not so Nevada but Mandarin

Despite the name of the Sierra Nevada, still no snow here as yet. Up on the mountain there's a nice covering with the ski runs open and busy, but down here in the foothills still not much sign of winter. 
Between teaching at the local school, canvassing other foreigners for their right to vote  in the upcoming election, creating a cultural magazine,  brining olives and collecting wood from the forest we mananged a little Christmas shopping this week.

This year our goose will not be a fat one, luckily explaining to the kids was easier than we thought, they really don't mind...and most relatives were happy to agree to the  'no gift swapping' request this year.  I'm all for cutting back and living on a budget but let's just hope next year is not quite so lean!

So off we went last weekend to Roquetas de Mar down on the Almeria coast for some last minute shopping- on -a- budget.  We picked up what we needed with considerable ease and decided to treat ourselves to a Chinese meal, our first time to eat out since July...we found a really nice place down there so went back and again it was delicious.  Apart from a buffet Wok style venue with zero atmosphere it is in fact the only Chinese we have yet located in that town.

It was 27 degrees down there, so we stripped off some layers (we have that mountain- people- look -about -town)   and stopped off at the beach on the way back to collect some driftwood.  Last lot we collected we turned a redundant lamp into this:

It was a long day but enjoyable.  Yesterday I had a parcel arrive from Gill, my sister in law with taster versions of her Christmas cake and mincemeat amongst other things....and she also included a Chinese Lantern. It's a flying one to set alight on Christmas Eve as the light fades, when they will do the same in Dublin....a carrier of festive wishes or a balloon ride for our thoughts, so to speak.....