I decided to start my new year by making a second blog. This is primarily for my crafting friends, as a place to display some of my 'makes', and share the materials and techniques I used. I have called it "Manualidades por mi" which is simply spanish for "My handicrafts", and you can find it at manualidades-mamapez5.blogspot.com . (Just click on the link to see it). The Banner across the top took a while to make. It is a selection of craft materials and equipment, photographed and then cropped and resized to fit across the page. There are only three posts at the minute which are mostly repeats of previous posts in here or on Facebook, but in future I will only post them in the new blog and put a link on here. So if you are interested in crafts, do have a peek, and I'd love to have you as a follower.
I wonder whether you did anything interesting on New Year's Eve. I was quite surprised to learn that most of our boys spent it at home, but it sounds as though that was the case for a lot of folk in UK, except perhaps in the major cities. I guess no-one has the money left after Christmas to celebrate again, or they were saving what they do have for the sales. We did go out, to our little local bar just down the road. It is so close to home that getting back at the end of the evening is no problem, and after a very quiet Christmas, it was nice to go out and meet with friends. Here is Ali, the owner of the bar, preparing my jug of sangria which kept me going for the night! We had a couple running a karaoke and/or just playing background music, and they are used to our crowd so they bring out all the old songs. I have sat through some pretty aweful karaokes on holiday sometimes, but we have actually got several men and a couple of women who are regulars at the bar, who can sing really well, and they were very entertaining. These two sing the Banana boat song, every time, and it has become quite a joke, but everyone joins in and enjoys it. At midnight, 11.00 your time, we greeted the new year spanish style, with cava and grapes. You are supposed to eat one grape for each toll of the bell, but the ones they provided us with were huge, and it's a wonder we didn't all choke. We had the spanish TV on for it, showing a clock that I expect was in Madrid, but instead of counting down from ten to one like we do, they counted up from one to twelve, so that confused us all! Then at 1.00, midnight in UK, we did it all again with party poppers and Auld lang syne. We watched the fireworks in London on the TV. They were pretty fantastic weren't they, but you couldn't help but wonder how many thousands of pounds were going up in smoke in these difficult times! About ten minutes later, a big crowd of spanish people came in. They all celebrate in big family gatherings at home, and then they come out. Some of the spanish bars would have opened at around 12.30! This group were mostly neighbours of Mick and Ali and some of them come to the regular Friday evening karaoke sessions. (We don't normally go to these, but in the summer we can hear them from our garden). They got up in groups of half a dozen or so and belted out the favourite spanish songs. Then we did the ones that are a mixture of spanish and english words like 'Viva España', and 'Amigos para siempre', and everyone joined in and then we were all up dancing in the tiny bit of space between the tables. It was a really enjoyable night.
And now a little bit aimed mainly at the family. On 28th December, Jim and Jo invited all our boys and their families to their house for a 'gathering of the clan', and Tom took some photos for me. As it is so long since any of you have seen them, I asked Tom if I could paste a couple of them here. So here are our lads, from the right, Ben, Tom, Jonathan, Mike and Jim, and here are their respective partners, again from the right, Ben's partner Dave, Pippa, Jon's girlfriend Ella, Jessie and Jo. And finally here is the whole group showing our grandchildren Finlay, Amias and Hannah, Marcus at the back with the mop of curls like his dad, and Oliver, who is being held by Mike, and who unfortunately chose that moment to duck down behind Ella! It's a shame that Emma and Michael aren't in it too. I would have loved to have been there with them, but it is nice to know that they are keeping in touch with one another, and at least I get to speak with them regularly, and now I have an up-to-date photo as well.