Saturday, September 27, 2008

Autumn is here, a family celebration, “The house of the Duke” (La casa del Duque), a surreal photo shoot and enterprising friends.

Eladio flanked by his 2 girls Oli (left) and Suzy (right) on his birthday this week.
Hello again

This week was my dear husband’s birthday, 2 days after Autumn began. It has brought with it cooler weather and we can no longer have dinner outside on the terrace. How sad because I so love the long Spanish Summers.

Eladio doesn’t particularly like the number of this year’s birthday so I won’t include it. Suffice it to say he is aging gracefully and to quote his best friend Roberto, “está en perfecto estado” (he is in a perfect state)! I can vouch for that and I suppose you can see that too from the photos of his birthday.
Eladio and the home made birthday cake (actually you can see the unpopular number)
I have been preparing frantically for a big press and employee event this Monday coming and only had one week to do it in. Of course experience helps but even if you delegate for nearly all of it, it’s still a big job. I have done so many events over the years but they are still stressful and you only relax when they are over. I must add here that the location is just great and has the added ingredient of being the “House of the Duke” (La Casa del Duque) from the most popular TV series of the moment in Spain, “Sin tetas no hay paraíso” which is a dreadful name for a superb series. It’s actually a very modern style American loft type flat with practically no walls; not my style but perfect for the event.

The surreal photo shoot refers to a fun moment at work this week. We were taking some photos of my boss on a motorbike for the event on Monday and El Mundo was coming also to take photos for an interview to be published this Sunday. So there we were a load of people and equipment, traipsing up and down the office. When we reached the reception area on our way to the car park to take photos of they bike, there was a fully dressed bride there! Everyone thought I had hired her for the photos and the photographer wanted her on the bike with my boss for the photo on Sunday!!! I hadn’t hired her. She turned out to be an advertising agency stunt but the whole office still thinks I did it. What can you do when you have that sort of reputation!! Actually it was a great stunt!.

So what else happened this week? Well, I had lunch with Pieter at Fast Good on Monday which was great for catching up on the office gossip I so miss as I work at home.

On Thursday I had lunch with the girls at De María in Majadahonda. It’s full of amazing Lamborginis and Ferraris outside which I later learned is because of the Atlético de Madrid Football club players' patronage as their practice ground is across the road from the restaurant.

I also went out last night with Eladio to further celebrate his birthday and we chose the very smart and posh restaurant Pedro Larumbe. I think Eladio was suitably impressed. Highly recommendable but not cheap I must say.

This week, I got news of 2 very enterprising friends. The first was one Isabel Aracil who I read about in the newspaper in an article about the difficulty she has had to educate her children in the Alicante area of Spain in Spanish. That’s another surreal story actually.

Isabel's story in the paper
I know Isabel because she was my account executive with the famous Burson Marsteller PR agency when I worked for Motorola. I briefly spoke to her some years ago when she told me she had inherited a big old run down house in inland Alicante which she and her husband were going to turn into a rural hotel. So I when I read her story in the paper this week I googled her and came up with this lovely place called Hotel Masfontanelles. It looks absolutely great. Fortunately I will have a chance of trying out the place, well at least the restaurant, as it turns out that Masfontanelles is very near our pad in Santa Pola. I can only add “well done Isabel”.

The other enterprising friend is Anita Oca, who I found through Facebook this morning. Ana was an internee who worked with me at Motorola nearly 10 years ago. She went on to work in marketing in companies like Kelloggs and L’Oreal and now owns a company called La Reina Oca which organises great weddings and events to judge by the website. Well done too Ana. I love the name (Queen Duck) which must have been a doddle to think up as her surname is Oca (Duck) and her partner’s surname is Reina (Queen). I shall certainly keep them in mind when it comes to organising my daughters' weddings.

But they won’t be getting married soon I can assure you. Suzy is starting what we all hope will be her last year at University this Monday. Oli is finishing her stint with the documentary programme, “Informe Semanal” and before she starts work on 6th October will go for a short but well deserved holiday to Istanbul with Eladio on Wednesday. Hopefully they will bring me back lots of pashminas, some tea and Turkish delight for my Father. I can imagine Oli having a field day in the Bazar!!! Have a great time you two.

And that’s all for the moment folks.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Dinner "with" Guti, social engagements and a visit to Bilbao and the Guggenheim Museum

Eladio and I all dressed up in our finery to go to the Dircom Anniversary function. This photo should probably be entitled "Growing old gracefully"!
Hi again,

This week has been full of social engagements which of course always include eating, so all my good intentions to diet went out of the wind.

