THURSDAY DECEMBER 22ND
Lots of excitement today! Tomorrow at the crack of silly o’clock, Pepe, Rod and I shall be off to Alicante Airport to get a plane to the UK for CHRISTMAS !! Pepe is off to Hereford, (via Bristol Airport) to spend the time with Nick and Yvonne, whilst we shall be off to Hassocks to be with the Youngs (via Gatwick). Our plane is due to take off 1hour 20 minutes after Pepe’s, so we should be able to make sure he is safe before getting into our queue.
I needed a few last-minute things from Jalón, so I popped in during the morning, and, for the first time this year, I saw the Christmas tree in the square, looking all jolly and happy. I had to go and have a closer look, and it made me smile to look at the decorations. CD discs !! Each disc had been decorated by a different child – some with paper pictures, some wound with wool and others with lots of dangly stuff on them. The end result was lovely in the sunshine! How proud those children must have been to have their work on display for all to see and admire!
All the shops I went in had the same broadcast – very loud! It is the day of the big national lottery in Spain, “El Gordo”. They have this peculiar way of drawing the numbers, which takes several hours. One child draws the numbers and sings them out, while another sings the appropriate prize. Here’s what Wikipedia says;
“The Spanish Christmas Lottery (officially Sorteo Extraordinario de Navidad or simply Lotería de Navidad is a national lottery. It has been organized every year since 1812 by a branch of the Spanish Public Administration. It is the second longest continuously running lottery in the world. This includes the years during the Civil War when the lottery draw was held in Valencia after the Republicans were forced to relocate their capital from Madrid. After the overthrow of the Republican government the lottery continued uninterrupted under the Franco Regime.
As measured by the total prize pay-out, the Spanish Christmas Lottery is considered the biggest lottery worldwide. In 2015, with 18 million pre-printed €200 tickets to sell, the maximum total amount available for all prizes would be €2.52 billion (70% of ticket sales). The total prize for the first place El Gordo (“the big one”) jackpot would be €720 million.”
Because the tickets are so expensive, you often get a small part of one as a gift during December. One year I had one of these as a gift from the hairdresser, and after I saw online that it was a winning number, I raced into the hairdresser’s to collect my prize. It turned out to be 4cents!!
So most of the day was spent preparing for our trip – hoorah!!