Fernando

There was a living legend in my newsroom. A seasoned coworker who had lost his right arm in an accident during her youth, but was able to write fast enough with his left hand. He had a vast culture and he had among others a very popular column about music, his passion.

He was known among us because he had answers for everything . His memory and his encyclopedic knowledge was impressive. Before the times of Wikipedia and google, when we needed some data, we asked him because it was faster than go to check in a book or an encyclopedia. Sometimes my coworkers used to asked him difficult questions just to try him. In my 27 years working besides him I never caught him in a fault.

Only once, he didn’t know the answer to the question a journalist made him. But he sure knew where to find the answer in a few seconds. Even when the Internet was the king of the information, we used to check with him. He was fast, reliable, and human.

Bright, with a peculiar sense of humor. Resorting to him you would take back an answer and a smile or a laugh. Fernando (FPO) never disappointed us. Only when he got ill too soon and passed away. The companion and friend left us, The legend remain

Legend

Inheritance of love

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My parents lived one of the most exciting love stories I’ve ever heard of. They got married during the WWII. They had a baby, and almost immediately after that,  the war separated them.

My father was a prisoner, later a refugee and finally an exiled. My mom had to hide with the baby and later was persecuted because of her faith in a communist country. They spent twelve years trying to reunite again during which they suffered a lot.

All their attempts were a failures until 1956. But they loved each other so much that when they finally succeeded and met again, they were able to look at each other at the eyes without regrets, and continue their live together just as if they had said farewell the day before. And they continued loving each other like the first day till the end.

Dad, a writer, used to write poems to mom and surprise her with little gifts with no apparently reason. She was always smiling. Their friends and acquaintances say that my parents conveyed serenity and happiness. I think so too.

My dad passed away sixteen years ago. My mom just last August.

I miss them badly

They didn’t have material things to leave us as inheritance.

I would like to inherit their way of loving, so natural, so intense, so faithful.

Inheritance

Posted in daily prompt, Humor

The big bag theory

big bag

Big bags are like the cookie monster, they can eat, and eat, and eat things and never get tired of it.

The more room they have more things it seems that we need to take with us wherever we go.

We put things in and almost never take them out

The bigger they are the more weight we have to carry.

They are masters in hiding keys. No matter which kind of key chain you use.They would get conveniently covered under layers of packs of tissues, papers, the phone, maybe a scarf, a foldable umbrella, a toy of the kid or who knows what.

In fact, they are masters in hiding precisely that item you need, and revealing it when you don’t need it at all.

They are responsible for the developing of the art of “fishing” for the needed item thru the tact, without the participation of the sight. Aaaaaaargh!

I used to have big bags when i worked as a reporter to take with me my tape recorder, my notepad, my camera if necessary and all kind of stuff to deal with the unexpected, from an exit to the mountain books or some hobbies for the long waits in the corridors of the court-house.

But now? Enough

Small bags, My wallet, my keys, my phone, my tissues and nothing more.

Theory

Posted in daily prompt

Zero degrees

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– How is the weather out there?
– Nor hot neither cold: zero degrees (celsius)
– That’s freezing!
– Yeah, there is ice on the floor, you must be careful if you go out
– Definitely not. I’m staying at home knitting a scarf
– Good idea I think I’m going to light the fire in the fireplace and read a book
– We can listen to some good music meanwhile
– Our home will seem a scene from a hundred years ago
– But we will feel warm and cozy today.
– It’s a pity that we don’t have a fireplace
– And that I don’t have wool for knitting at home.
– Let’s go out to a place I know where they serve hot chocolate with “churros”.
– Just a sec. I’m putting on my coat and my scarf and I’m with you.

Degree

The (im)perfect living room

We had a nice living room with a wooden floor in a very bad condition. the contrast between the floor and the furniture was too obvious so we recently decided to varnish the floor.

I remember those days with horror. We had to clear the room of furniture: take out the heavy couch that didn’t fit thru the narrow door and what can I say about the piano! The tables were easier, but the furniture of the library were a nightmare. We finished exhausted knowing that two or three days after we would have to do the job again to put the furniture in their place.

Finally the varnishing team came and did their job but they left lots of dust behind them. Fortunately, we had protected very well the piano against the dust. We began to clean the rest of the house and the room and replace the furniture.

