This time, the sun shone on a still rather bleak looking landscape of muted browns and little green; no leaves on the trees yet, and not many flowers out to add some colour to the picture. But on closer inspection, there are signs of spring everywhere, and by the weekend, even the daffodils were out. I hope there will be some left by the time my sister and I arrive in Yorkshire in less than three weeks!
The entire weekend was different from my usual weekends at O.K.'s: It started and ended earlier, and it was all dominated by carnival activities.
It started earlier, because we were invited to a birthday party on the Friday evening, which meant I had to leave work already at around 3:00 pm (instead of my usual 5:00) so that I could be there in time. Thankfully, the trains were only a few minutes late each, so that we weren't the last guests to arrive.
On the invitation, full carnival attire was requested, and so we wore what we'd already worn at last year's carnival dance in the village hall.
I was again the black cat to O.K.'s warlock (you can just see the rim of his hat next to me and a bit of his bright green satin robes on my shoulder).
We slept in on Saturday and then went for a run. This time, we took a route I'd not been running for many months; it is 7 km long (as opposed to last week's 5), and I did reasonably well. The sky was grey with glimpses of sun in between; it was very windy in parts and we were glad of our long running pants.
|The first daffies are out in front of O.K.'s cottage!|
The rest of Saturday was spent very leisurely with coffee and cake in the afternoon and a delicious selection of cheeses with bread and salad in the evening. We watched a movie and made sure not to go to bed too late, as Sunday was going to be a very full day for O.K.
Traditionally, O.K.'s village is dominated by carnival on the Sunday and Monday. As he plays the trumpet in the village band, he is involved in the parade on Sunday afternoon as well as in the street party (the main road through the village is blocked for cars that day) and the band's performances at various venues.
We all (the family) had lunch (goulash soup) at his parents'. O.K. then had to leave to get ready for the parade with the band and the other groups, and we went outside to watch. Here they come:
(O.K. is in the picture but you can't see him, which is how he prefers it!)
The street party went on for almost two hours, in spite of it being a relatively small village. Young and old, native villagers and recent move-ins; they were all there, and nearly everyone wore some kind of costume. The children of course had a lot of fun and proudly displayed their princess dresses, astronaut suits and other costumes. The crowd on the street then dissolved, with most people going to the various venues where food, drink and more music was offered, and a few going home.
Just after the parade was the last time I spoke to O.K. - he was then too busy moving from one venue after the other where the band was to play. His sister and her husband kindly took me to the train station just after 5:00, and I arrived home at around 20 to 8 - about 3 hours earlier than usual.
Carnival isn't a big thing in my area, but schools are closed this week and many families take the chance to go on holiday, often skiing. Therefore, I expect a relatively quiet week at work - suits me!