place. Is that feminism or realism? The latter I think.  Sorry men if you do not agree.
So well said.  It made me think.
I’m very good at keeping up with the news, but not so good at keeping up with what Suzy is doing in London.  I even did that via Facebook this week (what a terrible Mother I am at times!).  Yes I found out from there that my eldest daughter Suzy had dinner that night with Lorena, one of her close friends from St. Michael’s school when the girls were small and who lived in our neighbourhood.  I well remember Lorena and her younger brother Alejandro playing with the girls and coming to their birthday parties.  We became quite close with their parents too.  She was a beautiful girl and still is judging by the photo she posted having dinner with Suzy that night.  I would have loved to listen to their conversation.  I think Lorena was in London on a work trip.  It seems she travels a lot with her job.  I love the picture of the two girls together, or should I say women as of course they are now grown women but I can still picture them together in my head when they were 5 or 6.  What lovely women they have grown up to be.
Suzy and Lorena having dinner in London this week
Tuesday saw me in Madrid in the morning for a radio interview with my boss. It was to be with a new radio station, Radio Internacional but with a veteran journalist.  It was very curious that their offices are in Calle Orense 68 which is where I started my first ever job in Spain with the arms exporter Defex.  It felt funny going back there nearly 35 years later.  The interview went well.  I didn’t expect to speak but I was offered the microphone at one stage and was quite happy to talk live about my job and role as a communications director.  Talking in public has become very easy for me ever since I did the filming for the Undercover Boss programme. That was the best “speaking in public” training I could have ever have had.
The live radio interview on Tuesday this week
The small talk after the interview was all about Spanish politics, or more to the point about what government we will have as right now it is in a vacuum after the stalemate general election results on 20th December last. It was that night that Pedro Sánchez, the leader of the PSOE(socialist) party said yes to the King to try to form a government after Mariano Rajoy, head of the right wing PP party and acting PM, said no because of lack of support.  Pedro Sánchez may have committed political suicide because he lacks support too.  It’s obvious he said yes because he desperately wants the position otherwise it makes no mathematical sense. There will either be a left wing or right wing coalition or new elections and not one of these 3 options is the most possible outcome of the political situation today.  I really don’t know what is going to happen and neither does the rest of Spain and the situation is very frustrating.  To tell the truth I am sick and tired of the news of the negotiations of the various parties and am losing interest fast.
The King with Pedro Sánchez delighted to be nominated to try and form a government.
There is not much to tell you about Wednesday.  I would rather it hadn’t happened as I had a headache most of the day.

Thursday was a better day, perhaps the highlight of the week although the headache lingered.  I was up at 06.24h, far too early but it gave me more hours in the day and I was able to pack more in.  I had a lunch date that day with the team from my events agency, QuintaEsencia. On the way there I stopped at El Corte Inglés to get my birthday presents from Eladio and my Father.  You probably think that’s a bit odd, having to buy my own birthday presents but I can tell you that after all these years, it’s the only guarantee I get something I really want haha.  So I splashed out on a pearl necklace and matching earrings and a bottle of Oh Lola perfume by Marc Jacobs, one of my favourites.
Oh Lola by Marc Jacobs, one of my favourite perfumes
I had also bought myself something online from M+S, a lovely jumper.  When I showed the photo to Olivia, her answer was “stripes again? I wonder why I am so fond of stripes.  She liked it though, so no doubt we will be sharing it hahaha.
My birthday present to me from M+S online
Lunch was not just at any restaurant but at El Bohío in Illescas Toledo, some 45 minutes from Madrid which has become famous in Spain as it is owned and run by the more famous and popular jurist of the Spanish edition of Masterchef, Pepe Rodríguez.  I had long wanted to try it out and my team did too so we booked a table for Thursday.  From the outside it doesn’t look at all alluring or anything special.
El Bohio from the outside. It doesn't look anything special but it was wonderful
However inside is another story.  The restaurant has humble origins and was owned by Pepe’s family.  He has respected their traditional style of cooking but offers haut cuisine, or should I say “alta cocina” as these days Spanish gastronomy has surpassed the French much to their chagrin.  The photo illustrating this week’s post is of the team and I at the table we were given in the “bodega” where all the wonderful wine they serve is kept.  The restaurant offers 3 menus at very reasonable prices for the high standard of the cooking.  We went for the winter menu and were impressed from the start.  I have compiled a collage of the food we ate which you can see below.
The spectacular lunch at El Bohio
I particularly liked the “bola de cocido”, literally “ball of stew”, not to mention the desserts.  I would love to take Eladio there one day but I think he doesn’t appreciate such creative cooking and prefers a standard 2 or 3 course meal rather than many plates of small delicacies.  Maybe Keith and Lorraine would like to go when they next come …. If not I know Olivia and Miguel would love to go. 

