Hi everyone. Here is my smile for today. Isn't he gorgeous? This is Buddy and he belongs to the folk at our local bar. When we moved into the village he was an adorable little puppy, but now he is huge, and the most gentle dog I know. He was obviously feeling worn out by the heat when we popped in for a 'quick one' tonight, and he sort of melted into the floor. I wish I could be as relaxed as that.
He's not as sad as he looks. He just has that sort of face!
Well, as I said a couple of weeks ago, however upbeat we try to be in our lives, we still get thrown the odd curved ball, and this week we all had some very sad news. Our dear friend Jean, who we celebrated her 89th birthday with, just three weeks ago, sadly passed away in hospital while on holiday in UK last week. Now you may be thinking what is that sort of news doing on what is supposed to be a positive post, but I have to say, that even as we are all devastated by the loss of such a lovely lady, we know she would not want us to be sad. Jean's life was one of joy. She took delight in everything she did, from sharing a cuppa with a friend, to dancing at midnight, and oh, how she loved to dance and sing.
Here she is in all her finery, at our church's Ascot Ladies Day. She had travelled to UK with her daughter and son-in-law who she lived with out here, for a four week long holiday, and in those first weeks, she had seen all her children, grand-children and great-grand-children, and attended two family weddings. What a wonderful way to spend your last days on this earth. Sometimes God's timing is spot-on!. It also means that they can arrange her funeral in UK with all her family present, and when Chris and Phil return home, we will hold a lovely memorial service for her, which will be as full of joy as she was herself. I am sure my life is richer for having known her.
And now to move on to some of my own news. We had some fun on Sunday when the village celebrated the end of Theatre Week. During the week there had been some dramatic presentations from groups of all ages in the village, as well as a play by a professional group. We did not actually attend any of these as my Spanish is not really up to understanding 'at speed', and Chris does not speak it at all. But the week always ends with something fun on the streets, and this year it was a group of street performers who took the forms of large, illuminated people and 'dragons'!
There was great excitement as they emerged out onto the street (This was around 11.00 at night!), and started to walk around in the crowd of spectators.
Their costumes were very simple but very effective. They were sort of puppets, each one being worked by a person dressed all in black. If you look closely at this picture, you can see they are a plastic frame with a thin material liner, lit from inside, their arms and legs are translucent tubing also lit from inside, and fixed to the controllers feet, and to long poles held in their hands. Their faces are simply painted onto white umbrellas. You can see the umbrella handle sticking out behind them.
The dragons had a partly closed umbrella for their face, and 'wings' made of shiny fabric attached to the poles.
And, of course there was music. Very loud music! It came from speakers on this strange vehicle that followed the puppets as they wound their way around the village. The man standing on the platform at the front was somehow steering it, and he was also shouting encouragement to the crowd, to get involved.
When they came to a more open crossroads, they all stopped and the puppets were turning themselves round and dipping and dancing in front of the people. Then the music got even louder, and the man shouted to all the children to go to the front and the puppets started dancing with them.
It was all good fun. I must say the children out here are very resilient. I think my boys might have been quite intimidated by this when they were as small as some of the children that were there.
The rest of the week has been somewhat quieter, but the highlight was when our son Tom arrived for a fortnight's break, on Tuesday. The weather has been a bit disappointing for him, being up to ten degrees cooler that was at it hottest last month, but it is due to go up again next week. As Tom has spent most of his waking hours over the last few weeks, working in his office in Denmark, where he lives, when he comes to us, all he wants to do is sit around and unwind, so he has been relaxing outside, where it is still a good deal hotter than in Denmark, making the most of the sun when it breaks through the clouds, and dipping in and out of the pool.
It has been lovely to sit with him just chatting, and relaxing, and catching up on all the news.
But you probably know me well enough by now, to know that I can't sit idle, so I have also been working on another little crochet project. Here is what I have done so far.
I am making a shawl to go round my shoulders when I am sitting at the computer in the Winter. The pattern is called mystical lanterns, and it is a nice easy little motif that I can work on while I am talking. The motifs are joined up into strips as I go along, and then the strips will all be crocheted together at the end. (Tango is looking after the finished ones for me!).
There is no particular arrangement for them. The idea is to have around a dozen colours of yarn in a bag, and as you start each round you pick a ball at random, without looking at the colour, and when you have finished the round, you put that ball into a second bag and draw out another one. When all the balls have moved into the second bag, you start the process over again. These are my colours.
I am using a four ply cotton yarn which makes a change for me, as I didn't like the motif much when I made one in wool. It seemed too chunky. So when the place I normally buy my wool from had a sale of their cotton yarns, I thought it was a perfect opportunity to try it. I don't find the random colour choice easy. Sometimes a colour come out that I don't really want to use next to the last one, but I make myself do it, and on the whole it is working out quite well.
I have another little smile because I had a long chat with son number four who is celebrating his thirty-first birthday this week. He is actually celebrating it out here in Spain, but he and his partner are staying in Barcelona, so they are too far away for us to visit them. So we had a long phone call before he went, and no doubt there will be another long call when he gets back so he can tell me all about it. He is a drummer, so here he is giving it all he's got, playing in a gig in Belgium on his European tour earlier this year.
And finally I have one sky photo to show you. There have been no sunsets lately but there was a nice sunrise one day, when we were out on our morning walk with the dogs. This photo doesn't do it justice, but there was a break in the clouds and rays of sunshine came down on the houses. The low bungalow in the centre is our house. We are on the far side of the green zone at the back of us.
I am not hugely into sport, but I have enjoyed watching some of the Olympics this week. I especially like the gymnastics, and some of the athletics, but Chris and Tom have enjoyed the rugby sevens and the cycling. There have been some good results haven't there?. Hopefully there will be some more this week.