Another week has been and gone, marked only by an outing we had last Tuesday. This was our first ever trip to IKEA. What an experience!! Our boys are always going on about how great it is, but I wasn't convinced, and expected just another furniture store. I imagine Ikea Es. is little different from Ikea UK, except for the language on the tickets.
Chris has had a bad back off and on for some time now, and we put this down mainly to the many hours he sits in front of his computer on an unsuitable chair, so he wanted to invest in a good, comfy, office chair. Asking around where we might find one out here, everyone told me, "Go to Ikea". The nearest one is in Murcia, an hour and a half drive from us, but on Tuesday we decided to bite the bullet and go. Neither of us are really up for days of shopping, but when there is something we really want, then there does seem to be some point to it.
Fortunately the store was easy to find, with it's sign high above the surrounding buildings, and having circled a roundabout with a somewhat strange but colourful sculpture on it, our trusty sat.nav. helped us to negotiate the winding side streets that led to the Ikea parking lot.
Once in the shop, you simply follow the arrows around the store, so everyone is travelling in the same direction which made life a lot easier.
A clear map told us where to find what we wanted, and sure enough, we were able to buy a lovely office chair for Chris. If it turns out to be as comfortable as it promises, and he is pleased with it so far, he has promised to buy one the same for me at Christmas.
We also picked up a long, low unit to go under our new flat screen TV which is wall mounted, so we needed somewhere to store the digi-box, nintendo wii, and our hi-fi system. We are pleased with that too. It will, of course, look a lot better when we have finished sorting out the cables and boxed them in.
We had left home around 10.00 in the morning, and I was getting hungry, so we stopped at a bar/restaurant on the way home for a lovely meal, and I was surprised to find that it was nearly 5.00 when we got home. We promptly both fell asleep! It is tiring work all this shopping, (and driving for Chris of course).
This is the time of year when it is never quiet outside. The green zone behind the house, is constantly alive to the sound of cicadas. It is rather like an incredibly loud electric buzz. To see the creatures, you would never think they were capable of making so much noise. They mostly sit in the trees, and if you approach one, it immediately goes quiet, so you can't spot where they are, and as you walk away they are off again.
On Wednesday evening, I had given the dogs their tea and gone back to my room, when Chris called me in an 'urgent way'. When I got back down to the sitting room he said, "You may want your camera. There are three of those cricket-things on the net of the fly-free area". (He knows me so well!) It turned out to be three cicadas, so I took a quick photo from inside, (so it shows their underside) before trying to get outside without disturbing them. Of course, two of them flew away but the third crept up onto the framework and I managed to get this shot with my zoom lens. I blew it up on the computer and was amazed at the intricate design of its markings. I have seen the odd one before, but never three so close together. They are quite big, around 3-4 cm long, and more like a fly than a cricket, and they use a different mechanism from crickets to make their sound as well. It is a noise I always associate with camping holidays in Spain when the boys were small. Now I can almost ignore it, but sometimes it penetrates even my foggy brain, and competes with the music I am playing.
I will finish with this glorious photo that could almost be a table at a harvest festival service. It is in fact what I unpacked onto the kitchen table after my weekly trip to Turre market on Friday. I did just arrange it bit, but doesn't it look beautiful?
The day before this, I had cleaned out the fridge (again!), so I had almost empty fruit and veg. drawers and wanted to stock up. None of this keeps everso well while it is hot, so it can be bought quite cheaply, and while I am keeping cooking to a minimum, we eat a lot more fresh fruit and vegetables too. There are so many different types of tomatoes available here, but we like the big plum ones, which slice and cook so well. I bought a bag of red peppers that had five huge ones in it, for 1€. We can't eat that many quickly enough so I shall lightly fry some and chop them up with tomatoes and onion, to freeze as a base for mince meals later in the year. The honey melons were two for 1€, as were the sandias (the pale green stripey ones that are almost seedless water melons). I chop those up and store them in a box in the fridge. It is so refreshing to grab a few chunks when you are thirsty. The big yellow peaches are 1€ for a Kg and I poach these in lemonade which gives them just enough sweetness, and they taste just like the ones we buy in tins. They are lovely with ice-cream, or in a crumble. I even got black seedless grapes which we don't see very often out here. They are top of my no-go list of fruits because of the amount of sugar in them, but Chris likes them, and I have a few at a time, instead of the bowlful which I would like. Notice I had to put the heart-shaped potato at the front of my display! It is true that our food bill is getting higher and higher. Anything with wheat in it is very costly, but with an abundance of such lovely fresh foods, we can keep our consumption of other things to a minimum, and keep fit and healthy at the same time. So it is a win-win situation. Aren't we lucky!