short addendum

well, that wasn’t too bad, except for the fact that one photo showed up twice. i think i’m finally getting the hang of this blogging business!!!


New Year’s in Collioure

i found out that new year’s eve is a very big deal in collioure!!  35 – 40,000 people arrive just to see the fireworks that start at midnite on the 31st!! a few days before the end of the year, it started getting crowded here, like it was during the summer. i even had to stand in line at the grocery store, can you imagine that!?!  i’ve gotten so spoiled living in a small town where there are no crowds and no lines!!

the evening celebrations started with a circus parade with people dressed up in all kinds of costumes.  we missed that b/c we were still at my place snacking and talking! 


i was really, really happy that my friends, the kerners, and their friend dominique were coming to collioure to help me bring in the new year.  i couldn’t have asked for a bigger blessing to start 2013!!!  we had lunch as soon as they got here from barcelona and after that they got the obligatory tour of the town with a stop at a creperie where we had dessert – yum!!

after walking around we came back to my place and had another snack (see photo above) and then a short time later we went to have dinner at le l’andalou restaurant. the decor was more tahitian than andalusian because one of the owners is from tahiti and they had only been open for a week (they took over this restaurant and hadn’t changed the name). we had a good 2 hour dinner and finally it was time for the fireworks!!

it was quite cold, altho the evening of the 31st was surprisingly comfortable (not warm, just comfortable – you still had to bundle up!).  i couldn’t believe how crowded the streets were.  because there were so many people, it took forever just to go about half a block and along the way i lost amanda and dominique!  one minute they were in front of me and the next minute they were gone!!  alan and i found a spot to watch the fireworks (the good thing was you could get a good view of the “feu d’artifice” from just about anywhere!) but then he went to find amanda and dominique and was swallowed up by the crowd. thank goodness for smartphones that can send and receive texts!

here are a few photos of my bundled up friends, some of the costumed people, Imagethe crowded street and some fireworks.  all in all it was a wonderful start to the new year!!



as usual, i’ve been wrestling with this blog all evening (5 hours worth!). for some reason the posts that i published weren’t showing up on the blog so i had to “publish” numerous times and now they’re completely out of order.  aauugghhh…..

so after “it’s been awhile” it should have been “it’s been awhile, part 2”, then the “oops!” entry and finally the one about overconfidence.

i was going to write about my new year’s eve but i’m exhausted! will hopefully get around to it tomorrow….

it’s been awhile, part 2

well, i’m now filled with confidence after successfully posting pictures of karen and ken and sweet pea (thanks to some tips from karen), so i’ll continue with more adventures since their visit.

my friends alan and amanda, from the sacred fire community in santa monica, were coming to barcelona to visit their daughter who is doing a semester abroad program there, so they were planning to come visit me, too.  a few days before they were scheduled to arrive, alan (who is the shaman and firekeeper of the santa monica community) told me that grandfather fire had given instructions to do an all nite fire on the solstice, the 21st, to mark the end of a 5000 year cycle and then another fire the following nite to welcome the new cycle (and the dawning of the aquarian age at last!).j

by a wonderful miracle marina, the owner of the apartment they were renting in barcelona, really “got it” and said she would make it happen and found a place for us to have the all nite fire out in the country about an hour from barcelona (close to monserrat, which i’d like to visit sometime!).  all of this came together the nite of the 20th and i was on a train the next morning for barcelona!

it was a magical time and i was so happy to be sitting by a fire again, especially on such an auspicious occasion.  marina had invited some of her friends so there were 14 of us, and we wrote down all the things we wanted to leave behind at the end of this cycle and the next morning we threw our papers into the fire.  we watched the sunrise and then went to marina’s home in a nearby town and slept most of the day.  alan, amanda and i had been up the whole nite, but we’re used to it!

that evening we had another fire at marina’s and welcomed the new cycle.  it was a very powerful time and i feel so blessed to have been able to participate in these very special rituals to mark this unique time in the history of our planet.

i got back to collioure on the 23rd and left the next morning for beziers, to spend christmas eve and christmas day with my friends jacqueline, christian and their children raphael and sara. it was a lovely, small celebration and i ate very well, as i always do with them!! christian usually does the cooking. he told me that they had a cook when he was growing up but his father loved to cook so he grew up with the idea that men belong in the kitchen, cooking, and he’s continued his dad’s tradition (very well, i might add!).

and now for some photos – drum roll, please!!



well, i guess there are still some things i need to learn. i’ve tried and tried to put text between the photos without success.  also now the posts are out of order, so you’ll probably see this before you see the photos.  sigh.  so after the fact, here are the captions:

#1  the solstice fire

#2 making offerings at the fire

#3 no gathering of spaniards is complete without music and singing

#4 sunrise on 12/22/12

#5 the morning after the fire, tired but happy!

oops! forgot to post some photos!!

in all my excitement about successfully posting photos to this blog i forgot to add some from the solstice fire, so here they are:


it’s been awhile!!

time goes by so quickly, even tho the daily pace of my life is slow and usually quiet, except that since i’ve moved to collioure, i’ve had 9 overnite visitors and 4 all day visitors from out of town, not including a 3 yr old and an 18 month old and a sweet dog (aptly named sweet pea!). fun!!

i’m very grateful to have so much space to offer my friends who come to visit, and i love to share my special town of collioure with them.

in early december i had two house guests, karen and ken, friends of my good friend lina, who lives in san luis obispo. karen and ken also live in slo but are spending a year in aix en provence, a dream that karen has had for a long time (i can relate to that!). tho we had never met before, i instantly felt comfortable with both of them and it seemed that i had known them for a long time. karen and i had some good “girl talks” and ken took it upon himself to find a portable heater for me (my apartment was freezing!!). he drove around until he found a great one in just my price range. it’s quite heavy so i don’t know how i would have managed to cart it home on the bus, even if i could have found it in a store. needless to say, they can come back to visit me anytime they want!! 🙂

they invited me to go along with them to figueras, to visit the dali museum and i gladly accepted. the museum is really huge and you can see how prolific dali was, and in just about every medium – pen and ink, paint, sculpture (various materials), collage, jewelry, etc etc! his museum really gives me a sense of his genius as well as his insanity.

they also came with their english spaniel, sweet pea, who really is a sweet pea! she’s apparently adapted very well to life in france and was a very well behaved guest!!

i’m going to try to post their photos – let’s see what happens!! 🙂


karen and ken

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