The Friday Smile …. La sonrisa del viernes 11112

Hola amigos y amigas,

Sorry for the lack of the smile over the last few months. I have just faced simply ridiculous work pressures inside a crazy travel schedule. I am not complaining – I thrive on this stuff, but it does take its toll on personal things. And when I do get home to Spain, I need to spend as much time as possible with the gorgeous one – who has been exceptional in putting up with my life in a suitcase. (Equally supported fantastically by Andy and Maria who have kindly received and cared for a semi-permanent lodger who rudely spends most of his hours at home on a computer – far, far beyond the call of duty of family!).

I am starting writing this on a Sunday on a train into London. It is an incredible Autumn day here. Sunshine, blue skies and leaves burning oranges and flaming yellows. So I decided it was just too good to spend another Sunday working – so off to Camden or Richmond (tbd), to wander around the street markets and parks.

I cannot possibly do justice to all that’s happened in the last few months in  a short blog. Highlights have been our Camino de Santiago that was incredible in so many ways and more than exceeded our expectations.  I have been thinking of writing a short e-book on the experience (arrogant, huh?), although I am not sure where I am going to find the time.

There is plenty of work right now – a few projects in the UK, some lecturing in Madrid (and Brussels later this month) that is not leaving much time for relaxing too much. But (the g, and getting more g every day – see photo above of Vivi and niece Alex – both of who will kill me when they see I have added the pic!)) Vivi and I still managing to explore cosy/cool new bars and restaurants in Madrid; with the occasional exposition thrown in.

Thanks to Doug & Dave from Atlantic, we had a great weekend in Cambridge. I have never really spent time around the hallowed colleges, but as we wandered around the quadrangles surrounded by ancient buildings with lead-paned windows, I could hardly stop myself from running in slow-motion humming: da-da-da-daa-daaaaaaaa-da (Chariots of Fire if you don’t recognize my hum).  Vivi and I extended the weekend to a night in a windmill in the nearby countryside – which included a real Sunday lunch in the local pub in a tiny adjoining village. And we are following up making the most of my time in the UK, by both taking a few days out to have a 4 day weekend at the end of November.

The Spanish economy remains dire and seemingly on the verge of collapse. Lurching from crisis to crisis; and only marginally better than Greece. However, as dire as it looks and as incompetent appear the politicians to resolve it, I have no doubt it will change as quickly as it came about .. and most of us will be better off for the experience. And even within the tsunami that is the current economy, there are still opportunities if you look for them.

On a more cheerful note – 007 returns and I really enjoyed Skyfall and have to admire the marketing and publicity hype that was generated by the producers. It made up for the latest Woody Allen movie (To Rome with Love) – and given the latter was Vivi’s choice, it gave me the right to select the next one – hence the “skit and donner”: James Bond!

OK. A few smiles below….. and I will try and be more regular (Smile-wise) in the future.

Abrazos a todos.


When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person realize their dream
Paulo Coelho




Four guys have been going to the same fishing trip for many years.
Two days before the group is to leave, Ron’s wife puts her foot down and tells him he isn’t going.
Ron’s mates are very upset that he can’t go, but what can they do.

Two days later the three mates get to the camping site only to find Ron sitting there with a tent set up, firewood gathered, and dinner cooking on the fire.
“Shit Ron, how long you been here? How did you talk your missus into letting you go ?”

“Well, I’ve been here since last night. After dinner at home yesterday evening, I was sitting in my chair and my wife came up behind me and put her hands over my eyes and said, ‘Guess who ?'”

I pulled her hands off, and she was wearing sexy brand new lingerie. She said had been reading ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ and she had a devilish look in her eyes!!!
She took my hand and led me to our bedroom. The room had candles and rose petals all over.
On the bed she had handcuffs, and ropes !
She told me to tie her up and cuff her to the bed, so I did.

And then she said, “Do whatever you want.”

So . . . . here I am !


> A church Pastor woke up Sunday morning and realizing it was
> an exceptionally beautiful and sunny early spring day, decided
> he just had to play golf.
> So… he told the Associate Pastor that he was feeling sick and
> persuaded him to preside over the services for him that day.
> As soon as the Associate Pastor left the room, the Pastor headed
> out of town to a golf course about forty miles away.
> This way he knew he wouldn’t accidentally meet anyone he knew
> from his church. Setting up on the first tee, he was alone. After all,
> it was Sunday morning and everyone else was in church!
> At about this time, Saint Peter leaned over to the Lord while looking
> down from the heavens and exclaimed, “You’re not going to let him
> get away with this, are you?”
> The Lord sighed, and said, “No, I guess not.”
> Just then the Pastor hit the ball and it shot straight towards the pin,
> dropping just short of it, rolled up and fell into the hole.
> St. Peter was astonished. He looked at the Lord and asked, “Why did
> you let him do that?”
> The Lord smiled and replied, Who is he going to tell?


Bit South African … but NG Kerk is the conservative Afrikaans Church.

Four fundamental truths about faith:
> 1. Muslims do not recognize Jews as God’s chosen nation.
> 2. Jews do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah.
> 3. Protestants do not recognize the Pope as the leader of
> 4. NG Kerk members do not recognize one another at Teazers.


From the Edinburgh Festival

“I’ve never won an argument with my girlfriend. I’ve even lost arguments about how I feel.”

The other top 10 jokes:

1) “You know who really gives kids a bad name? Posh and Becks.” – Stewart Francis

2) “Last night me and my girlfriend watched three DVDs back to back. Luckily I was the one facing the telly.” – Tim Vine

3) “I was raised as an only child, which really annoyed my sister.” – Will Marsh

4) “You know you’re working class when your TV is bigger than your book case.” – Rob Beckett

5) “I’m good friends with 25 letters of the alphabet … I don’t know Y.” – Chris Turner

6) “I took part in the sun tanning Olympics – I just got Bronze.” – Tim Vine

7) “Pornography is often frowned upon, but that’s only because I’m concentrating.” – George Ryegold

8) “I saw a documentary on how ships are kept together. Riveting!” – Stewart Francis

9) “I waited an hour for my starter so I complained: ‘It’s not rocket salad.” – Lou Sanders

10) “My mum’s so pessimistic, that if there was an Olympics for pessimism … she wouldn’t fancy her chances.” – Nish Kumar


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