Picture of the Week

27 December 2018

Week 51: Christmas begins, the working year ends

Filed under: — Administrator @ 09:15

This was the last working week of the year, and thus the beginning of a two-week holiday period. Our office, sensibly, is closed from 21 December until 3 January. So the week was a mix of some intense work to get the last things done at the office and the beginning of the Christmas hiatus.

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‘Tis the season for the Christmas markets in the towns and cities through which I cycle. So when I stopped in Aigües on Sunday morning, an arts and crafts market was being set up on the square. This little dog can look forward to spending a rather boring day with its humans, next to their stand:
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“Artisanal, made with love”:
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Faces:
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Santas are everywhere, including at the local bakery:
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On Wednesday afternoon we had our department’s Christmas lunch at a restaurant on the beach, but not the one we usually go to. We chose a nearby competitor, called Divino. A small enough place that we could have it all to ourselves (we were 35). We started with a drink and tapas on the terrace, and of course I was prowling with my camera. My co-workers are used to it, and actually expect it. Here is Stephanie, a frequent subject for me, talking to Nicolás and Valerio:
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Benjamin, a relatively new colleague, on loan from the Swedish patent office:
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My Basque colleague Blanca, who in addition to her impossible native tongue, is fluent in Spanish, English, French and German:
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Claire was also taking pictures:
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Throughout, we were being watched by the local fauna:
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Then it was time to go inside for the main part of the proceedings. Blanca borrowed my camera to take a picture with me in it, for once:
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I chose to sit across from Blanca, Stephanie and Carolina, knowing that these dynamic ladies would provide me with photo opportunities (and pleasant conversation too, of course):
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And I was not disappointed. I posted this image on Facebook, and it has been very popular among my friends, and among the friends of Carolina and Stephanie, and the two victims like it as well:
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My fellow Dane, Bente, in the crowd:
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Meanwhile, the little birds outside had a party with our leftovers:
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Once again, I visited the beach before dawn, this time closer to the centre of El Campello. The promenade and the beach were still deserted:
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Well, almost deserted:
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On Friday afternoon, I stopped at the Eastern European grocery on Plaza Seneca to buy some Polish goodies. The square used to house the city’s main bus station. A few years ago the bus station was relocated, and the old building was in a state of neglect until recently. But now it is nicely restored, and it was being used as an indoor Christmas market:
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Entertainment for the children:
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In the evening, I walked to our local pizzeria, Tutti Pizza y Pasta, to pick up a couple of pizzas for dinner. While I was waiting, these two gentlemen came to the counter to pay, and in exchange for a chupito, sang a traditional song:
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Then the weekend arrived, and of course I was out cycling both days. On Saturday in Aigües, I photographed this typical small-town scene on the town’s central square:
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On the outside of the church, a painting of the nativity scene by a local artist:
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Our daughter had dinner with us on Friday and spent the night. On Saturday, I drove her back to the apartment she shares with two Italian guys. On the way, we stopped at a supermarket so that I could buy her a cartful of bulky stuff that is more difficult to drag home when you don’t have a car. The fish counter was really well supplied and crowded with people shopping for the holidays:
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In addition to the two guys, Monica also shares the apartment with a cute dog, Meeve:
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On Sunday, I cycled to Agost, and again I ran into people singing traditional songs, although a bit more organised this time:
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I do not recall seeing much of this in previous years, but clearly it is a tradition around here, reminding us of the Puerto Rican parranda:
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Then it was Sunday evening, and I needed a lemon for the dish I was cooking and for my rum & Coke. So it was time to go to the garden and pick a couple. Our new house, like most free-standing houses here, has a lemon tree in the garden. These are still work in progress:
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This one is ready:
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The harvest. These are not perfectly looking lemons, but they are good, and they are MY lemons, not sprayed with anything:
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