Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Wednesday 31st October 2018.....blink and it was gone!!!

Today was a super busy day starting with chores in Centro this morning then I walked to the restaurant where we played poker....always enjoy this time and I think I had the best win for many years I won 315 pesos!!!!

After poker a quick walk to the gym to meet Aaron and work out for one hour and then off across the street to my English class.......

As it was Halloween 🎃 night we just had fun and played twenty questions all night..... they loved it and also the chocolate afterwards ...what a great bunch of friends I have for students!!!

Below tells you about the huge celebrations coming up..

Mexico’s Day of Dead: a celebration of life

Far from being a morbid event, Day of Dead emphasizes remembrance of past lives and celebration of the continuity of life.  This acknowledgement of life’s continuity has roots which go back to some of Mexico’s oldest civilizations including the Olmec, Zapotec, Maya, and Purépecha.  The Aztecs also celebrated Day of the Dead, although earlier (August) on the current calendar.

Local festivities and traditions vary from place to place, although the ofrendas (see below) are the focal point of the celebrations and can be spotted everywhere during the festive period. Some towns and cities hold religious processions, and some of the participants may use face paint and costumes to emulate Catrinas (see below).

Although Halloween (October 31) and Dia de los Muertos (Nov 1 & 2) are, strictly speaking, two distinct events, in recent times the two festive dates have blended into each other illustrating how Mexico is very adept at assimilating foreign things without losing its own identity and often putting a particularly Mexican stamp on them.

La Ofrenda: an altar of remembrance

Local families will plan for Day of the Dead celebrations days, weeks, or perhaps even a whole year in advance.  A focal point of the remembrance ritual is families creating ofrendas—altars with offerings to the deceased—which are set-up in homes or public spaces like parks or plazas, and also at local cemeteries where family members are buried.

These colorful altars, which are also an art form and personal expression of love towards one’s family members now passed, are not for worshiping but instead for the purpose of remembrance and celebration of a life lived.

They are usually layered: the uppermost layer contains a picture or pictures of the remembered deceased as well as religious statues or symbols, especially that of La Virgen Guadalupe; the second layer will contain the ofrendas: toys are usually offered for deceased children, and bottles of tequila, mezcal, or atole for deceased adults. Personal ornaments, and/or the deceased’s favorite food or confection will also be present here, as will Pan de Muerto (see below).  The third, or lowest, tier will feature lit candles, and some might also have a washbasin and a towel so that the spirits of the deceased may refresh themselves upon arrival at the altar.

Every altar will feature calaveras – decorated candied skulls made from sugar – as well as the bright orange marigolds or cempazuchitl – sometimes called flor de muerto (“Flower of the Dead”) – one of the iconic symbols seen during Day of the Dead celebrations throughout Mexico.

During the celebratory period, it’s traditional for families to visit the cemeteries where their loved ones are buried, to clean and to decorate the graves with the similar offerings to those included in the home’s altar.

Catrinas: artistic symbol of Day of the Dead celebrations

The character on which La Calavera Catrina — “The elegant skull” — is based was conceived by Mexican engraver José Guadalupe Posada. The original Catrina was titled La Calavera Garbancera: in the form of an artistic etching in zinc, composed for use as political satire around 1910, intended to poke fun at a certain social class of Mexicans who the artist portrayed as having European-aristocratic aspirations—thus the Catrina’s archetypal grandiose plumed hat of a style which passed through a period of high fashion in Europe during that age. This related article explains the history and culture of Catrinas in Mexico.

Pan de Muerto and hot chocolate: omnipresent partners during this time of year

One of the culinary highlights of the season is Pan de Muerto — Bread of the Dead — which is a semi-sweet sugar-dusted bread made from eggs and infused with natural citrus fruit flavors.  It’s traditionally taken with hot chocolate that has been mixed with cinnamon and whisked, and makes for a flavorful and warming blend on a chilly November evening. Learn how to best enjoy Pan de Muerto in Mexico.

Pátzcuaro and Oaxaca: Popular towns to celebrate, with plenty of color elsewhere too

Day of the Dead is a holiday that attracts a certain fascination for visitors from abroad, and enjoyed by foreign residents who witness the unfolding of local festivities in their adopted towns and villages each year. Celebrations in the colonial city of Oaxaca and the ancient highland town of Pátzcuaro are particularly well attended by foreign visitors, and an early booking for local accommodations is vital if you want to experience Day of the Dead at either of these places.

Even if you can’t get to Oaxaca or Pátzcuaro, you’ll discover that towns and villages across Mexico compose their own interpretations of the event to celebrate Day of the Dead, and so wherever you are in Mexico this time of year, you’ll have an opportunity to experience this distinctive celebration—one of the most colorful, poignant and atmospheric Mexico offers.