Last Sunday we went to dinner with Roberto and MariCarmen and tried out De María in Majadahonda. It’s part of a great Argentinian chain and is very popular with the so called beautiful people. So it wasn’t a surprise to see Guti, the famous Real Madrid football player, walk in flanked by at least 5 good looking women. We learned later that he had just scored Real Madrid’s goal number 5.000 so maybe dinner at De María was part of the celebration. The food was great as was the décor and location so we shall be going back.

Monday, apart from a quick visit to the office for a press interview amongst other things, brought with it an appointment and lunch with Jorge López. Jorge who used to be my account executive in Motorola and in Nokia when he was with the PR Agency, Perception and Image – my all time agency – has gone up the ladder professionally speaking and is now a Vice President of Lewis PR, a British PR agency specializing in technology accounts. I visited his new offices and was amazed to see how Lewis PR Madrid had grown so quickly since I last met them. I talked Jorge into inviting me to lunch, of course and we went to a lovely little French place called El Comité round the corner from his office.

Jorge was a Father for the third time last Wednesday, just two days after our encounter. The baby is a little girl called Livia, who is now the youngest sister of Leonor (named so before the Spanish Crown Prince had his little girl Leonor!) and Hugo. Congratulations Jorge and Vanessa from these pages!

On Tuesday I had lunch with another Jorge, this time from a magazine called Telefonía y Comunicaciones. Pilar, his partner joined us and we had a good old chat around a table at one of my favourite places, Aspen in La Moraleja.

On Wednesday I was invited to attend the 15th anniversary dinner of Dircom, the Spanish Association of Communications Directors, and I took Eladio along.
It was to be a very smart occasion so we had to go in our best finery which meant of course taking out Eladio’s “wedding and funeral suit” from his wardrobe!

My expectations for this association have always been quite low but recently they have gone up in my estimation due mainly to the outing organised to La Rioja, the letter sent to the Financial Times on the “PIGs” issue and actually also by the event on Wednesday evening. To demonstrate their pull they were able to garner the presence of people like Emilio Botín, the President of Banco Santander, as well as the Mayoress of Valencia, Rita Barbera; event if the speeches were a little too long.
The Dircom party Invitation
It was held at the gardens of the Canal de Isabel II Water Company Foundation just off Plaza Castilla. The night was starlit and the temperature perfect so the event gained strength of course. Everybody and anybody from the media world was there and it was great to say hello to old friends like Rose de la Pascua. It was organised by my PR Agency, Ketchum who are not that well known for doing great events but they made quite a good job of Wednesday. I recognised 2 of my own trademarks there which were the Mojitos cocktail bar and also the photo call with printed photos to take home.

And on Thursday we took off to Bilbao by car. I had to be there for the opening of our first shop in Bilbao which actually coincided with our announcement of 100 Yoigo shops all over Spain in less than 3 months. We actually took the wrong road after Burgos and managed somehow to go over a mountain pass over the N640 in fog and only just get to our hotel on time for my event. We booked in to the Hotel López de Haro and were given, what turned out to be, a rather disappointing room and the only one that hadn’t been renovated.

At our event I was to be reunited with Carlos Zahumenszky, a journalist friend from my Nokia days. He works for El Correo Español, for their blog and for the radio station, Punto Radio.
The shop opening in Bilbao.
I took Friday off to explore Bilbao. We hadn’t actually planned to visit Bilbao’s main attraction, the Guggenheim Museum as we are not very much into modern art and I am no Frank Gehry fan. However as it rained that was really the only option. As it turned out I was very pleasantly surprised.
Me outside the Guggenheim Museum
"Puppy" the giant flower statue outside the Guggenheim museum which has become a symbol of Bilbao.
I actually thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition, laughed at the solid white or black paintings with nothing else on them, walked in between Juan Muñoz’s statues in his “Many Times” exhibit and walked out smiling thoroughly infected by all the same smiling men in it.
Many Times by Juan Muñoz
Chased away by the rain, we left Bilbao and stopped for lunch at a place we found in the Campsa Guide called Bideko which is sort of near Llodio. It was great place but full of people and we ended up finishing lunch at about 16.30!! How Spanish that is!
The Bideko restaurant, a typical Basque country house.
You can see all the photos of that visit on the album I have posted in Facebook

As usual coming home feels like returning to the best place on earth. The weekend has been quiet. My Father is having trouble with his feet and can hardly walk which of course worries us. Suzy who is in post re-sit exam mode has been missing most of the weekend thanks to heavy socialising. I woke her up today at 14.45 for lunch and she is sleeping again now as I write at 18.30!!

