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I miss the noise of the old newsroom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ragtag Daily Prompt Antediluvian

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RDP #7 – PURPLE

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

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

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

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Insight

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

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

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

Ragtag Daily Prompt: Insight

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my noisy neighbourhood

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Not fair

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

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

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

In the picture, dad at the University

Mercy

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Droll

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The most famous jester I know is Rigoletto. I love the Verdi’s Opera, because I adore baritone voice, and it has several magnificent arias, duets and quartets. Of course, Rigoletto’s story is not funny. it’s the great drama of a father who has to earn his life making laugh the Count and his friends and can’t protect his daughter from the lust of his master. Other than that I have never known a droll comedian.

Well, once I had to interview an actor who was famous because he was the main character in a series of bandits. He was in a tour around Spain with his team and they performed a spectacle in the arena with horses and fake blunderbusses. But he was not very happy to have to go traveling around with the show so when I began to put questions he answered angrily and unpleasantly. He began to tell me such gross words that I turned around, left him alone and went away without the interview.

Close by, one of the secondary actors, who was very popular because his character was pretty comic, realized what was happening. I approached him to ask him some questions and I made my interview with him who was certainly very funny. When I told my boss what had happened, luckily he supported me, and told me I had done well leaving the main actor alone with his bad temper.

Many years ago, we had a driver for the newsroom. He had been a paperboy but he had had an accident with his van and when he recovered they decided to transfer him to deliver journalists instead of newspapers. We were a little afraid of him, because he didn’t know well the highways around the city that had been built while he was on leave, he had mobility problems and he was quite quarrelsome when there was a traffic trouble.

We preferred to take the car from the garage and drive ourselves. But he wouldn’t let us. One day one of the journalists who used to take the car, arrived to the newsroom carrying a big, heavy chain, and left it with a crash on his desk.

  • what’s that? .we asked
  • the key chain our driver put for the car keys. He chained the keys to avoid us taking the car but forgot to lock the chain to the rack on the wall of the garage, so When I saw that the chain was unlocked, I took the whole thing and went out with the car.

Droll

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NOTICE TO MY READERS AND FOLLOWERS

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

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

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

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

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NOTICE TO MY READERS AND FOLOWERS

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

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Spare

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If you have followed my blog you probably would recognised the man in the picture. He is the accordionist who plays every day at the Castle’s square in Pamplona, my city, to collect some spare coins from the passersby and the customers of a busy café. He’s a good street musician. Plays nice melodies. He’s an immigrant, old, and jobless. Barely speaks our language. He told me with broken words and signs that he’s homeless, and he needs 10 euros a day to pay a shelter to sleep . Today was a pretty good day for him. The weather was mild and by noon he had collected already more than 9 euros. But as ever, his gaze was distant, tired and sad. Life is difficult for the street people like him.

Spare

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Sentimental

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I keep behind a picture of my dad a piece of paper with the last words he wrote. His shaking hands didn’t obey him, and he just was trying to check if he was able to continue writing or not. He was using my pen and the last word understandable was my name: Olga. it’s my secret treasure.

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My helmet

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Your local electronics store has just started selling time machines, anywhere doors, and invisibility helmets. You can only afford one. Which of these do you buy, and why?

Last time I wrote about this prompt, I chose the anywhere door to go instantly visit my family and friends in Croatia and the US, whom I miss so much. So, it seems that this time I had no choice but to choose the invisibility helmet. It can be useful for my bad days when I’m deeply down in my depression, and I would like to disappear from the face of the earth. But my helmet would need to come with some sound-proof isolation system. When I’m feeling bad, the noises are unbearable. Voices, bumps, the traffic, the kids playing in the square, the repetitive barking of a little dog… and to complete the sound map, a beggar with an accordion playing (badly) the same melody all day long, over and over again, just at my door. To get crazy. The problem with him is that if you don’t give him money he’ll stay playing his eternal melody, and if you give him money, he’ll also stay, waiting for more.

Something similar happened to us once in Barcelona when a man approached our terrace where we and other tourists were having a quiet time in a sunny morning. He began to play castanets and sing “When the Saints Go Marching In”, but instead of saying the words in English he uttered incomprehensible sounds. His voice was horrible and the mock of the song outrageous. Another group of tourist gave him money and he began to sing with renewed energy  the same nonsense. The owners of the cafeteria tried to make him leave, without success. So, little by little we all left in search for a quieter place.

