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Milestone

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I’m trying to reach a milestone in my life by writing a book, something I have never done before.

I had already written a chapter in a collective book about Europe between two Revolutions (1917-1989) when I was a teacher at the University and many articles for the books of the year issued by my newspaper when I was a reporter. But I have never tried something by myself, like this one.

I have begun with lots of energy, and great expectations, The story was flowing nicely and the structure of the chapters I had made was working well. But little by little, my project has began to get a little complicated and now I’m in a sort of crisis of inspiration.

I’m about to go to Croatia for a month, where I’m going to visit, among other places, some of the scenarios where the story of my book takes place. I hope this would help me to return to the focusing I have almost lost and take back my inspiration.

I’m really excited with this trip and I’m sure it will help me in many ways, not only with the book.

Ragtag Daily Prompt: Milestone

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Remembrances

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In a few days I’m going to travel to Croatia and the remembrances of my last trip are particularly vivid. It was maybe 14 or 15 years ago. My mom was getting very old but she was in good health. So she began to say frequently: “I don’t want to die without have seen my homeland once more.”

Back then, I was suffering a deep depression and working hard as a reporter in a newspaper, so I asked my brother and my sisters if they could go with mom to Croatia but no one seemed ready to go with her.

That year, for Christmas, there was a big party at my newspaper I didn’t go because I was too depressed. But there was a raffle among all the workers present or not. And I won the best prize: a trip for two during one week to Cuba. Sun, the Caribbean beaches… But again, I was too depressed to claim my prize. Meanwhile my mom continued saying: “I don’t want to die without seen my homeland once more and take a walk on the streets of my hometown.”

In April I went to ask if my prize was available and they said of course. So I went to the travel agency and asked if I could change the travel to Cuba to one to Croatia and they said no problem. Even more, because Croatia it was nearer than Cuba (I live in Spain) we could stay 15 days instead of one week.

And certainly in July, I forgot about my depression and took my mom to Croatia. We had a wonderful time together. We went to Senj, her hometown and to Dubrovnik. She told me incredible stories, while we were watching the ships navigate among the islands or while we were simply staring at the stunning sunsets.

I remember being watching her while she was swimming, like a mother with her little kid, with fear because she was going too far away from the shore, but she was enjoying herself enormously. It was really a wonderful trip.

Now, I’m going back to the same places by my own, since she passed away a few months ago. But I’m sure she will be very close to me, and I will feel her lovely smile and her sweet voice, telling me the most endearing stories.

Navigate

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Rejuvenate

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After many years going out with the help of a walker, because of my balance problems, today I decided to take my chances and went to an outing with only a crutch. I wanted to leave the city and take a walk thru the uneven paths of the hills, where you can breathe fresh air and enjoy the nature.

The walker is only useful for the paved streets of the city or the villages. And the possibilities are limited. With the crutch you can slowly go a little way thru some easy country paths.

Everything went OK. I didn’t fall. The hills were still green and beautiful, and the views from there were nice. It was a short walk but enough for me to feel really rejuvenate.

Ragtag Daily Prompt: Rejuvenate

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Newcomers at the Pond

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pond 2We have had good news at the pond: Mr and Mrs swan have had babies: two “ugly ducklings” who are actually pretty cute. The swans are very protective towards their cygnets and they don’t allow any duck to came near them. As they are the biggest on the pond, they can impose their law very easily.

pondWe have at the park two ponds with plenty of ducks, geese and other waterfowl, but only a pair of swan.  The ponds are inside the old moats of the city walls, which are now part of parks and green areas. It’s a nice place to take a walk and relax a little.

Ragtag Daily Prompt: Pond

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Emotional trip

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For the first time in many years I’m going to take a vacation. I’m going to Croatia where my family comes from, and I will stay there for a whole month, to visit the cities and places that are related with my parent’s life. It’s going to be a very emotional trip, since my mom passed away only a few months ago.

