Friday, 31 March 2017

IRENE BOND: FROM POLAND WITH LOVE

Irene Bond, a modern spy
Irene Bond. Spy. Poland.

I'm Irene Bond. I was born in Kraków, Poland. I'm a spy, a person who knows lots of important information and works undercover. 


I had a lot of work and prestige during the Cold War but after the fall of the Berlin's Wall the world changed forever and I recycled myself being a computer analyst, another way to obtain important information. I like reading and cinema.

 
-Good morning, Irene Bond, and thanks to attend us.

-Good morning. It's a pleasure.

-I've never interviewed a spy.

-Well, never say never again.

-Is a normal interview or this never had happened.

-This interview is for your eyes only.

-When we talk about spies we think in American, English or Russian agents but you're Polish...

-This idea was true during the cold war but nowadays every country has its important secret services. I'm Polish but when I started to work Russia was the URSS and the European map was another completely different from now. In fact, I can say that I came from Russia with love, because Poland was an active member of the Warsaw Pact, in fact this pact was signed in the capital of my country.

-What can you explain about Poland?

-When we talk about Europe, it seems that we're talking only about Germany, France and the UK. It's a terrible mistake because we're 28 countries in the EU, now 27 with the UK saying goodbye, and 50 in the entire European continent. Poland is a big and historical country. We existed since 1025 when the Kingdom of Poland was founded. We formed a great Duchy with Lithuania, later we were part of Prussia, Russia and Austria and we were determined in the beginning of the WWII when in September 1939 Poland was invaded by Nazi Germany. We were a Soviet satellite state and after 1989 we are a Democratic Republic, again. When you live in a place with these historical events, it's normal that you want to be a spy. We lived in a crossroad between two worlds and you realize that the world is not enough.

-Are you scared with your work?

-No, I'm not. Risk exists everywhere and my work is only a work. It's true that you have license to kill but nowadays the spies are intelligent computers and you must control and analyze the information that they offer.

-How's life living in a border?

-It's interesting because you receive lots of influences and diversity is something that offers you the possibility of having different points of view and this is something very important in our global world.

-You were born in Kraków, a city with a terrible past. How does the global world affect in the population nowadays? 

-Kraków is nowadays a modern city which is considered as Europe's Silicon Valley. The city is the headquarters for important multinational companies and cultural diversity is something that you can see in our streets. It's true that Kraków has a terrible story. Everybody remembers how the members of our Jewish community were forced into a walled zone known as the Kraków Ghetto, from which they were sent to German extermination camps such as the nearby Auschwitz and Plaszów. Auschwitz was declared a UNESCO World Heritage in 1979 and the most important about this declaration was the idea of keeping this horrible event of our recent history in our minds because it represents the human horror and the result of totalitarianism. Auschwitz was a view to a kill and now must be a view to peace, tolerance and respect.

-How is the life of a spy?

-A normal life. You must be cautious, you mustn't speak a lot and it's important that nobody remembers you. You must be like a spectre.

-And the personal life? It must be difficult...

-Well, only a person who works in this can really understand you but you must choose between having a personal or professional life. The spy who loved me had to choose it. It's not an easy election.

-Which is your favourite spy?

-Mata Hari, of course. She was a Dutch exotic dancer and courtesan who was convicted of being a spy for Germany during World War I and executed by firing squad in France. A legend in my profession that demonstrated that diamonds are forever.

-And your worst enemy?

-Lots of enemies: Dr.No, Goldfinger, Thunderball, Octopussy, The man with the Golden Gun, GoldenEye... but if I had to choose one, Jaws. Without any doubt. I was working in a mission named Moonraker. I knew Jaws a terrible highly skilled killed with an incredible strength. His name was in tribute to sharks. It seems that he liked shark, the animal which lives in oceans and eat fish, seals, crabs and seabirds. They find their prey with their sense of smell and they are in danger of extinction. Jaws had all these characteristics. He was very dangerous and caught him required an enourmous effort.

-Have you got any secret gadget?

-Well, it's not a secret. Everybody knows that I have a special clock with the last technology. It's called Quantum of Solace and it was a present of Pedro Bond, aka Pierre Beaund, who is an incredible watchmaker, for me, the best of the world.

-How do you feel being a member of The Bond's family?

-Very well. The Bonds is a very funny family. They respect my job and they don't ask me anything. I like them because they live and let die. For us, the family is the most important. It's the jewel of our crown, our majesty, and we are on our Majesty's Secret Service.

