Friday, November 28, 2008

Mother is the name for God, on the lips and hearts of all children

^ ^ ^ That is a beautiful quote from The Crow, this pregnancy was not like the movies though - "ok now one big push"; cut to scene mother and baby clean and happy together.
After what seems like a lifetime, I am pleased to say that Sandra has given birth to Ariadna, a guapa little girl!! (she has blue eyes too)

Both Ariadna and Sandra are fine. The baby was tiny 2.71kg and it took 6 additional days over her due date, 18 hours of labour and a cesarean to get her to arrive. I have just returned from spending 24 hours at the hospital and around 10 of those hours actually with Sandra.

I am glad that both are well and doing better. I do have a strong issue with the treatment at the hospital however. A little information goes a long way and being kept for hours at a time with nothing to go on only causes anxiety and problems.

I don't understand the approach that nothing is communicated. OK, so my Spanish isn't up to the level of understanding complex issues, but nothing was said even to Sandra's mother; I simply don't get it, it wasn't like the problems were that big. Things were indeed slow and baby was smaller than expected, but open dialogue would have helped us ALL to understand what the issues were.

I recall when China was born the midwife told us what was happening and when and what to expect and I was even with her ALL the way, from conception to delivery; I cut the cord that freed China, but here no such luck!

So China you now have a baby sister and I would like you to see her rather than just in pictures, so I will see what I can organize with your mom, in the meantime be a good girl kisses.

Anyway I need a shower, food, drink and SLEEP!!! Enjoy the pictures ;)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

HaPpY BiRtHdAy

Hey China-girl
Happy Birthday! I bet your really big now; it would be nice to have a up-to-date photo of you or better yet, see you in person!

I am going to see if you can come over to Spain to spend some time here and get to know Spain a little and also your sister/brother.

I'm happy you liked your present and I hope you had a good birthday in the end ;)
I miss you so much and time seems to have flown by - I'm sorry you are caught in the middle you know I am always here for you as I always have been.

Love you lots and lots
Dad xXx

Monday, November 24, 2008

Got Your BACk

I have just seen (what I think) a wonderful application, that you can download to your iPhone or iTouch.

If you frequent the bar, or just like to have the occasional drink, then a new iPhone application has Got Your Back.
As a matter of fact, that is the name of the application; except it is spelled BAC (as in Blood-Alcohol Concentration).
With this application you will know exactly when you should call a taxi.

When you first launch the application, you'll enter some personal information, like age, weight, and gender, so the application can calculate your BAC correctly.

The main display shows four drinks on a table.
You can change the type of beverage by double-tapping and selecting a different one - the icon will also change.

Each time you drink a beverage, you drag the icon off the table and onto the screen.
The BAC, Carbs, Calories, and number of drinks will be updated in the top-left corner of the screen. As you add drinks, these numbers will increase.

The red line across the screen indicates the legal limit - when you're above this line, a new button will appear called "call a taxi." When tapped, this button will launch the Maps app and search for taxis.

It would be useful if you could input a number for a designated driver, that way you don't have to fumble through your contacts or call a taxi.

OK, so it won't stop you drinking and driving but anything towards that goal I think is a good thing, and I speak from personal experience!

Got Your BAC is available from the Apple Store for $2.99 (US), or HERE
Remember, the best thing to do is to not drink and drive but if you are going to I encourage you to download and use this app - Christmas is a time for indulging, but at least do it safely.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Under pressure....

Here at Vaughan Town we have had lots of fun (as usual), but this week I was very aware that back home my girlfriend was a ticking time bomb!! (waiting to have our baby).

The Spaniards did a wonderful job as did the Anglos, it was a nice small cosy group lots of variety in personalities and very professional in their purpose to the program; which was marvelous.
The one key memory for me was the fact that laughter filled the air on a daily basis, which was really nice.

Being a smaller group, I did a magic show on Tuesday and allowed the Spaniards the night off. However the sketches they did do, they got involved with wholeheartedly and they went down well; everyone had a great time.

Karaoke was a blast as the party, Spaniards rocking the night away to the wee hours of the morning.

I also had the pleasure of sharing the week with 2 veteran Anglo's Ompal & Cynthia which was wonderful. Ompal you need to write a book about your journey through life, it would be a best seller!

Well my Spanish friends dont let the experience end here, keep in touch with each other and keep learning - Beeeeaaaaaches!!

I'm currently working on the Christmas program and have been in my free time, and its coming together nicely so far. As usual if you have any ideas or input its always gratefully received.

To access the photos click the picture below

From Vaughan Town - Gredos - Program 101

On a personal note -
China thank you for calling it was nice to hear your voice, you sound like you have a grown up LOTS! I'm really happy you liked your present, I have a nice idea for Christmas for you! If your mum will let you have it ;)
I miss you more than I can express in words and think of you constantly
Love Dad x

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The real cost of war

Well at the moment all you hear on the news is 'crisis' yes there is a crisis coming. In English a recession - which I fear will become a depression as time goes on. It has only just starting to rumble but I predict next year a roar is coming, and it is then when we will feel it most and maybe for a long time to come!

We got involved in a war which has cost more than anyone thought - the loss has been great, not only financial but also family and friends.

Here in Spain there have been several big companies (GlaxoSmith Kline, Ryan Air, Nissan) making sweeping cut backs which means job losses which in itself leads to hardship.
This at the moment is manifesting itself in small riots which I have a feeling may culminate in a national riot as more people get frustrated and annoyed with the economic situation we are all facing.

Whether you like it or not, agreed with the war or opposed it - hold on tight, because we are all going to pay the price.

A while back my options seems limited for my future and I very nearly signed up for a long period in the armed forces, now I'm glad a friend talked me round and a opportunity arose.

Here is a very real look at what should have been!

The question is what did we really achieve or gain?

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Cold, damp and wet - are we in England?

Sadly this week in Gredos I saw the first obvious signs that winter is upon us.
Snow on the Gredos mountains, mist, fog and of course rain.

However that didn't dampen the spirit of the program. Mayte was back at the helm and yet again did an excellent job. As for the Anglo's I knew about half of them and the Spaniards about a third, so very familiar faces everywhere I looked which was nice, but this also presented another challenge for me as I do like to do new things, but between them all I think them have seen everything I have?!

Either way everyone got a chance to do something and get involved in some way or other.
The Karaoke was a success and the party went down very well too; sadly the food didn't!!
We had several people wanting to go to town for dinner which is simply ridiculous; the food issue MUST be resolved ASAP, if I see another fish I'll scream!

As for the party - be Jesus, I thought it would never end, one more Spanish song, one more English song one more group song, lol - but hey they had a ball, literally!
A brief escape from the hotel was appreciated and all in all I think the week was enjoyed by most.
I have to commute back and forth now as I no longer live in Madrid - but it does offer me some time for peace and quiet, alone time - which has its benefits too.

Click the picture below to see the photos of our week together
Vaughan Town - Gredos - Program 100
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