Well it is Good Friday so I am sure many of you are enjoying the Easter weekend and will not be around to post today, but as I missed last week, I thought I would do a quick catch-up post.
The reason for my absence, and the reason I am smiling, is that we had a visit from our lovely son Ben - the youngest of my five boys. He came with his partner Dave, and later in the week we were joined by his nephew, my grandson, Marcus, so we had a busy house-full.
We were too busy enjoying ourselves to take too many photos, but here are a few.
We left for the airport to collect them quite early so we saw this beautiful sunrise. I hoped it boded well for good weather while they were here, and apparently it did, as we have enjoyed a lovely two weeks.
Ben loves to sing and usually 'wows' everyone at a karaoke session, so on their first night we went down to Turre, the little town nearest to our village. The folk running the karaoke were able to put up the name of the singer before the song started, so here is his screen for his 'party-piece', Moondance.
There was a good crowd there, but he managed to fit in four or five songs before it was time to head home. They had been up since 3.00am, for an early flight, but did manage a short siesta before we went out.
I now have Ben's "retired" digital piano out here, so he is able to play and sing while he is on holiday, and it has become a bit of a tradition to have an 'at-home' musical evening when he is here, so we organised one for Thursday night. Unfortunately many of my friends who enjoy coming to these evenings, were back in UK for Easter visits, but we still had around fifteen folk in our little room, and actually it was more comfortable than when we squeezed over thirty in last time. The weather was kind so we had a buffet table and a drinks table out in the fly-free porch which gave us even more space to sit comfortably and enjoy the music.
On Tuesday, Chris decided to stay at home while I took Marcus over to San Juan. This is a lovely beach with wide stretches of golden sand. Although it was the start of Easter week (Semana Santa), the beach where we were was almost deserted. The sea was much quieter here, and although we dipped our toes in again, neither of us was tempted to go in any further.
Marcus wanted a tan to take home, and he lay on the sand, initially with a tea-shirt on. Then he took it off to cover his face, and despite my constant warnings (nagging), he was not generous with the sun-screen, so he did indeed take home a tan, or at least a very pink chest and arms!
Ben started things off of course, playing and singing a few of his own compositions, and then some covers.
Marcus is also a very good singer, with head choir boy training as a treble, and lots of experience singing and dancing in pantomime. He sang some songs from Les Miserables, and also did a couple of fun numbers with Ben.
Then there was an opportunity for our guests to sing and both Eileen and Tony, and Christine and Brian entertained us. Then Ben was able to cast youtube karaoke tracks onto out TV and Robin sang a few songs, followed by the rest of us all having a go. It was a lovely evening, and every one enjoyed them selves.
Friday was Ben and Dave's last day, so they soaked up as much sun as they could. In the evening there was an open-mike evening by the Travelling Accoustic group, at a village bar. We went down to listen for a while, but Ben wasn't in the mood to sing. He hates flying and was too uptight about his flight the next day. So we had a pleasant evening chatting with friends there, and went back for an early night as we had to leave for the airport at 7.00 the next morning.
We still had a few more days with Marcus after the others had gone home, and it was nice to have some special time with him. Now he studying at Aberystwyth Uni, I am less likely to see him on my visits to UK, so we had a good catch-up. He, like Ben, plays the piano, mainly by ear, so he entertained me just like Ben always does when he is here.
We also spent some time on the beach. On Monday Chris and I had an appointment in Mojacar for 3.00, so we went down early, had some lunch al fresco, and then had an hour on the beach. The sea was 'lively', just how I like to see it, but there are strong currents along that part of the coast, so I am hesitant to go in very far. I wasn't dressed for it anyway, but I did get my feet wet, and it wasn't as cold as I had expected.
After that I was happy to watch the waves rolling in, but Marcus was braver than me. Even he said there was a strong under-tow.
Although it was warm enough to enjoy an hour or two on the beach, no-one was brave enough to try the pool, except for dipping in a big toe to test it. But another visitor came along and swam around happily in it.
We have had tiny frogs in there before, and they seem immune to the chlorine which is quite strong this early in the year, when we are preparing the water for the summer, but we have never seen anything like this. The spots made us wonder whether it was poisonous. It was very fat and we thought it might be a female looking for somewhere to spawn, so we fished it out and put it over the back. I am sure it found another pool or reservoir that was more welcoming.
As our first concert is coming up in a couple of weeks time, I couldn't afford to miss my choir practice, but Marcus and Ben had sat through three hours of our rehearsing the previous week, so this week he opted to stay home to watch football. But when I got back we finished up his last evening playing a couple of games. When he was a really little boy I gave Marcus a Mancala game, and he soon learned how to play it. So I dug out my old set and we played a few rounds for old times sake. Then I taught him the rudiments of cribbage. I am wary of playing any kind of strategy game with him as he is in the university chess team, and can run circles around me if strategy is involved.
So yesterday we were off for an early drive to the airport again, and today we are back just the two of us. I thought I'd end with a photo of a beautiful bottle brush tree that is growing in a garden in the village. I am pretty sure the house where it is, is unoccupied so it has been a bit neglected, but it must have put roots down deep enough to find its own water, because now it is amazing.