Pick Your Gadget

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barometer body

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My body is like a barometer. Since I can remember, I have migraines associated to storms. I have the symptoms before the storm, so I could always predict them. When I was twelve or thirteen I suffered a serious operation in my tibia bone to remove a tumour and the doctors made and graft in the resultant hole with bone extracted from my hip. Since then, when the weather is going to change, my bones let know the forecast with a dull pain. Lately I have suffered from a deep depression. I couldn’t imagine how the weather could influence in my mood. Every change of season is a nightmare. I’m already use to that. But this autumn, particularly, has been specially tough. Nothing has happened to justify an abrupt worsening in my situation, but it happened.  And I had to go to my doctor in search for extra help.

Climate Control

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Christmas transition

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The City Hall was getting ready for the Christmas season. Here you can see the façade with the lights already in place during the day.

All ready

All ready

Here is the façade at night with the usual illumination before the lighting of the decorations

at night with the normal illumination

at night with the normal illumination

And here you can see the result.

at night with the Christmas lights

at night with the Christmas lights

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Scary Final

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My sister is a nurse and she has been in charge of the client care in her hospital, so she had to solve all the patients’ complaints against the doctors, nurses, the meal services and so on. She had a small office in the entrance hall with a wooden door, always open, inviting the people to go inside to tell their stories. Inside, there was just the space for a desk and two chairs for the visitors.

Once, she was working normally, when a bad-looking man, very angry , entered and closed the door behind him violently. He was complaining because a doctor had said he would not going to make him a procedure scheduled . My sister began to ask questions and realised that the doctor couldn’t make the procedure because the patient did not come fasting. He had eaten profusely before arrive to the hospital despite the instructions he had from the doctors. The man was yelling and saying that the doctors didn’t want to take care of him because he was poor and that he would not leave the hospital without the procedure done, no matter what. My sister thought that the security guard who was in the hall would come because of the loud and violent reaction of that big man. But nothing of the like. She was alone before the danger. When my sister tried to explain him why was impossible to do the procedure that morning, that was a technical reason and not a discrimination issue, the man turned more and more angry.

Suddenly, he stood up, latched the door, brandished a knife and began to yell: “I’ll kill you”. My sister’s only defence was her desk between them. But he began to go around the table towards her, and she started running circling the table, several times followed by the armed man, until she saw the opportunity to stop, unlatch the door open it and go out. She felt in the arms of a police officer who had arrived alerted by the security guard.

Three police officers reduced and arrested the assailant. Apparently he was an “old acquaintance” for them. They were looking for him and considered him as dangerous. They asked my sister to go with them to explain what happened. She had no choice.

But when she got into the officer’s car, she saw in dismay that the detainee was inside. Handcuffed, of course, and guarded by a policeman, but still defiant. During the trip to the police station, he said to my sister that he was the head of a clan and they would not leave things that way: “You should watch your back since now on.”

Topic Generator

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Treat

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It’s tricky, but a good treat for me would be a trip to my beloved homeland, Croatia. I’m longing yo see once more its marvellous shores, its islands, its beautiful cities and towns. Here I have some old pictures from my last trip many years ago.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Meanwhile, flowers are always a good treat.

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In response to The Daily Post’s photo prompt: “Treat.”

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Hilarious Mistake

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When I arrived to New York for the first time with almost no idea of English, I was like walking on a dream. The people rushing everywhere, street performers. Skyscrapers, Little and colourful flower shops. Executives, homeless. Claustrophobia on the subway at rush hour, Fresh air on quiet walks through Central Park. Art in the museums, filth in lost streets. Pedestrians, traffic.

Going out of home every day was an adventure full of surprises for my wide open eyes, eager of new sensations. I enjoyed the life in my new city. Every day a had a nice walk and some days I used to take the subway to go to the Rockefeller Centre to do a report about the Associated Press Agency. Very interesting. I even was invited to be present in their morning editors meeting with live connexions with the correspondents all around the world to talk about the news of the day. In just fifteen minutes, you could have a digest of the situation of the world and the main reports for the day. I have always been in the receiving end of the big news agencies and never had seen how they work inside. It was very instructive. When I was there, at their offices, working in my research, I used to pay a visit to St. Patrick Cathedral at lunch time, or take a walk on Fifth Ave.

