Music and wine – a typical weekend in Jumilla

Fireworks near our house - celebrating Barcelona´s success!

Summer arrived in Jumilla last weekend, after a rather cold and wet winter, and hopefully it will stay with us until October.  Summer had a bit of a shaky start though: we glimpsed the sun on Friday, however the wind was definitely chilly and rain was threatening, so unlike last year the annual fiesta with the “vecinos” had to be held indoors. 

Earlier in the week it had looked as if the planned party might have to be cancelled due to lack of interest.  I have to admit that we were surprised by this, as fiestas are an important part of Spanish life and the inaugural party had been very successful.  We needn´t have worried though, as Isobel stopped her car on the pedestrian crossing on Wednesday to say that a lot more people had paid their 5 euros so the fiesta was going ahead (unlike the driver of the car behind her, who was patiently waiting for us to stop chatting!) 

Summer has arrived at last!

We had been told that the fiesta would be starting at 9 or 9.30 so we decided to wander down at 9.30, knowing that the chances of anything actually happening at 9 o´clock were extremely slim.  We´ve been living in Spain for nearly two years now, so we are used to “flexible” timetables.

We were impressed by the organisers, who had already laid out all the food and drink in the entrance hall of the block next door.  Not surprisingly, this included several bottles of Jumilla wine, although none of these had been opened.

“Who´s forgotten the corkscrew?” I muttered to John, after we had been waiting for ten minutes with no signs of any action on the bottle-opening front.

“There´s nothing to drink out of either,” he replied.  “I expect you want me to go next door and fetch some glasses?”  But by now glasses, corkscrew and ice to keep the beer chilled had all miraculously appeared and the fiesta was underway.

We enjoyed the party and were pleased by the realisation that we understood a lot more of what our Spanish neighbours were saying to us than we had the previous year.  To be honest, last year they could have been talking in double Dutch as far as we were concerned!

The party lacked the drama of last year´s fiesta.  Half-way through the evening a fire engine had suddenly turned up, and the firemen had hurried into the building, ignoring us when we said there was no fire.  Apparently a couple had been stuck in the lift and we had all been too busy having a good time to realise what had happened to them, so they had decided to call the bomberos!

The only entertainment this year was provided by the lights in the entrance hall, which are on a sensor and kept going out.  We had to take it in turns to either wave our hands in the air or press the button which opened the door of the lift until the lights came back on again.  For a short while.

Orquesta Sinfónica Jumilla playing in Bodegas BSI

We knew that Saturday night was going to be another late night, as we had tickets for the opening event in the Música entre vinos programme, which is now in its third year and proving to be as successful as in previous years.  The concert by the Orquesta Sinfónica Jumilla was being held in Bodegas BSI. The evening started with a tour of the bodega and then the presentation of a gold badge to the renowned wine journalist D. Victor de la Serna, with several speeches, which definitely tested our understanding of the Spanish language. 

However prior to the tour we had faced an even stiffer test, when a woman from Radio Jumilla had suddenly started asking us questions!  It is difficult enough to think clearly when you are taken by surprise and find yourself being interviewed by somebody speaking in English, but when the questions are in Spanish and you are expected to reply in Spanish, I have to say that it´s a bit of an ordeal.

The evening was rounded off with food and wine, which we both felt we thoroughly deserved, especially as by then it was 11 o´clock!  Fortunately we had decided to have a few tapas at home before going out.  We had both enjoyed the evening though: it was the first time we had heard the orchestra play, and listening to music in a bodega is very atmospheric. 

By the time we got home after the concert it was already Sunday morning.  Luckily our dog Lisa didn´t seem interested in going for a walk, as we had another musical event in our diary, which this time was at lunchtime, so for the second night in a row we wouldn´t be getting much beauty sleep.

Flamenco on Sunday afternoon with Al Golpe

Our friend John had assured us that he knew where the Jardin del Rey Don Pedro was, so we had arranged to meet him there for a coffee.  The flamenco group Al Golpe were just finishing their first number when my mobile phone rang, so I moved away to answer it, expecting it to be John.  I was right.

“I´m at the garden, but there is nobody else here,” came a puzzled voice.  “It is the garden near Bar Pipa, isn´t it?”  No, John, it isn´t!  It is the garden near the INSS office, just past the indoor market…

Luckily for John it didn´t take him long to walk to the correct garden, so he was able to sit with us for a couple of drinks enjoying free music and the sunshine.  Good music, good wine, lots of sunshine and good company – it was a typical weekend in Jumilla, and next weekend we were to enjoy more of the same.

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