Whoa, here we are at the penultimate post of the year, and what a busy week it has been. Lots of photos again this week peeps but I couldn´t choose any to leave out!I am starting with my smile of the week which came
from a lovely card I received from one of my sewing group friends. It is actually much prettier than this in shades of mint green and pink, but I deliberately edited it to make sure you could read the words. She said she saw a similar poem somewhere and adapted it to suit what she wanted it to say. I am sure all my crafting friends will appreciate it!
I will be linking that up with Annie´s Friday Smiles in just a minute.
But first I will do a quick run through the rest of my week. So we´ll start with Sunday when we had our carol concert at church. The choir we sing in was leading the music, and I also did one of the readings. I love the carol service and this one was no exception.
We don´t normally have a service at night, but that evening I was invited to attend a Christingle service at the little Anglican church in Mojacar. It is actually quite a distance beyond Mojacar, out on the road towards Carboneras, and it took a good half hour to drive there. Chris came with me. We had not been to this church before so we weren´t sure where it was, but it turned out to be quite easy to find. It had been raining all day and only stopped just as we went out, so there was a lovely pale washed-out look to the sky, and the sun did try to break through giving us a shiny road to follow as it was reflected off the wet surface.
It looks almost like a painting doesn´t it?
As we drove along the coastal road, the sky lightened.
Then we turned inland a little, and on the other side of the hills, the sun was still shining - just!
The church itself was a lovely little building set on a small hill with some narrow, steep steps leading up to it. The design was interesting. Apparently it was built by a man who had lived, and made his money in the Philippines, and he had chosen to make the front of it resemble a shell.
The best part about the evening was the reason I was invited to attend. I had the privilege to accept a cheque from the church for 1,000€ on behalf of ASADIS. I had hoped to take my Spanish friend Cati with me, as she runs this charity, but unfortunately she was unable to come, so I collected it for her.
What a generous gift! It will do so much for the disabled children in our village.
On Monday we had our next Cantante choir concert. Again we had a good crowd turn up to listen to us. I think we get better with each performance.
Tuesday was concert number five, and in many ways this was the best one of all. We went to residential home in Velez Rubio.
This is not a very good photo, but I did not take it. I am using it because it is the only one that I am in! (I´m fourth from the left, at the back). Normally I am holding the camera, but on this day quite few were taking photos, and someone gave me this one. It is the only one I have of us in our lovely, sparkley, Christmassy green and red scarves. The gentleman in the wheelchair was the reason we were there. He used to sing with us, but is too unwell to do so now, and he was so thrilled that we went to him instead. (The gentleman at the end of the front row has photo-bombed us, but that´s alright!). The home has a cross section of able-bodied, elderly residents, and others who need full time nursing care, and most of them came along to the concert, even those in wheelchairs and stretcher beds. One younger man, who probably had cerebral palsy, was in a wheelchair, unable to move much or to speak, but when he heard the music, especially when one of our musicians played the clarinet polka, his face lit up and you could see he was just dancing inside. It was an amazing moment. Just along side of me there was a very frail lady, all wrapped up in a reclining chair and she appeared to be asleep, but all through every song, her hands were beating in perfect time to the music. It was such a rewarding afternoon.
In the entrance hall of the home there was this lovely Belén (Nativity scene) set up. Out here these always include all aspects of village life, so you may just be able to see the goatherd with his flock, the butcher killing a pig, and the women drawing water at the fuente.
The big towns and cities set up several Beléns in marquees on their plazas and street corners.
The town where the home is, is inland from here and quite a bit higher than us. The views as we drove up were wonderful. Again it was a wet day on and off, but the cloud formation looked like a tornado, funnelling up from the mountains (or it might have been down to them!).
It was considerably colder up there, but fortunately we weren´t going right up to the snow caps. Our destination was the little town nestling down below them.
Wednesday was the day of our sewing group party. Everyone was in high spirits, especially when Father Christmas came to distribute presents, and our organiser dressed up as Santa´s Little Helper! I love the bright pink tights.
We sat around enjoying nibbles and drinks, handed out, and received, lots of cards, and made groups on each table to do a Christmas quiz. Some of us did manage to get our knitting or sewing out, but not much work was done!
Then a couple of kind husbands arrived to ferry us to a nearby restaurant where we had a lovely dinner. It was a Spànish meal rather than a typical English Christmas dinner, and it was all very nice.
This is the restaurant we were at. It is actually a hostel with a large indoor dining room as well as an outside bar and summer dining area under canvas. We are going there for dinner on Christmas Day this year, with a group of friends. We normally have a very quiet day at home together, but we thought it might be a nice change to go out this year. I took this photo this week. I hope we get a blue sky like that on Christmas Day too.
