I was trying to figure out how to take photos of fashion in my city last Saturday and I began to try to capture some images in shops
an then, I stumbled upon a wedding ….
I was trying to figure out how to take photos of fashion in my city last Saturday and I began to try to capture some images in shops
an then, I stumbled upon a wedding ….
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.
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.
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.)
After 28 years working as a journalist for a newspaper, glued to the strict facts and trying to be precise and truthful, I kind of burned my writing style. It’s very difficult for me to compose something creative. And it’s a shame, because I once upon a time had some talent, and lots of ideas for short stories and poetry. Even I published a poem with some success. But I was young and enthusiastic then, and didn’t have experienced the harsh life of a street reporter, with a daily deadline to deliver my news and the need to tell real stories as accurate as possible, with as few words as possible. No adjectives. No fancy descriptions. Just so: what, who, when, where, why. Everything else, had no space in my work.
Ten years ago, one day like this one, I began to blog. I know it because WordPress congratulated me today for my anniversary. At the beginning I began to write about what I knew best: about what was on the news, Then I tried to open a blog entirely dedicated to good news. But I found that there was difficult to find enough positive stories to fill it. after that I moved to look for my inspiration in the WordPress prompts that no longer exist. Now I follow the RagTag Daily Prompt and take pictures for the Cee’s fun foto challenge.
Three years ago I started another blog (in Spanish) to honor the centenary of my father which will be next January 13th. He was also a Journalist. He wrote a daily column for a newspaper during 29 years, but he never lost his creative inspiration. He was a poet till his death. He was also a beloved teacher of Journalism in the University and in my blog I have published very moving contributions by his disciples along with my posts about his life and his writings.
So I write a lot, have a lot of stories to tell but I lack inspiration. I’m too stick to the facts and to far away of creativity.
This has been an unforgettable summer for me. I have traveled to my parents homeland, I have deepened in my roots, I have discovered beautiful places, I have met wonderful people.. My eyes are full of beauty and my heart filled with gratitude. I wish there will be many more summers like the one we just wrapped up.
I’m not reticent to speak
about my last trip
because it was quite a treat.
(Here you can see me sailing on a boat to watch the dolphins close to the Kornati Islands in Croatia).
I 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
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.
I 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.
The 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.
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.
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.
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.
– 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.
I’m awfully sad. My greatest love has been grossly publicly insulted and vexed. At the beginning I couldn’t believe what was happening. But it was true. And now I don’t know what to do to console him. Stand by him more than ever. He already has forgiven the perpetrators of that affront. For me is more difficult. But who am I to keep rancour if he has decided to forgive? I’m trying to forgive too. I have to learn so much about forgiveness. The rancour brings bitterness. Forgiveness gives inner peace. That’s true. But what remains after such an unjust attack is the moral pain. A deep pain in the soul. Yes, my soul is bleeding.
Yesterday I posted some pictures about the Fiesta of San Fermin, with people bathed in wine after the launch of the rocket that marks the beginning of the celebration. Today I will show another face of the Fiesta, the one properly dedicated to San Fermín, the patron saint of Pamplona, Spain.
Hundreds of thousands came this morning to my neighbourhood to see the procession of the image of the saint thru the streets and sing to him typical songs known as “jotas” in a great show of popular devotion. This time everybody was clean and most of the people were families with kids. with the procession goes out the so-called “comparsa” of giants and big-heads to entertain the kids. In one of the pictures you can see one of the giants dancing. A man inside the wooden structure of the giant performs the dance, which is pretty difficult.
A group of teachers of Journalism, former colleagues, invited me to attend to the presentation of the student’s projects for the end of the degree. I went early and took my time to have a quiet walk across the beautiful Campus before the event. It was a very pleasant morning. I remembered my years at the University, first as a student, and later as a teacher, and the time I spent in those wonderful gardens, talking, reading, or just enjoying the nature, to rest a little while studying for the final exams.
We all knew that when this flowers began to fall there was no time to spare to study for the final exams and get ready for the last projects of the academical year.
It’s a pleasure to walk from one building to another. I had great conversations when I was studying and working at the University here. Today, I remembered my friends from my youth and my father, who was a teacher. We used to walk and talk a lot over here.
There are new, modern, buildings. A lot of concrete and glass. But the same old trees are growing in the same places. Here is the old olive tree against a concrete wall of the Journalism School. (The building has a lot of light and windows it’s just the effect of the picture).
There are trees of every kind. And lots of birds. The sight and the sounds are beautiful.
Tell us about one thing (or more) that you promised yourself you’d accomplish by the end of the year. How would you feel once you do? What if you don’t?
