Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Text messages, donkeys and summer celebrations!

My phone pinged at 7.30 this morning. As a rule, if that happens it means that my assistance is required: taking a grandchild to the doctor’s, looking after a sick child who is not unwell enough to need to see a doctor, collecting a parcel from somewhere or other, doing some shopping or something of the kind. This was not the case today. Instead there was a message along the lines of, “The sun is shining. The train is about to leave. See you tonight. Maybe watch a movie in bed. XXX.” So who was sending me saucy messages at that quite early hour? My son!!! Obviously the message was meant for the other Mrs Adams. But I was probably the last person he texted yesterday and he clearly didn’t check before pressing send. Now, what was I saying yesterday about witchcraft and the electronic media? 

Eventually I got up and went for my morning run/jog around the village and beyond. Going past the library I noticed that the window was full of donkeys. Something of a surprise! This was the end of the Delph Donkey Scarecrow Trail. Most of the donkeys have disappeared from shop windows now that the Whit Friday festivities are over and done with. The winners, however, continue to be displayed in the library window with awards for artistic merit and the like. I wonder who organises it for there is no official librarian any longer as far as I know, at least not on a whole week basis. Most of the time it is staffed by volunteers, as is happening in many places these days. 

Maybe even that will be unnecessary before long as automation takes over; in the slightly larger library in the rather larger village of Uppermill you can pop your book into a machine which reads its barcode and lets you borrow, renew or return the book, all without the need for human intervention. I wonder if they can programme it eventually to give people suggestions on books they light like to read! 

Well, we’ve passed the longest day now. It’s all downhill towards autumn from now on. Maybe it’s the lack of sunshine today that is provoking gloomy statements. It’s amazing how quickly you get used to sunny days. Over the last week it has been very pleasant and I think we had convinced ourselves that it would last a little longer. But no, today the clouds are back! 

This year we have missed the celebrations of the summer solstice in Galicia. For the last few years we’ve been there for midsummer. Of course, they don’t acknowledge that they’re celebrating the summer solstice. No, it’s the feast of Saint John. However, bonfires are lit all over the place, idiots leap over them and a good time is had by all, eating a lot of sardines and drinking perhaps a little too much. 

Some people try to continue the celebrations into the following morning, as this picture of Vigo’s Samil beach shows. 

And one of my Vigo friends has posted on Facebook that she has washed her face this morning in water in which she soaked the “hierbas de San Juan”, a collection of plants and herbs supposedly guaranteed to give you a wonderful complexion. 

I’m not so sure about that. I think I’ll stick to the lotions and potions sold in Boots.

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