Friday, June 20, 2014

Rocking Your World 2014; Week 25

Hello again. We have moved into that season when Life slows down, and little gets done, but somehow the weeks fly by anyway!

I am starting this week with my Friday Smile which features our newest little cat Tango. I thought I had lost him this week and spent ages scouring the house and calling all around the yard and the campo beyond, only to find him here. He had packed himself away in the narrow box that my new tower fan came in, and he didn't come out even though he must have heard me calling him! Naughty boy!

He looks so innocent doesn't he?
This was the last week of our choir concerts, and they were a rather 'hit and miss' affair. On Saturday our venue was the Convento in Vera, which is my personal favourite. I love the atmosphere there, and there is always a big, appreciative audience. Up on the stage it was a bit like being in a sauna, and I had to keep mopping up with a handful of tissues so I didn't drip all over my music, but I still enjoyed it. We had some generous donations to our two charities as well. Afterwards we sat outside a bar on their terrace for drinks with friends, which was a lovely way to end the evening. It stayed really warm right through 'til midnight. The only photo I took was of the bell tower of the Convento, looking back at it from the plaza where we were sitting.

Then Monday should have been our final concert,
which was a 'Party in the Park' style event. One of our singers, kindly lets us use her house. It is set out in the campo, with a large terrace and pool, and small covered bar and outdoor kitchen at the end. 
Everyone arrives early with their table and chairs and their picnic, and chooses their pitch around the pool. Then later on, the choir stands along the steps of the veranda for the concert, followed by an end of season party. Well there was as usual, a great turn-out, and we all enjoyed our picnics. You may notice some folk looking rather anxiously at the sky. And they had good reason to! Now this is June, and it isn't supposed to rain in June. In fact it has never rained in June in the five years we have lived here. But rain was forecast for that night, and sure enough, by concert time the clouds were gathering fast.
Not deterred we started to sing, but after song number five we stopped to move the electric piano onto the veranda and placed umbrellas strategically over any other electrical equipment. We managed one more song, but then RAIN STOPPED PLAY.
In Spain when it rains, it does it properly, and we stood amazed as the sky was lit by flash after flash of lightening, and the air was torn by the crashes of thunder. Water spouted from the corners of the roof, (we do not have gutters as they are rarely needed!), picnics were abandoned, and everyone fled for cover.
A few hardy souls, who live nearby, stayed and I gather there was a party under the bar shelter. But we decided to go home, partly because it was a long drive for us in such conditions, and partly because the dogs were in the yard, and one of them is terrified of any loud noise, particularly thunder.
But hey! this is supposed to be a happy blog, so where is the positive we can draw from this. Well, the ground is so dry and any rain is greatly needed, though it would really need to come down like that for a few days rather than a few hours, to do real good. But I guess there were far more poor folk, trying to eke a living from their little plot of land, who were praying for rain that night, than there were of us, praying for the rain to hold off! So I bet they were happy. Also the rain did stop later, though we had another storm in the middle of the night, so ever mindful of the awful floods in September 2012, we were grateful that there was no serious damage, or loss of life that we have heard of.

