Friday, June 16, 2017

Rocking Your World 2017: Week 24

Hi to all my dear friends and family. On a week such as this, when the news has been filled with horror, anger and grief, it can be hard to find anything that 'Rocked your world' in a good way. But here we are at our usual Friday spot, so let's look back at the last few days, and dig out those heart-warming moments that keep us all going.

Well Sunday was a good day. We are still, (and likely to be for some months to come) in a state of 'inter regnum' at our church, which means that we are without a vicar, so we are inviting a stream of locums to come for a few weeks each, to keep us going until a replacement can be found. I have to say, we have had some lovely visiting clergy, who, as well as leading our worship,  have joined in with everything we do. But there is always a question mark in our minds when a new one arrives, as they are all 'unknown quantities' to us. This Sunday was no exception, and there was an added tinge of uncertainty as we had been told our next visiting priest was an American lady in her eighties! As people arrived for the service there was a lot of anticipatory chatter in the congregation.


But we need not have worried. She was delightful. She was thoroughly enjoying our sunshine and heat without the humidity of her home in Florida. She came with her husband who was also very friendly, and they happily posed for our resident photographer.
After the service we had a bring-and-share lunch to welcome them, and as usual the table was weighed down with a wide range of food for us all to enjoy.

The whole week we have enjoyed clear blue skies, and although the temperature has been in the mid thirties every day, we have managed to get things done when we needed to, and siesta or cool down in the pool when there was nothing urgent to do.

Each morning we walk the dogs, earlier now before it gets too hot, and we take them passed the new roundabout being built at the front of the village, so we can check on its progress. Even when we are there just after 8.00, the men are already busy. The main structure has been built, and this week they have been building it up in two layers.
It is a long oval, rather than a circle, and although we are not quite sure haw the various roads will lead into it, they have built some islands to divide the lanes.
This morning we saw four olive trees with large root balls, stacked at the side of the centre, and one had been planted in the top level.
When I drove passed it on my way home tonight, the men were busy planting the last one. (Just to the right of the Stop sign).
Across the centre of the oval there is a wide channel which will be a pedestrian crossing for people wanting to walk from the village to the urbanisation of Huerta Nueva on the other side of the main road. This road carries a constant stream of big lorries on their way to Garrucha docks, and it is very dangerous to cross at busy times. There have been a few fatalities there, hence the new roundabout. We are looking forward to it being complete, as it will give us a nicer and safer walk with the dogs each morning.

So what else has made me smile this week. 
Well it was lovely to call in to see a friend who has recently had a hip replacement, and is only just feeling up to receiving visitors. So we called in on our way to choir practice on Wednesday evening, and had a good catch-up.

I have spent several days with my friend Elspeth, doing more packing for her, and I am happy to say it is almost done now. I think she has agreed to return to UK a bit earlier than she planned, where she will have her two sons to help her. I shall miss her when she is gone, but it will be a lot better for her.

Being taken out to lunch by my husband, yesterday and today. Poor Chris must be feeling a bit neglected and is probably tired of waiting until mid-afternoon for his dinner. And for me it is two days when I don't have to work in the heat of the kitchen, so win-win for both if us.

Little things like the vast blue sky each day; the light breeze that cools us down; the smell of hot earth when I hose the plants; finding a baby mandarine on our new tree when I thought it was barren this year. I hope it hangs on in there, so we can share it come the Autumn!
Finding a couple of light cotton day-dresses in Turre market so I can throw away some of last year's faded ones.

Managing to fit a bit of card-making around everything else, even if I haven't had time to write a blog post about them.

And finally catching a beautiful sunset one teatime, which came to a very fiery end.


So now I will link up with Annie's Friday Smiles and Rocking Your World. I hope you have also found something to smile at. If so follow me and share your smiles too.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Rocking Your World 2017: Week 23

Hi folks. Here we are at the end of another fairly ordinary week, which has flown on wings, and passed before I noticed it.

On Monday, when I was still trying to kick start myself to catch up on neglected housework, I took delivery of not one, but three parcels.
I knew the big squidgy white pillow was full of wool. I know, I know! I showed you my stash of wool a couple of weeks ago, and you are probably wondering why I needed more, but when I was sorting it into colours, I also sorted a bag of the right shades to complete a couple of projects, and there were some I needed more of. Also Stlyecraft have brought out three more colours in lovely soft shades of vintage rose, buttermilk and mushroom, so I needed one of each of those to complete my collection.
The little grey parcel contained 100 tiny gold, organza bags which I managed to find on ebay. They are not the sort of thing I can find in any of the shops out here. And then there is the large cardboard box which weighed a ton, and caused some raised eyebrows from the lady who delivered it. Inside was a huge jar of jelly beans! So if you have ever wondered what 4kg of jelly beans looks like, it is this.

