Picture of the Week

28 December 2015

Week 54: Christmas with the children

Filed under: — Administrator @ 21:16

Unsurprisingly, this last full week of 2015 was dominated by the Christmas festivities. The best part is that our empty nest fills up again these two weeks of the year. And the fact that our office is closed between Christmas and New Year, and since 6th January is a holiday in Spain, by taking a couple of days off right after the New Year I am able to be on vacation during the entire visit of my son (he is going back to the US on the 6th). This also means that I had a lot of time for cycling and have clocked many additional km and many vertical meters.

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The signs of the times. On Sunday the 20th Spain held a general election, and for the first time since democracy was restored in 1978, neither of the two main parties has a majority. Of the new parties in the Spanish parliament, Podemos (“we can”), a left-wing party led by the guy on this poster, is the most important one, having become the third largest political force in Spain:
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During one of my cycling outings, on Christmas Day, I re-visited the life-sized nativity scene in Jijona that I also showed here 2 weeks ago. This time it was cloudy, so from a photographic point of view the conditions were better:
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One the Reyes Magos:
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Sometimes shops and offices also have nativity scenes. Here is a modest one in a small grocery shop near Elche, where I usually stop for the Coke when I am down that way on the bike:
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This is Election Sunday in the small town of San Fulgencio about 45 km south of Alicante. I suspect that a town fiesta was going to be held anyway, so the political element was just an add-on:
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Kids are entertained:
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Readers:
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The weather was very nice that day, so I ended up cycling 100 km. This is on the home stretch, along the road from Santa Pola to Arenales del Sol. The island of Tabarca is visible in the distance:
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And along the same road, someone is using toilet bowls as planters:
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Back home. One of my wife’s bridge acquaintances has given her a box of oranges from her garden. Delicious!:
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One of the things my daughter does when she comes home from Wales is to re-connect with her friends from high school. One of them is Daniel, a somewhat unconventional young man from Altea, north of Benidorm:
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An Alicante vignette. I have walked on Plaza Seneca many times, but only this week did I realise that these concrete triangles are actually entrances to underground bomb shelters built by the republican government during the Spanish Civil War, when Alicante was being pounded from the air by German and Italian bombers:
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Another Alicante vignette, near the Mercado Central:
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December 21st was my last working day of the year. The next morning I got up at 4 a.m. and drove the 440 km to Madrid airport to pick up my son who had flown in from Denver via Philadelphia. What joy! Our first order of business was to drive to the centre of Madrid to visit a very special shoe store that Moses wanted to see. First, we needed to restore our caffeine levels:
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Moses is into nice shoes, and apparently one of the nicest are made by a Mallorca company called Meermin. You can buy them online, but they do have one shop in the posh Salamanca neighbourhood of Madrid, so this is where Moses got his main Christmas present:
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While Moses was trying on the fancy shoes, I looked around in the shop. The monitor is showing how the shoes are made:
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Once the shopping was done, we drove home to Alicante, and Moses was reunited with his beloved Cheeta (like many old humans, she has bladder control issues, so we put diapers on her):
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Taco the cat also got some love from my jet-lagged son:
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On the 24th, we went to Mercado Central to buy a few goodies for our Christmas Eve dinner. A new trend is that the stallholders display pictures of themselves, like this lady butcher:
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Here she is, at work:
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Poultry on the scale:
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Around 6 p.m., I had to go to a local greengrocers to buy some last-minute things, and when I saw the moon was full, I simply had to go down to the beach to take in the view:
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Now it is Christmas Eve, we are working in the kitchen, and Cheeta is waiting on the terrace:
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The main ingredient of the dinner:
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Mother and son working together:
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Moses gets to do the honours:
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A VERY interested onlooker:
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And Cheeta did get her share at the end:
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Christmas morning–I am walking Cheeta, and the remnants of last night’s festivities are in evidence. In Spain, Christmas Eve is about partying, eating and drinking. The main gift giving happens on January 6th, Three Kings Day:
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We, however, follow the US/UK traditions and exchange gifts today. But first, a proper breakfast:
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As always, Cheeta shows great interest:
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Monica and Taco wait for the gift exchange to begin:
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The dog was not spared:
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Moses is 26 and Monica is 21, but on this day they are just our children:
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What would Santa do without Amazon?
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Golf skirt for my wife, to go with the Garmin golf watch and the personalised golf balls:
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And finally, the official Christmas Day family portrait:
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1 Comment »

  1. I appreciate your sharing of your wonderful family events. I wish mine were worthy of that!
    The turkey looks much larger than the one you had about a month ago. You are coping very well with Cheeta’s infirmity.
    I wonder about the colours of this set. Allowing for the fact that many are interior shots, many colors seem desaturated. has something changed? or is it just my eyes in the very early morning (1:33 am)? Brian

    Comment by Brian — 29 December 2015 @ 13:33

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