Friday, October 19, 2018

Friday 19th October 2018...a different day!!!

Today is the the day i am going to the village where they make the soccer balls and my friends Willey and Geraldo picked me up at 10am.....

Willey is a good friend of Gracie’s and I like him and he offered to drive and Geraldo is our go to man..he speaks perfect English and is a jack of all trades and he works for a whole group of expatriates and he was taking us to the village.

It was about an hour in the car and just a tiny village close to the mountains outside the huge city of Queretaro.......we found the house we were looking for and the owner Moses.....

This is how it works Moses is the boss of the town and their specialty is making soccer is like a cooperative and the villagers get the material from Moses and make the balls and then they are collected and sold to all the merchants in the State..a huge business!!

Talking through Geraldo I asked Moses what the cost per ball would be for ordering 300 balls and for them to be delivered to SMA and he told me 70 pesos..this is for a hand made soccer ball...fantastic price!!!

We made the deal and I have to deposit 17000 pesos in the company account on Monday I can do that right here in town and we should have the balls by the end of November when I also pay the balance of the bill.

So this was a good job done!!!!

On the way back we stopped here

For what is supposed to be the best honey anywhere in this area!!

Finally back home at 2pm....

I rested and ate and at 4.30pm went to the gym met Aaron who put me through my paces again for an hour!!!!

So another good day comes to an end!!!

Yashi Kochi!!!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Thursday 18th October 2018.....easy day!!

Happy to report that the courts had dried out and we had another two hour session on the courts this morning...great fun.....afterwards I stopped by and picked up another cash donation for the Three Kings day.....I am amazed at the generosity of the people both here and overseas...thank you all!!

A quiet afternoon and tonight I went to the local P,at readers at St.Pauls church..Gracie had to teach English tonight , she does level 2!!

It was a Norm Foster production, he is the finest and most produced Canadian playwright

Norm Foster has been called Canada’s preeminent comic playwright. He is the most produced playwright in the history of the country and he receives, on average, an astounding one hundred and fifty productions of his plays each year. It has been said that on any given day of the year, there is a Norm Foster play either in rehearsal or in performance somewhere in the world.  

Halifax Chronicle-Herald columnist Ron Foley writes, “Foster’s stage writing remains one of Canada’s greatest theatrical treasures”, and The Calgary Herald describes him as "one of the funniest writers of intelligent comedy in Canadian theatre today."

The Foster Festival applauds Norm's 2017 appointment as an Officer of the Order of Canada, for his body of work. The Order of Canada is the highest civilian honour in the nation. 

My Narrator

Imagine what would happen if that little voice inside your head—the one that tells you how to behave and what choices to make—suddenly took on a life of its own? For Lacy and Miles, love is what happens, and with hilarious results.

“ …smart, fast-paced fun… Foster continues to be regarded as one of the funniest writers of intelligent comedy in Canadian theatre today.” —Calgary Herald

 and it was a great evening and the price of admission ....30 pesos!!

So another day comes to an end!!!

Yashi Kochi!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Wednesday 17th October 2018....this was a busy day!!!

I knew today was going to involve a lot of walking so I took it easy this morning..had my favourite breakfast poached eggs and then got all my stuff ready and left the house at noon.

First stop was to see a gentleman who wanted to donate to the Three Kings Toy Drive....we had a great visit and he is going to help me with some advertising and also setting up a way to have overseas donations sent to Pay he gave a really great donation ..thanks Ron Lennox!!!!!

From there I walked into Centro to our new location to play poker...always a great fun afternoon and I cleaned up again with a 100 Pesos win....

A quick walk back up to San Antonio and to meet Aaron for my gym workout...he put me through the  hoops today with a really hard work out but afterwards he told me I was amazing....his words not mine!!!!

I then have thirty minutes to cool down change my shirt eat a banana and walk the two minutes to my English class....

Their homework for today was to come to the front of the class and be teacher for five minutes..they were just outstanding!!!!!

We then sit around in a circle pick a topic and talk...followed by charades for chocolates...what a fine group of young people I am so proud and humbled by them!!!

Back home at 745 pm!!!!

Now it is time that last cup of tea maybe two biscuits and a movie!!!

Yashi Kochi!!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Tuesday 16th October 2018....rain stopped play!

Well that was quite a storm deluge last night and as expected the tennis this morning was cancelled......

Gracie picked me up with the dogs as she was going to her private Spanish lesson and I said I would take them for a walk.......

I drove out out town to La Gruta hot springs and parked there and walked them on the pavement to Atotonilco   ....where we sat in the courtyard and people watched!!

A World Heritage Site, the Santuario de Atotonilco was built in the 18th century by a Father Luis Felipe Neri de Alfaro, who, tradition has it, experienced an apparition of Jesus wearing a crown of thorns and carrying his cross.

The Mexican Baroque mural work on the walls and ceilings of the Santurario is mostly by Antonio Martinez de Pocasangre, and took thirty years to execute. The world-class murals have earned the Santuario the nickname "Sistine Chapel of Mexico."

