Friday, March 30, 2018

Easter and Semana Santa

Happy Easter to you!!!!!

Easter lunch for us.
We are in the midst of Semana Santa week, third year of us being here for it. Honestly I am feeling sleep deprived and am on the verge of "break up" with the celebrations for next year. Many locals leave Sevilla during this time, it is not due to lack of respect for the enormous efforts, it's the major interruption in their daily lives.

Last year's post with a link to the previous year.

It’s Monday and the absolute craziness of Semana Santa has begun. We have thousands perched on the curbs outside our flat, as before. It’s a jovial crowd, with drinks and snacks, I’m just glad to be a viewer from above it, with a ready bathroom at hand. There are different levels of comfort during this week long celebration, some people have had tiered seats, bought or rented years ago to see the most famous procession. They are still squished in tiers for hours on end but do get to see the largest church and it’s most difficult entry/exit from it. 

Here in our neighbourhood it is a little easier, and the crowds more casual. Judging from todays crowds waiting to see the statues before they are paraded it is a large congregation, we even have a Nazareno in our building and I know who it is although he was in full uniform when I saw him today, pointed hat and robes. 

We were woken at 03:00 by a very loud brass band playing, a friend said they do that when they return from the main church, didn’t remember that before. Music was good but at 03:00 am I’m not as appreciative as I could be.

There are men underneath the paso or float, carrying it.
These are the men, called Costaleros, cushioned hats help with the weight of the paso. 
Top view of the palio, or canopy that covers the top of the statue of the Virgin Mary, sometimes it is covered in rose pedals.
Artsy, fartsy of it on the move.
Today it is Good Friday so we have three more days of celebrations, I think I might have to adopt the custom of siesta!

Happy Easter, hope the Easter bunny was good to you!

Cheers, Bev, Bruce and Lexi Cat, our own Easter bunny of a sort. 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Are you wearing green? I am.

Happy Father's Day for tomorrow!

There was a display for Semana Santa (Easter) of processions that each church puts on over the week. Well done models I thought and certainly easier to see than waiting on the crowded streets for hours. 
This is all small scale!
Exact replica of the Museo, close to us, the detail!

With Dawna and Erwin’s visit we had to curtail both a Pepe’s family bodega tour and lunch with him and Angela and Ryan at a favourite restaurant, poor Dawna caught a flu bug. She was holed up in the apartment for a couple of days. Thankfully she felt better by Friday and we were able to visit again. We intended to go to their apartment across town but it poured rain and worse was windy. Bruce needed the umbrella but had difficulty holding it and dodging on the sidewalks with others in his chair. We got a couple of blocks out and decided this is a no go, asked D & E if they could taxi to our house. Dawna suggested we get a large cape for Bruce, hence no annoying umbrella. Taxi they did after Erwin found an app to install on his phone. We all didn’t know that taxi drivers are individuals here and they sign up on phone apps to get clients. Transport worked well for them and we had a nice visit. 

Christoph sent us the mail from Germany, means a bit of a hike to the post office so I decided to take the bus, mistake. I probably missed it by minutes, schedules are not clear, and then it stopped for some time at the next stop, apparently waiting for a regular passenger who was running for it. Good service for her, she apologized. Next stop was mine and he stopped a block sooner than expected. The route has changed, I’ll have to take it all the way around to find out how much. Plus since they cater to regulars it could change daily because some will just rap on the window to get off between stops. Which I could do as well I suppose. Walked back, nothing exciting. 

Christmas in March! We received a few cards from friends who do not read the blog and I write to over Christmas to stay in touch. Sadly my ex-mother-in-law passed away last year, such a lovely lady. She requested her daughter to write to those on her Christmas list to tell us of her passing which I think is a great idea. Long letter from our host in Brussels showing the feistiness that we love her for. The Christmas letter from my cousin who writes per family, i.e. her children and then parents write the highlights of the year including grandchildren and pets. Card from my cousins in Ireland and card from our friend in England who lost her husband last year, we met them in Heidelberg, she seems busy with grandchildren now. Bills, bills, bills for both Germany and Canada, not so welcome, mostly paid already but I do need to get a better handle on that, lazy me.

The orange blossoms are starting to bud, no smell yet but it will come soon, so lovely when it does! I know, you hear that every year.

We’ve made plans for the summer, finally. Considerations included London, Rennes in France, Brussels to see our friend Linda, and lots more, nice choice to have, and I appreciate it! Decided to work through Switzerland, moving every two weeks, Lausanne, Bern, Lucerne, Konstanz (Germany). All of these cities are on water so that's the theme and the plan for now.

We’ll be going hotels on this trip and must remember to bring my portable kettle and packets of coffee for those that do not provide, but a few provide free breakfast which could be anything from continental, a bun and jam, to full on eggs and bacon. More research to be done here.

I’ve been antsy about getting to LinoyFino but so far this week changes in plans have not allowed me to make it there. Example, Lexi bit us both one night, me on the leg which bled a lot (good, cats apparently have vile toxins in their mouth) but she bit Bruce on the hand. Next day the hand was swollen, he waited another day to see if it would go down but didn’t. When she bit me in the middle of the night I yelled at her Bitch! Woke Bruce up and she showed remorse by tapping my armpit after, in bed. As said, we cannot overstimulate this cat. It happened in Vienna too. We’ve read and experienced that a cat bite on the hand, while one would think, oh well, another scar, can become serious. We went to the clinic on the Alameda and no go there, they directed us to the Emergency in Triana. Pepe to the rescue once again, he picks us up to go there. We were lucky, not busy and in and out in about 45 minutes. Bruce gets a prescription for antibiotics as expected. The Doctor was actually looking it up on Google, Bruce could see her screen. They get dog bites but this is the first cat bite she’d encountered.

Thursday and to hell with diversions, I take the C5 bus to visit Yolanda at Linoyfino, Bruce is still sleeping so I get there and try on many linen tops. This year the colours are vibrant, not pastel as in years past. Yolanda speaks no English but I can understand most of what she says and she is a warm and friendly person. End result, purchase of six new linen tops, leaf green, Teal blue (my fav), lime green, white, dark blue and crimson, very pleased! You’ve read in previous years I shop for three basics, linen shirts (admittedly not so practical for travel wrinkle free but cool), T-shirts and jeans at stores in Freiburg.
Pretty colours!
Our good friend Omar from Amsterdam contacted us, he’s back in Croatia to visit family and friends after a very stressful time with his employer in Amsterdam. Such a gentle soul that got tromped on by the owner of the condo we stayed at there. We saw it happening to some degree and I wish now, at the end of our stay, I would have said something but doubt the man would have listened anyway. Well I’m a firm believer that the karma you sow, bad or good will come back at you. This man is owed some bad karma.

Acts of kindness, it’s been raining here a few days (weeks it seems). Anyway, Bruce was going down the street, umbrella on the bike but not in use and a lady took it out and put it over him. Another day Bruce was waiting outside in the rain for me to get the ramp and a lady held her umbrella over him while he waited. I am becoming a rain wuss! We were so used to it on the west (wet) coast, but not so much now. This town is not rain friendly, meaning the cobblestones are uneven and the water puddles between guaranteeing wet feet, drainage is pretty much nonexistent. Absolutely everyone uses umbrellas so walking on the sidewalk is an exercise in bobbing.

Cheers, Bev, Bruce and the brat Lexi Cat