I took the beans and the bags to my craft group on Wednesday and came home with these.
Seventy-five bags each with around 20 jelly beans in it. (I didn't need the last twenty-five so they have gone away for use in the future). These little babies will be coming with me to UK in a few weeks time, along with the seventy-five favour boxes still flat packed that I have made, and on the first night I am there, we will be assembling the boxes and popping a bag in each, ready for my sons wedding at the weekend. I will eventually show a photo of the Invitations, Boxes, Guest book and Post box that I have made, but not until after the event.

It has been very hot this week, so I haven't managed to do very much, but on Tuesday, Chris suggested we went down for a walk along the Playa before it got too dark. So we were down there around 8 o'clock which is a funny time because what holiday makers there are, have mostly left the beach and returned to their hotel or apartment to get ready for their evening meal, and the local youngsters don't emerge until much later, so it is fairly quiet, with just a handful of oldies like us, out for an evening stroll. There is a good wide promenade along most of the sea-front and we stayed on that. I was very tempted to dip my toes in the sea but I had a new pair of sandals on and I didn't want to put sandy feet back into them, so I resisted the urge. We walked right to the end of the beach and sat on the wall to rest before walking back again. Then we sat in a beach front bar to have a drink before driving home. We had a lovely view around the bay where the sun was still reaching a few of the buildings, though it had gone from us.
It stayed really warm all evening. I must say it is nice to go out at night and still feel comfortable in just a summer dress with no sleeves. I paid the price with several insect bites on my arms. They come looking for me, but Chris doesn't get bitten at all. It is actually nicer to be outside than indoors in the evenings now. This room is very warm and I have the ceiling fan going as well as a big floor fan on me now.

The next day it was a bit overcast. They had forecast a slight chance of rain, but of course, that didn't come. But it was just cloudy enough to give us a pretty sky at dusk. I took these two out at the back of us. The sky was such a pretty colour, and the little birds were swooping around, and coming in to nest for the night. 

I stayed out for while and I saw the moon rising. I spent a while trying to get a photo of it. This was the best one. It was just beginning to wane, and I was quite pleased with the detail I managed to get on my little camera.

For the past couple of days I have been busy trying to help a friend pack up her house. She is a widow in her eighties and quite frail, and her sons want her to move back to UK nearer to them. One of them came over and did quite a lot of packing for her last week, but now she is on her own again, and she is really struggling. And the hot weather is just making everything more difficult. So I spent a lot of time yesterday, emptying her cupboards and double wrapping tea and dinner services. Today I went back and did some more, but she was not at all well and I persuaded her to go to bed and rest while I got with on with it. I don't want to see any more bubble wrap for quite a while!
We have got a big stack of boxes that are ready now. Her hall is almost full. Tomorrow I will pick up a few bits at the shops for her, while I am out doing my own shopping, and then I will leave her in peace for the weekend. She has a hospital appointment on Monday which I think will be quite enough for her for that day, so I am going back on Tuesday to climb the ladder and empty the top cupboards all round the kitchen so she can sort out what she wants to keep, and I'll get that packed for her.

And that's it for another week. I have spent half the evening chatting with my sister on Skype, so blame Jean if I don't get this posted before midnight. I've already missed midnight out here, but I might just make it before midnight in UK.

Finally here is a lovely sunset I caught yesterday. The sky was overcast so there wasn't much colour in it, but how lovely and tranquil it is all the same.

Before I go I had better just link this to Rocking your World on Virginia's blog, and Annie's Friday Smiles.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Rocking Your World; Week 22


Well, if this picture doesn't start you off with a smile, nothing will!


I saw it on Facebook and I really laughed. From my own experience with them, I can say that with Persian cats, there is not a lot of cat under all the fur, and of course, Arwen is half the size just after one of her shaves.

Tango was sitting on my lap this afternoon and I showed it to him. I don't think he was amused!
Perhaps he thought I was going to bath him!

