Charlie, like the rest of us, is struggling a bit with the relentless heat, so he finds the coolest bit of floor space and lays out in all his glory! I understand how he feels exactly!
But despite the heat we have had a lovely fiesta week, made even better because our son Jonathan and his wife Ella, came to share it with us. We collected them on Wednesday morning, and the fiesta really got started on Thursday when the street lights were turned on. They were very pretty this year.
We went over to the plaza in the evening and enjoyed watching the local dance schools do their show. Then at around 11.30, the main band comes on the stage and they play until around 7.30 the next morning.
Needless to say, we don't stay that long, but there is a lovely atmosphere among the folk, all sitting around in family groups, under the lights and lanterns, with drinks and tapas from one of the temporary bars set up around the edge of the plaza, everyone chatting and laughing together, while the children run between them with their market stall toys. It's a very happy occasion.
Then some folk get up to dance. They like anything that that they can dance the paso doble to, and some of the older generation take it very seriously. But the younger folk just want to dance, and even Jon and Ella got up for a few numbers.
I had to smile at Ella in her flip flops and Jon in his ankle boots!
When we got home, I took this photo from our back yard. You can see how close to our house it all is. These lights are on the bumper cars and other fairground attractions. Fortunately the rides stop around 2.00 am, and the tall white building, which is a little supermarket, absorbs some of the sound from the all-night stage.
The most fun we had was probably on Sunday afternoon when we went to the foam party at Simon's bar. It starts off quite gently and all the children have fun in it, with a parent keeping watch to scoop up any little ones that get lost in it! Then a bit more is pumped in and Ella and I just had to join in. It is hard to describe, but it feels cool and soft, and just wonderful when the thermometers are showing just short of forty degrees. I am trying to keep a hand over my drink, while also holding a phone to take photos, but it was a lost cause!
Eventually we managed to drag Jon in as well. Once he accepted he was going to get as wet through as us, he enjoyed it too. Every now and then the canon was turned off, and the foam soon died right down to a soapy stream down the street, but then he would fire it up again. The man operating it could swivel it to catch anyone he thought was trying to escape.
When the children had all had enough, there was a lady at the end to hose them down, and then the canon was moved progressively further and further into the bar area, and the foam is pumped out fast and furiously until it even covers the adults heads. Chris, Jon and Ella thought they had found a safe place to sit, but he saw them and they were soon swamped again.
At tea time we went home and rinsed it all off. It was a good afternoon.
The patron saint for our village is La Virgen del Carmen, and her saint's day was actually on Monday so we had an extra day of fiesta. That evening we had the traditional open air mass on the plaza. When we arrived the village choir were in full voice up on the stage, with the altar arranged just below them.
They sing with great gusto, accompanied by guitars, clapping and castanets, and I love to hear them.
Then a procession arrives from the church further up into the village, with our priest, the altar boys, and some strong armed men carrying the statue of the virgen on a 'trono'.
Everyone is invited to come up and place their floral tributes around her, and on a trestle set up along side. Even tiny children come with their flowers, which are later taken up to the church. It must look like a flower shop in there the next day.
This is the main event of the fiesta, and adults and children alike, all wear their finest clothes, many of them in traditional flamenco style dresses. I love to see them all. Some of the dresses are beautiful, and the children look so cute.
We did opt to escape from fiesta madness one night, when we all went for a meal at our favourite Italian restaurant. The food was excellent as usual, and then we went down to Mojacar beach to walk it off before we went home.
Jonathan used to be a qualified tree surgeon, and he had promised to do a little bit of work for us while he was over. So one morning he set about cutting a tree down at the end of my washing line, that had grown too big and was becoming a nuisance. It would have taken ages for us to do, but he set about it like someone who knows what he is doing, and before long there was just a small square of earth left. We are going to build the wall around it a bit higher to make watering easier, and plant our little mandarin tree there. It is in the pot next to it, ready. As you can see, it is not thriving in a pot, and has not produced any fruit again this year.
He then tackled a similar tree growing in a corner of the main yard, that had burst its pot, and the roots had sneaked round the fence into next-door's water supply. As water is a valuable commodity out here, in the interests of good neighbourliness, it had to go. I was sad to lose that one, but my menfolk rolled our big orange tree into the corner to replace it, and it looks good there. That one does do well in a pot, but it is a very big pot!
After all his hard work, Jonathan had a rest on the settee and was immediately joined by his new best friend, Kim. His younger brother Ben was most put out when he saw this on Facebook, as he thinks he is Kim's best friend too! I guess it's whoever happens to be here at the time.
When Charlie is not spreadeagled on the floor, he likes to sit near the cat flap and watch what is going on outside. This week Tango joined him and they sat together for quite a while. They are all learning to be quite comfortable around one another.
The flowers in my tri-pot on the front porch, had all died off and I renewed them a couple of weeks ago. One of the new ones was a dark purple foliage plant, which rather took my fancy. It turned out to be very thirsty and needs to be watered nearly every day. Quite soon the leaves turned much greener and then the plant produced several spikes of purple flowers. It is really pretty now. It has aromatic leaves and I think is related to mint, and also has square stems which I believe makes it a member of the nettle family. I like it anyway.
On their last evening, the men were lost in a football match on TV, so Ella and I went for a walk with the dogs. It was cooling down a bit by then, and they enjoyed the outing. I took Ella round into the rambla and was surprised how much it has been tidied up since my last time down there. The first area, which used to be bare mud had become 'a desert in bloom'. There were several of these green shrubs with lots of big, white, upward facing trumpet flowers. I haven't had time to look them up, but I must find out what they are. They looked very beautiful.
It did the dogs good to have a long walk as they don't go far in the summer when the paths are often too hot to walk on. But they were slowing down (so were we) by the time we got to the last bit of the path. The sun had sunk behind the big rock cliff, and the light was fading.
I had to take one of my silhouette photos. These are tall reeds that grow abundantly in the ramble which is a dry river bed, so they can probably find water not too far below the surface.
Ella enjoyed seeing a bit of the village where she would not normally have gone. She is very fit, and put us all to shame by doing an hour of exercises in the mornings, despite the heat. And she was missing the long walks she does with their own dog, a seven month old staffy called Rudy.
Well I have finally run out of news and photos so I will close for this week. I am posting earlier than usual as we have a 'social' event to go to this afternoon. So that may be the photos you see next week.
So I'll just link up with Annie's Friday Smiles and Rocking Your World, and then I can go and tidy myself up to go out.