Hi again folks. I warn you now this post is a bit photo heavy but I will start with my smile which is this.
I am smiling because it is a photo of Jonathan, our son number four, playing his drums at the Eindhoven Psych lab festival in Holland last week. I don't pretend to particularly like or understand his style of music, but it makes me smile to see him play. He looks so fierce at times, but he puts his heart and soul into it, and he was so thrilled when his band was invited to play at this festival.
It makes a change for me to feature him rather than his younger brother Ben, whose own compositions, and covers of power ballads, I can relate to. He came home from work this week to hear the news of the tragedy in Orlando, and straight way sat down to write a song as a tribute to the fallen there. He always turns to his music to express his feelings, and it might not be the best song he has ever written, but I love the fact that he cared enough to write it. I can't share it here as he has only uploaded it to Facebook and not youtube, so not everyone can access it.
Well we have had quite a week here. The temperature has hit a high for June with the thermometer on our shady porch, showing almost 40º on Monday. Add to that a strong wind that felt like the air steam from a hot hair-dryer, and you can tell that it was more comfortable staying indoors on that day. Most other days it has been well into the thirties, but I can cope with that. I am not keen on hot wind though!
We do stay in on the worst afternoons but there have been a few events to take us out too, starting with last Saturday. The nearby town of Mojacar had its annual Moors and Christians Fiesta. We have been to the main acting and parades up in the pueblo on other years, but we have never been to see the horses down on the beach, so this year I managed to prise Chris away from the football for a while and we drove down to Mojacar Playa. Needless to say nothing happened until at least an hour after the advertised time, but you come to expect that in Spain, in fact it can really catch you out when something actually starts on time!! However, there are plenty of beach bars where you can sit and wait, and eventually various groups of girls in elaborate costumes started to arrive.
The clothes are amazing but I am glad I didn't have to wear them under the relentless sun.
Then a group of horses that had been mustering to our left, started walking along the beach in front of our bar, and on to the far side of a metal gantry that had been set up in front of a small platform with rows of chairs on it. The horses where all shapes, sizes and colours, and they stepped carefully across the hot sand.
They were all beautiful beasts but this one was my favourite.
When they arrived at the area marked off with plastic tape, the riders donned their costumes and walked the horses around to keep them settled. We were able to walk among them and take photos.
Then the 'jousting' began. A wire was stretched across the gantry, and on it were wound lots of coloured sashes with a loop at the end. The horses took it in turns to gallop under the wire as their riders tried to catch a loop with a long wooden pole. If they caught one, then one of the girls, who were now sitting on the rows of shaded seats, tied it around the man's arm and off he went to try again.
We watched the men who were dressed to represent the Moors. Then it was the turn of the Christians, but by then we had had enough sun, and we decided to go home to cool down and see the next football match!
Also on Saturday, in the morning, I met up with my friend Cati for coffee, and then we went to a local shop to buy some equipment for the speech therapist to use with the children of ASADIS.
The money for these items was part of the donation made by a group of lady bowlers. I posted a few weeks ago about our visit to the school to take them the main items, and I agreed to look after the balance of their donation while the staff chose suitable items for the classroom and the therapist. As Cati was unable to go to the therapy session this week, I then agreed to go there on Monday and give the books and games to her. It was Jose Antonio's session with the therapist when I got there, and he was eager to see what was inside the boxes.
On Wednesday I went to my sewing group as usual but I came home early so that we could drive over to Palamares to collect a second-hand barbecue that we had bought through a local internet sale page. It is big and robust, and we are going to enjoy using it. Fortunately the man selling it had warned me that it was too big to go in our car and we would need two men to lift it, so I was very grateful to our friend Phil, who agreed to come with us with his courier van. Between them, Chris and Phil got it into the van and home safely.
Then in the evening we had a choir practice. It was important to be there as there are only two more before our big summer concerts. It was very windy and I didn't enjoy the drive to get there. We saw a small van get blown off the road, and I could feel my car being pushed out of its lane. I was grateful that I had just filled the tank with diesel, which gave it a bit more weight and stability. I'm glad it has calmed down a bit since then.