-How is a normal day with The Bonds?

-We haven't got a normal day because we haven't got a planning. We have an idea about our obligations but we can change all things in a second. All depends of us and this is something very interesting because offers you the possibility of being creative and non-static. You can not control tomorrow, and then you realize that tomorrow never dies.

-How long have you been studying English?

-I come from a family of spies. I was born in Kraków but I grew up in Montecarlo, near Casino Royale, where I learnt French and in London where I learnt English. A spy must know languages.

-Then, you speak Polish, English and French.

-Poland is a multilanguage country. Languages are the living daylights for us. Polish is the official language but other languages like German, Russian, Ukrainian, Slovak, Lithuanian, Czech, Belarusian, Romani and Yiddish are spoken in my country, too. I also speak German and, of course, Russian.

-What can you explain about your life with The Bonds?

-When you have this kind of work, you need people who understand you and give you the opportunity of having your personal moments. They know that I can't explain as things as I know and they respect this, and this fact is very important because I feel comfortable with them.

-Which is your best memory with the family?

-We have lots of memories but I remember one day that I have to offer quick and efficient solutions to different problems that I didn't control. It was very interesting because offered to me the possibility of thinking in spontaneous solutions and this is not easy to do, although, I'm a spy and I'm a person who must be decisive.

-You like reading, don't you? Recommend me a book...

-I'm reading the biography of Cristopher Columbus, who sailed from Spain in August 3rd, 1492 to the west. After ten weeks, a sailor saw a bird. They arrived to land and they named the island San Salvador. So he discovered that the Earth was round. Perhaps, it could be interesting that Columbus had read the studies of Nicolaus Copernicus, the Polish astronomer who talked about the heliocentric system. I'm also reading another biography. It's about a universal Polish, Maria Salomea Sklodowska-Curie, aka Marie Curie.

-You're a spy. Can you write a slogan for The Bonds?

-Die another day because you only live twice.

-One last question... is Irene Bond your real name?

-I'm a Bond. I'm Irene Bond, aka Skyfall, although my parents call me Adele.

-Thank you very much, Irene Bond.

-You're welcome.



 Those things which I am saying now may be obscure, 
yet they will be made clearer in their proper place.
 
Nicolaus Copernicus

Thursday, 30 March 2017

IRELAND & SANT BOI DE LLOBREGAT: PASSION FOR RUGBY

Ireland's Rugby Ball
The Ireland National Rugby Union Team represents the island of Ireland, both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, in rugby union. The team competes annually in the Six Nations Championship, which they have won twelve times outright and shared eight times. 

The team also competes every four years in the Rugby World Cup, where they reached the quarter-final stage in all but two competitions (1999 and 2007). 

Ireland is also one of the four unions that make up the British and Irish Lions, players eligible to play for Ireland are also eligible for the Lions.

Ireland's highest ever position in the World Rugby Rankings is second, which they reached for the first time in 2015.

Eight former Ireland players have earned induction into the International Rugby Hall of Fame, with five of them also having earned induction into the World Rugby Hall of Fame; one other former player is a member of the World Rugby Hall only. Former outside centre and captain Brian O'Driscoll, Ireland's all-time leader in tries scored, was considered one of the best rugby players in the world, and led Ireland to only their second Grand Slam in 2009.

More information: Homepage of the Irish Rugby

The Six Nations Championship, held every year in February and March, is Ireland's only annual tournament. It is contested against England, France, Italy, Scotland and Wales. Ireland was a member of the inaugural Home Nations in 1883, with France and Italy joining later to form the Five and Six Nations respectively. Ireland won their first championship in 1894, also winning the Triple Crown. Ireland's first Grand Slam occurred in the 1948 season and their second in the 2009 season. In total Ireland have been champions on thirteen occasions following their title in the 2015 Six Nations Championship.

At the 2011 Rugby World Cup and 2015 Rugby World Cup, the Ireland team entered the field of play at the beginning of their matches with the Irish tricolour and the Flag of Ulster, to which the six Irish counties in Northern Ireland belong.

Unió Esportiva Santboiana is a rugby union club established in 1921 and currently competes in the División de Honor de Rugby competition, the highest level of Spanish club rugby. The club are based in Sant Boi de Llobregat in Catalonia and plays in blue and white colours. 

More information: Unió Esportiva Santboiana 


 Rugby gave me a confidence. 
I was quite shy and relatively timid, but it gave me the confidence 
to be a little bit more out-going and back myself a bit more. 
 
