One of my new year's resolutions was to get this blog started, and the year is already two weeks old, so here we go.
After three months in Cartagena we're still very busy with all kinds of boat jobs and the list is not getting any shorter. And we still haven't climbed all the surrounding mountains and we still haven't taken the train to Los Nietos on the Mar Menor. But we had planned this was going to be a cultural winter and so far we've succeeded very well in seeing plenty of museums and visiting lots of concerts.
New year's day was spent in a kind of slow motion, recovering from the new year's eve bbq with the liveaboards. It was an animated evening with a predominant Scandinavian presence, outnumbering the British for a change. We were lucky to be inside the marineria shed, because the BBQs – and the BBQ Boys – had to be sheltered with umbrellas.
On the second day of 2011 we enjoyed the outdoor new year's concert in the centre of town. Quite fun to be able to walk all the way around the performers and to see what the ones in the back were doing. And so we discovered what they use to make the castagnet sounds. The bottom right people were not part of the orchestra! Note the bicycle in the bottom left corner: its bell was played in a piece called The Happy Cyclist, by Ted Huggens, who's a Dutch composer apparently but we never heard of him.
We went to see the tour of the Three Kings, who bring presents to the children of Spain on the evening of the 5th of January. There were lots of very elaborate chariots with fairy tale or Disney displays and it took ages before the final three with the Kings came in sight. Tons of sweets were thrown, very sticky and sweet, no doubt causing lots of upset tummies. We're always amazed by how patient the Spanish can wait and just stand around chatting without checking their watches or jostling, and the same goes for the children.
In all the three months we have been here, there was the art exhibition Manifesta 8, and so in the final week we hurried to have a look in some of the several locations where it was held. It's wonderful how people can come up with something totally new, for example a video compiled of mostly stationary images. Mind-boggling was the exhibition by Eşref Armağan from Turkey, who is born blind, and can create extraordinary artistic paintings. It surpasses ones imagination how he manages to draw in perspective and to choose the right colours.
So far, 2011 has been lovely sunny and warm, with hardly any wind and no rain at all. I had planned to dig out the sewing machine but started on the varnishing jobs again instead. It doesn't seem like work when you can do it in sunshine and agreeable temperatures. The captain has spent several days more or less upside down in the aft cabin, replacing the propeller shaft packing and installing our new batteries. Together with our new low-energy fridge we'll enjoy plenty cold beer next summer!
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