Well here we are , another week on, and sadly I am still having trouble with the internet, so once again I am preparing this in Word, and I´ll cut and paste it into blogger later tonight if I can, but otherwise, tomorrow morning. The reception does seem to be a little better in the mornings. So a huge Thank you to all those who faithfully follow and comment on my posts, despite my random efforts to comment back, and a big sorry to anyone I didn´t manage to visit after our last posts. I did get round quite a few on Saturday morning, but it has not been possible since.
Today I am smiling at another sky photo. It was taken just as the sun was setting and the sky turned a lovely velvety pink and purple. To me it is another face, peeping over the hills. Even my long suffering husband looked at it and just said “A mouse?” I guess he knew what I was thinking and decided to get in first for a change. Anyway, I´ll be taking that over to Annie´s Friday Smiles later.
So we have had what Pooh bear would call “A very Blustery day”, every day this week. Some days it has been quite frightening. I think Wednesday was the worst. The car was battered with flying debris, fir cones and broken pine twigs as I drove to my sewing group in Turre, and when I continued up to Arboleas for a meeting that afternoon, it took all my concentration to stay in my lane on the motorway. But, on the positive side, I spent a very happy morning and afternoon with two lovely groups of friends, and then I got home still in one piece! I have stayed home for most of the week since then, as it was really not weather to go out in unless you had to.
Every morning Chris has collected rubbish from the yard, stood up any potted palms etc that had blown over, and cleared the leaves and dust from the pool.! The weather station is now forecasting snow right down to sea-level along the Andalucian coastline, but I will believe that when I see it. We have only had snow here once since we arrived, and then it was only a thin layer on the lower slopes of the mountains that we can see from here, and it didn´t last long once the sun came up.
However it hasn´t all been bad. On Monday, once we had cleared up after another windy night, I decided to drive down to Mojacar because I needed to collect something I had ordered. When I got down there I found it was a lot calmer, and sheltered by the mountains I guess, so when I had done my shopping, I walked along the beach a while.
I stood for ages trying to catch the breaking waves with my camera. It is hard to get it at just the right moment, but I felt I had captured quite a lot of movement in this one.
And here´s one of the cormorants that always congregate on this rock. They remind me of the older Spanish ladies, all dressed in black, who meet on their favourite bench every afternoon to chat together. I wonder what these birds are chatting about?
Then I decided to go looking for some more faces for my collection and I didn´t have far to search. This one was right behind me in the rocks under the steps I had just used to get down on the beach.
Then, when I turned to look the other way, this creature, (a dozing turtle or croc?), was about to climb out of the rock and come towards me!
Before I left the sand, I took this picture of a little flower blooming in a barren spot, oblivious to the wind battering it, and the salt spray splashing on it. Nature always serves to remind me that however small and insignificant we feel, we have the inner strength to rise above our circumstances and shine!
On the way home, I spotted these derelict buildings, and stopped to take some pictures of them. Our theme for the photography club this month is Old Buildings and Ruins, so I thought I might be able to do something with these. It´s a shame about the graffiti, but I can deal with that if I decide to use them.
On the other side of the road was another tumbled down finca, and I just loved this piece of a broken stone wall. Considering where the building had once stood, on top of a lonely hill in the middle of the campo, it was quite a feat to collect all these stones and get them in place, goodness knows how many years ago.
Deciding to get all my tasks done in one journey, I then drove along the sea front to the next town of Garrucha, and I stopped on the promenade to take this photo. The boats, and the blue sea and sky looked so lovely. There is always one of these barges moored at the port but I have not seen so many together at any one time before.
I am very grateful to a friend from the sewing group who presented me with lots of bitter oranges on Wednesday. I had not been given any so far, and they have a very short season, so I thought I might not be making any marmalade this year. I cannot buy bitter ones anywhere, like I used to in England, as the Spanish see them as worthless and they just leave them to drop, or throw them away. But Pam gave me two bagfuls like this.
