It was almost a shock yesterday when I realised that we are only a month away from Christmas. There is none of the pre-season hype here that you get in UK. The supermarket has added boxes of loose raisins and sultanas to their fresh fruit counter, along with the navidad sweets which are also sold by weight. They are either lumps of marzipan which are lovely, or small cakes of compressed ground nuts which aren't sweet enough and are very dry. That is the extent of Christmas in the shops that I visit regularly, though I did spot a few decorations lurking on a shelf in the ferrateria, and I expect the toy shops have big displays, but you only see those in the larger shopping centres, and we don't have one of those near us. I am trying to persuade Chris to take me to Granada one day to see the decorations there. I have been told that they are very good in the big cities. However, there is no getting away from the fact that Winter is on its way. It is quite chilly first thing when we walk the dogs and we have both used a light jacket this week. Last night I even put our thinnest (4.5 tog) douvet on the bed instead of the double sheet we have used up til now, but we were both a bit too warm. I think we will be glad of it very soon now though. Like we did in the flat last year, we notice a big drop in the temperature as soon as the sun sets, at about 6.15 now. Then it's time to find a jumper and some slippers, because if we do get chilled it's hard to warm up again, and bare stone floors are cold to walk on! But the days are still mostly sunny and it can be quite hot around lunch time. Mostly it is very comfortable to sit out in for a few hours around mid-day and we have started to sit out to eat our meals again while we can. I don't mind it being cool enough to need a jumper. It's the blue skies that provide the 'feel good' factor and remind us of why we moved out here.
I am very pleased to say that my new cooker arrived as promised, on Saturday morning, and at 6.30 that evening we had a call to say a man was on his way to fit it. That's excellent service for Spain. I was impressed! So now I have a posh oven with touch panel controls that I am still learning to use, and a hob with five rings that all work!! Of course, I had to put it through its paces. so I did a full roast dinner on Sunday, and on Monday I made bread, used up the left over old loaves on a bread pudding and a bread and butter pudding, and baked a victoria sponge and a date and apricot loaf! I used to love having proper baking sessions like that when I had hungry teenagers to feed. Now some of it will go in the freezer, and I won't need to bake again for a while. But it was lovely to use an oven that does what it is supposed to, and a full hob so that I don't have to keep swapping the pans around to try and cook everything together.
After lesson two in lace making I have completed my second book mark, which this time is all holes so it looks a bit more like proper lace. Apparently I have now learned the only two stitches there are, and making anything more complicated is just a question of learning how to combine them in different ways. So my next project is to make a circle of lace to edge a small cloth, which is a combination of solid blocks and holes. I wound the bobbins to make it today but there wasn't enough time to start it, so Pam is going to try to come to the group next week to start me off, but it is the day before she flies to England for Christmas, so I may have to wait until she gets back. I am enjoying doing it and it gives you a great sense of satisfaction to finish something, however simple it is. Pam, who is teaching me, learned it herself at evening classes in England and she said that for the first year she only made samplers, and only used white thread, so she decided that if she taught anyone, she would make sure that everything they made was functional and interesting, hence my two coloured bookmarks and now a lace cloth edging. So watch this space. I am determined to keep going until I can make that fan!