I lived in lower Manhattan and I used to walk a lot around my apartment. Before I ventured to go to the Associated Press offices, when I was trying to put together my English, I had plenty of time to explore the city. I noticed that there were a lot of little shops to do the nails in my street. Something that in my country didn’t exist. Those shops also offered waxing legs. But with my poor English I understood “washing” instead of “waxing”. So I was really intrigued. Why would somebody want to go to a shop to wash her legs?. It had to be a very special legs bath, I thought. And offered in so many shops! It must have a lot of customers. I was really puzzled. So one day I was walking with a friend, and we saw one of these shops. Then I told her. I understand the nails business but I can’t understand why there are so many shops to wash legs. I think she is still laughing.

Topic Generator

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Generation

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Think about the generation immediately younger or older than you. What do you understand least about them — and what can you learn from them

Mom and Dad and my older sister were survivors from the WWII and the revolutions that happened afterwards in Eastern Europe. My parents had to escape because they were persecuted by the communists and seek refuge in western Europe, but my aunts and uncles stayed in Yugoslavia, so the same generation who were young when the WWII happened, had to endure another war when in they were old: the Balkans War. After having experienced the war being young, they saw their children being forced to depart to go to the fronts sometimes in opposite sides, fighting one against each other. All depended in which side of the internal border they were when all that horror began. A nightmare. They love each other and suddenly they found themselves fighting in opposite armies in the same battlefield. Thanks God all of them came back home unharmed after the terrible siege of Dubrovnik.

Two wars for the same generation is too much. And what impresses more about them is that they ended both situations more forgiving and tolerant. They gave permission to their children for mixed religion marriages, and their houses are big points of reunion of a variety of people who understand each other, because it’s love what is working out.

Generation XYZ.

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Ingredients

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What’s the one item in your kitchen you can’t possibly cook without? A spice, your grandma’s measuring cup, instant ramen — what’s your magic ingredient, and why

Salt. I have all sorts of salt. common salt, marine salt from Croatia that reminds me my country, pink salt from the Himalayas. I have a low blood pressure so its good for me to eat salty food. Of course I cook without salt for my mom, because she have to follow a diet. But for the rest of us is different.

Ingredients.

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A handful of sand

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Is it easy for you to ask for help when you need it, or do you prefer to rely only on yourself? Why?

I really don’t care. I’m so tired I can’t think clearly. I would like to be alone , by myself. But it’s not possible: too much obligations. I only want to find a remote corner, hide on it and cry. But I have to compose myself and smile. When I finish writing this prompt I’ll go to wake up my ailing mom with a kiss in her forehead after her afternoon nap and try to appear happy and sure of myself. She needs me confident and healthy. I’m her joy, she told me once. I’m her daughter and also her nurse and her confidant. I support her, encourage her, try to find some amusements to her life tied to the wheelchair and the bed. Nobody can help me on this. So yes, I have to be a rock for her despite I feel as weak as a handful of sand. I look at me and I’m worried for those I love. I don’t want them to suffer because of my weakness. I have been there before and I don’t want to go back.

I Am a Rock.

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Happily Ever After

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“And they lived happily ever after.” Think about this line for a few minutes. Are you living happily ever after? If not, what will it take for you to get there?

Everything I tried to write for this prompt seemed to me so corny that I desisted. Yes I’m happy ever after. So What?. I have not a magic formula to share. It just happened. I’m lucky. Found the best of loves. Never failed me. What more can I ask for?

Happily Ever After.

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Staying home

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If your day to day responsibilities were taken care of and you could throw yourself completely behind a cause, what would it be?

I’m so exhausted I can’t think on a different cause than the one I dedicate with all my strength: my family. It can sound selfish, but I think that it would be a blatant lack of responsibility and too easy, leave everything and go out to save the world when I can help the society around me doing right what I usually do. I’m a caregiver for an ailing old woman who otherwise would be a charge for the society. I’m doing so because I love her. And I’m glad with this opportunity to give her back the love she gave me. I’m already helping others, above all the hungry. There is an interesting initiative over here called Food Bank. A group of retirees organises a pick up of food and the later distribution among the needy. They get  tons and tons in every campaign they launch. It works very well, because the food really reaches those who need it. Last week, my friends and I filled a whole van with food for community kitchens. But, who cares? What I’m trying to say is that do things right around us may seem dull, but it can be a difficult, exhausting task, of a great responsibility and enormous value.