Keep living. That’s my main expectation for the year. Not very ambitious, I know. Or maybe it is. Who knows what can happen.
I don’t make big resolutions for the year. That doesn’t mean my life is empty of interests and projects. But now I have one priority: my family and taking care of my paralytic mother.
She was totally independent, had an ictus and suddenly became totally dependent. Her illness changed my life from one day to another. I learned not to rely too much in my plans for the year. Things can change when you less expect.
I’m glad I have the opportunity to take care of my mom. It’s a way to give her back the love she gave me during her life. Her smile is my best reward.
I’ll try to keep her as comfortable as possible, try to relieve her sufferings as much as possible, be with her, talk with her, make her smile even laugh. That makes me happy.
Of course I’m trying to do other things like writing this blog and another one about World News if I have the time. But as I said I’m taking my life day by day. Keep living. Or as Dory says in Finding Nemo, Just Keep Swimming!. One can achieve a lot by doing that.
Today my city is sad. Our local football club Osasuna descended to the second division. A big drama.
Besides during the last match, when the fans were celebrating the first goal of their team, they stormed the barrier, that didn’t resist and tumbled to the ground leaving up to 60 injured. Luckily none of them serious. The match had to be suspended for half an hour. A disastrous day.
Osasuna finally won the match but the results of other matches between other teams made that victory useless. The team ended in the third post at the end of the classification, which means an automatic descend to the second division.
For the fans and the city is a big blow. Now instead to play against the renown teams like Real Madrid or Barcelona, the team will have to go to play against unknown teams. Less spectacle. Less fun. And also less revenues for the city.
People in the streets are sad and serious, discouraged. It’s a pity to see it.
Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life.
links to great street photos o the next page:
My street full of life during the San Fermin Fiesta in Pamplona, Spain. You can see the “giants” dancing and people following them. It’s an old tradition.
Are you full of confidence or have you ever suffered from Imposter Syndrome? Tell us all about it.
I know I’m not an impostor, because I’ve never tried to deceive a single person with my actions or with my work. But I’m not full of confidence in myself. I’m full of doubts about the worth of what I’m doing while I’m working. But when I finish I usually think it was worth it.
I have never heard before about the Imposter Syndrome. But I don’t think it is what happened to me. Simply I had people around me who contributed to erode my confidence. I don’t know if they did it in purpose. I would like to think not. But I know they succeeded.
Because of the nature of my job I had to act confident and I did, but I felt insecure in the inside. Which was bad for me, because I suffered, but no so bad for my job, because I became almost paranoid to check and recheck countless times the facts until I was completely sure before publishing my reports, so I ended being known as an accurate journalist in my community, despite those negative voices around me.
Insecurity pursued me all my life after those difficult years.
What are your thoughts on aging? How will you stay young at heart as you get older?
When my Mom was 85, she surprised me one day asking me to buy for her some CD she had seen advertised to learn English. She already spoke Croatian, Spanish, German, Italian, and some French and Russian but she told me she realised English was the key language to communicate globally. She never lost her will to learn new things. Later on she wrote her memoir and worked in the writings my father left behind when he passed away. Now she is almost 94, has half body paralysed, but has developed the ability to do a lot of things with just one hand. She reads a lot. Everyday she applies with her free hand her lipstick and makes sure her hair is looking well. She ask me to bring her to the hair dresser every week. She wants to look nice and succeeds, so everybody thinks is at least 10 years younger.
I don’t know what would happen with me. Both my parents have aged with a lot of inner energy in spite of their illnesses and best of all, with full control of their minds. I would like to have the same inner strength till the end and I pray for it.
links to great pics on the next page:
Who are your neighbors? Are you friends with them, barely say hi, or avoid them altogether? Tell us a story — real or invented — about the people on the other side of your wall (or street, or farm, or… you get the point).
I live in an apartment and, believe it or not, among my neighbours are the Marquesses of the Royal Defence. How on earth ended I as a neighbour of a family with such a pompous nobility title? It seems the building, located in the old city, was theirs, but they sold it, except for the apartment they’re living in. They have other properties in the region but they like to live a simple life in the city. They are a very nice couple, very polite, very easy-going. Nobody would said they are part of the nobility. They blend with everybody without problems. In fact I only discovered they were the marquesses when I read about them in the local newspaper. It was quite a surprise. We have a nice neighbour relationship. They are extremely polite and quiet. We use to visit each other for Christmas and have a good time together. We help each other when we need something. We visit them when there is some event as a new-born grandchild (their son lives in the same building) or something like that.
