Thursday, October 31, 2019

Thursday 31st October 2019...and another month flies by!!!

It was great tennis this morning as one of our group for whatever reason did not show so we enlisted Walter, one of the owners and a tennis pro to play with you can imagine it was a great two hours!!

Had to go into town and to the bank and I am now not using ATM’s as I have my own checks from my bank in Canada and it is a lot cheaper to access my money by writing a check to my Mexican bank.

I then did some grocery shopping came home and spent the afternoon cooking....I made a meat loaf and cooked some chicken breasts in mushroom soup...had one of the chicken dinners for  supper and it was good and I also have five meals in the freezer!!

I always like to go into the Jardin on Halloween night in past years I bought a huge bag of candy, I know I know not good to give candy but I bought the healthiest there previous years the kids have swamped me and were quite pushy but this year was very different and I enjoyed the sights...check this one out my favourite!!!

This crazy American always decorated his VW with an appropriate theme..

I even had candy to bring home and save for tomorrow or so I thought....

As I was writing this I could hear screaming and laughing coming from my street and I go up to my roof and see about 40 kids all dressed up with their parents and I threw some of the candy down to them..they thought it was great fun catching the candy in mid air...they all shouted up to me thank you in English, how sweet!!

This tells you all about the next two days..if you are ever thinking of coming to Mexico this is a wonderful time of the year..

October  31 st is the start of the Mexican Day of the Dead festival. It’s a three-day festival when tens of thousands of people in Mexico dress up to commemorate, celebrate and remember the dead. While it coincides with Halloween, the two festivals are unrelated, as Mexican Day of the Dead has different significance. Here is everything you need to know.

 When is the Mexican Day of the Dead? Mexican Day of the Dead festival starts on October 31 and lasts for three days until 2 November. November 2 is the Day of the Dead itself.

. What is Mexico’s Dia de Muertos all about? The Day of the Dead is all about celebrating members of the family and friends who are no longer alive. People put up altars in their houses decorated with photos of the dead along with skulls and marigold flowers – known as cempasuchil, or ‘flower of the dead’. On the altar they keep items that their dead relatives enjoyed: tequila, food they liked, a cigarette constantly burning in an ashtray. In smaller villages, flower trails are created using the marigold flowers that lead up to the gravestones of the deceased, so that they may follow them to visit the family.

 People pay tribute to them by telling stories to keep their memory alive as well as visiting their graves, where they might sing all night, accompanied by guitars and, if you like, tequila. Some cemeteries will hold plays, where actors jump from crypt to crypt, or organised musical performances. Fireworks are often let off int he streets and cemeteries and families will happily dance all night in the streets with their neighbours. The atmosphere is warm and celebratory, not morbid or morose. 

Mexican culture sees death not as something to fear, and it shows in the way they celebrate the lives of those they’ve lost. It all started thousands of years ago dating right back to the Aztecs when they would worship a goddess called Mictecacihuatl or ‘the Lady of the Dead’. It didn’t just last three days back then – but sometimes took place over an entire month. The conquistadors, who arrived in the 1500s, attempted to stop the festival but somehow it managed to endure – albeit with a mix of Catholic traditions.

 What is the significance of the Sugar Skulls? One common tradition with the Dia de Muertos is sugar skulls. These a usually white and sprinkled with colourful decorations. The idea is that people can leave them on top of the altar for the dead as a gift. There is also the Catrina that is used in Dia de Muertos celebrations, a dapper-looking skeleton figure with a fancy hat and dress. The Catrina was created in the 1900s by a cartoonist called José Guadalupe Posada and inspired by the Lady of the Dead. Day of the Dead food Traditional Dia de los Muertos food varies from region to region, with familiar dishes including pan de muerto (a sweet, sugar-covered glazed bread), sugar skulls and mole (a rich chilli and chocolate sauce for chicken, beans or meat).

Yashi Kochi!!!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Wednesday 30 th October 2019... busy day!!

I was at the gym at 8.30am for my session with Aaron

and again I did not eat before I worked out and I felt better this way......although I am not totally crazy at working out at this time it is better for me than  my old time of 4.30pm as I had to dash to school a tad sweaty!

Came home and cooked a lovely omelette and relaxed for a while before I went out to pick up two more donations for the Three Kings and then onto poker.

This is another afternoon of entertainment that I have been doing for many years and I really enjoy the camaraderie of the guys I play with also it is fun usually taking some of their pesos ...another check in the win column this time only 50 pesos!!

Home in time to shower and get changed and then off to the bakery to pick up yet another birthday cake for one of my students!!!

I had seven students and I had invited some friends of mine to come to class and talk to my students, Terri and Mike Church!!

There are an amazing couple that have virtually lived their married lives in an RV......they have travelled to many countries and written travel books about the campgrounds in those countries..

....they have documented every single camp ground in Mexico......amongst the Rv community it is well know that every person who brings an Rv to Mexico has a copy of their book and it is known as the bible!!

The students just loved listening to all their stories, they asked many questions and it was good that I took them last week to see where I play tennis and the Rv park there.

One of my students, Adriana, has a birthday tomorrow so the cake was for her, she is a good guitarist so the cake was appropriate

 and we enjoyed helping her celebrate her birthday!!!!

Another great class!!!

Yashi Kochi

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Tuesday 29th October easy day!!

easy day today starting

with two hours of great tennis this morning and then into town to do some banking and then home for a short rest before going to Bo’s house for our regular Mexican Train night....

