Hi again. Yes it really is Friday already, so let's see what I've been up to this week, and then you can follow me over to Virginia's blog, Celtic House, and share her happy moments too. You could even add yours. We'd love to hear from you.
First my Friday Smile which again features our dear little Tango. On Monday I did my main monthly shop, (it is too hot to go more than once unless I have to). Because I visit at least three different supermarkets to find what I want, I come home with lots of separate bags that have to be unpacked, and the contents put away. As I empty each one I toss it on the floor until they are all done, and then fold them away too. So as I nudged one out of my way with my foot I was surprised to find it was heavy. The ones on the floor are supposed to be empty! Looking inside, this is what I found.
He looks quite comfy there doesn't he, but I don't remember buying him at the shops! I shall be linking this up with Annie's Friday Smiles.
I do love the way nature takes care of its own house-
keeping. The other night I took a bag of rubbish out to the road-side bin when it was almost dark, and I noticed a dark patch just outside our gate. I shone a torch on it and found it was a large beetle, probably a cicada, that was dead (I hope), and it was surrounded by the tiniest ants. They were swarming all over it, so I left them to it. The next morning there was no sign of any ants or beetle remains. There is something to be said for carrion creatures. Someone has to clean up the dead bodies, so they may as well get their dinner while they can!
A few years ago we spent quite a lot having a fly-free netted area erected around our back porch and lower patio area. The flies can be very troublesome in the summer, and quite spoil the experience of sitting/ eating outside, so for us, it was a good investment. Unfortunately, the dogs were still young, and two are terrified of loud noises, so when there was an exceptionally bad thunderstorm while we were out, they tore through the netting to get to the house! Then we had Kim who found the ragged edges just too tempting, and he completed the job of wrecking the screens. Well now he is older, we decided to have the netting replaced, this time with a much stronger, supposedly dog-proof one, around the lower frames, and the normal one up higher. We also had a dog-flap fitted in the panel next to the door.We used a different firm this time, in the hope of
getting a better quality product, and I was a bit concerned when they told us that they only use black netting, not the grey we had originally. But now it is up, you can hardly see it at all. It gives some protection from the sun, to me it feels several degrees cooler than out in the yard, and we can once again, eat our meals, and I can sit and sew etc in comfort. The area is at least the size of our biggest room indoors, and it is a very pleasant place to sit.
The dog-flap is quite different to the ones we had in UK, which were made of a hard plastic, and made a lot of noise every time the dog went in or out. This one is a pliable, semi-transparent, rubbery type of material, with a strong magnetic strip to snap it closed along the lower edge. We needed to know the dogs could use it before we left them alone again, so Chris and I stood one on either side, with a handful of treats each, and called them through over and over. Kim soon got the idea, but he was enjoying the treats so we almost resorted to tying him up while we worked with the other two! Miki wasn't keen, but she soon mastered it, and those two now come and go with ease. Foxy was a different matter. She is smaller and quite nervous, and she wouldn't push it with her nose hard enough to open it.Kim got quite concerned when he and Miki were
inside, and Foxy was left out in the yard. He kept going out to sit by her, and almost seemed to be showing her what to do. However, she soon learned that if she sat there long enough, one of the others would pass through and she could slip in under their slip-stream! She does now do it herself when she has to.
It is now very hot here most days, in the upper thirties at least, out in the sun, though much more pleasant in the shade, but we have had high winds most afternoons that blow all the garden debris into drifts around the garden, and into the pool. The dogs prefer to stay in the fly-free most of the day, and it is better for them. But we have just about given up trying to have comfortable furniture for us out there, because they take over anything we try.
I caught Miki and Kim curled up on the little settee when I left the cushions out there. Look at Kim. He is just daring me to make him move. Actually they would be cooler
stretched out on the floor, so they don't stay up there for long, and I have a big, old bed-spread that I drape over it when I am going to sit there.
