And in case you don't know what I mean, pop over to visit Virginia at Celtic House and read all about it.
This is a very photo heavy post. As I haven't had time to post anything about my holiday yet, you are getting the highlights today, as well as a couple of Happy Moments from this week, so I'll keep the chat to a minimum. (Having just visited our hostess' blog I find she has done a similarly lengthy post with lots of photos, so hopefully she will forgive me for mine!)
The timing of our UK visit was fitted around 'the Big Cut'. This was my second son celebrating his fortieth birthday by shaving off all his long curls to raise money for the Severn Hospice, where he works as Fund-raising adviser So that is what he did. Here he is spending his last moments as a hairy monster, headbanging to his brother's drumming, at the party. The centre image is how he looked the next morning, after I had been shopping for some decent razors so a friend could tidy up our efforts of the night before! Just ten days later we met up again and I was surprised at how much hair he had grown already. He raised over £400 for the hospice, which made it all worth it.
After his little son had had a go, (with some very blunt scissors!) I was one of the first to cut off some locks, then everyone else pitched in. Unfortunately the razors he had brought along were not much sharper than the scissors, so the end result was a little patchy!
At the party, I also got to see my other four sons; Here they are the next day.
And here is the whole of the Perry tribe with partners and children.Even my gorgeous great grandson was there.
The party was in an old cow-shed, festooned with cami-nets, fairy lights and candles. My youngest son, Ben brought his piano and played and sung for us.
Then his brother Jonathan got heavy on his drums with his band partner Jake on bass.
The youngsters all camped in tents overnight, (Chris and I got the spare bed in the house), and in the morning we sat round in the field for some family chatter and barbecued bacon butties for breakfast.
A couple of days later Chris came home to look after our animals, and I went on to Bournemouth to stay with my sister Jean. While there, we were able to meet up with all five of my sisters. I am the 'baby' of the family, so it was good to see all of them still looking so well.
So all in all it was a real 'Family Fest', and I loved every minute of it. I ended my trip, back in the Midlands, first visiting my eldest son who is a vicar in Pendeford, Wolverhampton, then on to see Jonathan's new home in Manchester, and finally spending a day or two with Ben in Birmingham.
In Manchester, we walked around the older part of town and visited the Town Hall which is an amazing building, full of beautiful arches, high ceilings and twisting stairways. Here are just a few of the photos I took in there.
Then in Birmingham Ben and I decided to visit the newly opened library. It too is an amazing building. This is the fascia which pleased the mathematician in me.
Inside it was light and airy with plenty of desks for personal study. On the third floor we went out onto a roof garden with lovely views over the city.
Then we went up blue neon-lit escalators to the seventh floor from where you can see a big sweep of bookshelves.
Finally a little glass 'pod' took us up to the very top floor where we found another roof garden. It was planted with flowering plants and looked very pretty, but it was windy up there, and the side railings were all glass so we felt a bit wobbly and soon came back down!
As soon as I got home I was busy again. Following my friend's funeral on the first day, on Saturday I attended an Anglo-Spanish fiesta in Húercal-Overa. Our choir, Cantante, were asked to sing so we did a few songs in each language and the audience were very appreciative. It was held in a large marquee with flags everywhere. There was a big stage at one end, and as well as our choir there was a good range of entertainers. Food was available from stalls all around the edge, ranging from Spanish tapas to a very British cream tea. It was the first time this has been held, but it was very successful, so it may well become an annual event.
Our son Tom arrived on Monday for a holiday and yesterday we had lovely trip out together. We drove to the beautiful Lake Negratin near Baza. This is a huge lake, which nearly always looks turquoise because of minerals from the surrounding rocks.
Much of the shore is inaccessible, but there is a small beach area you can drive down to. After a two hour drive, Tom was glad to get out and stretch his legs.
We then drove to the top end of the lake, but by then the clouds were gathering, completely changing the view of the lake. It was still very beautiful though.
At the front of this photo you can see the Baños Thermal. This is a narrow 'trough' of water which is continually filled from a hot water spring. It is believed to contain therapeutic minerals, and local folk come to dip in it regularly. It is open, (and stays the same lovely warm temperature) all year round.
Tom and I had to have a dip, and as we soaked, we could look out over the lake. It was lovely and relaxing.
On the way home I stopped to take a picture of the natural rock formations which can be seen in the cliffs all around the lake. They were lovely colours and really interesting shapes.
Well done if you are still hanging on in there! I promised the family I would do a general summary of the holiday on here, and I also wanted to include this week, but I will make sure it is a shorter post next time!