It seems like we've had a very short week, but that's mainly because I was so late posting last time. So far Virginia hasn't done a post this week, and I don't blame her if she is taking a week off, but I decided to do mine anyway to 'get back on track', and if she does one later, I can always link up to it then.
Well Christmas has come and gone, so I hope you all had a great time. Mine could have been spoiled as I had a really bad flu-type cold which normally might have kept me hiding in bed, but with my youngest son and his partner here to share the holiday with us, I dosed myself up and got on with things, and ended up having a lovely, lovely time with them.
Events were stacked against us, because this was not only my first proper cold since I came out here, and my first flu since I started having the jab each year back when I was working with small children, we also had our first wet Christmas day since we came to live here. Each year we have had our Christmas dinner outside, even if it has got a bit cloudy and chilly later in the day, but this year we had tremendous winds all night, and woke to heavy rain which lasted for most of the day. But we didn't let it dampen our spirits. My little dining room, (with a huge table that fills it), is usually snowed under with knitting for Africa, but fortunately a big consignment was sent off to UK last month, so all the rest, plus the spare wool was hidden under the spare beds, and I soon had the table laid and looking festive.
It is a bit mean to take a photo of folk when they are enjoying their Christmas dinner but I did anyway!
It was all successful and well appreciated. We even managed to light the pudding properly for a change!
they were able to sit around outside and read in the sunshine on several mornings. Kim was very excited to see Ben again as they had played together when Ben visited just after we had Kim. At first Kim was all over him, but he soon settled down and was happy to rest beside him.
We spent a lot of time trying to get a photo of them together, but Kim just wasn't cooperating. Here is Ben holding him firmly round the neck and saying "You will look at the camera!". Meanwhile Miki sat patiently waiting for her turn to be fussed, which of course she soon was.
Contrary dog that he is, a few minutes later I went out to take a photo of Ben and Dave in the sunshine, and Kim walked over and sat beside them without a word from us!
Ben had to have a go at picking the oranges that hang over the fence from next door. They look so lovely and they are almost ripe, but they weren't really quite ready to pick, so he left them for us to have later.
We all went for a Christmas meal and an evening of live music at the local bar on Saturday, but we had nothing else planned for their time here, so on Monday we all went down the road to a Spanish bar to meet our friends John and Eileen for some lunch time tapas and drinks.
This was at our second stop. It was warm enough to sit outside and the boys didn't want to miss out on any sun. As you can see, we all had our jumpers on, but the two from UK are bare-armed!
We then moved on again to a little bar up in the
village run by a Spanish couple who have been close friends of John and Eileen's for many years. We often end up there, and they always make us very welcome. It happened to be José-Marie's seventy-second birthday (The man on the right), who is here with his wife Isabella who runs the bar, and her brother.
Of course we had to raise a glass to his health, and then another, and another... you just stop counting. The wine was in a small glass jug that just got refilled every time it got low, because if it is empty it implies that they haven't given you enough, so it is quite hard to keep track of how much you have had! And the little bottles of beer seem to multiply too! Then plates of meat, cheese and raw broad-beans arrived, and somewhen during the proceedings I managed to take this group photo with all of us in it, which I think was quite an achievement!
Before we knew it, it was getting dark, and we were all pleased to know that we only had to walk a few yards down the road to get home.
Sadly we had to take Ben and Dave back to the airport on Boxing day as Ben had to work today, but we had had a great time with them, and their company certainly brightened up what would otherwise have been a very quiet Christmas.
As I fed the dogs this evening I glanced into next-door's orange grove and I was struck by how green it was. Only last week it was just bare mud between the trees. See how green it is now. Just a couple of days of real, persistent rain, had woken up all the weeds and they have just shot up. It will be a jungle in there again in a week or two.
I read yesterday that we have only had 40% of our usual rainfall so far, but I expect we will make up for that soon. It usually all evens out by the end of February. I am truly grateful that we are spared the kind of weather many of you have experienced this Christmas. I hope everyone is safe and well.
I will leave you with photos of two members of the Perry Zoo. Firstly the lovely Arwen, who has taken to curling up on a box under one of my desks. Ben came down to my craft room to see her and caught her on camera having a little roll around and play. She was so embarrassed to have been caught that she hid her face, and for once we had the camera ready for her.
And now here is Kim again, who celebrated his first birthday on or around Christmas Day. As he is a rescue dog, we have no idea when he was born really, but the vet uses their teeth development to estimate their age, and from her calculations we decided that Christmas Day was near enough to his birth date to register it. So here he is when we took him in at around three months old. Wasn't he gorgeous?! At six months he was still growing into his ears and feet, but we could see that he is at least half German shepherd. The vet suggested that the other half is mastiff, and he does have the colouring for it. But he is not as huge as we thought he might be, though he still has six months or so to grow in. He is bigger than both Miki and Foxy, and his face is on a level with mine when he sits down beside me, but he is a very gentle giant when he is not too excited! And he now has a beautiful full brush tail!
Happy Birthday Kim!
Have a good week everyone and I'll see you back here next Friday.