I’m gonna met with my cousins and my aunt Mira, who is still alive, to hear her stories about the old times. But mainly, I’m gonna take long walks by my own thru the streets of the lovely cities and by the seashore, contemplating the many and beautiful islands scattered along the coast. No hurries. I want, if is possible, to met my roots.

My trip is only two weeks away, and I’m already very nervous, thinking about what should I include in my baggage and what should I left at home. I can’t wait for the moment to check-in for my flight!

Ragtag Daily Prompt: Check

In the picture a view of the walls of Dubrovnik captured I don’t remember how many years ago 

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Shaken in San Francisco

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sanfran1

I worked for two years in San Francisco as a stringer for a News Agency from Spain. A friend of mine let me stay at her family house for a while. One day I was working in my laptop and I noticed that the lights began to behave strangely.

The lamps went too bright and then too dark and I began to smell like if something was burning. But we couldn’t see any fire. My friend, pretty shaken, called 911 and told me: Hurry, unplug all the computers and home appliances and to run off the house. I didn’t have enough time to go thru the kitchen when I was already hearing the sirens of the firefighters trucks arriving at full speed.

We all got out of the house while the firefighters began to search for the fire. By then the lights were completely off. It was an electric fire that exploded in several plugs and switches on walls causing small damages, but ruining the computers I wasn’t able to unplug.

They found the source of the fire (a short-circuit in the wiring that supplied electricity to the entire house) and they made a temporary fix until the guy from the electricity company came (very quickly) and he repaired the wires.

I was the journalist at home so I made the pictures of the damages to send them to the insurance. Then I understood why my friend was so scared from the beginning of the incident: The structure of the house was wooden! We could have burned like a box of matches!

The culprit of the fire was the electric company, because of lack of maintenance of the wires, and they paid for all the damages. In one month I could buy a brand new laptop I desperately needed for my job.

Several days after the fire, we were dinning and suddenly everything began to move. Silence. I grabbed the table. I forgot all the rules and instructions about what to do in case of an earthquake.

I simply looked fixedly at the eyes to my friend like asking her: is this normal? and waited while I was shaken by a force too big to describe. things began to fall around, the dishes were rattling… I don’t know how long it was… ¿seconds? but for me were like hours. And it was “nothing” only a 5.6 degree in the Richter scale.

Ragtag Daily Prompt: Shaken

(the picture is from 1999)

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Football (or Soccer, if you prefer)

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We are under the tyranny of the Football World Cup ( or Soccer, if you prefer). We have Football in TV every day from the afternoon to the evening. And like it or not it’s on the news, in the conversations, in the store windows, and everywhere…

The championship has begun in Russia with many surprises.

The biggest stars are not shining as it was expected of them. For instance, Leo Messi, probably the best player in the world, missed miserably a penalty and was unable to deliver a single goal in a match against a team that never before in history had been qualified for the championship: Iceland.

Among the players who are now playing in Russia, there are some multi millionaires and famous and others unknown, with modest salaries. On the field it seems that the less known are fighting with more enthusiasm, at least in these firsts matches.

The current world champion, Germany, lost its match against Mexico. Argentina tied with Iceland and Brazil, according to the specialists, the best team in the championship, only could tie with Switzerland, a team little known beyond its borders, but whose players were not intimidated by the brazilian stars. Good for them!

I can follow the championship by listening to the noises at the public square under my windows. when there is a match all is quiet: everybody is at home watching tv. When there is a break, the streets come alive and from the square you can hear the noises and shouts of kids playing…yes: football.

Ragtag Daily Prompt: Stellar

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I miss the noise of the old newsroom

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I don’t think I’m old yet. And I believe I’m on top of the technology but I’m sure that many of my young colleagues would consider me antediluvian if I would tell them how I worked on my first years as a reporter.