We have a very good relationship with our neighbours from the apartment next to ours. Two sisters, very friendly and always ready to help when we needed something. We shared with them our newspaper. And they, very good cooks, gave us cookies and cakes or fresh vegetables they brought us from their country house. We see each other every day. Wonderful people.
Very different were my former neighbours in another building. They were always making some reforms in their apartment, with all the noise you can imagine. Drilling, hammering, sawing without end at all hours. My ailing Mom was exhausted because she couldn’t rest. I went once to talk with them and a man opened the door with a hammer in his hand. I tried to ask him politely if he could stop making noises at certain hours when my Mom had to rest. He answered, very angry and rudely, that he had right to do whatever he wanted at his home whenever he wanted and told me to go out of his presence immediately, hammer in hand. I was so scared I never dared to go alone to complain again. We had to go thru the neighbourhood community to solve our differences. It was really nasty. For me was a mystery what they were doing to that apartment because for years there were no end to the constant drilling and hammering coming from above.
In that building we had problems also with our neighbours from below: a supermarket. Again the noises. Noises from machines. From the freezers and from the air conditioner machines. We had also vibrations from these machines. At night it was impossible to sleep. We complain but they said that we were exaggerating, so we finally had to call the police to measure to noise at night and prove it exceeded the legal limit. They finally were forced to repair the installation.
Daily Prompt: Good Fences?.
Posts by other bloggers on the next page:
What’s the household task you most dislike doing? Why do you think that is — is it the task itself, or something more?
I hate ironing. I’m not good at it. It’s difficult to me and the results are discouraging. I’m always fighting with the iron and the wrinkles and I finish exhausted. Besides there is no end to that task. I hate the shirts and the pants, so difficult to do it perfectly. They say I’m a little perfectionist. So I suffer with my bad ironing a lot.
I guess nobody likes some tasks, as cleaning bathrooms. I don’t like that. But I like the result. It compensates the effort. It’s very different doing that kind of things because they have to be done, than doing them because of love for the family. It’s great to have a clean and neat home. It makes easier to develop a happy family life. Material things are important. I’m not talking about having a lot of things, but about having a home where everybody can be at easy, and can rest from the daily troubles. I don’t know what I would do at home without my family. With them, all makes sense. Without them, I guess I would be a disaster at home.
When you were five years old, who was your hero? What do you think of that person today?
When I was 5 he was my hero. The perfect man. The one who knew all the answers. The one with whom I was completely safe. The one who never deceived me. The one who defended me from all dangers. The one who taught me to talk, to pray and to sing. My dad. He was a quiet man, with beautiful blue eyes and a charming smile. Later I learned that he was a journalist, a professor, a writer and a poet.
I didn’t know he had a hazardous and heroic life during WWII and after. Plenty of sufferings. He was forcibly separated from my mother during twelve years, two of his brothers were killed, he was held prisoner and tortured. Despite all that pain there was no bitterness in him. How he did it? He said with God’s help. He was a man of great faith.
As I was growing and knowing more about his life I’d admired him more and more. Not only by knowing about his past life, but by witnessing his everyday life. So honest, good humoured, simple, joyful, till the end.
Once, in a homage dedicated to my father they asked me: how would I define him?. I told them he was like an open door. He was always working even at home. But I never went to him and found him telling me he was too busy to pay attention and take care of me. Nor when I was little neither when I grew up. He was always ready to listen to me, to talk to me. He never failed me.
He died almost thirteen years ago and it seems as if it was yesterday. I miss him so much. He still mi hero.
Daily Prompt: Heroic.
Heroic posts by other bloggers on the next page:
Describe your personal style, however you’d like to interpret that — your clothing style, your communication style, your hair style, your eating style, anything.
I’ve never thought about myself in terms of style. I guess I have the style I can afford, which is not very high standard, nor original. When I was young they called me (unjustly) “hippy”. I never understood why because I wasn’t hippy. Something in my appearance? Who knows!. Now, nobody would call me that.
I’m not a fashion slave. I’m a middle-aged woman wearing normal stuff. Comfortable clothing, above all comfortable shoes for my poor feet. No jewellery.
I favour blue, red and black. I guess because I have a very white skin I need strong colours around my face. No too much accessories. Maybe some coloured scarf and a nice bag. No more ornaments. I don’t like to put on make up. I usually don’t apply any. I’m allergic to almost everything. A too sensitive skin.
I like skirts and pants but I’m almost all the time in jeans and sweaters or t-shirts and leave the skirts for feast days or special occasions. I guess this is average and boring but it’s my style.
Daily Prompt: Style Icon.
Stylish posts by other bloggers on the next page:
Tell us about a time you’d been trying to solve a knotty problem — maybe it was an interpersonal problem, a life problem, a big ol’ problem — and you had a moment of clarity when the solution appeared to you, as though you were struck by lightening.