On Thursday we had yet another dinner out. This time it was the one organised by the Town hall for Los
mejores, literally "The old ones", of the village and surrounding area. We do pay to go to this, but it is heavily subsidised by the Town. There were five coach loads of us travelling in convoy just down the motorway a bit, to a large function room. We had an excellent five course meal, and as much of anything we wanted, to drink. Judging by all the empty plates on our table, I think we all enjoyed the dessert! There was a Flemenco singer/dancer to entertain us, and then disco music for dancing before we were all bused back home.
We arrived home at ten past seven, and by eight o´clock we had changed our clothes and driven to Alfoquia, (half an hour from here) and were ready to sing in our final concert for this season. It was a bit of a rush, but worth the effort to get there. The bar where we were singing was packed out, and they gave us a standing ovation at the end. You could just feel that it had gone well.
So now everything has almost finished and this week I can settle down, maybe watch some television and do some knitting, and just a little festive cooking too.
I have enjoyed seeing everyone else´s decorations over the past couple of weeks so here are a few of mine. I showed the tree last week, but I finally got the rest up inbetween doing everything else, and I do like to see them.
A few weeks ago I showed you a big branch I found under a pine tree so here is what I did with it. It has also got twinkling white lights twined around it, but I couldn´t get a good photo when they were switched on.
Under this, on the hall table, I have my white Mary and Joseph that I made several years ago, and my little fabric nativity that I made when my now forty-year old son, was about five! It really is on its last legs now, but I can´t bear not to have it out every year.
Also in the hall is this picture which I sewed in cross stitch when I was still in UK. It took ages to do because I hated sewing with the gold metallic thread, but I liked it when it was finished. The cut star of fabric was part of the kit, and I was so pleased when I found a gold frame to fit it in. Now it comes out every Christmas and is a part of our tradition.
I wonder how many of you saw the film Pollyanna. One of my sisters took me to see it when I was quite small and I loved it. I always watch it again when it is shown on TV and I still need a box of tissues beside me when I do! In it, the little girl is taken to visit a grumpy old bed-ridden woman, and she finally makes her smile by taking the crystals from her chandelier and stringing them across the window so that rainbows danced around the room. I always said, that one day I would have crystals on my windows, and so I have. There are three on my kitchen window and I love to watch the rainbows on my walls and cupboards. So do the cats and it is really funny to see them trying to catch them!
When I was in Granada last week I bought a new crystal. It´s a bit more fancy than my others, and I have hung it on the porch door. It is so pretty, and although it is a bit like a Christmas tree, I shall leave it up when the other decorations come down. Our room is long and fairly narrow, and too dark for my liking, but this proved to me that the light from the porch at one end, does really reach right up to the other end, because there is a door there into the hall, and when I was standing there this week, this is what I saw on the panes of frosted glass in it. Pollyanna would be proud of me!
This quilted tree is new. I only made it last year, but the cross stitched ornaments below it are some my sister Jean made for me many years ago. They have hung from various things over the years, but last year I attached them to a fabric wreath I made, and that´s where they are staying.
And finally here is a lovely metal branch with big mother-of-pearl ´pennies´on it, that always hangs on the sitting room wall. At Christmas I hang decorations on it like another little tree.
I nearly forgot to add how grateful I am that my computer issues seem to be sorted at last. Chris has done everything he could think of to try and improve my internet, including restoring the system to how it was when I had it new, and it had improved the situation a lot. But it seems that half of the problem was down to our provider, and they sent a man round tonight who has added a new larger antenna, and now my internet is working as it should, all evening. So I don´t need to be doing this at silly o´clock in the morning, but I still am, because I have only just found time to start on it! I must do some time-management for next year.
Well as usual I have rabbited on for rather a long time but I do have just four sky photos for you before I go. I glanced out of my window on Monday at teatime and saw a few orange stripes in the sky.
I didn´t think we had had enough sun for there to be much of a sunset, but when I went out to feed the dogs, I took my camera with me anyway. And I was rewarded because the orange gradually got deeper.
Then suddenly the whole sky was on fire, and it really took me by surprise.
No, I am not looking for any faces in that one, but I just had to add this one because there is no denying that a bat - or maybe a flying cat - is swooping down on us here! I hope you can see it too, or you will be thinking that I really have lost the plot.
Well that´s it from me. I shall link up with Annie, and with Virginia at her Rocking my World blog, and then I´m off to bed.
A big Thank you to all my followers who faithfully plough through my weekly ramblings, and leave such nice comments,. I do appreciate you all. And I wish you all a Very Happy Christmas, and Prosperous and Healthy New Year.