Friday, March 18, 2016

Rocking Your World 2016; Week 12

I spotted this picture on Facebook this week and just fell in love with it. I hope it makes you smile too.
Isn't it amazing, and all done by one lady. This smart car was driven around the streets of Montreal last summer as part of their residential speed limit campaign. I bet it got noticed at least!

Nearer to home is these pictures of my little (or perhaps not so little), cat Arwen. This is her moulting season, and as well as shedding hairs every time she moves, the loose hairs also mat together very close to her skin forming a really hard layer around her, that is too close for me to try cutting it away, even if she would let me - which she won't. She had  a very rough few years before I took her in as a rescue animal, and although she is now much friendlier than she was, she is still very wary of close contact with any people. She sits right beside me on my computer desk and paws at me for attention if I ignore her for too long, but if I attempt to pick her up for a cuddle, she instantly stiffens and starts fighting to get away. So we live side by side in mutual harmony, but when her fly-away hairs cause me to cough and sneeze too much, then she goes to the vet, where she has a light sedative and the groomers shave her while she is asleep. Here she is before...
and after....
That always makes me smile.
There is a different groomer at the vet's from when she last went, and this one decided she needed to lose her boots as well, which is a shame. She usually comes home still wearing fluffy boots. But they left her lovely tail and her face. They actually left really long hair on either side of her face, but I have trimmed it off a bit because I think it looks better.
The main thing is that she is a quite contented cat again, and hopefully I won't sneeze every time I come in my room now.

This fairly routine week started off with a bit of excitement on Sunday when the "I Vuelta Cicloturista de Almería" passed through our village. This is a long cycling challenge that seems to cover most of Andalucía. On Sunday they were due to leave Turre and travel to Garrucha, Cuevas and then Antas before coming through Los Gallardos, and on up into the mountains behind us. Their day's route was 150km long, and covered four mountain passes. (Amazing what some people do for fun!). We had fore-warning that some of the roads - including ours - would be closed between 8.00 and 10.00 in the morning and I was worried that I might not be able to get out for church as I usually leave at 10.00. But sure enough, at exactly 9.00 the first support vehicles came through.
(Deportiva simply means Sport). These were followed by several men on motorbikes, making sure the route was clear for the cyclists. 
Eventually they came as well, and because it was still quite early in the day, they were all fairly close together with no stragglers.
They were all still feeling good and many exchanged a few friendly words with us as they went passed. This makes it look as though we were the only ones out to cheer them on, but all those big houses around us are empty for most of the year, so we have no immediate neighbours. Just up the road from us, there were plenty of onlookers, on the street and on their verandas and roof terraces.
Finally two ambulances brought up the rear, and as soon as they had passed, the police removed the tapes from across the roads, and everything went back to normal, so I got away at my usual time after all.

We have had some nice sunshine this week, even if there has been a rather chilly wind, and when it was in the right direction for the porch to be sheltered, it was warm enough to sit out in the afternoon. Chris was checking the pool to see it wasn't too clogged with the dry leaves that are blowing about, and he spotted a moth on the water. He thought it had drowned, but I fished it out and put it in the sun and it soon started to move. 
I think moths are very under appreciated. They may be mostly  brown, but they have some beautiful marking on their wings and bodies. This one had flashes of red on its wings. In this close-up photo you can also see its furry coat. I think it is lovely, and I am glad I managed to save it, and put it high up on a sunny branch, well away from the dogs and cats, while it recovered enough to fly away.

On Tuesday Chris and I went over to Vera where some friends of our were opening a new charity shop for the Paws/Patas association, who rescue abandoned dogs and cats, and re-home them. While I actually prefer to support charities for people in need, I can see that the number of ill-treated, neglected and abandoned animals out here would be out of control, if there were not groups like this willing to go to their aid, and it costs a lot to get them to good health, and house them until a new home can be found. So these shops are very necessary and we want our friends to do well in their's.
Here they are, 2nd and 3rd from the right, with their daughter and her partner. The man on the far left is the Mayor of Vera, who came along to officially open it.
There was a good crowd of friends there, and other supporters of Paws, who enjoyed a glass of cava while they chatted together, and more importantly, browsed the shop and made some purchases.
They have a nice space to display their goods, and a big store room behind where they can sort through incoming donations. At 3.00, Paola and Gus stood with the mayor as he cut the blue ribbon, and declared the shop open for business.

Look what I bought at the market this week.
They really look much too good to make into jam, but that is what I bought them for. These boxes hold two kiligrams so I bought two of them. My preserving pan can hold jam made from three kilos of fruit, so I was able to take some of the very best ones for us to eat, and they were very good! But this morning I made the rest into jam and now have seventeen jars of it in my cupboard. No doubt some of it will be sold at church next Sunday, and more at my Wednesday sewing group, so I will have to make at least one more lot before the strawberries go out of season.

With not too much else happening this week, I have had time to do some crafting as well. I managed to make the fourth scrapbook page for Clonakilty (finishing off the quartet from last week). It is another busy page and as it was a fun subject, I went for lots of colour too. It may be a bit too bright, but I quite like it.