Well cats and water don't usually mix very well, but Arwen is a bit odd this Spring/Summer. She has lived in my craft room ever since I rescued her in 2010, when she looked like this.
She had had a dreadful life, and by choice she has not really left my room since then, although the door is almost always open. She lays by the open window and watches the rest of the animals but that is all. But this Spring she has stared coming down the passageway to sit in Chris's office or the kitchen, and even followed me outside once, but she hisses at the other cats and runs back in when she sees them.
She is a bit of a grazer so I leave her food always available, and next to it there is a bowl of water, which is constantly renewed because she has a urinary tract condition and it is important that she drinks enough. But this week her water bowl remained untouched, and instead she has been sitting in the bath, appealing with her big green eyes for us to turn the tap on. We let it run gently and she stands lapping it for several minutes at a time. And then she goes back to her space on my work desk and licks her feet until they are dry! She's an odd one! I tried to get a picture of her last night but the light was not good, and her little pink tongue moves so fast you can hardly see it.
I will have to be careful what I leave on my desk if she is going to be jumping on it with wet feet too often.

This has actually been another quiet week because I found I needed more time to rest quietly to shake off this virus.
I have been starting my morning by taking my cup of tea, and sometimes my breakfast, round to the back of the house, which is partially shaded, and pleasantly cool early on.
I sit and enjoy watching the little birds diving around over the green zone, and the occasional cat, stalking through the long grass. (Sorry. It is almost the same as last week's photo but it was taken on a different day).
Across the road from the front of our house, the people are having a new swimming pool built so there has been a constant flow of diggers, and lorries of sand or gravel up and down, and on top of that, there is the major road work being done on the main road at the bottom of the village, but out at the back, none of that can be heard. There are no people moving around across the green zone, and hardly ever a voice that reaches me. If I turn slightly to the right I can see the pretty double oleander in bloom, and beyond that a few houses which are empty for most of the year, and in the distance are the Cabrera mountains with their ever changing colours. And it struck me how very blessed I am to have this little oasis of calm and tranquility to go to, to recharge my batteries when I need to.

Just beyond the back railings there is a small strip of land which is part of our ground, but it is not usable as it slopes steeply down to rocks and piles of dead wood. We throw plants over there that we no longer want in the garden, but don't like to throw away, and sometimes they take root, sometimes they die. The most successful of these is the cacti that had to be moved from near the front gate, because it caught on our skin and clothes, as well as the dogs fur. Since being there, it has produced lots of new growth, and every years it has very pretty yellow flowers along each 'ear'. They are out at the minute, and the bright pink bougainvillea that we are encouraging to grow along the railings, had dropped one branch out across the cacti. The yellow and pink together look really pretty.
From where I was standing, behind the railings, I thought each flower had a bright beetle in it, so I zoomed in on one to take a picture and it turned out to be a green centre to the flowers!

Apart from some essential food-shopping yesterday, I have not left the house much all week, but I did drive down to Mojacar late on Monday afternoon, to run a small errand for a lovely friend of mine, who is moving back to UK to be with her son. She is elderly and is finding the heat this week makes it difficult for her to do the things that need to be done. Fortunately her son has come over to help for a few days, but I felt the drive was something I could manage. 
When I got down there the sea was lively enough to be interesting and the sand was smooth and very Empty! Holiday season is July and August out here, but this was half term holiday in UK so I expected there to be more tourists around. Again I was struck by our good fortune, to have such a lovely area to live in, with a beautiful beach nearby, and just enough people to make it feel like a lively community, but none of the crowds that can spoil a sea-side location.
If you can enlarge this you may just see a handful of folk on the spit of sand in the distance, but that is all.
I have to admit that when I got back home, I felt as though I had done a lot more than a twenty minute drive, and I ended up sleeping on the settee for an hour before tea, which made me realise that I wasn't quite ready to  get back into my usual busy life.

My only regret from a restful week, is that I missed an event last weekend that I would have liked to attend. Our church is one of a 'family of three' all very small but all part of the same Chaplaincy. The original one is outside Mojacar, and a second one is at Aljambra, way out in the campo beyond Albox. Our is the newest one, being only three years old. The one at Aljambra is the smallest with a congregation of between half a dozen and twenty people, but this was their tenth anniversary, and they celebrated with a flower festival. It was well supported by businesses in Albox as well as individuals who all donated flower arrangements, and from the photos I have seen, it looks as though it was lovely. People from all the Chaplaincy churches supported them.
Cut flowers are quite a luxury out here, and of course, most have a fairly short life, but these really do look beautiful. I was sorry not to get to see them, but I am glad it was a success. One of my friends had led the preparations, and I know how much work she had put in to it.

