Here is my smile for this week; These two lovely smilers are my great-grandsons and in just two days time they will be here with us for a week of Spanish sunshine. I don't think they'll be needing those long trousers and jumpers out here!!
It has been another scorcher this week. When I walked up the road Thursday lunchtime, the thermometer on the Farmacia was showing 43º. I am melting! Minimum clothing and multiple fans don't really cope in that kind of heat, but we are reluctant to have the aircon on for more than short bursts, as it is very drying, and leaves me coughing. I am just so grateful that we have our own pool to dip in after each chore is done. I must admit I keep chores to a minimum in the summer, but with a house full of visitors next week, a certain amount of clearing, bed making etc had to be done!
On Saturday I did what I had to do as early as possible and then took a break, because on Saturday evening my choir were singing at an open air multicultural festival at Cantoria, a small village an hour's drive from here. We wouldn't chose to sing outdoors, and with slightly reduced numbers because of folks on holiday, we weren't sure how it would go.
The first thing was to find the venue!. We had been to Cantoria once, just after we moved here because it is where our first two rescue pups were from, but we only had a vague idea of where we were going. But google maps helped us, and we knew the festival was all around the big village church, so that proved a landmark that was hard to miss.
Chris came with me . He knows I don't like driving at night, especially when I don't know the area. When we arrived it was easy to spot a few choir members who had arrived before us, all congregating near a big metal pergola in the church grounds, which was where we would be singing.
We had time for a quick look around so we wandered up the street to a small plaza, where a lot of people were relaxing in street bars while a road race was going on just beside them.
There were several stalls selling everything from food to clothes and toys, and in front of the church there was a display of kick-boxing, presumably by a local club as there were participants of all ages there.
Between them and our pergola, there was a stall called a 'Taste of Britain', where there was a constant supply of mini scones with jam and cream, fruit cake, small savouries etc. They were free of charge and people were enjoying trying them all out. Every time a plate was emptied, it was filled again, and they still had more to put out for us when we had done our performance.
It was time for us to take our places ready to sing. We don't normally have chairs on stage, but we were glad of them that night, because we ended up having to sit down between some songs while we waited for the church clock to ring out it's next set of chimes. A man from the organising panel was there to warn us when the next peal would come, and we managed to time our songs around them pretty well!
It was the first time we have sung together for a while, and we all sung our hearts out and thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope the audience enjoyed it as much as we did. I think they did. We now have a month off before we start again in September, with new music to learn for the Autumn concerts.
We left soon after our 'bit' as we had a long drive home, but as we left there were still plenty of locals enjoying food and drinks in the bars, and I expect the festivities went on for a few more hours after we got home.
Not a lot else has happened this week. I did manage one little task that has been on my 'to do' list for some time. Back in 2004, Chris and I spent three weeks in Arizona, visiting some of Chris family who live there, and also celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. We did brief detours to Las Vegas just to say we had been, and to the Grand Canyon which was on my bucket list, and it was amazing. But the area we really liked was up in the red rock mountains near the little village of Sedona. On one trip we visited a silver mine and a large open market where you could buy all sorts of metal and leather goods. We went to area that only sold wind chimes and we bought a beautiful set. It turned out to be bigger than we realised and it caused us some problems when we were packing to come home. It ended up in a separate parcel taped to our largest case! But it is beautifully tuned so that whenever the wind catches it, it always has a melodic chime. Of course we brought it to Spain with us and it hung on the end of my washing lines at the back of the house. On really windy weeks we had to tie the pipes together with string as it was just too noisy and also was in danger of getting tangled and broken.
Of course that is what eventually happened, and for a couple of years it has been buried in the garage, where I happened upon it when I was clearing out last month. So I have now rubbed down all the wooden parts and stained them again, and I have restrung the pipe that was hanging loose. It is back hanging on washing line now, which is more or less outside my craft room window. So with the gentle breezes we have at the minute, I am treated to lovely chimes wafting in through the open window. This time I will rescue it before the weather gets too rough, and hopefully it will give me many more years of pleasure.
I am calling this picture "Hot Dogs!"
Poor Foxy and Kim. They are feeling the heat. They both have thick double coats which they are shedding like mad at the moment, but I have been advised against having them shaved, as the double layer provides insulation against both heat and cold. So I am brushing them every morning, which for some reason Kim hates, but he doesn't get the choice while he is moulting. I have filled a big bin with their hair but I don't think there is too much more to come. Neither of them like water. I tried to get Kim to come under the hose this morning. I had it set to a very gentle spray, and I just about got his feet wet, but that is all. Usually they have their breakfast round at the kitchen door and then they go back to the porch on the other side of the house. But the kitchen door is on the shady side of the house, and is quite a bit cooler, so for now I am keeping them round there for the morning. They are unsure about any change in their routine, so when I went out to hang some washing today, they both immediately sat down and looked expectantly at me, in the hope I was going to open the gate and let them round to the porch, or maybe even that I had the odd treat in my hand which they know they have to sit for. Who could resist those trusting eyes?
And all that leaves me with is one photo of a beautiful sky that I spotted late on Wednesday evening. These hot humid days often end with a few clouds, and we have even had the odd spot of rain some evenings. (So odd you could walk between the drops!). I could do with a good storm to clear the air, but everywhere is so dusty that the tiny bit of rain we did get was full of red dust and left everything covered in it. But on Wednesday the clouds were very broken and looked so pretty in the dying light. I was just glad I had my camera to hand, because it only lasted for few minutes and then darkness fell.
With ten visitors from Sunday for a week, and then just one for the next two weeks, I doubt whether I will get to write a blog next week, but I won't be missing for long. See you soon.