Brian O'Driscoll

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

PIERRE BEAUND: FOR EVERYTHING ELSE... PEDRO BOND

Pedro Bond with his cuckoo clock.
Pedro Bond. Watchmaker. France.

I'm Pierre Beaund, aka Pedro Bond. I was born in Strasbourg, Alsace. Time is my passion, perhaps, because of this I'm a watchmaker, a person who makes and repairs watches and clocks. I also sell Cartier watches. Tempus fugit, then I'm always on time. Although I'm French my culture is German because Alsace is a historical German land. I like History.


-Good morning, Pedro Bond, and thanks to attend us.

-Good morning. Thanks to you.

-Well, as I have seen you're a punctual person.

-Always. It's my character and I think being punctual is a signal of respect and education.

-When did your hobby about watches start?

-Mmmm. It's not a hobby. It's my work and I live it with passion. I'm Alsatian. In the past, we were closer to Switzerland and Germany than to France and although today the maps say we're French, we really have a German/Swiss mentality because culture is something that marks you a lot. My family came from Switzerland and time is something very important in this country. Swiss watches are the best.

-How's life living in a border?

-It's very interesting because you receive influences of both sides. In my case three sides: France, Germany and Switzerland.

-Then, you've a little part of all of them...

-Not exactly. I'm Alsatian. France is a big state with a lot of nationalities and we're one of them. Living in diversity is growing in knowledge.

-You were born in Strasbourg where the European Parliament is. You must enjoy diversity every day.

-Strasbourg is plenty of civil servants. It's an administrative place. Now, all the German countries (Alsace, Germany, Austria, Lorena, Liechtenstein...) have a good quality of life but it was very different only one century ago when a lot of German people emigrated to The USA. Take the story of Levi Strauss like an example. Levi created the jeans in The USA in 1850 with European materials. He must leave Germany to find a better future. Nowadays, lots of people are arriving to the German lands with the idea of finding a better future, in some cases only a possible future.

-How is the life of a watchmaker?

-A normal life. I must be very tidy and organized because is very difficult to make a good watch.

-Which is your favourite kind of clocks?

-I love all of them but I like cuckoo clocks. They have an interesting mechanism because it is not only a clock.

-How do you feel being a member of The Bond's family?

-It has been a pleasure. It's a fantastic family and we've spent unforgettable moments together.

-How is a normal day with The Bonds?

-The day starts with me. I'm the first person to wake up, get up and start to work. Later, step by step, the rest of the family starts to be ready.

-How long have you been studying English?

-Since I was in the school although studying English in the French educational system is not a synonymous of success.

-Why?

-I don't know but I think it's this Jacobean French mentality. French is a very important language of course. It was the diplomatic language during centuries but now is English the language of diplomacy, business and economy and I think that this is something that Educational French system doesn't realize. There are a lot of historical languages in France: Occitan, Breton, Alsatian, Lorrain, Basque, Catalan, Romani and French, of course. Moreover there's an incredible presence of Arabian because of the African colonization. It could be easy to a French speaker learning another language because the most part of the population, except the Parisian, speak at least two languages but the idea of parlez français–soyez propres is still deeply in the mind of the French speakers. It's a pity because this attitude only creates social conflicts and nowadays we have a lot of examples of it.

-Is English difficult for you?

-No, it isn't. English has its roots in German. I speak Alsatian which is a German language, too.

-What can you explain about your life with The Bonds?

-We're a great family with a great sense of humour, very hard workers and with a great idea of responsibility. It's easy to stay with them. 

-Which is your best memory with the family?

-It's difficult to choose one but I remember with special emotion when I was chosen as the Queen of Carnival. It was a great honour.

-You like History, don't you?

-Yes, I do. I like a lot.

-Explain me a story from de History...

-Well, I'm very interested in the Catharism, the community which lived in Occitania and influenced all the European cultures in a way that nobody can imagine. We're all Cathars although we don't believe in it. Talking about the Catharism means seeing the History from another point of view and destroying lots of official stories. History is written by winners and Cathars were killed and prosecuted. They couldn't offer their vision of historical facts and they chose literature and art to keep alive. It's amazing.

-Offer me an example of official story...

