|Dressed in orange, the Adamo colour, for our first press conference in Madrid this week|
|Oli and her reporter colleague, the 2 MC's at a gala awards dinner this week|
|Oli in evening dress at the Casino|
|Attention to detail and creativity at the dinner on Wednesday night|
|The table at the Adamo dinner on Wednesday night|
|Sweet bunches, my trade mark at all my press conference and which are hugely popular with the journalists|
|The press kits.|
|With some of my colleagues just before the press conference started.|
|The Adamo press conference in full swing on Thursday morning|
|My core group of telco journalists|
|The CEO and me at the press conference on Thursday|
We had booked the venue, the bar of Casa Suecia which is actually a hotel from the NH Collection chain, until 13h. When the last journalist left, I stayed on and called an ex Yoigo colleague and friend, Marta, who works at a company right across the road from where we had held the press conference. It was lovely to see her. With everything over and happy with the turnout and the articles and tweets I was already seeing online, I left at about 2 and was home to join my Father and Eladio for lunch, or rather start mine as they were finishing theirs. I was completely exhausted as I always am after an event, especially a big one I have spent weeks planning.
All I could do was get some shut eye after lunch and then go for a walk with Eladio and the dogs. I was supposed to be going to a party that night in Madrid put on by the telco journalists and communications directors, but I was too tired and I was also busy working. After my walk I got all sorts of calls and emails from journalists asking for clarification of some of our news and for photos. I didn't get up from my desk until nearly 9pm.
What made me happy that night was that Homeland Season 6 was starting on Netflix. Unfortunately Eladio fell asleep half way through the first episode but I managed to stay awake. I'm not sure I like season 6 that much but of course will watch the rest as I love Carrie and co.
On Friday I was up incredibly early, exhausted but happy with the coverage achieved from the press conference and press release I had sent out in parallel. By 9.30 I had my media report from my trusted press clipping company, JP Media and was amazed to see we had achieved more than 70 articles, 65 online and 8 in printed media on both a national and regional level. With the tool the service provides I worked out that the coverage was equivalent to an advertising spend of over 200.000 euros!!! Later I got a whatsapp from the reporter from Agencia Efe, the Spanish news agency, to congratulate me as she had seen the coverage. If she was impressed then I must have done an incredible job. The results could not have been better as the articles too were all either neutral or positive. There was not one negative one. Way to go Masha!
As soon as I had digested the results and done all the calculations, it was time to see to my own life. I had so much to do. I had to make the lunch, go with Eladio to the garage to take my Mini to undergo a small repair on the car body, go the bank and I also had to do the shopping, to leave enough provisions for Lucy and my Father while we were away. The day didn't seem to have enough hours in it. And I hadn't even started on preparations for what to take for our trip to England. So no wonder I forgot to pack a couple of vital items hahahaha. That would have to wait until Saturday morning.
The only break in the day was watching the news in bed after lunch. The worst news this week was about that awful couple with 13 offspring aged from 2 to 29 who had been horribly treated by their perverted parents in their house somewhere in California. That story dominated the news this week and is one of the most dreadful things I have ever heard. I preferred to watch the sport section. There was good news for Spain. Nadal is doing very well in the Australian Open, Carlos Sainz, the 55 year old Spanish rally driver was on the verge of winning his 2nd Dakar rally and Javier Fernández, the Spanish figure skating champion was about to garner his 6th consecutive win of the European Championship in Moscow. Later we heard he had won again. He's amazing.
|Javier Fernández Spain's ice skating ace|
The only afternoon I didn't work this week was on Friday. We went on our walk and then I did the weekly shopping with Lucy. Olivia, who had just come back from work, and would be staying with us until we left for England, joined us at the supermarket. I felt so proud of my beautifully groomed TV reporter daughter, arriving in her own car and doing her own shopping. More than proud, it made me see just how grown up she is now. We both came back for a rush job of putting everything away while Lucy gave my Father his supper and put him to bed.
We wouldn't be having our supper at home. Our grown up daughter, Olivia, invited her parents out on Friday night for dinner at La Txitxarrería. It was probably the best moment of the week. And here she is with her proud Father, both of them choosing food from the wonderful menu.
|Eladio and Oli at dinner on Friday night at La Txitxarrería|
Saturday came, the day of our departure but we weren't leaving until the afternoon. My day would be busy until we left. I was up at 6.15 and straight after my breakfast started writing this blog as I would have no time today to write it all in Keighley. This morning I only had to write about our arrival and publish it before breakfast and then I would be free to enjoy my time in England or so I thought. I had planned a lazy morning going for a walk with Oli, Eladio and the dogs, making lunch and going out with Oli to buy a new suitcase for Eladio as all our good ones seem to have disappeared. Thanks girls hahahaha.
