Been a bit busy this last week.
My wise, comical and lovely sister came to stay at the weekend - an event much anticipated and greatly enjoyed but which went far too quickly. She and her husband came on Saturday morning and stayed with us just till Sunday evening. It was cruel luck that we were robbed of a whole hour too as the clocks went forward that weekend. Saturday, after meeting at the airport, was spent on the beach at La Herradura with a picnic, the children and the dog before coming back to give them a whistlestop tour of our lovely town. On Sunday, FR cooked some amazing ribs in the fireplace of an old house to which we have the keys whilst we went up to La Mota and walked some more. And we walked again in the evening up to the other side of town - all heartily approved of - then they whizzed off to Granada to spend Monday visiting the Alhambra and having a rub down in some Arabic Baths before setting off back to Malaga on Tuesday, stopping at Antequera and the old stones in El Torqal - phew!
Yesterday was my father's birthday - last year, I went to visit him for his 80th - and it struck me just how quickly the year has gone by. I don't think the year has done my dad any favours, but he's still here. It gets harder for my mum too but they continue to enjoy things as much as they can. They had been out for lunch with their good friends when we phoned to sing to him and were then going to settle down to a strenuous game of dominoes.
I've also been working just over twelve months as the Academia here, teaching English. That hasn't got much easier either though I really enjoy some of the classes and am extremely fond of quite a number of my students.
I do enjoy my Wednesday Spanish class. I can't say I teach - what I do is hold a 'chatty class', where we swap comical stories about our experiences with the people of Andalucia and compare local accents. There are several people in the group who are learning to speak by listening and being involved with the local communities and it is really comical to hear them speak with a perfect 'Andaluz' dialect! I am reminded of an Italian friend of my sister's who came to visit us in Yorkshire. We taught her to say 'Well, ah'll go t' t' foot of ar stairs' and she managed it in a brilliant imitation but which always reduced us to tears of laughter at the incongruity.
Today there has been a general strike in Spain. Not that there was much evidence here in Alcala. The news showed scenes of a different nature in other parts of the country - some vocal and well-attended, others violent. Here, the striking civil servants seemed to be taking pleasure in shopping at those places not striking. Ironic.
And tomorrow, a dear friend and her son are coming to visit. FR is escaping to his parents for a few days to give us space to talk, be disorganised and indulgent with the children and ourselves. He has a lot of work to finish and no place to hide here to do it. It's a good arrangement!
The processions for Semana Santa begin on Sunday and go on all week - it is quite a culture shock to the uninitiated so I'm looking forward to showing this to our guests.
And despite being so busy, I am SO missing making my chocolates. I must think of a way to address this...when I have a moment.