Oli has been busy at work. Yesterday Spanish TV broadcast the documentary on the infamous Spanish prison Carabanchel she had been working on and Eladio, my Father and I had big smiles on our faces as we saw her name up with the credits at the end. She was at work all day yesterday, Saturday, editing the documentary and stayed on with her team to witness its broadcasting during the Informe Semanal programme.

It is poor Aunty Masha's birthday today and as I cannot forget her last words of "don't forget me" when we saw her in August, I sent her a lovely bunch of flowers through Interflora. She was very very grateful and called me a "good girl" which actually made me feel even more guilty.

Next week will be Eladio’s birthday too which we will be celebrating at home in our usual manner. He and Oli are preparing a trip abroad the following week. Oli has some time off at the end of September and needs a break. It looks like the destination maybe Istanbul.

What else will next week bring I wonder? Well we will all have to wait and see in next week’s post.

Cheers till then,


Sunday, September 14, 2008

“Pigs”, a battle with a castle, a visit from Alberto, goodbye Julian, another TV chat show and other things.

Pigs in muck!
Hi again

You may wonder why I have the word “Pigs” in my headline. It’s all because the Financial Times published an article last week in the prestigious Lex column called “Pigs in Muck”. Pigs is apparently Portugal, Italy Greece and Spain and the article refers to the financial crisis these countries are facing. I call this a chauvinist British attitude to the Mediterranean countries in Europe and this attitude really gets me as a Brit living "on the continent". It was good to see the Spanish Association of Communications Directors (Dircom) send a letter in protest which amongst other things pointed out that the Brits who come to Spain on holiday hardly feel they are stuck in muck! The FT published it but never made an apology, of course. You can read more about the issue here.

The “battle with a castle” refers to a fight I’ve had with a hotel in Salamanca called Castillo de Buen Amor (Castle of good love!). Upon recommendation from a friend, I made a booking in June for the night of our 25th wedding anniversary. Later I decided we’d be going to Amsterdam instead so called the hotel to cancel. Obviously the message didn’t get through as the hotel later charged my visa card. The battle turned out to be their word against mine as there was nothing in writing. On the phone, in phone call number 4 or 5 they accused me of never having rung to cancel but of course I rang as I am not the sort of person to cancel and not warn in advance. After writing a scathing e-mail and conversation number 5 or 6, it seems I will be reimbursed. I for one will not ever be going to stay at the Castle of Good Love! If you do, learn my lesson, do everything in writing!

Perhaps the main activity to note this week was the visit of Alberto, Olga and Alberto’s kids, Clara, Alvaro and Nes (Inés) for lunch last Sunday. Alberto was Eladio’s boss when he worked for the Ministry of Education. He and Olga are expecting a baby in March and you can practically see the happiness on their faces. It was lovely to have them and finally to meet the children.
Alberto, Olga and the kids, L-R, Clara, Alvaro and Inés (Nes)
Alberto, Alvaro and Inés (Nes)taking a bathe which may well be the last bathe of the summer in our pool.
There was also a fiesta (bank holiday) this week as Tuesday was a non working day. It was good to get some quality family time together and I made a typical Spanish “cocido”. In the evening Eladio and I went out to dinner to Mood and Oli accidentally joined us. Time with her is specially important as she is usually so busy.

Eladio and Joe relaxing in the afternon sun on Tuesday which was a "fiesta"
We went to the cinema last night to see a Spanish film called La Conjura de El Escorial, a thriller where power and death meet in the court of Phillip II. It was very well made and worth going to see if you like historical films and can stand some gorey scenes. Afterwards we went for dinner to La Alpargatería. There have been far too many lunches and dinners this summer and my diet will just have to start soon otherwise I will not fit into my winter clothes. Oh how I hate this subject and all it entails!. And oh dear, we have a dinner engagement with Roberto and Mari Carmen at De María in Majadahonda tonight.

This week I also met up with Elena again. She’s doing fine and now that the summer is over we will continue to meet once a month. Morale support it a great curer of all sorts of ails so I hope I am doing some good.

I am still on my crusade to gain more connections on LinkedIn. I now have over 225. I have found some people I had really lost touch with, such as Beth Sharples. I had also hoped to find someone called Julian Long, head of PR for the Motorola Infrastructure division in Europe in the 90’s and whom I had last seen in Cannes 3 or 4 years ago. It was Beth who told me this week that Julian was no longer with us. I don’t know what happened to him as Beth hasn’t told me yet but I was very shocked. Julian was one of these Carpe Diem people like me who enjoyed life and put in as much as he go out of it. I am sure he must be sorely missed by all around him. So I lost a person on LinkedIn too!