Thursday was another big day as it started with my long awaited hospital appointment for the problems I have with my arms. I set out at 8.30 as I was picking up a friend to translate for me on the way. (I could have told him most of what I wanted to, but I couldn't be sure I would understand what he said to me, so for something as important as that, it was worth taking a translator along). As the sun was rising we noticed an interesting pattern of clouds in the sky. They seemed to be in separate strips, all funnelling into one. I took a quick photo of them before we went on to the hospital.
We were there all morning, but in one visit I saw the consultant, had an X-ray, saw the consultant again and had a chat with him, had a cortizone injection in my shoulder, and was given a prescription for analgesia, and an appointment with the physiotherapist. I was sure the problem was caused by tearing muscles which resulted in major surgery for me twelve years ago, so I was surprised when he said it was not muscular, but I have severe degenerative arthritis in my right shoulder and moderate in the left. So not wonderful news but at least he took me seriously and did what he could for me, and you can't fault the service which was excellent. So I guess I keep taking the pills and rattle along doing what I can, and leaving what I can't!
I was glad to get home by lunchtime, because that afternoon I was on the fund-raising committee that had organised an "Ascot Ladies Day" to raise funds for our church. The clouds had all gone by then, but it was hot and unfortunately too windy to keep up any parasols, but we managed. It was a wonderful afternoon and everyone who came really enjoyed it. It was good to see lots of 'non-church' people there too. Everyone joined in with the spirit of the occasion, with the men looking smart, and the ladies in their 'posh frocks' with hats or fascinators to match.
It was held alongside the church, and the railings had been decked with flags and bunting.
Each of the committee members had a job to do.
Sylvia looked after the lucky dip for the children. She found a shady corner to sit in!
Three gentlemen looked after the Royal Enclosure where cava and canapés, beer and wine could be purchased. Sadly we had to abandon the idea of their pergola for shade.
No-one got through the door passed Dudley, without buying a raffle ticket!
Margie and Chris were heading up the catering team who prepared and served the sandwiches and cakes that were a part of the entry ticket.
Honest Al and his helper Jasmine took the bets (one euro only allowed) for each race.
Chris and I look like we are just enjoying the sunshine here, but we were ready at our table to pay out on all the winning tickets at the end of each race.
The whole idea for the day was down to Di who did an excellent job of organising it all, and carefully explained to everyone how the races would work. I love the names she thought up for each one.
We needed six 'horses' for each race so we encouraged the children to be these, though some of the adults enjoyed having a go too, (and they were equally as excited as the children when they won one of the winners rosettes I had made for them). There were plenty of helpers on hand to get them ready at the starting gate.
Each had a number and they moved forward one floor tile each time their number was rolled on a dice. It kept things moving quite quickly, and was a lot of fun.
Here are a few our guests. Some pretty ladies trying to find some shade from the surrounding shrubs.
My friends Sue and Keith showing us what this dressing-up lark is all about.
Jean is the oldest, and a much-loved member of the church. Didn't she just look the part! I believe she is eighty- eight now, and she is one lovely lady.
The whole afternoon was a great success, and I am sure on Sunday we will hear how much we raised. The funds will be useful but the real aim was to show the local community that we are an active and lively church, and I think we managed to do that very well. (Disclaimer - some of these photos are my own, but most were taken by our 'Press Photographer', a friend who gave me permission to use them here).
We got back home at around 7.00, so the dogs were getting anxious about their tea. I quickly fed them and made a cup of tea, and then I promptly fell asleep for the next three hours! Amazingly I still slept when I finally got to bed, so I must have needed it.
I think that is about it for this week. I do have some pretty, tranquil sky photos to close with, taken early on Monday evening, when the wind had whipped up a few clouds - but only very little ones.
That's a nice peaceful ending isn't it? Now I will link up with Annie's Friday Smiles, and Rocking Your World. Keep smiling everyone, and have a good week.