Friday, July 01, 2016

Ikea with Oli, Spanish elections; deadlock again, Spain loses to Italy and England humiliated by Iceland and out of the EU and the Euros, a goodbye dinner, Suzy in Nicaragua, Yoigo meets MásMóvil, Oli flies the nest, trying to fly to Paris and other stories.

Friday 1st July, 2016
Going out to dinner on Monday night.
Hi again,

I am writing during the week this time as at the weekend I will be in France and too busy to pay much attention to my blog. So here goes.

Saturday was a quiet day and hot of course as summer is here with a vengeance with temperatures reaching 35c!  It was the day after the Brexit outcome and I was and am still reeling from the news; gutted and gobsmacked.  I still can’t believe it.  There is a glimmer of light in the tunnel that it may never happen but everything is speculation at the moment and it is depressing. I spent the weekend thinking about acquiring Spanish nationality after making an initial enquiry on Friday afternoon. In the end I have decided to postpone the decision until there really is a need.  I hope not.

We spent the afternoon by the pool with Oli and Miguel. They joined us for dinner too; all this whilst Wales beat Northern Ireland after an own goal by the latter.  Wales, the only British team now left in the competition, has made football history by going through to the quarter finals in "The Euros" and I wish them luck.
Wales made it through to the Quarter Finals of the Euro Cup for the first time in history
Sunday was the Spanish elections after the deadlock caused by those held on 20th December last. I can’t vote.  I have no democratic election rights – so unfair – and could only accompany Oli and Eladio whilst they voted.  I suspect their votes went to different candidates but I’m not telling who.
Eladio and Oli voting last Sunday
The polls had predicted that the PP would win without a majority and that Podemos, the new radical party, would surpass the PSOE party.  They would be proved wrong about the latter but we would only know the outcome that night and get the final results on Monday morning.

Meanwhile I joined Oli and we went to the new Ikea in Alcorcón to buy all the things she needs to equip the kitchen in the new flat Miguel and her will be moving into next week.  It had been advertised as the biggest Ikea store in Europe.  Well yes it was huge but very difficult to find.  We made it finally thanks to the satnav on Oli’s phone, not the car one or mine. We took 2 trolleys; one for Oli and one for me. I am a sucker for Ikea kitchen stuff and their home decoration and accessories section even though I don’t really need anything.  I also filled up at the food store, mostly on alcohol free pear cider which we love.  Here we are Oli and I with our two trolleys just as we were leaving. 
Oli and I buying stuff for her new flat at Ikea's newest and biggest store in Europe in Alcorcón (Madrid)
I was especially pleased with a photo mural I got there; one that Paula, our interior decorator had included for Oli and Miguel’s lounge.  Here it is gracing one of our bedroom walls and yet to be filled with more photos.
The very original photo mural I bought at Ikea and which is now hanging on the wall in our bedroom
Lunch was pelmeni which Zinaida (Zena), our Ukranian weekend carer and home help, had bought for us at a Russian shop in Aluche.  Again we spent the afternoon by the pool.  Oli was joined by her friends from “La Manada”, Elena and Juli who I caught on camera enjoying the pool. Pippa, as usual, is in the picture hahaha.
By the pool on Sunday afternoon - Oli with her friends (Pippa always in the picture hahaha).
Dinner was outside watching the news on my iPad.  By 9 o’clock at night it was obvious the PP party had won but without a majority again.  They were the only party to gain seats.  The PSOE had their worst result in history and Podemos did not overtake them as predicted.  Finally, Ciudadanos, the new moderate party, lost seats too.  The turnout was also the lowest in history with about 61% voting.  It looked like it would be another deadlock but we would have to wait till Monday morning to get the full results.  Another deadlock is something no one wants because we had it before after the general elections on 20th December where no party got an overall majority and they were not able to come to an agreement on a coalition party. 

On Monday morning we had the full results and the PP had won again with more seats but far short of a majority.  This is the picture where you can see the seats won this time round compared to December.
The results of the second Spanish general elections last Sunday - another deadlock
To govern the PP needs 176 seats between their own members of parliament and those from other parties that support them.  There are only two possibilities if you do the mathematics which is very simple.  Either the PP and PSOE join forces which the latter refuses to do or the PP gets support from Ciudadanos and other minority moderate parties.  But we still have to wait and see.  The exit polls got it all wrong and the PSOE and Podemos are still wondering why their results were so disappointing. My theory is that the general voting population is sick of politics and fed up with the negotiations which got nowhere last time but that they also might have been influenced by the Brexit referendum and people went for the safe PP vote.  We now have to face weeks or months of negotiations until a new government can be formed.  The same as in the UK, there is not much faith in politicians here either. This photo sums it up quite well don’t you think?

