Friday, 16 January 2015


Yesterday was a day of challenges. Probably the greatest one was to witness some colleagues of the language school bullying another workmate. The main aggressor (a woman in her late fifties, with gray hair and a clumsy body) approached her victim with crooked head, telling her again and again:

-         Hello! Bye-bye!... Hello! Bye-bye!... Hello! Bye-bye!... Hello! Bye-bye!...

The support group, consisting of two adult women, said out loud:  “Speak more, nice ladyyyyyyyy...”

I found quite interesting to see such an adolescent behavior in three middle aged women. I wonder if regular contact with teenagers has influenced their attitude. Maybe the nice ladies thought that a teen performance would make them look younger, as if they had had a natural face lift. Unfortunately, if you want to stave off wrinkles from an old face you´ll have to be willing to pay an expensive hyaluronic acid treatment. Then to the disgrace of feminine vanity, an adolescent conduct does neither erase wrinkles nor give hair volume and shine. And the lack of mental maturity doesn’t clean cholesterol and fatty acids of the walls of arteries either.

I called up a Colombian friend who has an extremely good sense of pace... and of humor, and we invited the unaccepted colleague to come with us to have a drink. There was a football match on the TV and cafes and bars were crowded. We laughed and talked about everything and about nothing in particular. And, of course, we did not mention the lovely workmates. As we were going back home, my friend gave me back an easel and a canvas with a cabbage picture that I had left at her home on my last tour to Hamburg. It’s great to have friends who make us forget the presence of lonely, frustrated people.

As a classic writer said: “Long live the gossip, who make us more and more famous.”

Copyright Luisa Fernández Baladrón

Monday, 12 January 2015


On Thursday I had a real shock. In the adult class, my laptop-screen got black. I could log in as usual but immediately after there was absolutely nothing on the screen. Only the cursor hovering over it. Oh no! A computer failure in hard January! I switched it off and prayed to all the saints and in all languages.

A part of me believed in Divine Providence. The other bought a pack of two bars of chocolate in the supermarket and scoff it all down while I rode my bicycle towards the technician’s. Keep calm: everything will go well. In the meantime, my teeth were grinding and clenching the sweet flavour of cocoa butter. I even got off the bike and pushed it for a while to open a can of Coke. Addicts know how great that choco-cola mix can happen to be.

Relax – I told to myself - there must be a solution. My laptop was on my back and I had to get the rucksack off once and again, each time I wanted to eat a couple of chocolate ounces. I stopped and leant the bike against a traffic signal each time. Finally, I took the rest of the chocolate bar and kept it in my hand to continue eating without any interruption. But, as I had not got hands enough, I put the can of Coke into one of my pockets. Soon, the pocket was awashed with Coke.

And this is how I went into the computer shop: with the serenity that gives believing in God’s care... and with my bike aside, my laptop on my back, a bar of chocolate in my hand, my whole mouth full of chocolate, my overcoat spotted with Coke and the face expression of a sugarholic.

- My compggutermm doesn’t wogggrkmm – I said to the technician, still with full mouth.

Fortunately, the technician had a magic wand. It took him about twenty minutes to repair it. What is even better than that: the computer was still under warranty and the update was covered.

In the afternoon, I had to put my laptop on my back again: I had to go to work and needed those pictures and recordings. It was a great lesson for motivated girls about the most beloved knight of all: Mr. Money.

And, while going back home, humming the song that had introduced the lesson, something reminded me of chocolate. Divine Providence... and so does indigestion.

Copyright Luisa Fernández Baladrón