A great Day

Yesterday was a public holiday in Spain, Todos Los Santos, or All Saints’ Day It is the day when everyone remembers those who have died, family, friends, loved ones, and the graves are decorated with fresh flowers and candles, with everyone gathering in the cemetery as darkness falls; in earlier days they would have stayed there until the dawn. Yesterday was also my birthday. Thirty three years ago I celebrated my birthday here on my very first visit to this village, and on the day itself, I went swimming in the sea. That, I’m afraid, is no longer a part of my birthday routine. Old bones and seawater don’t mix well. So this year was spent as a quiet day at home before heading down to the Plaza in the evening to eat at the Marisquería, a fish restaurant which is fast becoming one of our favourite destinations, A friend joined us and we had a really enjoyable evening - good food and (a little too much) good wine. Yesterday, too, I received a lovely present. Inevitably every year my wife gets the same plea from our daughters; what does Dad want for his birthday/Christmas? Well this year I pre-empted that. I don’t actually want or need anything. With three quarters of a century under my belt, I’ve got everything. However there is a small UK charity which I support, Acts 435. It is a church-based operation which aims at facilitating small donations by those who wish to give to those who have a pressing, relatively small need for short term financial assistance. I asked those who give me presents not to do so, but instead to give the money they would have spent to a case of their choice on the Acts 435 website. My granddaughters are now old enough to understand this kind of giving and their mother introduced them to the site and let them choose where they would like Grandad’s present money to go. They chose two appeals, funds to help a child receive counselling, and a contribution towards the cost of school uniform for a family whose budget would not run to such expenditure. Two thoughtful donations from two thoughtful young people ; what better present could I have had than that?

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