Now watching a live soccer play off game from LA.....

Told you an easy day!!

Yashi Kochi!!!

Monday, October 28, 2019

Monday 28th October 2019 ....a good start to the week!!

My morning started with this view

from my patio ......

and when I came back one hour later!!

I was at the gym for my 8.30am session with Aaron..the gym was quite busy and I almost enjoyed my very hard workout!!

I came home and relaxed and made a nice breakfast ..did some computer work and then went into town to pay my rent!

From there I went off on Little Yellow for an adventure into the country and found this great place!!!

Not sure of the history of this dam but it was impressive.....

I was wearing my Crocks so I just waded across the stream to the other side and climbed up the stone wall for these views..

When I came back I saw this Mother and two children trying to cross the stream..obviously there was a way to get across but it seemed like someone had removed the stones for crossing and the Mother had somehow crossed over but the kids were stuck.....

I am going to tell you what I did without thinking then tell you what I thought afterwards and then tell you what my class thought because I told them about the incident..

I just went to the girls and smiled and said Hola and bent down and offered for them one at a time to get on my back and I piggy backed them across.....the Mother smiled and said thanks and away they went.

I got to thinking that I would never have done that in my Country for fear of being inappropriate......

The views of my students was that it was ok because I smiled and was kind and that the Mother could tell I was just trying to help!!

Back at home relaxed for a couple of hours and off to class....I got them all to sit in a circle and talk about what they had done over the weekend....

Then asked them about the incident above...

I had copies made of this..

And we each took turns in reading one and talking about it..

They really are so good I see their English skills and especially their confidence grow every week.

As they were leaving class they all stopped and one of them handed me an envelope and they told me that everyone donated and they wanted to give this money to me for the Three Kings Toy drive.....I had told them about it last week.

Needless to say I was humbled and was blown away by their kindness and thoughtfulness!!!

I like this story I found on the Internet..

Photographs show female elephants wearing the carefully embroidered outfits, which cover their legs, back and neck, as centre staff and villagers stand among them.

Kartick Satyanarayan, founder of the centre, said it was important to protect the formerly abused elephants from the cold.

“It is important to keep our elephants protected from the bitter cold during this extreme winter, as they are weak and vulnerable having suffered so much abuse making them susceptible to ailments such as pneumonia," she told the Times of India.

"The cold also aggravates their arthritis which is a common issue that our rescued elephants have to deal with.”

The centre currently houses 20 elephants that have been rescued from illegal captivity, trafficking mafia, exploited for street begging and circuses where they were abused and subjected to extreme cruelty.

Yashi Kochi!!!

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Sunday 27th October 2019...a day of learning!!

Today my Dad would have celebrated his

💯 Birthday!!!

He was a special Father and I owe much to him.....I like these two photos...

Getting used to the turning back of the clocks last night......always take a little while.

This morning Gracie and I went on a personal tour of one of the big cemeteries in town with a local American tour guide.

It was very interesting and told us about many different customs as this week is the start of the long festivities for the Day of The Dead starting later in the week.

There were many workers in the area cleaning up the land and the altars and graves.....

I especially like this one...

I enjoyed the tour!

At 3 pm I went to this beautiful hotel

For this lecture...

These were the views from my seat!!

He was a mesmerizing speaker and was just a wonderful afternoon!!

This was on my Face book it!!!

Also this was on saying if you can find the camel your chances of getting Alzheimer’s was slim...sadly I still cannot find that darn 🐫!!

Yashi Kochi!!!

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Saturday 26th October into the mountains!!

It wasn’t till I was having breakfast

and reading my emails that it had been raining and tennis was cancelled!!

So I had a real treat instead....yesterday my good buddy Gregg came over and lent me his Fire stick for a couple of is a device that attaches to the TV and wifi and you can get all these shows and sports.

I found on one of the channels a live soccer game from England involving my boy hood team, Sheffield United playing West Ham was a great game and  brought back so many happy memories of over fifty years ago when I was a Bobby on duty at the stadium!!!

A good game that ended in a 1- 1 draw!

Next it was an appointment to speak with a friend about one of the schools we are delivering gifts to, Bill wants to put on a pancake breakfast for us on delivery day to raise some money to buy a water cistern for the school.

I then met Gracie at my car and I took Einstein and Scout on another adventure into some different mountains...come along and enjoy the ride!!

Way up high into the clouds..

Very pretty scenery..

They love the walks and are very well behaved!!

Notice on Little Bluey the missing hub has been gone for months and no idea how I lost it.....more on that later!!

Road side stall..

So I drove past this little hole  in the wall store......saw some rims so I backed up..

The owner was very friendly and we managed to communicate and he said he had a similar rim which he showed me and I asked how much and he said 400 pesos, figure that out in your own currency, and I said sure....

So here he is fitting the rim..

He looked good and I went to pay him and he stopped me and immediately went about taking off the other three rims and putting the new ones they all look the same..

I thanked him and asked how much and he looked at me like I just told you 400 pesos...could not believe it all new rims and fitted for that price..he received a tip and a handshake!!

Incredible sunset tonight from my patio unfortunately could not capture the true beauty!!

I think this is too funny!,

Also want to wish two special ladies a very happy birthday today.....My great tennis part of eight years Carolyn.....and also the young tennis star out of Pepperdine University, Ashley.....hope you both had a great day!!

Tonight we change our clocks. .....I always get confused about forward or back but I will figure it out!!

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...