Blogger With a Cause.

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Comfort

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How important are clothes to you? Describe your style, if you have one, and tell us how appearance impacts how you feel about yourself.

clothes

Because of my job as reporter I had to wear always a neutral style: comfortable enough to go out to the field to cover an unexpected news in the most uncomfortable of the environments and good-looking to cover a press conference or a formal event with dignity. There is no time to go home to change if something happens and you have to go to the mountain to follow the rescue of a distressed climber, or go to the scene of a terrorist attempt. You have to be quick and get ready for all kind of scenarios. So I get used to that kind of clothing: Jeans (blue or black) a sweater or a t-shirt and a blazer or a wide shirt. Comfortable shoes. For feast days and special occasions, I like to wear skirts and dresses. I like elegance.
I stopped thinking about how appearance impacts how I feel about myself long ago. A medication I had to take made me gain a lot of weight in no time, to the point that there were some people who didn’t recognise me. After some years, another medication made me lose too much weight and so on. Now I think I’m in my proper weight. And that’s good. I was more concerned about my health than my appearance.
Recently I changed my look at the hairdresser. The doctor told me to do exercise and because of my balance problems the only sport I can do is to swim, so I began to go to a swimming pool. And it was tedious to do my hair after each session, so I decided to do a perm, and have my hair curled. No more hairdryer. Again, I opted for comfort. And who cares about all this?

The Clothes (May) Make the (Wo)man.

 

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Land of Confusion

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Which subject in school did you find impossible to master? Did math give you hives? Did English make you scream? Do tell!

A year ago I already wrote about my problems learning to read and write when I was a little kid because of a kind of dyslexia and the fact that as an immigrant I went to school not knowing the language of the country where I was living. I guess now there are specialised support for those problems. Back then they simply thought that I was incredibly slow and probably stupid. I had to bear the jokes from the other kids and the scolding of my teachers. some of them thought I would never learn to read and write properly. My parents helped me to overcome all that. They convinced me that I was not stupid. That I could achieve whatever I’d intend. So I didn’t give up. Later I became an avid reader and a Journalist. My job was precisely write everyday about what was going on around me. And they say that I was good at it.
I was going to write this time about math. I love math. I enjoy solving problems. But we had terrible teachers. One of them was expelled from the school because of the punishments she used to impose. They were so bad, we ended hating math. In the opposite side of the spectrum was the art teacher who made us love history and art with her vast knowledge and her kindness.
Land of Confusion.

 

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Oh! how difficult

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Pick a letter, any letter. Now, write a story, poem, or post in which every line starts with that letter.

Oh! how difficult is for me this prompt

Oddly enough, I’m trying to fulfil the challenge despite my poor English.
Obviously this will be a very short post.
Outside it’s cold but at least it’s not raining like these last days.
Only this is a small truce, because the forecast is more rain all the weekend.
Occasionally the clouds leave small patches of blue sky and the sun shines timidly.
Occupying the little park next to my home, dozens of children are playing.
On my computer, I’m trying to work and isolate myself from the noises.
Often is difficult to do so, like today, when the children have a free afternoon.
O.K.! They better be noisy. They’re healthy children, and they’re playing in front of their school.

street1 4-2015

Of all the colours of the spring I can’t chose one as my favourite. I love them all.
On this picture you can see some pink tones. I hope you’ll enjoy!

flower 4-2015

Fearful Symmetry.

 

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Newspaper

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Draft a post with three parts, each unrelated to the other, but create a common thread between them by including the same item — an object, a symbol, a place — in each part.

A man was reading the newspaper while waiting at the door of the district attorney. I noticed he was reading my piece about a corruption scandal I was investigating. I was there hoping to find more information. I knew that the man with the newspaper was the police officer in charge of the investigation, but he didn’t know me. So I asked him casually: Is it true what it says the newspaper?. He said: Absolutely true. Everything. I wonder how they knew all this. I knew my sources were good. I’d checked and re checked every bit of data before publishing. I liked his reply. Then I introduced myself. That morning I got another valuable source.