The upside of being at home more is that I have had plenty of craft time so I have managed to finish the favour boxes for my son's wedding and make the cover for their guest book. There is just a post box to make now. (I have ordered 4kg of jelly beans from Amazon which should arrive early next week. Then I will have to make the fillings for my little boxes so they are ready to fold together when I get to UK). I also had time to make a couple of cards, one for one of my sisters who will be 89 later this month, and one for a challenge that I am guest designer for in July. I will be writing posts about them both on my craft blog very soon.

I had a crafty surprise this week too. I don't expect mail very often. Apart from the odd craft stamp or die, very little arrives in an envelope for me, so when Chris checked our box yesterday and handed me an envelope, I was very surprised. And I was even more surprised when I saw what was inside. Not one, but two lovely ATCs; one from our dear friend Annie, and one from her sister Jo. It is a long time since I had a new ATC and I am thrilled to bits with them. What clever friends I have made in blogland!
It gave me a lovely lift at the end of a rather dull week!

As I am finally beginning to feel that I am back on track, I went down to Turre market this morning. There are lovely cherries around now, and the first of the peaches and nectarines. Something we could not buy here at all when we first came out, are raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries, but they are now available in Lidls and occasionally some of the other supermarkets, so I came home with a mixture of them all and this afternoon I made ten jars of mixed summer fruits jam. It is not something I have made before, and I am not likely to again, as the berries come in very small punnets and are too expensive to use for jam very often, but it has set well, and it should have a good flavour. I put one jar in the fridge so it would cool enough to try at tea time! (Update - It tasted very good. Even Hubby approved!)
I like the way the bottom of the jars are picking up the sun from the window. The pink in the background is the more common mauve bougainvillea that still grows abundantly along the side fence, despite us cutting it almost to the ground last autumn.

So that's another week gone. Four more and we are half way through the year.

I will finish with two more little smiley faces. Not my photos of course, but their mummy keeps me up to date with regular photos. They are of course, my two great-grandsons who I last saw almost two years ago, when Alfie was still a baby. I love this photo of him among the daisies.

And here is his brother who looks more like his daddy in every photo I get. They are such happy little fellows and always have a smile for the camera.

They are coming out to visit us in August, and I am really looking forward to the opportunity to get to know them properly.

Right so now it is time to link up with Annie's Friday Smiles and Rocking Your World. I hope to see you there.



Friday, May 26, 2017

Rocking Your World 2017: Week 21


As a young girl I had the song "The Lion Sleeps tonight" in my very limited collection of records which I played on an old Dansette player donated by an older sister, and I would sing it top volume up in my room, all the time. So when I saw this on Facebook this week, it really made me smile. I hope most of you can remember it, and appreciate the picture too.

And while on the subject of lions and Facebook, Fb has a habit of starting your day posting a memory from your page, which only you can see unless you share it. I normally pass over mine, but apparently it is just three years since this 'little lion' joined our family. The vet deemed him to be around three years old, and he was in a very sorry state as he had been living rough for some time. Just before I took this photo he had been sedated to have most of his body fur shaved off, while he was bathed and treated for various parasites, and he had been sterilized. So no wonder he doesn't look very happy. He was also very thin and mal-nurished.
He may not look it (he can't help the shape of his face!), but he is a much happier and healthier fellow now. My son soon learned that Tango loves to be rubbed under his chin, and he sat and nursed him for ages.

And here is one extra smile, for me and my family members who read this blog. As I looked at today's date, I realised that it would have been my dad's 110th birthday! Sadly he lost his fight with cancer over thirty years ago, six weeks before my fourth son was born, but it still makes me smile to think of him. He taught me all I know about gardening, and introduced me to the wonder of baby frogs in the pond, and the insects that still fascinate me. I wonder what you would have thought of all the tropical flowers and strange bugs we have out here dad. This photo was taken at my marriage to Chris, before the illness took hold , and it is how I like to remember him.

It hasn't been the very best week this week as we had to say 'Good-bye' to our son Ben and his partner Dave on Thursday, and I really miss having them around. But also, the throat virus that really knocked me back in January, has come back to haunt me. I knew I had a sore throat a couple of weeks ago but I hoped it was just a bit of irritation because of the wind, pollen and dust, but it gradually got worse. It was good in a way that the boys were here, because they kept me going. Fortunately they came out only wanting to relax, so we mostly sat around on the patio, them in the sun to build up a tan, and me in the shade. I decided it wasn't wise to join Ben in the pool, but he had a dip most days.

