13 Apr 2012

The red dogs' Spanish holiday

Whilst the Engelas were frolicking around South Africa, our red dogs seemingly had a wonderful Spanish holiday with a English family who proceeded to spoil the red dogs rotten. I seriously doubt that the red dogs will want to come back to Casa Engela anytime soon, due to a couple of reasons:

They got to sleep on COUCHES – not silly little pillows! (Even if those pillows were imported from South Africa at some costs I may tell you)

They got to play in the snow (well the one did, the youngest apparently in true younger dog style growled at their hosts when they tried to convince her to go outside. Somehow that dog has not clicked that too growl at the hand that feeds you is a pointless exercise)

They got to eat bones!

They got to play in a pack and make friends.

So the purpose of today’s blog is to say thank you to the family who loved and took care of our dogs, we are so thankful to you, however, a word of warning – should they not want to stay in Casa Engela, we will send them back to the greatest dog hotel in the world!

PS I take no credit for these photos, the family who took care of the red dogs should get all the credit!

12 Apr 2012

Greetings earthlings

No, contrary to popular belief I have not been abducted by aliens. Nor have I elected not to proceed with my blog. Nor have I disappeared into deep dark Africa. I have been what you would call “busy”. You know, getting on with life in this crazy Spanish city and planning, executing and enjoying a long holiday in my home country, South Africa.

Yes, it is possible that someone who only teaches part time, walks with her dogs and now has a once a week ironing and cleaning lady (she is known as “the goddess” in the Engela household, I think if she quit, we would move back to South Africa), can be too busy to blog. Oh the horror.

So, after an excessive amount of partying, enjoying a couple of drinks (they have such lovely white wines in South Africa, I had to try them all!), spending time with our families and friends, attending my sister’s amazing wedding, and then eating enough braaivleis to sustain at least two poor African countries, I am back to my host country.

I must admit I was quite worried that I would not be able to get on the aeroplane back to Madrid – I had visions of the hostesses having to drag me into the aeroplane kicking and screaming. I could have been a front page story in the Rapport or Sunday Times! Alas, my good upbringing kicked in and whilst swallowing down the lump in my throat, I had to smile when the first air hostess to greet me was a lovely Spanish lady from Madrid, who then proceeded to, the whole flight to Dubai, slip me little Emirates gifts, just because I spoke to her in my broken Spanish. Karma I tell you.

So now, the Engelas are back. At this very moment I am staring down the horror of having been on such a long holiday and having to sort out the tip that we created by just dumping bags, gifts and dirty washing. I think I am losing the competition and will have to eventually start tiding up.

I have to say that there are a couple of things that I have realised I miss about my home country, such as the ability to walk into a shop and explain exactly what I want, without sounding like to daft idiot. This has however motivated me even more to learn to speak Spanish fluently, I am tired of sounding like a fool. I forgot how much I love South African white wine. If I elaborate, I will sound like an alcoholic. I again realised how much we love our families and friends and understand now how blessed we are to have them in our lives. I am also thankful that we have made friends in Madrid, I think we would have been manic obsessive crazies without them. I also love the South African sunsets, it is unlike any other sunset I have seen.

So, my conclusion is that I will always be a South African, wherever I am in the world, but that being South African for me also means that we can make a life somewhere else, and be happy, but always be thankful for who we are and where we come from.