-There are two ways of changing History. One of them is creating another one that was useful for your own interests, for example Christopher Columbus. The official story says that he discovered America when a sailor saw a bird in the island named San Salvador in 1492. Then, he confirmed his belief that Earth was round. America already existed and some communities lived there, then Columbus didn't discover anything. This is an example of History written from the point of view of a European citizen. For other hand, you have the possibility of taking real stories and change them to legends, for example, blood legends like Jack The Ripper, Vlap Tepes, Enriqueta Martí and Elizabeth Báthory serial killers who were, possibly, haemophiliacs. 

-Tell me a historical slogan...

-Tempus fugit. The expression comes from line 284 of book 3 of Virgil's Georgics, where it appears as fugit irreparable tempus: it escapes, irretrievable time.

-Thank you very much, Pedro Bond.

-You're welcome.



Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one...

We're leaving together,
but still it's farewell.
[...]
Will things ever be the same again?
[...]
It's the final countdown.
Europe

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS: IRISH LEGENDS BECOME POETRY

William Butler Yeats
William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) was an Irish poet and one of the foremost figures of 20th-century literature. A pillar of both the Irish and British literary establishments, he helped to found the Abbey Theatre, and in his later years served as an Irish Senator for two terms.

He was born in Sandymount, Ireland and educated there and in London. He spent childhood holidays in County Sligo and studied poetry from an early age when he became fascinated by Irish legends and the occult. These topics feature in the first phase of his work, which lasted roughly until the turn of the 20th century. His earliest volume of verse was published in 1889, and its slow-paced and lyrical poems display Yeats's debts to Edmund Spenser, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and the poets of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. 

More information: Poetry Foundation

From 1900, his poetry grew more physical and realistic. He largely renounced the transcendental beliefs of his youth, though he remained preoccupied with physical and spiritual masks, as well as with cyclical theories of life. 

Yeats was raised a member of the Protestant Ascendancy, which was at the time undergoing a crisis of identity. While his family was broadly supportive of the changes Ireland was experiencing, the nationalist revival of the late 19th century directly disadvantaged his heritage, and informed his outlook for the remainder of his life. 

A book signed by William B. Yeats
Yeats's childhood and young adulthood were shadowed by the power-shift away from the minority Protestant Ascendancy. The 1880s saw the rise of Charles Stewart Parnell and the home rule movement; the 1890s saw the momentum of nationalism, while the Catholics became prominent around the turn of the century. These developments had a profound effect on his poetry, and his subsequent explorations of Irish identity had a significant influence on the creation of his country's biography.

n 1899, Yeats, Lady Gregory, Edward Martyn and George Moore began the Irish Literary Theatre to hold Irish and Celtic plays. The ideals of the Abbey were derived from the avant-garde French theatre, which sought to express the ascendancy of the playwright rather than the actor-manager à l'anglais

The group's manifesto, which Yeats wrote, declared, We hope to find in Ireland an uncorrupted & imaginative audience trained to listen by its passion for oratory ... & that freedom to experiment which is not found in the theatres of England, & without which no new movement in art or literature can succeed.

In December 1923, Yeats was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, for his always inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation. He was aware of the symbolic value of an Irish winner so soon after Ireland had gained independence, and sought to highlight the fact at each available opportunity. 

More information: Nobel Prize Organization

His reply to many of the letters of congratulations sent to him contained the words: I consider that this honour has come to me less as an individual than as a representative of Irish literature, it is part of Europe's welcome to the Free State.

He died at the Hôtel Idéal Séjour, in Menton, France, on 28 January 1939, aged 73.


We are happy when for everything inside us 
there is a corresponding something outside us. 

William Butler Yeats

Monday, 27 March 2017

M.JOSÉ BOND: OPEN HAPPINESS FROM NORWAY

M.José Bond in her Viking ship
M.José Bond. Writer. Norway.

I was born in Trondheim, Norway in the Scandinavian lands. We are the country with the highest level of happiness

I'm a writer, a person who writes stories, who has something to explain, who can create fantastic worlds or terrible nightmares. 

I like literature and I was influenced by Hulda Garborg, one of the best Norwegian writers but also by an incredible painter: Edvard Munch.  I love sailing and I would like to write the story of the Vikings, my ancestors.



-Good morning, M.José Bond, and thanks to attend us.

-Good morning. It's a pleasure.

-It's difficult for me, as an interviewer, to sum up some questions about you.

-Why?

-Because of your job.

-Well, I'm a writer, a person who creates stories and shares them with other people.

-You create characters, you invent stories, you imagine places... how can I be sure that you're who you say that you are?

-You will never know it. It's a risk that you have to choose: believe me or not.
 
