Before the storm…

…and they said goodbye like they had said it so many other times before.  Goodbye until the next trip, the next chance meeting. She held back her tears as the taxi pulled away, with a mix of hope and sadness. Deep inside she knew it was not real, deep inside she had been feeling him slipping away for many months, but she chose the wishful thought of “this too shall pass”.

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Do all romantic relationships have a due date?  How come we don’t tell our friends  “I’m sorry but I cannot see you again, I just don’t feel the spark of your friendship anymore”. Why our friendships or family relationships are born to last and our love ones are not? What is the difference?

I think I have argued with my best friend in more occasions than I have with my partners, but there she is and there I am, still caring, still with the same bond after more than 30 years. What does it have that love doesn’t have?

I think with friends and family we are totally ourselves, we speak up. With lovers we do most of times but…other times we simply hold back. We hold back because we worry about saying something that might hurt, we hold back because we are afraid of losing that person, we want things to be perfect and we work on them, because any giving day, your loved one can fall out of love, out of patience with your grouchy moments, out of laughter at your jokes, and so can you and all those moments will be closer to none.

…she looked at the back of the taxi as it drove getting lost in London dawn and she felt a weird calmness invading her. The calm before the storm.

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Thanks for reading 🙂

 

 

 

New…

It has indeed been a while since my last post. There have been so many things going on that I couldn’t focus in just one of them in order to write about it.
Christmas has come and gone with its shopping/eating maze and in the wink of an eye we are almost in February.
In Canary Islands, where I live, that means Carnival time with parades of different sorts. The Kid’s Parade, the Carnival Queen’s Parade, and so on….I have to admit I don’t particularly like Carnival, I don’t enjoy wearing costumes because it feels like trying to hide who they are, to pretend to be somebody else, and I am pretty damn happy with myself (cocky or not).

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Carnival Parade – Las Palmas

Anyway as I was saying, many many things have happened in just a few months. Making a final decision on moving to another country has been the toughest, though realising my son has reached adolescence and is basically focused on girls and his cell phone is not an easy one either 😛
I have had the chance to move to another country before in my life, but for one reason or another I was stupid enough to not take advantage of what an amazing chance that was to start from zero. I was simply too young and naive to think I had enough time in my hands to do what I wanted…later. Now for the first time in my life at almost 41, I am before a blank page and I can actually think what to write on it instead of just doing the first thing that comes along. For the first time in my I feel the owner of my own destiny….and truth is, I like it.

 

What do I want to do with my career? What do I do best? And the most important one…what makes me happy? And yet the second most important one…Is that dream tangible, doable? Can I live out of it? …. I know I know, I am getting “thick” here but at this very moment I am over the Atlantic heading to Madrid to meet Mr. S. so might as well let my thoughts fly too.
I know change is coming….I can feel it in my veins before it is even real. Whatever comes, I am ready to Rock & Roll.
Thanks for reading 🙂

Love in times of Skype

I have often read about how much better it is to cope with long distance relationships nowadays with instant texting availiable to everybody and also video calls. When you can talk as much as you want because there are wonderful apps with free online phone services…well let me tell you this. It is crap.

In the times of “connection” when every single coffee shop, hotel or store we get into has a wi-fi sign, when we freak out and hold our phones moving them around searching for the signal, when we buy the device depending on its online characteristics….when we are connected at most, ironically is when we bond the less.

I remember being 20 years old. I was also in a long distance relationship and it was also hard as they all are. The best moment of the week was when the mail arrived. I mean postman kind of mail folks! I remember waiting by the window because I was so anxious to get something and holding my breath when he stopped by…and rushing down the stairs (we are talking six floors without elevator here) and seeing the letter there….for me.

There is something amazingly romantic about regular mail. When you get one of them you instantly feel special. It is not only that someone has taken the time and energy to write to you, it is that they have also had to go get the paper, the envelope, the stamp, go to a post office to send it…it is extra work, and it is extra caring.

I absolutely love them. But people dont write letters anymore….they are impatient.

When I read one of those vintage letters I would sit and read carefully, and laugh sometimes and cry sometimes and yes…I would get horny sometimes too. The point is….I paid attention because it was important, because it was our only way to bond. Yes there were also phone calls, but it was so expensive back then that they were once each two weeks or three, so when they happened WOW! Time stopped.

