Hi everyone. I am a bit late starting this today but the reason is that I have just chatted to my sister, Jean on Skype for an hour, and I make no apologies for that. Family comes first etc.....
I have no special Smile for you this week. In fact I have very little to write about at all, because I haven´t done very much, except sit around and enjoy watching the flowers grow. So guess what photos you will see today? Yep - Flowers! And they sure make me smile!
So let´s start with my lovely roses which have really done themselves proud this year. We have several plants growing round the edge of our tiny front garden, but the one at the end always grows twice as tall as the others, and has fairly non-descript flowers on it. But this year it is a mass of blooms, and although they are as tall as me, They still make a lovely show outside our sitting-room window.
This bumble bee was enjoying them too, visiting each flower in turn. I only managed to catch him on the camera when he came down to the lower flowers.
Then out at the back, just outside our railings, but still on our land, the oleander is looking lovely. It is a special one with variegated leaves and extra double pink flowers. They almost look like little camelias.
These hang over the fence into our garden, and this year I think they appreciate having the big acacia trees cut down. They have much more space and light now, and it obviously suits them. They will continue to bloom right through into the Autumn.
Then we have this rather odd one which is a strelizia nicolai. It would grow much larger if it wasn´t restricted to a large pot, but it is plenty big enough for me. It is not my favourite plant but it is quite interesting. I really prefer its cousin the common purple and orange Bird of Paradise flower, but this is a tough old bird. It has had two lots of puppies who have chewed it down to the ground, but at always seems to bounce back, and this year the dogs are old enough to know they must leave the plants alone.
We have three or four big buds on it this year, and one is almost open now, though you can´t see its pale blue tongue. Maybe I will get a better picture next week.
Last Saturday we went down to Mojacar Playa to go to a summer market for our church. The church has two branches - one in Mojacar and the one I go to which is up near Albox, but we combined for the fete and it was very busy.
There was one stall there selling plants that the man had mostly grown either from seeds or from cuttings. I bought an Amarylis plant that was just two bare stems with a single bud on each. I knew each bud would have at least three flowers inside it, as I always had these as house plants in UK. Out here they do better outside, so I put mine on the front porch, and within a couple of days it had started to open. It has in fact got four flowers on each stem so I am very pleased with it. I am hoping I will be able to keep it going for several years. A Spanish lady down the road has a beautiful one that she told me has bloomed for sixteen years!
And before we leave the flowers for this week, take a look at this amazing ´chumba´or prickly pear plant that grows down the bank behind our neighbours house. Last year the chumba was almost wiped out in this area by the tiny white cochineal moth. But this plant seems to be impervious to their attack and it is back this year looking as beautiful as ever. The plant is just a mass of flowers which open in the morning and close again at night time. Later, of course, it will be covered with fruit. The flowers, like those on most cacti, are really beautiful.
It has been a quiet week for us because our car is still off the road, awaiting a spare part, so we have not made any journeys except for essential ones. There is no public transport at all from the village, so without our cars we really are a bit stuck. We did use our friends car to get to Chris´hospital appointment, and for my choir practice, and tonight we did an emergency shopping trip. We are really grateful to Eileen for lending us her car, and I am grateful to Chris for taxiing me around in it, as I am not confident to drive a strange vehicle, especially when it belongs to some one else!
Car or no car, I don´t think we would have gone far yesterday. They warned us that a mini heatwave was coming to Spain, and on the net they showed this photo taken in Seville yesterday morning. Fortunately it didn´t go as high as 50º here, but we have an outside thermometer that is tucked into a shady corner, and never gets the sun on it, and that just about made it up to 40º.
And to make it worse, there was a strong wind all afternoon that felt like you were in the line of a giant hair-dryer. It dries your skin, your hair and your throat, so it was definitely a day to stay at home. I thought it was the sirocco wind that blows from the south, across from N.Africa, but actually this one came from the North. It stayed hot when the wind died down at sunset, and it was still 30º at midnight. We had our ceiling fan on all night for the first time this year.
I am glad to say that it is a good ten degrees cooler today, and I was happy to be able to sit out on the porch doing some crochet this afternoon.
I was also happy to be able to help some friends this morning. I have somehow slipped into the role of go-between for some folks from the village and other organisations from outside. Today I took our vicar and a friend from the church, up to our Town Hall to discuss the use of various venues for social functions. I have got to know a lovely lady who moved into our street last month after living in N.Spain for many years. She speaks Spanish fluently so I asked her if she would come to translate for us, and she was happy to come, which was a huge help.
I just have two sky photos to show this week. Taken from much the same place, with just a quarter of an hour between shots, it is surprising how much the colour of the sky had changed. Having seen such an amazing sky when I left my choir practice a couple of weeks ago, and getting caught without my camera, I made sure I had it with me this week, so of course there was a much less sensational sunset! That´s life, isn´t it? But I still took these photos and I think they are really pretty, so I hope you do too.
Now I shall link up with Annie´s Friday Smiles and Virginia over at Celtic House. Phew! I still finished before midnight, with a quarter of an hour to spare. Goodnight all.