Last week I got a call from a journalist I don’t know from the Intereconomía radio and TV channel with whom I already collaborate by taking part in the chat show called Ventana al Exterior. This one, called “El balance” is for people from the media world to discuss the week’s news and issues. They want me to take part twice a month on Thursdays, live at 8 pm. I said “yes” but now I’ve got cold feet. Judging by the names of the possible other candidates the level of participation seems pretty senior and I’m not sure that the subject material is close enough to my heart to really want to go. So I’m debating ringing and chickening out.

Next week will bring with it a party organised by Dircom to celebrate their 15th anniversary. It’s going to be quite a gala event judging by the dress code on the invitation and the attendance of people of the level of Emilio Botin (owner of the Bank of Santander) and Margarita Salas amongst others

It will also bring with it a short trip to Bilbao. I have a small event taking place there on Thursday which I have to oversee. Luckily Eladio will be joining me for both.

Just before I end I must send birthday greetings to Paloma and to Amanda whose birthdays it was on Saturday. I mustn't forget Grainne either whose birthday it was on Thursday or Kike whose birthday it is today. Happy birthday to you all from these pages.

Cheers till next week

Lance Armstrong to return to cycling - "the same old son of a bitch" - my memories of Lance.

Lance Armstrong and I going to the press conference after coming 2nd in the Clásica San Sebastián in 1994

You are probably wondering why I am writing a post on Lance Armstrong. Those of you who know me from way back will know of my great interest in cycling from my days in Motorola when I was heavily involved in the Motorola Cycling Team. These days my interest has declined, as has the sport, but a spot in my heart is still there for the sport which took up so much of my time for nearly a decade.

Lance Armstrong was part of that team which he joined in 1992. Lance was an aggressive sort of guy, very Texan and with a very brash and arrogant American manner. His team mates either loved him or hated him. I was in the middle. What I couldn’t stand was his attitude to Hennie Kuiper, the team coach. Hennie, a wonderful gentle Dutchman was an Olympic gold medallist and a great cyclist of his times, having come 2nd in the Tour of France on various occasions and a real hero in his country. Lance just didn’t respect Hennie and often put the team against him and I couldn’t forgive him for that. Of course he was only 21 at the time.

I remember organising a telephone interview with him for El País at around the time he had won the world championship. I had to translate and it ended up being in the massage room whilst he was receiving a massage. There he was naked with just a towel to cover him! I was so embarrassed.

I actually witnessed one of his first races with the team which was the Clásica de San Sebastián, a one day race which was part of the UCI World Road Cup a the time. From what I can remember Lance never finished that race and because of the humiliation I remember him saying he would go on to win it one day. The next year, 1993, he became the youngest road racing world champion ever, beating Miguel Induráin to the finish line. In 1994 he came 2nd in the Clásica and I was there again to witness it. In fact I have a photo of me with him in the Hotel María Cristina when we had to go the press conference for the first 3 riders (see above). I have a story to tell about that too.

On the way from the finish line to the hotel, at one stage he asked me to carry his bike, which of course I refused. I was not an adoring fan. Two of them though, stopped us and asked to have a photograph taken with him. I was to take the photo and just as I was about to press the capture button, Lance said to me in English: “Masha just pretend you are taking it, don't actually press the button”. I was incensed by his unkindness and negative attitude and of course took the photo.

He actually went on win the Clásica in 1995 but I wasn't there to see him but on holiday in Scotland!

Then the team disbanded, Lance got cancer and I lost touch. I saw him briefly when he took part in the Tour of Spain just after his recovery. Having heard that the experience had softened his character I asked his team mate and “buddy”, Frankie Andreu if this was so. I will never forget his friend replying: “no, he’s just the same old son of a bitch”.

And it’s this “same old son of a bitch” who then went on to win the Tour of France 7 times in a row from 1999 to 2005 until the whole world of cycling was sick and tired of his victories. He came after the "reign" of Miguel Induráin, so well loved and also so gentle and humble. Lance just wasn’t liked and did nothing to make people like him either.

And now he has threatened to come back after 3 years away from the professional circuit.

Do you think he will win the Tour of France in 2009? I asked my friend Pedro Delgado, the well known and beloved Spanish cyclist, TV commentator and winner of the 1988 edition. He believes he can’t. I believe he can.