-How is the life of a writer?

-A normal one like other people. Writing isn't only a pleasure or hobby for me, it's also my profession, and then, I must write even these days when I'm not very inspired.

-What happens these days?

-Well, you must write and you can read it again next day. If you like writing, you continue writing, if you don't like, you change it and you start again.

-How many times have you started again?

-Every day. Every new day is a new beginning and you must start doing things to fill your life with your interests and hopes.

-Norway isn't a famous country... How can a Norwegian writer arrive to be a best seller and survive against the Anglo-Saxon competence?

-Creating good contents. Writing interesting books and I don't agree about the idea that Norway isn't a famous country.

-Why?

-Norway has extensive reserves of petroleum, natural gas, minerals, lumber, seafood, fresh water and hydropower. We are the world's largest producer of oil and natural gas outside the Middle East. We have the fourth-highest per capita income in the world on the World Bank; the highest Human Development Index ranking in the world; the highest inequality-adjusted ranking. We rank first on the World Happiness Report, the OECD Better Life Index, the Index of Public Integrity and the Democracy Index and all of these things without being a member of the European Union, because Norway belongs to the EFTA.

-Norway was one of the poorest countries in the beginning of the last century. How has been possible this success?

-We are great administrators of our resources. We control all our richness and we believe in the most important active that a country has: our people.
 
-How do you feel being a member of The Bond's family?

-It's the same that Norway. The most important active in our family is ourselves. We're people with great energy and creativity and we must believe in ourselves.
 
-How is a normal day with The Bonds?

-A normal day is a day full of happiness and effort. We laugh a lot but we work very hard. You learn better if you spend good time. It's easier.

-How long have you been studying English?

-Since I was in the school. I belong to the Sami community. I speak Sami and Norwegian, the two official languages but there are three more recognized languages: Kven, Tavringer and Romani.

-Romani in Norway?

-Yes, of course. There's an important Romani community in Norway and we respect its language and culture. The question is not why we protect Romani language; the question is why Portugal, Spain, Italy or France don't protect it when the Romani community is bigger in these countries.

-Why?

-I don't know. I'm Norwegian but, perhaps they don't respect their diversity in the way we do it. Romani people are an incredible community which one day left Egypt and started to write a story of migrations, surviving, art and resistance. They wrote their history but, at the same time, they wrote our own history. I'm a member of the Sami community. I can understand Romani people very well, in fact, our flags are very similar. We need to write our history because if we don't do it, other people will do for us.

-Then English is not difficult to learn for a Norwegian?

-We have the same mother language, German. It's an advantage. 

-What can you explain about your life with The Bonds?

-It has been a great experience, a great source of inspiration to write something in the future.

-Which is your best memory with the family?

-It's impossible to choose only one but I remember two special days: one with Joanjo Bond when we won Eurovision representing Cyprus and Norway together and another when I talked about The Lovers of Teruel, an Aragonese couple with a tragic final. I'm a writer. I enjoyed composing the Eurovision song and I enjoyed reading the Aragonese story.

-Which character would you like to write about?

-My hero is Roald Amundsen, the Norwegian explorer who was the first to reach the South Pole, on 14 December 1911 and the first expedition leader for the air expedition to the North Pole in 1926.

-Do you like exploring?

-I'm a writer. I'm curious. I need to know. I need to discover new things. I love prospectors. I remember the story of American prospectors who were cold because they had thin trousers and Levi Strauss used the sailcloth which he transported to make stronger ones.

-A mix of prospector and explorer could be Christopher Columbus?

-Well, it's not my favourite.

-Why not?

-The modern story says that Columbus sailed from Spain on August 3rd, 1492 to the west. After ten weeks, a sailor saw a bird. They had arrived to land and they named the island San Salvador. So he discovered that the Earth was round.

-And?

-The modern story must say that Columbus was the last European to discover the American continent. Native American lived in the continent and science has demonstrated that Vikings had arrived to America before Columbus because there are some inscriptions older than his arrival.

-What is your next project?

-I'm working in a Christmas story, a tribute to Charles Dickens and his Christmas Carol

-What's the worst nightmare of a writer?

-I suppose every writer has his/her own demons, his/her own Frankenstein. I hate sharks. It's an interesting animal because they mainly live in the oceans; they eat fish, seals, crabs and sea birds. We can find more than 250 types of sharks and my worst nightmare is swimming near one of them.

