Of cabbages and kings (well robots actually!)

Warning this is a very picture heavy post – look away if you are not into random exploration into photography or go and make a cup of tea if you have a slow internet collection while it all loads!

First of all I would like to say a very, very big thanks to you and you and you, in fact all 5, 476 of you that visited me last month! I was really impressed to find that when I checked my stats yesterday I have leapt from my average visits of around 4,500 per month which I have had for the past year to the stunning figure of nearly 5,500 last month.

I am thrilled (Jake is grudgingly impressed though cannot imagine why people would want to visit a blog about stitching, photos and Spain!) Now I know that lots of people arrive here by accident through a search for something else and maybe don’t  stay for long but I am very humbled by the fact that anyone comes here at all and love the fact that so many of you come back and comment and have become my bloggy friends.

I have had another very lovely week in Spain and have been indulging in some photography as well as an accidental fiesta.

It has become commonplace for me to just come across things happening when I go , we will just be visiting somewhere and something fab will be happening and this has become a bit of standing joke that not only do I get great weather for all my visits, ( I always say that God feels sorry for me because I live in Yorkshire whereas my Southern cousins sometimes get rain!), I also get events happening that we knew nothing about.

My last trip to Elche  in October coincided with a wonderful medieval market and we visited the town last week only to find that they were preparing for a carnival at the weekend which we went back for on Saturday.

The reason for the carnival was  not entirely clear, it was not a religious festival as far as we could work out and the people we spoke to said it was like Halloween, which we realised was more like the US version of Halloween than our UK one in that the point was to wear fancy dress of any sort (unlike our UK Halloween which is mainly witches etc) and have one great big street party involving brass bands and discos and general merriment.

Anyway we had a great evening watching and admiring the many costumes , early on the evening it was mainly children who were dressed up , princess costumes were a very clear winner with Snow White as the most popular but Minnie Mouse was a close second (she was also very popular with the adults later on).

Ellie would have loved it, being as you know a Disney Princess and a huge fancy dress fan, so maybe one day we can all go dressed up.We of course had to drink red wine and eat tapas in the little bars around the central square (just to be sociable you understand) and did not leave till about 11 – the rest of the town were due to carry on partying till 3!

There was a lovely mix of home-made and bought costumes and these pics give a flavour of that – I love the plastic cup hat and the robot got loads of pics taken. The band shot was just a random coming together of a group of people at one point before we left, love that about Spain – totally mad place but totally wonderful!

Spain Feb 2012 Elche festival 1

Spain Feb 2012 Elche festival 2

Spain Feb 2012 Elche festival 3

Elche is a very beautiful place with so much to see and its Palmeral (Palm Park) is a Unesco World Heritage site.

I have also been trying to take lots of lovely arty pics with the new camera that I got for Christmas which is very good (thanks kids!) and has very good definition for close up shots as well as a zoom lens that works (yey!) so have really enjoyed exploring all the different places.

Whenever I read things about painting and photography people often talk about the light being really good in places and I have never really understood what that meant. However after spending a lot of time taking pics in Spain I have realised that the colours and the way that the light reflects off the stone and the sea really changes the way that my little snaps look.

These three pics were taken down at the beach and the salinas (salt lakes) that are a bird reserve where I often go for a bike ride.

Spain Feb 2012 beach clouds

Spain Feb 2012 beach

Spain Feb 2012 salinas

I come back with pics that have the most amazing blue sky in them and the contrast between that and the sea or the way the sun hits the stone is wonderful. The pics below are of the Basilica Santa Maria in Elche.

Spain Feb 2012 cathedral 1

Spain Feb 2012 cathedral 2

I have also taken a few close up shots of the great vegetation there is – this time not only a cactus from my terrace but beautiful ornamental cabbages surrounding a pool at the park in Elche.

Spain Feb 2012 Elche garden

Spain Feb 2012 cabbage 1

Spain Feb 2012 cabbage 2

Spain Feb 2012 cactus

I hope you have enjoyed the pics, I will be back at the weekend with my Scavenger Hunt pics for this month, I will be posting them early as I am off to China with work next week which will be very exciting!

Thanks for visiting and making a little blogger very happy!

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