I don’t remember a single serious problem solved by a miraculous moment of clarity. What I remember is hard work and perseverance. There have been moments of clarity after a big deal of meditation for important decisions in my life but that belongs to my intimacy. I also had inspirational moments in my life mostly thanks to my parents. I already wrote about them in this blog.
I had some silly ideas coming to me in a moment of clarity. I have no strength in my hands and for me it was impossible to uncorks a champagne bottle. It was a real problem to me. One day a light struck me. I could use a nutcracker to help me. The cork came out without effort!. Not very romantic, but very efficient. My problems with champagne bottles solved for ever.
In other occasion I was working with my computer and taking notes at the same time and I had another moment of clarity. I decided to use my left hand to work with the mouse and my right hand to take the notes and save time and space this way. It works nicely.
Moments of clarity posts by other bloggers on the next page:
Merry Christmas to all of my readers. I pray this days with great intensity for the gift of peace. Peace in our lives. Peace for this troubled world. May God help us and bless us. Sincerely.
Textures are everywhere: The rough edges of a stone wall. The smooth innocence of a baby’s cheek. The sense of touch brings back memories for us. What texture is particularly evocative to you?
Wet. Fresh. Alive. Salt water all over me. The sea. I’m feeling the freshness and the density of the water in constant movement. Swimming. Floating. Diving. Playing with the waves. Bright colours everywhere. The breeze on my face. I’m with my brother and my sisters. Mom and dad are watching, playing and swimming with us. It’s summer. No school. Dad has some vacation days and can be with us all the time. Beautiful days with a lot of time to spend together. Long talks. My dad’s wonderful tales. Laughters. The sunset. No worries. We are safe. We are happy. We are together.
Daily Prompt: The Power of Touch.
Textures posts by other bloggers on the next page:
The tenth word was “hushed”. And the images were most about quiet landscapes.
Escape. Leave behind the strident noises of the stressful life that surrounds me and find a quiet place to rest. This is what I need. The sea is not precisely silent and quiet but to contemplate it give peace to my soul and clears my mind. I remember with nostalgia my long walks by myself at the Ocean beach in San Francisco when I was living there and my quiet days by the Croatian Adriatic Sea a complaining my mother. Beautiful memories. A lot of natural beauty engraved in them. And also an opportunity to feel the link with my roots, because from my father’s side there re generations and generations of ship captains. Finally, looking at the ocean is so easy to think about how big are the wonders God gave is, how small are us and how much we have to do to preserve that Beauty to generations to come.
Great post about words in the next page:
We are in a park with my older sister. My brother is crying. We were playing near an iron gate. He slipped his head through the bars and now he can’t remove it. He trapped himself. I don’t understand why. If his head fits one way through the bars I can’t see why suddenly doesn’t fit the opposite way. My sister is trying to help my brother. She’s calling for help. Men, women and kids approach. Everybody is talking and making suggestions, but nothing works.
I wonder around alone and I fall and hurt myself. My knee is bleeding. I’m crying. But my sister is too busy with my brother and his head to notice me. I feel miserably and alone. I think my brother is going to die so I cry in distress. A woman says she will take care of me. I’m afraid of her. I don’t want her to take care of me. I want my sister. I want my mom.
Finally a police officer comes and frees my brother I don’t know how. Then my sister comes with my brother free, but still crying, scared. She notices me and my knee and frees me from the scary woman. She says nothing. She takes my hand. I stop crying. We are safe. We are going home.
When was the last time your walked away from a discussion, only to think of The Perfect Comeback hours later? Recreate the scene for us, and use your winning line.
I avoid discussions. I can’t stand them. At the moment the conversation becomes a discussion I feel I’m going to burst in tears. It’s sure because of my depression. To avoid the embarrassment and knowing I can’t make a point in that condition I walk away always. I prefer to come back when all is quiet and you can talk without stress, or write an answer, because I express myself better writing than talking.
I remember though once, after a meeting with my coworkers in which we were talking about salaries. Somebody went to my boss and told him I said that we all should have the same salary, something It wasn’t accurate, and they presented me as a sort of communist infiltrated in the company. He call me to his office immediately and began to yell at me. I told him what I really said during the meeting, but he wouldn’t listen. I asked the help of God and he must helped me, because I didn’t cry in front of him, but I told him very calmly that if he was willing to believe the account of the other person better than mine about my own words I couldn’t do anything more. Then I asked also very calmly if he was firing me. He said a furious NO!
The moment I left the office I burst in tears and I couldn’t stop, as always. But I saved my job and my dignity that day, thanks God.