It has been an odd week for me because Chris has been in UK for his sister's funeral. Flights are at a premium with this being summer holiday time, and our usual one from Almeria was an exorbitant price, and not on a very convenient day, so on Tuesday we drove over to Murcia, so he could go on the evening flight to Birmingham from there. My eyesight is not good these days so I try not to drive at night, when the lights of oncoming traffic bother me. But it is not properly dark until 10 o'clock now so we left in good time, and I turned straight around and drove home (about an hour and a half). I thought I was going to be blinded by the setting sun most of the way, but fortunately it was mostly to the side of me, and I witnessed the most spectacular sun-set I have seen for ages. I didn't have my camera with me, and even if I had, I would not have been able to stop on the motorway to take pictures, but it was a privilege to see it, and it made my journey home much nicer than it might have been.
Actually it was quite a surreal experience to bowl along the toll road with the sky on fire alongside me, and not another car in sight for most of the way. It is no wonder the authorities are saying the toll road isn't paying its way. No-one uses it because it is too expensive. If they could only see that halving the cost would probably quadruple the traffic! I used it because it is a good bit quicker, and a very straight-forward route. I have done the alternative 'free' route, but not on my own, and I am not confident enough to do it alone yet. Fortunately when I go to collect Chris again tomorrow, his flight lands mid-morning, so it should be an easy trip, and I'll only have to drive one-way. He'll drive us home.
So while I was home alone I decided to do something useful with my time. We have a rather 'posh' garage, with a fully tiled floor, and rugs on it, two windows, and the car never gets to go in it! Spanish houses, (and this is a very typically Spanish house), are notorious for having no storage space. As a race, they do not seem to hoard things, nor have little ornaments etc decorating their rooms. But the previous owners of this house (English) had floor to ceiling cupboards fitted all along the back of the garage, so it is the obvious place to put everything that hasn't got a home elsewhere. Needless to say, it soon became a dumping ground, so sometimes it is dangerous to try to enter! But when we turned the second spare bedroom into my craft room, we took the two single beds that fold up to the wall, away, and fixed them in the garage instead, so very occasionally our garage becomes a bedroom. Next week we have two grandsons and their two girlfriends coming over, and the extra beds will be needed, so I thought I had better try and clear enough floor space to fold them down. We have a rather unfortunate situation out here, where, when you buy a large item, it's packaging and the till receipt together, form the guarantee, so you need to store huge cardboard cartons for a year or two after every purchase, and of course, you rarely think to throw them out when the time has elapsed. So my first task was to sort through all the cartons and dispose of any that had passed their guarantee date. Then I loaded this lot into the car and took it all to the recycle bins on the edge of the village.
I then sorted through the cupboards, throwing out some oddments on the premise that if I haven't needed them since we moved in, then I probably never will! We have an easy way to dispose of these things. We leave them beside the big road-side rubbish bin, and within an hour they will have disappeared! Just another form of recycling! So I am feeling very pleased with my efforts. There is still a bit to do but I have to wait for Chris to come home, so he can help me with the heavy stuff, but it will be quite a tidy bedroom again by the end of the week.
A few days ago I noticed a very long lorry had parked across the green-zone at the back of the house. By the next day, bumper cars were erected, and last night the lights and music were switched on.
This photo was taken just at sundown from the back of the house, but you can't see the lights, nor can it convey the way the house vibrates to the beat of the music! It is loud; Very loud! But hey, it means that it is summer, and almost fiesta time. For a couple of weeks the village will be a hive of activity as more rides arrive and go up on every bit of spare land, dance floors try out their ear-piercing sound systems, flags and lights are strung across the streets and plazas, and everyone is in a holiday mood. July 16th is the big day but the fun and games go on for several days on either side of this, and for some unknown reason, the bumper cars are always in use for a week before anyone else is allowed to trade.
After my experience with the motorway sunset I was hoping for another one that I could catch on camera, but it hasn't happened. I did take this one from a corner of our yard. It is looking South-east I think, and the Cabrera mountains are reflecting the setting sun, and turning a lovely rosy pink.
the sky was still light, and I thought I would wait an hour and then pop uo to the top of the village to catch the sun slipping behind the mountains to the West. Well either I left it too late, or the sky was just too cloudless and clear to give a good sunset, because this was all I could get.
It's not very spectacular, but lovely all the same!
Now I am going to link this up, and then make a cup of tea and take my sewing out to our lovely fly free area, to give the hounds a bit of company for a while. See you all next week.