Casa Rosales

Casa Rosales

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Rounding up

Some parts of this summer have been the best ever! And I do remember some good summers, so that is definitely saying something. It's been a daily combination of busy and hectic and long and lazy. I've worked most days in the morning (if you can call chatting with two very nice men in English, about anything and everything, 'work') and we've splashed in our pool, taken long dusty walks with Pip, eaten warm tomatoes from the vine and had some perfect days at the beach. We've enjoyed celebrations and time with family and friends, visiting Valladolid and England, and had a great week when Sam and Dave came back to Alcala just as the town was at its most festive and fun.

Steps taking shape...
We've spent long, lazy hours on the sofa in front of the tv or doing some 'Yoga Andaluz' (taking a siesta!) as the heat of the afternoon has rendered us semi-comatose after lunch. And FR has become semi-nocturnal as he works in the garden once the sun has gone down and the temperatures have dropped a little. There's still a long way to go but things are definitely taking shape and it has been a real labour of love as he's worked sometimes until the early hours of the morning.

Romy has spent two weeks at summer 'school' at the sports centre here and had a whale of a time there with trips to the swimming pool, craft mornings, football, film-watching and just hanging out with friends. It was a good thing for her to have done and I think she will want to do it again.

Mateo and Ruy have put in many hours of study - we'll find out very soon if it has been enough to have made up for the distinct lack of application during the past academic year. Mateo did, however, pass all his end of term exams with the exception of Maths, which he's always struggled with. Fingers crossed for him tomorrow as he does the resit. Ruy, in his first year at secondary school, has discovered that he can't wing it anymore. All his teachers say he's capable but has simply not put in the work this year. He has two resits on Tuesday morning. And I shall cross my fingers again though I know there will be no problems for him at all.

Zentangle over coffee...
I have done Zentangles with an increased level of concentration and understanding and I'm rather pleased with some of my output. I've been invited to an arts and crafts day at a nearby cortijo which I am sure will be great fun, so I'm trying to put together some of my pieces in a presentable way - mostly they're in books or on bits of paper floating around. Seeing them all together makes me feel quite proud of what I've done in a year. There will be photos, I promise!!

On Thursday, I went into Granada and whilst I was there, I went into an archery shop to get a thing for Ruy. I asked if there were any clubs that took and taught youngsters nearby, as nothing much has been forthcoming from the group in Priego. As I was being given details and contact numbers some interesting options, the secretary of one of them walked into the shop...what luck! And I was invited to go along to their club on Saturday, bringing Ruy with me of course, as they have a small group of regular archers, amongst which there are two 'monitors' who are licenced to teach! Agreed, it's a bit of a trek to get there but I really do have a feeling that Ruy has talent in this sport, so I am happy to take him.

On target
And on Saturday, he and I set off around 9am to go to the club 'Arco Alfacar' just north of Granada. There we were met by an old man called Vigilio, who had no front teeth. I wasn't immediately impressed but as soon as Ruy set up his bow and was told to fire his arrows, Vigilio came into his own - a wonderful, natural teacher with whom Ruy felt absolutely comfortable. I left him with the archers and wandered off for a couple of hours on my own.

When I returned, after several hours firing arrows, Ruy was tired but very happy. They not only want him to join the club but say he is good enough to take part in the next 'Campeonata de Andalucia' - the championships! And these are being held at the club itself - at the end of September, so no time to lose!
Ruy is now feeling so motivated and enthusiastic and already planning to do really well in his first competition. I was so very proud of him as he stepped up to take his first shots in front of half a dozen seasoned archers - and hit the bull's eye, not once but with 4 out of his 5 arrows.

We're preparing for another week in Valladolid too as we haven't seen anywhere enough of FR's parents this year. They haven't been very well this year and haven't felt up to the journey down to see us, so we'll go to them. I shall be glad to see them again as my last trip was very short and there were such a lot of other people will be nice to just be with them.