There were no computers, no cell phones, no internet. Me and my coworkers had to search for information directly from our sources, using phone cabins on the streets, and our phone line in the office, direct interviews, and after that write your story typing on typewriters in the newsroom. There were enormous archives to look for background information stored in thousands of folders filled with papers and photos.

Our newsroom hadn’t even a typewriter par person, and there were competitions to catch one and be the first one to write the news.

Those years a very important element in the desks was a jar with a little brush and glue. This was because when while typing , when you made a mistake you had to literally “cut” the paper and “paste” the piece with the right words (using the glue) to a blank paper to continue writing the rest of the information.

The newsroom was filled with noise from the typewriters, the teletypes, the phones, the loud voices of the journalists… Somehow, in the middle of all that ruckus it was possible to concentrate to write in a hurry the assignment of the day before the deadline. And we had a great time.

When the computers arrived all the noise disappeared and somehow the great atmosphere of the newsroom suddenly was gone. Now there is also exciting and interesting but it’s different.

So, call me antediluvian: I miss the noise of the old newsrooms.

Ragtag Daily Prompt Antediluvian

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Target of jokes

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When I was little, I was the target of jokes of choice for my classmates, because I couldn’t speak properly Spanish. I had went to school not knowing a single word of the language, because we were immigrants and at home we spoke Croatian.

I was constantly making mistakes and messing words. I remember that even the teacher laughed on me once I made a mistake when I was trying to tell her that I wanted to leave because I was having a migraine and she provoke, with her answer, the laughter of the whole class. I was really desperate so I left and went home.

There was another little girl with problems with the Language. We didn’t know, but she had a neurological illness. She had trouble understanding the meaning of some words. Sometimes, the teacher asked us one by one about the correct use of some prepositions or adverbs and that girl always failed. The others laughed at her. Not me. I found it too cruel. I couldn’t but feel sorry for her.I wanted to help her but I didn’t know how .

Not too long after that, she died from her illness. That day all the jokes and laughs in the classroom became bewilderment and tears.

Ragtag Daily Prompt: Target

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Atavism

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Over here we have many gastronomic societies. Some of them are simply that: a group of friends who get together to have a very good cooked meal in a nice environment.

But there are others that are organized to celebrate the wonders of a particular product: So we have The brotherhood of white asparagus, The brotherhood of olive oil, the brotherhood of the red pepper and many more. All of them, or almost all, with their medieval looking banner, its uniforms (hats with feathers and long cloaks) and its ancestral language to make public proclamations. They don’t have reunions or assemblies , they have “Chapters”. When they admit new members, usually among famous people they organize a ceremony imitating the order of ancient knights. And they finish with a nice banquet. Of course.

I’m sure they have a great time tasting their favourite meals doing those things. What I don’t understand is why a bunch of grown men have such a need to disguise themselves and play that way.

I have to say that most of their time, when they are not in Chapter or ordering new members, they spend it working to promote their product in the market, That is true.

Ragtag Daily Prompt: Atavism

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Bastion

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My city keeps its ancient walls all around the old quarter, with its bastions, battlements, bulwarks, part of its moat, its beautiful citadel, even a gate with a wooden drawbridge which is still working.

Obviously, they no longer are used as a defence against the enemy, and around the city walls there are parks and green areas. When I was a kid I used to play knights and princesses over there with my brother and my sisters.

A stick as a sword and our imagination in such a scenery made wonders. We made up thousand of stories; each one more fantastic than the previous. We could play for hours and never get bored.

Now I don’t see so many children playing around the city walls the way we used to. Maybe knights and princesses and castles are not “cool” any more, or maybe is hard for kids to imagine adventures of the lost centuries outside a video game. Who knows!

Ragtag Daily Prompt: Bastion

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I was in a pickle! (or the story of the Symphony Number 3)

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Many years ago, I worked as an intern in a radio station making interviews and reporting about culture. I had to fill a space of three minutes with news about the music events in the city. One day I had prepared an interview with the conductor of an orchestra who was going to perform that evening the Brahms Symphony Number 3. But he failed me at the last moment. I was in a pickle! I had three minutes empty to fill with whatever.

