Kate's adventures

Friday, November 8, 2019

Rocking Your World 2019: Week 45

Hi everyone. I am now back home in Spain. It seems ages since my last post, but I have been busy, so here is just some of what I have been up to.

After returning to UK with my sister Jean, I spent a lovely couple of days with her, enjoying some retail therapy so I could spend my birthday money (easily done!), and also spending time with our other sister Dorothy who lives nearby. It was nice to have enough time for a proper catch up. I was also hoping to visit three of our sons while in UK so it was a nice surprise when a fourth one turned up. I had a long, rather tedious train journey up to Manchester to visit our son Jonathan in his new house, and when we went out for a meal that evening, our second son Mike and his partner Lucy turned up unexpectedly to join us. This was a random shot someone took of us.

Jonathan and Ella are just getting to know their new area and they had found a good Thai restaurant in Altrincham, so that is where we went. And we had a really good meal, and as you can see, we also enjoyed one another's company.
The next day, Mike and Lucy had to go home, but Jonathan, Ella and I returned to Altrincham to visit the open market. There were lots of interesting stalls to browse through, and we found one that sold all sorts of dog equipment, toys, treats etc. They bought a piece of horn which their dog Rudy loved. It is hard to find things that she can't destroy in minutes, but that will keep her happy for quite a while. I bought her some bacon scented bubbles! We couldn't wait to see her play with them. She was fascinated, and sat waiting for next lot to be blown. Then she jumped around trying to catch them. Hours of fun in a little bottle.
We were up early the next day so Jonathan could get me on the right tram to the station before he went on to work. When we opened the door to let the dog out, we found the ground was white with the first frost of the year. Rudy wasn't so keen on getting cold paws.
I got my train and had a much smoother ride back as far as Birmingham to spend the next week with Ben. We had really lovely weather while I was there. I don't mind it being a bit chilly, when there is a warm house to go back to, and the blue sky and sunshine made a brisk Autumn walk worth doing. There are lots of trees in the area where Ben lives, and the various colours in their leaves were so beautiful. I took so many photos ready for some scrapbook pages, but I have made collages of a few for this post. I think you can click on them to see them better.

The floor was carpeted in golds and browns, and they were crispy to walk on. When I returned in my last couple of days, they had been rained on and were a bit wet and slippery. The poor workmen had the thankless task of trying to sweep them up, but more fell so they had to come back each day and try again.

On Thursday, Ben and I travelled up to London to attend a special service for my oldest son Jim, who was to be licensed as the vicar of St. Bartholomew's church in Sydenham.
It is a very different church from his previous one which had a modern building, with the main body of the church also being the school hall all week. This is a grade 2 listed building, and at present it's square tower is covered by scaffolding as they are restoring the old clock and bells. 
Mike again was able to unexpectedly join us for this, but sadly Jonathan couldn't make it as it was a work day, and Tom could not make the trip across from Denmark. Jim and Jo's three children had come from their universities in Aberystwyth, York and Brighton,  so there was quite a gang of us. Their new house is just two doors down from the church so we all walked round to the service and were greeted by this banner, blowing between the trees.
I took a few photos inside the church, before the service began, mainly to show Chris when I got home as he had stayed here to look after the animals.
I was seated right at the front next to a lovely floral display, and I was amused to find that, what I thought was roses, was in fact ornamental cabbages! There was a party of their friends from their previous church in Wolverhampton, who had travelled up by minibus. They had got lost and arrived just in time! There were also representatives from the local council, and the schools in the parish.
This was taken at the end of the service, showing Jim standing with the Bishop, and other church officials around them. The two without robes are the church wardens.
Afterwards we were invited to a wonderful buffet, which included this lovely red velvet cake, made by one of the congregation.               The new vicarage is lovely, a spacious house, with plenty of rooms for the family when they want to come home, and for visitors as well. There is a nice garden at the back, but they are hoping to have a big, fox-proof chicken run covering some of it.
They are a cat loving family so I soon felt at home there. This is Phantom and Ghost, who spent a lot of time surveying their new territory through the windows. They haven't been let out yet, but this week the cat flap will be unlocked and they can explore. They are near a much busier road than they are used to, so I hope they stay in the garden.
The two black and white cats, Severous and Severina, were more content to find a cosy bed and curl up in it, but they also spent time sitting on me which was nice.
On the next day, most of the family chose to stay at home, but Jim and I went for a long walk, so he could begin to get his bearings around the parish. We walked up a hill that led from their house to the highest point in the area, and from there we could see some of the main buildings that make the iconic skyline in London city.
At the top of the hill, a small gate led into Sydenham Hill Woods, so we set off on our adventure. Again the trees were beautiful, so here is another collage of just a few of them.
There were paths veering off in every direction, so we just kept making random choices, and at some point we crossed over into Dulwich Woods. Here we found a small pond, ivy covered logs with fungi growing on them, and interesting tree formations. All the wood land was well tended, with fallen branches used to edge the paths, and areas fenced off for the land to recover, and improve the habitats for wildlife.
When we emerged from the woods we had no idea where we were, but after a few wrong turns we found a stop for the buses we knew passed their home, so we had a ride back. According to my fitbit, I was an 'overachiever' and we had covered 9km. That is the furthest I have walked in a very long time, but I really enjoyed it, and it was good to spend time alone with Jim to put the world to rights!
Then Ben and I returned to Birmingham where I had a couple more days before my flight home. I made good use of them, but I have decided to keep those photos for next week's post. 

