Hello again my friends. Let´s start off with a smile.
Flat Susan has been feeling the cold this week - as have we all - and she has taken refuge in Tango´s fur. I have some photos of them sleeping together, but this is the one that made me smile.
I´m not sure whether Tango is ´Keeping an eye on her´or ´Giving her the evil eye´. I hope it´s the former as she really does love to snuggle up in that silky soft fur. I´ll link this up with Annie´s Friday Smiles later.
It has been a rough week as I am still dealing with a sad situation at my church, but I am so thankful for the friends who have formed a support group, so we can all share our thoughts and talk it through together. Of course we are all thankful to the faithful Lord in whose hands we have left it all.
When driving over to a friend´s house, for a meeting of this group, I stopped along the road to take this photo.
I am actually very glad that I live in a village. Many of my friends are much more isolated, but I love their views. While I was taking this, a little rabbit almost ran over my feet. If you zoom in on this view, you can just see the snow on La Tetica mountain.
I had been talking to my friend about my habit of spotting faces everywhere, and he said "Have you seen our hill Kate?". He took me to their boundary fence, and straight ahead was this hill.
Well I saw the face straight away, and I expect you can too. In fact I can see two faces depending which way I look at it. With the right side as the ´chin´I see a comic, jester-like face, and the other way up, which is how he sees it, it is more like a regal African face.
Then he said "Come and meet Desmond". I followed him across the garden and there he was.
I think the name suits him. He looks rather downcast.
And before I leave the faces, here is a more usual one for me, that I saw in the sky a couple of days ago.
I see it as a rather cute little dog!
Of course the clouds are shape-shifters so he didn´t stay around for long. A few minutes later we had this lovely sky, but my little dog had gone.
I usually leave the sky photos until last but this week I have left another story to the end because I am going to post a whole set of photos. I have put these on Facebook, but as my family don´t use Facebook, I am repeating them on here.
I was very happy to have a distraction on Tuesday, so we went to a fiesta in another village. We took our friend Eileen with us because her husband is in UK and she is on her own. We went to the Bread Festival for San Sebastian, in a little place called Lubrin, which is one of the little white villages nestling in the hills behind us. This is view of Lubrin as we went down towards it, with the big brownstone church of San Sebastian easily recognisable.
It was one of those strange traditions that Spain is so good at celebrating, long after it´s meaning has been lost. I was able to discover that Saint Sebastian was a martyr who was killed for being a Christian. The first time he was tied to a tree and the king´s archers filled him with arrows. Later that night a Christian woman took his body and nursed him back to life, but later he was captured again and stoned to death. But I have not found out what the connection is between him and the bread!
On the 20th January every year, the village celebrates San Sebastian Day by making hundreds of bread rings - like bagels but more rustic bread - and hurling them down from their verandas to the waiting crowds below, while the statue of the Saint is carried through the streets. Mainly the men collect them and I believe originally the aim was to collect twelve - one for each of the disciples - but now they go out with ropes to thread them on, and compete to try and collect the most. As some of the rolls must be baked days in advance they can be very hard, but others are soft and nice to eat, and the village folk come out with bags of cheese and meat and have a picnic at one of the tables set up on the plaza.
There was all the usual things that go with a fiesta out here, a band with a motley collection of instruments, hand carts selling sweets, nuts and cheap toys, and bunches of character balloons everywhere. For this fiesta the children were selling red necker-chiefs; Everyone was wearing them so we bought one as well. They were also selling little tiny bread rings with a red ribbon that everyone wore as a brooch. I later learned that the children had made these in school the previous week. (Flat Susan thought this was just the right size for her).
We arrived in good time, thankful for our thick coats as we were higher up in the mountains than we are used to, and it was several degrees colder up there.We found seats outside a bar and kept ourselves warm with cups of hot coffee/chocolate and brandy, while we watched the preparations. The flags on the balconies alternate, one Spanish and one the flag of Andalucia.
I walked down to the church to see the statue there, and have a look around. Then the bell started to ring to call the people to mass.
By the end of the mass the bread throwing had begun. The more proficient throwers skimmed them like frisbees, and they travelled quite a distance. It could be dangerous if a stale one hit you!
There was great excitement when the procession started from the church, up through the village. The men got really competitive and were jumping up to catch the bread, regardless of who was around them, but it was great fun.
Now I have given you the bare bones of what happened, I´ll just show all the photos. It really was an extraordinary occasion!
We bought our red neck-scarves, and bread brooches.
The band came to entertain us.
I went to the church to see the statue of San Sebastian.
The base of the statue was covered in rustic bread.
Some of the bread had whole eggs, in their shells, baked into them!
Then the church bells rang, calling the people to mass.
Waiting with his sacks of rolls for the procession to begin.
Throwing the bread.
He´s done that before. Not a drop was spilled!
From the balcony above where we were sitting.
Chris catches our first one! Doesn´t he look pleased with himself!
Here they come. Catch!
That one´s mine!!
The statue was carried past our plaza.
A casualty. The bread caught his glasses which cut his nose!
Showing off their collection.
Well I hope you have enjoyed sharing our odd little outing. I will now link up with Virginia, and I´ll see you again next week.