Tuesday 31 December – Day 6 New Year’s Eve

7am group meditation… feeling our senses, followed by Hatha flow yoga. 9am breakfast – porridge, mixed fruit and yoghurt, green juice (not sure what it was)

Chilly morning with cloud. When the sun comes out it will warm up. One of the group who was going off on a walk, offered me her watercolours. Thank goodness… I was pleased to take up her offer and proceeded to paint a still life inside while the air was cool. Will venture out after lunch.

After lunch Dot and I wandered down town to obtain some cash and buy a few snacks for the journey home tomorrow. We then spent an hour or so on the sunbed by the pool as the sun had warmed up and I wanted to finish the book I’d borrowed from the Crisalida library.
I later took the watercolours up on to the terrace where there was a magnificent view of the mountains. I dabbled a bit but could not do the scene before me justice.

The new year partying began at 6.45 with mocktails! They were actually very nice juices in cocktail glasses with elegantly decorated with fruit on a stick and a straw. Many of us had got out of our Lycra or joggers and into glad rags for the evening. We brushed up pretty well! Dinner was set for around 30 guests with pate starters. The main dish was traditional Spanish paella (without the seafood), mixed salads, roasted sweet potatoes and various sauces. It was delicious. The dessert, which the kitchen staff had gone to such lengths to prepare for us was not such a success. A kind of lemon cake with mock custard. It was rather dry.

After dinner We were entertained by a local guitarist, who I have to say was very good. He played in a traditional Spanish style although he was originally from Argentina.

After this the team had organised a quiz for us. This of course was on the theme of food and activities on the retreat. Our team ‘sofa surfers’ didn’t do too well but it was good fun.

The quiz was followed by the fire ritual which involved writing down on pieces of paper what we are grateful for, what we no longer need and what we hope for ourselves in the future. We all gathered round a pit fire and with meditation and chant, we cast our pieces of paper into the fire along with a grain of rice, a piece of fruit and a flower.

The next Spanish ritual was to eat a grape on each of the 12 chimes of midnight. Quite a lot to stuff into your mouth along with seeds by the allotted hour! At midnight we all hugged one another then ran up to the roof terrace to watch the panorama of fireworks displayed all around the town and along the coast. Pretty amazing!

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