Afterwards we picked up Gracie and she dropped me home where I continued to work on the Three Kings stuff, this I know is going to take up a lot of my time but I enjoy the challenge and the end results will be well worth it.

I had another wonderful donation of furniture given me for the family that I met last week and we delivered the coffee table and lamps to the house where we were well received and given many thanks.

Tonight being Tuesday it is country fried chicken night...boy did I enjoy that meal......

And there you go another day gone!!!

Yashi Kochi!!!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Monday 15 th October 2018....and the rain came!!!!

Well the response I received from my blog post of yesterday and a generic email to all people on my e mail contacts was wonderful and I spent this morning working on the computer with an accounting app to make all the donations accepted and logged and a thank you e many kind and generous people out there..I think the three Kings toy drive will be a huge success again!!!!

I had some errands to run in Centro and I took my time enjoying the sunshine, the people and the town.

This afternoon I went to a Q and A  computer class it was interesting and I did pick up a few little tips......

Around 5 pm I was getting myself ready to go to English  class when the heavens opened..the thunder and lightening roared.....and torrential rain came down for nearly two hours.....there was no way I could walk to school and I could not even get the car out the rain was so I was happy to get a message saying that school was cancelled....

All of the students either walk or get the bus and it would have been like rivers in the streets so a good call to cancel.

The only problem is that I am pretty sure the tennis courts will be too wet to play in the morning...

So time for tea and a movie!!!!

Yashi Kochi!!

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Sunday 14th October 2018...‘Tis the season!!!!!!!

As the Christmas season is approaching, I have taken on the joyful task again of organizing the Three Kings toy drive as I did last year!!

As you may know, Three Kings day in January is more important to the Mexican people than Christmas, and this is the time they exchange small gifts; but, sadly, many children in the outlying areas receive nothing!

As a result of this community’s generosity, last year we were able to give a small gift to more than 400 girls and boys in the campo of San Miguel de Allende!!

This year year I am setting the bar high and want to get gifts to 500 children.  This will require a great deal of generosity (some financial, some volunteer) by many people!!

We have found over the years that  boys from kindergarten to middle school all want a ⚽️ soccer ball!!

I am happy to say that I have found a supplier in a nearby village where the balls are made, and he is willing to sell the balls to me at a really great price!!

For the older girls, last year we found a supplier at the Tuesday market who would make up lovely small purses 👛 for the girls, inside if which were an assortment of nice things such as notebooks, pencils, hair products, nail products, and gloves. The cost of one of these purses is very reasonable, too!!!

For the kindergarten girls, last year we made up a bag of many colourful toys 🛍but, a suggestion has come in that they would each love a nice stuffed animal 🦓🐘so that has yet to be decided.

The soccer balls do not need to be wrapped nor do the purses for the the work of wrapping may just come down to the stuffed toys, if we go that route.

So, this year, instead of asking everyone to buy a toy and wrap it, I am asking for cash donations as this is the best way to maximize our efforts to reach the goal of  500 children!!!!

This is not a charitable organization so no tax receipts will be issued, but I will keep a copy of everyone who donates (and the amounts) and send each a thank you and photos of the gift giving!!

If you do not live in San Miguel  please e mail me and I will give instructions how to get your donation to me!!

Thank you for your kind consideration! I’m hoping to hear from you soon so that you may be part of making this holiday season very special for some children who might otherwise  receive nothing!

Please when you contact me use a separate e mail and not reply to this generic e mail...many wishes les!!

My e mail account is.

Santa Claus may have gone back to the North Pole to rest, but it doesn’t mean the gift-giving (and receiving) is over -- at least not for the thousands of children in Latin America and Spain anxiously awaiting“El Día de los Reyes” Celebration on Jan. 6th.

For many Christians, the holiday season doesn’t officially end until the 12th day of Christmas known as the “Feast of the Epiphany” or “Three Kings' Day”.

The holiday marks the biblical adoration of baby Jesus by the three Kings, also referred to as three Wise Men or Magi. According to the Gospel of Matthew, the men found the divine child by following a star across the desert for twelve days to Bethlehem. Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar -- representing Europe, Arabia, and Africa respectively -- travelled by horse, camel, and elephant in order to present baby Jesus with three symbolic gifts.

The gold offered by one of the wise men is a symbolic acknowledgment of Jesus’ royal standing as “King of the Jews,” while the frankincense manifests the divine nature of the baby’s existence, since he is not an earthly king but the Son of God. And finally the myrrh, often used to embalm corpses, was gifted to the newborn as a symbol of Jesus’ mortality -- foreshadowing his death as a means to cleanse humanity of its sins.

Reyes festivities come in different shapes and sizes across the globe from community parades to three-day celebrations at Disneyland. In Mexico, thousands gather every year to taste a mile-long “Rosca de Reyes” (Kings’ Bread) while others simply make the holiday staple at home honoring the tradition to hide a baby jesus figurine within the bread -- the person whose slice has the figurine must prepare tamales for everyone on the Day of the Candles on Feb. 2!