-You're a writer. Can you write a slogan for The Bonds?

-Open happiness.

-Thank you very much, M.José Bond.

-You're welcome.



We must always remember with gratitude and admiration the first sailors who steered their vessels through storms and mists, 
and increased our knowledge of the lands of ice in the South. 

Roald Amundsen

Sunday, 26 March 2017

DAMIEN RICE: I CAN'T TAKE MY EYES OFF YOU

Damien Rice
Damien Rice, born 7 December 1973, is an Irish singer-songwriter, musician and record producer. Rice began his musical career as a member of the 1990s rock group Juniper, which were signed to Polygram Records in 1997. The band enjoyed moderate success with a couple of single releases, but a projected album foundered because of record company politics. 

After leaving the band he worked as a farmer in Tuscany and busked throughout Europe before returning to Ireland in 2001 and beginning a solo musical career, and the rest of the band went on to become Bell X1. Rice's personal activities include musical contributions to charitable projects such as the Songs for Tibet, Freedom Campaign and the Enough Project.

More information: Damien Rice

In 2001, Rice's song The Blower's Daughter made a top 40 chart. Over the next year he continued to record his album with guitarist Mark Kelly, New York drummer Tom Osander aka Tomo, Paris pianist Jean Meunier, London producer David Arnold, County Meath vocalist Lisa Hannigan and cellist Vyvienne Long. Rice then embarked on a tour of Ireland with Hannigan, Tomo, Vyvienne, Mark, and Dublin bassist Shane Fitzsimons.

In 2002, Rice's debut album O was released in Ireland, the UK and the United States. The album won the Shortlist Music Prize.

In 2008 he contributed the song Making Noise for the album Songs for Tibet: The Art of Peace in support of the 14th Dalai Lama and Tibet

More information: Art of Peace Foundation

In 2010, he contributed the song Lonely Soldier to the Enough Project.

In 2016, he participates in the Joan Baez 75th Birthday Celebration duetted with Baez on the Irish traditional song She moved through the fair.

 
 I've learned very, very, very clearly that money 
does not equal happiness or security, either. 
Damien Rice

Saturday, 25 March 2017

MANOLA BOND: A NEW MEMBER JOINS THE FAMILY

Manola Bond with The Bonds enjoying O'Fogoon
Last Thursday, The Bonds received an unexpected visit. Meanwhile they were having dinner in one of the most delicious restaurants, O'Fogoon, in Dublin, Manola Bond arrived to stay some days in Ireland with them.

Manola Bond is one of the most popular chefs around the world. 


Closer friend of Ferran Adrià and the Roca brothers (Joan, Josep and Jordi), all of them live near each other, she's a great expert in cooking and her dishes are recognized around the world as the best of the best.

In her restaurant, named Los Manolos and based in Sant Boi de Llobregat, 10 km south Barcelona, Manola offers a great combination of typical food of Catalonia and Extremadura. Don't forget to visit this restaurant which has been prized with four Michelin Stars
and taste Manola's desserts.

More information: Flo-Joe (Cambridge Exams)

The Bonds continue their B1 English Exam preparation and today, The Grandma wants to offer them a new webpage which is very useful to check their knowledge and prepare this exam.




Everywhere the sky is blue. There are a multitude of cuisines and dishes. I think of them as the languages and dialects of food. 

Ferran Adrià

Friday, 24 March 2017

U2: HAVE THEY FOUND WHAT THEY WERE LOOKING FOR?

U2
U2 are an Irish rock band from Dublin formed in 1976. The group consists of Bono, lead vocals and guitar, the Edge, guitar, keyboards, and backing vocals, Adam Clayton, bass guitar, and Larry Mullen Jr., drums and percussion. Initially rooted in post-punk, U2's sound grew to incorporate influences from many genres of popular music, yet has maintained an anthemic sound. Their lyrics, often embellished with spiritual imagery, focus on personal themes and sociopolitical concerns. Popular for their live performances, the group has staged several ambitious and elaborate tours over their career.

The band formed at Mount Temple Comprehensive School in 1976 when the members were teenagers with limited musical proficiency. Within four years, they signed with Island Records and released their debut album Boy (1980). Subsequent work such as their first UK number-one album War (1983), and the singles Sunday Bloody Sunday and Pride (In the Name of Love) helped establish U2's reputation as a politically and socially conscious group. 