Suddenly, our nice couch and our lovely shelving furniture looked rather old and worn against the sparkling new floor. Oh boy! There is no way to find the harmony. Speaking about harmony, our piano leveled somehow the look of the room because when we were transporting it we made an ugly mark on the just varnished floor so it’s not already so perfect

Varnish

Posted in daily prompt

Nobody is perfect

I believe people can reach sanctity, but that’s a goal for a whole life. There are no saints on the earth but there are many people more than we imagine, trying to be saints. The main thing is try to do always what one’s conscience tells . And don’t do to others what you don’t want to be done to you. It’s human to fail frequently.

Perfection is something impossible to achieve. Those who think they must be perfect, sooner o later will fall down in the most bitter discouragement at the discovering of their unavoidable failures or become tyrans for themselves and for the others if they don’t recognize them.

Fail, ask for forgiveness to God and to the others who may be implicated, and try again , succeed, give thanks to God and go on, without throw in the towel no matter what , that’s the secret of a sanctity life in normal circumstances.

There is no need to have special revelations like the most famous saints. It’s enough to try to be close to God in everything we do. Those are some of my father’s teachings for me. A big help for my life. Above all to don’t get discouraged in my struggle to try to be better. I realize sanctity is very far away from me but I’m trying to live according to his advice.

I admire many saints. But because I have lived in San Francisco, CA, and I live now in the square of the St Francis of Assisi, I would name this saint as one of my most dearest, because of his love for nature and his life of poverty.

In the picture the statue of Saint Francis with the wolf in my square.

Saintly

Posted in daily prompt

Patina

Recently we bought in an antique shop a statuette of the Virgin Mary inspired in the famous painting “The Madonna of the Chair” of Raphael. The statuette was covered by a patina of dirtiness and it had the face almost black. The result of years and years of dust accumulated.
I started to work on it immediately. With a fine brush and water with a special soap, very gently, I began to brush the delicate faces and the rest. It took me days to take all the dirt away. I had to be careful to take away only the dirt and not the original painting. I had to be very patient too. But the result was rewarding because the delicate features of the faces of the Virgin and the Child and the colours of their robes appeared. Finally we applied a transparent varnish to preserve the colours. And the job was done.
I think the outcome it was pretty good You can judge by the picture.

Patina

Glasses

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One of my closest friends has paid a visit to the oculist recently, and of course, she needed glasses. Now with her new glasses she has discovered she has lots of wrinkles she had never seen before and we also. Suddenly we all have aged several decades at the same time.
Age

Posted in daily prompt

The mini zoo

We don’t have a zoo in my city, but we have what we call a mini zoo in what were the moats of the city walls. It’s a pretty big extension, no longer full of water to stop the enemy. Now that there is no enemy to stop, there is grass instead of water, and it forms an enormous green area all around the city.

Around a big park named La Taconera, it has several ponds with all kinds of ducks, goose, and swans. There are also other animals like roosters, peacocks, pheasants, and other birds and a small herd of deer that usually lives in the top of the wall in a higher level than the rest of the animals . Sometimes wild birds stop there for a while to have a rest and look for food in this area. I spotted recently a couple of grey herons, and a hoopoe.

Everything family scale and it’s free. People like to walk and look at the animals. The view is always different, because they move around the moat. The only ones that never move from its place are the goose.

I’ve visited zoos, when I was a kid, but they make me a little sad above all to see the big wild animals in enclosed areas.

Once, I think it was in Barcelona, we entered the zoo and we saw a hippo peeing. We made a tour and when we came back to the hippo enclosure, he was still peeing and had formed a big puddle around him. That impressed me a lot. ¿How many litres can pee a hippo? I looked for an answer and nobody would give me one.

I love big cats, but not in captivity, I prefer to watch a good documentary. But I like documentaries focused in the beauty of the nature and the animals, not gloating on the cruelty of the wild life. We have every day enough cruelty in the news, close to our lives, to search for more blood when we try to relax watching something simply beautiful.

Zoo

Posted in daily prompt, Family

Knitting with Mom

I used to knit during the long hours I spent taking care of my mom when she was still among us. It was the perfect activity to be with her. I was able to follow a conversation with her, do something productive, and drop it immediately whenever she needed something of me, which was pretty often, and unpredictable. I couldn’t read a book, because I couldn’t concentrate with so much interruptions. Watch tv was extremely boring. She loved watching me doing something while I was with her. when I finished my first sweater she said she was really proud of me. Since she passed away I never took out again the knitting bag again…until today to take this picture.