There are no sky photos this week so I will finish with something else colourful instead - my crochet. I think I have a new obsession! Every time I sit down I think 'I could just do one more round of Sophie before I ....', so Sophie has grown well this week. By Monday night I had finished stage one; Sophie's mandala. The tutorial for this came in three parts, for the small mandala, the medium one, and then the large one. So here is the large mandala, finished.
Then I went on to Part four; Squaring the mandala to make Sophie's garden. last night I finished that too. It now has 36 rounds and measures approximately 42 cms (just over 16 inches), so it would make a cushion cover. 
I love the extra details like the zig-zag paths at the edges, and the dimensional flowers growing in her garden.
I thought this was the end, but when I followed a link from her pattern to Dedri's blog, I discovered she had continued to grow Sophie outwards to make Sophie's Universe. There are, in fact, twenty parts to the tutorial, and 113 rounds altogether, with an optional further eight for an added border! So I am going to keep going too. The rounds are getting longer, and the work is heavier to hold, so my progress will be slower. The time will come when it is too hot to have a blanket on my knees while I work around it, but for now, I will just take one round at a time. It does have to go on hold for a week or two while I finish off a couple of items for my Africa project, but it will always be there, when I want something to brighten my day. So no doubt you will be meeting Sophie again one day.
For now I will take her over to introduce her at Annie's Friday Smiles and Rocking Your World, and I'll see you all again next week.


  1. Your strawberries look far too good to make jam out of but I bet your jam is really wonderful and will keep much longer than the strawberries. Your crochet is amazing Kate....I love the colours and the patterns are stunning....well done you.
    I must say that your comment on my blog made me chuckle too....who's Sophie? hehehehehe A senior moment I guess lol.
    Thanks for joining in as always and sharing your fab news.
    Annie x

  2. Hi Kate, you're very good because I fear I may have eaten the strawberries before they got in the pan Lol! Your cat is lovely and very smart with it's new hair style. The car is a real winner with it's jacket, quite fancy making one for my old MG though I don't think 'Him In Doors' would agree to it. Have a great weekend and happy crafting, Angela x

  3. What an amazing mandala - love the colours and the texture you have going there Kate. The bicycle race sounds impressive - as you say though the things people do for fun!!
    Arwen looks super cute once shaved - I have a friend who has one of her cats shaved too.

  4. I love the crochet car jacket, what fun. Your crochet looks fabulous as well, some interesting stitch patterns in there.Delicious looking strawberries, I bet the jam smelt good when it was cooking.
    Jean x

  5. I was out all day today and got home to a malfunctioning computer. Arwen's haircut always makes me smile, but I miss the boots, too.

    I love the look of the strawberries. That's the only way I like them. Once they are processed, or even cut up and have sugar added to them, I simply can't eat them. They make me sick. Jam, jelly, syrup, ice cream, you name it. I can't eat it.

    Even though it was a bit of an inconvenience, that bike ride looked like it was fun to see. I know people lined up in the UK to see the Tour de France.

    Again, sorry I was late visiting today. That crochet and Arwen had me smiling today.

  6. I always look forward to read your posts. Arwen is adorable with his new haircut. Those strawberries look luscious as does the mandala. I hope you have a fabulous weekend. Hugs, Pat

  7. I once saw a VW beetle pic like the smart car, they look brilliant. I've got a cyber green beetle that I've had for 12 years. I think I'm going to fill it with crotcheted cushions and throws now I've seen this
    Lynn xx

  8. Wow what a week, firstly I think the car is awesome and I didn't see it doing the rounds on facebook! Secondly how cute is your cat in both the before and after pictures, i wonder what she thinks when she comes around from the light sedation to find all that hair gone! I must admit my Mum's new cat is lovely but I always feel wheezy when I come away and he has long hair!

    The strawberries look amazing and what an amazing thing to be doing for the animals, but I agree with you Kate, my heart is usually with the people charities - I work for 3 of them at the moment the main one being a charity for homeless people!

    the scrapbook layout is fab - really positive!

    And how amazing is the crotchet - I can't wait to see it develop further.

    I hope you have a fabulous weekend and week ahead


  9. Ahhh Kate thanks for popping over, had intended to do it over the weekend but my weekend and Mondya as it is over, were exceedingly busy.
    Wonderful views of cats, the bike race and also the growing Sophie.
    My brother is a keen cyclist, he is riding as a tour guide again this year's for about the fifth year I think and doing les Pyrenees and les Alpes again this year, all being well. He dropped a crowbar on his foot yesterday so that is accidents permitting.!!!!!!
    I watch (record then watch actaully ) Le tour and le Giro Italia too but they don't show Le vuelta on free TV, which is all I watch.
    Thanks so much for sharing, Shaz in Oz.x

    {Calligraphy Cards - Shaz in Oz}

  10. Oh Kate . . . you have made me chuckle with Arwen's before and after shots! Lovely positive post and I hope all goes well with your husband's hernia op.

    Off to see what you've made for Rudolph Day next . . .

    Happy Easter to you.

    Hugs, Sarn xxx


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