Wednesday, July 31, 2013

La Noche Blanca del Cordoba

Many the major cities in Spain celebrate a night of fabulous flamenco called La Noche Blanca del Flamenco (The White Night of Flamenco).  It is a stunning extravaganza with stages set up all over the city, where you can watching flamenco dancing and singing.  We are lucky enough to have this fantastic night in Cordoba. Last year we also went and seemed to arrive half way through everything, whilst trying to watch as much as possible, then running onto the next plaza.  This time we went just with our Spanish friends Pat and Pedro.  Pedro, the name gives it away, is Spanish, so he was able to understand exactly what was going on, when and where, which enabled us to go for the quality as opposed to the quantity.  

There was still a fair amount of walking involved so P and P came to us early as siestas were certainly on the cards.  It was going to be a fun all nighter!

We left home about 11 pm, as is quite usual for a night out in Spain. The first show we came to were flamenco dancing groups, all ladies, plus a group of men also.  It was wonderful!  The ladies danced with fans, and also with the beautiful shawls.  I had never seen that before!  Pedro loved it.  He's a very emotional man, he had tears in his eyes as he became totally absorbed in it!

The men were extremely macho, and danced beautifully.  Unfortunately the photographs I took of the men were all blurry.  It was my raised temperature, I think!  Luckily I did manage to video a part.  Maybe my mind was too much on that!

We moved onto watch some singing.  Personally not my favourite although the fact that many of it is made up on the spot astounds me.  I find it a tad depressing though.  The crowds however loved it, and it is still a great entertainment!

The hightlight for me, I think, although I loved the group dancing was the four ladies photographed below.  I have never seen such passion or soul put into a performance. Pedro explained to me their dance was called a "Duende".  Lorca the famous Spanish poet wrote 'The duende, then, is a power, not a work. It is a struggle, not a thought. I have heard an old maestro of the guitar say, the duende is not in the throat; the duende climbs up inside you, from the soles of the feet.'  Yep I can understand that! It was so powerful one of the dancers was crying at the end of the performance.  All I could say was 'WOW!'

At 5.30 we were going to watch the last show, but there were still so many people around and our feet and backs were aching badly so we decided to call it a night!

The setting for the last show

Our lovely friends, still wide awake!

Me and him!  Alan is trying out a new photo look... it's not working!

We arrived back home just as the sun was coming up!  What a great night!

Ten minutes from home!

For you flamenco lovers, some videos I put together.  Enjoy!


Sunday, July 14, 2013

My baby is having a baby, and I'm a long way away!

Yes my Frankie is expecting baby number two, and once again the feelings of should I be here, or back in Brighton come back to haunt me!  

I would never have thought in a million years I would live anywhere other than, as close to my kids as possible.  Myself, I hardly left my parent's sides.  As an only child with wonderful doting parents, I was lucky. I was never spoilt in a materialistic way, but certainly when God, or whoever chose my mum and dad for me, I was extremely lucky.  I lived at home until I married, then my husband and I moved back into part of their house, when I was expecting my son, Mark.  There I stayed until they both passed away. Personally I feel a little more distance between us may have been healthier, as grieving was so painful, but hey life goes on, and we are talking about my children, and grandchildren  now!

My handsome dad in his RAF uniform

My mum holding me!

I think through a bit of guilt of not being with my children, I feel as though I want to share some things. When I was unwell, and Alan and I discussed moving away, Mark was already living with his lovely girlfriend. They had been together for a few years and seemed stable and very happy.  Of course I don't love my son any less than I do my daughter, but boys don't necessarily feel the need to talk to their Mum every day.  Frankie and I however have always chatted a lot.  Maybe that's just a woman thing!  When Frankie decided to come to Spain with us, with her boyfriend at the time, I was really over the moon!  To be perfectly honest if she had said she wanted to stay in the UK, I'm really not sure what I would have done.  I'm not sure I would be here now!