Knit

Posted in daily prompt, Uncategorized

my noisy neighbourhood

I live in a very lively neighbourhood, in the middle of the old quarter of Pamplona . My home is at the square of St Francis where we have a public school a public library, shops, bars and restaurants. During the week we have the constant noise of kids playing in a small park prepare for them and going in and out of school.

During the weekend the city council gives permission to anybody to organize events in the square, from some Christian sects that sing with loudspeakers, with no mercy for the neighbours, in front to a nonexistent audience; to a mobile rock band with electrics guitars, drums and all, with their artists disguised with colourful wigs, red, yellow, purple…From a procession of traditional ( and deafening) drums, to a street band.

There are people who perform in the street without any permission, but nobody cares.

There is a shop that sells and repairs electric guitars and when some artist come they sometimes organize impromptu performances at the door of the commerce. People gather around, occupying the road, and if there is a car coming they simply open a corridor to let it pass, and then regroup to keep listening.

Sometimes is the same city council who organizes the events like the medieval fair , with artisans, shops, and shows of falconry There is no room for boredom.

From the square there is a nice view of the fireworks with their lights and colours. I Love them, but my cat doesn’t like at all the loud percussive sounds and disappears when the fireworks begin, to hide into a closet.

The real problem is the night. Lots of night life, no chance of having a good sleep during the weekends

Other than that, my neighbourhood is really nice and funny and I enjoy it a lot
Percussive

Posted in daily prompt

Underdog team

As a University student I decided to sign up for the basketball team of my faculty: Journalism. We were the underdog team in the Second University League. We were all new players, in our first year at the University and our trainer was a student on his third year. Nobody took us seriously.

I usually played as power forward, and had pretty good success with long shots. I didn’t like too much the hand-to-hand fight under the basket.

My problem was that because an operation I had had in my right leg due to a tumor in the tibia I had stopped playing for several years and I just had come back to the court during my last year of high school, so I needed extra training to play decently. But my studies won’t let me enough time. Nevertheless I was a regular player on the court, so that gives an idea of the quality of the team.

Anyway, we began to play against the nurses team, the favourite, and we, as predicted, lost the match. What a drag! We were so excited in our first game.. But then the following match, against Philosophy, we surprisingly won. and we celebrated like if we had just won the championship. The next week our opponents didn’t appear, so we won again.

And so the season was advancing and we were adding points to our classification. we finally ended in the second place after the nurses and were able to raise the team’s category to the First University League.
Underdog

Posted in daily prompt

“Grempoliticians”

Gremlins? what a strange topic to write about! I never liked those little monsters. The only thing I can think about them now, is that they remind me to a kind of politicians: The ones that during the electoral campaign are soft and kind, and full of smiles and good words towards their constituency. And when they touch the water of the power they turn in aggressive, unpleasant, egoist, and don’t care at all about their people. Only care about their power and their pockets.

There are too much gremlin-politicians or “Grempoliticians” nowadays, and unfortunately there is no magic formula to deactivate them.

Despite this strange post, I would like to take this opportunity to wish a Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends

Gremlins

Posted in daily prompt, Family, Memories, Uncategorized

Not fair

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When I was a student at the University, my father was one of my teachers. I studied Journalism and he was a teacher of Literature, Technology and Ethics. I could attended at his classes which were magnificent above all the Literature an ethics ones. But he couldn’t examine me because I was his daughter.

He was known because he never let his students fail in an exam. They knew all of them would pass, but nevertheless they studied a lot for his exams. How did he get it? Nobody knew. He used to tell them if they wouldn’t work enough then, they will fail later in life. And he was able to convince them.  He was really kind and always open to talk with his students.

So, when all my classmates had guaranteed that they would pass the exam, I had to go to render my exam to a different professor. In Ethics I had to face  the toughest teacher of the Faculty who asked me tricky questions without any mercy. I didn’t want mercy, just justice. And that was not fair. At the end I passed, but it was hard.

In the picture, dad at the University

Mercy

Posted in daily prompt, Family, Memories

Lost Nest

Mom's 1

Now that my mom has passed away, her nest is empty. Her house, a meeting point for all of us, plenty of great remembrances, is now a sad and solitary place. The place where I used to go to find refuge and solace is gone.

Soon it will begin the time of Advent and after that, Christmas. Every year I used to spend many time with her, planning what to do, what presents get ready for the kids, how to set the simple grotto scene in the living room, under the Christmas tree full of decorations and lights.

And because she was so sick and paralytic, I was the one doing all that things under her loving directions, while we listened to traditional carols .

We used to laugh like kids at the slightest reason or without any reason at all.

