A very Happy Easter to any of my followers who celebrate it, and here is an Easter picture to make you smile.
This is just some of the Easter cupcakes I made this morning, ready for our village Gallarte Arts and Crafts show. I used to make these every year for my boys, and with the children in my nursery. They are something a bit different for the Spanish folk. Being a catholic country, they put the emphasis on the real story of Easter throughout Semana Santa (Holy week), and give little fuss to the signs of Spring. We hardly get any of those anyway, as we seem to jump from Winter straight into Summer most years. But last year, when I was visiting UK, I picked up a couple of boxes of the fluffy chicks, so I thought I might as well use them. They make me smile because they bring back many happy memories. I shall link this up with Annie´s Friday Smiles in a minute. Do visit Annie if you have a few minutes to spare. This week she also gave me some happy memories to smile about, because she showed some photos (especially for me) of the roads lined with nodding daffodils. I used to live very near where she is, so this is something I remember and it always gave me joy to see them.
It has been a good week weather-wise and has indeed felt like summer most days. It even went up to the mid-thirties around lunch time. My son Jonathan and his partner Ella, were very happy that the rain soon went and they had some lovely sunny days. One day they went down to the beach and came back´cooked´despite raiding my store of sun-cream before they went out.
On Thursday evening we sat out on the porch, with drinks and nibbles, and just chatted all evening and it was the first time I have stayed outside until bed-time without needing to put on a cardigan. (Probably the two ´lobsters´were radiating enough heat to keep me warm!). I like this time of year best of all, because it is summer dress weather but not so hot that you can´t get motivated to do anything.
Kim has had rather a lot of fuss and attention from our visitors. They love all the dogs but this was their first time here since we have had Kim, and they loved his softy nature which is at odds with his size! So that night we tried to make extra fuss of the other two. We gave them a good brush which also means treats, as I have always given them a few special biscuits if they have let me groom them. Then they posed to have their photos taken. So here is Foxy, the smallest of the three. She obviously has some husky in her genes, but goodness knows what else she is. She does have very startling blue eyes.
And here is Miki, our loveable clown. She is looking quite tidy after the hair brushing session, but it will only last for about ten minutes. She is a dopey dog but you can´t help loving her. She will be going to the groomer for an all-over shave soon, but I will try to make her wait until next month so it stays shorter for the hottest months of the summer.
Ella is a vegetarian, which is a very foreign idea to the Spanish, so it is not easy to find anything on a menu for her, and we tend to eat at home most days, but on Friday they wanted to take us out for a meal and Jonathan, who is happy to eat vegetarian when he is at home, decided he wanted a steak. I asked around and was recommended to try a restaurant in Turre that we have never been to before, so we gave it a try, and we had an excellent meal. And even better, instead of offering Ella a plain omelette, which is what usually happens, they actually had a vegetarian menu so she was able to choose what she would have.
Monday was their last day, so we said we would take them out for a menu del día at one of our favourite haunts - La Frontera, the little restaurant on the sea front near San Juan, that I have shown on here many times before. We had a lovely lunch and although it was a bit windy, it was still nice and warm. On the way back to the car I took this photo of them. It is the only time I caught them on camera together all week. It would have been better without the sun glasses, but it was so bright, he just squinted at me when he took them off. (By the way, this is the son who had an operation to repair his damaged nose in January, and it is looking so much straighter now).
Jonathan then took one of Chris and I, which would have been quite a good photo for once, but again it is rather spoiled because our reactolites went so dark, and we are both blind as bats without them!
Each day Jonathan had tested the pool and decided it was too cold, but as it was his last day, and one of the warmest we had had, he was determined to have a dip when we got home from the restaurant. The only way to get in when you know it is going to be cold, is with a quick bomb - And he made it!!
Once in he said it was really quite nice, and he didn´t look too cold. The water thermometer was only showing 19º and I like it to reach around 22º before I get in, but I did manage to get my feet, (and the back of my dress) wet, just to show willing.
The dogs are all a bit scared of the water though we don´t know why. Most dogs love it. But as soon as Jonathan went near the pool, they retreated as far away as they could, and sat with Ella, in the hope she would protect them.
But as soon as Jonathan got out, Kim went over for some more fuss. As I said last week, he knows a kindred spirit when he meets one.