The little office was cold and humid. I had a desk and a panel with a chart of the parking they were building right in the opposite side of the street. My job was to sell parking places. I was 19. I had found that job through a friend because I needed the money to live. I wanted to work for a newspaper and I was an intern in a newsroom in Bilbao, but they didn’t pay me enough. So I spent the mornings selling parking places to live and the evenings doing journalism. What I didn’t know was that the parking business would become pretty dangerous. I learned too late that my boss was involved in something suspicious. One day when I was alone at the office with the door open, two thugs came in looking for him. They threatened me and made me promise not to tell him they were around if he showed up. I was so scared I closed and locked the door as soon as they left. I didn’t care about what the customers would think. I didn’t  dare to venture out with those two characters around either. The boss came, I told him about the thugs and I quit right away. Well, as soon as I gathered enough courage to leave that awful place alone to go home.

As a reporter for everything in Pamplona, Spain, I had to write a lot about the San Fermin Festival. During eight consecutive years, my boss gave me the assignment of write about the wounded on the Running of the Bulls. So, when everybody was going towards the old city to watch the run, I drove in the opposite direction towards the hospital, to wait at the entrance of the ER the arrival of the ambulances with the wounded. Many traditional runners run with a rolled newspaper in their hand. With it, they measure the distance between them and the bull, and if it is too close, they can move it in front of the face of the bull to distract its attention and save precious seconds to escape. It was usual that when a wounded arrived in an ambulance, he still had his hand tightening hard the rolled newspaper.

 

Weaving the Threads.

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San Fermin Fiesta

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Write a piece about a typically “local” experience from where you come from as though it’s an entry in a travel guide.

If you come to my city the 6th of July you’ll witness the explosion of the fiesta that Hemingway described in his novel . Exactly at noon, from the balcony of the city hall, the mayor or one of the councilors fires a rocket after saying “Viva San Fermín!” and at the sound of the rocket, thousands of people, dressed in white, holding red bandanas, who were waiting in the square and the streets, put their bandanas around their necks, and start to dance and sing… and drink. The fiesta officially has begun and will last till the 14th of July at midnight. Everybody goes around in white and red during the fiesta in honour of the saint patron of the city.
The Fiesta is internationally known by its encierros or the Running of the Bulls. Each morning from the 7th of July to the 14th, at 8:00 am it begins the running with the release of six bulls with six oxen at the pen of Santo Domingo to run after thousand of runners through delimited streets till the bullring situated 826 meters apart.
In its origins the run was the way they had to guide the bulls from the pen to the bullring. Now thousands of runners from all the world take part of the run.
But they have to be carefull because the run is dangerous and take in consideration some rules:
– Don’t run under the influx of alcohol or drugs. Is very dangerous and you’ll get fined.
– Don’t run in the opposite direction or behind the bulls.
– Don’t stop along the run or do anything that can harm other runners.
– Don’t block the fences.
– Don’t take pictures or videos while running (this is very important to stress nowadays).
– Don’t do anything to get the attention of the bull. Don’t touch it or hit it.
– Don’t carry objects improper for the run
– Wear an appropriate footwear.
– Don’t even try running if you’re not fit.
It’s impossible to do the whole distance. The bulls run at an average of 24 km per hour. Usually a runner only can do a small part of the distance. The runners usually choose the section of the street they want to run. Specially critical are the beginning and the end.

OK, Enough with bulls. I understand is the main attraction of my city, but despite I have lived here for a long, long time, I don’t like it. As a reporter I’ve written for years about the wounded on the run. I have seen what the bulls can do to a runner and is not pretty. Plus, I don’t like what they do to the bulls afterwards in the bullring.

There is an event the 7th of July, the day of San Fermin followed by thousands of people, that is worth it to see: The procession with the saint through the streets of the old quarter with the Mayor and all the councilors, the bishop and the cathedral chapter, the music band and the so-called “comparsa de gigantes y cabezudos” or group of giants and big-heads. There is music and joy and the giants dance now and then. The giants are very tall puppets ( about 4 meters) representing kings and queens of different races made in the XIX century. They have a wooden structure where a hidden man makes them walk and dance.