The precise ceremonies, offerings, and customs for Day of the Dead celebrations vary by region and town, but the essential traditions described here are an integral part of the event which is echoed all over Mexico. A visit to a local cemetery, where family graves are dressed with color and decorations, a local park or plaza where ofrendas have been gathered, or a glimpse into one or more of the local homes which are opened-up to visitors during this period and where the lives of those past are lovingly remembered by those present, is a rewarding and worthwhile cultural experience to behold.

This is always a fun evening for me because even though the Mexican children do not celebrate Halloween because of all the expatriates in town every kid it seems come to the central Jardin in costume and await all the candy they collect......

The Jardin was packed and I had spent 200 pesos on a huge bag of candy and I knew from previous years what was going to happen as soon as I joined the throngs of people I was surrounded by kids and I started handing out candy and I was swamped and all the candy was gone in just under three minutes....I really did not have time to look up or take photos but I was happy that most of the children thanked me some even in English......a great night!!!

Yashi Kochi!!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Tuesday 30th October 2018...get on board the train!!!!!

Tonight Gracie,  a friend Lisa and I were invited to Bo’s house for dinner and Mexican train!!

Bo is a great cook and I had chicken and mashed potatoes......

Then we sat down to play the game....

Much fun and a great evening!!!

Yashi Kochi!!!

Monday, October 29, 2018

Monads 29th October 2018....the busy week begins!!!

This morning I had an appointment at the foot doctors I actually do not and have never seen the doctor but I see his lovely assistant......she makes a small separator to put in between my big and second toe to stop them rubbing together...the material has a plasticine foundation and lasts about six weeks....for fitting and making the cost was 150 pesos!!

I was almost out of groceries so I got out Little Bluey and drove to the supermarket to stock up!!

Before I knew it it was time to go to my gym session with Aaron...I was a little concerned about my knee but he just told me if I felt and discomfort to tell him but happy to report I worked out for an hour and had no soreness and felt good!!!

Then it was off to my English class it was a full attendance nine eager students..their homework was to come to the front and tell a scary story...they did really well many good stories and good laughs....of course they asked me if I had a story and I was prepared!!!

I found on my iPad the photos of my great white shark cage diving experience in South Africa a few years ago and told them all about it and passed these photos around.....

This one looks almost unreal but I took it from the boat as others were in the cage!!!

They were really amazed that I would have done that!!!

It was a fabulous class they are all so wonderful students!!!

I was sent this photo by a friend ...

For those that don’t know on the date Canada passed into law the legalization of Marijuana!!!  

Too funny!!!

Yashi Kochi!!

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Sunday 28th October 2018.....One lucky Kid!!!!!!

I did not mention in my blog yesterday but I was very lucky yesterday afternoon.

It is a well known fact that the streets and especially the side walks of San Miguel can be very unforgiving...the sidewalks are notoriously uneven and care is always to be used.

Yesterday I was walking into town..I do walk quite fast and usually always pay attention but I took my eyes off the sidewalk yesterday to say hello to a man that I see quite often who happens to be the smitten image of my long time doctor from Nanaimo.....

I was walking fast saw him come out of a store and smiled and looked at him ..the next thing I know I was face first flat out on the side walk..I Went down so quickly and my right knee took the brunt of the was badly cut and bruised and left knee some scrapes....and my palms also bruised but not cut.

Really I was very very lucky I could so easily have broken my knee cap or my wrists!!!

I picked myself up and continued walking but I will admit I was a tad shook up.....

Today I have a badly swollen right knee and a bit sore but otherwise feel OK...I have been icing the knee and feel I will be fine for my gym session tomorrow afternoon!!

This Pearson boy is lucky 🍀!!

Yashi Kochi!!

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Saturday 27th October 2018...the week ahead!!!!

On October 24th was the birthday of my nephew Mark.....I did e mail him and wish him a happy birthday but neglected to make comment of it on my blog...sorry Mark...your gift is in the mail!!!

Next week starts the wonderful celebrations here for the Day of the is a very busy colourful time with many parades, costumes and goof fun!!

This is taken from the internet!!!

The Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico, in particular the Central and South regions, and by people of Mexican heritage elsewhere. The multi-day holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and help support their spiritual journey. 

Creation of altars to remember the dead, traditional dishes for the Day of the Dead.

The holiday is sometimes called Día de los Muertos in Anglophone countries, a back-translation of its original name, Día de Muertos. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico where the day is a public holiday. Prior to Spanish colonization in the 16th century, the celebration took place at the beginning of summer. Gradually, it was associated with October 31, November 1, and November 2 to coincide with the Western Christianity triduum of Allhallowtide: All Saints' Eve, All Saints' Day, and All Souls' Day .

Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars called ofrendas, honoring the deceased using calaveras, aztec marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts.

Visitors also leave possessions of the deceased at the graves.

Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl. The holiday has spread throughout the world, being absorbed into other deep traditions in honor of the dead. It has become a national symbol and as such is taught (for educational purposes) in the nation's schools. Many families celebrate a traditional "All Saints' Day" associated with the Catholic Church.

Originally, the Day of the Dead as such was not celebrated in northern Mexico, where it was unknown until the 20th century because its indigenous people had different traditions. The people and the church rejected it as a day related to syncretizing pagan elements with Catholic Christianity. They held the traditional 'All Saints' Day' in the same way as other Christians in the world. There was limited Mesoamerican influence in this region, and relatively few indigenous inhabitants from the regions of Southern Mexico, where the holiday was celebrated. In the early 21st century in northern Mexico, Día de Muertos is observed because the Mexican government made it a national holiday based on educational policies from the 1960s; it has introduced this holiday as a unifying national tradition based on indigenous traditions.

Should be lots of great photos!!!

Have a great safe weekend .....we put the clocks back one hour tonight!!

Yashi Kochi!!!!

Friday, October 26, 2018

Friday 26th October 2018...YES!!!!!!

Today was a throw back ... a Friday Pearson day where I have no appointments, no gym or tennis, no meetings, no phone ..just me and nature!!!!

I left home around 9.30am in the car hopefully in the next couple of weeks I may have a scooter to do this kind of day....

My first stop was at the Pressa dam about 12 km outside of town....

Great views...

Great power surge...

Back on the road you never know what is around the next corner..

More great views...

I then took a road I had not seen or traveled before and it was a really nice surprise....

I did cross this bridge..parked and hiked..come with me and enjoy the scenery!!

Had lunch overlooking the river...

Little Bluey was covered in dust..

So for 100 pesos including tip she was given the full spa treatment and she looks awesome!!!

A quiet time tonight going to find a movie on Netflix!!!

Yashi Kochi!!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Thursday 25th October 2018...the act of kindness!!!

One of the many things I like and admire about this town is that the quite large Expat community that live here either full time or as snowbirds do a great deal to help the community and the local residents....of my friends I would estimate 85% of them do in their own way something to give back to this town we live in!!!

One of those people is a lady called Jayne who is a good friend of Gracie......Jayne is an accomplished artist and she works in a program in one of the Kindergarten garden schools in the campo showing and teaching the kids the fun of art!!

Just before I crossed the border last month I stopped at a Dollar store and with a contribution from Gracie and myself bought some art supplies for this program!!

So yesterday Jayne who also contributed to my Three Kings day appeal sent me these photos showing how some of our paints and brushes were put to good use by the children!!!!

These must I hope make you smile!!!

Yashi Kochi!!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Wednesday 24 th October money making day!!!!

This morning I went looking at scooters at the Honda dealership....this is where I bought Little Blackie a few years ago.....They still make that model and I did enjoy my time on that kind of machine but I am looking at other scooters also will take my time in deciding!!!

Soon it was time to head into town and do some errands but the main one was to deposit 17000 pesos into the account of the company making the soccer balls for Three Kings......I checked I had the right account number and deposited the money and my friend Geraldo who took us there last week called the head man to let him know the money was in their account!!!

Then it was off to relax and enjoy the afternoon of was fun and profitable as I walked away with 250 pesos!!!!

A quick walk to the gym for another very hard session with Aaron..he gives me a great workout and is very supportive and I almost enjoyed the session!!!

Thirty minutes to relax before I went to English class and I had my best attendance to date......

A really good class tonight we did interviews I paired them off with another classmate and asked them to find out three things about their partner we did not know then talk about and it gets them thinking and talking...they all told of a pay it forward deed they had done this week and we finished up playing charades for chocolate.....what a fun group and amazing students!!

Yashi Kochi!!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Tuesday 23 rd October 2018...the Mexican way!!!!

Before I get into my day saw this article on the BBC news web site...

Nasa has released a striking photo of a rectangular iceberg floating in the Weddell Sea off Antarctica.

The US space agency said the object's sharp angles and flat surface suggested it had recently broken away from an ice shelf.

The edges are still pointed, and have not yet been worn down by the ocean waves.

The picture was taken last week by scientists on a Nasa research plane.

Such objects are not unknown, however, and even have a name - tabular icebergs.

These are flat and long and form by splitting away from the edges of ice shelves.

Kelly Brunt, a glaciologist with Nasa and the University of Maryland, said the process of formation was a bit like a fingernail growing too long and cracking off at the end.

They were often geometrically-shaped as a result, she said.

"What makes this one a bit unusual is that it looks almost like a square," she added.

This particular 'berg came from the crumbling Larsen C ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula.

It's difficult to tell exactly how big the iceberg is from the photo, but experts said it was probably more than 1.6km (1 mile) across.

