The eve of the local Christmas Market here in Aljezur has given me the nudge to remind me that it was about time I updated the blog. It’s hard to believe we’ve been here for six weeks already. It’s also quite hard to believe we are nearing the Festive Season as it’s much more low key here. There are some lights up here and there around the town but if you’re like me and don’t go out much after dark then Christmas could pass you by which is exactly how I like it. My former work colleagues would attest to the ‘bah-humbug’ I used to be (and still am) at this time of year. Secret Santa? No thanks. Work Christmas do? Not for me. But here I do like to go to a few of the local events so we’ll be heading on over to the Christmas Market later on today.
Aside from that we have established our routines here with our various interests. The Banda Dos Bombeiros Volunários de Aljezur has welcomed Tim with open arms. A seat was rustled up, music was printed off, a uniform sourced from the depths of the store cupboard, and voila, you’d never know he wasn’t Portuguese. Principally the band is made up of young people between the ages of twelve and twenty six but they didn’t seem to mind or notice the age gap. The band is bank rolled by the fundraising efforts of the Bombeiros (fire brigade) and seems to be very active within the local community.
They were joined by two other bands a couple of weeks ago for a Festival of bands where the three bands marched through different parts of the town followed by a concert.
December 8th was a procession in Monchique, twenty miles away, for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception with a coach laid on to get the musicians to and from the town.
The film ‘Brassed Off’ came into my mind. If you haven’t seen the film then I’d recommend it.
Then tonight there will be a concert at the church in Aljezur. Starting at 9.30pm. 9.30pm? Everything seems to start late here. Me, I’m normally getting ready for bed at that time but I’ll make an exception tonight and support it.
As for me the donkeys continue to keep me busy three mornings a week.
We had two new arrivals a couple of weeks ago. Pasquale, an elderly donkey, was in need of a home and a chance at a comfortable retirement. He worked in agriculture in his previous life so he can now enjoy a bit of down time in his later years.
Isabella came with him but she is much younger so will hopefully make a good trekking donkey with a bit of time and training. She’s a big girl of some sort of Spanish origin and she’s bigger than nearly all the males.
They were both pretty nervous to start with but after a few days began to trust their new humans and I think they now enjoy the attention.
As for the dogs? Well, there are about forty or so of them and they are reliant on the volunteers if they want to get out for a walk three days a week.
Generally there are enough people but some days have been a bit thin on the ground so we’ll take two or three for an hour or so and then go back for two or three more.
As I knew would happen, one of them is going to break my heart. I knew it as soon as I clapped eyes on him. He’s a scruffy young Pedengo (Mediterranean hunting dog) and he has stolen my heart already.
He’s not ready for rehoming yet as he is still really nervous of people but we can see a change in him with us since we’ve been taking him out as he seems much more relaxed and content with us now.
Tim keeps reminding me that three is a crowd.
I can safely say that I won’t be getting a scruffy Pedengo for Christmas then!
Até a próxima.