January '11

New Year Celebrations

New Year in Mas requires a visit to the town hall for the meal & dance. We missed the meal, but turned up just before midnight to join in with the New Year celebrations. The tradition here is to eat a grape on every ring of the bell at midnight, then slug down some Cava. Pondgirl put on her smart togs as it was also her birthday on the 1st. I brought my kilt out of storage much to the amusement of the locals.
One thing we are going to have to learn is how to Passa Doble, Cha Cha & Tango. Everyone here dances all of them like naturals. There was a new band this year and the guitarist would have put Mark Knoppler to shame.

On the 5th of January everyone celebrates "Tres Reys" (Three Kings). This is when children are given their presents and is a good opporunity for the village band to parade through the streets with the Tres Reys and their mates cocking a snoot at the p.c. brigade by blacking up as required.

Sense Fumar

The ban on smoking in bars has now caught up with the Spanish. On the 2nd of January, smoking is not permitted in any enclosed public places. In a typical response, our neigbour Salva has moved one of his vans to the front of Mar Mario and opened it as the bad weather smoking room, complete with required sign.

St. Antoni

The first festes after the start of the new year is St. Antoni. At midday all the villagers get their pets blessed by the local priest, then that night, the devils come out to try and burn St. Antoni in a little thatched house. Luckily he gets rescued by a damsel in white and it is the devils that get a roasting. Apologies for the lousy quality of the pictures, but I knocked the camera onto the wrong setting. Mea Culpa.

Health & Safety is being attended to by one man with a very long hose. Still the 200 odd villagers attending didn't seem to care to much and all the trees behind the fire survived the night.


Panda presented us witha bit of a problem at the end of the month, just before we were about to return to the UK. She learnt to climb out of their dog pen. We could not work out what was happening to begin with, the PG & I watched her as she just climbed up the chicken wire and hopped out over the top of the 1 1/2 metre high fence. After a bit of head scratching I had to improvise an overhang on the inside of the top of the fence. She diid try to find a way through it and managed to hang onto the fence for about 15 seconds before giving up with a howl of disappointment. Since then we haven't had another escape.

They also managed to catch their first rabbit without their parents help. Panda presented it to us very proudly.

Random Stuff

My attempts to get a picture of the partial eclipe at the beginning of January where a bit of a failure. I only managed to capture the eclipse in the reflection off the lens filter. I did like the mist coating our finca as seen from the village.
The mini tractor and rollers shows what serious olive farmers are prepared to invest in picking up the olives off the ground. At the moment we are using a hand roller a bit like the one leaning against the wall.

On the bright side, our log pile is starting to get bigger, which is a good indication that we are pruning the trees ready for this winters crop.