During the procession, choirs and particulars sing traditional “jotas” to the saint. There is joy and colour everywhere.

Local Flavor.

 

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Inside Lady liberty

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Is there a place in the world you never want to visit? Where, and why not?

I’m claustrophobic, so I’d never go to visit caves. For the same reason I never would venture inside the Statue of Liberty to go up to the top and enjoy the sights from the crown. I have lived in New York and I’ve never went. I preferred to see the Statue from far away. I refuse to go up to the dome of big churches and monuments if there are not windows in the stairs. No matter how wonderful the sights were from up there. I know I lost great opportunities to take beautiful panoramic pictures, but I can’t fight the anguish. It’s stronger than me.

No, Thanks.

 

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Not enough

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Let’s assume we do, in fact, use only 10% of our brain. If you could unlock the remaining 90%, what would you do with it?

First of all I would like to find in that unused part of the brain, the neurotransmitters I lack, and get cured. Mental health is of key importance to develop all the potentials of the brain. Despite there are notables cases like the mathematician John Forbes Nash, who overcame schizophrenia and won a Nobel. But I’m not a genius like him. I would like too to have health in my body despite cases like Stephen Hawkins show that a powerful mind can work and do marvellous things in an extremely sick body.
After repairing myself, I would like to learn a lot of languages to be able to speak with people from all around the world and try to understand deeply their cultures. If that could help to the dialogue among countries, would be great, but I know that’s a silly dream. To change the world it would be necessary change the structures of power, and for that purpose, one powerful mind alone is not enough.
Brain Power.

 

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Shadows

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Take the first sentence from your favorite book and make it the first sentence of your post.

Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,

Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,

Nine for mortal Men doomed to die,

One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne

In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

And the Shadows lie all around us, but we have no the One Ring nor a brave hobbit to go to the Land of Mordor. There is no Mount of Doom to destroy the magic Ring and with it all the darkness of violence that invades the earth. We only have the shadows: the wars, the exploitation, the fear, the greed that afflict humankind. We have also lights: the peaceful people who live their lives doing good to others and try to build a better society in peace and justice. But the violence is bloody murderous and noisy and generates fear and pain and hatred, and fills the news. And Peace is quiet, discreet and usually doesn’t generates headlines.

One ring to rule them all. One Ring to find them,

One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

Call Me Ishmael.

 

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Dialogue

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What change, big or small, would you like your blog to make in the world?

My blog is too small to make changes in the world . I would like to have a flourishing imagination and a sharp sense of humor to offer to my readers a daily smile. That would be a small change: a few more smiles in this troubled world. But I have not the gift. I just write about life as it is, trying to apply common sense. I write to express my ideas and be in contact with other people around the world. When I write I find interesting to know what people from other countries and cultures think about the same topic and establish a dialogue. This is why I like challenges like the daily prompt. Being part of blogs’ community, is being part of a change in the world of communication.

Be the Change.

 

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All or Nothing? It seems that Nothing

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All or Nothing? Today’s prompt topic can’t be more appropriate to what happened. We had again a page with the “0 responses” message and the empty grid.

They said they are working to fix the problem of pingbacks not showing in the grid, but instead, today we had no grid at all. Again.

I’m writing this post knowing that probably will not be read due to the technical problems. But, as I said before in some comments about this issue, I could understand some problems at the begining of the new system, but not now after so much time.

I hope the technical team behind all this will fix the problem definitely so we can participate in the daily prompt without incidents as we did before.

All or Nothing? Today it seems that nothing.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “All or Nothing?.”

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Give me flowers

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It’s Halloween, and you just ran out of candy. If the neighborhood kids (or anyone else, really) were to truly scare you, what trick would they have to subject you to?

There will be no kids in costumes asking for treats today over here. No danger to run out of candies. In fact, these days, we are in danger to run out of flowers, because tomorrow is the feast of all saints, and everybody goes to the graveyard to pay tribute to their ancestors. I don’t have my flowers yet, and I’m nervous. I have to go to clean my father’s grave today, and tomorrow after Mass I’ll put the flowers. Red and white roses. My sister will bring more flowers, and we will pray and remember dad together.

