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Abueleriasx2: April 2011


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Location: London, United Kingdom

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Letter to Alicia; I have no photos - Carta a Alicia; no tengo fotos

London, 5th January 1991
Dear Alicia,

Your letter has just arrived, dated 9th December, so it took a month. I wonder if my previous one has arrived, it would be very annoying for me to know it got lost because writing a letter is like talking to someone and for it not to reach its destination would be like shouting in the wind when nobody can hear.

I sit down to reply immediately because, as usual, your letter has moved me. I would like to be there with you to embrace you all, but especially yourself because you have such endless energy. How can you be embarrassed to cry at last with feeling? Where else would all your frustration go? And how can you avoid getting ill if you have not one minute’s rest? It is good news that the lump in your breast turned out to be nothing and even if it had been malignant it could have been operable, but you’ve had to go through the bad moment, the fear and anguish and all the black thoughts. I can imagine the days and weeks you went through and I am sure that instead of thinking of yourself you feared for your husband, your children and everybody else. Now, could you do something for me? Look after yourself, cuddle yourself and get better, perhaps by being a bit egotistical and loving yourself, because you are a marvellous person. I would like to be there to at least hold your hand and offer you friendship.
I cannot express all that I would like because I am not a genius writer but I think you will understand me anyway.

Mariana’s pregnancy already must be showing, with the baby moving around. It must be so incredible to feel it inside that little belly still so young, what a beautiful thing.
I am so glad both of you are so happy. What does the grandpa say? Give Carlos lots of hugs from me, he is such a rock, we always think about him and love him very much. We love all of you and keep you in our minds.

How did you spend the Christmas Holidays? To think that it’s been two years since we have been with you at this time of the year! Here Christmas is very different, it is cold and people get together a lot, the parties start two weeks before and go on in between and after; people go back to work only on the 2nd or 3rd of January.
The children have two whole weeks of holidays.

Dear Alicia, I continue on January! It is unbelievable that I have been unable to finish this letter, but it is true. Since I started it, many disagreeable things have happened in the world. We are well, although worried, and we love you all very much. Kisses to everyone, from us all,

Londres, enero 5 de 1991
Querida Alicia:

Acaba de llegar tu carta fechada el 9 de diciembre o sea que tardó un mes. Habrá llegado la mía anterior? Me daría mucha bronca que se pierda, porque si uno escribe es como hablarle a alguien y que no llegue al destinatario es como gritar en el viento, nadie te oye.

Ahora me siento a contestarte inmediatamente porque, como siempre me pasa, tu carta me conmovió, quisiera estar ahí con Uds y darles un abrazo, pero sobre todo a vos, que tenes esa energía que parece inagotable. ¿Cómo vas a tener vergüenza de llorar al fín con ganas? ¿Dónde si no va a parar toda la frustración que se te debe amontonar adentro? ¿Y cómo no te vas a enfermar si no debes tener un minuto de descanso? Por suerte el bulto en el pecho no es nada, y aunque hubiera sido maligno, hoy en día es operable y esa mala píldora pasa, pero todo el miedo, la angustia, los pensamientos negros que se te ocurren, son como una tortura. Me imagino los días o semanas que habrás pasado y estoy segura de que todo el tiempo en vez de pensar en vos misma te pusiste triste por tus hijos, por tu marido, por todo el mundo. Ahora, ¿podrías hacer algo por mí? Cuidate mucho, preocupate y mimate a vos misma y ponete bien, no sé cómo, sé egoísta un poquito que sos una magnífica persona. Si yo estufiera allá me gustaría por lo menos tenerte la mano, ofrecerte amistad. No soy un genio de la literatura y todo lo que quisiera expresarte no me sale, pero creo que igual vas a entender.

El embarazo de Mariana debe ser ya una maravilla, se debe estar moviendo el chiquito, debe ser increíble sentirlo adentro de esa pancita todavía chiquita, qué cosa tan hermosa. Me alegro tanto de que las dos estén tan felices. Y el abuelo, ¿qué dice? Dale muchos abrazos a Carlos, que es de fierro, siempre pensamos en él y lo queremos mucho. Los queremos a todos y siempre pensamos en Uds.

¿Cómo pasaron las fiestas? ¡Pensar que hace dos años que pasamos esta época con Uds.! Aquí Navidad es muy diferente, con el frío, la gente se reúne mucho, se hacen fiestas y reuniones desde dos semanas antes, entre medio y después de Navidad y la gente vuelve a trabajar recién el 2 o el 3 de enero. Los chicos tienen 2 semanas enteras de vacaciones.