Frankie with Kaci

Mark with Maisie

I felt I needed to change my life, and the thought of stopping being a dance teacher and yet seeing my lovely dancers all move to other teachers and schools would have been really tough, so we decided a clean break was the answer.  As regular readers of my blog, or anyone that has read Alan's book will know, 3 months down the line, Frankie and Chris decided to return to England.  We had promised them a car, and work etc.  Unfortunately the world crisis had just begun and we hadn't managed to even  sell our house back in the UK.  Things were tough for them, and at 19 I'm not sure I could have lived here permenantly!  I know it wasn't a decision they came to lightly but they moved back.  As much as in some ways I feel as though I abondoned my kids, I sincerely hope they don't feel that way.

At the moment I have 2 beautiful grandgirlies.  Frankie's little darling is Kaci, and Mark's little beauty is Maisie, both aged 3.  So different, but both gorgeous and real little characters.  My daughter suprised me with the news on me becoming a nanny again on skype, when she first found out she was pregnant.  As always, us mums worry about things, timing, money, work etc, but then I would be the first to say a) the timing will rarely be perfect and b) things happen for a reason! 

My gorgeous daughter has been working hard, and thank goodness the summer holidays are on us now so she can relax a bit (as much as a lively 3 year old will let you).  She is strarting to bloom in every way, and Jordan her boyfriend is understandably over the moon.  

I can't wait to see her and Kaci in just over a weeks time, for some nanny, mummy, daughter, granddaughter  love!

The girls going strawberry picking together

Enjoying an ice cream after!

The next adorable bundle of joy!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

A Donkey Rescue

As most of you know we are pretty rural!  This time of the year maybe only half a dozen cars pass by our house each day,  maybe not even that.  So to be honest you could walk around naked and not see a soul.  I don't, but I have to admit to not wearing a lot of clothes if I'm out by the pool for an hour or so.

I was out there a couple of weeks ago and could hear a car driving down the hill towards our house.  Unfortunately there is a gap of about a foot, in the fence (for those in my age bracket) so I tried my best to slide down the sunbed and tried in vain to hide my modesty behind a paperback.  Hmmm shame I wasn't reading a larger book!

Imagine my shock when the car door opened and I heard "Señora, señoraaaaa!"  What on earth was I going to do?  "Momentito!"  I called back.  It was to no avail, as he already in full flow.  I didn't catch the first bit, only "burro blanco".  I put two and two together, he was "The donkey man!"  No he doesn't have huge ears or eyyorre like a donkey.  He owns a few and they live on Miguel's (our neighbour) land.  He comes about once a week to check on them, and more often than not, put any that may have escaped from their area back again! 

We had seen this particular donkey a few days previously.  He was a big white fella with what looked like tears running down his face.  I had got quite close to him at one point and I was pleased to see it wasn't tears or an eye infection, simply his markings.

"Momentito", I called again, and yelled ALLLLAAAAAN!  Silence, blooming typical!  Donkey man was still chatting away, so somehow I managed to slide off my towel, and off the, ever so comfy but difficult to get out of sunbed, and wrap it round me and I told him I would ask Alan.  I knew he hadn't seen him either but Alan's Spanish is better than mine, so I was passing the buck really!

Alan eventually heard me and came out with a big grin on his face that just said "I told you this would happen, one day!"  He explained to the donkey man and he went on his way.

A couple of days later we spotted the donkey on route to zumba, but we couldn't do anything, we didn't have time.  We were sure he would be there on the way home.  Sure enough he was.  I got out of the car and tried to entice him to walk with me down the track.  At least if we got him near his field there was water nearby, plus his owner would be able to put him back with his mates again.  I've never tried moving a donkey before, but it was quite obvious he didn't want to go anywhere. We decided to go back home and get some water and food for him.  It was near the 40 degrees, and although he was nibbling on grass we thought the food would help him follow.

Home we went and dashed in to get the food and water, we must have only been gone 10 minutes.  Alan raced back up the track like a rally driver, and he had gone!  Gutted!  To this day we haven't seen him again.  I hope he has found water somewhere and at some point he may turn up again found by his "The donkey man".

Alan tried walking behind him, but he still wouldn't move!