All Posts Filed in ‘challenges

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Cee’s fun foto challenge: books and paper

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I’m writing an article about my father for a prestigious historical publication, and I have to check many facts about WWII and what happened during the Cold War to quote them accurately. This is how it looks my desk this morning: Full of books and papers.

some of my books
old papers My father was working on and I’m studying now.
Many documents to go thru them.
pretty handmade notebooks a woman was selling on my street

Cee’s fun foto challenge: books and paper

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Monday windows

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I followed Cee and decided to take part too on the challenge put together by Ludwig Keck. I have a fascination for windows. They give me lots of possibilities to capture cool images.

from inside out
from a medieval palace near Bilbao

Monday Windows

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Cee’s fun foto challenge: roofs

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I took the first five pictures from the advantage point of the tower of an ancient church near to my house in Pamplona Spain, then there is a panoramic od Zagreb (Croatia) from the Upper City and And some roofs of monumental buildings you can see there. Then, a ruined roof in a little island near Zadar (also Croatia) The last picture is a house in the Bask Country. The featured image shows the ancient and decorated roof of the gothic church of St. Mark in Zagreb. I hope you’ll enjoy the tour!

Cee’s fun photo challenge: roofs

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Fear

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As a reporter I have been involved some dangerous situations related to war and terrorism. Once I witnessed and followed a Police operation against a terrorist group very active in my city. I went with the police to a terrorist safe-house where the terrorists had hidden lots of weapons and explosives and they have prepared a place ready to hold a kidnaped person.

One of the terrorists who was arrested was present during the search of the place as was I, and he threatened me and my photographer to death. He was looking at me madly as if I was the only responsible for his fall. I was scared of him despite he was arrested and handcuffed. He kept telling me he knew who we were and that we will pay for what we were doing. I said nothing a continued taking notes about the operations to write my article for my newspaper.

Soon, the police took him away and I felt better.

During the operation the police had arrested three members of the terrorist cell: two men and a woman. She was the boss. She had been wounded in a shooting with the agents. When they caught her she had two handguns, and three grenades concealed under her coat. She opened fire against the police when they stopped her in the middle of a very busy street. His partner tried to escape, but was caught nearby.

After that arrest the police found the third terrorist who was the owner of the safe-house and was present during the search the police made on the premises. They found weapons and bombs already prepared along with explosives to make more bombs. There were also maps and sketches of public places and some houses and itineraries of people they planned to kill.

The terrorists lived there and all three of them were very thin, but in the laundry, there were a very large pants size XXL and a matching big shirt. So I began to think that there was a fourth terrorist the police had no arrested and was on the loose, free to fulfil the threat against me. So From that day I began to do crazy things like change every day my route to go to work and back home, avoid big people with bulky clothes, and so on. It took me weeks to go back to normal. It was the irrational fear i had.

The terrorists went to prison and in less than 20 years they were set free despite they had killed 18 people and wounded over 30. Wonders of the Spanish Judicial System.

The one who threatened me, came back to my city sooner than that, and we sometimes met on the street. We ignore each other. But is not easy. They told me he has distanced himself from the terrorist group while in prison and is rehabilitated. But his companions are still politically active in extremists groups, and they never apologised for the murders they committed.

In the picture, me when I was a young reporter, at the age when those facts happened

Ragtag Daily Prompt: Fear

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Complete change thanks to my parents

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Change has come to my life since I wrote my first book and it was published four months ago. I was a retired Journalist , pretty sick, with not so much excitement in my life. Now I’m officially a writer with lots of events in my agenda.

I have been interviewed by the media, and I have found myself just in the opposite side where I used to be. I had made hundreds of interviews. But I was used to be the one making questions. It’s quite different being in the receiving end, not knowing what its going to come, especially when you are live and there is no room for an error.

Once I was interviewed not only live, but in front of an audience of 300, all of them journalists, in Madrid. My sister was among the public in the first row. At the beginning I was so nervous and focused that I waited for the questions with an expression pretty serious and focused. She, from her seat was trying to tell me: “Look up and smile!”. “You look like being in your funeral”.

Little by little I took confidence and at the end I could answer to the questions more relaxed. I never had been in such a situation, but it was fun nevertheless.

I have been traveling from city to city talking about the book and explaining how I wrote it. I even have signed dozens of copies after those events to people who had bought my book.

I have been living in a cloud.

And everything is thanks to my parents. My book is about their story which is really exciting. They passed away but leaved us their diaries from times of great sufferings and an amazing love during the WWII and the Cold War in Eastern Europe. Those diaries have an impressive richness. All what’s happening to me is their merit. And I’m immensely grateful to them. I love them much more every day after reading their diaries and writing about them because they have taught me so much about love. Not only when their were around, but also now that they are present thru those writings. Thank you dad, thank you, mom.

Ragtag Dayly Prompt: Change

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Cee’s fun foto challenge: Letters and numbers

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Some of the elements

In front of the main auditorium of my city they have installed a giant Periodic Table of Elements made of concrete cubes, with each symbol and number engraved in them, and colourful plaques in which there are explained each element in several languages. There you can find plenty of letters and numbers and walk thru them looking for some particular one.

