I know it isn't very exciting, just a single daffodil in a pot, but for me it is special. We don't have daffodils in our part of Spain. A friend who lives higher up the mountain, has managed to keep a couple going, but down here, by the coast, they are not even recognised by the local folk. I bought some bulbs last year in Lidls, and although they were slow to take off, I did eventually get a few flowers. I left them in the pot in the hope that a few might flower again but they didn't even appear above ground until after Christmas. I thought those that had come up, were blind, so I was delighted to see one had a bud in its centre, and now it has a flower. And one of the others now has a bud as well, so I am really happy with this little bit of 'home' in my garden. And of course, the left-over pansy that I planted in their pot, is also giving me a fine show of flowers. I just love their cute little faces.
And while we are in the garden, just look at this amazing show of flowers on my pink jasmine. Every year we have this delightful sight along our stone wall. The flowers are so close, and the smell when I open my window each morning, is heavenly.
The week got off to a very windy start with gale force gusts, which made my drive to church on Sunday, somewhat scary. I travelled the motorway behind a high-sided lorry that couldn't hold its position and kept wavering into the next lane, so I was afraid to try overtaking it. There was lots of tumbleweed, fallen rubbish bins, and foliage debris on the road, so I was glad to arrive in one piece. Fortunately the journey home was not quite so bad. It has been windy all week, but nothing like as bad as at the weekend.
We had arranged to go out on Saturday, but although it was somewhat overcast and blustery, the wind hadn't yet reached its full force and the journey was better than we had expected. We were driving up to Saliente, a village high in the mountain above the town of Albox, for a lunch with my choir, to celebrate our first birthday. Nearly all the choir were able to attend, and we all took our partner or a friend with us, so we were quite a gang. The restaurant brought out a wide range of tapas for our lunch, and I think you can see from the empty plates, that we did justice to them.
When we had finished eating, our musical director Dave, handed round glasses of cava and raised a toast to many more years of happy singing together.
Then we had an impromptu sing of a couple of songs from our repertoire. We had no words or backing tracks, so we were limited to a few of our favourites. But it was good fun all the same.
It is the first time we have been up to Saliente, so we followed one of our friends who knew the way. The scenery was lovely with patches of almond trees in full blossom, all along the road.
One day I hope to drive right to the top, to a place called Saliente Alto (High), where there is a sanctuary that is supposed to be beautiful. I was told that it was about another ten kilometers above where we were for the meal, and the road is not for the faint-hearted, so we will have to pick our day for that one! On the way down I took this photo to try and capture the sense of space and height. It was taken through a rather grubby car windscreen, but I love the silhouettes of the agave cactus flowers, and the distant range of mountains.
So, as the weather has taken a downhill turn, the rest of the week has been quieter than some and I found myself spending a lot of time in the kitchen.
The bitter oranges that my sister and I picked in Turre, were not keeping well, so on Monday I made the last of them into some more marmalade. Then I also made a load of picalilli.
On Tuesday it was my turn to host the Home Group here, so I had to do some quick cleaning up and then I baked cookies to have with our tea/coffee. The group meets from 11.00 until around 1.00 so we had a late lunch and another day had disappeared. Everyone had enjoyed my cookies and several folk asked for one of the recipes, so in the afternoon I put together a little book of my top ten cookie recipes.
Wednesdays are always busy as I go to my usual sewing group in the mornings. They have talked me into doing a crochet class for beginners in March. The night before, I had left a bowl of dried fruits to soak in strong tea, so when I got back from sewing, I started our lunch off, and then got the fruit made into four tea-breads, my contribution for the cake stall at a church coffee morning the next day. I just got them out of the oven in time to go my choir practice.
Thursday dawned disappointingly cold and grey, with the threat of rain. And it was still fairly windy. We had hoped to hold our coffee morning out on the patio at the side of the church, to encourage some of the local people, both English and Spanish, to join us. But instead we put up most of the stalls in the rooms at the back, though one couple wrapped up warm and kindly manned the plant stall outside.
I bought one of the pots of fresias that you can see in the photo. I had heard that they do well outdoors here, but I have never seen them in the garden centres, so when someone donated these, I had to make sure I bought some. Today the first flower is out on one of them. I hope they don't mind the cold.
Inside, I was in charge of the craft stall. I had not had time to make much for it, but fortunately others had, and there were some lovely knitted and sewn items for sale, and I did sell one of my pictures with a vinyl saying on the glass. Here I am making a sale with my friend Sue. Even though the sun didn't really show its face, the light from the window was too bright to get a good photo.
Another friend, Chris, was looking after the cake stall and the jams etc. She sold most of my cookie recipe books, as well as plenty of marmalade and picalilli, and, of course, all the cakes were sold, as they always are.
The most important part of a coffee morning, is somewhere nice to have a drink and a chat with friends, and as the weather was against us, we set up tables and chairs in the main church, with a table for the urn and cups etc. It looked pleasant and inviting and was well used throughout the morning.
We raised almost 400€ which was quite good considering that the weather had deterred some of the visitors.
Today I had a well earned lie-in, and when I got up I found it had been raining. But it didn't last for long. I had a brief trip out this afternoon for a church choir practice. We are learning two lovely pieces to sing at the Easter Sunday service. Now, as soon as I have linked this up, I shall go down to the sitting room where Chris will have lit the fire, and cosy down to watch the next episode of Shetland.
But of course, I do have a couple of sky photos taken earlier in the week, to show you first. Tonight there was no sunset at all, as we did not see the sun all day, and even in these, you can see the clouds were never far away. But this is the first spell of real winter weather we have had, so we really can't complain.