Well I really am late getting started tonight, but I am determined to do this post before I go to bed. It has been that sort of a week really, when everything seems to have taken twice as long as it should have done. But not to worry. We got there in the end, so here is my smile for this week.And yes, it is me smiling. This was my first ever entry in the
Vera Photo Club Exhibition, and I´m smiling, because in the end it all came together how I wanted it to.
I have never undertaken anything like this before, and I was very apprehensive because I knew some of the exhibitors were professional photographers, but fortunately there were plenty of amateurs like me as well. As I have only been a member of the club for a few months, I did not have any recent photos that I thought were suitable, so I used some from the huge collection I took when we back-packed around S.E.Asia, some six years ago. They were taken on a little point-and-shoot camera and I was not sure how well they would enlarge. But I played about with them in a photo editing program until I was fairly confident that I had them as good as was possible, and then I took them to a shop to be enlarged and printed. This was the start of the complications that slowed me down because I took them on Saturday and they could only do the smaller ones. They said the larger ones would be ready by Tuesday afternoon. So I then had to find somewhere that would cut the mounts for me, and without the prints I had to try to choose the colours I wanted, and hope that they printed to exactly the size I wanted. Unfortunately, when I went to collect the big prints on Tuesday evening, they had enlarged the wrong one, and made it even bigger than I wanted. So I then wandered around the sea-front for half an hour or so while they did them again. Fortunately they fitted the mounts, which also fitted well in the frames I had bought, so by Wednesday evening I had everything ready to go.
On Thursday morning I went to the exhibition room with my
friends Yvonne and Robin who were also exhibiting, and armed with a tool box, an all-important spirit level, a step ladder and a lot of patience, we each managed to hang our pictures. We were given an area each of one metre in width, and there were two chains in each space to hang on.
This proved difficult with the type of frames we were using, but with a bit of wire and lateral thinking, we found a way to do it, but then, because the chains held the frames off the wall, it was really difficult to make them hang straight, and keep them that way. Mine have copious amounts of blu-tak behind the corners, which held for the first day anyway, but the exhibition is on until 20th November, so I may have to go up and tweak them sometime next week.
This is a better photo of my pictures. It has some patches of light on them because they were testing the spotlights ready for the official opening that night. I just love the sunrise pictures taken in Thailand. The little Cambodian girl was the daughter of our tuk-tuk driver. On our last day at Seam Reap, his whole family came on a day out with us to a beautiful waterfall. They were a lovely family and welcomed us as a part of their group. Happy memories! The lowest of the three pictures on the right is the odd one out, because it is the two cicadas that I showed on here a few weeks ago, but it was such a successful photo, that I thought it deserved to be included.
I was glad I had gone to the gallery with friends because I would have gone to the wrong place, and the roads in Mojacar Pueblo are so narrow and winding, it is not a place to get lost in, because turning round is almost impossible!
It was in the little white village on a hill that sometimes crops up in my photos, and about half way up the hill is the village fuente, which means fountain, but it is really a natural spring that has been channeled to several spouts, and local folk go there to refill their water carriers. It is drinkable water and much nicer than what comes from the taps. Most villages have a fuente, but I had never actually been to the one in Mojacar before. It was a lovely place with a big courtyard in front of it that had channels carrying the water all round it, and the walls above were covered in hanging pot plants. There were twelve water spouts so several folk could fill their containers at the same time.
Immediately above the fuente courtyard was the exhibition gallery. I stood on the walkway leading to the entrance and enjoyed the view. You could look down through the houses, and just glimpse the sea. But looking behind me there was a huge looming rockface, softened by the swathes of pink and yellow bougainvillea still blooming after months of hot sun, and topped by more of the white houses that abound here.
Thursday night was the official opening of our exhibition and I was impressed by the number of folk who turned up for it. They seemed genuinely interested in the pictures, and there was a lively buzz of conversation all around the room.
This is when my photo at the top of this post was taken - after I had "scrubbed up and put a posh frock on!!"
While I was busy doing all this, Chris had to deal with a minor crisis at home when he received a letter from the water board to tell us we had used an abnormal quantity of water this quarter. Water is a precious commodity here so they are quick to inform us when we go over our usual consumption. We are all on meters of course. But this time we had no idea why we had used too much, and the obvious answer was a leak somewhere in the system. We called a friend who is a plumber and he came that day. We showed him a damp patch in the crazy paving and he agreed it could be the site of a leak, but he suggested we contact our insurance company before he investigated any further, and they agreed to send their own plumber to look at it. He came that night and dug several holes around the garden.
