I have always been very interested in lace making. Out in Cyprus we used to visit the village of Lefkara, where the women sat on their steps, each with a pad on their knee, and their fingers would be busy with the bobbins while they chatted together. It looked so complicated, and I always wondered how they managed to work and talk at the same time. I love all the beads they use to identify their bobbins, and have often looked at the bobbins on the wood-turning stalls at craft markets, but thought it was probably beyond me. Years ago I bought a starter kit, but trying to master something so intricate from an instruction sheet was just too much, and I soon lost patience with it. I now go to a little sewing group on a Wednesday morning. We do all sorts from knitting and crochet to cross-stitch and embroidery, and a few of the ladies bring lace making. When I went and chatted to them I was told that one lady, Pam, gives lessons for beginners so I asked her to show me. Yesterday I had my first lesson. Pam lent me a set of bobbins and a pad, and started me off on the basic stitch. Apparently, when the Spanish ladies start to learn, the first thing they make is a length of white 'bandage'. I am pleased to say that Pam is a little more imaginative and she started me making a book mark called Sammy snake, who is purple with a yellow stripe down his back. It is her standard starter pattern. I am deffinitely a visual learner, and now I have been shown how to do it, I am finding this quite straight forward. Next week I am going to learn how to put holes in it! After that it will get a lot more complicated, but I shall stick with it if I can. It is a craft that is very popular with the Spanish ladies, and we will have the opportunity to visit exhibitions of their work from time to time.
I am a great lover of fresh orange juice and I have an ordinary hand held juicer which is fine when I want the juice of half a lemon for a recipe, or something like that. But Jonathan, who enjoyed grapefruit juice when he was out here, will tell you that it is hard work when you want a glass full. I used to have a fancy electric juicer but it was too big, too much work to set up, and a real pain to clean afterwards, and in the end I put it in a charity shop I think. So this week, Chris bought me a very simple electric juicer. You still have to hold the fruit on it manually, but the motor takes all the hard work out of the squeezing, and a quick rinse under the tap has it clean again. It's amazing how much more juice it gets out of each fruit, than I ever did by hand. Now the new season of oranges is just beginning, I think we'll be drinking a lot of vitamin C this winter.P.S. We thoroughly enjoyed our lemon meringue pie!