It was a mistake to drink El Bohio’s delicious wine with the dinner as the lingering headache only got worse that evening and night.  In fact it has only really gone away today. 

Friday was the weekly shopping day.  Thankfully these days Eladio comes with me.  It’s quite a major chore as there are 5/6 of us living in this house, not to mention the 3 dogs and 1 cat.  So off we went with my meticulous lists to purchase what the household would need until our return from Brussels next Sunday.  I came back to do some cooking; the filling for a batch of pirushki (little Russian meat pies) to freeze and potato salad which we would eat at the weekend.

Being Friday night we went out to dinner. Ginos seemed so simple and plain compared to El Bohio but Eladio and I were happy enough to eat there. It’s cozy, near home and the food is always good enough, but of course a far cry from the restaurant I went to on Thursday.

Yesterday Saturday, I made myself stay in bed until 7.15.  I packed a lot into the morning.  After my first walk I filled the pirushki and froze them.  Then I made lamb casserole for lunch which is always a favourite.  This is what it looked like just before it was served.
Saturday's lamb casserole

When the lunch was ready, Eladio and I went to order my birthday cake from Alveran, a lovely little cake shop in Boadilla.  We also had a coffee together.  I actually also had a delicious fruit pie (naughty naughty).  Later I would work some of it off on my second walk of the day, this time with Eladio and the dogs. Oli and Miguel preferred to go running and did nearly 10km in the parkland just outside Boadilla. 
Miguel and Oli on their run yesterday in Boadilla
The rest of Saturday was quiet.  Eladio and I binge watched more of Homeland after lunch until nearly 6 o’clock when it was time to give my Father his afternoon cup of tea.  Pippa joined us as you can see in the photo below.
Eladio settling down to binge watch Homeland yesterday after lunch with Pippa at his feet
We hardly ever go out on a Saturday night, preferring to stay in for dinner and watch TV afterwards.  Last night we had my pirushki with potato salad!
My homemade potato salad and pirushki
We finished watching Season 3 of Homeland and of course were devastated with the outcome, although I knew what was coming.  Netflix worked erratically on the TV so we ended up watching it on my iPad Pro for the first time.  Season 4 is not available yet, so our next series will be The Honourable Woman.  I have seen it too but don’t mind watching it again and I know Eladio will love it.  And this morning I pre-ordered a dvd of the new BBC series of War and Peace. Can’t wait to watch that.
I can't wait to see the new BBC series of War and Peace.
And today is Sunday and it’s Carnival.  Facebook wants to know whether I will be celebrating – how creepy can you get?  Well, no I won’t as it’s just not my thing.  Instead I will go for my walks, have lunch with the family and generally spend a quiet Sunday.

Next week will be fun.  Monday is my birthday (an awful day for a birthday to fall on) and I will be the grand old age of 59.  Still in the 50’s thank goodness.  Next year when I turn 60 I shall have a big party and I am even thinking of taking a trip with Eladio to the Florida Keys. Now that will be something to look forward to.  On Thursday we will be off to Brussels for a long weekend with my best friends from Nottingham University, Sandra and Adele and their partners, Jeffer and Bernard. We will be a big mix of nationalities; British, Italian, Hungarian, Spanish and French.  Our common language is English spattered with some French and Spanish.  The weekend promises to be great.  But of course you will hear all about our trip there next week.

Meanwhile I shall sign off now, publish this and get on with my quiet sunny Sunday with the family.

I wish you all a great week ahead,

Cheers till next time


No comments: