Friday, November 20, 2009

My lucky day!

Yes, it must be my lucky day. Why? Well this morning Chris and I went down to Mojacar to visit the ferreteria, or hardware store, as we have worn out our yard broom cleaning up after the dogs, so we needed a new one. The ferreteria is an amazing warren of narrow aisles packed with a huge range of goods from pots and pans to cleaning materials, garden equipment to high tech electrical goods, and I love wandering around there. Anyway, we found the broom we wanted and then Chris decided to buy me a new cooker! The one I have is useable, but the seal is poor so I lose a lot of heat from round the door, and, when I use it for a long stretch, it overheats and leaves me with burnt offerings. But as I tend to use my remoska or halogen cooker in preference to the main oven, I was managing. But the hob I have is driving me to desperation. One ring won't light at all, one is very tiny so only good for keeping things warm; it takes an age to actually heat them, one is too big, designed for a large paella pan, and it is so fierce that it burns everything, which just leaves me with one properly useable ring, which is very frustrating when cooking a meal. Chris didn't want me to change to an electric one as it is so expensive out here, and I do use the hob a lot, so the new one is still calor gas which means I have something to use even during the frequent power cuts that we get. It is stainless steel so I should be able to keep it clean, and it has five rings! Yippee! My current hob appears to stand alone, but it shares a control panel with the oven, so they both had to be replaced, so now I will also have a hopefully more efficient oven, which is electric. It has a clever touch panel for the controls so there are no nasty buttons to trap grease and dirt, and it has a sideways opening door. All the Spanish ones seem to have drop-down doors and I hate leaning over them to retrieve big pans from a hot oven. Although this is Spain, where things happen in their own time, they have promised to deliver the oven tomorrow morning and fit it in the afternoon. I do hope it happens; then I can cook Chris a special roast dinner on Sunday to say 'Thank you'.
In between Christmas card making, scrapbooking and ATCs, I have managed to do some more of my lace and I finished 'Sammy snake' in time for my next lesson last Wednesday. Pam showed me how to finish it off, and then I took all the pins out, and she put him in a clear plastic book-mark sleeve. He's not perfect, but as a first attempt, I am quite proud of him. Now I am doing a srip which is all regular rows of holes, so more like 'real lace'. This week we had some visitors at our sewing group, from a small village just up into the mountains. There was a young English speaking couple who are trying to organise day trips to their village to see traditional crafts, and they brought a young Spanish couple with them, who do some of the work. The girl brought lovely peices of embroidery she had done on a cloth, all in tiny chain stitch, with a very pretty crocheted scalloped edging. She also made frilly aprons for the bar staff to wear at village fiestas. The young man decided to model one for us. He was such fun, and he reminded me very much of our Michael. It must be the hair and the cheeky grin. The other thing the girl did was bobbin lace! Her bobbins were plain wood with none of the pretty beads that the English have on theirs, and she used a handmade wooden stand instead of a 'pillow', but her work was beautiful. She had used fine gold thread and red beads to make a bracelet, coloured thread to make artificial flowers, and this beautiful white fan. Apparently all lace makers make a fan sometime in their career. I just loved it, and my 'teacher' Pam said there was nothing too complicated in it and I'd be making one by the end of the year (next year that is!), so there's something worth aiming for!
Our street continues to be the 'Rocky road to nowhere', and we are thoroughly fed up with the mess, and the uncomfortable walk across rocks and sand every time we want to get to the car. But yesterday they did start levelling it off. The bulldozer has been up and down a few times and there are no longer many piles of mud down each side, and we can leave our grounds without crossing ditches or mountains. A long 'snake' of black rubber has appeared today but we don't know what it is for. This is what it looks like today, and we continue to watch the proceedings with interest and anticipation.
We may not have much of a garden ourselves, with just a few patio tubs of dog-eared (or dog-chewed) plants in, but the roses at the front are gorgeous again. There are eleven blooms out on the apricot one this week. Also we get to enjoy the lovely trailing plants that run riot all over the house next door. The deep pink bourganvillia is out, the pale pink incarvillea, that I talked about in an earlier blog, has woven it's way along our fence and in and out of our little potted trees, and the bright orange vine that they cut down so ruthlessly last spring, is again in bloom. It all looks so lovely so I took a couple of pictures today. You'd never think we've only had a couple of days of rain sice last April, would you?
Now I am getting back to my card making. I want the English ones ready to post by the beginning of next month so I only have a week left to do them in.

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