Querida Alicia, ¡sigo el 25 de enero! Es increíble que no haya podido terminar ésta, pero es cierto. Han pasado muchas cosas en el mundo desde que empecé y no son muy agradables…Nosotros estamos bien, aunque preocupados, y los queremos.
Besos a todos, de todos nosotros,


Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Summer 1990: rabbit and holidays. Verano1990: conejo y vacaciones

London, 19th October 1990
Dear Alejandrina,
As usual, I have to apologize for not writing earlier and the excuse is always the same, so I will not repeat it or you’ll die of boredom. It will be better to tell you how things are with us. Oscar is still working hard, but now he is thinking of ways to take a period of rest, to stay at home to paint. I am not commenting on that to see if he is serious about it. If I say anything in favour or push him he will resist and work harder than ever just to be contrary. It would be great if he could take some time off to do something he likes and never has time to do. If he waits until he retires he will be too tired to want to do anything. We’ll see how it goes. Just in case, I keep mum. His studio is doing very well, luckily (or unluckily because it has a greater hold on him), and in my opinion our future is ensured, but Oscar is very cautious and always fears that something will go wrong and we will be destitute. An example of how well we are doing is the fact that we have repaid our mortgage and we have no more monthly payments! Even if the children are still young and they have a long time ahead to finish their education, I don’t see a problem because both of them go to state schools, so Oscar could take a breather to enjoy some time to paint. He has been working for thirty-five years already and I think he deserves a little rest. Personally, I continue with my translations, I like the work and can do it from home while the children are at school, but as I am freelance I don’t have any job security. Nevertheless, I get by, especially now the children are less dependent on me, at least Pablo is, and in a few years I will be left with only housework to do, but who wants to spend their life cleaning, cooking and ironing? Pablo is already in second year of secondary school and doing reasonably well considering that he gets through everything without much effort. He is having good results with his diet and is growing at the same time (this year he is supposed to have a growth spurt), so the problem seems to be solved, but if he takes after Oscar he will always have to watch his weight, especially because he loves eating and cooking! Luckily he is vain and hates being fat, so he looks after himself quite well. Francesca is the complete opposite, always very slim; she eats only when she is hungry and, although she likes sweeties, she doesn’t overdo it and most of the time eats healthily. She has always been thin and I think that, luckily for her, she will never have a weight problem. She is still doing ballet, learning to swim and has started piano lessons. Also, on Saturday mornings I take her to riding lessons at a place near us so that she can at last do that. If there weren’t stables so near home she wouldn’t be able to do it because already she is too busy and needs some free time to play with her toys or invite friends over.In your letter you ask about the rabbit. I thought I had told about it! In the spring, when the rabbit reached a considerable size and was used to run about in the garden, it started to eat everything on sight as soon as it came peeked through the ground. As you can imagine, that couldn’t be allowed, as I prefer my garden to a thousand rabbits. We could not leave him locked up all the time because the poor beast was used to freedom. Also, it got very large and strong and it was gnawing up the hatch, trying to escape; he produced a terrible smell and, although I cleaned the hatch every day, it was very pungent, so I gave him away. The children didn’t remember its existence. Francesca lost all interest as soon as the rabbit grew big and strong because it was difficult to hold him and Pablo only remembered it every now and then, so all the work fell on me and the poor rabbit was alone and locked up. Luckily I found a lady who had a patio, with no plants, where it could easily run about, so I gave it to her. She had had a rabbit before, for 7 years, until it died, and was very happy to take it. When the rabbit was gone, the kids did not notice its absence until I told them, after three days. During that time they did not think of looking at him and didn’t even notice that the hatch wasn’t there anymore. It was all the same to them. Imagine! Children like having a toy that moves and don’t realise that an animal is a living being that needs attention. Also, when we go on holiday it would have been impossible to leave the rabbit with anyone, because looking after him was very hard work, apart from the smell. I didn’t really know what rabbits were like and that the males smelled so badly, I should have known better. So ended our rabbit experiment. Although it has already been six weeks since we came back, I will tell you that our holidays in Sardinia were lovely, it is a marvellous place and even Oscar, who always comes on holidays under protest, enjoyed himself very much and says that it was the first time he enjoys a sea side holiday. It is a very peaceful and beautiful place, we really relaxed and had a good rest. I am enclosing some photos so you can see how pretty we all look.Well, Alejandrina, I am glad to have managed to write to you, now it’s the turn of my dad and aunties but at least you will have news from us. I will see my mum because, as the children have a week’s school holiday, we are going to Ibiza. She is well but always has something or other wrong with her health. As now she is on her own in Ibiza because my sister is living in London, we go to visit her or she occasionally comes to London, to shorten the time she is alone. Lots of love to everyone and a big hug and kiss for you, from
PatriciaLondres, 19 de octubre de 1990
Querida Alejandrina:

