Well here I am again. The village is bustling with preparations for the big fiesta later this week. The lights are up, the fairground has arrived, the stage is in the process of being built on the plaza, and there is a buzz of excitement everywhere. Our village patron saint is Virgen de la Carmen, so her fiesta is very important, and there will be processions, food, music, more food and more music with dancing, for 24 hours a day, from Thursday though 'til the early hours of next Monday. We love to go out and mingle. The atmosphere is great, so happy and friendly, and when we have had enough, we go home, close all the windows and shutters, put the air con on, and sleep through the rest of it, hopefully!! The picture on the left shows the view out of my craft-room window across the green zone this week. There is a roller coaster to the right, behind the big lorry, and to the left of the bumper cars they were busy building something all afternoon. It looks like an open arena with a stage so I have a horrible feeling it is an extra disco which will play music at top volume all night, whether anyone is there or not! The right hand picture shows the view as it now, after dark. The lit area is the bumper cars which is very bright and colourful, but I can't begin to describe the noise! They have been open every night since last Thursday, but at least until the official fiesta begins this Thursday, they do close down around midnight.
I don't know whether it was connected or not, but on Saturday afternoon there was a 'run' around the village. We became aware of it when a guadia car drove passed our house, lights and sirens blazing, clearing the road. It was followed by around forty runners, mainly men, but there were a few women too, some in groups and others on their own, all jogging up through the village. After a while we recognised some of them from before and we realised that they were running in circuits. They actually came round at least a dozen times, with a couple of police cars in between to look out for anyone in trouble I presume. I really admired them. The temperature was in the thirties, and some of them were struggling towards the end, though others looked really fit even on the last lap, but they all kept going, including one much older man who walked the last couple of laps.
I noticed my yellow hibiscus was looking particularly colourful the other day, and when I went over I found it had half a dozen huge flowers all blooming at the same time, as well as lots of buds. I just had to share such beauty with you all. Isn't it gorgeous!
As most of you know, while the bitter oranges are around in January, I make lots of marmalade and sell most of it for charity. A man from our church lost his father very recently at the age of ninety, and after the funeral he brought his mother back to stay with him for a while. At church I was introduced to her as 'the lady who makes the marmalade'. She held on to my hand and in a tearful voice said "My husband loved your marmalade so much and he just managed to eek out the last bit to the very end". She now has my very last jar which in a way is providing her with a link to her husband while she adjusts to life without him, and I thought how unexpected that something as mundane as a simple jar of marmalade can be a real blessing in a time of need. It makes the hours I spent making it, time very well spent.
As most of my followers on this blog are family you will be very familiar with this photo of the Gregory grandparents, so I thought you might like to pay a visit to my 'other' blog, to see how I have used it to create some Artist Trading Cards for a swap. You can see it by clicking HERE.
And now for a cautionary tale: Chris is in the throws of repairing a leak in our outside shower, (another item on my 'To do in 2011' list!). He needed a small amount of sand and cement for mortar, and being unsure of my Spanish vocabulary in a rather specialist field, we opted to go to a big building supplies place near Vera that we have found quite helpful on a previous visit, and we knew one of their staff speaks English. We soon found what we needed without asking but when we went to pay, the Spanish assistant banged away on his calculator and showed us a total of 44€. We laughed and said 'No' thinking he was joking, but he just smiled and said 'Yes' so we left empty handed. This afternoon we went to a small builders yard on the edge of our village. In my stumbling Spanish I explained what we wanted and what it was for, and amazingly she understood me! In minutes a bag was in the back of the car, and the cost 4€ ! Guess where we'll be going next time we want building materials. That's life in Spain for you.