The Friday Smile …. la sonrisa del vierners 310812

Hola amigos y amigas,

Life is good in Spain – England – Spain – England _ ….. you get the picture. Some hectic traveling, some fascinating work and some good old fashioned “jolling” thrown in as well.

The UK has been great this last month with some passable weather especially compared to the rest of “Summer” (I use the term loosely) and with all the excitement of the Olympics. Everyone over there (I am now here (Madrid)) seems to have got firmly behind the games and Team GB; and one cannot not be affected by the energy and animation. The fact that we (note my return to being British) won a ton of medals, put on some good ceremonies and organised the whole thing pretty well has left the population continuing to wear Union Jack hats and wave flags.

Last weekend saw my friend Kevin Gleeson visiting Madrid for the weekend. Plenty of eating and drinking and, (don’t tell his friends or family), a bull-fight as well. I think he left beginning to understand why Madrlienians are called “gatos” (cats) – because they stay out all night. It was great to catch up and show him around a little, even if he did look a little tired on the second night after an early dinner (10pm)!

Birthday season here and my eldest (Devon) just turned 18 – can you believe it and about Phototo start his matric exams (and hopefully start studying too!

And Marc turning 15 tomorrow – also incredible. Young men now, no longer boys!

As usual it has been good to spend some time with the ever-kind Andy and Maria and Stephie- although not sure how long they can put up with a semi-permanent lodger without putting a star rating outside the door. Vivi (the gorgeous one) is also well and putting up with my frequent flyer lifestyle with limited complaining; and I am hoping she does not get too used to it!

And now, she and I are about to hop on a train for Galicia and start our Camino de Santiago de Compostela, which is a pilgrimage made by thousands every year to the town of Santiago de Compostels (there’s a surprise) where the remains of St James are said to have been taken. It is one of the 3 most famous Christian pilgrimages in the world (others being Rome and Jerusalem). ( ).

There are plenty of different reasons for doing it … some do it for spiritual reasons, some do it for the walk in the country, others as a vacation, …. whatever. I believe it is an incredible experience and many come back reporting significant changes in their lives through getting in touch with themselves, their purpose, their God, their direction …. For me, it will be a chance to unhook from the world (including email, phone and news), spend quality time with Vivi, enjoy the journey, seek some answers, and re-set my life compass a little if necessary as I try and clear the smog between my soul and my maker. Whoops, that may sound a bit profound, onto the more mundane….
Backpacks still to be packed and last minute closing up of work responsibilities mean this is going to be a really short Smile. Starting now.

Have a great couple of weeks everybody and enjoy the beginning of Spring/Autumn  in whichever hemisphere you may find yourself. For my English friends, the changing of the seasons are more dates than weather patterns – so for you: enjoy the heros’s of the Paralympìcs!

No real jokes today as I am short of time to source them (double next time, I promise), but I thought I would leave you with an interesting article which is going to go with me on the Camino:

“I think therefore I am not”.

And next Smile I will sound less like the monk that had his Ferrari stolen and more like Simon again!!!!

Abrazos a todos,



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