Hi folks. It's hard to believe another week has flown by. It has been a good week, in part because the expected change in the weather didn't happen, so most days have been a very warm but comfortable 25-28º, and the cloud only gathers early morning or at sunset.
We could really do with a little rain now but the forecast is still good, so I am hoping any rain will only fall at night.
This week we had a double, fairly low-key, birthday celebration - my husband Chris' on Tuesday and mine yesterday. We had kind of celebrated the week before while our son Tom was here, as it is also his birthday tomorrow! But we did plan to go out to dinner on Wednesday night. However Chris was still struggling to shake off the cold that Tom and I had the previous week, so I knew he wouldn't really want to go out at night, so I suggested we went for menu del día instead. (Traditional mid-day meal originally served to the field workers before their siesta).
As it happened Chris was due at Huercal-Overa hospital on Wednesday morning, for a long-awaited appointment with the eye specialist. The positive side with that is that they agreed to do a cataract operation, so hopefully his sight will improve again soon.
he had drops in his eyes at the hospital so I was driving home, and as it was such a lovely day, I took the long route home, going down to the coast at San Juan. The views along the way were wonderful, but as I was driving I couldn't take any photos. We were a bit disconcerted to find the coast road was closed for works, so we had to go back to the main road and around San Juan, rejoining the coast on the other side. Some friends had recommended a restaurant near there and I was hoping I could find it. I turned off the main road at Esparto del Pozo and drove down a track that took us right onto a deserted beach, with lovely views back along the coast to San Juan.
Sure enough there was a restaurant there, with an encouraging number of cars in the parking area, - always a good sign. We managed to find a table and we did have an excellent meal.
It started with the usual mixed salad and bread while the first course was prepared, and the meal included a drink so Chris had red wine. It came in the type of bottle that suggested it was a local brew, and no-one seemed to mind how much of it he drank. I was on the 'hard stuff' as I was driving home!
Just above our table there was a huge palm tree dripping with dates, and lots of little, very tame sparrows hopped around us, hoping for some dropped crumbs.
I enjoyed watching these two gulls, quite happy on their own little island. They were chattering away together like a pair of old friends. Perhaps they meet up there every day.
After the meal we walked along a surprisingly good promenade, past a row of lovely, individually designed houses, which were probably heaving with Spanish folk during July and August, but which were mostly closed down for the winter now. (A lot of city workers from Madrid come down to this part of the coast for the hottest months). You can see we weren't exactly fighting our way through the crowds here!
The prom ended at a semicircle of more houses. These ones looked a bit larger, more 'up-market', but they are probably all illegal as they are too close to the high water line, according to the latest building regulations.
When we first moved to Spain, while we were house-hunting, we rented a flat at El Calón, in the next bay around the coast in this direction. We sat on the wall for a while enjoying the sun, and remembering the good times we had there.
It was a good way to celebrate our birthdays and in the evening we could just get comfy in front of the TV.
I was very pleased to have a Nexus 7 tablet as my present (as well as the 'extra' in my bank to spend on craft shopping while I was in UK!). It is small enough to slip in my handbag when I go out, but big enough to read the screen easily, which my iphone is not!
It was also lovely to get lots of cards and on-line messages from friends and family, as well as chatting to most of our sons on skype.
Other little moments that have made me smile this week:- the day my skinny little tabby cat brought me a present! There is nothing of her, but she is a true campo cat, and a great scavenger. I heard a lot of noise in our bathroom and when I went to investigate, Luna ran out, and I saw all the bottles of cleaner, the spare loo rolls and the box of clean towels had been moved around. I thought she had brought in a live bird - something she does quite regularly, and usually I can rescue them and release them outside again. But this time, after much searching, I discovered this little chap in the corner!
She has brought all sorts of things in, usually birds, lizards or giant grass-hoppers, but it was the first time she has brought me a mouse. Now I expect some of you are horrified, but I actually rather like mice. I remember when my older sons were little, they had two as pets, and I though they were lovely. But, of course, I don't want them running around the house, so I managed to collect him in a plastic box and again I released him into the green zone at the back of the house, where he probably came from.
Now I will leave you with a couple of photos of my trip to Turre market this morning, or at least, photos of what I bought there. First off is this lovely cauliflower called a romanesco. I have showed them on here before. I just love all the little spires over it, and the perfect spirals within each one. (A great example of the Fibonacci sequence for any mathematicians among you!).
And secondly, this is the season for sweet peppers. One stall today just had boxes and boxes of different types of peppers and they looked so lovely. They were all one euro for a kilo and you could mix and match them. So I collected up this little lot, all for around 1.20€. (The cucumber was a free gift, popped in with a wink by the stall-holder when I paid her).
I then bought the rest of my fruit and veggies for the week, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, leeks, a bunch of carrots, a squash, the new seasons tangerines, pears, plums and grapes. In fact I came home with my own little Harvest Festival. How blessed am I?!
Two final big smiles this week.
1). Ben, son number five, has booked flights for him and his partner to come to us for Christmas Day! They will be here for six days but have to travel home on Boxing day for work the next day.
2). Chris spotted a good deal on Monarch Airways site, and he has booked our flights to UK for next May! We are coming over for our beautiful grand-daughter's wedding. We haven't booked flights back as we haven't really planned the rest of the trip yet. But it is something else to look forward to.
Now I am going over to Celtic House to link this up, and see what has made other folk smile this week. Why not join in and share your positive thoughts. There is always a good side to every situation if you look for it!
All that lovely fruit makes me smile, as do the little mouse and the pair of gulls, so I think I will link this to Annie's smiles-Week 40 as well. See you there!