Well here we are at the start of a New Year. The first week of the year is usually a quiet one, and so it was for us.
The weather has picked up again since the boys went back. It's a shame we couldn't give them a bit more sunshine, but they enjoyed their stay anyway, and we are now enjoying the sunshine! We have had a couple of days of much needed rain, but some afternoons I have been able to take my 'tea-break' outside and sit in just a tee-shirt.
And as you can see in the background, I had the visitors bed stripped and all the linen washed and dried in a day!
While I sat there, there was a foot, and sometimes a nose peeping under the side gate, as Kim wanted to know why he wasn't invited to the tea - party. (The main reason is that I prefer to drink my tea, not wear it!).
The somewhat unsightly wire weighted down with a strip of wood, that is tacked to the bottom of the gate, is there because, when we first had him, Kim could get under it. Now, if he grows much more, he'll be able to get over it!
Also as I sat there, I watched a large white bird fly down to the green zone behind our house. A few weeks back I mentioned seeing two of these on some rough ground in Vera, but I have never seen them this close to home before. A friend suggested that they were probably egret, and having looked them up since, I think she was right. They would be the cattle egret I think, as the greater egret has a much longer neck and legs. I watched it waddling around for quite a while. It seems more at home on ground level than up in the trees. But the strip at the top of the green zone is a public right of way, and eventually a car drove through and the egret flew away. It had quite an impressive wingspan in flight.
Last weekend all our five sons got together at the oldest one's house. I am so glad they still all stay in touch now we have moved away. In fact I think they are better friends now than they were as children. Of course, I would have loved to have been there with them, but as that wasn't possible, I was able to link up with them on Skype, and we had a long video chat together. Isn't the internet wonderful? I feel so blessed that we get relatively good reception in our village, and that day we had no issues at at all. Later they sent me this photo of them all. They rock my world!
By new Year's Eve I was feeling a lot better but had not quite thrown off the flu that plagued me over Christmas, so we decided to have a quiet night at home, with just the dogs to keep us company. At mid-night we raised our usual toast to another good year in Spain. Traditionally this is done with a glass of cava, and you eat one grape for each dong of the bell. But as we were at home we had the drink of our choice. We then watched TV for another hour so that at one o'clock our time, we could watch Big Ben and the London fireworks on the BBC, and raise another glass to friends and family in the UK.
Today I made my first lot of ice-cream using my new blender. I used some frozen mango pieces and frozen raspberries, half a pot of Elmlea I found in the fridge, and spoonful of sugar. I set it to high speed and in under a minute I had two big bowls of very tasty ice-cream. (It was quite a lurid pink but the colour all came from the raspberries). It was a bit of a mission to get the last of it off the blades, but was well worth it. I shall be freezing more soft fruits when they are here in abundance this summer.
Yesterday I had my first proper craft session since Christmas, and I used digi kits and my own photos to make two calendars. For one I used all photos I have taken of the sky during this year, and here are the ones I chose.
They look so lovely all together like that! To find out about the other one, or to read more about how I made them, visit my craft blog by clicking HERE.