Yes I know it should be Friday, but yesterday I was particularly busy and I forgot what day it was! I haven't even been over to Celtic House yet to see what has made everyone else happy this week. But I will!I actually have not got as much to tell you about this week, as, after our holiday and then a visitor, it was good to have a relatively quiet 'catch-up' week.
We thought Tom was going to have poor weather for his last couple of days, as the forecast showed 100% likelyhood of rain, but it never really came. On Sunday I cooked my usual Sunday roast (a tradition I have continued even on the hot days of summer!), and we were able to sit out on the porch to eat. Tom doesn't bother cooking meals like that for himself so he enjoyed it. By the evening the grey clouds were rolling in from the mountains.
We felt sure the rain was finally coming, but all we got was a rather nice sunset, and a few drops of rain that only lasted for a couple of minutes.
I expect they had a bit of a soak further up the slopes, but we escaped. The next day dawned bright and sunny again. Our son Tom was still with us until Tuesday so we did have one more outing together. This coming week all three of us celebrate our birthdays, so on Monday we went out for lunch together at one of Tom's favourite beach cafés, Dolce Vita. Sitting right on the beach, it offers lovely views across the sea.
Usually we sit out on this little patio, but it was a bit too windy this week so we sat just inside, but the big windows were open so it was almost like sitting outside. And we had a lovely meal there too!
We got home in time to relax outside, me in the shade and Tom soaking up the last few rays before leaving us. He was flying from Alicante early Tuesday morning and as it is a bit over two hours drive from here, he decided to leave around 1.00 a.m. But at midnight he felt compelled to have one more dip in the pool!
We were happy to just watch, but I guess it was a good way to wake himself up before the drive!
At choir practice on Tuesday, a good friend gave me these limes from her tree. I have never had limes in that quantity before, nor do I know anyone else who has their own tree. She thinks perhaps all the heavy rain last autumn was the cause of it fruiting so well this year.
Of all the citrus fruits, these are by far the most expensive out here, so I have not had the opportunity to make lime marmalade before. But I reckoned it wouldn't be much different from making orange marmalade, so yesterday I had a go. It has turned out very well, with a good set and a sharp, tangy flavour that I like.
The night before I had also spent a couple of hours cutting up vegetables and leaving them in salt over night.
So as well as the marmalade yesterday, I also turned all these into a batch of piccalilli. Earlier in the week I made twenty jars of plum jam, so my store cupboard is looking quite healthy at the minute. Now I need to print off a few more labels.
I have also bought the ingredients to make my Hot chili and ginger jam' which is very popular with my customers, so I will probably get that made this week too.
This week I have been able to help out Julie, our choir leader, organise some songs for the children in our village to sing at the start of our concert here in December for the village charity ASADIS. Julie sent me the words for Away in a Manger in Spanish, and my lovely son Ben recorded the music and also a version of him singing it in English to give them an idea of how it goes. It is not a carol usually sung by the Spanish children. I took copies of the words and a CD of the music up to my friend Cati who will teach it to the children. Yesterday Julie came over to have lunch with me, and we went through the song with Cati, so she understands what we want. After our summer concert, the first time the children had sung, they asked if they could sing with us next time, so when they have sung, they will do it again with us singing as well. They are also learning another Spanish song which is very like our 'Little drummer boy'. The parents will all come to hear them, and it forges a lovely link between "us and them".
I also went up to the town hall and managed to book a room in the village for the concert. The man there speaks no English so I was really pleased to be able to do this and feel sure that we both understood everything. It is more down to greater confidence than ability on my part, but I do feel I am finally making some progress in communication.
As a finale to yesterday (I hope you can now understand why I forgot to post this then), I drove over to Vera to a concert given by a very musical family that I had met before, but I had never seen them performing. It was a lovely evening. The mother is a trained opera singer and she was very good. Her husband played a keyboard and provided backing vocals, and all the children sang and played instruments. The older boy was a percussionist, mainly playing bongo drums, and a drum kit, and his brother's first instrument was the trumpet though he also played an acoustic guitar and had a beautiful treble voice. The older girl played electric guitar and the little one used maracas (keeping perfect timing right through a long song), as well as playing violin.
What an accomplished family! I am looking forward to going to their Christmas concert in December.
Now I am off to see what has brightened the lives of everyone else. Have a blessed week!