We seem to have had a fairly busy week this week starting with a really pleasant night out last Saturday. We don't often go very far out of the village in the evening as I have always been the night time taxi so that Chris can relax and enjoy a drink if he wants to. But just lately I have found driving after dark more difficult, and we tend to take our entertainment within walking distance of home.
However, last Saturday we joined other members of our choir as a sort of pre-season reunion, to watch an open air performance of the opera 'Marriage of Figaro'. It was performed by a group of amateur/in training young, Welsh singers, who have been doing a tour to gain experience, so the quality wasn't fantastic, but there were some lovely voices among them, and they put their all into the acting, highlighting the comedy aspect of it, so it was great fun. Fortunately I had read through the story on the internet before I went or I might have found it quite hard to follow. Chris said it was 'like a Brian Rix farce set to music', which is, of course, true, as many operas have an element of farce in them.
The setting was absolutely stunning. We were seated on rows of chairs on the main Plaza at Vera, looking towards the old church which was floodlit. The stage was set up just in front of it.
There were palm trees silhouetted against a gradually darkening sky, with tiny birds flitting between them, and every now and then the old church bell rang out to add to the music! It stayed comfortably warm all evening. It was quite a long performance with an interval, so it was nearly midnight when we left our friends to make out way home.
The next day being Sunday, I went to church as usual, but I slipped away as the service ended so that I could visit a friend in the hospital just around the corner from our church. She had a mild stroke a few days earlier, so I wanted to say 'hello' and have a quick chat. I couldn't stay for long as we had agreed to go to a lunch time meal with the art group I belong to in the village. It was Gallarte's tenth anniversary, and we had a lovely meal together at El Cumbre, a restaurant just outside the village on the Bédar road. It is themed around Roman ruins as there are supposed to be some nearby though we have never been able to find them. I didn't crop this photo as it shows the lovely mural on the left hand wall. I used the panoramic setting on my camera to take this and it has 'bent' the table into a horseshoe. It was actually a long, straight table, and the empty chair next to Chris, is, of course, where I was sitting.
On Monday we had a parcel delivered from the Spanish branch of Amazon. This was our new hoover. We have had little success with the ones we have bought locally so we decided to go for a Dyson, as I was very pleased with the one I had in UK. It is a funny looking thing but as you can see, it is slim and easy to store, and it is rechargeable. Chris has just fixed the charging unit that it hangs on, to the wall in the garage, so it can stay plugged in and be ready to use whenever we want it.
The head, which you hold, is light and compact. The tools actually store on the charging unit, so they are not in the way, and it is extremely easy to empty and clean. Because we don't often have carpets or even mats down, we don't need to do a lot of hoovering, but the usual cylinder type tend to blow the dust around with their exhaust, making it hard to actually catch it. That is not a problem with this one, and it is light enough to easily lift to clean the blinds and mosquito nets, and the gullies for the sliding doors. Hopefully it will also keep all the electrical cables free from animal hairs!
Thursday saw us setting off to Murcia for another trip to IKEA. It is easy to spot from the motorway, as it is surrounded by these high signs, but the road system is actually a bit complicated until you are familiar with it, and we ended up doing a complete circuit before we found the entrance. But I don't think we would make the same mistake next time.
We went there to buy a pair of comfortable chairs to go on our porch, in the fly-free zone. Now the temperature has dropped to a better level we actually sit out there for almost more time than we sit indoors, and while the various plastic garden chairs we have had, are alright for a short while, we really wanted something a bit better. We saw these on our last visit but we couldn't get them in the car as well as the things we had gone to get that day, so we thought we would wait for a while. But now is a lovely time to have them. Don't they look inviting?
While we were there we also bought two sets of hand luggage ready for our holiday. We are going for two weeks and we are sharing just one hold luggage case, so we need to get the full allowance in our hand luggage as well. I have a nice little case, but it is very stiff, and hard to get things in and out of once I am on the plane, and I can't pack the full 10kg allowance in it. And Chris has always used a small bag that was just big enough to take his laptop and our travel papers. So these two will be a lot more useful. They are the exact measurements allowed for cabin bags. I will leave you to guess which one is mine!
This afternoon we both had a dip in the pool. The water had got a bit murky after the storms at the beginning of the month, and Chris has worked hard getting it all cleaned out. Now it looks all sparkling clean again so it seemed only right to use it. It felt a bit chilly getting in but once in, it was lovely. The under-water thermometer showed 26º, instead of the 30º it has been all summer, and it is surprising what a difference that four degrees makes. But hopefully we will manage a few more uses before the end of the season. I am sure Tom and Ben will give it a go when they come out too.
And finally, I had the phone call I have been waiting for this week, from Huércal-Overa hospital. I am to have my second cataract operation on 24th of this month. It means I will be a bit one-eyed for our holiday but at least it will be done. (That could lead to some interesting photos!). And when we get back I will have just three weeks to wait before I can be tested for new glasses.