I loved the moment when I had finished decorating the tree and the whole living room. It was usually at the evening. I used to turn off all the lights except the ones on the tree and the grotto scene and all the other decorations. Then I used to go to my mom’s room and bring her, pushing the wheelchair, to the living room.

The wonder in her face was my best reward. Her eyes were bright and smiling and my heart was dancing. I’m going to miss you so much, mom!

In the picture, my mom’s armchair, empty

Nest

Posted in daily prompt, Journalism

The field of certainty

As a reporter I had to move myself in the field of certainty, to be able to report about true news and don’t defraud my readers with a dubious story not enough contrasted. I used to check twice or more times every fact before publishing it.

I had a source, when I was a reporter in courts, that used to call me “sureolga” because of the many times I used to call him to check facts and get clarifications about the trials and the investigations going on. I knew that my way of working was a little slower than the others who just told the story as it happened without any further checking, but I couldn’t help myself.

Even though my bosses wanted more speed to finish the edition before ten in the evening with an appealing headline.

I knew that the fame of the people involved was at stake and that’s not a child’s game. I always thought that’s better write a good and complete news than have a fast but dubious one, and have to rectify next day.

I’m proud to say that in my years of reporter in courts I never had to rectify a single news I had written. And that’s not easy.

Dubious

Posted in daily prompt, Journalism, Memories

Disturbing Moonless Nights

As a reporter I had to report about a shooting between policemen and terrorists that took place in a natural landscape of great beauty, a narrow gorge formed by a river.

Apparently, four terrorists were making plans for an attack while spending the day by the river, when they were intercepted by the police by chance.In the shooting a policeman died and another was wounded. The terrorists fled along the riverbank and disappeared into the vegetation.

The river is not practicable to swim because it has dangerous swirls and very deep pits and the only accesses to the gorge are the ends of the old railway tunnel wich runs well above the river bed. The police closed the two ends, as soon as the shooting occurred, so that the terrorists had no way of getting out of there.

And the manhunt began with the special forces using choppers in the air and dogs on the ground. The moonless night fell, black as tar. There was no trace of the terrorists. At dawn, one of them, badly wounded in the head, surrendered to the special forces that were combing the area and took them to where the others were at the river’s edge. they were dead. They had decided to commit suicide before being captured. He had tried to commit suicide but he had missed the shot. It was a pretty mysterious how the police didn’t hear the shots while combing the place.

I was horrified by everything that was happening. I had been the first journalist on the scene with my photographer and I was there when the terrorists were still on the run. Pretty dangerous despite we were going everywhere with the police.

The next night, a neighbour from the town closest to the place called my newsroom saying that shots had been heard again in the gorge. The terrorists were already dead. The special forces gone. ¿what could possibly had happened? My boss sent me to investigate.

I was very young and was in charge of another journalist even younger than me. We went with a beginner photographer. We arrived at the gorge and again we found ourselves with a dark and moonless night. But this time was scarier because we were completely alone. No police, no other journalists. no living soul.

We asked in the village and nobody had heard anything. When we arrived with my little Panda car at the black entrance of the tunnel I knew that there was no possibility of turning around to leave in one mile, and I felt responsible for the other two who were with me. So I decided to go around to the exit of the tunnel to see what we could find there.

Everything was dark and silent and again nobody had heard anything. We went a little further to the police station to which the dead and wounded policeman belonged to speak with their pals and they confirmed that everything was quiet. So we went back to the newsroom with nothing to report other than an update about the health of the wounded police officer, but at least we were safe and sound.

Black

Posted in daily prompt, Family, Memories

Dad’s angel

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Every Christmas eve, my dad used to build a grotto scene in the living room with little figurines of st Joseph, the Virgin Mary, the Baby Jesus and the shepherds, under the Christmas tree.

He had a beautiful a valuable figurine of the angel who announced to the shepherds the good news and he always put it in the scene gingerly at the end. When the angel was in its place it meant that everything was ready and the feast could begin.

Then, we could gather around the scene and the tree and pray, sing carols and finally open the presents.

The figurine, dad’s angel, no more than six inches tall, was very artistically done had every finger modeled one by one and a very peaceful face. It’s been more than 60 years than my dad bought the figurine and it looks completely new.

Now my sister keeps it in her house. She also takes very good care of it. It brings very good memories of all those Christmas at our home when we were all together and happy, and everything had some kind of sweet magic.

