Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Letting go ...

It is not always easy to let go of people who have been important in the course of one's professional life  ... even if one is well aware that upon reaching their retirement age they will have to move into another direction ... possibly one that will provide them with the necessary recognition ... the family's recognition.

I must confess that amidst some genuine opinions it's quite hard to hear and digest appraisal comments some people make when farewell gatherings are organised because it is as if they feel forced to either say what they never said or even intended to.

The ones who are leaving have got nothing to lose by saying whatever they feel they should, though in Felizardo's case that was never a problem once he always said exactly what he had to say.

I'll have to get used to his absence as from this moment onwards ... and I must openly confess I 'll have to make an effort so as to adapt to the circumstance ...

Letting go of someone we could count on professionally speaking isn't easy ... even for the small group of colleagues who have been used to his weekly presence (not to mention the numerous oral interventions) in the English Language gatherings around lunch time ...

None of the discussions will be the same (without him), this being the reason as to why we decided to genuinely gather today (though not all of us could make it) in an extra English Language session and honour his presence ... 

I could talk about him for endless hours ... highlighting his personality traits ... his strenghts ... his carisma ... and the important role he has played in one's lives ... but I'd rather not ... until I get used to the idea of letting him go ...

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

My long weekend in Madrid - Day 4 (late morning) - Strolling around between Atocha and Sol - The 21st of February 2016

We felt rather sad as we left the Conservatorio area, not only because we knew we would miss the people we had spent some special evenings and early mornings with but also because Monday we would be back to a routine, which isn't always easy to cope with.

We left our backpacks at Atocha train station and walked to Sol and back in what might have been one last glimpse of the city. Besides having bought a few things we just strolled around looking at people and some of the city's details.

My long weekend in Madrid - Day 3 (late afternoon and evening) - Around the Atocha area - The 20th of February 2016

We walked back along the outside part of Parque del Retiro heading towards Caixa Forum where I briefly visited a temporary exhibition "My world", did a little "art" oriented shopping in its inner gallery before taking the metro towards Sol where we were supposed to buy some special cakes for the evening's dessert.

The confectionary shop was filled with hundreds of people and we had to stand in the long queue for half an hour in order to buy "tronquitos de dulce de leche" to take back with us. As we stood outside the shop I photographed one of the many street artists who fill the Plaza del Sol daily.

By the time we got back "home" (that's how we felt at Maravilla's) we were exhausted. Amazingly enough we got so engaged in a rather interesting and touching conversation with our hosts that we ended up staying awake till late.


My long weekend in Madrid - Day 3 (afternoon) - Strolling around the city up to Parque del Retiro - The 20th of February 2016

It was such a beautiful and warm day that we decided to head towards Parque del Retiro via the Alcala street, so as to try to see the temporary Kandinsky exhibition at the Centrocentro of Cibeles, which we ended up not being able to.

We stopped briefly at Museo Thyssen Bornemisza, where a Marc Chagal exhibition was presumably being held to soon realise that it no longer was on so we continued towards Museo del Prado where a temporary exhibition on Ingres was effectively being held  but we soon realised, as we had previously envisaged, that it was virtually impossible to get access to it without having to stand on interminable queues, so we decided to spend part of the afternoon on Parque del Retiro instead.

Several of the Paseos which go across the garden were undergoing works but once we moved close to the pond the peaceful atmosphere took over us as we watched the children playing around and the families enjoying the sunny afternoon.

We made our way out by the opposite direction walking along Paseo  de la Republica de Cuba this time until we reached the statue of  El Ángel Caído before exiting  by Plaza del Emperador  Carlos V.