Kate's adventures

Friday, July 3, 2020

Rocking Your World 2020:Week 27

Well we have hit the mid-point of this strange year, and are now counting back down to Christmas! I have two friends who regularly post on Facebook, how many weeks, Mondays, etc are left before Christmas. It can either be annoying or funny, but I do know that my son's birthday last Friday is the middle day between one Christmas day and the next, so we are certainly on the slippery slope downwards now! And what a year it has been so far. Probably not the one we might have predicted back in January.
Here summer has hit us like an oven door opening in our face. This was the thermometer on our Farmacía yesterday afternoon. (approx. 100ºF)
We never take its reading as gospel as we don't know how much protection there is around the sensor, but the thermometer on our porch which is always in the shade, has shown 35º some days, and by anyone's standards that is HOT!
So we are very grateful for our little pool which Chris keeps lovely and clean so it is always an inviting way to cool down. And one night this week I had my first after-dark dip of the season.
The water remains warm, around 27º this week, even at midnight, so it is easy to slip into. There is a bright light just under the surface of the water, which casts shadows from the ripples on the surface, and the street light behind Chris as he took this one, casts his shadow on the water, so it is quite strange.
After my swim I threw on an old kaftan that I bought in Thailand back in 2008, and relaxed on the porch with the dogs at my feet, as I sipped my favourite nightcap - a dark rum and coke. Who wouldn't be grateful for such a life!
Kim looks pretty relaxed there, but he is struggling with the heat. He does have an exceptionally thick coat, which makes him a very handsome fellow, but also makes him too hot in the summer. He sheds hair all the time but it never seems to get any thinner!
So we made an appointment for him to go to the groomer in Mojacar yesterday morning. They all find him very difficult to handle, and he had a very bad experience with one, and now hates to be groomed. They quite justifiably insist he wears a muzzle which he spends the whole time trying to get off. He is a gentle giant and never hurts anyone, but they don't know that. He lets me brush his back and sides, but touch the tail or below, and he says 'NO!'. So this was another groomer that was recommended to me and it was a very nice lady who greeted us. She was working in a very confined space which made it difficult with such a big dog, but she seemed to have his measure. I had agreed to get some calming tablets from my vet to give him first thing, as we have used them before. In fact our vet suggested using them after she called us from the groomers in her clinic because he was so worked up, she thought he might have a seizure. So he was not sure what was going on yesterday, and was a bit 'spaced out'. It took her 2½ hours, and by the time he was ready to go home, he was still rather wet because I had warned her he didn't like the hair-drier, and to be honest, he doesn't look a lot different from when we left him there, though she did have a good pile of hair from him. But at least he has had a bath and his rear end tidied up. When we got him home, he gave us a mournful look and crashed out on the settee. When I sent this photo to my son he said "Mum, if his medicines makes him feel like that, you could sell them on the black market"
Of course he is back to his old self today, but the bath has made him so fluffy that he looks even more 'hairy' than usual.
We knew she would be working on Kim for a while, but it was not worth driving home just to come back again, so we had our first coffee since the bars re-opened. The tables on the patio were well-spaced out, it was waiter service only, and we were expected to wear a mask except when we were drinking. But it was shady and pleasant to while away some time. When we called and found she still needed at least another hour, we browsed the local shops and I got a lovely fine cotton sundress and a pair of navy shoes , so it was a win, win for me.
I was impressed with the little lock-up shop where I bought the shoes. They had a box of plastic socks on the counter for anyone wanting to try on shoes, and any clothes that were touched/tried on, and not bought, were hung on a rack and a young girl was continuously steaming each one before it went back into circulation. For such a small place, they were doing really well to keep us safe.
Sadly, despite all the precautions, street cleaning, masks, hand sanitizer everywhere, and a smallish community, we were told this week that the first case of the virus to be positively tested in our village, occurred on Wednesday. We don't know which family is involved but I am sure they are being well contained, and hopefully there will be no more cases.

I have had a few small parcels this week but this is the one that pleases me. I think my eyesight is getting dimmer and I find I need a bright light for any sort of handwork, so I have one uplighter at my shoulder when I am crocheting, and one by my desk for computer and craft work. This one had been very efficient for some years, but recently the weight in its base started to crumble, so it kept falling over on me. So on Wednesday Chris ordered two of these rather stylish ones, one for me and one for his office, and they arrived the next day. It has a choice of cold, warm or neutral light, and a dimmer switch to choose what level of lighting is needed, so I am very happy with it.
(I haven't master how to wrap text around a tall thin photo like this in the new blogger, but I am working on it!)
Last week, Lynn, who links to Annie's Friday Smiles, showed a lovely photo of her market purchases, and it made me think that it is long time since I showed mine, so when I got home from the market on Tuesday, I arranged my lovely fruit and veg. to take this picture before finding it all homes in the fridge etc.
Isn't that just beautiful? We are so lucky to be able to buy such fresh items, many grown locally but a few imported - bananas don't grow around here for example, but as we mainly get them on market day, not from the local shops, I have to buy a week's supply and keep them chilled as they don't last more than a few days in the heat. The big golden peaches are not very interesting to eat raw, but lightly poached they are just like tinned ones, and we have already enjoyed some of those. Yesterday we attacked the pineapple so I think it will be some of those luscious cherries today.
And one more lovely picture - my desert rose as it looks now. Many of the buds have opened and it really is stunning.
So now it is time to link up with Annie's Friday Smiles, and Rocking Your World.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Rocking Your World 2020: Week 26

How time does fly by, and here's a real reminder of that for me .
0-49 in the blink of an eye!
Yes it only seems like a few years since my first son made his appearance and today he is celebrating almost a half-century. He and his wife are very happy with their move to Sydenham at the end of last year and enjoy being just a short ride away from the city. He is celebrating today with lunch from his favourite takeaway - the famous beigle shop in Brick Lane.