Now we text with one hand and we keep doing what we were doing with the other. There is no extra effort and still we have the false impression that we “talk” all the time. How could this be? When did we start replacing the voice of somebody telling you good morning to “Gm” ? Is whatsapp meant to kill the romantic side we all have within?

I refuse to admit it will. It depends on us, doesn’t it?

I dare you all, I dare all the people in love or romantic relationships to text less, to share more, to talk for real about things, to write it down on paper if you are far, to use skype to have dinner together or a date if you cannot be physically together. I dare you to listen, to pay attention, I dare you to look for sweet new ways to express what you feel.

I dare you all to make it count. The moment is now.

Thanks for reading

🙂

Chocolate Mood

I have always smiled at the very well known scene we have all watched in movies at one point or another. A sad girl gets to her kitchen table and drags with her a chocolate cake, chocolate ice cream, bombons or cookies. She feels miserable and what better companion than chocolate?

It is scientifically proven that chocolate helps releasing chemilcals that tricks our brain making us feel happier but, why is it specially “needed” by women?

Don’t men have that urge? Apparently not. They substitute the chocolate for beers and a match, but again aren’t our differences already clear?

We love talking and sharing, opening up, we weep over mushy movies or even silly memories and still we are stronger. We are soft in the outside and tough inside.

I have always thought that men were the other way around. I had the idea that they just appeared strong, not sharing, not being emotional because they had been tought by society that being a man was just that.

As I get older  have come to realise that they simply oversee the emotional part of things, if it is not a fact it is not important and most of all if it is something they cannot do anything about, why bother in feeling bad?

Anyway…this is just me over thinking…yep another female trait. Guess is time for a good portion of chocolate…

Chocolate “Flan” 

1 L. Milk

150 g. Sugar

100 g. Flour

100 g. Butter

50 g. Dark bitter cocoa

100 g. Dark chocolate

Bring the milk to boil. Set aside and add the butter and the dark chocolate chopped. Stir until the solid ingredients are completely melted.

In a bowl mix together the flour and the cocoa that should be sifted. Add to this mix the sugar and the previous chocolate-butter-milk combination into the bowl. Whisk firmly until well combined.

Pour the mix into a large sauce pan and cook it at medium temperature with a constant stir with a wooden spoon until it starts to boil.

Pour the flan into small crystal jars and let it sit in the fridge for at least two hours.

This dessert tastes great by itself but you could also add some fresh fruit like raspberries, mango or even some peeled tangerine. Nuts would go great with it too, or if you want to walk on the wild side, some popping candy on top.

Thanks for reading.

🙂

Easy cookies for a rainy day

There was a time in which I dreaded rainy weekends. If you have small children and you have ventured outside while it is raining like there is no tomorrow, you know exactly what I mean.

You don’t just have to worry about looking for places where they don’t get soaked, but also you are concerned about them getting sick because that means at some point they might need to stay away from school for a few days, and a brand new odyssey begins with baby-sitters or grandparents calling you to your office for medication instructions. Nights of few hours of sleep caused by heavy chests, stuffed noses and inhaler schedules that make you laugh at Grey’s Anatomy’s intern watch.

Avoiding this could be done by staying home on a rainy saturday or sunday, but a new adventure begins. A whole day indoors…with a toddler…a bored toddler.

I came across this cookie recipe years ago, I sincerely cannot remember where but it has certainly saved me from many of those boring bad weathered evenings. It is so easy to make, that kids will happily rush to the kitchen with you to do the dough and you can have fun decorating them together once they have cooled down.

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Luckily my son is eleven now and rainy days are heaven aka “blanket, movie and tea” for me while he is in his videogame universe. But for those that need it or still want to give it a try, here it is.

Easy Cookie Recipe

100 g sugar

200 g butter

300 g flour

(I said it was easy 🙂  )

Mix all the ingredients until the dough has a soft texture. Make a ball with it and wrap it in cling film and refrigerate for at least half an hour.

Roll out the dough over a floured surface and form cookies either with a knife or with cookie cutters. If you do not have molds you can use a glass or cup and make them round.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Let the cookies cool before decorating them. Get imaginative and even crazy if necessary, remember it is all about spending the time with your kids, there is always other chances to make them perfect.

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Thanks for reading

Crossroads

Imagine the scene, two kids before the doorway of an old abandoned house.