If a restaurant were to name something after you, what would it be? Describe it. (Bonus points if you give us a recipe!)
I like simple food, nothing too elaborated. I love crepes and pasta (my favorite, spaghetti Carbonara). For a quick-lunch I would choose a Catalonian traditional recipe called “Pan tumaca” with ham. Is very simple, healthy and delicious.
Pan tumaca means in Catalonian bread with tomato. To fix it you need a loaf of white bread, tomatoes, olive oil, salt and “jamón serrano” a variety of Spanish dry-cured ham.
Cut big slices of bread depending of how many people you have for lunch. You can toast the bread if you want. Cut ripe tomatoes in half and rub them over one of the sides of the slices of bread until covered. Season them with salt and olive oil and put slender slices of ham on top of them. That’s it. Quick and delicious.
Right now I can’t dream. I only can think in what I need. I have my mom paralyzed in a wheelchair so I need a home ready for that. No architectural barriers, no stairs, wide corridors and doors, spacious rooms and a special bathroom for her.
Because she loves light and sunny places, my new home would have a lot of big windows. Because she has a lot of books and she loves to put everything in order we would have a big library and a lot of closets with enough room to have everything in place. We need several bedrooms and a good kitchen.
A sunny terrace or a small garden would be great. We would be close to the hospital, because she has to go often, but more important, close to a Church because she likes to go everyday when it’s possible, and of course, every Sunday to Mass. And I use to go too. A big garage with an adapted vehicle to transport the wheelchair would complete the “dream”.
At the end the home of my dreams is that in which my loved ones would be comfortable and happy with me. Because some of my loved ones are no longer around I guess the ultimate home of my dreams is in Heaven where I believe they are waiting for me. And if I manage to deserve it, we will be together forever close to God in the best place imaginable.
Other dream homes:
I consider myself a world’s citizen. Being an immigrants daughter I’m not too attached to any place. But because I live in Pamplona Spain, I guess my farthest travel from home was the one I made from here to San Francisco California, to work as a foreign correspondent in the late nineties. But San Francisco was my home for several years, so I can say that my travel back to Pamplona was also the farthest.
The first one was to the unknown, the second to the already known. In the first one I had to deal with a new language, a new way of life, a new way of work outside the newsroom, by myself, in my home office, not knowing the local uses. All was new an exciting. The second one was to come back to the old and very known routines.
I had six months of training in New York (so exciting city) before packing my bags and flying to the West Coast. I couldn’t believe my boss when he said to me that they needed people in the West Coast because other correspondents thought it was too far away from home. There was a correspondent in LA and that was it. I was going to report about the Bay Area (including Silicon Valley). A very interesting stuff in the nineties.
I remember two feelings: one was a sense of space to breathe and a gorgeous nature I could enjoy everyday without leaving the city (I loved to take a walk in the evening to the Ocean Beach and watch the pelicans flight). The other was a sense of freedom. Nobody cared why my surname was “different” as it happened often in my city, because I was in the land of immigrants and their names come from different places of the world. I felt accepted from the beginning. So, no problem with my name, a lot of freedom, a gorgeous place, a lovely city with so many things to discover every day, the whole Bay Area to search for news and my nearest boss in Washington DC, East Coast. What more could I ask for?
I remember my first day in the city, vice president Al Gore came and had a press conference and I had to go. It was my first experience with a first-class nation personality and I was impressed how effective and quick were security controlling journalists. I thought they would not allow me enter the place being a newcomer despite my credentials, but they did!. Something unthinkable for me coming from Spain where this kind of things were going back then so tediously and slowly. After that I attended at least two events with president Clinton. Very interesting city for a foreign journalist in those days.
PS: I also saw negative things but this is not the place and the moment to tell about them I think. I tried to help working in a non-profit initiative with some American friends. A drop of water in the desert maybe, but a drop of water at least.
I don’t think my biography is worth to bother a writer to spend his or her time working in a book. Nothing special, a normal life with some little adventures, but mostly a very boring stuff. I like to write about my memories sometimes, but I wouldn’t like to see others writing about them, because there are mine. No one will touch them.
I wouldn’t like to see my life in a book written by another person who would sell it as a merchandise and under his or her point of view, maybe in conflict with mine, because my true life is not commercial, that’s for sure. Is not a good idea. Your life for $9.99 in the bookstores? What an embarrassment.
Is another story when the subject of the biography is a personality who have big achievements or a very interesting story, and already died. Then you have a complete story to tell and it’s not easy. To write a biography you have to investigate and document and study the works and the life of the subject of your book very carefully searching a lot of sources and interviewing witnesses if they are available. A very difficult task. In the literature there are many good historic biographies of this kind.