More information: U2

By the mid-1980s, they had become renowned globally for their live act, highlighted by their performance at Live Aid in 1985. The group's fifth album, The Joshua Tree (1987), made them international superstars and was their greatest critical and commercial success. Topping music charts around the world, it produced their only number-one singles in the US, With or Without You and I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For

Facing a backlash and creative stagnation, U2 reinvented themselves in the 1990s through a new musical direction and public image. Beginning with their acclaimed seventh album, Achtung Baby (1991), and the multimedia intensive Zoo TV Tour, the band integrated influences from alternative rock, electronic dance music, and industrial music into their sound, and embraced a more ironic, flippant image. This experimentation continued through their ninth album, Pop (1997), and the PopMart Tour, which were mixed successes. 

More information: U2 - A rock crusade

U2 regained critical and commercial favour with the records All That You Can't Leave Behind (2000) and How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (2004), which established a more conventional, mainstream sound for the group. Their U2 360° Tour of 2009–2011 is the highest-attended and highest-grossing concert tour in history. 


 I believe when the Kingdom comes
then all the colors will bleed into one,
bleed into one
but yes I'm still running.

You broke the bonds,
you loosened the chains
you carried the cross
of my shame.
U2

Thursday, 23 March 2017

OLGA BOND: SWEDISH STYLE FOR CONNECTING PEOPLE

Olga Bond in Casablanca
Olga Bond. Actress. Sweden.

I was born in Malmö, Sweden, the country of Ingrid Bergman, Anita Ekberg, Greta Garbo, Max von Sydow, Andres Celsius, Alfred Nobel, Stieg Larsson, Björn Borg or ABBA. 


Sweden is a country with 9.6 millions of people who live in 447.435 km². It's a large country with small density and great famous people. The secret? Culture, effort, innovation and knowledge. I'm an actress. An actress is a person who makes films. 

My last film has been A day with The Bonds, a documentary about the life of this incredible and multicultural family.



-Good morning, Olga Bond, and thanks to attend us.

-Good morning. It's a pleasure.

-Well, you represent the typical Swedish profile: blue eyes and blonde.

-I don't believe in it. There isn't a Swedish profile because we've received lots of influences and you can find different people living in the same place. From the Viking to the last immigration movements, the Swedish population has changed and we haven't got this profile. Take the monarchy as an example...

-Sweden is always an example of great and perfect country. Which is your opinion?

-There isn't a perfect country. It doesn't exist. All countries have lights and shadows, diamonds and rust but it's true that here, in Sweden, we're a liberal community and we can talk about whatever you want without danger, censorship or fear. For other hand, we have suffered dark moments like the murders of Olof Palme and Anna Lindh. We mustn't forget them.

-What's your reaction in front of a case like these murders?

-When you believe that you live in a perfect society, with perfect neighbours and in a perfect family who lives in a perfect city, this fact affects you more because you don't believe that it can happen next to you. These facts attempt against our lifestyle, our culture, our manner of understanding world. We're the country of Alfred Nobel. We talk about Science, about Peace, about Progress and violence is against all these things. Violence is the failure of dialogue.

-How can a Swedish actress arrive to success?

-Well. I've had good references. Greta Garbo, Anita Ekberg and Ingrid Bergman. Three incredible actresses. Three myths.

-Tell me something that you admire of them.

-It's difficult to choose only one thing but all of them were beautiful, elegant and incredible actresses. Greta Garbo left the cinema very young and thanks to this we always remember her beauty and youth. Age is something very awful for actresses. When you're middle-age or old, nobody writes good roles for you and this is a great mistake. Ingrid Bergman was a great example of fighting against a terrible disease with elegance and strength and Anita Ekberg, wow, how can you forget her beautiful scene in the Fontana di Trevi with Marcello Mastroiani in Federico Fellini's La dolce vita? One of the greatest moments in the cinema, without any doubt.

-How do you feel being a member of The Bond's family?

-I feel very well. We're a good family. We work together to reach the same objective and we don't surrender easily.

-How is a normal day with The Bonds?

-There isn't a normal day because is impossible. Have you got a normal day in your life? Every day is different and you must enjoy it as time as you can.

-How long have you been studying English?

-In Sweden there's only an official language, Swedish, a North Germanic language, related and very similar to Danish and Norwegian but there are four other languages also recognised: Meänkieli, Sami, Romani, and Yiddish, and of course, Swedish people have a great level of knowledge of English. Then, a Swedish citizen can speak, at minimum, three languages. This is very important because as languages as you speak, as easier learning another will be.

