Yes, my son Ben was here on a visit. He is my baby and it is always a pleasure to have him here, so this photo is also my smile for the week, and I will be linking it up with Annie´s blog for her Friday Smile, in a minute.
Ben, and his partner Dave, had already spent a few days in their ´Happy place´in Benidorm, and then they caught a bus from there to Vera town - just five minutes from here, so it was all very easy for them. We went to pick them up on Wednesday, and unfortunately for them we were in the middle of a few days of rain and wind. The Levante winds were blowing, gusting up to 70kmh, so it wasn´t very nice for them. But at least they were able to make themselves comfortable and warm in the house, and we had a couple of days catching up with each others news, eating and drinking, and just relaxing together.
We ventured out for a couple of evenings, doing the quiz at our local bar on Thursday, (team Perry didn´t win but we weren´t last either!), and on Friday having at excellent meal at that same bar, and then moving on to another one further down through the village to attend a charity event. It was primarily a Spanish evening, but there were quite a few English there as well. They were raising money for a local little girl called Gema who has cerebral palsy. You may remember a couple of years back, I worked with the Vera Lions Club to help raise the money to buy her a walking frame so she could move independently at school. Well now she needs to go to Seville for a month of intensive therapy, so a small flat has been rented for her and her mother, and after Friday night´s event, they have all the money they need for this trip, for this year. She will need to go for a month each year, but at least this year is all sorted.
There was a big raffle, and some items were auctioned. They raised over 1,000 € on Friday which is pretty good for one night. There was a Spanish singer to entertain us, and when he wanted a break from singing he did a
short spell of karaoke. Of course Ben had to have a go, but it turned out the book was mostly Spanish songs, and from the one page of English ones, there were only a couple that he knew. So he ended up belting out Bohemian Rhapsody which is a bit out of his range, but everyone seemed to enjoy it.
On Saturday morning we had to take Dave back to the bus station for his bus to Alicante, as he had to get home for work on Monday, but Ben stayed with us until early Thursday morning.
Fortunately the sun came out and it got much warmer, so he grilled himself on a lounger and went home with a very pink tummy! We managed to fit in a trip around the market, and a walk along the beach, but really this was a holiday for relaxing and doing very little.
Sunday was Ben´s birthday, and it was nice to be able to celebrate with him this year. He was twenty -eight but he will always be my baby!He was born in my fortieth year (yes I can hear you all doing the arithmetic!), and was our ´added blessing´after we thought our family was complete. As I knew he would be here for his birthday I made a picture for him with an inked background, and a picture and words cut from vinyl. It is to go on the wall of his music room in his new house.
We also gave him the counted cross stitch picture that I finished a few weeks ago, and had managed to get framed for him. I have shown that one on here already, so I won´t say any more, except that you can read more about both pieces on my other blog, here.
Ben loved them both, especially the cross stitch one, and can´t wait to get them hung in his room.
Saturday was also Carnival day in the village, and we were so pleased that the rain had stopped and it was fairly sunny, if still a bit cold, for the parade at tea-time. Carnival is just a day when anyone and everyone can dress up as foolishly as they want to, and it is always a fun day, where everyone is happy and just enjoying themselves. Here´s what one of the bands looked like.
I will post the rest of the carnival photos at the end of this blog.
That night we had a nice sunset because the sun had broken through but there were also still plenty of storm clouds around.
I rather liked this photo when the rays of the setting sun landed on the Cabrera mountains below the village, turning them a lovely rosy pink.
Sunday dawned very windy and cold again, but it was still bright and sunny. We had stayed up late the night before so we could have Ben´s birthday after midnight, so I left him and his dad still sleeping and I went off to the new church I now attend. From there you can see right across the rambla to the mountains beyond, and they had a fresh layer of snow on the tops of them.
I always think the snow looks lovely when there are blue skies and sunshine as well.
After a fairly quiet week, we decided to end his holiday on a high, so we had a party/evening of music at our house for his last day. One of our friends brought her piano over for Ben, so he could play and sing for us. My friend Eileen also sang a few songs and Sue played some piano for us.
There were several members of our choir there and we tried to join in on a few songs but we kept forgetting the words! But it was fun anyway. There were about thirty people all squeezed into our house, so it was a bit like playing sardines and musical chairs rolled into one!
I made four different kinds of soup and several desserts, and our friends mostly brought plates of savouries and cakes, so no-one went home hungry.
I had invited my Spanish friend Cati and her daughter Maria who loves music. She likes to sing, so Ben managed to get the karaoke screen up on our TV, and he and Eileen helped her to sing Mama Mia, which made her so happy, she was smiling all night after that.
Ben and I had worked out a list of songs that he could play without the music or the chance to practice them (I didn´t give him any warning and he has no piano here to practice on!). I was in charge of the list, and Bless him, he did manage to do almost all of them during the evening.
Ben writes a lot of his own songs, but he also does some very good cover versions. There are a few on youtube, but mostly now he uploads them to Soundcloud. I am not sure whether I can share them with you from there, but I will put a link for one here, and perhaps you can tell me whether you can listen to it. Then I´ll know for another time. It is one he wrote and it is very sad, but it touched me, and now he always sings it for me. Here he is doing what he does best.
For various reasons we started the party at 4.30 in the afternoon, so it was expected to end fairly early, and most of the guests had left by nine. But our friends from the village, Tony and Eileen, stayed on. Sue had taken her piano home by then as she needed it for the next morning, but Ben used his phone to cast various karaoke tracks onto the TV and he and Eileen took it in turn to sing. Tony used to be the sound man for several bands, and he had supplied Ben with a microphone and amp so they were quite happy to just keep going. Chris and I joined in with the ones we knew, and we went on until midnight! So it was a long session in the end. That is the way most Perry functions end, but back in UK we used to go on until nearly the next day! I sent the men off to bed while I put any perishable food away,(there wasn´t all that much left in the end), and I filled the dishwasher and put that on, and was soon tucked up myself.
This was just as well as we had to up in the morning, ready to leave the house by 7.00, because Ben had a train to catch from Lorca. He is now in Barcelona, where my grandson and some friends have met up with him, and they are going to have a fun weekend together before getting home for work next week. So he has made the most of his time out here.
Just one other little thing that made me happy this week was when the door bell rang and the post lady was there with a big box for me. Inside was some wool I had ordered online a while ago. We don´t have a lot of choice for wool out here, and I wanted something different to keep my interest going when I am doing knitting for my babies in Africa. This one had caught my eye, and I have to say I am really pleased with it. I have started a multi-coloured blanket and it is working up really well. I´ll be showing you when I have done a bit more.
So I have had a lovely couple of weeks, and the best bit has been sharing it with son number five!
Now I will link up with Annie at A Stitch in time, and Virginia at Rocking my World, and then I will add all the other photos of the characters in the carnival parade.
Thank you for staying with me to the end of this two week issue. I will see you again next week.
They didn´t really need captions did they? I´ll leave it up to you to decide what they all are!