I decided to search in the archive of the radio station the record of the Symphony and talk a little about it and about the orchestra, but the archive was very messy. Plus I have a kind of dyslexia, so instead of looking for the box with the label Brahms Symphony number 3, I was looking desperately for the label Symphony number 1.

The clock was ticking And I heard from the archive my boss on air saying: “…and in a few seconds our contributor Olga will tell us the lasts news about culture in our city”.

So I prayed with all my strength: dear God let me find the record! …And suddenly I saw it! The box with the label I was looking for: the Symphony Number 1.

I took it and went running to the studio, gave it to the technician and sit down next to my boss, ready to talk at the microphone. When I checked to my notes, I realized in dismay my mistake. But just then, the technician put on the record and the music that sounded was the Symphony number 3 . The one I needed. The record was inside the wrong box! . I had would never found it if I hadn’t made that mistake with the numbers.

I really think my prayers were heard that day.

Ragtag Daily Prompt: Pickle

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RDP #7 – PURPLE

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For the ones feeling disappointed for the disappearance of the WordPress daily prompt there is a wonderful initiative out there, the RagTag Daily Prompt. Today, the promoters of the idea have launched a site to publish the prompts: https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com

Welcome to the Ragtag Community Blog.  This is the place where all our Ragtag Daily Prompts will be located, so it should be much easier for everyone to play along.  We are indebted to Leaping Toes from Oh Border! for establishing the Ragtag Community Blog for us and for you.

Without further ado, here is the Ragtag Daily Prompt for Thursday, 7 June 2018.  We invite you to post something related to purple

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Purple

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I hate being negative, but purple reminds me to the dead, because is the colour of the funerals in the church.

I have too recent my mom’s funeral, with all the priests dressed in purple chasuble, singing songs about the everlasting life, in wich I firmly believe.

It was a very sad day, because is always hard to say good-bye. Above all when there is so much love involved.

Now her home is no longer a home, but a strange empty place. It was also a day of hope, because she went to a better life, stopped suffering and finally rested. And I’m sure she’s now with dad in heaven, wich was her biggest wish.

But we, down here, would like to have her more time, to hear her stories, laugh with her, feel her love for us, her children.

I have spent my last five years taking care of her since she had a stroke. I still getting up in the morning thinking: I have to go to take care of mom… And then the harsh truth strikes my mind like a hammer. I have no longer where to go.

Well, I have found places to go and things to do, but without mom.

My life has changed completely.I miss her badly.

Ragtag Daily Prompt: Purple

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Nightmare

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Speaking about nightmares is dangerous. I don’t know if there are out there reading this , dream interpreters who can deduce things about my inner self I don’t want to reveal.

I’ll write though about a recurring nightmare I have had for a long time.

To explain it I have to describe a little one of the main streets of my city. It has two big roundabouts with a big fountain in the middle. When I was a kid, I couldn’t distinguish one from the other and I thought that there was only one fountain, so I couldn’t understand why sometimes there were certain buildings around and sometimes there were other buildings completely different. When I went for the first time for a walk with my parents all the way down that street and we passed by the two fountains, I understood and got somehow oriented.

In my nightmare I’m out doing some errands and arrive to one of the roundabouts. Suddenly I lose balance and fall down. I get completely dizzy, and when I open my eyes, all the buildings and the streets around the fountain are different. I get up and try to go home but the streets keep changing its place, so I get completely lost. I feel like in a labyrinth. Finally, when I think I recognise something near my home I end up in a cul-de-sac where there is only a dirty, black charcoal warehouse, guarded by a threatening dog growling and barking loud.

Then I wake up.

