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Tuesday, 22 December 2009

... casting his shadow, weaving his spell, funny clothes, tinkling bell

We didn’t realise Orgiva was Hebden Bridge and Findhorn rolled in to one small town; the first clue we got was the yurts, then we spotted an abnormal number of beat up VW vans and people with beards wearing baggy colourful trousers. The town has a health food shop and two health food stalls in the market and enough hippy shops to keep us happy; this is the place to buy amusing knitted hats, a new throw for the Blue Bus and have a massage to ease the neck. We had picked Orgiva because of its geographic position, but it suits us well.

Our first day here coincided with the eve of the winter solstice. We have long felt this event is well worth celebrating, as it marks the point in the year when the days start to get longer, whereas the summer solstice marks the start of the shortening of the days. In previous years we have lit lots and lots of candles, sent letters to prisoners of conscience for Amnesty International or got up to see the sunrise. This year was a more subdued festival; we limited ourselves to one candle and had our first glasses of gin and tonic for eight months. In Spain there is a tradition of leaping over bonfires for the winter solstice; unfortunately Orgiva was a bit too wet for such frolics.

Since we arrived in Orgiva it has rained, so we are very glad to be in a house rather than a campsite. Sheila and Jack have made us very welcome and even provided a carton of soya milk in the fridge for our arrival, the house is warm and we have spent an hour or so in a hectic Spanish hypermarket joining the throngs in the traditional buy-more-than-you-can-ever-eat Christmas shop, so we've no need to go far at all.

A pile of parcels and cards were at the house when we arrived. We opened the Christmas cards and put the birthday presents under the decorated tree that Sheila and Jack had provided and set to enjoy Carol's last week of being in her 40s!

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