And that just about rounds it up....and nicely too. Hope you've all had good summers - my blog reading has been very reduced in the past months so apologies if you haven't seen much of me on your blogs. I do intend to return to my beloved blogland again once the children are back at school and the days don't seem quite so....well, long!

Saturday, 9 August 2014

On the crest

I have always thought of my blog as a sort of diary and in my blog list, some of my very favourite bloggers have a similar approach. It means that how I feel or what is happening to me and where I go and what I do forms the focus of my posts. Sometimes things aren't always so good. Sometimes when things are not so good, I don't post. Sometimes when life is really busy, I don't have time to post. I haven't posted very much recently. And I haven't been overly busy....

But fortunately, the bad things pass and we often grown stronger as a result. 

And then not just good things happen, but really great things happen!

This week has been a great week...and I would like to share a few highlights.

Monday, FR, Ruy, Romy and I (leaving teenage son at home) set off for a day on the beach - the first this year!

We found a beautiful, uncrowded bay near Almuñecar, on the Granada coast. It was a hot but not too hot day and the sea looked incredibly inviting. But there were few people in the sea....we so hoped it wasn't a jellyfish invasion. Ruy was the first in and he didn't stay long. He reported that it was cold. Very cold. So Romy went...and she also came back and reported the same but then she and Ruy returned and went in again together. 
I was next....and oh my! It was as cold a water as I have ever been in!! This is the Mediterranean, remember, and it was as cold as the waters that come directly from the mountains. It was impossible. I managed up to waist high but couldn't, absolutely could NOT dip any further and the thought of getting my shoulders in was too much of a risk, so I retreated. FR managed up to his calves. 

The sea to himself....Ruy the brave

Apparently, the wind had changed a couple of days earlier and had brought the currents through the straits of Gibraltar and with it the cold, cold waters of the Atlantic. It made our last beach day at Scarborough seem like swimming in a warm bath....(which wasn't how we described it at the time!)

But gorgeous, it was. And Ruy and Romy had a happy hour in a hired canoe, which they enjoyed. 

Next highlight of this bright week...Sam and Dave back from Scotland!! Yes, three months have passed and they've embarked on and embraced their new lives, new jobs, new schools in what has been a sunny Scotland...but were so very glad to be back in Alcala - especially Sam. We met on Wednesday evening in the park, where Alcala had thoughtfully provided some great live music outside the beautiful library and every one was out and about and just happened to be passing to say hello. We had a lovely evening.

Then the next day, they came to us. As with all good friends, it was just as if they'd never been away and we had one of FR's memorable and initially spectacular barbecues. 

We had a naming ceremony for a small, unusual dog whose eyes light up when the sun goes down - a gift sent to me by Sam from Scotland. We weren't sure why at the time as he is, to say the least, a tad unusual, bordering on tacky but as Sam said, we think of her every evening as he lights up the garden! And she was right. His chosen democratic election - managed excellently by Isobel - is Rocker. (Though for the life of me, I can't think why!)

We ate well, drank well, talked and talked and laughed a lot...(and cried a bit) and had a wonderful evening together. (And took some pretty rubbishy photos....but never mind!)

Looks like we weren't eating much - but believe me, we got through quite a lot!

And the fun didn't stop there. Last night, there was a Flamenco evening at the beautiful little square right at the top of Alcala la Real, overlooking the town and La Mota. So of course we were going! 

View from San Marcos ...
And yes, we met Sam, family and friends there...

A wonderful setting for a fantastic set of performances...

And the highlight of the evening for me was the performance of these two.....I cannot begin to describe the emotion and sensation they created - it's not that sort of blog....! Needless to say, they were very much appreciated by the audience and there was a lot of 'Olé's as they performed...a sign that a phrase, a sentiment and a musical delivery has really hit the spot. I even spontaneously 'Olé´d myself a couple of just seemed to pop out of me!

My photo was a bit blurred so I used an app on my new tablet to give it some character....I like it!

SO, we end our week on a real crest. And I can cope with the downs in a realistic manner when the ups are so high. And I can also really enjoy the blogging bit too. And will be reading and catching up on all my lovely blogging friends' posts again very soon.....