But that’s not my case and I guess never will. Thank God I’m alive and when I die my average life will not interest a single biographer.
Other ideas about biographies:
This is a picture my friend Pachi Calleja captured this morning after the running of the bulls in Pamplona. When the run finished a young man who entered the Arena with the bulls turned and….. This only can happen in Pamplona.
I like sports. I follow soccer and tennis, but I get so involved I can’t watch an entire match. I get so nervous about the fate of my team or my favorite player I can’t enjoy the beauty of the sport. I prefer to see a recorded match knowing the outcome in advance. Then a can appreciate the sport. When the team or the player is not my favorite I don’t have that problem I can watch live and enjoy.
My newsroom is in a building close to my city’s soccer stadium and that’s good because you can work and follow at the same time, by the screams and wows you hear, what’s going on with the team. When people scream gooooooooooaaaaaaal !!! you only have to run to the nearest TV screen to see it repeated, celebrate, comment a little in a hurry with your coworkers, share some jokes with the ones in the sport desk, and then go back to your desk to continue working. I love to follow my team that way, only with the goals and the jokes and without the boring and worrying of the rest of the match. So I guess I’m not a good fan.
other fan stories:
My city, Pamplona, is deep in its Fiesta. All day and night music and noise in the streets. No way to rest. A music band can pass under your window at 3 am as if it was 6 pm and you have to learn to live with the Fiesta and your everyday duties and activities at the same time.
I have to take care of my mother seriously ill and I’m struggling with depression. I’m sad and tired. It’s a harsh contrast with what you see on the streets. Everybody happy, apparently without worries, having fun, and I unable and not willing to take part in that frenzy joy. Hurrying from one side to another to have everything done, and then pretending to participate somehow in the festival, because you can’t ignore it if you are in the street.
To calm myself a little, I use to listen at a CD called Having fun with Bing and Louis that have some records of old Bing Crosby radio programs with Louis Armstrong as a guest, really funny, but peaceful. Here is one of my favorite songs they perform hilariously saying what I would like to do today 🙂
Lazybones, sleeping in the sun
How you ‘spect to get your day’s work done?
Never get your day’s work done
Sleeping in the new day’s sun
Lazybones, sleeping in the shade
How you ‘spect to get your cornmeal made?
You’ll never get your cornmeal made
Just sleeping in the evening shade
When ‘taters need spraying I bet you keep praying
The bugs fall off the vine
And when you go fishing, I bet you keep wishing
The fish won’t grab your line
Lazybones, loafing through the day
How you ‘spect to get a dime that way?
Never make a dime that way
Never heard a word I say
PS. I realize I have been negative about my city’s Fiesta. I’m sorry. I don’t want you to think it’s a bad idea to come to know it. Is something really worth to see. The problem is I’m not in a mood and I don’t like noise and big concentrations of people. I prefer solitude and silence and normal, everyday life.
More opinions here:
When I was young I wanted to become a biologist and spend my life in a vessel studying the creatures of the sea. The truth was that I was looking for a studies my family could afford and at the same time would give me the opportunity to fulfill my dream to live at the sea. I love animals and I thought it was the perfect combination. I don’t know why I changed my mind, but the truth is I did and my dream wasn’t fulfill. So I guess if I could I would spend my nomad life sailing. And because I’m so homesick of my parent’s homeland I would probably go to the Croatian Islands, in the Adriatic Sea, sailing from one to another and setting my home in my vessel, a little sailboat.
But all these are dreams because I choose being a journalist (which I don’t regret), I live in a city inland, I never learned how to sail, and I’m too old and sick and plenty of compromises I can’t leave behind me without damaging people I love. And these people I can’t drag to a nomad life with me are more important to me than anything else. My home is where my people is. And my people is now in a city inland.
By the way, the city is Pamplona, in Spain. Yes, the running of the bulls’ city. The city Hemingway described in his novel “Fiesta”. The Fiesta exploded yesterday and will continue until next saturday. This morning we had the first run of the bulls with four injured. I don’t like too much the Fiesta, the masses of people on the streets and the bulls paraphernalia. I like some of the old traditions, but I can’t suffer the weekend, the noise, the people getting drunk, the streets dirty and so many people everywhere you don’t have enough room to move. So today I would like being a nomad to leave Pamplona until things calm down a little and come back to enjoy the traditional Fiesta.
Other nomad stories:
As a journalist I have been in front and behind of the camera and I have never feel comfortable with the cameras pointing at me. I choose being a writer precisely because of that, and because I think I express myself better writing than speaking.