In the picture, one of the fountains of my confusion 

Ragtag Daily Prompt: Nightmare

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Sleepy interview

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A seasoned journalist from my newsroom had had a harsh polemic with a politician, the secretary of education of the regional government. She basically called him a liar in a column. He was furious and he threatened with stopping the source of info about his department. I was then one of the youngest reporters of the newspaper, but my boss sent me to try to fix the problem by offering him a broad interview about his goals and projects.

Reluctantly, he accepted and told me to go see him right after lunch.

My first interview with a  member of the government! I got ready with a battery of questions written in my notebook and my tape recorder.

Those days – it was my first year in the newsroom and I was the reporter for everything – I had been working non stop from early in the morning till very late at night and I was exhausted.

When I arrived to the office of the politician, I noticed, pretty surprised, that he was scared of me, a beginner. He awaited me ready with a stack of notes with all kind of data about all the questions I could possibly ask. I have never felt before like that the power of my profession.

It was summer, the day was very hot, the sun was shining and he had lowered the blinds to maintain the office fresh. I sat down in a very comfortable chair in front of him, turned on my tape recorder, asked my first question, began to take notes and the next thing I remember was an uneasy silence.

I opened my eyes and saw a descendant line in my notebook. I looked up and saw the man looking at me flummoxed. I just had fallen asleep! In the middle of the interview!
I looked at my list of questions, uttered the second one, and… yes. I did it again: another silence, another crazy line in my notebook…
– I’m sorry… I began to say
– Would you like a cup of coffee? he interrupted me
– Please
We managed to finish the interview and it was a good one.

(In the picture, me, as a reporter)

Flummoxed

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Insight

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I used to follow the concerts backstage, because I had to work: report about the event and interview the artists. Once there was a concert by a duo of Cello and Contrabass.

The virtuosi musicians were Italians. The cello player was a short and vivacious man, with long curly grey hair and the Contrabass player was a silent tall and thin guy, with short black hair and somehow disturbing yellow eyes as I’ve never seen in my life.

The cello player was trying to give me an insight on how hard was the life of the artists: Many hours of practice, constant travels, no time for the family… Untill he made a dramatic move and took the left hand of his companion and extended also his own hands to show me the cracks and calluses in their fingers caused by the strings of their instruments. Impressive. I hadn’t doubt he was telling the truth, but his last gesture convinced me.

Ragtag Daily Prompt: Insight

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Redux

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Once a friend went to the Netherlands and brought a tulip bulb in a beautiful box. It was winter. She put the box on a shelf over a heater in her room because it was so decorative and forgot about it.

One day, I was talking with her – it was already Spring – and I noticed that the box was swollen. I asked her What was it and she suddenly remembered that it was time past to plant the tulip bulb.

We opened the box and saw that the tulip had grown screwed around the bulb, and the flower had opened but absolutely white, without any colour, because it hadn’t seen a ray of sun.

We planted the tulip in the garden and it survived, with a twisted stem and a flower pale orange instead of red.

The following year we did everything right and at the proper time, and the flower bloomed splendorous: tall and red, beautiful.

Ragtag Daily Prompt

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Homely tradition

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Since we don’t have the daily prompt I have turned back for inspiration in the Jennifer Nichole Wells’ Topic Generator at http://topicgenerator.wordpress.com It provides you a random noun combined with a random adjective as a headline for your blog post.
Today it gave me the combination “Homely Tradition”
The first thing it came to my mind was music.

When we were kids my dad used to wake us up in feast days and special occasions with music. He would turned on the record player and surprised us with some joyful classic.

We would jumped up from bed and would run to the living room knowing that something special was waiting for us. A little gift, a funny poem, and that was only the beginning of a wonderful day in wich wouldn’t fail a delicious cake baked by mom.

So, from our childhood we have the music associated to joy and nice family life, because we also sang together a lot. Nowadays in the era of the headphones the music experience has become more individualistic (apart from the concerts and the street musicians). I

miss the times when we listened to the music together. With the social networks one can easily establish relationships with distant and unknown people and have problems to interact with real people in the neighbourhood. That happens to me above all with youngsters. I don’t know. Maybe I’m getting old.

