Well another week has literally flown past. I don't think I have done anything significant this week, but that in itself is rare, and something to be thankful for. And of course there have still been little moments of joy that deserve to be told. My smile this week is a photo taken on one of our early morning walks, but it isn't a sun-rise. No it is the moon!
It was a full moon last Friday night so I think we took this on Saturday morning. It was so round and perfect, and still quite bright, and high in the sky above the jacaranda trees.
And while speaking of jacarandas, I mentioned a week ago how surprised I was to see flowers on these trees at this time of year. Then they were all on the tops of the trees, but now they are out on the lower branches too and they are even more beautiful when they have a backdrop of the pretty fern-like leaves on these trees. So here is a close up of a bunch that was hanging down at my level. My camera has not actually caught it with a very true colour as they are a more blue-mauve than this, but so pretty.
And so to my week. Monday and Tuesday were spent doing some gardening. The front of the house was in urgent need of attention so we spent some time pruning shrubs and dead-heading the flowers. Then I potted up some chrysanthemums and pansies to hopefully give us some colour until the poinsettias arrive for Christmas! I have optimistically added a few daffodil bulbs to some of the pots too, but I am not holding out for much success with them.
People often stop and admire our garden, and comment on the flowers. I guess out here, flowers are almost a luxury item. The Spanish people either use their land for fruit and vegetables, or they have potted palms etc. We have the palms, and everything has to be in pots, but I like to have flowers growing around the base of the larger shrubs. It seems to be a good year for flowering trees because our bird of paradise tree has had a second blooming too. A few weeks ago it was covered with big brown stems of bean pods, but then I notices one new flower bud. Now it is covered in flowers again.
They are so unusual, and to think I bought this as a tiny plant in a pot just two years ago.
In this close-up you can see some of the bean-pods. When I was sweeping up after my gardening session I found the seeds all over the floor. I also rescued a baby tree that had seeded itself. I have put it in a pot, but if it takes off I will have to find someone else who wants it. I have no-where I can plant it to let it grow like the first one has.
My last job in the garden was to loosen the soil around the top of the pots and add a few fertiliser pellets. The soil does get exhausted in the pots, and this year the older hibiscus have hardly flowered at all, though the new ones have done well. But within a few days of me feeding them, I had flowers again!
When we cut the bougainvillea down round at the back, we freed up our baby lemon tree, and I was surprised to find how many lemons are on it this year.
We also have one orange tree that we bought on our thirtieth wedding anniversary, and that has the most fruit I have ever seen on it. But it is a late variety so they still have to hold on through some wind and bad weather, but I am quite hopeful we will have a good yield from it. Last year the citrus fruits were not good, and I struggled to find any bitter oranges to make marmalade, so I am hoping they will be more plentiful this year too.
Sunsets have been at an all time low this month. The days have started cloudy but by tea-time the sky has been clear so there is nothing to reflect the rays and give some colour. But one evening when I was feeding the dogs I saw this and thought it was quite interesting.
We actually had a small amount of rain later that night. And one evening I managed to take this. If my camera had been anywhere other than on the table in the kitchen, I would have been too late to take it. It certainly didn't last for long.
Last week I scared Annie with a picture of a spider. This week my bug is less scary. We came home from the shops one day and Chris spotted it on the edge of the garage roof. It is of course, a praying mantis. I rather like these, and they are certainly welcome in the garden as they eat a lot of smaller bugs.
When I was gardening I found her again on one of the hibiscus plants, on a branch I had just pruned off. So I transferred her onto another plant. I didn't want her to feel unwelcome!
Not everything this week has been good. I had news of two deaths, a friend and then a family member, so I have had to dig a bit deeper for my "things to be grateful for", but of course, there are always some there if you really look.
Firstly I was so very grateful to a group of Spanish girls from my Intercambio group, who helped me with the translation for a flower festival information sheet. I mentioned last week that this was mostly done, but one girl was a bit uncertain as to the meaning of a part, so this week we met up and went through it together. Now I just have to finish typing up the translation and sending it to the friend who asked for it. I did have a go myself, but now that I have seen the authentic translation I think my Spanish still has a long way to go. I got some bits right, but I need to learn, and more importantly retain, more vocabulary.
I was grateful to my son who gave me an online lesson via Skype, on how to add all the accents that are so important in Spanish as they can completely alter the meaning of a word. Until recently I have used an English keyboard on my PC and on my wall I have a list of number codes that add accents as needed, but now I have a Spanish keyboard, and it is actually so much easier, ONCE YOU KNOW ABOUT IT! So typing up my document will be a lot quicker now.
Of course it was exciting when my new printer arrived, especially as it came a day earlier than expected. We soon had it set up, and I am pleased with the things I have printed so far. printing the news letter for church should be a lot quicker and easier this week.
I was grateful to Chris who suggested lunch out today, and we had the best fish and chips we have had since we came here. We had been told of this venue before, but we went on a Thursday and found they didn't cook meals at lunch time, which is when we prefer to eat our main meal. But recently someone told us that they just do fish and chips as a special meal on Fridays. There was a good crowd there, and it was worth it. I can see us going there again. I am not a huge fan of fish but I know it is good for us so I try to serve it once a week. But Chris really enjoys white fish and if someone else is cooking it, that is fine by me!
I have managed to do some more of my blanket as the weather has been a little cooler, and I can see me sitting outside to do some in the afternoons now, like I did in the Spring. I love this time of year, when it is comfortably warm outside, but not too hot. But Chris fished the thermometer out of the pool and the water temperature has dropped to 22º, so I don't think I'll be doing much more swimming this year. That is the borderline temperature for me to start using it in the Spring, so I guess it is also the line to stop using it now.
I have had two little parcels this week with some small items of craft materials in, so I am looking froward to using those. One was some new sparkly ink brush pens, and they are lovely bright colours and dry with a real sparkle. They will work well on some of my greetings cards.
So now I will end with another couple of skies. You have seen the sunsets so here are two more sunrises. We do seem to be getting more colour in the sky in the mornings than in the evenings at the minute. You know what they say about red sky in the morning.... Our forecast is promising some rain and high winds for next week, though it is staying nice and warm, so we shall have to wait and see.
This is the view we see as we step out of our door in the morning. Such pretty colours all around.
But this morning the sky was a dull silver with no colour, and I had actually put my phone in my bag in case there was a nice sunrise! But as we got to the front of the village and were walking up the slip road, I glanced behind me and from no-where this had appeared. So I got my photo after all. I like the silhouette of the tall pine tree against it. (Shame about the lamp posts!).
So now it's off to link with Annie's Friday Smiles and Rocking Your World at Celtic House, and I'll hopefully meet up with you all again next week.