Hello one and all. My Smile this week is a picture of my friend Di and I, having some fun together! There will be more about this in a minute.
This was supposed to be the first week of my 'slow down' time, when most things come to a halt, and we can all relax and unwind before the routine kicks in again in September. But as you will see, it was still quite a busy time for me, and certainly not very relaxing.
So, to start at the beginning of the week, we had a party at church on Sunday. This was a sad occasion as we were saying 'Good-bye' to our lovely vicar, Rev. Pauline, who had ended her contract after three years due mainly to ill health. But we were determined that she shouldn't leave on a sad note, so we made sure it was a fun time for her, and for everyone else who was there.
Part of this was to be a 'Bring and Share' lunch so we were all asked to take a plate of finger-food, so Saturday saw me once again making pastry in a ridiculously hot kitchen, and then making it into empanadillas. These are the Spanish equivalent of our sausage rolls etc, that we take when we go on a picnic. They either come in the form of an empañada, a shallow pie made in a large tray/tin and cut into slices, or as empanadillas which are little individual pies. I have a mould for making these so that's what I did. The filling is always on a tomato type salsa with either meat or fish. Mine had my tuna fish paté in them.
My recipe makes around forty of these, so there was plenty to go around.
When we arrived at church on Sunday morning, these were placed on the table amid the quiches, sausage rolls, scotch eggs etc. This was just one of the tables.
And here is another. Anyone would think we were feeding the five thousand instead of around fifty! I can safely say no-one went home hungry.
Sadly Rev.Pauline had to return to UK early because of her health, and although she had promised to return for our party, we were not sure she would be well enough, so when she decided she could fly, it was agreed that she would arrive at the end of the service, just in time for the party. So there was a huge cheer and round of applause when she walked in at the start of the service instead, with her family. She is very much loved, and we are really going to miss her.
We had our usual morning service, and then the congregation was asked to stay seated while the choir sang two songs they had prepared especially for Pauline. As you know, I am a part of this little group of singers, (we are very loosely described as a choir), and we have been meeting every Friday afternoon to practice. We were given about three minutes to pull black trousers or long black skirts on over whatever we were wearing, and a black top, and then we tied a small white bib around our neck, topped with a silver cross we had made from cardboard and tin foil. Lastly we donned a nun's wimple, and holding our hands as if in prayer, we solemnly entered the church, trying hard to suppress our giggles!
We sang "I will follow Him" from Sister Act 2, and it went down very well. The bib and headress sets were bought for 5€ each online, and they were really very effective.
At the end of the song, we took off the wimples, and sang a lovely Blessing for Pauline, to an arrangement by John Rutter.
She was a bit 'weepy' by the end so we hastily moved on to lunch. We had a quick cuppa outside while the men set up tables all down the church. They looked so pretty with pale green tablecloths and an arrangement of pink and green flowers on each one. We found a seat and each table took their turn to file out to the food tables and fill their plates. There was more than enough for everyone, and there was a lively buzz of chatter as we sat and ate.
Our dear friend Pat had worked her usual magic in the cake making department. Aren't her sugar flowers just beautiful? There are even some on the handle of the knife.
After lunch there were of course some speeches and then we all had some cava to raise a toast to Pauline and her future.
We gave her some personalised gifts to take back to UK as a reminder of her time with us.
Then it was time for our finale. One of our group, (my friend Di in the photo at the top of this post), had written a parody of the song "How do you solve a problem like Maria", from The Sound of Music. We performed it as though we were a group of cleaning ladies chatting amongst ourselves about how we would manage without a vicar. So we came on wearing aprons, headscarves and rubber gloves, and carrying dusters and mops.
Di and I said the first few lines between us - hence the first photo above - and then everyone joined in. Everyone loved it, including Pauline, so we sang it again and she came up and stood with us, shaking her tambourine at the appropriate moment.
She really enjoyed it. I had typed out the words on a scroll to give to her, and we certainly gave her something to smile about as she went home.
Well, we were hot and tired by the time we got home, but after a short siesta we went out again, because a local bar had some live music that we wanted to hear. Out here these things often don't begin until at least 10.00 so we had time to rest and freshen up.
The musicians were a guitarist and a lady singer. She was very good, singing blues and jazz numbers, mainly in English, but the guitarist was superb. He did a solo of a Jimmy Hendrix number and it was mesmerizing to watch.
It was at the bar where we meet for our intercambio group on Tuesday evenings. A month or so ago, the owners took over a piece of campo land opposite the bar and converted it into a patio, and it was good to see it so full for the music. We were sitting over on the far right, half hidden by the little tree.
Monday was a nice quiet day, but on Tuesday we were off out again in the afternoon. We were a bit unsure about the wisdom of going as it is really better to stay at home between 2.00 and 5.00. However, a friend from my proper choir, and two other ladies, were doing a drama presentation for charity, on Joyce Grenfell. They each portrayed her in a series of monologues from her better known works, and they were all very good. I really enjoyed it and was so glad we had we gone.
The rest of the week has passed in a blur. We get up early to walk the dogs, and generally sleep for most of the afternoon. It has been very hot most days, and for several days it has threatened to rain. We have had the thunder and lightening around tea-time, but no significant rain.
And now it is fiesta time. Starting from yesterday, there have been volleys of loud rockets going off at random times during the day, supposedly signifying the start of some activity somewhere in the village. The animals all hate the rockets, and we have had all three dogs and three cats joining us in the sitting room for the afternoons. Miki and Foxy hide under the dining table.
We went over on Wednesday evening because there was a concert by a very prestigious Flamenco singer.
It is ultra loud and dramatic, and not everyone's cup of tea. I must admit I would not rush out to buy a CD of Flamenco singing, but I love watching it performed live. The singer had such expressive hands and arms, and they were never still however complex her singing became.
We watched for an hour or so and then had a little wander around the plazas before going home. So I have now seen the lights I posted last week, lit up, and very pretty they are too.
The main plaza is festooned with the usual lights and lanterns, with tables and chairs set out below them, and three street bars around the edge, who do a roaring trade right through the night.
Across the road from the plaza there is another bar where we sat for a while, enjoying a drink and watching the families milling around us.
And beyond this is the fairground, with its bumper cars, one large, 'scary' ride, and several kiddies attractions.
The music from the disco behind the bumper cars, and the from the main stage on the plaza, continue throughout the night, so when we have had enough, we go home, close the windows and turn the aircon on, and try to sleep through it. We haven't got the stamina to stay out all night any more, but quite a lot of the youngsters do.
During the siesta time, on days when I haven't fallen asleep straight after lunch, I have managed to get some cards made. I have a lot of family cards to post in July, so I needed to get them made. There is still a couple to send, so I will be posting about them on my craft blog after they have all reached their destinations.
I have now got the pattern to work the border around my Frida blanket, but right now it is too hot to do it. But I hope to have it finished some time soon.
I am posting this earlier than usual as I shall wander over to the fiesta for a while again tonight. "If you can't beat them, join them..." ! So I will link this up with Annie's Friday Smiles and Rocking your World on Virginia's blog and tomorrow I will come round and visit you while it is quiet enough to hear myself think!