Gabriel García Márquez

“The only thing that hurts me about dying, is that it’s not dying of love.”  📖

This Tuesday March 6 marks 91 years since the birth of the Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez. The author of such emblematic works as “Love in the Time of Cholera” was born on March 6, 1927 in Aracataca, northern Colombia and died at the age of 87 in Mexico City.
Known as ‘Gabo’, he was a writer, journalist and screenwriter, as well as a cultural agitator by conviction and father of “magical realism” in literature.
Picture of Gabriel García Márquez with glasses andsticking their tongue out
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Among all his works, ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ (1967) stands out, one of the peaks of universal literature; translated into 35 languages ​​and with more than 30 million copies sold to date. But ‘Gabo’ was not just a great writer, he was a member of the Colombian Academy of Language, promoter of the Foundation of New Latin American Cinema, based in Havana (1985) and the New Ibero-American Journalism Foundation (1994), as well as a language revolutionary, who even asked for the suppression of grammar and spelling.

A book can touch your soul

📚 I  am so happy to celebrate the “World Book Day”!  📚
I have a special relationship with books and taking advantage of the date, I thought it would be a good occasion to share some facts that marked my affinity with them.

In elementary school, several years ago and when it was not yet a topic in focus, I suffered a form of psychological bullying. There was that stereotypical “popular girl” who all the other girls followed and carried out each of her whims. This girl had forbidden them to play with me, I discovered it the day I dared to ask a girl: “Why do not you want to play with me?” Then she responded: “I want to, I like you, but Karen would mad at me if I do it and she would be mean to me”

At that time, I was only 9 years old. That deep feeling of “non-acceptance” and loneliness, went away little by little by the hand of two events. The first event was when I began to frequent the school library during breaks. I remember that, with great kindness, Teresita, the librarian, always recommended me some interesting book, or she reserved for some time the book I was reading so that no one would take it. I ended up being the first to read each new book that arrived! Being 9 years old, that made me feel extremely happy and special!.

The first book I read, although I did not understand it at the time, was “Le Petit Prince”, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
Shortly after, my mother received an award for her humanitarian work. The person who handed her that beautiful gold medal was a renowned journalist from the region where we lived. This, will come to issue in a moment.

When I turned 15, I received a book as a present: “La Resistencia” by Ernesto Sábato. That book caused something that I could not explain accurately using words, but it was deep and from that day I’ve been placing it quite often in any bag I carry.

Let’s move on to my first class in the career of Social Communication. To my surprise, my teacher would be the same journalist that had given my mother thatt prize some time ago. He made a brief introduction about the career and then showed us a book: “La Resistencia” by Ernesto Sábato.
He started talking about that book and about the career of the journalist with the same feeling that the book had stirred within me the first time.

While the professor was speaking, I retrieved my book from bag and placed it on the desk. The same edition, even. And he could not believe it.

He asked me to read my favourite part, a request that I accepted immediately, and to our mutual surprise, he had highlighted the exact same extract in his book.

I have more stories that I promise I will tell in a second post, but for now I wanted to share with you these two, which marked my heart.

Happy World Book Day to everyone!

Picture on a Waterstones book shop.  There is a  sign post that reads: "Time for books". Also, there are lots of books and the sections: Poetry, drama and literary criticism

Wear the heart of a soldier

This is a little story about my experience talking with a veteran some years ago and how that changed my mind about what it means to be a soldier. Dedicated to every soldier in the World. You have my respect. 🌺

My mother was, for many years, rector of the D-80 Nursing School of the Red Cross. That building in my hometown between the roads ”1ro de Mayo” and “San Juan”, of French architecture, with wooden floors, tiled hall, marble stairs and windows, doors and high ceilings with baroque mouldings has been almost a second home for me. Mom used to go to work there when I was still a newborn baby and she would always take me with her, where I stayed in a bassinet by her desk.

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Years passed, the school moved to a building in similar conditions and I often visited my mother.

Among the staff, there was a lifeguard (volunteer in catastrophes). I was 12 years old when my mother introduced me to this man. She told me: “Paola, he’s Daniel, he’s a veteran soldier from the Malvinas/Falklands war, would you like to talk to him?” I, without really knowing my calling as a journalist at the time, very enthusiastically accepted without hesitation.