In the afternoon on Monday though, everyone forgot about politics and looked for hope in the national sport, football.  Spain was playing Italy.  I have no faith in politicians and not much faith in the national team either; judging by the way they had played so far in the Euro Cup.  As soon as the Italians scored their first goal I gave up watching. They went on to win 2-0 knocking out the reigning champions of the competition.  So no one was happy on Monday.

There was a silver lining to the cloud though and it was at Wimbledon; although I’m not sure it was raining there.  Whilst Italy was thrashing Spain at football, Spain was playing against Italy at tennis in the first round.  Garbiñe Muguruza (admittedly half Spanish and half Venezuelan), the number 2 seed in the world, last year’s finalist and this year’s winner at Roland Garros, was playing the Italian Camila Giorgi. The silver lining was that Garbiñe beat her 6-2 5-7 6-4.  My joy didn't last long when she had a shock exit in the second round:-(
At least Spain beat Italy at tennis on Monday - Garbiñe Muguruza at Wimbledon when she played and won against Camila Giorgi 
Whilst both matches were being played I was getting ready to go out.  On Monday night I was to attend a sort of goodbye, celebratory dinner after the announced sale of Yoigo with the board and management team members.  We were to be 12 and there were a few jokes about it being The Last Supper. The photo illustrating this week's post is of me all dolled up and ready to go out.  The Topics at dinner would of course be about Brexit, the Spanish general election results and Spain’s defeat by Italy.  I just hoped the food would be good. 
With my dinner partners at the goodbye "last supper" on Monday night

The food was excellent but then when during the middle of the meal I was informed by my dinner partners (Swedes, Finns, French, Spanish and English (me)) that England had lost to Iceland I thought it just couldn’t get much worse.  The immediate reaction was of course that England was out of the EU and now out of the Euro Cup. Not funny but spot on. Maybe we should have spoken about the weather.  But no there were all sorts of jokes thrown at me and there have been many more in the press and on internet since.Twitter couldn’t stop making Brexit jokes. The dinner finished really late.  Despite the above, my stiff upper lip let me enjoy it and of course it’s better to laugh than to cry.  I mean how funny can it get?  Iceland with a population of 330.000 people beats the country which invented football and is supposed to have one of the best teams in the world.  Oh well life is a game hahaha.

At least the English were able to resort to their sense of humour after their humiliating loss to little Iceland in the Euros on Monday night.
Here are some of the best jokes I have seen: “England freeze against Iceland” “England backs Brexit” or “Roses are red, violets are blue, we’re out of the Euros and out of the EU”.  I just love the British sense of humour and how they have risen to the occasion. I suppose it’s not funny for the team or their manager who resigned immediately. Let’s see how Iceland does now when they face France.

On Monday and Tuesday Suzy was travelling to Nicaragua with her flat mate and fellow “Manada” member, Anita.  They left London early on Monday morning and flew first to Houston.  When she messaged us that they arrived there we all joked we hoped she wouldn’t have the proverbial problem. Luckily they didn’t.  They boarded for a flight to Managua at about 2 in the morning Spanish time.
Anita and Suzy boarding for Managua in Houston
From Managua they would be taking a pre booked safe taxi to Popoyo (wherever that is haha) which would take 2 hours. They got to their hotel (La Ola Verde) safely where their other Manada friends, Rocío and Chati, were already staying with Rocio’s boyfriend and some of his friends.  They must have checked in at 12.30 on Monday night which for us was 08.30 on Tuesday morning.  I had asked Suzy to give us regular updates and so far she has. Now the group is all together and her holiday really begins. Some 6 hours later we got a photo of the girls together with Rocio's boyfriend having breakfast at their hotel by the beach and looking very relaxed.  
"The Manada" in Nicaragua"
Tuesday ended very sadly.  Three suicide bombers attacked people at Istanbul airport that night, killing over 40 and injuring more than 200 people.  Who was to blame?  Well we know of course, bloody ISIS.  How I hate this new form of terror and war.  Ataturk airport is one of the busiest in Europe and was not prepared for the carnage.  Whoever is? I am also very sorry for Turkey a country I have visited 2 or 3 times and loved and a country whose economy relies on tourism.  This is a hard blow to Turkey. 
Terror at Ataturk airport Istanbul on Tuesday night.
Wednesday was a big day for Yoigo employees who would be meeting the CEO of the group that is buying our company from our Swedish and Spanish shareholders; Másmóvil. I had a surprise in store for everyone.  We had decorated the cafeteria with balloons and there were sweets on hand and a big welcoming banner.  The place looked really festive. But above all it was good communication; a chance for the employees to meet the face of the new company and get the opportunity to ask questions.  These events are called "Yoigo Mornings" and there is always full house as there was on Wednesday.
I put on a lovely reception for  the special Yoigo Morning on Wednesday.
This week the Pride Festival in Madrid took place.  I thought it was called The Gay Parade but Olivia corrected me.  She was covering it for her TV programme as you can see in the photo below.
It's a very big thing here but I didn't envy her as it was so hot.  She must have melted in the heat waiting to go live on camera.

