29 Apr 2010

La Armada Española en Roma!

Oh my! I didn't know Spain was playing the Davis Cup this Friday! In Rome?! And not content to play against a single country in the course of a weekend, the "Armada Española" is taking on 5 different countries in one day! ;o)

Davis Cup Champions 2009  (http://www.elespectador.com/imagen-armada-espanola)
Anyone reading this a tennis fan? If you're following the Rome Master's Tournament then look at this Friday's programme (the quarter-finals) and you'll see what I mean... Roma. Centre Court. 5 matches... ALL of them involve a Spaniard (or two since there's a doubles match). I just got the biggest smile on my face when I read this:

Verdasco vs Djokovic (Serbia)
Ferrer vs Tsonga (France)
Nadal vs Wawrinka (Switzerland)
Feliciano Lopez vs Gulbis (Latvia)
Almagro/Granollers vs the Bryan brothers (USA)

And now I feel like singing "qué viva Españaaaaaaaaaa!!!" :p 

Just missing Ferrero (who was in the crowd watching Nadal's match today) and my current Spanish favourites are all there! :o)

Who was it that said that Spain had enough good tennis players to field TWO Davis Cup teams? You betcha!!! :D

I figure Lopez and Verdasco will have the toughest time, but I really hope Verdasco beats Djokovic: 1. because I like Verdasco, and 2. because it will decrease the points difference between Nadal and Djokovic and bring Nadal that much closer (if he wins the title) to 2nd place in the ITF rankings! :o)

So fingers crossed for Spanish face-offs in the semi-finals and then the Final! With Nadal winning of course! ;o)

PS: if you're not a tennis fan then the Davis Cup is an international tennis tournament by national teams, Spain will next play France in the 1/4F first weekend of July.

23 Apr 2010

World Book Day and Favourite Books

Back in the day (I don't remember when!), Rhonda from Shellbelle's Tikki Hut asked me what my favourite books were and suggested I write a post about them. Several months later, after jotting down the occasional title here and there, I figured the perfect time for me to answer her request would be on World Book Day!

20 Apr 2010

Back home in spite of volcano!

So my parents and I went to Mallorca this weekend for a First Communion:

my crazy 8-year-old cousins

and a Baptism:

first of the "next generation" on this side of the pond!

in which we actively participated:

(thankfully we sound much better live than recorded, even with as little practice as we got recently!)

17 Apr 2010


Forgive me if I vent for a while...


I'm currently in the midst of a big family reunion in Mallorca... a twin communion and a sweet little baptism... and my sister's stuck in London! Grounded due to that massive cloud of volcanic ash high up in the atmosphere that's made almost all of northern Europe into a NO-FLY zone...

Check out this map from BBC news:

Extent of the volcanic "ash" cloud from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8623534.stm
It's created a lot of chaos, with stranded travellers, holidays cancelled, and I'm guessing low attendance at tomorrow's state funeral for the Polish President and his wife who died in a plane accident last week... Mother Nature making herself felt in all her glory! And in Iceland the government has asked people not to go near the volcano to "check it out", I'll admit if I lived there I'd be tempted! :p

7 years living in a city surrounded by volcanoes, never any problems, and now this thing in another country is screwing with our lives! 'tis indeed a small world! One volcano in Iceland starts acting up, and European air transport gets paralysed.

Sigh!!! Stupid atmospheric currents...

My sister would definitely prefer spending time with this:

than "stuck" in her flat in London...

9 Apr 2010

Semana Santa: Domingo de Ramos en Elche

Palm Sunday. Christ's triumphant entry into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey while a festive populace laid palms down at his feet. In many Spanish cities a "procesión" is held commemorating this joyous day, with a figure of Jesus on a donkey being carried through the city on the shoulders of the faithful, to the sound of marching bands and the murmur (for Spaniards can rarely ever be quiet!) of the people walking either ahead, behind or watching from the sides. Most carry white palms as a symbol of participation in the ritual, some simple tall leaves from palm trees, others more elaborately twisted or woven together into a lovely design or even a "sculpture" of sorts.

Tag My Tenth Photo Meme

I've been TAGGED!!! (insert big round eyes and scared face here)


I've been really bad these past several months with awards (I promise I haven't forgotten! they're all bookmarked! someday...) or memes... but this one seemed quick and easy. Jono over at e-clecticism has instructed me to open my first photo folder and insert here the 10th photo with a note. Now I've never been very good at following rules... and that iphoto folder contains the pix from my housewarming party in Belgium and some friends would never forgive me if they saw the light of day! That and they're grainy (dark, from a friend's not great camera). So I'm going to mix things up by putting up the first photo in my tenth album which was taken from a zodiac while being transported from ship to shore:

Weddell seals basking on an ice cube in the Antarctic sun

Those blubbery individuals basking on the ice cube are Weddell seals, named after a British sealing captain over a century ago. If you click on the photo for a bigger view you can just make out a couple of tuxedoed fellows on the dirty ice in the background -Adelie penguins-, and above them some odd looking structures that are part of the French Dumont D'Urville base in Antarctica (the place where "March of the Penguins" was filmed)... I really need to tell you guys about my polar adventures some day, don't I? 'cause that's really not one of the better photos in that album... ;o)

Now it's time to pass on the torch! Five new victims get to go digging in their photo archives... who shall it be? Must be someone whom I know takes pictures regularly...

*rubs hands together while cackling wickedly*

And the "winners" are:
...and anyone else who thinks this idea might be fun! feel free to join in! :o)

update: an * indicates I've edited the links so they go directly to the "10th photo" Blog Posts for those who decided to participate so whoever's curious can go Blog-Hopping in search of elusive "10th photos"! :p