And, as with all icebergs, the part visible on the surface comprises just a small fraction of the object's mass - in this case about 10%.

It reminded me of my cross Canada tour a few years ago in Ramona when I went to Newfoundland and saw the most amazing ice bergs!!!

Also love this shot of Mamma and cubs!!!

Today was tennis at 9am for two hours as always great fun and a wonderful start to the day....

I then went up to the Tuesday Market.....

To try to find the woman with the stall that supplied the girl’s purses last year for Three Kings took a while scouring all the stalls but I did find her and she is willing to supply us with the purses again this year!

Next stop was to renew my motor cycle driving license which expired three years there is an unwritten rule here in Mexico for any official business three trips are I was going to test that theory!!

So at the office I present the old license, my passport and my tourist visa...I was told I needed copies of the passport and I walk two doors down and get the copies made and come back!!

Then they gave me an eye test but not the top line or the next but the tenth line down I could not see a thing!!!!!

I think he told me I needed a doctors note or something..anyway he gave me the copies back and said sorry!!

Well we Pearson boys do not give in that I drove to the supermarket and bought a pair of reading glasses at the highest number strength and back to the office...

This time I had a different official accept my copies and take me to the eye test..I cheated a little by remembering the first four letters and I could see a little bit with the glasses  and reeled off some random letters with a very strong English accent....he looked at me smiled and said 👍 OK.

Then it was time to sit  for a thumb print and a worries there!!

Time to pay the 300 pesos and I produced cash but they don’t take cash so then I had to go to the nearest OXXO store this is the Mexican equivalent of Seven Eleven and pay the bill there.....

Back to the office and produce the bill and receipt only to be told I had to have a copy of the receipt back two doors down to the copy place and finally back to the office...where I walked out with a new three year motor cycle licence!!!!!!!!!

I think I need a cuppa tea!!!!!!

Yashi Kochi!!

Monday, October 22, 2018

,Monday 22nd October 2018.....a new week!!!

Unusual for a Monday but I had been invited to play tennis this morning with a different was fun good tennis and of course I did know the other people playing but always good to play against and with different people......I did a few errands in town afterwards before coming home and resting and relaxing and working on the Three King account sheet......

At 4.30pm I went to the gym and Aaron gave me another a really hard work out which I must say I do not enjoy at the time but afterwards feel good about it all.

I have thirty minutes to relax, eat and drink and walk over to my English class...tonight I had the best attendance of eight students......

Their homework for today was to come to the front and tell a story and afterwards we all had to guess if the story was true or false......they enjoyed this and some of the stories were really hard to tell true or false.......

Then I had printed out copies of this...

Which I read and explained......just a great class and I love my job!!!

A quiet night watching a movie after my shower....

Yashi Kochi!!!!

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Sunday 21st October day!!!

Sunday morning took me to the large grocery store La Commercial to do some shopping .....mid morning on a weekend is usually a good time to go with no long line ups and so it was.

Back home Jen showed me a brand new butterfly  that she saw leave the cocoon... this little guy is like three minutes old...simply amazing!!!!

This afternoon Jen the owner of my casita invited Gracie and I to an afternoon BBQ in the garden and there were ten new people I had not met and it was a really great afternoon...everyone brought a dish and we all brought our own meat or fish or what ever to put on the BBQ.......Gracie and I had two really good steaks.....

It was a fun time lots of good laughs and stories and great food..thanks Jen.

I also took the time to plug the Three Kings toy drive and received two lovely donations!!!

It is starting to turn a little cooler in the mornings and evenings and soon be time for the sweat pants at night.......

I have a busy week coming up so stay tuned!!

Yashi Kochi!!!

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Saturday 20th October 2018...already the weekend!!!

A rare occurrence but I was not scheduled to play tennis this morning so I went with Gracie to the Vet’s office where the street dog Maggie that Gracie rescued a month ago was being spayed.....we dropped her off and went into Centro for breakfast and to do some shopping and picked Maggie up this afternoon...she was still a little sleepy from the operation but seems to be OK.

Gracie has some friends that invited us to a nice small family run restaurant called Taco Don Felix’s where we were meeting the friends for dinner and then going around the corner to the playhouse to watch live theatre!!

The meal was good and one of my students Lalo is the nephew of the owner and he works in the restaurant good to see him and to meet some of Gracie’s friends.

The play was

And it was a really well performed and a very entertaining evening!!

I have been pondering for a couple of weeks now whether I should buy another scooter and I did actually go look at a 125 cc. TVS motorcycle took it for a test ride but think I prefer a scooter with no will take my time and check out some scooters next week and not rush into anything!!!

Yashi Kochi!!!

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 5 th January 2023…it was a great run!!!

 This was my first ever blog post back in November of 2006!!! With just a couple of days off I have written a blog every day since and I hav...