Yashi Kochi!!!

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Saturday 13 th October 2018...want to know???

What I was doing ten years ago today???

Welcome to Butrint, Albania


Butrint, ancient Buthrotum, lies in south-west Albania, 20 km south of the modern port of Saranda. Its location is spectacular: the ancient city occupies a bluff of land protruding into the Vivari channel, a stretch of water which today connects the Straits of Corfu, 4 km west of Butrint, to the inland salt-water Lake Butrint. 

South of the channel lies a flat reclaimed plain, today drained by dykes, which effectively separates Butrint from the range of mountains that run along Albania's southern frontier with Greece.

The history of Butrint was probably settled in the 8th century B.C. by Corfiot traders; this was almost certainly the town associated with the legend of Aeneas. By the 4th century, Butrint was a Chaoanian port, probably at the centre of one of the Hellenic tribes of Epirus.

The Romans used the port as a supply base for military campaigns in the Balkans in the 2nd century. The following century it became a colony for the veterans under Julius Caesar. 

By later roman times, it had its own bishop, and was evidently a place that was once again expanding. It then suffered attack by the Goths in 551. Its subsequent history until the tenth century, as in the case of many Mediterranean ports, remains a mystery. 

Thereafter, it emerged a major port-of-call on the Adriatic route from Venice to Byzantium. For much of the later Middle Ages it was in Venetian hands, defending the eastern flank of the Straits of Corfu. Only in the eighteenth century did they abandon Butrint in the face of the Turks. 


By the 1850's, though, when Edward Lear passed this way, it was deserted.Butrint remained overlooked until the 1920's, when an Italian mission led by Luigi Ugolini was despatched to Albania. 

In 1924 Ugolini chose the Illyrian hilltop site, the Phoinike, 20 miles north of Butrint, for his first campaigns. This proved to be less promising than Ugolini imagined, so in 1928, in the hope of discovering the archaeology of the age of Aeneas, which might then be directly linked for propaganda purposes to Rome, he began work at Butrint.

At that time Butrint was a largely bare hill in a deserted landscape. Within three months Ugolini had unearthed great stretches of the Greek polygonal walling around the acropolis including several fine gates. 

His largest excavations, however, were on the south-facing flank of the hilltop where he discovered the theatre. The 4th century theatre, with its well preserved seating and cavea, produced a sensation when a line of statues including the "goddess of Butrint" and a fine head of Apollo were discovered. 

Working on a huge scale, Ugolini unearthed the Temple of Asclepulus beside the theatre, a fine Roman bath block in front of it, parts of an Early Byzantine palace by the Vivari canal, an extraordinarily well-preserved Early Byzantine baptistery with a perfectly preserved later fifth-century mosaic pavement and many other monuments. 



Mugolini worked with a fervour until his early death in 1936 from malaria. The new campaign the new excavations supported by the Albanian Institute of Archaeology and the Butrint Foundation aims to develop Butrint from two points of view. 

First, as most of the previous archaeological investigations has been concentrated upon the ancient levels, Byzantine Butrint remains largely unknown. The main objective of the new campaign is to chart the topographical history of this period.

In particular, it is important to establish the 6th to 10th century A.D. phases: to examine how this important port fared as the Mediterranean commercial systems collapsed.

The second aim of the new campaign of research at Butrint is to promote this remarkable site   in such a way that it attracts a steady flow of tourists which in turn provide a source of income for the region. 

Through careful heritage management, the Butrint Foundation also aims to help protect this site and its region. Excavations and surveys in 1994-95 have been limited in their scope.

A phase of assessment has taken place in order to develop the project successfully. These new surveys indicate that throughout its history the port of Butrint was dominated by its environmental circumstances.


It seems likely that in later Bronze Age and early Greek times, when the hilltop (the acropolis) was the centre of the settlement, Butrint was a seaboard town. 

The sea would appear to have extended far inland beyond the northern extent of the present Lake Butrint. At that time it is likely that Butrint's commercial port lay in the sheltered bay on the north side of the hill.

Coming by land, visitors would have approached Butrint down the narrow coastal peninsula. But by Roman times much of the low-lying ground which now separates Butrint from the Straits of Corfu had been reclaimed.

These are the photos from the ruins hope you can enjoy them as much we did walking round these ancient grounds knowing that in some places ruins had been built on top of other ruins.

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This was really an unforgettable experience to see a country that for so many years was under the Communise regime.  The sights we saw were of poor and sometimes run down places.  People not really happy but so much new construction going on so hopefully with the advent of tourism and modern techniques this country will prosper and grow and the people be content.

Nice to look back and remember the great times !!

Yashi Kochi!!!

Friday 19th October 2018...a different day!!!

Today is the the day i am going to the village where they make the soccer balls and my friends Willey and Geraldo picked me up at 10am..... ...