Hi everyone. Thank you to all who took time to visit my blog last week, and leave a much appreciated comment.
I thought I would start this week with some pictures of the other decorations that I put up each Christmas. These are in the entrance hall. I have a high up book case and every year I lay along it a branch taken from a pine tree on the edge of the village. (It broke off in a fierce storm and I found it when I went to pick up fir cones). It is sprayed white and there is a strip of white lights threaded through it. In front sit two pairs of deer that I bought many years ago, and my 'JOY' candle holders that I have had for even longer. Of course, the candles are never lit as they almost touch the next book shelf, but it looks lovely when the hall is dark and the lights are twinkling.
I also like it in the day time.
Just below this shelf there is a table which is usually home to a large pottery urn, but for Christmas it is home to my white Mary and Joseph. I made these about twenty years ago after seeing some very elaborate ones at an NEC craft day. They were modelled around a wine bottle with a newspaper and chicken-wire head and arms. They were then draped with torn strips of cotton fabric dipped in polyfiller (plaster). They dried white, and have survived for all this time. I once had ideas of making more characters, shepherds and kings, but I just don't have anywhere to display them. But I love these two and they always come out each year. This year I put my light filled star with them, just to make the hall a bit brighter at night.
So now to this week which has had some fun events in it. After I published my post last week I set off to the local campsite for our choir concert of Christmas music. I like this concert because it is much closer to home than any others we do, so lots of my friends come to it, and it is always nice to see some friendly faces in the audience. We wore the purple dresses that were bought for our Royal Albert hall concert last year, and the men wore their matching waist-coats etc, and I have to say, it all looked really smart and good.
The hall soon filled up and we sang to an almost capacity crowd.
We had a lovely programme of Christmas music and many of the pieces were unknown to our audience, which made a nice change from all the usual carols. I think we sang well. We gave it our all, and everyone was very complimentary and appreciative afterwards. The concert was organised by and for a local animal charity (we tell charities that if they organise a concert venue, advertising etc, we will turn up on the night and sing for free), and they raised over 700€ so it was very worthwhile.
On Wednesday it was the Christmas dinner for my sewing group. One of our members has her son over right now, and he likes photography so he came to take a group photo for us. We meet in a room used by the Turre Evangelical church, and because there was so many of us, we decided to line up outside for the photo. He did a good job don't you think? Unfortunately several of us have 'reactolite' lenses in our glasses so it looks as though we all had sunglasses on. It was a bright day, but not quite that bright!
We went on to have a lively sewing session, and then, at lunch time we moved on to a local restaurant where we all enjoyed an excellent meal.
I was home by about 3.30, and hour later I was off to Vera for a dress rehearsal with my other choir, for our concert tonight. We have a very simple blue tabard to wear witch is so easy and really looks very effective. It is better when we all wear the same colour, and it is a lovely shade of blue. More about that concert next week.
Yesterday was a bit quieter. I popped to the shops in the morning though queues at the supermarket meant I was out for longer than I intended. In the afternoon we walked down to the slip road at the front of the village for the official opening of the "Espacio cultural", a small theatre, just across the road from us. It was one of the reasons we got the big roundabout there a couple of years ago. It was a dangerous crossing so the roundabout was a condition for the theatre to be allowed. However it has taken years to complete. I guess it is down to funding and each time the money runs out, the work stops until more is found. But at last it is finished and I was keen to see inside. It is a potential site for choir concerts in the future.
There was good turnout. When we got there the patio was filling up and the local youth band played the national anthem.
Then the mayor and representatives of the Cultural department in Almeria cut the ribbon. It was in the colours of the Spanish flag, and when he had cut it, the mayor then cut off small pieces and gave them to each of the people involved.
Then we all trooped inside. There were rows of comfortable seats, enough for 200 people, though yesterday they were standing at each side as well. The curtains were open to show the stage and at the back was a screen, with a projector room behind the back wall of the hall, so they have the ability to show films as well as plays and concerts. Yesterday the screen showed this which is our village coat of arms. I just thought 'excelentísimo' was such a lovely word. The accent over the small 'i' means you put the emphasis there. The other rather lengthy word 'Ayuntamiento' simply means Town Hall.
There were speeches from two people, which I couldn't follow very well, but I did get the gist of what they were saying. Then we were invited to stay and enjoy a 'merienda' which means a snack or tea-time. We left by the back door and found that there is a large patio out there, with views of the Cabrera mountains. It was surrounded by an artificial grass wall, and was quite private so it could be used for events. It was dusk by then so the photo is not very good.
Then we went round to the huge patio at the front, where small tables were laid out with plates of bread rolls and cakes.
As we were going out again in the evening we didn't stay for this, but hurried home to feed the animals and ourselves. From the back of our house we could hear the music and chattering from there.
For the evening we went to Simon's, our local bar. Every Thursday they have a quiz, followed by card bingo for five games, with each game winner getting a share of the money taken, and then a game of 'last man standing'. There is also a raffle with all proceeds going to charity. Because it was the last one before Christmas, a local singing group came to start the evening off with some carols.
My friend Eileen had made a super Christmas cake and had left it in Simon's for three weeks to be raffled for ASADIS, the village charity for disabled children. She raised an amazing 290€ and Cati came to collect the money. The man who won the cake said it was too big for just him and his wife so he asked someone to cut it up and we all had a taste. It was very good!
It was a good evening altogether as I won 40€ in one of the card games, and we got a bottle of whisky and some ginger ales in the raffle.
In these busy couple of weeks leading up to Christmas I am always happy to have some evenings sitting in front of the fire, with the TV on and some crochet in my hands. Some nights we have barely needed the fire on, but we like a blanket over our knees to keep the draught out. My blanket is made from crocheted squares, but it is not one I made. My mother made it, probably forty years ago, and it is still going strong. The cats like it too and usually Tango jumps up as soon as I settle down, and just sleeps on me all evening. He is so warm I really only need the blanket to protect my clothes from his hair. This week Charlie decided to jump up too. I expected a growling match and for one to jump down, but although Tango doesn't look thrilled to have company, they actually settled down together and stayed on me for ages. I didn't get much crochet done, but that didn't matter.
When we were walking back from the theatre last night it was just getting dark and I remarked to Chris that there wasn't much colour in the sky and what there was, was over on the other side, away from where the sun sets, and then in a blink of an eye the sky was suddenly ablaze.
So as soon as we got home I hurried outside to take the photos. As the clouds moved, it looked to me like a big retriever type dogs face, or maybe a bear, in the sky.
As the sky darkened it became clearer. Can you see it or is it just my imagination again?
You know how much I like to see a branch or tree in silhouette against a sunset, so I couldn't resist including this one.
Then the red and orange changed to pink and purple.
And over to my left there was another of those interesting cloud stacks.
And that is it for me this week. So I will link up with Annie's Friday Smiles and Rocking Your World, and I'll see you all again next week.