So, place your bets, ladies and gentleman.


Saturday, September 06, 2008

Home again, August is over, back to routine

Going to the cinema is back to routine.

Right now I’m in post Santander mode – with one big project over – and back home to a more normal routine.

August is over and the heat has lessened. We no longer have to cool off by the pool in the afternoon or have the air conditioning on all night as has been the case for a lot of this summer.

Back to routine it certainly was for Eladio and I last night when we went to the cinema and then out to dinner to our all time favourite, La Alpargateria. We went to see the highly acclaimed Los Girasoles Ciegos by the rather left wing José Luis Cuerda based on the novel by Alberto Méndez and set during the post civil war period in Spain. It describes very vividly the persecution of the losers of the war, the republicans, often called “the reds”. What didn’t convince us was the story of the rather sinister young priest who becomes obsessed with Elena, the wife of Ricardo, a red who has been hidden away at home for 4 years and lives in constant fear of being found out.
As to the girls, Suzy is taking a couple of re-sits so is sort of busy but with time enough, of course, to go to the fiestas that seem to be taking place all over the small towns around Madrid. Soon she will be starting the term for what probably will be her last year at University.

Oli’s internship with RTVE (Spanish television) has been extended for another month after a very successful stint with She is now working as an assistant producer for Informe Semanal which is a highly prestigious documentary programme and this week has been involved in a documentary on the famous Carabanchel Prison in Spain. We are all very proud and happy for her.

Tomorrow we will have guests which is very normal for us on a Sunday - nice sort of routine though! Alberto and Olga and Alberto's three children will be here for a barbecue and we look forward to seeing them and celebrating their happy news as they are expecting a baby. But more about that in next week's post.

Have a good week


Hi again,

I’m writing a lot this Saturday afternoon aren’t I?

I want to mention something that is occupying a lot of my time recently and which I am thoroughly enjoying. And it’s View Masha Lloyd's profile on LinkedIn.
Networking is second nature to me so when Facebook came my way a year ago I soon became addicted and now use it to tell my community of friends what I am doing the whole time, to upload photos and to send birthday greetings to my friends, etc.

LinkedIn is different. It is also a social network but geared to connecting people professionally. I must have signed up at least 3 years ago but really hadn’t used it or seen its advantages until very recently. From what I can see there is fierce competition between people as to how many connections you have and also how many references. Thus I went through my whole data base and within less than 10 days now have over 200 connections and 9 recommendations and am on a crusade to reach 300 to compete with my colleague Maria!!
I don’t really know whether being part of LinkedIn will ever help me professionally but it is great fun competing for connections and finding people you haven’t been in contact for years and years and to know where they are now.

Have you tried it out?



Hi again

I did an interview not so long ago with the Hispano Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Cataluña for their website which I thought I ought to include in my blog. You can read the full interview here but the following is the personal part. It’s in Spanish of course.
Entrevista con Masha Lloyd, Directora de Comunicación de Yoigo, filial española de TeliaSonera
Yoigo cuenta con 78 empleados propios y con más de 1.100 que trabajan para la compañía de manera indirecta. Es el cuarto operador con red propia de España, y comenzó su actividad comercial el 1 de diciembre de 2006. En este periodo, ya han captado casi 600.000 clientes gracias a una propuesta basada en la sencillez, la transparencia y en acercar el concepto de low cost a la telefonía móvil.
¿Quién es Masha Lloyd?
Masha Lloyd, de origen anglo ruso llegó a España hace muchos años por amor para formar junto a su esposo, español y filósofo, una familia.

Desde pequeña se decantó por las relaciones públicas; organizaba las fiestas de sus padres y de sus amigos y escribía asiduamente un diario, y hoy es una profesional de la comunicación con muchos años de experiencia en el sector de las telecomunicaciones. Tras bregar en las empresas de telefonía móvil Motorola y Nokia, decidió empezar de cero en la aventura Yoigo, el cuarto operador móvil en España y de origen sueco. Su trabajo le apasiona y se siente totalmente implicada en el proyecto por los valores de la compañía, valores con los que ella misma se siente identificada: justicia, eficiencia, honestidad, ocurrencia (siempre con un “guiño” y “chispa”) y sencillez..
¿Qué haces cuando no trabajas?
Me gusta tanto mi trabajo que no distingo entre la vida personal y el trabajo. Además mi forma de trabajar, más de un 80% desde casa, me lo permite. El tele trabajo te permite organizar tu tiempo, personal y profesional, a tu gusto. Es un auténtico gustazo y debería imponerse más en España.