Those were wonderful years and now we are trying to build similar memories for the youngest in our family so they could also treasure wonderful memories of family life
Gingerly

Posted in daily prompt

Dancing from the back row

I have never been good at dancing because I have a directionality problem, and I cannot tell right from left, up from down, and so on. My limbs coordination is almost null. My mom used to call me “my wind mill”, because my arms and legs were long and thin and they spread in all directions.

When I was small, in school, I remember one year we had to practice classic dance and perform in front of our families in the festival at the end of the year. I was very worried because I was unable to learn by heart any of the steps and the arms positions. I was doing exactly the contrary of what was supposed to do. When everybody were taking a step to the right I invariably took my left. My arms were always in the opposite side of the others.

My only hope was to be relegated to the back row of dancers and copy what the girl in front of me was doing. But because I was then one of the shortest of the class, they put me in the front row, with my tutu skirt and my dancing slippers. Very cute, but absolutely ridicule because of my awful performance.

A few days before the festival I fell down and hit my head pretty hard against the corner of a metal door. I ended with several stitches and a bandage in my forehead that covered my left eye. Not very decorative for the ballet. The teacher then decided to situate me in the back row of dancers and I sighed in relief.

The day of the festival I was able to copy the movements of the girl in front of me and do the entire choreography without visible errors. I remember that my brother congratulated me and told me that he noticed that I knew the choreography by heart and not like the other girls who were looking each other to do it well. I said nothing, but I thought how blind is the true fraternal love.
Dancing

Posted in daily prompt

Faint

To be bilingual has many advantages. But sometimes creates strange situations.

I uttered my firsts words in Croatian, and I learned Spanish at school when I was already 5 years old. I thought I had learned my Spanish pretty well, when something happened to me that proved it otherwise.

I was already 12 and in my way to school I felt faint. The nuns thought that I probably had not had a proper breakfast, so they decided to give me a big mug of hot milk. I hate milk and I hate cream in my milk, but I saw in despair how the nun was pouring milk with lots of cream.

I tried to tell her I didn’t like cream and I discovered in horror that I didn’t know how to say it in Spanish I only knew the Croatian word “skorup”. The nun couldn’t understand me. And she continued pouring cream in my mug.

I discovered that day that I didn’t know simple words related to the house life, like spoon, fork, and, of course, cream, because we used at home the Croatian words.
Faint

Posted in daily prompt

Scrambled eggs with mushrooms

mushroom

I love scrambled eggs with mushrooms and fresh garlic stalks. It’s a good dish for breakfast or even for lunch. Above all if the mushrooms are good, well-selected. I usually buy them at the local market, because there I have the security that they would not be poisonous.

In my community people are very fond of going to the forest mushroom hunting. They know all the varieties: which ones are the tasty, safe to eat, and wich ones are poisonous, forbidden. Nevertheless, every year there is one case of poisoning by mushrooms, so there is clear that it’s not so easy to discern ones from another’s.

There is a tell of a group of friends who went to pick up mushrooms and then fixed a dinner. To be sure that all was OK, they gave a little dish to the cat. When they saw that the cat was ok, they proceeded with the dinner. But when they had eaten all, the cat began to writhe, meowing pitifully. So they rushed to the hospital to have a stomach wash. They had a terrible time but at least they were safe. when the wife of the house came telling that the cat was simply giving birth to her kittens. So, all the trouble, for nothing.

Now in autumn is usual to see groups of men going to the forest with a basket and a stick and have a great time looking for the appreciated plants under the thickets close to the roots of the trees, where all is permanently wet. Our forests are beautiful and the outings are appealing.

It’s usual that between neighbours there are envy and rivalries. So, people here in Navarra doesn’t like too much that our neighbours from Guipuzcoa came in large numbers to pick up mushrooms to our forests. and people call them “mushroom-robbers”. In Guipuzcoa they don’t like that the people from Navarra went in Summer in large numbers to their beaches to take a bath and enjoy the sun. They call us beach-piss, which is a worst nickname.

No matter what people call each other, every year more guipuzcoans come to pick up mushrooms and more navarreans go to the beach.

In the images a mushroom in the forest (I don’t know if is good or bad, I didn’t dare to touch it) and a view of the forest close to Pamplona in the Imotz Valey)
Egg

Posted in daily prompt, Humor

My neighbour, the Law student

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For many years my family lived in an apartment next to a boarding house, so our neighbours were mostly students, besides the family running the house. The woman in charge of the boarding house Maura, was a really nice neighbour. The students were all male, pretty noisy, but usually well-behaved.