It was nice to have some young company for a week, but sadly we had to take them to the airport early on Tuesday morning. Their plane was delayed for three hours because of 50 mile an hour cross-winds at Manchester, but they eventually got home, after what Jonathan described as the ´worst landing I have ever known´! I am glad I wasn´t travelling with them!
We spent the rest of Tuesday clearing up, getting the first load of washing done, and catching up on the sleep we lost to get them to the airport so early! Then on Wednesday I went to my usual sewing group in the morning, my house group in the afternoon, and in the evening I went to try out at a new choir. I really enjoyed my time with Cantante, but that has almost come to an end now, and with my change to a new church I did not want to continue visiting the old one where the choir met for practices. So a friend asked me to go to the new one and I really enjoyed it. It is quite different from what I am used to, but that is a good thing really, and they are learning some lovely pieces. The leader says he is going to do a one:one vocal test with each of us soon and that thought terrifies me, but I am one of only three altos, so we would have to be really bad to be asked to leave! I´m counting on that anyway!
And that brings us to yesterday. My, how the weeks fly by. Yesterday was special as some friends had invited us to go on a coach trip with them to a village called Cuevas del Campo, which is on the far side of the beautiful Lake Negratin near Baza. There they re-enact a Passion Play on Good Friday, and on Thursday there is a full dress rehersal which we went to.
The lady who organised it, used to live in that village, and she said that on the Friday it is so crowded that
you can´t move, or see anything properly, so it was better to go on the Thursday. It was very impressive, and emotional to watch. It didn´t matter that it was all in Spanish because we knew what was happening anyway. Even if you were not a Christian you could not help but be moved as the acting was so believable, and as I am a Christian and do believe in the Crucifixion and Resurrection, I found it a very moving experience. The photo I have used here shows Jesus releasing a dove of Peace to symbolise His return to life, which is how they ended their play. Because I know it will not interest all of you, but some, and especially some of my family who follow this blog, will want to see more, I will post the rest of the photos at the end of this blog. But before I move on, I will just show you these. Two, newly fledged swallow babies, sat on the wires above us and watched the scene unfolding up on the hill. They were probably wondering where all the extra people had come from.
We have taken visitors to see Lake Negratin several times, but only to the near side of it where there are hot water springs to bathe in, and a small man-made beach. We have never been round to the other side before, so I tried to take some photos as we drove over the dam at the end of the lake. There are some reflections in the sky because I was taking them through the window of a moving coach, but I was still quite pleased with them. It is such a beautiful, serene place.
As soon as the play had finished we went back to our coach and drove down and across the end of the lake again to a lovely restaurant where there was a meal waiting for us. It was such a nice place. The staff were so friendly and helpful, and the food was excellent.
I tried to take some photos looking away from the Lake as we crossed the dam on our way home, but the lighting was all wrong and I got too many window reflections, but I did manage to get this one shot. I just love the layers of misty mountains in sharp contrast to the green of fields near us. Again there is some movement in the foreground, but I still thinks it works.
We didn´t get home until half past midnight so there were no sunset photos that night, but I do have just one from earlier in the week, when the sky was a bright flaming orange, and it looked lovely.
Now I will just load all the rest of the photos from the play and then go and link up with Virginia at Celtic House and Annie at a Stitch in Time.
I´ll end as I began, by wishing you all a very Happy and Blessed Easter, and I´ll see you all again next week.
El Misterio (Passion Play) at Cuevas del Campo.
City gates marked each side of the plaza, guarded by Roman soldiers.
The surprisingly modern village church had a balcony at the front where the trial of Jesus took place.
The first thief to be crucified with Jesus was marched through the streets.
The trial as Pilate tells the Jewish leaders to do what they will with Jesus, and releases Barabbas in his place.
Jesus is taken out by the Roman soldiers and flogged.
The next two photos show a family that caught my eye. I love the little tot riding on the donkey, and the two baby goats staying close to their mother.
At various corners of the road, villagers formed scenes of everyday life in Bible times. These are spinning and taking husks from corn.
More workers winding yarn. I´m not sure they did knitting in those days but we will allow them a little poetic license here.
This man is weaving grasses (esparto work), which would have made their sandals.
Jesus falls the second time and a woman runs out to help Him. She is openly crying as were many of us onlookers too.
Joseph of Arimathea, claims the body of Jesus for burial.
Jesus releases a dove as a sign that although He died, three days later He rose again.