So now I just have a couple more things to share. Firstly my 'Ta-dah moment'. I finished my blanket with a little time to spare, and was able to take it to UK to give to Jim's wife Jo. She loves butterflies and her favourite colour is purple so when I saw this pattern it was a no-brainer really. It is done in Locking filet crochet, the same as the native American one I made for Jonathan and Ella, so it is almost a cellular, double thickness which gives it warmth and weight. Jo suffers from fybromyalgia, and on bad days she likes to cuddle up under a heavy blanket. She loves it, and has already made use of it, so it was worth the work.
Having got used to the autumnal chill in UK it was nice to find the sun still shining here in Spain. Our garden is rather in need of some attention, but in the front bed I found this rose still covered in blooms. I thought they would be long gone. This particular rose grows very tall so the flowers are just outside the sitting room windows.
And finally I am going to try to upload a small clip of a video. Our family is nothing if not varied, and it amused me when a few days after Jim's Induction at St.Barts, this video of his younger brother came up. He is the drummer in several heavy metal bands and one of them is getting recognition and has been invited to support much more famous groups. On bonfire night he was playing with his band Shuck at the Soup Kitchen in Manchester, supporting the band Big Business. I have a video of the full song but HERE is a clip of the last 50 seconds when Jonathan did his solo riff. He knows I don't care for his music much but I do enjoy seeing him play, with so much energy and passion. 
So now it is time to link up with Annie's Friday Smiles and Rocking Your World. Hopefully I will be back to normal now and able to post every week.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Rocking Your World 2019; Week 42

Hi folks. A real quickie today. I have my sister Jean with me this week, and we have been too busy chatting to do much else. The sun has been shining and we have enjoyed relaxing out in the screened porch, eating out a few times, and generally catching up with one another. I took this selfie an hour or so ago. It is not the best photo but I guess it says it like it is!
We are not the only ones who have been relaxing. Tango has mastered the art very well too.

It has been a happy week with both my husband and I celebrating our birthdays on Tuesday and yesterday respectively. Jean brought me a good size note book with the most beautiful cover that she had made. I haven't had time to photograph it, but I will show you soon.

On Tuesday I am going back to UK with her, and I have a fortnight of moving around the family so am not likely to be on here again until week 44 (8th November). I think I need to get some warmer clothes out before I go.

We had a very pretty sky again this week. I love this soft lilac and pink one.

Here is a little meme I spotted this week which made me smile, so I hope it does you too. 

I'll link up with Annie's Friday Smiles and Rocking your World, and I'll see you all again soon.