Pero cuando no estoy contestando mails, que es una auténtica adicción – no soy capaz de tener un e-mail sin leer y organizar, me gusta escribir mi blog que es mi pasión, conectarme a Facebook que es otra adicción, leer, si me queda tiempo y pasear con la familia. Y por supuesto mis grandes aficiones son viajar, conocer otras culturas y la gastronomía, tanto ir a restaurantes como cocinar en casa
¿Cuáles son tus tres lugares favoritos en Barcelona?
Luz de Gas para tomar copas, que es un sitiazo y si puedo voy al Hotel Arts. Si el presupuesto lo permite duermo ahí y si no, organizo un evento o simplemente tomo unas copas. Es un sitio mágico, maravilloso. Me chifla La Rambla y no hay cosa mejor que pasear por ella por la mañana, comprar un periódico y leerlo en una de las cafeterías para ver pasar el mundo; porque por ella pasean representantes del mundo entero.
Podría seguir y seguir y no puedo dejar pasar esta oportunidad para mencionar sus maravillosos restaurantes como Neichel, Agua en el Paseo Marítimo y Bestial al lado, La Venta arriba en la Plaza de Doctor Andreu, La Gavina en el Palau de Mar y Cal Pinxo al lado e incluso lugares menos conocidos pero no menos maravillosos como Las Carmelitas en Doctor Dou o el secreto gastronómico mejor guardado de la ciudad condal, L’Escola restaurante en Pº del Taulat 243 que es la Escuela de Restauración y Hostelería de Barcelona.

Las Campanas 30 years on

Panoramic view of El Mesón Las Campanas taken last Wednesday
Hi again

El Mesón de las Campanas deserves a mention from me in this week’s posts. Mesón Las Campanas is a small hotel, cum restaurant, cum bar on the Madrid Burgos road (Km 135) actually in the province of Segovia.

So why does it deserve a mention you might ask. Well, it’s a place I stayed at with my parents and a girl friend called Sophie Tarassenko whilst touring Spain in Sophie’s VW beetle in August 1978,that is 30 years ago.

There is absolutely nothing special about it, except that it’s a cosy little roadside place that at least my Father and I have always remembered. I have always wanted to revisit it but never managed to do so until last Wednesday whilst driving back from Santander.

Eladio took a photo of me and then I discovered one of me with my parents at the very same spot. I scanned it and here you have the two of them.
Me at Las Campanas last Wednesday, some 30 years later.
Me and my parents at the same spot 30 years ago!
Quite something isn’t it?

Cheers again

Networking in Santander, Lerma and round and round in circles.

A drink out and rather blurred photo of (left to right) Nuria, Gustavo, Masha, Fátima, Eladio, Julio (González - not "Juli") and Carlos with Gonzalo at the front - how I love networking!!
Hi again,

You haven't heard from me for a while because I have been busy and away and have had no time to write until now.

Last week was the Spanish Telecomms Annual conference in Santander. I have been going for years (see my post from last year) and love it because of the place itself and of course meeting people from the sector and networking.

Work wise I was up to my eyes in it as I had to organise the Board Programme for my company and a huge party for all the participants. Luckily Eladio went with me to keep me sane.

We got some time on our own to enjoy the Sardinero Beach and also had a great dinner out with my agencies one night and even went out for drinks afterwards as you can see from the photo that illustrates this post.
Eladio reading the paper by the Sardinero beach on Sunday morning.
The Agency dinner at the Flor de Tetuan restaurant in Santander: from left to right: Eladio, Masha, Gustavo, Carlos, Gloria and Nuria.
Julio, one of my closest friends was there of course and we managed lunch together on Sunday at the Rio Sardinero beach. Fátima also came along this year for the first time which made a great foursome for evening walks and bathes.

Juli (Julio) smiling over the clam shells at the Rio Sardinero restaurant.
The party went fine and if you don’t believe me, read this journalist's report. It’s going to be difficult to beat next year.

On our way home Eladio and I stopped for lunch at Lerma, that majestic historical town just outside Burgos and of course went to the Parador in Lerma. What a beautiful place it is. Unfortunately I was pretty exhausted after Santander so perhaps didn’t enjoy the place as much as it deserved.

Eladio in the Plaza Mayor in Lerma in front of the Parador.
And so Santander is over and so is the enormous amount of work I put into the company activities throughout this summer. Now I have to go on to new projects which are already on my horizon.

And so my professional life goes on, round and round in circles.

Cheers till later