Home for the holidays

I’ve said goodbye to La Chanca for a couple of weeks, swapping the view of the castle for the view of the Cariatiz hills.

It’s Sunday morning and finally after a hectic few days I can feel peace and goodwill to all (wo)men.

I’m back home with an average of three teens at any given moment – ie Ellie and Alex and whichever friend happens to be accompanying them.

It’s a completely different life from my singledom in La Chanca and I’m happy to say I enjoy them both!

Ellie picking oranges from the garden

And for the first time in a long time I am experiencing the joy of being on holiday.

Often at the newspaper we were battling with Christmas deadlines or covering for colleagues who got in first with their Christmas holiday requests. Then I had my year ‘off’ so basically a permanent holiday from work if not from life!

But now, especially with the teaching job, I can really say, yay, I’m on holiday! Such a relief and I intend to enjoy every moment of child free/lesson planning free time.

So last month in La Chanca has been relatively drama free.

I did fall down a drain as I was rushing down the hill that leads to the gypsy market. It was raining, and I stepped on a perfectly normal looking manhole cover only for it to flip up and plunge my leg down into its sewage filled depths. Disgusting.

A gypsy guy popped out of his front door opposite to see if I was ok, and a passing car stopped to help too, so once again I experienced kindness from the community. We all agreed it was a disgrace and a danger (I wasn’t badly hurt but someone could have broken their leg) so I emailed the council and I believe I saw them fixing it the other day.

But apart from that, the neighbours have been quiet, the street has been relatively clear and everybody has just been going about their own business.

No one even complained when I was practising for ‘Messiah’. I must have repeated the piano accompaniment for ‘Thus saith the Lord’ 50 times over two days – I was so afraid of messing it up for Barry singing and of course had left it to the last minute to learn it! (I need the pressure – 7 years of deadlines take their toll!)

Just to enlighten readers that don’t know the background, we performed Messiah Part 1 with VeraVoces choir (you can look it up on Facebook) and Barry Jobling is the marvellous director/pianist/singer who made it possible.

Although I have been too tied up with other things to be on the street much, Jeanne came for a visit and did some community outreach in going to tea with a Moroccan woman a few doors down. She gleaned a bit more background information on the community – apparently virtually all the Moroccans come from the same village in their country!

So now Christmas is almost upon us and my year in La Chanca is almost up!

I’ll save my year review and future plans for the New Year blog, so for now all that remains is to wish everyone a very happy and peaceful Christmas, wherever you may be!