Saturday, December 5, 2015

Rocking Your World 2015: Week 49

Here we are again, at another Friday, and taking the opportunity to look back at last week and consider all the positive things that happened during it.
But first here is my Friday Smile. I am sure those of you who use social media will have already seen this, but I have some followers who don't, and I think it will make them smile. Of all the Christmas posts that keep popping up, this is the one I like. Some dogs know exactly what they have done wrong, and have a very guilty expression, but this one is bluffing his way out of trouble .... or is he?
And here are our three pooches. For once they are not looking guilty! At food time, I call them to this gate, open it, and make them sit and wait until I have walked along the back of the house and round the corner, and then I call them round. This was originally to stop an over exuberant, very large puppy, from bowling me over every meal time! But on this day I kept them waiting for much longer, because there was a beautiful sky and I wanted to catch it on camera before it died away. So these faces are saying, 'Are we getting any tea tonight?' The large puppy is now the large dog, and as pack leader he always sits at the front.
Last week I did a fairly brief post (for me anyway) because I was pretty busy all day, and I knew I would be out in the evening. I was attending a charity Christmas market in the town of Arboleas, some half hour drive from here. The choir I now sing with, Incognito Singers, were invited to go along to sing some Christmas music, and it was our first public performance. I think we looked rather good in our purple scarves and fleeces, don't you?
We were singing in a large marquee, with a high roof, so the acoustics weren't that good. The space was busy with fifty or so stalls set out around it.

Earlier there had been a good crowd browsing them, but then they came to the front to listen to us sing, and we had some very positive comments afterwards. We went back again on Sunday at 1.00 to sing our Christmas songs again at their party. It was a bit of a dash after church, but fortunately we were in the right area, and we made it in time. I have four friends at church who also sing in the choir.
Between our two choir events we had the Chaplaincy Christmas Fayre down on Mojacar Playa, on Saturday morning. This is the most important fund-raising date on the calendar. Our church group has to be self-financing, so we are continually fund-raising throughout the year, but the Christmas fayre is best event. Once again we were very blessed with a beautiful day. There was no chill wind and the sun shone all morning. In fact it was a nicer day than we had for our Spring fayre in May, and here we were at the end of November, putting up umbrellas to shield the cake stall from the sun!
It oficially opened at 10.00 but we were there at 9.00 to set up the stalls. All the stall holders wore red and white, to help identify us as much as anything, and Janet, one of the organisers, wore her usual Santa outfit. She was much too hot by mid-morning.
I wasn't manning a specific stall, but I was a floating assistant, standing in when anyone wanted a break, or the chance to look around at the other stalls. This was the jam stall and of course there are several jars of my piccalilli and marmalade there, as well as my other jams, and lots donated by other folk as well. It all sold very well and most of this was gone by the end of the fayre.
Many English folk have already returned to UK to spend Christmas with their families, and we felt there were fewer visitors to the fayre than usual, but sales were good, and we raised 3750€ which was a wonderful result.
Despite it being a busy weekend, Chris and I had booked tickets for a Flamenco night at a local bar on Saturday night. Being Spanish, it didn't start until nearly 10.00pm, and we weren't sure we were really up for it, but I am so glad we went. It was an excellent night. There was one young man playing Spanish guitar and he was very accomplished. He played all evening, on his own at first, and then for the two ladies who were singing, and for the dancer. Flamenco singing is very dramatic and emotional, and the two girls were some of the best we have heard.

They also sang almost non-stop all evening while the girl danced to their stories. She was certainly the best we have seen. At only twenty-two years old, she had danced all over Europe, and was so expressive with her movements. It is the first time we have seen castinets used properly in Flamenco dancing, and she was an expert at all the stamping and tapping. Most of the time she moved too fast for me to get a good photo, as you can see in this one.

We spent Monday working together in the garden. It has been on our 'to do' list for a while. We only have a little bit of planted land, but a lot in pots, and we needed to do a lot of weeding. I also planted out some winter flowering pansies that I bought at the Fayre on Saturday. It all looks a lot better now.

Although I have had a lot on recently, I have tried to take a couple of hours out each day, usually after lunch, to sit outside in the last of the sun when possible, and just read, listen to music or do some of my knitting, (usually that means listening to music while I knit/crochet). As a result I am back on track with my blanket, and both of this week's squares are done. I have made half the blanket now, with eight large squares made, and eight more to go. Then, of course, I will have to do a border but that won't take long.  I have to wait for Sunday for Lucy to post the colour combination for the next two squares now.

The sun has been out every day this week. It is hard to believe it is now December. But as soon as the sun dips behind the hills it gets quite chilly. We have managed to get our gas fire burning properly again this week, so the front room is nice and cosy, though I am more likely to spend my evenings down here in my craft room. When I was sorting out the garage I found the old cat bed that Kim liked to curl up in when he was a puppy! He only fitted in it for about a week, but he still liked to sleep on it. Then I put it away and forgot about it. So now it has been washed and is on the floor under the kitchen table, with a piece of sheepskin to line it, and Tango has adopted it. Paco and Luna get in it sometimes, but he soon gets rid of them and snuggles down again.

I am pleased that I managed to finish off all my Christmas cards for UK and the rest of the world, and they have been posted before the two bank holidays at the start of next week, mess up the postal system! Now I must write my ones for Spain as I have a feeling I may need to make a few more.

We also received our first three Christmas cards on December 1st this year, and every one featured a robin. I wonder whether that is going to be a trend this year.

