I am taking a blogging course and today’s assignment is to write a post for my ideal reader, but who are you? For me, any reader is ideal but the idea of the blogging course is to increase the readership of the blog from the friends and family who currently read it to a wider audience. How will you find me?
Are you thinking about moving to Spain or moving abroad or considering a huge life change. Do you love gardening, living a rural life and learning to earn your living in a new and challenging way. Is that you?
Should I talk about books or the countryside, weight loss, healthy eating or the joy of discovering exercise? Should I share my deepest, darkest thoughts or talk about knitting – are those the sorts of blogs you read?
Shall I share my
obsession enthusiasm for Pinterest or for the vast and frankly mind boggling world of home decoration blogs (there are already a myriad of these) or……………….shall I keep writing about my life in Spain, perhaps in a more focused fashion, tagging my posts, sharing them on facebook and with the family and friends who already read them?
Are you there? Anyone?
Note to self: Always proof read before publishing………
I had written a last paragraph concerning the grapes but somehow it was lost – should have checked before sending.
Anyway, “what about the grapes?” I hear you ask.
On Noche Vieja, literally Old Night or New Year’s Eve it is traditional to eat a grape on each stroke of midnight. If you don’t require the Heimlich manoeuvre during this, it is supposed to bring you luck. You can buy bunches of grapes for this or as we did this year a small pre-prepared tin or two. New Year’s Eve has never been my favourite fiesta and generally Steve and I have been asleep by eleven only to be woken by the fireworks but for the past two years we have made it to midnight and gone out onto the terrace to watch the fireworks going off all over the valley. With some optimism I bought a double tin of grapes so that we could join in with the tradition. Whether it was the wine, the heat of the fire or our age and the lack of entertaining TV, we were asleep on the sofa by 8.30, woke briefly at 9.30, gave each other a marital look that said midnight, I don’t think so, put the puppies to bed and were asleep in bed by 10pm. The grapes are still on the mantel-piece and with an expiry date of 2017, will come in handy for next year or even the following year. For the sake of Auld Lang’s Syne indeed.
What traditions make Christmas and New Year for you? It is always great to hear from you so do leave a comment and follow the blog in 2015 as I keep you posted about our life in Spain.
Christmas or at least the festivities surrounding Christmas are still being celebrated here in Spain and will continue until after the Three Magic Kings visit on Monday night. Christmas is a different animal in Inland Spain from the traditional English one. You don’t see much evidence of the approaching festivities until at least December when street lighting appears and a few decorations and chocolate advent calendars appear in the shops. As December progresses you can find tins of 12 grapes (more of this later) and packets of turron, a sweet made from almonds, in different textures and flavours along with lots of little biscuits in individual packaging. Some of the bigger shops and supermarkets start to open on Sundays, and they play Christmas music, usually a short loop featuring Feliz Navidad, Jingle Bells and We Wish You a Merry Christmas. Until recently, Father Christmas didn’t feature very much as presents are brought by the three magic kings who arrive on January 5th but these days children expect a present on Christmas Day as well as on January 5th. One of the children in my class received un espacio nave de Star Wars on Christmas Day but was expecting a lot more for Kings. You can buy a turkey fairly easily, last year I ordered a fresh one as my family were with us and this year I bought ready prepared one – not so nice, but if you want mince pies, Christmas cake or Christmas pudding you have to make your own or like me this year be the happy recipient of a hamper courtesy of my mother and sister and husbands!
As most of you know, Christmas in the Bosworth household is a fairly muted affair. Steve doesn’t really participate in anything Christmassy although he is happy to put the tree up for me and eat turkey for days on end along with lots of chocolate, separately I mean. Steve doesn’t send Christmas cards and prefers me not to add his name to mine although I usually add a non festive greeting from him to avoid people thinking we are getting divorced.
I like to decorate with a few precious ornaments I made over the years and do a bit of festooning with whatever greenery is available. In England, Steve and I would take Doobie for a walk up to the Mells estate and pilfer several carrier bags of ivy and a bit of holly and over here I have a secret supply of ivy in Sax near the river and then, happily, I can walk across the field and find fir trees and pine cones galore. I add in lots of candles and tealights, preferably M&S scented ones and this year was very happy to return from our December visit to England with a Christmas Tree shaped candle and two varieties of diffuser so the house smells gorgeous.
For me, Christmas must include chestnuts in both sweet and savoury forms. Last year, Steve’s brother visited us in November and brought two tins of sweetened chestnut puree and several packets of vacuum packed chestnuts and as we didn’t finish them all I was able to open the cupboard on Christmas eve and make lentil and chestnut soup and chocolate, chestnut sauce. With last year’s home made mincemeat I was able to rustle up some mince pies along with some apple and cinnamon versions for the non mincemeat eating part of the household and Christmas was complete bar friends and family in England but Skype and Facebook are wonderful things.