Well Hello everyone. Seems like ages since I posted here, but I have been enjoying the company of two of my grandsons, who each brought their girl-friends to meet us, and we had a lovely time together. It was also our village fiesta which they wanted to experience first hand. So now I have two weeks of news to condense into a readable blog-post. For the sake of readers who think I don't adhere very closely to the idea of Rocking your world, I will just explain that this blog was started as a means of keeping my family up to date on our lives in Spain. It has grown into a weekly diary which is now read by many folk beyond my family, so I hope you know you are all welcome, and I really appreciate the comments you leave.
As usual I will start with my Friday smile which this week is, of course, my four lovely visitors. The boys are cousins, both nineteen years old, and born just six weeks apart. Most of our friends out here are retired like us, and it was lovely to have some young company in the house.
They soon settled in, and began to enjoy the warmth and sunshine. I had met Emily before but only heard about Jess, but they were both lovely girls. Kim soon realised he had found a new friend in Jess, and always went to her for extra attention.
It is too hot now for long days out but we had a few short trips, followed by a long siesta, and then a fun evening out, which we sometimes joined them for, but not every day. We went up to Mojacar Pueblo so they could pick up a few gifts to take home. This is the little white village on top of the hill, overlooking Mojacar Playa or beach. The view at the top is fantastic, but it is hard to catch it on camera. Not that that stopped me trying though!
We spent one morning at the village pool. It is only open during July and August, which is a shame. It is a beautiful pool, always spotlessly clean, with a lovely view of the mountains. We nearly cooked ourselves that day because we stayed in the water for so long, with our head and shoulders in the sun all the time. It was like bobbing around in a huge bath.
Another day I left them at the beach and went back
for them later. Even at the height of the summer season our beaches are not crowded like the ones at home are, and there is always a bright array of colourful umbrellas, because everyone takes their own, so they are all different.
Marcus and Emily could only stay for the first week, so towards the end of it they said the four of them wanted to take us out for a meal. We went to a place called Hostel Rural in Turre, where the food is always good, and the setting is lovely. They were very surprised when we were given a schnapps 'on the house' when we were leaving, though this is quite usual out here. We sat outside to drink them, and took it in turns to take a photo of each couple under a tunnel of vines.
The fiesta started on 16th this year which is the actual
Saint's day for Virgen del Carmen, our village patron saint, so the first event was an open air mass in her honour on the plaza. All the villagers dress up in their flamenco clothes and bring floral tributes to place around the statue. There was a lovely old priest who led the mass this year, and even with my limited understanding of the language I could tell he had a great sense of humour.
After this we joined the throng sitting around on the plaza, drinking vino tinto from plastic cups, and eating tapas, into the early hours of the next day! Chris and I were the first to go home, followed an hour later by the two girls, but the lads stayed the course, stumbling in at 7.00 the next morning. Unfortunately we had to pour a rather fragile young man onto his plane later that day, but he made it home. Oh to be nineteen again!
The other main event of the fiesta is the 'cintas', or ribbons, which are wound around a rope stretched across the road, and the boys ride their bikes under it and try to catch a ribbon. When they do, one of the 'cinteras', or young girls, ties the ribbon around the boy like a sash, ans gives him a kiss and a gift. It is a strange ritual but very much a part of the tradition of this fiesta. The little girls dress up for the occasion and they look so cute.
I couldn't resist taking this picture because the little
girl is posing so unselfconsciously. It is a typical Spanish pose, and they seem to be born with a natural ability to do it.
The fiesta was all over by the weekend, but on Saturday we had one of those days when the only thing to do is to stay inside. The temperature soared to well above forty out in the sun, and there was a strong wind that felt like a giant hair-drier blowing on you. Fortunately it was all gone by the next day, leaving a film of fine, brown dust on everything.
On Monday I took Mikey and Jess down to Garrucha harbour and we had a wander around there.
There was a replica of an old tall-ship at one of the docks. Both the youngsters are fair-skinned but they managed to pick up a bit of a tan, and lots of
new freckles! At least they went home looking as though they had had a good holiday. There is a bar along the harbour that sells a particular line of wine that comes in lovely blue bottles. They range the empties all around their seating area, and I love the look of them.
On their last day, we took Mikey and Jess out for a drive as we had not ventured far from home all through their holiday. They were all used to family holidays where they 'went some-where' every day, and they were looking forward to just
relaxing by the pool, and doing their own thing. But they liked the idea of a little outing for the last day so we drove them over the mountain at the end of Mojacar Playa, to Carbonares, and then on to Agua Amarga which means Bitter water. There are some viewpoints at the top of the hill,
where you can see out along the coast. It makes you realise how rugged and unspoilt our bit of Spain is. It's not all like Benidorme and Torrevieja!. Looking back the way we came, you can just see the road we had travelled on a few minutes earlier. We drove straight through Carbonares which is a fairly ordinary sea-side town, and stopped when we got to Agua Armarga. This is a pretty fishing village with a bay that is geared up for holiday makers, with an area for pedalos, ball -game nets etc. There is a chirinnguito on the sand where we were happy to sit in the shade of the palm trees, and enjoy a cold drink before we drove back home again.
There have been other things besides the visitors to make me happy in the last few weeks.
On Wednesday 16th I was invited to be guest
designer for the Butterfly Challenge when the theme was 'Spots and Stripes'. This is the card I made, and you can read more about here HERE.
This challenge happened to coincide with one of my sisters' birthdays, so I was able to send the card to her, but I made sure it reached her so she could see it 'for real' before she saw it on my blog.
I made my first commissioned vinyl creation for my son to give to his partner on his birthday, and he loved it, so that was a big relief. Here is a small photo of it but I have not written a blog post about it yet. It was made using his favourite colour and poem. (It has one letter missing in this photo, which fortunately I spotted and put right before I sent it on to him!).
I have know for a few weeks that we would be great-grandparents again around Christmas time, and I know know that the baby is a boy, so Isaac will have a little brother to play with!