At about 10 am as I was about to have a shower and in the middle of packing, I got a sudden Airbnb booking for that night for 6 adults and 1 child, a group from Virginia USA. It was immediate panic stations. The rooms had to be ready and worst of all I had to ask Enya to vacate her room and offered her ours as we would be away which also caused a bit of friction in my family:-( I got everyone into action and we also had to put the spare single bed in one of the rooms for the child. I had to send the lady, Marina, my information pack by email. In my mail I explained about our hot water situation because of our faulty boiler telling her that after showers the hot water has to be switched off but they could have showers whenever they wanted to. Well her reaction was immediate, she was cross and wanted to cancel. Suddenly panic stations were over, the bed was put back, Lucy stopped the extra cleaning and Enya carried on in her room. Meanwhile I got a call all the way from the US from Airbnb asking me to waive the cancellation fees. I immediately did of course as I didn't want any problems caused with the platform or my super host status jeopardised. It was 1.5 hours of problems which I could have done without that morning as we were leaving for England at 15h. So I hurriedly finished packing, left Lucy with instructions to make the fish and chips and rushed off with Oli to get a new suitcase for Eladio. We were home by 1.30, packed Eladio's case, half of it with my stuff of course, and sat down to lunch. It had been a nightmare of a morning but soon to be over and we would be off to the airport.
We left at just after 3, me feeling a little guilty about leaving my Father for so long. To be on the safe side I had rung my neighbours, Julio and Katya and Fátima for them to know they would be contacted should anything happen. We were at the airport on plenty of time. At the drop off point where Oli parked, she took a photo of the two of us feeling on top of the world about to fly to England and stay in my beloved Yorkshire. Here we are with our thumbs up! Like a mother hen she kept insisting we be careful and look after ourselves. Sometimes it feels like Oli is my Mother and I am her daughter when it is the other way around hahahahaha.
|At the airport in Madrid yesterday when Oli dropped us off|
We were half an hour late on our arrival and when we landed I realised I had hardly any battery left on my phone. I then realised too that in my haste packing I had forgotten to pack my charger. Thankfully I had packed Eladio's and thankfully Eladio's phone was charged and I could use it to contact Kathy. I needed to to find the taxi driver who was picking us up. It took a while to find him and for him to find us but he finally did and took us off in the dark and foggy and freezing night on a one hour drive over the Pennines to Yorkshire. He was a Pakistani from Keighley and a rather radical one too. He and I chatted nineteen to the dozen all the way with me interrogating him on his thoughts. He told me he couldn't travel as for Muslims with their dietary restrictions they didn't dare eat non halal food anywhere. He did admit though to drinking whisky which is a no no for Muslims but he told me it was only a small sin. His love of the Prophet Muhammad was a bit over the top for me. I learned all about his life, even his marital problems. What a funny guy with his Yorkshire accent and long beard. But he knew his way which was what we needed and by about 9 pm we were at Kathy and Phil's house, our home for this week.
It was so lovely to see them and we got a wonderful welcome in their beautiful Victorian house which is deceivingly large. They had done all sorts of renovation since we had last been here in 2011 and we were assigned their new guest room with our own bathroom which was new too. But first for giving them our presents as well as Spanish ham and 6 bottles of wine, Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Rueda we had got at the airport. Phil had made a great dinner but first we sat in their comfortable sitting room with an open fire and chatted non stop, catching up on our lives since we had last seen each other which was at my 60th birthday part in June. They had gone all out to prepare our visit and I hope we hadn't given them too much work to do. There were flowers all over the house, a huge bowl of fruit - they know we are fruit lovers - with all sorts of out of season fruit, such as apricots or peaches, lovely clean towels, new bars of soap, bottled water in our room and of course a super clean house. We weren't very hungry but the meal of spaghetti bolegnese made by Phil who is the chef of the house and a good one too, was delicious. We ate fruit and chatted after dinner, sitting on their lovely crimson velvet Laury Ashley sofas which apparently they don't sit on as they love them too much and are only for visitors like us hahahahha. By 1.30 in the morning for us, it was 12.30 for them, Eladio and I were much in need of our sleep. It had been a long day for me especially and pretty stressful too. I realised when unpacking that it wasn't only the phone charger I had left behind but my knickers too which are just as vital. Thankfully Kathy came to the rescue and lent me some of hers. Sorry about the intimate detail here but I thought it might make you laugh. I never usually sleep well in a bed that isn't my own where I don't sleep very well anyway, but I was delighted to find that the mattress was really comfortable and just how I like it. So soon we were in the world of slumber.
I was up at 7 UK time and 6 my time while all the others would sleep on for a while. And here I am now writing this week's blog from their sitting room. It's funny as they are faithful readers of my blog and tell me they usually read it in bed on a Sunday morning. So today, they will be reading what I have finished writing in their very own house.
But before I sat down to my blog, I had my morning coffee and read the headlines. I was delighted to read that 55 year old Spanish veteran rally driver, Carlos Sainz, had won his 2nd Dakar Rally, supposedly the toughest in the world. That was another feather in the cap for Spanish sport. Spain really does excel at sport.
|Another Spanish sport victory. Yesterday Carlos Sainz, the 55 year old Spanish veteran rally driver garnered his 2nd Dakar Rally.|
So, my friends, that's it from me for this week. I hope you enjoy this post. I will certainly enjoy our time here which will be stress free in sharp contrast to my very busy week.
Cheers then till next Sunday where I will be publishing my next post from Manchester.
All the best to you all and wishing you a great week too,