Como siempre, tengo que disculparme por no escribir antes y es siempre la misma excusa. Así que no voy a volver a decirla porque si no se va a morir de aburrimiento y es mejor que le cuente cosas de nosotros. Oscar sigue trabajando mucho, pero ahora ya está pensando en maneras de tomarse un período de descanso para poder quedarse en casa a pintar. Yo no digo nada para ver si lo hace en serio, porque si lo empujo o insisto se resiste y para llevar la contraria seguiría trabajando más que nunca. Pero sería lindo que se tomara un tiempo de paréntesis para hacer algo que le gusta y nunca tiene tiempo de hacer. Si va a esperar a ser viejo para retirarse y poder hacer lo que quiere, va a estar tan cansado que no le van a quedar ganas de nada. En su estudio le va muy bien, por suerte (o por desgracia, porque así lo tiene cada vez más atrapado) y a mi modo de ver tenemos el futuro más que asegurado para nosotros y los chicos, pero Oscar es muy cauteloso y tiene siempre la idea de que algo puede pasar y podemos quedarnos en la calle. Pero para que vea hasta qué punto estamos bien, ya pagamos la hipoteca de la casa y es totalmente nuestra, ¡no pagamos más cuotas! Está bien que los chicos son chicos y les queda toda su educación por hacer, pero no veo problema en eso ya que los dos van a escuelas del estado, ellos no van a tener problemas, en cambio Oscar ya es hora de que se tome un respiro y piense un poco en sí mismo y en disfrutar de lo que tiene y de lo que puede hacer con su pintura. Pensar que ha trabajado treintaycinco años ya, creo que merece un descansito. Por mi parte, sigo trabajando en mis traducciones, pero como soy independiente no tengo seguridad de trabajo. Sin embargo, me voy encaminando. Es un trabajo que me gusta y puedo hacerlo en casa en las horas en que los chicos están en la escuela. Los chicos me necesitan cada vez menos (por lo menos Pablo) y en unos años me voy a quedar sin mucho que hacer aparte de la casa, pero yno no puede pasarse la vida limpiando, cocinando y planchando, ¿no?Pablo ya está en el segundo año del secundario y le va bastante bien en la escuela, considerando que todo le resulta fácil y no hace grandes esfuerzos. Parece que su dieta funciona, hace seis meses que la sigue y está mucho más delgado. Como al mismo tiempo está creciendo y este año va a pegar un estirón, creo que el problema se está solucionando, pero si es como Oscar siempre va a tener que cuidarse porque tiene tendencia a engordar, especialmente porque le gusta comer ¡y cocinar! Pero como es vanidoso también y no le gusta ser gordo, se cuida bastante bien.Francesca es al revés, siempre flaquísima, pero ella tiene mejor idea ya que come cuando tiene hambre y aunque le gustan las golosinas no está preocupada por comer y le gustan las cosas sanas. Ella siempre fue delgada y creo que nunca va a tener ese problema, por suerte para ella. Sigue con su ballet, está aprendiendo a nadar y ahora empezó a aprender piano. Además, los sabados a la mañana la llevo a andar a caballo a un lugar cerca de casa y se da el gusto, ya que hacía mucho que quería hacerlo y yo no sabía que había un establo tan cerca. Si no, no podría porque son muchas cosas las que hace después de la escuela y tiene poco tiempo para estar en casa con sus juguetes o invitar a alguien a jugar.

Aunque ya hace un mes y medio que volvimos, le cuento que nuestras vacaciones en Cerdeña fueron muy lindas, es un lugar maravilloso y hasta Oscr, que viene de vacaciones siempre bajo protesta, lo pasó muy bien y dice que es la primera vez que disfruta unas vacaciones en el mar. Es un lugar muy tranquilo y hermoso, realmente pudimos relajarnos y descansar. Le mando unas fotitos, para que vea qué bonitos estamos. Bueno, Alejandrina, me alegro de haber conseguido escribirle, ahora me quedan mi papá y varias tías, pero al menos Ud tendrá noticias nuestras. A mamá la voy a ver porque me voy con los chicos por una semana a Ibiza ya que tienen vacaciones. Anda bien, pero siempre alguna nana tiene y como ahora está sola en Ibiza ya que mi hermana vive en Londres, de vez en cuando vamos, o ella viene por unos días y se le corta un poco el tiempo que está sola. Muchos cariños para todos y para Ud un abrazo y un beso grandotes, de