This is where we thought the leak was going to be, but it wasn´t!
He then tried in a few places in the front garden, and eventually he found the leak! By then it was too dark to do any more so he was back this morning to put in a new pipe that by-passes the leaking one, and to fill all the holes in. But at least the insurance is paying for the labour costs though we will still have a rather nasty water bill sometime soon!
Another positive that came from this is that we now know what is under the paving round at the side of the house. We thought it may be a depth of concrete or rubble, but it was in fact sand and soil, so we now know we can remove some of it and plant a few trees and flowers, something we have been considering doing for a while!
Back to the day when I had a walk-about in Garrucha while I waited for my photos to be reprinted. It was a good time to walk as the evening was drawing in, and it was cooling down. But Garrucha is a very pleasant stretch of beach and thy take good care of it. There is a very long promenade and as I approached the marina at the far end I saw a lovely tall yatch haboured there. I would love to have seen it in full sail. It must be quite impressive.
There is usually a tanker in, over at the far side. It always seems to be loading or unloading loads of gravel, and it makes me wonder how it stays afloat! The sight that always makes me smile is the row of sea birds that make use of a small line of rocks out to sea, as a meeting/resting place. Thy are always there, and somehow they just look right there. I wonder what they chatter about.
I was given a bag of pomegranets this week, and although I do like eating them, and I know they are very good for us, I don´t really like all the pips. So this week I added lots of the little juicy pieces to one of my blended fruit drinks, and I was delighted to find that the pips completely disappeared. Of course, they are all in there, as there is no pulp wastage with my blender. Everything stays in the jug, but you wouldn´t have known they were there, so now I can enjoy and benefit from my pomegranets, without any pips!
I was sitting out at the back of the house, drinking my morning cup of tea, and thinking how very green the green zone looks now, when I noticed that several trees were white. These are orange trees, that have looked so dead all summer, with bare brown branches, and a few dried up fruit, and now, not only are they sprouting new leaves, but they are covered in blossom. What a difference a drop of rain makes.
This morning I made my usual trip to Turre market, and I visited the lady who brings her own produce and fills big plastic bags for 1€ each. I bought four bags, one of the delicious baby plum tomatoes, one of mixed sweet peppers, one of long, pale green peppers that she told me are piquante or hot, and one of tiny cucumbers. I have not seen these before but I wanted to try them as they are another very healthy food, but I struggle to eat the big ones, (due to a dental problem that I will have to deal with at some point).
As soon as I got home I showed them to Chris and we both tried one and liked them. They are crunchy and juicy, and I could eat them! So while I was putting my shopping away I munched on another one, and I couldn´t resist a couple of the tomatoes as well. A few minutes later I noticed that the soles of both my feet were itching which I thought was a bit strange. Before long my toes started to itch and then my wrists and hands, and soon I was itching all over and I realised that I was having an allergic reaction to something. As I have had the tomatoes many times before, I can only assume it was the cucumbers. It was not anaphalactic shock, and didn´t give me any problems breathing etc, but it was very uncomfortable and I knew if I didn´t deal with it I would scratch myself raw, so I had a cool shower, and fortunately I had some piriton tablets in the house, so I took one of those, and I rested on the bed while I gave it time to work. Fortunately that did the trick and soon the itching died down, but the tablet has left me feeling dozy all day. I decided I needed to be busy, so this afternoon I have made some lime and lemon sour pickle, a double batch of Hot Ginger and chili jam, and cut up all the vegetables to make picalilli in the morning. So another day was saved, and I got something useful done. In a day or two I shall try the cucmbers again. It is the only way to be sure that was the cause. I´ll keep the piriton handy just in case!
Now for a sky photo with a difference and then I am off to bed. I´ll catch up with some commenting in the morning.
I took this one on my way to Turre this morning. It started off cloudy, but the sun was trying hard to break through, and I love all the shafts of light coming down onto the Cabrera mountains. By the time I had finished my shopping it was a blue sky, and indeed it was another warm and sunny day. So win win again.
I hope you all have a good week, and can find some positives even when it doesn´t seem like things are going your way. Follow me over to Annie´s Friday Smiles, and Celtic House, and I´ll see you all again next week.