It doesn´t actually take all that many to make marmalade, and these were such lovely ones, there was no waste at all. The most I can fit into my preserving pan is two kilos of oranges – that´s between 12-14 fruit – and five lemons, plus the sugar of course. So this is enough for one batch.
I spent all Thursday juicing, cooking, shredding and boiling, and I managed to do two batches which made thirty-five jars of marmalade. Now I need to get some more labels printed.
This used about two-thirds of the first bag, so I think there are enough oranges for 100 jars in all, but when Pam saw my photo of them on facebook last night, she said she would bring me another bag next week! So I have a few more preserving sessions to come. People are so kind, donating fruit, buying from me regularly, and saving all their jars for me to use again, and although I do keep back enough money to pay for the sugar, all the rest goes to a local charity, and my Knit for Africa Project.
We were grateful to our friends Tony and Eileen who invited us to their house for dinner today. We spent a lovely few hours chatting with them, and were very well fed too!
I am grateful to know that our son Jonathan came safely through an operation today. His nose has been broken several times and he was having problems with breathing, so he has had it broken again, unblocked, and rebuilt with some artificial cartilage, and some from his ear. I have just had a message from him to say all went well, he has a pretty colourful face, but he is back home and resting! I suspect he has some uncomfortable days ahead, but hopefully the worst is over.
Although it has been very frustrating to have such a poor internet connection all week, it has meant that I have had some time to do other things! So I am happy to be able to say that I have finally put away all the bits and pieces from my Christmas crafting, and I now have some clear desk-space to work on. I also spent one evening cleaning four carrier mats for my Silhouette cutter. These are 12” x 12” plastic sheets, marked with a grid, and covered in repositional adhesive. They hold the paper or card in place in the machine while it is cutting. When they arrive they are almost too sticky, so that if you cut paper that is not very robust, it is likely to tear when you remove it. But within a very few weeks they become covered in dust, (cat hair in my house!), and tiny offcuts of paper and vinyl, and they lose most of their tackyness. They are ridiculously expensive to keep replacing, so the internet has lots of suggestions for cleaning them.
It is the sort of job I keep putting off, but I have now soaked all of them in warm soapy water. The newest one then air-dried to quite a usable -condition. The older ones I scrapped free of all the old adhesive with a credit card. It worked really well. A little rubbing alcohol on a cloth removed any stubborn bits. Then one at a time I used magnets to hold them onto the side of my metal filing cabinet, which I had first covered with newspaper. I used masking tape to protect all the margins, as if these get sticky they make a mess of the rollers on the machine., and then I sprayed them fairly generously with 3D photo mount adhesive, which dries repositionable. I left them to dry over night and now I have four mats which should each have a few months of life in them again. A very good evening´s work!
I am so happy to have finished my cross stitch picture for my youngest son. I know I showed this when I finished the actual cross-stitching but there was a lot of top-stitching to do then. I also had to stretch it myself. In UK I always took my finished projects to a shop to be framed, but this isn´t an option out here. I could have done with my big sister to hold my hand while I did this, but she talked me through it on skype, and I did my best with it.
I then had a mount and frame made to my
measurements. I would have chosen a dark grey mount but the only grey they had was quite wrong, so I settled for black, and a narrow black frame. I will be giving this to Ben when he comes out here next week as he will be here for his birthday. He has seen it once, back a year or so ago, when I first started sewing it, but he has probably forgotten about it by now. But he is very unlikely to read this post, so I am quite happy to show here now. (My reflection is distorting the colour bottom right).
So there are just a couple of sky photos to finish with. First one of my sunset Silhouettes that I like, and then one I caught the other night when I looked out at the front of the house, instead of the back where the sun sets. It must have been just one or two nights away from a full moon, and it was still low enough in the sky to ´ground´ it with some shrubs at the base.
So I will just link this up to Annie´s blog and to Virginia at Celtic House. Keep smiling and I´ll see you all again next week.