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Everybody in town knows the house is the only way to access a beautiful garden located at the back yard. Everybody knows you either take all the courage you are capable of and get in the house, or you either desist of your dream to know that spectacular garden and go on with your life as it was before, safe but without experiencing its beauty.

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The smallest of the kids is quite afraid from the beginning.  His eyes flashing with nervousness and a shiver going through his spine. He is still not sure the garden, where only the bold venture, is so much of a wonder.  He gives a few steps forward but he quickly steps back with fear.

The older one gives him a hard time, telling him how much of a “chicken” he is. He  says that together they can conquer all, overcoming any type of fear.  He repeats that nothing wrong would happen to them if they face it with strength and determination and most of all, together.

Carl & Ellie - Up - courtesy of Disney Pixar
Carl & Ellie – Up – courtesy of Disney Pixar

The smaller kid finally, after all his doubts makes a decision. He wants to enter the garden so badly…so he starts walking right to the house entrance. He stops right at the door and looks back searching for his friend, and something unexpected happens…

The older kid, the know-it-all, once brave and scared of nothing is paralyzed. He is simply scared. He has always been.

Yes I know, this is just a kid story but I am that paralyzed kid.

Being brave and bold is all I know. For one reason or another I have always chosen the difficult path and I have always endured it on my own. The more difficult it turnt out to be the hardest I worked to get it. Even when people tried to talk me out of it, their persistance in making me change my mind because it was a lost cause made me go for it even with more determination, because I felt I had no alternative as to face things alone. No alternative but being strong.

Right now I am in the middle of a crossroads. On the right path there is the garden we talked about, in my case a metaphor of a happy couple life. And on the left path is life as it is, as I know it.

Choosing the way to go is an easy one, who would not want to get to the garden, but let’s face it, I am scared the shit out of it. I, like the apparently brave kid in the story think, what if the roof of that old house falls over me while I wander around? what if the house is haunted? and most of all what if my adventure partner changes his mind leaving me in the dark in the middle of that horrible place?

What if….why do we have to always find reasons to our inability.

What if it goes right and I do not have a need to be the strong one anymore? What if I lay down my guard and show my weak side? Would that be so terrible?

I close my eyes and picture sunday mornings, I imagine the rainy days with a cup of Chai sharing a blanket. I envision facing the problems with someone instead of alone, and the good moments too. I can see the possibilities…my garden.

Carl & Ellie - Up - courtesy of Disney Pixar
Carl & Ellie – Up – courtesy of Disney Pixar

At the doorway looking back at me, like the smallest kid of our story, he is waiting for me, my adventure friend, my partner in crime, the love of my life…I take a deep breath gathering all my courage and I take a step. Forward.

Mexico on my skin

Thousands of people prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Patricia to the Mexican coast. I feel a pinch of fear and anguish not only for the obvious reason, Patricia will bring destruction with her in a way the civilian population is not yet ready or aware of, but that is not the only reason of my concern.

Back in the summer of 1980 I was living with my family in the Yucatan Peninsula. My father had opened a restaurant in Cancun with a Swedish investor and we had moved from Spain to live there.

If I close my eyes I still remember the scent of humid air in my first night in the city, as we arrived at the airport. I was 4 years old and for me Mexico was another planet. I thought it was going to be some kind of wild place with people acting strange, no civilization and of course a place I would never like. I was absolutely and blatantly wrong.

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Cancun, back in the eighties had of course that small tropical village feel but still I was happy to not being right. People was warm and friendly, there was so much to do and see and the food…hmmm…the food was beyond delicious.

Back to that summer night, I remember vividly how my father covered the wide glass windows we had in the living room with brown packing tape so the glass would not hurt us when it broke. I remember how the four of us, mom, dad, my sister and me slept together in the sofa bed with the radio on all night listening to the news on “Radio Cultural Ayuntamiento”.  I remember the fear of knowing something terrible was coming, the anxiety only compared to looking at a fierce animal into its eyes sure it is gonna jump on you sooner than later. The reason of that fear was no other than Hurricane Allen.

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At 9 pm that night of august 5th Hurricane Allen with its point 5 in the Saffir-Simpson scale arrived to Cancun unleashing all its power.

Luckily my family was safe and as days went by we recovered from the fear of that summer night. Other families were not so fortunate and lost their houses, and in some places outside Mexico the victims we couted by hundreds.

Tonight I will light up a candle for Cancun and its people that will always be a part of me. May they be protected and safe.

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