Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It's Here!

Waiting for my cactus flower to open was a bit like waiting for the kettle to boil. You just know it's not going to happen until you look away! So yesterday I made a point of not inspecting my plant at first light, as I had been doing, and sure enough, when I went out for my Spanish lesson in the afternoon, it had popped, and was beginning to open up. Of course, by today it was fully open, so here it is. It's not the most beautiful flower in the garden, but it is pretty spectacular all the same. I took this close up of one of it's petals to show the pattern of fine red lines and the tiny hairs along the edges. I suspect, if I could bend down that low, (which I can't!!), it would probably smell similar to rotten meat. It is like the big dessert flowers I have seen on television whose only aim is to attract flies and other insects, down into the dark centre. It is a huge flower for such a tiny plant and I am really pleased to have it in my garden.

This Sunday was another of the local Lace Days. This time it was at Huercal -Overa, which is the town where I go to church, so I didn't book to go as a guest, but when our morning service ended, I walked around to the hall and spent an hour there while my friend Sylvia who shares lifts with me, had a cup of coffee with our church friends. Then she picked me up as she drove passed on her way home. The format was much the same as the others I have been to. There were the usual dancers on the stage. I took a picture of them because I do love their colourful dresses. Then a group of quite small girls got on the stage. I had to smile at them. They put so much energy in to it and obviously enjoy performing. The little lass on the end (with the lilac sash) was having a bit of bother. They did a lively dance with lots of shaking of their hips to rattle the metal coins on their sashes, and every time she 'wiggled' her sash slipped a bit lower until it was round her knees. She didn't know what to do and was in danger of having a tumble until a mum stepped forward and tied her up again. I managed to get to the trade stalls before they packed everything away, and I bought a really fine steel crochet hook; so fine that you can't see it has a hook on it. This is to help me incorporate beads into my lace. Pam is going to give me a lesson soon so I thought I had better be prepared. There was lots of lovely work being done by the ladies at the tables. I particularly liked the length of lace that this lady was making, so I asked her if I could take a picture of it. Beautiful isn't it?

There was also a display table where anyone from the host group could show their work from the past year. It doesn't have to be lace. There is usually some very good knitting, crocheted lace and tapestry on display as well. At this meeting there were also a few other crafters demonstrating and I was particularly taken with this man who was busy making miniture ratten chairs. The smallest ones were only about one centimeter square for their seats. He had big workman's hands with thick fingers, and I was amazed how well he could handle these tiny pieces. I did wonder how he came to be there, but then I realised that he was also making beaded bobbins. Here are some he had done. They are very pretty, but much chunkier than we use, and I would not like them on my work pillow. But the Spanish workers are used to fatter bobbins and I am sure they would use them quite happily.

My youngest son Ben is enjoying having some free time between his open University courses, so he has been writing some new songs. I promised him I would post a link to them on here so I'll give it a go. Just click on the link below.
'I will be there when you're cold' is his newest song, but for the family (or anyone else who is interested) I would recommend 'Time to Give' and 'A different kind of love'. If you just like the piano there is a video of his first 'classical' composition just called 'Fast piano playing', or on guitar instead of piano there's another of his songs called 'First cut'. He also does some good cover versions of Queen and Counting Crows songs. You'll find links to all of these down the side of the page when you click on this link. I don't usually advertise for him, but it is so long now since the family saw any of the boys, and I thought you might like to see what he's been up to.

We were able to sit out on the porch to eat our lunch again today. The weather is being very kind to us, and even when there is a cold wind blowing at the back of the house, the porch area is quite sheltered. Today it was hot sitting there and we didn't stay out for too long, but it is good to make the most of it, while the sun is still shining. So I'll leave you with this photo. I was just finishing lunch when I looked up at the sky and saw this 'kiss'. It made me smile, so I hope it does you too.

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