On Saturday I had my last conversation session with my young Spanish friend Isa, at least for now. She has done her exams which went fairly well, and I think I have genuinely been able to help her. It has shown her boss that she is serious about improving so he has now given her a permanent contract, instead of the weekly one she has existed on all this year! So that was great news. If necessary she will retake some of her papers in the Autumn, and I have promised to meet up with her again after all our Summer visitors have gone. As a 'Thank You' she gave me this lovely plant. I have not had a lot of success with house plants since I moved here, but I will give this some TLC and try to keep it in good condition.
I go to either our village market on Tuesday or the one in Turre on Friday, most weeks. and usually there are one or two local growers selling their own produce, along side the more commercial stalls. One in Turre has bags of whatever is in season, all for one euro each, and I sometimes buy sweet peppers, tomatoes or oranges. But last week I bought hot peppers; I'm not sure why, because I don't use a lot of them, but they looked so lovely, with their shiny skins in a mix of red, green and yellow. Needless to say they sat in the bottom of the fridge for a week, but yesterday I decided I needed to do something with them while they were still useable. I washed them all, and discarded any that were 'turning', and I picked out a few to keep to use fresh. Then I tipped all the rest into my big blender with a little distilled vinegar and roughly pureed them all. I spooned them into an ice-cube tray and froze them. Each cube will do us quite a few meals, as they are rather large ones. The last bit of purée I put in a small jar and I added a little of this to our mince and beans at lunch time. If I tell you that I used about a quarter of a tea-spoon and it was plenty hot enough, I think you will agree that I won't need to buy any more chilies for at least another year!
And what else has lifted me this week?
I was delighted to hear that my son's partner has passed her degree and is now a qualified occupational therapist. So the three years of hard work while living on a very tight budget, has paid off for them, and hopefully now, one of the seven jobs she has applied for so far, will also come through for her. Well done Ella!
While escaping from the football madness, I have had time in my craft room, and have put my Silhouette machine to good use again. I have had limited success with it, cutting card, but with a new blade in, it did a good job this week. I can't show the cards I made yet as they are for a challenge coming up next week.
I used some new stamps to make a birthday card for one of my sisters and I won a prize with it in another challenge, and that is always encouraging.
While we were out shopping for a new ceiling light with a fan for our main room, Chris also bought a tower fan for me to have in my craft room. I have been glad of it this week as the temperature has been in the mid-thirties most afternoons, and it keeps the room much cooler without blowing all my papers everywhere, like the floor-standing fan used to. So I am very grateful for that.
A few years ago I gave my youngest son a scrapbook of his first twenty-one years, and he just loves it. It was made in the days before I knew anything about digital crafting, so a lot of work and love went into making it. At odd times he gets it out to look through, and posts random pages on Facebook, and it gives me a real glow to know it gives him as much pleasure to look at, as it gave me to make it. I also made one for the next son up, but whether the older three ever get one, remains to be seen. They will definitely be digital ones if they do, or at least hybrids (a mix of both). So this week I will leave with you with a couple of pages from his book. I had to photograph the finished pages so they are not as good as a saved digital page, but they will give you an idea of what it is like. First, recording a lovely day on the river near Llangollen, one of our last unplanned outings before he left home.
And here are some memories of him with his Grandma, (my Mum) who lived with us until she died in her ninetieth year, when my son was just seven. She had been with us for most of his life, so she was very special to him.
And now I will get this linked up with Annie's Friday Smiles, and Virginia over at Celtic House, and then I shall go and sit on the porch with the dogs for company, and sew a few more threads on my cross-stitch picture.


  1. What a shame about the storm! I remember summer storms like that as a child in France...when it rained it poured. I am glad that there have been lots of lovely positives this week and I love the scrapbook layouts. Thanks for the smile. Caro x (#8)

  2. Lovely pics of your concerts. Wow! I don't remember what they're called but those some hot chilis! I used roast my red chili on the BBQ grill then purée them and freeze. Had to out them in their own freezer as they made everything in the main fridg/freezer taste like hot chili ! :) so I'm smiling. Thanks for stirring up some good memories. Hugs

  3. Oh Kate that was a fab write up. Crikey rain in June - I can imagine it put a stop to your lovely evening, but love the fact you've found a grateful that would be linked with those praying for rain to help the growing season. Giggled at you with the chilli, hubby is a chilli fan and that tray wouldn't last a full year in this house.

    Your cat in the box is funny, they are amazing creatures and hope the dogs were fine when you got home during the thunderstorms!

    Floor standing fans are fabulous and do cool the rooms down, hope your new one is making a difference.

    And finally how fabulous that your son still appreciates all that work when it comes to your scrapbook layouts, special memories indeed!

    Hope you have a fabulous week ahead.


  4. What a giggle! "But Mum, this is my box now!"

  5. I remember the rain well when Mum and I were in Barcelona. Only twice it rained but boy does it come down!
    Great plant there. So has Tango won with his new home!
    Thanks for visiting and have a great weekend.

  6. It's nice to know that you conversation sessions have helped Isa with her exams and securing her job. That is a very beautiful plant that she gave you.
    It's a shame that the rain spoiled your last concert but like you say there must be lots of folk who were grateful for it.
    Jean x

  7. Another blog filled with smiles as always always find so much to share with us and I always read from start to finish with a grin. Your latest little puss is proving to be quite a character :-)
    Annie x

  8. What a lovely blog post Kate - thanks for a good read and fab pics. x Jo

  9. Yay - way to go Isa . .. and good on you for helping her Kate.
    Lovely post. Like hearing about your life in Spain.

    Hugs, Sarn xxx


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