One year – I don’t remember exactly when, but certainly, before I went to High School – a Law student arrived. I don’t know what was he doing with his time, but I only know that when it was my time to go to the University, he was still studying Law. He even had business cards with the title so and so, profession: Law student.

I remember, that he was famous in the university bar, because, at the beginning of the scholar year, as soon as he would spotted a spectacular blonde, he would go directly to invite her to a drink. Then, when they were drinking at the bar, he used to turn around and catch the first young and unsuspecting guy: look, – he would told him, like confiding a secret – “I just invited this girl and have noticed that I forgot my wallet, please, get me out of the embarrassment and pay me the drinks”. This usually worked one or two times with the youngest and more innocents, but at the third time, when the professional student of law approached a blonde in the bar, everybody would fled.

When I finished my studies, he was still in the boarding house, presumably studying law. I don’t know how he managed to don’t be expelled from the University after so many years. I guess he was already out of the University but he had never told his parents.

in the picture a view of the main building of my “Alma Mater”

Neighbors


You probably noticed that after a long time of silence I recently began to publish posts again on this site. Actually, I have been publishing daily prompt posts on another blog in wordpress.org but it was like a travel thru the desert. Besides, I had some serious family matters who took me almost all my time, so I had left with no many room for blogging.

My main occupation was taking care of my mom. Unfortunately, my mom passed away recently. I have now more free time so I decided to came back to my old blog.

I noticed that during this year I have been out, some of the contents and photos of the old posts have disappeared. I don’t know why. I’m sorry for the inconveniences. There is no problem with the recent posts which are working nicely.

I hope you will continue following me in this new stage of my blogging journey

NOTICE TO MY READERS AND FOLLOWERS

Posted in daily prompt, Journalism, Memories

The mysterious tape

Once, my boss sent me to make an interview to a scientist who had done some research in a very complicated and highly specific area of the bio chemistry for his PhD. The headline of his thesis was completely incomprehensible. The whole thing certainly might be interesting for the scientist community but very difficult to explain for the general public. But the scientist, a young man, was the nephew of a good friend of my boss, so his study had to become news in my newspaper no matter what.

When I asked him for an interview, he was surprised. He couldn’t understand why a journalist of a local newspaper could have any interest in his work. I asked him to explain me what was he doing in his lab as if I were (as I actually was) a completely ignorant about the matter.

I put my recorder in front of him and began to ask questions and take notes. He started to tell me about technical terms incomprehensible for me. He didn’t know what “say it in plain English” meant. There was no way to make him touch ground. I tried my best, but, when I went back to the newsroom I only had some chaotic notes and a tape (it was before the digital era) with 45 minutes of a recorded conversation in which I had placed all my hopes.

I rewinded the tape, I pressed the play button of my tape recorder to listen to the interview and mysteriously, all the conversation sounded backwards. Yes. Our voices were there talking, but it was like we were swallowing each word. It was impossible to understand a single one of them.

In all my life as a reporter never had happened to me something like that. I’ve never had found an explanation to such a strange behavior of the tape. It never happened before, never after. I asked technicians an other journalists, and nobody could give me an explanation. Of course, without the recording I couldn’t write the interview.

In the picture, me and my tape recorder in another interview different that the one described in this post.

Mystery

Posted in daily prompt, our life

Not in the mood

Cemetery (2 of 5)

Too close to the death of my mom and a good friend to be interested in entertain myself writing a ghoulish story. Death has called recently people I loved, and my soul is bleeding quietly.

It’s strange, I’ve spent the last five years taking care of my mom and I came to thought that when she died, I would fall apart. She needed me because of her illness, but I needed her so much because of her love…

When was time to go to bed, she used to blessed me, doing the sign of the cross in my forehead telling me in Croatian, with her mild voice: “Sweet night, my heart”. (Laku Noć, Srce Moje). I thought I couldn’t live without her blessing and her sweet words. But when the death arrived quick and treacherously without giving me a chance to say goodbye, I stayed frozen by the pain, but without tears. I couldn’t react. I, who cry for anything , and die of sorrow for the most trivial misfortunes. My mom was dead and I couldn’t cry.

I still bearing my pain in the deeps of my soul and has not surfaced yet. Today I found myself thinking, “when all this work I’m having these days finish, I’ll have more time to take care of mom”But she doesn’t need me any more.

Maybe is me who needs to stop working and moving around and think about what happened no matter how painful, and let my tears finally reach my eyes and cry, because I miss her so much. Maybe is time tell her quietly: Sweet night, mom, my heart. Goodbye. Laku Noć, Mom.

