Today I am starting with a photo that really makes me smile.
Most weeks, on a Friday morning, I visit Turre market, and at this time of year the fruit and vegetables all look so lovely and fresh and colourful. So when I get them home and unpack them, I sometimes arrange them all on the table so I can enjoy the sight and smell, and give a little prayer of Thanks for this wonderful provision. So this is today´s little ´Harvest Festival`. Isn´t it just beautiful?
It has been a lovely week here. On Tuesday we had more storms and heavy rain, but apart from that it has been warm and sunny. And that combination has really got things growing again.
If you just scroll down to last week´s post, you will see a photo of the ground under the orange trees next door, where little shoots of grass were making an appearance. Here is what it looks like just one week later. It is the same everywhere you look, and it is really nice to see some green around again.
But I have much more than this to be grateful for this week. We started with a lovely day on Sunday. It was the annual barbecue for Gallarte, our village art and craft group. This was postponed from the summer because so many of the members were away on holiday. We don´t travel far from home for this, just to the sports centre at the top of the village, where there is a lovely area for picnics.
There are enough trees to provide some shade with wooden
tables and benches dotted among them. And there are also some permanently sited barbecues where anyone can take up their own charcoal and cook their food. It is a popular spot for families all summer, especially on Sundays, but being a bit later in the year, we only shared it with a couple of other families. There was a good crowd of us and we enjoyed just sitting around chatting and sharing a bottle wine etc. Paco, one of the Spanish members, usually does the cooking. He makes amazing burgers from fresh meat, and enough of them to feed the army! But first he sliced up some lovely shiny purple aubergines, and put those on the grill for a few minutes and they were delicious. They are not a vegetable I would normally choose, as everything I have read about them suggests they are a pain to prepare and cook, but this was so simple and we both loved them, so you will see a couple in my harvest picture above, and I shall be trying grilling them too.
Wednesday was my husband Chris´birthday, and today it is mine, so we usually go out for a meal on the in-between day. We have been waiting to visit a restaurant quite near us that was highly recommended by several friends. It is not the sort of place we would probably go to for one of our usual lunch time trips, but a dual birthday seemed like the right excuse, and we were not disappointed. The setting was beautiful and the food delicious. It is called La Capilla which means The Chapel, and that is what it originally was. We sat inside to eat, and there were fresh flowers and a lit candle on our table even though it was lunch-time.
(Chris was smiling at me but I had told him to look away because there was too much light from the windows reflected in his glasses!) Fresh flowers are rare out here, but on the table beside us there was also a vase of gladioli and a bowl of rosy apples which made a nice display.
As you can see, there were lots of old beams and stone walls and arches. When we had finished eating we decided to sit out in the gardens with our drinks, and I had a wander around. It was all very pleasant with tall trees and secluded tables dotted around under them. There were two aviaries, lots of stone and marble statues, and tall stands with a variety of potted plants on them. There were also several water features, and I do love the sound of running water mingling with the chatter of the birds in the cages and the trees.
One of the trees particularly caught my eye because the floor under it was strewn with rather shriveled orange flowers. I looked up, and sure enough, right high up there were big heads of five or six of these flowers, which were a bit like bright orange lilies. I have no idea what it was, but it was beautiful.
Chris caught me on camera leaning over the side of my chair. I´m not about to fall over. I am actually trying to make friends with this lovely pair who wandered over to join us. They sat as close to us as they could, but they didn´t really want to be petted.
You´ll note that while Chris was finishing off his bottle of wine I was enjoying a cup of tea. How very British of me! I am not a fan of wine, which is a bit unfortunate living in Spain, but I was also the driver so I was being sensible, and I had had lovely juice with my meal which I much prefer to the wine. When we saw the name on Chris´s wine he wasn´t too impressed either, but he said it was actually very nice!
This was my favourite view from the garden. Looking through an archway at the end of the patio, there was this lovely view of the Cabrera mountains.
Back inside the restaurant, customers are invited to visit the tiny chapel itself which is now a museum. The first thing you see on entering is a beautiful illustrated Bible.
All around this very small space, there were paintings, icons, robes etc.
This is the view looking the other way towards what was the altar.
So it was all very interesting and we were glad we had followed our friends´advice and gone there. We had both eaten more than we usually do, so when we got home we had a siesta to sleep it off!
Today we had another nice lunch time treat because my friend Julie drove over from Zurgena to take us out to lunch. We went to the local bar and sat outside in the sunshine, but we were too busy chatting to take any photos this time.
I am a very lucky lady, because for my birthday and Christmas, Chris has bought me a new PC, which I much prefer to my old lap-top. So for much of the past two days we have been transferring files and re-installing all the graphics programs etc that I use. I had to contact the support at Graphtec UK for help with my Silhouette cutter software, and they are so helpful. I have written to Brian before when I have had a problem and he was the same then. He answers e-mails very promptly, and if I list five questions he will answer each one very clearly. His instructions are in plain English, and so far he has always been able to sort us out. He even talked Chris through repairing a major fault I had with my machine, over the phone, to save us the expense of posting it back to UK to be looked at. I really think that sort of service deserves some recognition.
Now I am just getting acquainted with the new computer. Much of it is unchanged, but some things are quite different. I am now using a Spanish keyboard which still uses the ´Querty´arrrangement of letters but all the symbols are in different places, and there are several extra ones. I like it, and will soon get used to using it, but right now I am needing to do quite a lot of editing!
I am happy to have heard from all our boys over the past two days, (They combine calling their dad for his birthday with calling me for mine, so they all ring at different times) Tonight I had a long chat with Tom, son number three, who now lives in Denmark. I love the way Skype can make a few hundred miles seem like the room next door! I used the snipping tool to record him talking to me, but he chose that minute to look down at his screen because he was trying to do the same thing to get a picture of me, at the same time.
I have had my beautiful Tango for five months now. He was such a scraggy little thing when he was rescued from a drainage pipe, as he had probably been living rough for quite a while. This was what he looked like when he came to me. He looks so cross, and apart from quite a wide face, there is nothing of him. So this week I thought I would show you what he looks like now. I guess he is almost back to his former glory. He still looks a bit cross, but he´s very beautiful!
He gave me quite a scare this week: I thought I had lost him. Although the doors and windows are always open, he rarely chooses to go outside, though just occasionally he has a little sun-bathe out on the porch. But Tuesday night, after dark, and when it was thundering and pouring with rain, he suddenly decided to go walk-about. I was busy in my room and didn´t miss him for a long time, and then he wouldn´t come in. I called and called for him, and the next day I walked all around the village calling, but there was no sign of him. I asked around the neighbours but no-one had seen him. I still have no idea where he spent that thirty odd hours, but I was so relieved and happy when he finally wandered back home, even though it was three o´clock in the morning when he came to our bedroom windowsill, and we had to get up to let him in! From the way he was purring as I cuddled him, I think he was quite happy to be home too. He was very hungry but apart from that, he was none the worse for his little adventure.
Due to my long phone call with Tom and all the editing I have had to do, I am a bit late posting this tonight. It is just six minutes past mid-night here, but of course it won´t be mid-night for another hour in UK so I am not really late. I know it doesn´t matter if I am, but I like to post on the Friday if I possibly can.
So I am off to link up with Annie´s Friday Smiles and Rocking Your World at Celtic House, but first I will leave you with this week´s sky photo. On Wednesday we had a whole feet of flying saucers sailing across the sky, and here they are.
And that´s all for now folk. See you next week, same place, same time.