Monday, April 22, 2013

An eventful month

Having sent a mammoth newsletter out to family and a few friends at Easter, I was all out of words for a while (believe that if you want to!), but I thought I had better give you a quick update before another month disappears. It has been a busy time mainly making sure the last of the citrus fruits made it into jam jars along with the first batches of strawberries, sorting, packing and dispatching knitting for Africa, and starting to teach a lively puppy some house rules!

I bought more strawberries at the market this week and in among them was this whopper! Isn't it beautiful?

I am not sure I will be continuing with the Saturday market for much longer as jam making on this scale was not in my plans for life in Spain. I have two problems; 1. It is too time consuming and too hot in the kitchen, and 2. It is becoming too hot to have my jam on display out in the sun for four hours at the market. One week I heard the safety buttons popping up on some of the jars, so I now have a small taster-pot of each on the table with a plate of cocktail biscuits, and all the jam underneath in cool bags, but that does not make for a very eye-catching stall. But I am sticking with it for a couple more weeks to see how it goes. 
This is going to be a photo-heavy post so I'll try to just do a few words for each one, but first I will share some news we had last weekend that gave us a bit of a scare, but did have a happy ending. We had a phone call to tell us that Mike's older boy Olly, who is 9 now, had had an accident in a children's play area and was in the High Dependency Unit at Birmingham Children's hospital with a fractured skull that was bleeding under the 'dent'. He was on close obs. with a view to surgery.
A lot of folk in UK and here were praying for him and

God is good! The bleeding stopped spontaneously and a later scan showed no internal damage. He has a permanent dent in the side of his head,(it looks quite big on the scan), but the consultant said that surgery would now only be for cosmetic purposes so they decided against it. Olly is now home and recovering well, though he will, of course, need to take care for quite a while. He is a very active little boy. He has just earned his 1,000 m swimming badge, and loves jumping off the high diving board, so he won't like having to give that up for now.

So to the rest of our news. On Friday 5th we went to

the dog rescue centre where Kim was registered, and officially adopted him. He was micro-chipped and had his rabies injection and now has his own passport! The centre staff and the vet were amazed at how much he has grown since they saw him last.

Ben and Dave were out here with us last week and once again they were very lucky with the weather. It was really hot and Ben even managed to swim in the pool.

He stayed in for  quite a while and didn't look chilled at all.

He also enjoyed getting to know

little Kim, who convinced him there is more fun to be had from a plastic flower pot than from any of his doggy toys!

Then Miki and Foxy wanted to get in on the act and he was rather swamped by dog.

This Friday we all went down to Bar El Naranjo where Ben wow-ed everyone again when he sang Michael Baublé's 'Moon dance', and then an Oasis number.
At the weekend we went down to Mojacar for lunch

and we wanted to stretch our legs first so we walked around the new marina at Garrucha. I had read in the local paper that it was now open and I must say we were very impressed. There is a broad red walk-way which we followed round to the end.

It led to several new jetties with some very nice boats moored to them.

There were fish everywhere, from shoals of tiny ones to to some quite big cat fish, that swam under us and all around the boats.

Looking back towards the town the views were beautiful with a backdrop of the ridged Cabreras, and a panoramic view of the shops and apartments, with the boats and masts in the foreground.

Ben and Dave were flying back on Tuesday morning so on Monday evening they took us out for dinner. We went to a beach-front restaurant in Mojacar and had a very nice meal.

We sat by a wide clear window so we watched the light fading to a lovely pearly grey-blue. It was beautiful.

Now for a few  shots of the garden. The little potato tree we bought a couple of weeks ago is now covered in small, deep blue flowers and it looks so pretty. According to google it is from the deadly nightshade family!

There is lots of orange blossom out all around and it smells heavenly. It attracts the bees and I caught this one nicely pollinating our tree. We have plenty of blossom so hopefully we will get some good oranges again this year.

You may remember that a few months ago we planted a very immature lemon tree outside the back door. It immediately started to sprout new leaves and is already a lot bigger, and now it has it's first ever flowers. So fingers crossed, we may get a lemon or two as well.

In a garden on the edge of the village we spotted this beautiful bottle-brush tree. It just glowed in the sun. I wish ours would begin to look like this!

This Friday, a group of ten ladies from our church, went out to lunch together to say 'Good-bye' to my friend Sylvia who is returning to live in England in a few days time. (In orange, centre-right) We have shared Sunday morning lifts ever-since I moved here, and I will miss having her around. She is in her late seventies now and feels she wants to be nearer her family.
Today I brought her home after church to have lunch with us. We sat outside after lunch and browsed through my photo project from last year, re-living some happy times we had. She is looking forward to going home but knows she will really miss the sun!
Saturday was our 34th wedding anniversary. We don't make a big 'thing' of our anniversaries, and after such a hectic time we were glad of a quiet night in, but we did manage to chink glasses to a few more years together, we hope!

Here are a couple of animal photos to make you smile. I persuaded Kim to cuddle up with me on my chair, but he is getting to be quite an armful now. The look in his eye suggests he knows he isn't usually allowed on the furniture!

And I love this one of Arwen. I caught her 'reading' my big Spanish dictionary. Perhaps she is learning to swear at me in Spanish as well as English! She is one feisty cat, but she is so beautiful that I forgive her for most things.

And finally here is another beautiful sunset that set the sky on fire the other night. Don't forget you can click on any of these photos to enlarge them.