Here we are at week 13 already, that´s a quarter of the way through the year! How did that happen so fast? And although 13 may be unlucky for some, I am having a good week because my son (number 4) and his partner are out here for a week´s holiday. They are both dog-lovers, but you may remember me mentioning them back in November when their 18 year old Labrador died, leaving a big hole in their home. They have not been out here since we had Kim, who is now two years old, so I was looking forward to introducing them. Kim seemed to recognise a kindred spirit, and in no time he was cuddling up to Jonathan like he´d known him all his life.
Meanwhile, Ella was enjoying some late afternoon sun while Arwen did her best to reach her hair through the railings on my craft room window.
Their first few days here were the last few days of our very unsettled weather, but it was still warmer than UK, and between the heavy showers we had some lovely bursts of sunshine. And since then it has been warm and sunny for most of the day.
It has been a lazy week, with plenty of hours sitting outside chatting, eating and drinking. Isn´t that what holidays are all about? They have borrowed our car and gone off to explore a bit for themselves, but mostly we have just enjoyed catching up on one another´s news.
Jonathan is the son who had surgery to repair a badly broken nose just after Christmas. It looks much better now, straighter and well shaped. Unfortunately his ability to breath through it has not improved yet. They did tell him to allow about four weeks for it to settle down, but it is nearly twice that now and it is still causing him problems, so he is waiting to see what they say at his next follow appointment at the end of April.
Last night we went to the local bar to be a team in the weekly pub quiz. We are notoriously bad at this but it is a fun night, so we went along for a laugh. And guess what? We actually won! It has never happened before and probably never will again but we were pleased with ourselves anyway.
My garden is looking lovely. The cooler weather means that my daffodils are still in flower and they have been the cause of a lot of comments in person and on Facebook. The other British folk around here say they have never seen them in this region before.
But this week I have a very Spanish flower to show you. It is a succulent plant that used to be in the back yard until the dogs - puppies then - decided it tasted good, and kept eating it or uprooting it from its pot! I rescued a small piece that was still intact and planted it in a new pot and put it in the front garden, where until now, it has done absolutely nothing. But this week it has suddenly broken into flower and it is beautiful.
The flowers are a very deep, bright, orangey-yellow, and now it has started, it should go on producing them for several weeks. So it was worth me salvaging it after all.
On Wednesday I went to my usual house group in the afternoon. This means about a thirty minute drive inland, and a bit up into the foothills, so it tends to be a little cooler. On the way back I drew in to a small rest area so I could look at the sky for a while. There is very open terrain so there is a good view across the campo to the distant mountains where some very impressive cloud formations were hovering.
On the way I noticed some new snow on the highest peak, but by my return the clouds had come low enough to obscure it.
Just across to my left the palm trees were swaying in the wind, and a new bank of storm clouds were being blown in. I reckon it was pretty wet for anyone up on the mountain side.
But then I turned through 180º and looked behind me and it was a completely different view. It is hard to image two such diverse scenes taken from the one position.
This certainly is a land of contrasts!
Other things to be grateful for this week:
A warm fire and cosy room to sit in for the evenings and share some family time.
My visitors this week are vegetarians which takes me a bit out of my comfort zone, and it is almost impossible to find a vegetarian option on a menu around here, but I have managed to find enough different meals to feed them, with no major disasters!
A lovely long walk on the campo with the dogs - so much easier when there are two more willing pairs of hands to hold the leads - and it was great to see the dogs run and enjoy themselves.
I have been asked to be guest designer on a challenge blog in May, because I was a winner last month. It is a challenge but an honour too. No doubt you will hear more about that nearer the time.
There are still three and half more days with Jonathan and Ella before we take them to the airport next Tuesday, and the forecast is for good weather right through ´til then. So plenty more opportunities to sit in the sun and enjoy their company.
An interesting time last night when we just stood and studied the stars. They were so bright that even the street lighting didn´t detract from them.
Although the clouds were broken in the evenings, there was not enough sun for any really good sunsets, but I did take this picture one teatime because it was so striking.
Now I shall quickly link up with Annie´s Friday Smiles and Virginia at Celtic House, and get back outside to see what our plans are for the rest of today.