Ghoulish

Posted in daily prompt

Fluff

I’m very disappointed because after having prepared thoroughly a lecture, with lot of work and anticipation, only a few minutes before the scheduled hour, some people who will attend, began to discuss in front of me, how boring the lectures are nowadays.

Times had changed, they say. We are in the era of short and clear messages. The times of tweets and Instagram. Would be enough that a lecturer enunciate the subject and say the bibliography, to end the thing in a couple of minutes and save time.

What about the professor’s creativity? what about his knowledge acquired by studying and investigating? What about the possibility of a debate with questions and answers live and the enrichment it brings ?

I thing people too dependent of the 140 characters to communicate themselves are losing many capabilities of expression and comprehension.

I was looking forward for my lecture, and now I’m puzzled. I think I will send some short messages for the ones bored in advance to make a joke and save their time, and then I will follow as planed for the people I hope will be interested in the subject.
Fluff

Posted in daily prompt, Memories

Gratitude

me

I suffered a deep depression while working in the newsroom of a newspaper. One of my coworkers, a great friend of mine, knew all about of my condition. When that all begun, I only could feel an enormous tiredness and I couldn’t stop crying. This was pretty embarrassing while I was in the newsroom full of people who could see me.

My friend always noticed that I had begun to cry before anyone else, and saying nothing she quietly, used to came to my desk and tell me: come with me. We then used to go out of the building, to the parking lot, to get some fresh air and she would comforted me and wouldn’t let me until I recomposed myself somehow, before coming back to continue working.

Eventually I went to the doctor and I had to stop working for a while. She was a great help for me in those dark days. I’m deeply grateful to her for had “rescued” me during those dreadful hours. She’s still my best friend.

Gratitude

in the picture, me, one of those years

Posted in daily prompt

I Prefer Autumn

I like things happening as usual. I was a little unsettled because of the high temperatures and the absence of rain at the beginning of this Autumn.

I love Autumn, but till this week It seamed that the summer would never end. We were wearing summer clothes and sandals. Plus, we are going thru a pretty strong drought. The reservoirs are close to empty.

We are waiting for the rain with anxiety. In other places of Spain they’ve had torrential rains but nothing over here. The landscape usually green and leafy appears dry and dusty. Some trees hadn’t change its colour yet.

I went out to take pictures of the colours of the Autumn in the forest And only have found some leaves on the floor in a very hot day. As every Autumn, the man who sells roasted chestnuts arrived with his portable stove to my street, filling everything with the nice smell of his merchandise, but it was so hot that there was no appeal to buy the hot chestnuts he was selling for 1 euro a dozen.

I would prefer a nice autumn season with rains, fresh weather, feel the cold in my cheeks, stop by the chestnut seller and buy a dozen to warm my hands and my stomach.

 

Prefer

Posted in daily prompt

Orange

 

Close to my house there is an ancient park pretty big, where a little army of gardeners are constantly working to keep it nice and beautiful with lots of flowers, according to the season. and following the old design of flowerbeds, decorative trimmed hedges and everything else. It’s called La Taconera.

Today they were changing the flower beds for the autumn and it was one of the rare days in which the park was almost bare so I didn’t take any pictures, but I have a photo of some orange tulips from last spring.

The park is located along the city walls, and in the old moats there is a mini zoo with some deers, and all kind of ducks, goose, peacocks and other birds. I love to take a walk thru the park. With its statues, its antique decorations and above all its beautiful flowers, helps me enter in another world, and escape from the noises and the dust of the city and its road traffic.

I consider myself lucky to have such a green space so close.

flowers 11

Orange

Posted in daily prompt, Journalism, Memories

Surreal

As a reporter I witnessed a police operation against a violent terrorist cell in my city, and two years after, I was called to take the stand as a witness during the trial against the terrorists. They promised me total discretion and that my name would not be disclosed.

I had to go to Madrid because the crimes related to terrorism are competence of a National High Tribunal. Once there, we, the witnesses, were waiting for the beginning of the trial, when a bus with supporters of the terrorists coming from my city arrived. The clerks and the security guards wanted that we were called by our names publicly in front of all those people who were looking at us as the enemy. Finally, talking with the security guards, we entered the building thru another door.

While I was waiting for my turn to take the stand I was searched thoroughly by a police woman, like if I was a criminal instead of a witness. Then, when my turn finally arrived, I entered the courtroom, and I had to stand next to an armored glass cage where the accused were. One of them had threatened me to death two years before when the police operation was taking place. I looked at them. They were laughing at me.

