Did you honestly think that I’d forget to wish my mother a happy Honduran Mother’s Day? I didn’t do it on the actual day. Please excuse that. It’s Wednesday now. It look place on Sunday. It’s now Wednesday. Belated but nonetheless belovedly meant. My folks are currently chilling in Greece right now. A nice place to spend a Honduran Mother’s Day, which has a high importance here, as it should do.
Here’s a Coldplay song, No Panic, which I personally love, that sums my dear ma in times of struggle, “always there to lean on” as the lyric goes, always reminding me that this is a beautiful world, no matter what’s going on. The best mum in the world, and her easy going and calm persona can be a bit deceiving, as she’s probably the strongest and toughest woman I know, and that’s saying something, living a country full of crazy Latin women. Anyway, back to Coldplay …. Chris Martin, give us a way.
It is also my little niece’s birthday. Eleanor Sophie is seven years old, going on 18, bless her, as she’s learned how to boss her Uncle Nick around and tell me that I can be a very silly man on occasions. She’s quite often correct. This birthday is something of an anniversary for me. Something quite beautifully ironic. When Catherine was due, I was on the verge of moving to Seville in Spain on a work programme. While I was there, I was so lucky to be in the city when Sevilla won the Europa Cup (it was called the UEFA cup back then I think) when they beat Espanyol in penalties. I remember crazy Andalusians climbing up lampposts and chant”Woaa, wo, wo, woaa, woa, woa, woa, vamo mi Sevilla, vamo campeón” and “Si, si, si, la copa esta aqui” bellowing around the ancient streets.
The next evening was the cup parade and the city was painted red wherever you went. I distinctly remember the goalkeeper Palop waving his arms and holding the cup from what I think was a balcony in the Town Hall, screaming all sorts in his loud salutes to the fans below. At this very point, as I was stood next to a Scouser who I can’t remember the name, and waves of Spaniards dressed in red, I received a phone call from my sister, confirming the expected news that I was indeed now an uncle for the rest time. I had tears in my eyes and a smile on my face and strong Spanish liquor in my blood. I was already caught up in the intense celebrating fever but this made me more joyful than the most ardent and long-term supporter of Sevilla. I remember the tear ducts swelling buckets as I screamed, “I’M A FUCKING TIO, WOOOHOOOOO”. It got me several funny looks (“que dijo el guiri?”), but when I explained what had happened, it also got me lots of hugs and kisses from very pretty Spanish ladies and lots of hugs and beer from very hairy Spanish men. It was a moment I will never forget, a moment of extreme happiness that you experience only a few times in your life, and a truly bright bookmark in my life story so far. Ella being born, while a local team is in the midst of intense celebration. I love it.
The reason this birthday is beautifully ironic is because, today, Sevilla once again lifted the Europa Cup, again with penalties. Seven years. How fast time travels. It brings back wonderful memories of course, that I must include a clip from youtube, as well as a picture of Ella.
Well, as for the real reason you probably came to read my blog, for ESPN article, the second of which will hopefully be a long line of updates as Honduras pave all their way to the World Cup final (where they’ll lose to England!), here it is. Enjoy. http://www.espnfc.com/blog/_/name/Honduras/id/18?cc=3888