Children playing with each other and their new friends.
Skies full of stars.
I am so glad our landlord didn't fulfil his promise to provide us with a television (the lack of an oven is still a bit of an irritation - I do so miss cooking with a reliable oven!) We had been used to a constant background of television noise at the house of los abuelos - with the children showing worrying signs of addiction to 'Spongebob Squarepants'.. and Yayo needing the volume at a level that drowned out normal conversation levels and gave credence to shouting at mealtimes. Now, our house is quiet for much of the time.The children are learning how to live in a piso and to respect the other people who live all around them. They now realise it's not fair to shout or play too much football in the hallway - but the compensation for this is that they can go and find their friends all playing outside in the park and can make as much noise as they want out there. It's a pretty good system.
(I am referring here to Ruy and Romy - Mateo is not noisy and does not play football and has found himself with a charming group of boys who get together after school to do their homework and go to the library. What could be better!)
And I find I am so enjoying reading again. Thanks to a bit of virtual present exchanging with my friend Marion this year, I got three wonderful books to enjoy - 'The Bridge of San Luis Rey' by Thornton Wilder; 'Vanity Fair' by William Makepeace Thackeray and 'To Kill a Mocking Bird' by Harper Lee - the first two I had read before and was eager to read again and the last one is something I should have read years ago but never did. I'm currently near the end of 'Vanity Fair' and am loving it more than I remember from my teenage years - the story is a social satire with no obvious hero, it has a shocking and outrageous anti-hero in Becky Sharp and a whole host of selfish, hypocritical and indulgent characters at whom the author pokes fun and constantly asks whether we recognise ourselves in what we read. And despite the many historic references and terms of the day, a lot of it is so very pertinent to how many people live today.
It's nearly school-out time for the younger ones so I'll pack up now and stroll down to meet them. Romy has a lovely teacher who yesterday told me about the exciting school trip that the first year pupils will be going on in February - a trip to the Alhambra in Granada! And a concert in the Manuel de Falla concert hall! And then a visit to the new Science Park! I asked if I could go but it's teachers and pupils only..shame.. but how fantastic for Romy!
Perhaps the above is not quite in the category of 'simple pleasures' but I guess if you have the Alhambra on your doorstep, then as a school, it is the most wonderful place to head for on a school trip. I will stick to my own simple pleasures for now but I feel a family visit might be looming in the not too distant future.