As I have mentioned before, he does love to sing, so last Friday night we went into a different karaoke bar in Turre where we had been told there were some semi-professional singers most weeks. Sure enough, the standard was high, but Ben held his own among them and had a really good night. One of his 'party pieces' is the song Anthem from Chess, but it is not often available at karaoke sessions. However the man doing it in this place had access to the internet and was able to bring up the backing track. There were no words but Ben knows them so that didn't matter. When he started singing it the whole bar went quiet to listen, which doesn't often happen, and he got a huge round of applause at the end.

On Friday, Ben and Dave celebrated their anniversary - nearly thirteen years together, and five since their Civil partnership ceremony, but since they wanted to go to the karaoke session that night, we decided to go out for a special meal on Saturday. We told them about a few of our favourite eating places near here and they went to look and settled on a little Italian place in between Mojacar Playa and Pueblo. It is years since we ate there, but I am pleased to say the food was as good as we remembered, the setting was lovely, and the staff friendly and efficient, so it was a good meal. We took photos of each other across the table.
When we left the restaurant, the sun was just setting behind the hills, and it looked so lovely. Shame about all the pylons and posts!

We drove home along the sea front and stopped for a short stroll along the promenade to wear some of our dinner off. I love the sea in the evening when there is a pearly pink tint in the sky and everywhere looks so peaceful.

I am glad to say the weather was perfect for their holiday, hot, but comfortable to sit out in. They were both sensible about using sun cream and went home looking very tanned and like you should after a good holiday. They only sat out in it for half-hour stints and then came back into the shade for a while, and we all embraced the wonderful Spanish tradition of afternoon siestas!

Now though, it is hotting up rapidly with temperatures well over 30ยบ and I have got all the ceiling fans going. And of course, this means the end of all the green we have been enjoying this Spring. The green zone behind our house is now covered in dead brown weeds. One of the grasses is taller than the rest and it has open, white seed heads almost like a field of oats. They look very pretty but soon they will fall over and be trodden down by the children who play there, and folk walking their dogs. The orange trees are almost ever-green, but because this area is neglected, they too will mostly drop their leaves eventually, but at least for now they remain green.

A few weeks ago I showed how the rain had caused little seedlings to appear around the orange and other fruit trees next door, and soon they were surrounded by a green carpet. Now it looks like a waste land.
The house is on the market, so, as the owner doesn't live here now, she employs men to keep the grounds tidy, so any day now they will come in with a rotavator and it will all be cleared, leaving just brown mud again.
Where her land joins ours, there have been some very pretty wild flowers but they too have gone to seed. One plant that grows all over the campo starts with pink flowers that gradually turn purple and then a deep blue, and sometimes it has all three colours showing on one plant. It is very pretty but someone warned me not to pick it as the hairs on the stems and leaves can be a strong irritant. Now there are mostly just the blue flowers left.

But not everything is getting scorched by the sun. I regularly get the hose out in the evening, alternating between the front and back areas of garden, and our tall pink rose is showing its appreciation of my attention, and is looking really good, though most of the other roses are coming to an end now.

We had to get up a bit earlier than usual on Thursday to drive the boys over to Murcia airport. We left home at 7.30 just as the sun was breaking through a light layer of cloud, and as we drove along, it gradually got stronger. I tried to catch it on camera, but it is never easy taking photos from a moving car. This is about the best one. 

We were back home by 11.00 and since then I have mostly laid on the settee and slept. The meds I have been taking for my headache and sore throat make me very sleepy. But this morning I thought I had better do something useful before I dozed off again, so  sorted out my yarn stash. I was working on my blanket the other night and I ran out of a colour wool that I was sure I had more of, but I couldn't find it. I have limited choice of wool out here, and it is in thicknesses that I am not used to, with no patterns designed to use with it, so it is difficult to adjust the tension and judge what size I should be doing. So I mainly order wool on-line from UK, and I stick to one make so that I can use it in any combination. It comes in a huge 85 different colours and I try to have at least one ball of each colour in my store. So the first thing I did was to tip everything out and arrange it along the setee in colour groups. Here are the blues, purples, greens, red and pinks.
Over on the other setee are the yellows, oranges, browns and neutrals.
I then sorted out what I will need to finish the two projects I am currently working on, made a note of any colour that I have less than a full ball of, and any that I have none of, and then I put it away in the big organza bags that my orders arrive in, with one bag for each colour group, so now it will be much easier to look for a certain colour when I want it. (I did find a ball of the one I wanted the other night). I have to confess, I then went to my computer and ordered the new colours and the ones I am low on, so my collection will soon be compete again!

