wind from the southwest
The wind direction is significant here. Southwest brings rain. It also makes the stove smoke, knocks out the water heater and - when rain comes - soaks some significant part of electricity cable so the circuit which connects phone/internet, fridge, freezer, CD player, etc, blows. It's raining again now. Could be this blog will come to sad and sudden end and Granny's not so immortal prose will disappear into the stratosphere. Don't bother to weep.
Yesterday Granny too busy escorting altogether lovely Spanish girlfriend - improving her Spanish thereby - to write anything. They visited among other things the half-made made Belen - Bethlehem, otherwise Christmas crib- on the other side of the National (volcanic) Park; the most elaborate one on the island. These Belens are a feature of every community in Spain at Christmas - as also the procession of the three kings on January 6th, on camels, or imitation camels. (Here, of course, camels bred on the island, there are so many available that not only the kings appear riding them, each king is followed by train of more camels bearing his harem. Kings and harems alike throw sweets at the crowd- throw them so very hard, they hurt. The myrrh part of the gift, no doubt. )
Most Belens cover a big tract of ground, some very elaborate, showing sea, volcanoes, farmland, growing plants every form of local activity surrounding the main figures of the crib. In the main town on the island one has been set up in a marquee next to the church. It has a succession of little rooms, ending with Mary and Joseph more or less life-size - opposite them a laundry in which baby clothes are strung on a line; a nice touch.
Lately, Christmas lights, trees, Father Christmas have begun to figure in the island Christmas. Communities compete over these too. Our local one has decided to lead the field - last year there was a plantation of flashing palm trees on the main roundabout leading into the town. This year a large windmill will be flashing and flashing. In general though Christmas here is not a consumer fest as in England. Only signs of this arrive - a little bit -in shopping arcades patronised by British expats. But mainly on Channel Four via satellite. The many versions of the holy family do NOT feature the Beckhams for sure; never mind Real Madrid. (Catholic Bishop's thundrous response to Madame Tussaud's installation: 'trivialisation of the sacred'. Anglican Bishop's far from thundrous response. 'Deary me.' ) . The main supermarket, this year as last year, plays a non-stop tape of children singing Christmas songs, as dreadful as British esquivalent, but never mind that.
The expat Germans meanwhile go in for Christmas kitsch; lights, gold paint, plastic fir trees, figures looking like wood actually plastic, Also less of a consumer fest. Visually horrible, but ethically pleasanter.
What is it about the Brits then? Granny will miss most of the horror - not due to arrive back in London till December 23rd. She is thankful.