I am starting this week with a couple of funny pictures that have caught my eye. The first was posted by a friend to wind up her friends and family in UK.
Just a bit of fun. No malice intended, and we don't get it all our own way. The last few days have been wet and windy, and there is certainly more rain to come during the coming week. But in between the downpours, we have had some quite warm sunshine.
This second photo was posted on facebook by a bar in Snaith, and it did make me smile. It is a bit more creative than your average snowman don't you think?
And while on the subject of snow, how about this for a cold, but beautiful scene.
This is the icebound harbour in Aarhus, Denmark where my son lives. He belongs to a swimming club who swim right here, all year round! They break a hole in the ice at the base of the steps so swimmers can enter the water for a quick splash before going to one of the two floating saunas at the end of the pier. This is how one member described the experience;
"The body enjoys pulsating blood in all the vessels, it's like having champagne in the blood." According to the club website they mostly swim in what they politely call "Adam's costume", because when they get out, the cold wind would freeze any swimwear immediately. In fact today, the club is actually closed; a rare occurrence, because the two main sauna's are inaccessible, but my son says he is going down to have a look over the weekend. There's no accounting....!
Seriously, I am really glad that I am not in UK right now, where conditions are far worse than for an average winter. So I hope everyone is staying at home at much as possible, wrapping up and staying by the fire, and for those who do have to go out, I pray you all stay safe.
Here we have had another fiesta day, which though lower key than some of the others, is actually extremely important for the Spanish people, because on 28th of February, it is Día de Andalucía. All the shops, schools, etc are closed, and most places have some sort of event. In our village this takes place in the big marquee that is left up after Christmas for this day. It is decorated with the green and white Andalusian flags, and arrangements of green and white flowers.
The local dance schools put on a show, along with the village choir who this year looked lovely in their red and white dresses.
The dancing started with the little ones, who were so cute, and who already have a great sense of rhythm and style.
At the end of their set, they dug into the pockets on their pinnies for handfuls of rose petals and glitter paper leaves which they threw into the crowd. But most of them could only throw as far as the front of the stage, so they then had to be swept away to make the floor safe for the next set of dancers!
Then we saw a small group of slightly older girls. They have a lot of attitude already don't they?
The dancing school is run by two older girls from the village, who are themselves, very accomplished Flamenco dancers. So when the choir had sung some songs, these two girls danced while they sang. So much of the dancing is done with their hands.
I liked this picture because it shows how dramatic the dance can be.
At the end one girl danced on her own. The hollow wooden stage is a perfect sound board for the stamping that is done, and the crowd roared with approval at her final flourish.
I love to think that these ancient traditions are still being handed down through each generation.
The marque was full, with rows of seats in front of the stage, and lots of folk standing behind them. The long green tables you can see running down the marquee are laden with food, plates of cold meats and cheeses, salads and bread, and when the show ends, the covers are removed, and everyone takes their chair to a position around one of the tables, to enjoy a good (free) lunch with their family and friends.
We went to enjoy the dancing but came home when the lunch was served. Once the tables are cleared away, there is music and dancing until late into the night. It was so windy that night that I am surprised the marquee was still standing in the morning, but by lunch time the workers had dismantled it and taken it away, until the next time it is needed.
The rest of the week has been fairly straight forward. Yesterday I met my friend Cati to hand over a donation for ASADIS from my church. They are one of the charities we support on a regular basis, and I usually act as liaison with Cati as I live in the same village as her. They are always so grateful for any help we can give them.
Another outreach our church is involved in, is sending food to Zurgena Town Hall to help the most needy families in the area. This week four of our members took another fourteen bags of food there, which will ensure some deserving families have food and drink this week.
I have been working hard to finish off another crochet project but I am not quite there yet. You may remember the little squares I was making with a pallet of seventeen Autumnal colours. Well the squares are done, and I laid them out to get the arrangement right - following the charts provided by Lucy of Attic 24 I was quite pleased with how it looked.
I have now joined all the squares together and made a start on the border. It has one row in each of the seventeen colours so it will take me a while. Maybe next week I will be able to show it to you completed. I am keen to get it done as I want to start on another one, and the first part of the instructions were published this morning! This one has fewer colours in it, and I decided not to use the designer's colours, but to choose my own, in shades of cream through to orange and dark brown.
I ordered the wool online and that has arrived, so now I just want to make a start on it, but I am determined to finish the other blanket first.
Why is it that my friends have dogs who love going to the groomer, and sit patiently while their hair is trimmed, washed and blown dry, while I have one who just causes chaos. It doesn't help that Kim is such a big boy, but he doesn't even like me brushing him. He has to put up with it though, and tolerates me brushing his back and chest, but I am wary of going too far down his back or anywhere beyond that! So every now and then he has to go to groomers to have his back end cut, and his thick coat stripped out, and I thought now might be a good idea before he starts moulting. Last time we took him, they phoned me and asked if I would collect him wet, because he got so stressed by the hair-drier, that the vet was worried he might have a seizure. So I told them in advance today, not to try and dry him, but soon after we got home they phoned to say he was getting "a bit excited" and could they give him an injection to calm him down! So this time we collected him dozy and wet! But he is shiny clean and fluffy, and is nice and tidy at the back end, so it was worth it, and when he got back home, he soon settled down to his usual peaceful self.
He was still a bit wobbly on his feet at first and needed a reassuring rub from dad, but soon he was on his bed and slept for the rest of the morning. Now he is right as rain again, the big silly boy!
Meanwhile, as it was raining and windy, Paco and Luna decided to stay indoors, and they looked so sweet cuddled up together.