Calcium

I stopped to take a pic of the calcium, maybe because I need it so much for my bones.

touristic guide for the blind

And finally, some different letters, the ones for the blind. This is a touristic guide at the door of an ancient historic building near my home in braille. It explains that it’s a civil gothic construction from the XIV century that has been always in use as the accounts tribunal for the kingdom of Navarre.

Cee´s fun foto Challenge: Numbers and Letters

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I love pretty shoes

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Isn’t pretty?

Yes I do. I love pretty shoes. I can’t wear them too much because of my balance problems, but I love them and now and then I can’t resist the temptation and I buy a pair of them, colourful and funny.

They lift my spirits because when I wear them I can wear as well my dresses and skirts, with colourful flower prints, and feel good out of the routine of the pants and the sneakers, which are very comfortable, but make look my feet big and my style boring.

Some people would laugh at me when they see me with crutches or a walker and heeled shoes, and would ask me what am I doing on top of the heels with my obvious problems to walk. But I don’t care. I walk carefully to don’t fall and I remember the good old times when I could walk normally and even dance.

I have to confess that I like to feel elegant in special occasions. Besides, I carefully look for shoes nice and comfortable at the same time with rubber soles, even rubber heels, like this one in the picture, my last acquisition.

I already wore them in some occasions for the presentation of my book and the tribute for the centenary of my dad in an event in Madrid, where I was interviewed in front of 300 people. I felt very confident in my outfit with my new shoes.

Ragtag Daily Challenge: shoe

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My book is in the bookstores!

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My first book is in the bookstores! And they are selling them pretty well.

Here am I with them in a store near my house.

I think I already wrote about my literary adventure. This year is my dad’s centenary, and I decided to pay him an homage writing his story after I read his diaries from the 40s and the 50s and translated them from Croatian to Spanish. An then I found my mom’s memories. I put all together and the result was their story told by themselves in first person.

It’s an exciting story with adventures: My father was taken prisoner by the fascists of Mussolini and ,years later, he almost get executed by the communists. Both sides were against him, because he was an independent journalist. Later on he got separated from his family and was displaced, and found himself alone wandering across Europe.

His diaries contains this story but basically are a beautiful love letter to my mom in which he writes to her how much he loves her every day during the twelve years they were forcefully separated because of the war an the circumstances that developed after during the worst years of the Cold War.

For me has been a emotional journey and a challenge, because it’s my first experience writing a book. I’m glad I have done it. The book is in Spanish and has arrived to the bookstores last march 11 so I only have one reaction from a Spanish writer very positive. He says, I managed to tell the story in a beautiful way. I’m so happy!

Ragtag Daily Prompt: Book

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immerse in my book

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I have been immersed in the process of writing a book. That took almost all my time the last year, but most intensely these two last months, when I have been editing, proof checking, negotiating with my editor and all those things one have to do before having the book in the bookstores.

I just have sent to the editing house the last proof with my last corrections and my approval, and now I only have to wait for them to do their job. I suddenly am feeling very tired. Really exhausted. But at the same time excited and restless waiting for the moment when I will see the work completed.

It was not easy to reach this moment. I have written My parent’s story, pretty exceptional, during the war and the exile. For me was a very emotional trip. I began to dive into the diaries of my dad and the memories of my mom. They suffered a lot and loved a lot, and finally the love they professed each other was the winer.

When I sent my manuscript to the editorial house, they told me it was too long and instructed me to cut off 20.000 words. I was desolated It was like amputate a limb to your own child. Very painful.

I finally managed to do so without damaging the story and we reach an agreement.

All this is happening in the year of the centenary of my dad. The Regional Newspaper, where my dad had a daily column about International Politics during 28 years, published a page about him and another page days after, when the University where he was teacher of Journalism during 32 years celebrated a big event with many assistants.

This will be a year of celebrations here and in Croatia were My dad comes from. Lots of things will happen around his memory. I’m proud and happy.

(In te picture during the celebration of the centenary of my dad at the University, with my sisters, my brother in law and the dean of the Journalism School. I’m the last one at the right.)

Ragtag Daily Prompt: Immerse

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Squirrel

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squirrel
A little squirrel pictured many years ago

Squirrel was the nickname of a taxi driver we had hired to drive us to the most weird (or common) places to collect data as journalists working in Bilbao. 


I never knew his real name. He was a short, thin and resolutive man. He used to have his taxi stationed in a stop near our building waiting for customers when he was not working for us.


I used to go to the stop to look for him when I needed a ride to go in a hurry to work in an ongoing news in some distant place, usually with a photographer who would take the pictures for the report or the interview at takes.


Once we went to make a report about the tuna fishermen of Bermeo. My boss sent me to do it precisely when all the fishermen were in the high seas fishing. Squirrel knew that. He knew almost everything. It was an impossible assignment. And my boss wanted a whole page written by me for that very night. It was his way to test me. I was a rocky then. Just nineteen. Taking my first steps in the job. 