Now my eyes are drooping again, so I will link up with Rocking Your World, and Annie's Friday Smiles, and have another early night.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Rocking Your World 2017: Week 20

Hi. I am here with a fast but photo heavy post. We are going out in an hour so here goes. I'll start with my Smile of the week - our son Ben wearing my straw sun hat because he needed to shade his eyes to read his book.

Ben and his partner Dave arrived last Saturday morning and were immediately thrown into village life as it was the fiesta for San Isidro.  There were local horse owners riding through the streets, as well as the village band playing.

After a mass at the church, they followed a small cart bearing the statue of San Isidro, as it made its way through the streets and up to the sports-recreational area at the top of the village.
We arrived in time to find a space for our chairs, and we joined the many families who had gathered to enjoy what was a beautiful, sunny day.
The highlight is the 'Grand Paella' traditionally provided by the Town Hall, which is free to all comers. Because San Isidro is the saint of the poorer villagers who are agricultural workers and fishermen, the paella is decorated with flowers made from fruit and it looks lovely.
At around 2.00 everyone lines up and huge portions are handed out to everyone along with bread, and we all find a corner to sit and eat, in the shade of a tree if possible. Our visitors enjoyed their's.
After that we went back to the house so Ben and Dave could have a siesta, as they had left home at 4.00 that morning to get to the airport. (We had a siesta too but in fairness we had to leave at 8.30 to go and collect them).

Well rested we set off for Turre for a karaoke session at a little bar we have been to before - because Ben does love to sing. It turned out that there was a big function in Turre that night so there were far less people than usual in the bar, so he ended up singing at least a dozen songs, which were very much appreciated.
It was almost midnight when we got home but we had a wander up to the top of our road to see how the village folk finish off their fiesta celebration. A stage is built across the road and band with singers entertain from around 11.30 until the early hours of the next morning. Spanish folk love to dance, and there were several couples 'getting into the groove' just below the stage.
Although it was so late, there were people milling around, and the street was quite crowded up by the stage. There were a couple of street bars set up, so we stayed for a drink and then we left them to have a good time and went home to bed.

Ben is keen to get back to full fitness after his cycling accident in February so he is following a running schedule that he wanted to keep going while he is over here. It is a bit warm for running now, but he has done very well. This was his facebook post after his first run. At least he took time to appreciate the pretty jacaranda trees in full bloom along the front of the village.
As you can see, he has also made good use of our pool, so it was worth Chris' while to get it in Summer condition, ready for their visit.

Since his run, the main road has been somewhat disrupted as they have finally started work on a roundabout that has been promised for months, if not years. Opposite the village there is an urbanisation called Huerta Nueva (New orchard/garden), and it is difficult to cross the busy main road to get to its lead-in road. There have been some fatal accidents there, and it was decided to build a roundabout which will make access easier and slow down the heavy lorries that use that road to get down to Garrucha docks. As we understand it, there will, be pedestrian access to H.N. via a pelican traffic light system, giving pedestrians priority over traffic. We will see when it is all done. Here is an aerial photo of the road posted by the local authority. The white circle shows where the roundabout will be, and if you click on it to enlarge it, directly to the right of it there is a small blue cross which marks where our house is.
The project is going to take two months to complete, but I think it will be a real improvement when it is done.

We have sort of been alternating between eating at home one day, and out the next, and last night we decided to have a barbecue at home. Our barbecue is housed inside a small enclosure which gives the 'chef' some shade from the mid-summer sun which can make manning it quite an ordeal. Last night Ben took on the role of chef and a good job he made of it too.

Markets are not dad's idea of a fun way to pass the time, but this morning I took Ben and Dave to the market in Garrucha. They took the chance to buy a couple of shirts etc and then we walked back to the car along the sea-front. They have been together for almost 13 years, and five years ago they had a Civil Partnership ceremony. Today is their fifth anniversary so here is their anniversary photo taken with the gravel barge in Gurrucha harbour in the background.
We were going out for a celebration meal tonight but we decided to defer it until tomorrow so we could go for another karaoke session tonight.

So now I must go and get ready but I will leave you with one more photo. Not a sun set this time. Instead it a perfect sun-halo that we spotted yesterday, apparently made by the sun's rays passing through ice crystals in the cirrus clouds around it. It was an interesting sight to see.

Now I will link up with Annie's Friday Smiles and Rocking Your World, and will be back tomorrow to read all your happy posts.