In front of a camera I feel ridiculous and insecure.
I have to confess one thing: I remember the first time they invited me to do an interview in a local TV station I said yes immediately, excited not because I was going to appear in TV, but because I was going to have a make up session with a professional first time in my life! I was very young and I have seen one of my friends on TV completely changed and beautiful with the make up work they did with her. So I thought it would be the same with me, and I would feel more secure behind that mask. I didn’t use to make up myself so it was an adventure to me. But when I saw myself with the exaggerated and recharged make up on me I get terrified and I went to the interview not insecure, but absolutely scared. Everybody told me I looked beautiful and photogenic. But after all, what would the people who love you tell you about how you look on TV but that you were gorgeous and smart and the best?. I can only laugh at me when I see pictures from that old interview remembering how terrified I was. I learn to think twice before accept another invitation.
Cameras intimidate me. In front of a camera I feel ridiculous, with or without make up. I rather stay behind.
Maybe is because I am ridiculous to look at or to listen at. I don’t like the idea of thousands of people looking at me. I’m not a good orator. I prefer to talk with people freely without intimidation and then, at the secret of my office and my computer, write with enough time to think about what I’m doing, and without a make up.
I’m squeezing my mind trying to find something mysterious about me and can’t come up with anything. I’m a very common and boring person, I guess.
I would like to have more sense of humor and tell you a wonderful secret story about myself, but maybe because of my journalism background I have a tendency to stick to the facts, and the only fact I can think about me that nobody knows is that I’m afraid of bridges.
I don’t know why, but the truth is that every time I’m on a bridge I think it can collapse or I can fall or something bad will happen.
And then, after so many years with this silly fear something really happened.
I was driving coming back from the Court House where I was reporting about a very controversial trial. It was dark at night. No traffic. I entered the bridge and another car behind me. The other car passed me and suddenly the driver began to do strange things: going by my side, slowly if I was driving slow, fast if I was going faster, laughing looking at me with a very scaring expression in his face, then passing me, then letting me pass him, then passing me and finally blocking the bridge with his car and making me stop.
I locked my car and waited alarmed. (It was before the cell phone era). Because he wasn’t moving, only looking at me and laughing, I tried – and succeeded – to pass him very slowly through the narrow space available between his car and the barrier. I stepped on the gas to fly from there but he came after me. And then he crashed his car against mine from my left side to throw me down from the bridge!
I managed to control my car and stop against the barrier shocked but safe. Thank God, at that moment another car arrived and my unknown enemy fled. The other car stopped to help me. I never knew why that man attacked me. I never knew if was a random attack or of it was something related to my work. It remains a mystery to me.
Describe your first memorable experience exploring and spending time in nature. Were you in awe? Or were you not impressed? Would you rather spend time in the forest or the city?
Sunset over the sea. The sound of the waves. The cries of the seagulls. A fresh breeze. The colors. The light. A constant change with an infinite calmness. I was small. That was immense. I would watch at it for ever without getting tired.
More nature views
When I read today’s prompt my first reaction was don’t participate. I’m not in the mood. Today a good friend of mine has died. The first thing I thought was if I were immortal I would be saying good-by to my family members and friends constantly and that would be too much suffering to bear for me. Too much pain, too many tears for an eternity. Unless everybody I love were immortal too. But then we wouldn’t have enough room on this earth.
I believe we are immortal, our souls are immortal, and when we die, if our lives have been honest, our souls go to a better place, close to God, where there are not sad farewells but only happy welcomes with people we love.
PS: forgive me to go so transcendental, but under today’s circumstances…
Other ideas about immortality:
When my father was sick I was with him in the hospital one night he had a crisis he almost died, but the doctors saved him. When he began to feel bad he asked me to call the doctor and to help him pray, he was aware he could die. I did what he asked me. Next morning, he was better and we were talking about what happened. He asked me:
– Were you scared?
– And you?
– Don’t be scared because I’m not afraid of death
I was scared and I was, I’m afraid of death. I thought about how confident was my father on prayer, how big was his faith in God and how far away was I from him.
He died peacefully, surrounded by all of us, holding my mother’s hand. It was the saddest moment of my life but full of peace because he was at peace.
I learned the importance to have your conscience at peace each day of your life in everything you do, as my father did, no matter how difficult could be.
Now, reading his diaries I can see that in his troubled and difficult life it was not easy at all, but he struggled and he won the last battle. My life is very easy in comparison. I have to learn to live with the same faith and integrity in my circumstances, because I want to die as my father did: with peace.
PS: I already wrote a post about my father diaries: “Fighting hate” in which I describe another moment of learning. He is not around any more but he is still teaching me with his example. Thank you, dad.