-Then English is not difficult to learn for a Swedish?

-Swedish and English become from German. We have different alphabets and writing but phonetically, we're very similar.

-What can you explain about your life with The Bonds?

-Well. I've filmed a documentary about them and it has been a great experience. It was very difficult to choose only one day to film because every day deserved a film. It has been a great experience and a great memory to remember. 

-And after?

We will always have The Bonds as Rick and Ilsa will always have Paris.

-Which is your best memory with the family?

-A lot. It's impossible to choose only one but I especially remember when we talked about sharks.

-Why?

-Sharks, because I filmed a remake of Steven Spielberg's Jaws and it was one of my biggest successes. Sharks are interesting animals. There are more than 250 types. They live in oceans. Some of them live in rivers and lakes. Sharks find their prey with their sense of smell. Jaws were inspired in the White Shark, which is the largest shark.

-Which character would you like to play?

-On one hand, I would like to be Ilsa Lund in Casablanca, an incredible role. On other hand, Queen Isabelle of Castile because she was a horrible woman who managed terrible policies against her population. She is recognized because her role in Christopher Columbus story but she expulsed Jewish and Arabian communities only for not being Catholic. They were terrible decisions that affected the Castilian economy.

-What do you think about the films about Christopher Columbus?

-I like Gerard Depardieu performance as Columbus in the film 1492, which explains how on August 3rd 1492, Columbus sailed from Spain for ten weeks to west and when a sailor saw a bird, Columbus knew he had arrived to an island which he named San Salvador.

-What about your future works in cinema?

-I'm preparing the main female role in a new film about Levi Strauss, the man who made trousers from the sailcloth and imported material from France in 1850. 

-What do you think about cinema?

-I think cinema connects people. 

-Do you like this message?

-Yes. Connecting people around something, a film, an objective, a goal... is a great adventure.

-Thank you very much, Olga Bond.

-You're welcome.


It is not whether you really cry. 
It's whether the audience thinks you are crying. 

Ingrid Bergman

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

PIERCE BROSNAN: FROM DROGHEDA TO 007's GOLDENEYE

Pierce Brosnan aka James Bond
Pierce Brendan Brosnan OBE (born 16 May 1953) is an Irish actor, film producer, and activist who after leaving comprehensive school at age 16, began training in commercial illustration. He then went on to train at the Drama Centre in London for three years. Following a stage acting career he rose to popularity in the television series Remington Steele (1982–87), which blended the genres of romantic comedy, drama, and detective procedural. 

After the conclusion of Remington Steele, Brosnan appeared in films such as the Cold War spy film The Fourth Protocol (1987) and the comedy Mrs. Doubtfire (1993).


In 1994, Brosnan became the fifth actor to portray secret agent James Bond in the Eon Productions film series, starring in four films from 1995 to 2002 (GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day). During this period, he also took the lead in other films including the epic disaster adventure film Dante's Peak (1997) and the remake of the heist film The Thomas Crown Affair (1999). Since leaving the role of Bond, he has starred in such films as the musical/romantic comedy Mamma Mia! (2008), the Roman Polanski-directed political thriller The Ghost Writer (2010) and the action spy thriller The November Man (2014).

On 7 June 1994, Brosnan was announced as the fifth actor to play Bond. Brosnan was signed for a three-film Bond deal with the option of a fourth.
He participated in Goldeneye and returned in 1997's Tomorrow Never Dies and 1999's The World Is Not Enough, which were also successful. In 2002, Brosnan appeared for his fourth time as Bond in Die Another Day, receiving mixed reviews similarly to the former two, but was a success at the box office.

More information: The Official James Bond 007

In 1996, along with Beau St. Clair, Brosnan formed Irish DreamTime, a Los Angeles-based production company. In later years, he has become known for his charitable work and environmental activism. He was married to Australian actress Cassandra Harris from 1980 until her death in 1991. He married American journalist and author Keely Shaye Smith in 2001, and became an American citizen in 2004, holding dual citizenship in the U.S. and Ireland. He has earned two Golden Globe Award nominations, first for the television miniseries Nancy Astor (1982) and next for the dark comedy film The Matador (2005).

Pierce Brosnan has been an Ambassador for UNICEF Ireland since 2001 and recorded a special announcement to mark the launch of UNICEF's Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS Campaign with Liam Neeson

 

I'm first and foremost an Irishman, by birth, by nature, by soul, 
but an American citizen through and through as well.

Pierce Brosnan