Hi folks. I am trying to write a very quick post tonight (Thursday) as our son arrives tomorrow lunch-time, and I have choir practice in the evening, so it is not likely to get written then.
So here is a little smile. Meet 'Santa's little helper'.
This lovely lady is Selina, who, with her sister, runs our Wednesday sewing group. This week she dressed up to deliver our Christmas presents to us. We were each given a lovely padded sewing box, and her sister Gloria had hand stitched and appliquéd a felt needle case to go with it.
It has been a lovely week which started with our crib service on Sunday morning. We rarely have children at our church as we are mainly a community of retirees, but for this service, some friends bring their children along, and as we listened to the readings and sang familiar carols, the children brought the corresponding characters to place in the stable.
This little group are two English children with their two Spanish friends. It was lovely to have them there with us. So we now have a well-dressed crib.
On Monday evening we had one of my favourite celebrations of the season, the joint Spanish/English carol service at the old catholic church in Mojacar Pueblo. It is the traditional nine readings and carols, but the readings are alternately read in Spanish and English, and then both priest read the last one from St John's gospel. Similarly the carols are an English one and then a Spanish one, and at the end we all sing Silent Night in our own language, and surprisingly it works really well. (The Spanish carols are much 'jollier' than ours!)
Here are the Catholic priest in the purple cloak (he is a lovely man who is also priest in charge at the little church in our village), and next to him is our current Locum priest, who apparently spent several years here when he was much younger so he spoke fluent Spanish! The other people are from Mojacar council.
It is quite an unusual building for such an old historic church. As you can see it is light and airy, and behind the altar there is a really attractive fresco painted in pastel colours.
When the English people sing their carols they all sing together, but the Spanish ones are sung alternately by two choirs. The second one is referred to as a gypsy choir, and they sing with such gusto, They have amazing voices.
The man in red is playing his guitar, but there is also a more unorthodox percussion instrument which always makes me smile.
To add to the feeling that Christmas is coming, we came home from walking the dogs yesterday to find this propped up against our wall. It was upside down, and I was standing up close to it, and I couldn't for the life of me see what it was, though strangely it is perfectly clear in my photo.
An hour or so later the man was there with his lifting lorry, fixing it to the telegraph pole outside our house. It is a corner of our roof in the photo. So next week you will probably see a shining Santa outside our gate.
There was another 'super moon' this week. Did you see it? It really was huge and so bright here. Of course I tried to get photos of it again and ended up with one that is very much the same as the last time we had one, and also one with some nice light aberration around it.
I have been busy in the kitchen today. I had to do some quick shopping first as it was a bank holiday yesterday, and there is another one tomorrow,which means most of the shops are shut, so it had to be today. But after that I made another twelve dozen or so mince pies, so that is them all done and dusted for this year. I also made three cakes ready for my visitors, the last of which has just come out of the oven. Talk about multi-tasking, while writing this I have also been setting my Cameo machine to cut out a lot of files ready for one more craft project I am hoping to get done. I think it is the last set cutting now, but I have no idea when I will get it put together.
On my desk beside me I am burning my advent candle. I am already several days behind with it, so I am doing a catch-up. My sister Jean and I both bought them when we were shopping in UK. I wonder if she has been more efficient than me at burning it each day?!
One more happy is a cute little piece of crochet that I did this week. It is a special surprise so I can't show it until next week.
Now I will close with something that I found very interesting and exciting, though I know not everyone will. I was in the garden yesterday teatime to let the dogs round to the kitchen door for their tea, and I found the bright pink bougainvillea had grown even more and was dropping quite low over the gate. When I went to lift it up I saw quite a big, green, praying mantis on it. They fascinate me, (I was one of those strange people who kept, and bred, stick insects as a child. My brother said watching them was like watching paint drying, but I loved them).
Anyway, as I looked closer at the mantis I suddenly realised she was laying her eggs. She lays them in a creamy white froth which hardens into a protective case and they will stay there for 3-6 months, depending on the temperature, and then anywhere between 30 and 300 babies will hatch out! They are welcome in the garden as they are one of the best predators for eating aphids and mosquitoes, but apparently they are also cannibalistic, and when they hatch, if there is no food immediately available, they will eat one another! So it recommends watching for them to hatch, and spreading them around the garden as soon as possible. The mother left them this morning, and I understand she will now die, though she may lay more eggs somewhere else first. As you can tell, I did some research on it after I found her.
Now I am going to schedule this to post tomorrow morning, and if I have time before we leave for the airport, I will link it with Annie's Friday Smiles and Rocking Your World. I have a very, very busy week coming up, so hopefully I will get back to share it with you next Friday.