Monday, January 14, 2013

Happy New Year!

I'm sure I probably started last years blog post about the new year the same way, if I did, I apologise.  New Years eve is a toughy for me, once again away from the family, plus it's also the anniversary of losing my dear dad.  This of course is so hard any day of the year, but I do think when you feel that the whole world is celebrating on that particular day, it's harder to put it to the back of your mind.  Plus my mum was Scottish, a Glasgow lady, so there was always hogmany, first footing and of course a party to go to, or perhaps host if it was our turn.

This year we said "That's it! No more sitting at home being a couple of saddos!"  and we went out.  We had seen online that the Plaza de la Tendillas, in Cordoba was having some sort of new year celebration, and we liked the sound of that.  Thinking there would be thousands there, we set off early.  When will I learn that if something is supposed to start at 11pm, in Spain, no one will be there before that, plus of course it's bound to start late.  Sure enough we arrived about 10pm at the Plaza, it was especially quiet, in fact most of the city seemed deserted.  Not a bar or restaurant open either!  We have since found out that most people stay together in the family home to see in the new year and then go out to parties after this, often until about 6am!

We wandered around the plazas in the area, and that was the only plaza with staging, so we sat and did a little people watching and patiently waited.  The band that was supposed to start at 11pm came onto the stage about twenty past, and started the night off with a great rendition of "We are the champions!"  Gradually the revellers started turning up, with bags of drink and their own glasses, and in some cases food too!  Blow, we had missed out!

As it got nearer to midnight we noticed people with fresh grapes and even small tins of grapes to be eaten as the clock struck.  We watched carefully as two quite elderly couples beside us got prepared, by putting their grapes into their champagne glasses ready for the big moment!  In England on the stroke of midnight we are used to hearing cheers, shouts of "happy new year" and kissing and hugging our loved ones, and anyone else who maybe close enough!  In Cordoba the tension seemed to rise and everyone stood looking at the clock.  As the clock in the plaza struck, it was completely silent, and each time the clock struck a grape was popped into their mouths until all 12 were gone.  Only after this did we hear cheers and shouts of  "Feliz Año Nuevo!” Followed by the universal celebrations of hugging and kissing!  We had heard the tradition of eating grapes, however we had n't realised EVERYONE did it!

The lovely elderly couples beside us offered us drinks.  Alcoholic of course, a truly scrumptios Spanish sherry called Pedro Ximénez.  It reminded me of Christmas, and the sort of drink my mum liked, and it warmed me through.  Sadly they did n't have anything non alcoholic, so poor Alan went thirsty, as he does n't drink alcohol!  We were then offered some of the very sugary sweets that you can buy in the shops around Christmas time, and enjoyed some Spanish fireworks.  All in all a really lovely evening and God willing I will be there again next year.  With my bottle, sweeties and of course grapes!

We only saw two drunk older men, and a young man that got on top of a statue in the plaza.  He was told to get down by the police, which he did, and just simply joined his friends again.  As for the two other drunk men they entertained us with some dancing!  Home for us about, and tucked up in bed by about 2am.  Great night!

 The night is young!
Our new years eve friend, very techno!
 The counting out of the grapes!
 Silence as the clock strikes!
 Naughty, naughty!

A little treat for you............


And a tad more grown up......


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