 

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No longer a priority

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I have been writing prompts in this platform for five years. It has been a great experience. I have found friends. I have read very interesting contributions from people I would never have known, about all kind of topics. I have learned about new cultures.

The daily prompt was one of the reasons I choose WordPress for my blog. I thought it was a wonderful idea. Now I’m sad and pretty disappointed with the Daily Post team for the way they have terminated the whole thing. So suddenly. Without any plausible explanation, giving us no time to react.

Many of us have begun our bloggers life in the daily prompt and knew we could find our contacts and friends in the Daily Post grid. It had would be kind from the part of the team, tell us in advance what was the plan so we could make our adjustments with time. Five days is not enough. But it seems, we are no longer a priority for them.

Retrospective

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The kill of the daily prompt

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Long time ago there was an archaic world without a common space for WordPress bloggers to communicate to each other. It was before the start of the daily prompt and the weekly photo challenge.

Many bloggers lived lost in the jungle of the blogosphere feeling pretty lonely and disoriented. Then arrived the great idea of the daily prompts and the weekly challenges and a community of bloggers was born.

They began to communicate and show their posts and photos to everybody. Many friendships were established online. Young people joined the club. Every day the participants made its contributions to the daily prompts, they would check how were doing their friends and other bloggers writing about the same topic, interchange comments and so on.

Then , one day, without giving them time to react, by decree, giving no reasons, the organizers of all this, decided to bring them back to the archaic time by canceling all the prompts and challenges. Now we all are back again at the jungle of the blogosphere without any help. So, farewell, WordPress “happy editors”! We will find our ways to survive without you.

I’m sorry to say, you disappointed me greatly.

Archaic

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A confusing call

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A very mild earthquake shake my city many years ago, and it was all over the news. I was making the news, because I was working in a local newspaper at the time. It was before the Internet was an available tool.

My boss told one of my coworkers, to call to the National Seismological Institute to have the precise data of the epicentre, intensity and everything else.

He placed the call and somebody answered at the other end of the line. He began to ask technical questions to check if we had the right info. The man who answered him, asked for a few moments and then he began to confirm exactly every one of the data we had published.

Asked about the place of the epicentre, He showed an acute knowledge of the area, giving data about small villages and their idiosyncrasy. The journalist was deeply impressed.

When he told the man at the other end of the line that it was very proud to know that all the technical data were exactly as we have already had published in our newspaper, he heard the words:

– This is because I’m reading them in your newspaper.

My colleague became angry

– What lack of professionalism! I’m calling asking for the official data and you are reading the newspaper!

– Then call the National Seismological Institute and not a private home!

We all laughed.

When the journalist placed the call, he had punched the local prefix instead the prefix of de city where the Institute is located. He had made the assumption that the man who answered the call was a worker there, but instead he had called a regular citizen from the neighbourhood, excited to cooperate with the local newspaper.

Assumption

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Disappear

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water 3

This is an ancient public laundry I found in a village I visited the last week. When there was no such thing as a running water in the houses, the women came here to wash the clothes under a roof. I was surprised to see how the villagers were keeping this site, pretty clean and by no means abandoned, despite is no longer in use. I had thought that these structures have had disappeared long time ago. Close to the Laundry there is a well and a trough. The place was nice and fresh. How many stories could tell these stones!

Disappear

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By the sea

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untitled-0214-10

I’m living inland and I ‘m permanently longing for the ocean with its open horizon, its salty smell, its breeze, The sound of its waves…

I belong to a family with several centuries of history of marine tradition. We have lots of ship’s captains among our ancestors. But my father pursued other goals, in the field of literature and journalism, and besides he had to exile from his country In eastern Europe many years ago, persecuted by the communists. So we ended settled in a city far away from the sea in a new country.

