Feliz Navidad, Felices Fiestas a todos. Seasons Greetings from Southern Spain

Greetings to all and as many of you know it has been a busy year but we are now in the Sierra Aracena and able to have a restful Christmastide. At present we can enjoy the Andalusian blue skies in the middle of the day and log fires for the evening chill. We managed a midday walk around the pueblo of Valdelarco. Here the Sierra villages have a tradition of crochet decoration for winter. In Valdelarco the trees in the square and the benches have been given a warm covering of colourful crochet.  A great idea for the cold iron benches.

It was our intention for our walk to be circular and we headed off from the upper part of the village. It was hard to park as all the parents and local school buses were attending a festive programme for the linked primary schools of our three local villages. Rural life seems well supported in Spain and there are the local school, village pharmacies and regular GP surgeries. As we climbed up there were some good views back over the village and through to the other hills of the Sierra Morena of which our Sierra is a part of.

We followed the map and turned right before the barranco/ stream with the pilgrimage church for the romeria on the other side. The romeria is the local village festival and usually takes place on the feast day of the village saint but usually in warmer weather! I showed the major romeria for most of the local villages in September when horses, carts and the bullocks set off for the church of the ‘Queen of the Angels.(La Reina de Los Angeles.)We walked quite a way and were hoping to complete a circular route. The path was pretty but finally came to an end with an impressive locked gate and lots of notices to confirm we would not be welcome to continue. Sin pasar! A lot of the well know public paths are kept open forming a network of ‘senderos’ but most of these are long distance and there are few circular routes. There is also a local group that tries to keep paths open and this had certainly looked a very clear path on the map.

Walking back was uphill! We planned to eat by the pilgrimage church in the full sun but ended up by a signed post and opposite the red sandy banks where the bee eaters nest in the spring. They have gone for a warm respite to somewhere in Africa. These birds also feature in my novel so I am very fond of them!

Greetings to all. We are all well and Trevor managed to overcome some of his difficulties with walking. We are plodding on with finishing the house hence view of my new shelves with Christmas cards and tools. I also managed to create a festive space with some solar lights.

We will have a pot luck veggie Christmas with friends. Chestnut and Apricot nut loaf and a trifle with sherry and madroño are my offerings. I am finally finished with the chestnuts and the blisters they give me. Why such a tasty and nutritious nut should prove so difficult to peel is beyond me! I managed to complete a vegan challenge in November and certainly felt good with the diet and overcame my desire for tea with milk. I now have light black tea with ginger and/ or lemon.

I am beginning to look into how the way we eat and farm does affect the natural world and is probably one of our biggest threats and challenges for the loss of biodiversity and climate change. In the news there was a report about the scale of recent deforestation amounting to the size of Spain. Spain is huge. The views I show of the Sierra should really be covered in trees. Reforestation could halt drastic rises in world temperatures.https://www.theguardian.com/environment/radical-conservation/2017/dec/22/failing-our-forests-in-two-years-weve-lost-enough-trees-to-cover-spain?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Thanks to everyone for all the love,support, cards, messages and comments this year. This is the time of year for the Baby Jesus story so I will sign off with the first smiles of my first grandchild. Babies seem to encourage us to look after them and think about doing what we can to provide a good life, inner and outer. Here’s to our desire and hope for peace, and for a future that’s good for all living things on this beautiful planet earth. Abrazos a todos. Hugs to everyone.

25 thoughts on “Feliz Navidad, Felices Fiestas a todos. Seasons Greetings from Southern Spain”

  1. Hi 🙂 Merry Christmas to you and your family! Little Olivia is cute! What a wonderful smile. 🙂 I enjoyed seeing all the photos. The crochet decorations are really fun.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the happy wishes. 🙂 It is snowy and sparkly outside of my window and cold. I am hoping to spend some time tomorrow outside. We will see how long I last in the cold! I very much enjoyed reading your story. 🙂 I sent you an email when I finished by replying to the one you sent with the two parts. Hopefully, it is in your email space somewhere. I know email can get full of extraneous stuff. 🙂 I can find it and try sending it again if it isn’t there. I would love to read the rest of the story and find out what happens to the weasel and the kite and whether the bee eater find his fellow bee eaters (or maybe that is in the next story) 🙂 You probably have thought of this, but I was thinking it would be nice to have a hand drawn map of the area of the adventures and the path the two pairs of animals take. I have seen maps like this in books with adventures that take place over an extended area. I was also thinking an illustration of the bee in her favorite poppy would look nice somewhere in your story. I think this is the kind of story that lends itself to illustrations. 🙂 I hope you enjoy your Christmas festivities and the New Year brings many happy events. 🙂 Your additions to the holiday meal sound delicious!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks Sarah, and I’m sorry I haven’t seen the email. They do seem to disappear when on a thread so will check again soon. So good to hear from you and agree a map and some illustrations could help. I’ll be in touch again soon. Now making the chestnut loaf!

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Georgina, I’ve broken my ankle so find myself with lots of time to sit and read!!! The crochet items are beautiful especially the one on the bin….you can see they are make with love. It’s great to think about how we farm and eat. I still drink milk but only the good full fat kind…blue top only Lol…May you both continue to enjoy the festive season

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Good to hear from you and hope your ankle fully recovers soon. Sometimes good to just be able to sit and read! Glad you liked the one on the bin outside my friends pharmacy!


  2. oh this is so lovely, thank you for sharing so so much. We are still in England but only 14days now to go before we return to the Algarvian blue skies, hope they are as blue as Andalusian. Wishing you a very happy, healthy and relaxing 2018

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Your granddaughter is so beautiful! I love her warm, wondrous smile and sparking eyes. And thank you for sharing the lovely photos and account of your hike in Valdelarco and the Sierra Aracena. Sending my best wishes to you and your lovely family. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your granddaughter has such a lovely smile! Such a pity your walk came to a sudden halt! Some farmers and landowners here do the same thing occasionally. Your Christmas meal sounds very good – we had the traditional turkey, Christmas pudding etc. At least I know what to do and don’t have to think too hard while I cook it! An added bonus when I am so tired and longing to sit down and have a sleep! 😀 A belated Happy Christmas to you too, Georgina and best wishes for 2018 xxxx

    Liked by 2 people

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