The first thing the judge said was ask me about my name and surname and repeat them aloud several times, because my surname is not very easy to pronounce for a Spaniard. Next he said aloud my address. So, that was the total discretion they promised me. The alleged terrorists in the cage were laughing loud, apparently having a great time. (They explained afterwards to me that it is a tactic of them to intimidate the witnesses).

To my surprise, the District Attorney didn’t know what to ask me. He didn’t know I was a journalist and that I had written everything I’ve seen in my newspaper. He didn’t know that I witnessed how one of the suspects opened the door of a hiding place where there was a large cache of weapons… I couldn’t believe it.

Finally, I finished answering questions and was dismissed. When all that was over, I wanted to refresh my mind and I decided to go to visit some museums in Madrid.

I went to El Prado, and when I was inside, suddenly there was an alarm and we were all evicted by bomb warning. I went to the Thyssen Museum, and it happened again.

So I decided to take a walk far away from the courthouse and wait calmly for the hour of my trip back home. Surreal
Surreal

Posted in daily prompt, our life

Identity search

untitled-0341

When my father passed away I had to do the paperwork to get my mother widow’s pension and I run into a clerk who told me that my mom wasn’t my dad’s wife (after 56 years of marriage) because they didn’t have the “family’s book”.

In Spain, when you get married you get a “family’s book” which is very important. It certifies the marriage and when the kids arrive inscribe them as the legitimate children.
But my parents, who are from Croatia and had a very eventful life before settling in Spain, were already married for 13 years when they arrived, and the authorities never gave them the famous book.

I went to the social security office with the marriage certificate, from the civil authorities and from the church, and the book of large family the Spanish Government had given us many years ago, but the clerk told me that those documents were not valid. Without the family’s book, my parents were not married and my mom had no right to the pension. I came again with more papers but without success. The third day I arrive with my papers, another clerk, who was more sympathetic, called me to a follow her to a corner of the room and gave me a yellow post-it with a name and a phone number.

– This is a Red Cross’ social worker – she told me – who gets identities for immigrants who do not have them like your mom. Call her she’ll help.

I exploded:

– Look. My mom got the Spanish nationality 45 years ago, probably before you were born.  And now you are telling me that I have to look for an identity for her, as if she had arrived yesterday undocumented in a boat?. I appreciate your interest, but not. Thank you.

I went home tired and desperate and asked my mom if she had some other paper about her marriage. She produced an old certificate, profusely decorated with the red star, the sickle and the hammer, from the Yugoslavian Government, with the names of my parents in latin and Cyrillic alphabets, all written in Croatian and Serbian. It was related to the property of their small apartment in Zagreb.

– Try with this, she told me. It has nothing to do with the marriage but it has our names in it.

I went to the office of the social security armed with my communist certificate, absolutely incomprehensible for them, and, at the sight of the sickle and the hammer, the Cyrillic alphabet and all that, the clerk surrendered.

– This will work, she told me dryly.

So that way, thanks to the Yugoslavian Government, my application passed to a higher instance where there was an official who knew my father and said immediately that, of course, there was no doubt that my mom was my father’s widow and had the right to the pension.

Identity

Posted in daily prompt

Trademark

clothesTrademark

Something that I don’t understand is the trend to show the trademark logo of a fashion firm very visible in the clothes or bags people are wearing.

I guess it is a way to say : “hey folks, look where I’m buying my clothes. I have enough money to spend in such and such shop.”

But my opinion is that wearing the logo trademark of the fashion firm, people becomes live advertising persons. And they instead of pay for the clothes, they should be compensated for the advertising they make.

I try to buy clothes without known trademark just because of that reason. I don’t want to be advertising for free about something I’ve already paid.

Posted in Uncategorized

NOTICE TO MY READERS AND FOLOWERS

Hello everybody! I’ve decided to migrate my blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. I don’t know if it’s a good idea, but I did it. I feel more confortable working this way. Now you can reach me at http://lifeisgreat.brajnovic.info  I’ll continue to participate in the challenges like the daily prompt and the weekly photo challenge from there.  My old http.// address will redirect you to my new address. Sorry for the inconveniences.

NOTICE TO MY READERS AND FOLLOWERS

Probably you already noticed I’ve been silent since late May. Due to family matters that require all my time and attention, I won’t be able to update this blog for a while. I hope things will get back to normal soon. Till then, good luck to everybody.