La Semana Blanca

The kids are on holiday from school this week here in the Axarquía. On enquiring, I discovered that the occasion is La Semana Blanca. Which left me no wiser until I went agoogling. Every village, town and city in Spain has its annual feria, a week's holiday when the fairground comes to town. These weeks are spread across the entire year, of course, with the result that in many places they occur during the three-month summer holiday. Now that is downright unfair in Spanish eyes, so the schools affected can elect a Semana Blanca, when the schools will close so that the kids get the week's holiday they would otherwise have missed. Frigiliana celebrated Carnaval last weekend and this coming weekend brings El Día de Andalucía, so the intervening week makes a natural choice for the Semana Blanca.
It's little touches like this that I love about Spain.


The Bullpen

The cottage I rented in the Lake District used to be the bull pen for the farm. Very tastefully converted! A selection of the photos I took are on my Picasa site. Just click on the photo below.



I got back from the UK yesterday to be met by bright sunshine and a temperature of around 17 degrees. Sadly, my daughter and granddaughters had had to suffer almost incessant rain during their visit. And today it's raining again. So yesterday was most fortuitous as it was the day that Frigiliana was celebrating Carnaval. Little things like Lent ( or La Cuaresma, as it's called in Spanish) started three days previously. Anyway, we met up with friends to watch the huge fancy dress parade take shapoe and set off around the village a mere one hour later than advertised. Here are a couple of photos to give you a flavour of the occasion.


Off On Holiday

It seemed like a good idea when I booked it all, back in sunny September; a week in the English Lakes in February. Do some walking. Have some 'me' time. And my wife fancied the idea of week here in Frigiliana without me under her feet. Then the family decided she shouldn't be abandoned so our granddaughters arrive with Mummy on Sunday. Well, it looks like being wet here while I'm away, so they may feel England would have been better for half-term. And it looks like being really cold in the Lakes, so perhaps I'll finish up thinking I'd have been better off staying here.
But the die is cast. It's off to the airport in the morning, pick up a hire car at Manchester airport, and then off up the M6 to a cottage just outside Penrith. I've packed my pencils, watercolours, paper and other odd bits of paraphernalia, and so I hope to come back with something creative to show for my break - oh, and I'm told I have to bring a proper pork pie back, as well as some traditional English farmhouse cheese. So that calls for a visit to the farm shop at Tebay Services on the M6, and maybe a trip to Booth's supermarket in Keswick.


A Foretaste of Things to Come

We awoke today to a clear blue sky, with not a breath of wind. It stayed that way all day with the result that by lunchtime we were enjoying a real spring-like day. So this afternoon I stretched out on a lounger on the roof terrace and for an hour reveled in my first sunbathe of the year.
It just makes me wonder why I've decided to head off to England next weekend for a week in the Lake District. Actually, I do know why I'm going; I'll be packing paints, pencils, paper and a selection of photos of family members so I can spend some quiet time on my own working on my new project, developing portraiture skills.
And in between times there's some fantastic countryside to pass time in.