I had a long chat to my sister Jean this week, on Skype, and another with my son Mike. I do love skype!

The postman has brought me some little parcels this week, mainly items if craft that I have bought in the November sales, so a few new dies, and some stamps. Sadly there hasn't been time to play with them yet, but there will be in a week or two. I knew I had one more order to come, so when the door bell rang this evening I did wonder whether it was that, though I was expecting a package in a small envelope, delivered by the post lady in the morning. However, it was a courier with this box, addressed to me.
It didn't weigh much, and when I opened it, it didn't contain much either - just a few airbags!
But no -there was something hiding under them. It was these.
Four packets that would easily have fitted into an A4 envelope, and travelled safely by ordinary mail. Does such a small order really justify a huge empty box, and the high cost of a courier service?!!

And so another week goes by. We had another choir practice on Wednesday night because we sang again today at a private event, and we have another event tomorrow when we have been given more time and will be singing a fuller program. Then we have our friends and family night on Wednesday and I think there will be quite a crowd there this time, so we need to keep practising.

One thing that I had no time to write about last week, though it actually took place on Wednesday 25th November, was a rally for the 'Day against violence and abusive behaviour towards women'. I don´t know whether this was an international event, a national one, or just a local one, but certainly there were events to mark the day all over Andalucia. I would have gone up to the town hall for it, but I was not free on that day, but there were some lovely photos posted online so I thought I'd share a couple.

The lady in the centre, reading from a piece of paper is our Alcadesa, or the Lady Mayor of Los Gallardos. She is very well loved in the village. She is reading from a list of names of women in Spain who were victims of violence this year, and there is a purple balloon for each one. Later the balloons were all released and they looked lovely sailing up into the  'way blue yonder'. You'll need to click on this photo to see a larger version.
So I am tired after a fairly busy week, and I have an equally busy one to look forward to this week. Then the one after that is ridiculous, with one or two events every day, but I love all the Christmas things, and there will be plenty of time to draw breath after that.
So I'll end with the series of photos I took of a beautiful sunset, the day I made the dogs sit at the gate and wait for me!
I'll post them together , in the order that I took them. I am always amazed at how quickly the sky changes, and even when it seems dull and you don't expect a decent sunset at all, the colours gradually come, so it is worth waiting for.

Another masterpiece from the greatest artist of all time!
Don't forget to follow me to Annie's blog for more Friday Smiles, and then on to Celtic House, to see how other folk have found positive things to Rock their World this week.


  1. Such a lovely post again this week Kate. At least one of your Christmas cards arrived safely...thank you. My fav pic this week just has to be the one of your three really well behaved dogs sitting patiently. Of course I do also love your Spanish skies 😀
    Annie x

  2. Wow you have been so busy. Loving the look of those stalls and glad you raised plenty of money. You look fabulous in your our purple outfits at choir too, very envious of you enjoying afternoon sun we've had rain and wind constantly for what seems like weeks. I love the photos of your pets glad you've managed to reuse the dog bed too. The flamenco night looks amazing!!!!! And those sky photos well they are beautiful as always. Have a beautiful and blessed weekend and week ahead. Hugs

  3. Wow! What an exciting week you've had! I'm so pleased the fundraising went well.
    And the choir really look smart in the purple (plus scarves).
    I love that photo of the dogs. Aren't they good. I hope to meet them one day.
    Yes, we did have 'day against violence to women' here too. I posted photos of it on Friday (last) as I participated it that.
    The flamenco looks really interesting. I have never been to such an event. We have many gypsies living here so flamenco type music is all around us but i have never been to a proper event.
    What a ridiculous amount of packing. I would complain about that. Postage is expensive enough and they have made it extra expensive. Perhaps they have a blanket tariff for everything, and package it like that to justify the cost. Well, I still think it's wasteful.
    Looking forward to seeing you on Wednesday,

  4. Your weeks seem to be jam packed rushing about here and there. It's lovely to have things to do that you enjoy taking part in.
    The pic of your pooches is lovely--I could never get mine to stay together for a photo!
    Your evening sky looks so peaceful, I would love to be sitting on the patio with a warm mug of something and watching the colour changes take place.
    Have a wonderful week!

  5. Thank you once again for another lovely, interesting, read and a colourful glimpse into your local culture the life you lead there. You certainly don't waste a minute and even find something of value to do during your essential "rest" periods.
    Love the purple that your choir wears, it is so striking and classy. I saw a choir today when I visited the huge artisan fair in our St George's Hall and they dressed in black but all wore a purple scarf which looked lovely. Their singing was good too!
    Have a good weekend,
    Jo x

  6. I'm glad you had a good day for the Christmas Fayre and that the fund raising went so well. The flamenco evening looks like a great night out. Nice photo of tango in his cosy bed.
    Jean x

  7. What a busy week Kate - love your sunset photos. Your dogs are wonderfully trained, well done :-) Well done on a great fayre result

  8. Such a wonderful post full of smiles. I make my Baxter sit and wait for his food too. I've got it to the point where I don't hae to speak and I just use hand signals. Apologies for my latenesss but as you know from my post I've been away this weekend visiting my boy. Take care Zo xx

  9. Gosh you have had a busy week. I am exhausted just reading about it!
    Well done on your first outing in the choir. You get extra points for wearing purple too!!
    Your doggies are so good for waiting.
    Lovely sunset photos.


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