We went to Bermeo anyway. Squirrel helped me to talk with the women of the fishermen port (they spoke in Basque and very fast) and I got a good story about their way of life.
That night, I was able to fill my page with a human interest article. Not precisely what my boss had ask for, but something that was worth it. Test passed.

Ragtag Daily Prompt: Squirrel

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Flag

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Kotor 2

This is the flag of the city of Kotor in one of the balconies of the main square. The city is a little jewel in one of the most beautiful bays of the Adriatic, the Kotor Bay, in Montenegro, just south of Croatia.

The city is completely fortified, and everything inside is baroque or medieval. It has plenty of history… and life. It’s my father’s home city and one of the most beloved places for me.

Ragtag Daily Prompt – Flag

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Oeuvre

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Ivan Mestrovic 8

This post is going to be a little reiterating, but today’s prompt has remind me my recent visit to the house and atelier of the Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrović in Zagreb.

There were beautiful sculptures in bronze and stone finished into the house along with furniture made by him, and also sketches and studies of pieces for larger monuments in the garden and the atelier. It was very interesting to see all this works of art and also to see the house in which he lived since 1920 till 1942, with his beautiful dinning room and his characteristic ceramic stoves.

In the picture, a study of a hand for a large statue and a sketch for a relief in the atelier

Ragtag Daily Prompt – Oeuvre

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Tender Bronze

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Ivan Mestrovic 2

I have been recently in the atelier of the sculptor Ivan Meštrović in Zagreb (Croatia) which is now a museum. He has a great expressive strength in his sculptures in bronze and stone.

I was deeply impressed by the tenderness of the Pietà of the saint Mark’s church in the upper city of Zagreb, that you can see in the picture above.

After contemplating that, I went to the atelier were I saw sculptures very strong and angular, and among them, other very tender, always with the mother as a main figure, like the woman with her child, that you can see in the picture bellow.

Ivan Mestrovic 5

Ragtag Daily Prompt – Tender

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Blue

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Perast 5

My travel to meet my roots has come to an end. I have been in the bay where my dad awakened to the life and the hometown of my mom.

My eyes and my soul are filled with blue. The blue of the sea, the blue of the incredible landscapes of my parents childhood. Maybe this is why blue has been always my favourite colour.

Senj 2

Now I’m back at home, in the city, surrounded by asphalt, concrete and grey stones.I just had come home and I’m already longing to see once more the Adriatic sea.

I’m feeling a little blues. But I’m already making plans to came back soon to that fantastic place.

In the Pictures, Kotor Bay (Montenegro) and Senj (Croatia)

Ragtag Daily Prompt – Blue

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Celebrating with joy the lost of a final

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Senj futbol 1I have been in Croatia the past month and I have followed there the final of the World Cup and the welcoming to the football team that lost the final but won the respect of many and came back being the second best team of the championship.

The Croatians celebrated the silver medal as if they were the champions. I was in a bar in Senj, My mom’s home town, watching the final against France. Our players fought till the end despite the score was devastating: 4-2.

To my surprise, all the people took it immediately for the positive side, and begun to celebrate the silver as a big achievement with great joy. I thought in what would happen if that would happen to Spain: Something like that would probably provoke bitter critiques to the trainer and maybe some anger above all among the commentators and some of the hooligans.

Instead, we were really proud of our guys. Much more when the prize for the best player of the championship went to our midfielder Luka Modrić.

While we were watching the ceremony of the imposition of the medals under the rain in Moscow we decided to give our own medal in our sunny town to our waiter, who had been serving drinks during the match without rest. And like this, the jokes and cheers went on and on.

I went to Zagreb, the capital of the country, next day. It was impressive. everybody dressed in the colours of the team. Eight hours of feast with the players and the trainer, all the streets and the main square full of people, and a special connection among the players and the people. They sang the same songs at one voice. They celebrated a big achievement with great joy.

We were a small country ( 4,5 million people) and had reached the second place in the World Cup.

And the best of all, in such a big  crowd, ( they estimated half a million people in a city of one million) not a single incident. I’m glad I was there those days.

In the picture, celebrating the final when the match was already lost

Ragtag Daily Prompt – Zest

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My little adventure in Plitvice

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Yesterday I visited the Croatian National Park of the Plitvice Lakes. It was quite a challenge for me, because I have some problems with my balance and I need a walker which was impossible to use it on the irregular paths of the park.

66541F76-4FF1-4CBD-8941-E3FB2140FD18I have a crutch for these cases but it was also difficult to use it there, so under my own risk I decided to venture myself without the walker or the crutch, but with the help of the arm of a good friend and leaning in  the railings that you can find in some places along the way thru the forest, the shore of the lakes and the proximity of the many waterfalls you can find there. I had to be extra careful to avoid a fall.

A54E7C93-B911-4B54-817C-E0652FC209F5The effort was worth it. I/m glad to have been able to spend the day in that place.

if I would’t dare leave behind my walker and my crutches I would not be able to see and take pictures of these marvels of Nature.

Challenge

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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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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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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

Post

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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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