There will be some Halloween parties in discos tonight, and some schools have organised costume parties for the little ones. A few years ago there was nothing. It’s strange how in a country where there is a harsh criticism towards the US, people at the same time copy their customs and traditions, their fashion…, everything.
Anyway, If someone wants to scare me now, only have to come with a serious face and deliver bad news about the health of one of my loved ones.

Trick or Trick.

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In Retrospect

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Yesterday you invented a new astrological sign. Today, write your own horoscope — for the past month (in other words, as if you’d written it October 1st).

In other words: you want to know what have happened to me this month. What’s going on in my love life, If my health is good or bad, and how lucky or unlucky I have been with my money. OK. None of your business.

I usually don’t check my horoscope because I don’t believe in its predictions so I’m not familiar with its writing style.

Horoscope is all about predictions. What sense has to write one in retrospective already knowing what happened?

I’ll try to write a retrospect horoscope for the editors of the daily prompts.

Love: Your love for the prompt “Ready, set, done!” will grow. You have to ask yourself if you’re serious with this relationship in spite of some criticism.

Health: You’ll experience some changes of mood, playing with prompts about insanity at the beginning of the month or even somber topics as death at the end of the month.

Money: The daily prompters will continue faithfully submitting their posts so you have your job guaranteed for this month and good perspectives.

In Retrospect.

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Quiet and watching

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You get to spend a day inside your favorite movie. Tell us which one it is — and what happens to you while you’re there.
I would become a little girl and I would join Scout, Jem and Dill the day of the trial against Tom Robinson. I would sneak with them into the balcony of the Court House of Maycomb, Alabama, with the black people, to see how Atticus Finch defends him. I would be quiet and watching silently how the trial develops. I’d wait with them to hear the verdict and after the deception when the jury declares Robinson guilty I would stand up with all the other black people when Atticus Finch leaves the Court Room. Yes, my favourite movie is To Kill a Mockingbird. I think it’s perfect as it is. A new character adding something to the plot would ruin it. So I would only watch what happen. It would be great to share with the Finch kids the secret of the hole in the tree and the gifts of the mysterious neighbour. I’d be scared to death when they go to protect their father against the lynchers. Terrified when the drunk abuser attacks them and the strange neighbor saves them.

Maybe will be better to choose another movie to enter and play a part. Some thriller would be great to live great adventures and share cast with actors I like.

Fourth Wall.

 

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Unequal Terms

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Did you know today is Blog Action Day? Join bloggers from around the world and write a post about what inequality means to you. Have you ever encountered it in your daily life?

When I was a young reporter seeking for a good job, I worked for a while without contract for a newspaper hoping they would hire me. After two years there was a job opening in the newsroom perfect for my profile. We were two candidates. The boss called me one day and explained me plainly that they were not going to hire me, in spite I was better and had more merits than the other one, because I was a woman. He said the newsroom had too many women (four) and they needed more men. So I lost a job opportunity simply because I was a woman. Later I got a job in another newspaper. In my new newsroom being a woman was no problem to work hard, but for some reason there was almost no way of promotion. Only one of us made her way up to the top. Nothing for the rest. All the other bosses were men.
When I was first diagnosed with a deep depression and I had to take a leave of absence, my boss didn’t understand it, and asked me, annoyed, how the doctors would know for how long I would be unable to work. I’m sure that if I had had a broken leg, there would be no questions.

Unequal Terms.

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A problem

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Today, write about anything — but you must write for exactly ten minutes, no more, no less.

– We have a problem
– What happened?
– Mom’s articulated bed is not working at all and she needs it.
– Can’t you fix it?
– No. I already called the technician and he said the engine is dead and is so old there are no spare, so there is no other solution but to buy a new bed.
– But that must be very expensive.
– It is. I don’t know how are we going to pay it, but is a necessary expense. We cannot handle Mom without an articulated bed. She can’t move because of her paralysis and she can’t bear so many hours in bed without changing the position of her back and her legs.
– I’ll investigate if the social services offer some kind of help for this, but I doubt it.
– Do it. I’ll see if there is some way to pay for in instalments.
– We have been in difficulties before, we will survive this one.

Note: I usually go to the daily prompt in search for inspiration because I have no imagination to find a different subject each day to write. No prompt today, so I wrote about what was occupying my mind. I’m sorry if the result has been too boring.

Ready, Set, Done.