I met Goya and Velázquez, at El Prado Museum in Madrid. I went with my parents and my brother. We spent there several hours several days to contemplate the wonders of the museum with calm and avoid getting too tired. I enjoyed a lot the rooms filled with paintings by those two giants of art.
I love portraits and there were a lot of them because both were court painters. Velázquez in the XVII Century and Goya later, in the Romantic era. You could see beautiful dresses, queens and princesses, kings and knights, and court characters.
I liked Goya a lot. His way of painting, his colors, his characters. But suddenly, his lasts works grew darker and darker. First the “Disasters of War”, then his “Black Paintings”. That scared me a lot, above all the famous “Saturn devouring his son”. So when we arrived to the room where you can see the famous painting “Las Meninas” by Velázquez, I was happy again and my fears disappeared. I was contemplating a painting with a princess and girls with beautiful dresses and a great sense of deepness and reality.
We went back home and one year after I get sick with a bone tumor in my leg and I needed an operation. I was twelve and I was very worried about the anesthesia, because they told me that when you are recovering from anesthesia you say everything, even your deepest secrets, and at that age I didn’t want anybody to know about my secrets.
It turned out that when I was recovering from the anesthesia, in my delirium I was dreaming that I was inside the paintings of Goya. Posing with kings and queens, dancing with merry farmers…, but suddenly the merry farmers began to change and became the horrible characters of the “Black Paintings” and I was trapped by monsters that were dragging me towards the ominous Saturn devouring his son and waiting for me. So I began to cry aloud “I don’t like Goya, I like Velázquez, I don’t like Goya, I like Velázquez!”…
And that was my secret.
My father told me later he was proud of me I had a cultural delirium.
Other artist’s eyes
I was a plane person, and I still am when the necessity calls if the trip is too long, but having time ahead I’ll take the train.
I became a fan of trains in a very hard situation, when I was a young reporter going to Croatia, then in the former Yugoslavia at war. The plane option was out of question because there were no flights to Zagreb so I take a train from Vienna.
UN soldiers and reporters were among the few passengers of the train. I was traveling alone, without photographer. I was nervous and scared I have to say. I met in my compartment another reporter from Norway. A veteran one. I told her about my fears. We had plenty of time to talk about the situation and she gave me good advice for my work on the field. At the end of the day I was more confident about what to do to optimize my work in my reports.
We had also time to admire the sights, from the woods of Vienna through the Austrian villages, beautiful landscapes in Austria, Slovenia and then Croatia. All green and fresh and beautiful, you couldn’t imagine there was going on something so ugly as a war over there. And then we arrived to Zagreb main station in the same center of the city.What happened next is another story.
The trip back home was also by train. I could talk with almost all my few fellow passengers going out of Croatia, all of them with very interesting stories to tell.
This is what trains mean to me: plenty of time to think, take notes, read, talk with other passengers if they are willing to do so, maybe find some interesting stories, fill your eyes with new sights and then arrive at your city of destination, not find yourself at a distant and cold airport.
Comments by other travelers:
Do you belong in this day and age? Do you feel comfortable being a citizen of the 21st-century? If you do, explain why — and if you don’t, when in human history would you rather be?
When I was ten I made some calculations and I concluded that I would be too old to enjoy the 21 st Century. I was going to turn the milestone at 40!. When the moment arrived I found myself with surprise plenty of strength to face the new Century. By the way, wasn’t so terrible the change, was it? At the end, one day after another, and the life going on like before.
So I’m a citizen of two Centuries. I lived through the Cold War to the fall of the Berlin Wall during the last Century. Then, just at the beginning of this one, 9-11 happened, and our lives changed again. A new kind of war entered the history.
I began my professional career as a journalist with typewriters, pen and paper, and type recorders and now I’m working with computers, tablets and smartphones connected 24/7 if I want. Maybe someone is watching in behalf of National Security, thanks to the new communication technologies (or a hacker is watching with who knows what purposes, by the way). But these same technologies make me able to connect with all of you and so many other people, something I enjoy every day.
We have seen amazing scientific and technical advances, as well as horrendous plagues and disasters in our world.
The poor remain poor, some of the rich are richest.
We are in times of changes with all the unrests around the world, some trying to topple tyrannies, some asking for social justice, some fighting fundamentalism.
But new kind of wars, moments of changes, revolutions had happened before. Is part of the history of the humanity.
This is why I would not go to another moment in human history. This is my age. There are a lot of good things in this world. Above all there are a lot of good people. I have to do whatever is in my hands to make this world better now and here, beginning with what is around me.
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