Well here we are at the half way mark for the year - Week 26. In fact on Sunday it is our eldest son Jim's birthday, and I once worked out that 26th June is exactly half way between one Christmas Day and the next. So there is no getting away from it folks; we are now counting down to Christmas!
When we moved to Spain I made a determined effort to learn at least the basics of the Spanish language. It seems the only right and proper thing to do. And I am sometimes embarrassed by my own country folk when they sit in a bar and make sweeping statements about 'the Spanish', and just assume that none of the Spanish people around them can understand English! So when I saw this on Facebook this week, it made me smile, but there is a ring of truth about it as well. See what you think.
Well it has been a funny old week, shifting between days when I am so hot I can't lift a finger to do anything, to days when I have hidden indoors while our lovely pool gets muddied by the dust and leaves that are blowing into it, and other days when we have spent hours sitting outside, enjoying the sunshine and a gentle, slightly cooler breeze that keeps it comfortable.
We were all grateful on Saturday when the wind died down for the evening because we were going to party at our friends', Margie and Richard's house. It was to celebrate the birthdays of two of our mutual friends, and the evening had a 60's, 70's, 80's theme. We are not great fans of 'dressing-up' but I did weave myself a headband and found a kaftan to wear. Some folks just wore what they were comfortable in, and others went to great lengths to fit in with the theme. Here are a few of the colourful characters who were there.
Paola and Gus are Columbian and they run a local charity shop for PAWS animal shelter. These clothes happen to have come into the shop over the last few weeks so they bought them for the party, and they both looked great.
Howard, on the left in this photo, was one of the ones celebrating his birthday.
It was also Marg's 70th birthday. She is fairly new to the area, so we showed her how we celebrate out here. She had made herself a stiff, black lace petticoat to wear under this dress. Now that brings back a few memories.
I am not quite sure what to say about my friend Phil...? except that he was intent on having a good time.
We all enjoyed burgers and hot dogs from the barbecue, and then another friend, John, set up his karaoke gear. I somehow got coerced into singing with two friends, something I don't think I have ever done before....and probably shouldn't do again!
But our friends were very charitable. Look at the scores they gave us.
Needless to say, at some point someone started doing a conga around the pool.
Margie tried to take a photo of everyone who was there, but in the end she had to take it in two parts, so one evening this week I sat and played with them on my computer, and managed yo make one long picture, and I don't think I lost anyone from it.
On Tuesday evening I decided to give the Intercambio group a miss for once, as it was the International day of Music in Mojacar Pueblo, so Chris and I went up there instead. It was a very pleasant evening. There were plenty of folk around, local Spanish as well as several English holiday makers. Several bars had live musicians playing so we strolled around to have a listen. One patio outside a bar was shaded by this lovely tree.
It was very impressive. It always amuses me the way they prune these trees to have a hollow centre, but despite that, they do give a lot of shade.
This was probably the group we liked the best. They sat on some steps and played a variety of traditional folk instruments, and sang.
They had a group of dancers with them. I wish I could play the castanets like this young man could.
Then we moved on to another plaza where this man was playing and singing. He was Spanish but he sang all his songs in English, and he was very good.
We sat and had some 'refreshments' while we listened to him.
When he finished his set, he was replaced by a large group who played more upbeat numbers. The man in the white shirt was very good on the bongo drums. (You can just see him squatting down in front of the guitarist).
It was getting dark by the time we got to the big patio at the top of the village. This girl was singing and her partner played the saxophone, and other instruments. They were only visible as a silhouette against the dusky sky.
Tuesday was , of course, the summer solstice and this was a special year as it was also a full moon, which is a rare occurrence; the next one is expected in June 2065. I wanted to try and take a photo of it, so when we got home from the music evening I went outside with my camera, but in almost every shot I got the moon and some sort of reflection beside it. it is not quite what I intended, but it's still kind of cute. I think this was my best attempt.
Well the rest of the week has been spent having long siestas, reading a little, crafting a little more, and crocheting quite a lot more. I made a card this week ready for my eldest sister's birthday next week, and when I got out a glue stick to fix the insert in with, I was taken back to find it had melted! What a goey mess. I don't think that has ever happened to me before.
Last week I had such a long post so I didn't include a picture of the latest motif for my Frida's flowers blanket, so here it is.
It is called Ring of Roses, and this time I needed to make six of them. It was the most challenging one so far, but I took my time and managed it in the end. The bit that seems to have caused the most trouble, is the ring of bullion knots stitched around the centre. Several people on the web page gave up, and used long beads instead. I had to undo mine a few times, but I watched some helpful videos, and in the end I got them right - not perfect but good enough. I worked on all six motifs together, because once I have mastered the stitches for a round, it makes sense to do it six times, and then learn the next round. So now they have been worked together and put in place in my blanket, and here it is so far. There are still a few ends trailing, but I'll soon sew them in, and it will look better when it is finished and pulled into shape.
Next Tuesday we will get the pattern for the last motif. I will need five of them, two on each side and one in the centre. Then a fortnight after that will be the last part which will be about making the edging. I have already been asked if I will sell it, but I haven't said yes or no yet. For me the pleasure is in the making of it, and the success when I learn a new technique, and there is a limit to how many such blankets I can make use of.
As I had some time to spare before the next part is published, I spent yesterday sorting out my wool stash. I tend to stick with Stylecraft Special DK, an acrylic yarn that comes in an amazing 82 colours. It is sometimes hard to chose which ones will work well together, just from the colour swatch on the internet site where I buy it, so I have made a colour peg of each one that I have, and I can now play around with them to make the best combinations.
I have 47 colours (so far!), so there are another 27 to get, as well as eight marled colours (two tones twisted together), but I may not add those to my collection as I am not so keen on that effect.
So that just about sums it up for this week. There were a few other highlights like a call from our middle son to ask if he could come out for a fortnight in August. Of course I said he could. Even if I had other visitors booked, I would always find a space for one of our boys.
Tonight we went to the little theatre in Zugena for a technical rehearsal for our choir's summer concerts there, tomorrow and Sunday. Both sessions are a complete sellout and we are really looking forward to them. We just did seating arrangements, sound checks etc tonight, and saved our voices for tomorrow.
I have one pretty sky to leave with you and then I will pop over and link this up with Rocking Your World, and Annie's Friday Smiles. Why not follow me there. Annie has a cute new puppy, Millie, to introduce to us.
I have deliberately kept away from the topic of the referendum today. I think the country needs a while to come to terms with the result and wait to see what the effect of it is. But a line from a book I read many years ago, came almost unbidden to my mind this evening, and this is what I posted on Facebook just now.
"Many years ago I read the book by Alan Paton called Cry the Beloved Country, first published in 1948. I know I enjoyed it at the time, though I can't honestly say I remember too much about it now, but the opening line has stuck in my mind ever since. "Cry the beloved country for the unborn child that is the inheritor of our fear". It is written about Africa, but I can't help but wonder what inheritance we are leaving for our unborn children in UK."
I'll leave you to ponder on that, and I'll see you all again next week.