Nevertheless, the call for the open horizons is in my blood and I return to the coast whenever I can, to enjoy that unique atmosphere, watch the ships, sail, and swim, and breath the clean air at the shore while the waves wet my feet.

The picture has been taken in Bermeo, Bizkaia (Spain)
Place in the World

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Thank You, Danny Kaye

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When my dad was very sick and he couldn’t move, we knew how to make him laugh heartily and forget about his situation for a while. It was pretty easy because he was a good-humoured man.

But we had a specially very good time when we used to watch with him a Danny Kaye’s video. In it, Kaye plays a performer who imitates a russian baritone, who had been temporarily retired because of problems with allergies, and wants to return to the music hall singing the popular russian song: “Black eyes”. Everything seems normal untill a girl brings to the scene a big bouquet of flowers and he begins to sneeze while he’s singing. It’s hilarious.

Only mentioning the title of the song (“Otchi Chornya”) was enough for a belly laugh. We all knew what was coming after.

So, Thank you, Danny Kaye, wherever you are. (I’m sure there is a very special place in Heaven for the people who make us laugh or convey us beauty, for the people who make us happy.)

Laughter

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Little pleasures

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saldise 19

Last Sunday I went for a walk to the country. The landscape was magnificent: Green meadows, powerful mountains, leafy forests… But I was caught like a child by the candid beauty of the little wild daisies I found along my path.

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A vulture in my garden

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vulture 2

Last summer I was peacefully reading at home when somebody came hurriedly saying: “Quick! Your camera! there is an enormous bird in the garden pretty aggressive” .

I went out and certainly I saw a big vulture on the grass. He had been fallen from a tree top where he had been perched and once in the confined garden he had no room to take a run to take off and fly. So we had to call to the wild animal rescue service to help us get the vulture out of there.

But Oh wonder! it was a feast day, and the people at the public service didn’t consider our problem an emergency, even as our uninvited guest had blocked the garden door and our parking lot. They told us to wait till next day and if he continued there they would send some people to catch him.

vulture 1

For sure, the next morning the vulture was still in our garden. They sent a woman i a Land Rover with a cage and a blanket. The idea was throw the blanket over the animal to neutralize him and then put him in the cage. But the vulture wouldn’t let her approach and the cage was too small. So the gardener had to help catch the bird and I had to help with the cage. She prohibited me to take pictures of the process.

When the vulture was secure in the cage we went to the mountain to look for a hill with enough space for the vulture to take off and fly and we set him free.

Unlikely

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Singing together

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My father loved music and every time we were all together, he encouraged us to sing. My sister Elica used to play the piano or the guitar and we could spend hours after dinner merrily singing all kind of songs.

Dad had a nice tenor voice and a some repertoire of love songs he always sang to my mom. And she used to smile and blush. They had been married for decades, but they seemed like a boyfriend and his girlfriend. Some were ancient Croatian songs, Other were Italian songs he learned when he spent some years exiled in Italy after the war, when he was alone estranged from his family.

I have a particular memory of one of these Italian songs: “Non ti Scordar di me” (Don’t you forget about me).

When Dad was were sick in the hospital, one morning they were broadcasting on the tv one of the concerts of the three tenors, and Pavarotti began to sing that song. My dad almost couldn’t move and speak at the time,  but when he heard the melody he said: I know this song. And began to sing with his cracked voice to me, “Don’t you forget about me, My life is united to you, …

It was the las song he sang. and almost the last words he said to me. He passed away only a few days after that.

Back to our early years, when we were all young and happy, we’ve enjoyed a lot singing polyphonic songs. Our familiar choir grown when Elica got married and Jim with his beautiful baritone voice joined us with his new repertoire of American songs. There was a Spanish folk song, a simple melody with a silly lyrics but very suitable to sing with multiple voices we enjoyed a lot. “My grandma’s pot” was usually the end of those wonderful Family get together, plenty of music an laughters.
Song