Picture of the Week

25 December 2017

Week 50: cycling, paella, singing

Filed under: — Administrator @ 12:44

The last full working week before the Christmas break was a quiet one, so the images this week are from my cycling, from paella with friends, and a performance of the choir in which my wife sings.

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The week began, as usual, on two wheels. I chose to cycle south to Elche and Santa Pola on Sunday morning, an easy and flat route. Along the way, I passed the beach at Urbanova. It was a cool and partly cloudy day, so the beach was almost deserted:
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I stopped for a brief break in the fishing harbour of Santa Pola, source of some of the delicious seafood we enjoy in Alicante. Since it was Sunday, there was not much activity:
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The harbour office and the fishermens’ association (La Cofradía de Pescadores):
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The Virgin for protection at sea:
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On the way back, again in Urbanova, I photographed some anti-Catalan graffiti. As I have noted in earlier weeks, the current political crisis in Catalonia is perceived very negatively in much of the rest of Spain. The football club FC Barcelona (known simply as Barça) is closely identified with Catalan nationalism; hence this statement (meaning “damn Barça separatists”):
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Another manifestation of the same. Most signs around here are in Valenciano and in standard Spanish (Castellano). Valenciano is really a dialect of Catalan, and so apparently the same people who had made the anti-Barcelona graffiti in the previous image also decided to black out the Valenciano version of the word “beach” on this sign. I used to see this sort of thing a lot when I lived in Belgium (between Flemish and French), but it is relatively rare here in Spain:
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On Sunday afternoon, our friend Roberto invited us for paella at his house:
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The rice is close to being ready. This is a paella de carne, as opposed to the other main type, paella de marisco:
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Hans holding Mariluz’s cat who was hanging around us:
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The reason the cat was hanging around is evident in this image:
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And after everyone (but me) had gone inside to eat, the cat took advantage and had some fun with the discarded mussel shells. Mariluz explained to me that he would never dare to do this inside the house, but in the garden he feels free to do whatever he wants:
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It was getting colder as the sun was setting, so we went inside to eat the paella. Mariluz serves up the goodies:
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One of the first signs of the approaching Christmas, seen outside our local Aldi supermarket:
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Another Alicante Christmas tradition (or, more accurately, winter tradition) is the chestnut stand outside El Corte Inglés department store:
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And it is also the season for Christmas lunches. The first one for me was with my small team. As we often do, we went to Moments, and as often happens, Carolina was the subject of many of my photos because she is so expressive:
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A hearty laugh:
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While out cycling on Saturday, I came across, yet again, this flock of sheep and goats in El Campello, being led to pasture just a few hundred meters from the beach and the condos there, and even closer to the (mainly Dutch and French) campers. I never get tired of seeing this contrast between the old and the modern life of this part of Spain:
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My wife has been a member of the Parents Choir at the European School of Alicante for several years. We no longer have children at the school, but they do not care–they are always looking for voices. On Saturday night the choir performed various Christmas songs at a local church, and I went to have a look. People tend to look funny when they sing, but they actually sounded very good on this occasion:
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A close-up of my wife in action (second from right):
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The leader of the choir, conducting:
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Recording:
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The performance is over, and the choir takes a well-deserved bow:
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