Our week started on Sunday, with what could have been a disaster as the Cabrera mountains were the site of a wild fire. Sitting on our porch we could see a small plume of smoke, that rapidly increased and caused a grey swirl to stretch all along the coast. We soon realised it was getting out of control when we heard the drone of helicopters and other small aircraft that scoop water from nearby reservoirs and drop it on the fire. The sirens of fire engines could be heard in the distance and as darkness fell the flames could be seen from our house. There was one heart stopping moment as it seemed to be dying down and then the flames flared up again, and ran straight down the side of the valley and back up the other side. According to the media, there were 50 firemen and twenty auxiliaries, plus twelve aircraft, all bravely battling against the wind, to get it under control. Military were drafted in with their vehicles to surround Turre in case the wind changed during the night and drove the fire down towards the town. I am filled with admiration for these men working in such scarey conditions. They did a fantastic job and by the early hours of Monday morning they had it all in control. Well done those men - and women of course!
We had exceptional rainfall earlier this year so everything grew very fast as summer approached, and now it is all tinder dry, so some fires are almost inevitable. The local authorities have brought in heavy machinery to clear all debris from the open plots within the villages, as a fire prevention measure.
Here are a few photos taken from our house.

The positive from this is that no-one from the public nor the workers was injured, and it proves what a well trained and hard-working team we have taking care of our community.

I am keen to start taking a short walk each day as I am getting used to sitting around at home and really need some exercise. So I got up a little earlier one morning and walked up through the village and back round on the perimeter road. Sadly my foot, which completely gave out on my previous walk, started to hurt again, and although it is not painful like it was the first time, I am very aware of it every time I stand up, so I won't be walking very much just yet.
While I was out I saw my favourite wild flower out in bloom. Every year this creeper covers the railings that fence off the rambla at the top of the village, and I don't see them anywhere else. They looked so lovely.
They look very pink here but they are actually more mauve. Unlike the white bindweed, these have leaves a bit like the very blue cultivated Morning Glory, that bloomed across the road from us until the fence was taken down and the land built on. I have tried to get them to grow on our back railings, but so far I have had no success. But I have collected a couple of seed heads so I can try again this year.

Next door's garden is getting a bit untidy. The owner has not been able to travel to make her usual Spring visit. She always calls in the workers while she is here, and has it all cleared. Some men did come in and clear part of it, and deepen the trenches around the fruit trees to help with watering them, but left unattended, it soon grows over again. On the area they cleared there is a ground cover weed that has spread very quickly and it too is covered in trumpet flowers, but these are much smaller, and they do have leaves like bind week. I guess they would be considered to be weeds, but I think they look really pretty bobbing around in the breeze, and the bees and other insects love them.
The other thing I noticed on my walk was all the fruit setting on the wild fig trees. It looks as though there will be a good harvest later.

My 'memory' on Facebook from a year ago, showed me the big potted palm we have in the front garden with a new crown of fronds growing from the centre. I wasn't really aware that this is an annual occurrence, but sure enough, there is exactly the same thing this year. The new fronds are soft to touch, but before long they will be hard and very prickly like the rest of the plant. I always try to water it from a distance because if I get too close, the leaf ends stab me through whatever I am wearing!

Our weather has been lovely most days, though it is a bit hotter than I would chose some afternoons, but there had been no rain forecast so I was surprised to wake up one morning to gray skies. I went out the front of the house to look around and on the horizon the sky was a hazy yellow where the sun was trying to burn through, and above that was a layer of grey cloud, and between the two you could see heavy rain falling not too far away.
As I stood there I caught the very edge of it as big warm drops of rain fell, so infrequently you could measure the distance on the ground between where they fell. It never came to anything more, and before long the sun was out.

The next morning it was grey again, and this time I was out the back of the house. We did have a very short shower, just enough to lay the dust, before the sun made it through again. The grey skies didn't deter the little birds though. There were plenty of them around. I think they all have babies in need of regular feeding whatever the weather.

My boys are frequently changing their profile picture on social media but I am very lazy about it so yesterday I decided to change mine and take one with my 'lock-down hair'. Selfies are not something I take very often but I had a go and managed one that I thought I could use. Just then Tango walked passed so I picked him up, but I soon found that taking a selfie while holding a cat was not going to be easy. So I called for backup and Chris came and took one for me. And that is the one I used for my profile.

I am soldiering on with my crochet project but for a little light relief I stopped and made this pair of coasters. I like the Celtic knot pattern and they were quick and easy to do, though a bit fiddly for the finishing off. I have a third one half made that I will go to when I need another break.

And finally I have been shocked by some of the photos on the news and social  media this week, of the careless and anti-social behaviour by a few folk, since lock-down in UK has relaxed. I am very aware that the majority of people are taking the situation seriously and proceeding with caution, but I really hope the reckless few do not ruin things for everyone else.
Throughout the pandemic we have had much stricter rules in Spain and we are expected to abide by them. This 'Royal Decree' was issued this week, and makes it clear that we will not be back to normal until a vaccine is found.

I have to say the masks are not pleasant to wear, especially as temperatures are rising, but with notices like this, you don't risk breaking the rules! And woe betide any visitors who try to as well.
And on that note I will link up with Annie's Friday Smiles and Rocking Your World, and say Good-bye until next week.