That turned out to be my first interview, in mom’s office talking to a war veteran. From the popular culture that was perceived in the environment of my country, from the politics of those years, even from what was experienced in schools, with marches, hymns, patriotism and nationalism, I, like so many others, thought at the time that only the soldiers of my country were considered heroes and that I was not allowed to see heroism in other soldiers, since they were, or still are, our enemies.

I asked tough questions in a very naïve way, and that kind hero answered each of them in the best way he could do to a 12-year-old girl.

I remember very clearly my last question, “How does it feel to be in the middle of battle, to know that you have to act harshly?” That moment changed everything for me. He could not answer immediately, but in his eyes I read a thousand answers and I saw how he was looking for a way to respond to me in some way which was not so raw. In those eyes, which I can still picture right now, 18 years later, I not only saw words but feelings and painful memories.

My opinion regarding soldiers, nationalism, and patriotism changed completely after that brief talk of no more than 15 minutes.

I thought that a soldier is or should be a person with a brave heart, with sensitivity and strength. A human being who can feel fear and weaknesses, but with enough courage and desire to do the right thing to defend a dream, to defend a treasure. What can be considered a dream or a treasure? I asked myself; maybe fighting for the injustices that other human beings generate, fighting to preserve the peace of a place and giving children the possibility of something as simple as a normal life, going to school, returning home and having time to be “children”, defending civilians from the madness of tyrants and their followers to devastate everything in their sick obsession with power. I don’t know, something like that.

That talk instilled in me a strange and deep desire to become a soldier, or to at least be able to assist as a journalist. Maybe discover in my own flesh and blood the answer which that soldier could not express to me with words, perhaps to discover that not always the soldiers must fight against tyrants and, sometimes, by decision of a few leaders, they must face each other. A human being in front of another human being, each one with their own history, with a dream to keep safe, with fear and courage, with weaknesses and strengths. And behind them, families that suffer from far away the absence and the uncertainty, who fight with their heart and soul through any distance.

Since then, these thoughts have earned me a lot of criticism, incomprehension and even insults. Because after that day I could not think again that patriotism and nationalism are the same thing, that only the Argentine soldier is the real hero. Homeland to me is the love of the community, of a country for its land and its inhabitants. Nationalism is unfounded fanaticism.

Each soldier projects him/herself and flourishes in his/her vocation, with effort and commitment to that dream which motivated him to become a soldier.

For 18 years, in my eyes a good soldier has had no nationality but only patriotism, love for his community and his land. I can only see men and women with a brave, warm heart, capable of feeling love, empathy, insecurity and fear, valour and courage to overcome their fears and tackle the world head on in their vocation and commitment. A soldier, a veteran, should ALWAYS be honoured, loved and respected, because being a soldier is not any profession, it is the commitment of those who have a heart of gold and the blood of the brave….

#RethinkRemembrance

French plait & Dutch plait

The time of the year has come in which we have to coexist with climatic factors 🙆🏻

I have always liked long hair for the versatility of having varying hairstyles. Although it is also true that for my day to day hairtyle I prefer to just have loose hair, and for training in the Dojo, I simply tie it up.
Somedays even the taurine routine must have its exception. Today is that day! A typical autumn day, gray and windy in good old London.

I like to enjoy the wind when I’m out and, to avoid turning it into my enemy, my best option has always been a plait. Although there are several types to choose from, I tend to go for the basic French or inverted French plait (also called Dutch plait). The same ones that all mothers have done to us a thousand times to go to school or to a party. Simple, fast and effective!

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Don’t go out without…

 

It is almost autumn and there is an accessory that you can’t miss if you are a fashion and trends enthusiast…

…Red shoes! 💁🏻👠

Yes!, sandals, or boots if you prefer. The color of this season is red everywhere. Red on your lipstick, on your scarves, tops, handbags and more. One of the best options without a doubt is red shoes. They brighten up your outfit and simply looks great!

That said, my outfit of the week is: a champagne blouse from H&M, a pair of jeans from Zara and a pair of suede shoes from New Look. Et voilà!

Autumn, we’re ready for you!

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