Best wishes, Happy New Year to you all and welcome to our Winter Newsletter.
The autumn weather in Andalusia was extraordinary last year. At the beginning of October it continued to be extremely warm. By the end of October we were still able to visit the empty beaches and enjoy afternoon siestas in the sun after long, delicious lunches. Even better than mid summer...no crowds, no traffic and much gentler heat.
There are some really wonderful local walks around Gaucin; and walking groups can be joined by visitors on their holidays. Visits to nearby towns and cities are all so much more relaxing at this time of year, I encourage you to consider a visit out of high season. As you can see the garden was still looking colourful, the village was calm and best of all, the Night Blooming Jasmine, Cestrum Nocturnum, was in flower in the garden courtyard, scenting the evening air exotically.
By mid November I found myself back in Gaucin again to more fabulous weather and lovely clear skies getting ready for the Christmas Fair; I had to stop to take this photo as I drove back from the coast, the sky was literally full of Griffon vultures. The resident colonies breed and nest in the crags of the mountain tops. They are huge birds with wing span up to 9ft and weighing up to 15 kilos. There are several bird watching groups and tours in the area if you are interested in finding out more.
Tangier is a great city to visit for a night or two, taking the fast boat from Tarifa.
On a Christmas shopping trip in November we visited the weavers market “Foundouk Chejra”, where looms are activated by hand & foot, the spools thrown from one side to the other, in this 3 meter wide loom.
Spools are prepared using this marvellous contraption below including a bike wheel & re-cycled wood. Wool, cotton, jute and sabra, a synthetic thread are used to make lovely throws, bed spreads, bath mats.
Look out for some nice new bed covers at Casa Mosaica for 2018...thank you Tangier weavers! My next favourite thing in Tangier is to shop in the food market for the delicious and huge variety of olives, preserved lemons and harissa; a strong chilli sauce used to spice up couscous.
I buy pastillas, which were originally made with pigeon (now chicken) and finished with a dusting of almonds, sugar and cinnamon, fish triangles and flat breads in the market to bring back to the peace and quiet of Casa Mosaica garden for an outdoor Moroccan lunch or supper.
Gaucin Christmas Fair 2017
“Decorando Gaucin” the Urban Crochet Group came up with a huge crocheted christmas tree in the Plaza Santa Niño, one just outside Casita Mosaica and this pretty one, (photo by Francisco Javier Pietro Martìn) looking South for Christmas.
Karen from Bonissim organised a brilliant Christmas Fair at the end of November which included live music outside the Convento, whilst inside us stall holders laid out our wears. There was a great selection of stalls from good quality local crafts people , home made jams, marmalade and chutney from the Murphy’s.
Having been involved in designing and fabricating mosaics for the last 20 years I am taking a break after the May 2018 Open Studios /Art Gaucin weekend... Whilst getting inspiration out here in this magical environment to decide what to try next.
I’ve created a Stock Page on the mosaic website.
With all remaining mosaics in stock, which includes some beautiful tables. Last Mosaic currently being made in the studio in Tangier…a mosaic floor for a new Shower room in the CM apartment. This will be ready for Easter bookings and will also have a washing machine for the use of guests.
I leave you with a wonderful photo of the first 2018 “Supermoon” over Gaucin on January 2nd 2018. The second “Blue Moon” will be at the end of the month. (Photo by Jesus Balsa Pascual).
With very best wishes for an extremely happy and healthy 2018 from the entire Casa Mosaica Team:
Ruffi, Raffa, Alex, Andrea, Jim, Charlie, Emma and not forgetting of course Kevin & Geoffrey
Emma V. Cornish