I was melting too and spent most of the afternoon indoors with the air conditioning on.  The pool was out of action as another leak has been found and the swimming pool people came to fix it. Thankfully it was a leak from the skimmer so we didn't have to empty the pool again.

We've had leaks in the garden too from the irrigation system and on Wednesday the gardeners laid down a whole new pipe.  They  dug up most of the garden and it's not a pretty sight.  I do hope their efforts succeed as Eladio has been forever fixing little leaks here and there all over the lawn for years now each of which take up a lot of his time and worry him or course; not to mention the cost in the waste of water.

On Thursday, my fasting day,  I was busy with work as we had announced on our social media sites that the Sinfin 20gb tariff was returning as a promotion in July.  We got a lot of stick from some of our followers who criticized us for the tariff only being available for new customers.  Well it's just a promotion and promotions come and go.  Do people complain when a product is at a certain price at a shop and then goes down in the sales? Well no right.  In any case it's the best mobile tariff by far in the market and anyone joining us now will be happy I can tell you; practically unlimited voice and data. And once they've signed on the tariff is forever.  So, if you are in Spain and belong to another operator, this is your chance to join Yoigo.  You won't be disappointed. Well there is a bit of propaganda for you hahaha.
The Sinfín 20gb is back for the month of July, by far the best mobile tariff in the market.

Whilst that was happening one good piece of news emerged; that Boris Johnson was not running for Tory leadership.  Thank goodness for that. It is now between Teresa May and Michael Gove.  I'm not familiar with either but was not happy to read that the former said she would propose a Brexit leaver to head up the negotiations with the EU on the UK's withdrawal.  You see I'm still hoping Parliament will not approve it.

On Thursday morning too Eladio went to buy a ceiling fan lamp to replace the ghastly dining room lamp in our bedroom which we bought second hand when we first got married.  It really was time for a change. We have air conditioning but on not such hot evenings it will be nice to use. But above all it looked a lot better.
The new ceiling fan lamp in our bedroom.  Love it!
We tried it out for the first time last night and loved it.  As we watched our new series on Netflix I kept getting messages to say the programme; Undercover boss that I had starred in was on again on TV.  It must have been as I got loads of messages on social media and more followers too.  Most of it was positive but I did get one hate tweet.  It certainly made me understand the lives of the famous and I wouldn't really like to be one of them.
Me on the telly again on Thursday night.  A photo one of the participants sent me when she watched the programme.
Last night we didn't have dinner with Oli.  She had it on her own. You see she moved into her new flat yesterday.  She didn't make the full move which will happen gradually over the weekend and next week when Miguel returns from Valencia.  She was flying the nest and it was strange not to see her last night or for breakfast this morning.  As the move will be gradual it won't be quite so heartbreaking as it could.  Oli hope you are really happy in this next stage of your life.  Love you.
Oli with the keys to her new rented flat.  She moved in on Thursday night.
Friday finally came, the day I was off to France for the cousin reunion.  My cousin Masha would be picking me up at Paris CDG airport. On Saturday we would be travelling to Poitiers to meet up with my cousin Zuka, her daughter Katty and kids Luc, Sam and Ruby and my Aunty Valya.

Well that was how it was supposed to be.  I am now writing from Madrid Barajas airport after my 12.20 Vueling flight to Paris was cancelled.  Like when I tried to travel with Norwegian to London not long ago this flight was cancelled and I was offered another flight tomorrow.  Obviously I didn't accept it as I wanted to arrive today.  So I had to buy another ticket.  I was lucky to get one as today is 1st July.  I will now hopefully be flying out of Madrid at 18.45 arriving Orly at 20.40 if all goes well. As I have plenty of time on my hands now I thought I would finish this post and publish it whilst I am here.  It's bad luck isn't it? To quote my Mother: "it's shitty, could be shittier".  Hope Google doesn't censor this hahaha.

Keeping my fingers crossed I will get to Paris tonight.

So I'll leave you now until next week when I hope to tell you all about my trip to France

Cheers till then,


No comments: