Hi folks. let's start with a smile. I saw this during the week and it really made me smile.
Be honest. Did you glance at it and see a fried egg? I know I did. It was only when I read the caption that I looked again and saw what it really was.
It reminded me of my very special cat Misty, who I had in UK for fifteen years. She was a Persian cross, and had a beautiful nature. She was my shadow and my friend, and I was so sad when she died. She would have stayed still enough for me to take a photo like this too. Here she is, sitting on the rabbit hutch, waiting for me to hang the washing out. Then she would have followed back indoors again.
It has been a funny old week, with not much happening at all. I went out a couple of times at the start of the week, to take a friend to some appointments, because she had a problem with her eyes and couldn't see to drive. But apart from that, it has been the sort of week when you stay indoors unless you have to go out. They were right about us catching the edge of the cold snap, so as well as chilly winds,and a fair bit of rain, yesterday, we did see some snow!
We are lucky in our village of Los Gallardos. We are in a sort of a hollow and the weather fronts hit the surrounding mountains and dissipate, so the snow didn't land in our streets. But I have often shown you the view of the Cabrera mountains that we get from our back yard, and from the front gate, and normally they are bathed in sunlight. But when we got up yesterday morning they looked like this.
The temperature did drop to zero in the night, and it didn't rise much all day. But we still got off lightly. All along the Mediterranean coast, there was a good layer of snow on the beaches, which is almost unheard of. This photo was taken by friend who sings in our choir. He only lives a twenty minute drive along the motorway from us. He was reassuring us that he and his partner had cleared the drives and their restaurant is open for business as usual. I'm not sure he will get too many customers though.
Because it is so unusual to see snow around here (it is thirteen years since any was recorded this low), my Spanish friends have been quite excited by it. I have seen photos of them on Facebook, where they have driven their children to where they can make a snowman, because if they are twelve or under, they have probably only ever seen it in pictures before.
Of course it isn't likely to stay for long. It has already gone from the Cabreras today, as we had some watery sunshine after a night of steady rain. But I will be happier when it warms up just a little. With stone floors and draughty windows, our houses don't lend themselves to being cosy, and if the sun shows its face and you can find a spot out of the wind, it is often warmer outside than indoors. But I am grateful that we do at least have the gas fire in the sitting rooms for the evenings, and little halogen heaters in Chris' office and my craft room. Roll on summer! I'll soon be complaining that I am too hot!
Evenings by the fire means that I have made more progress with my blanket. The cold gets into my bones so I haven't wanted the weight of my blanket pulling on my shoulders this week, and instead I have made a start on the squares that I was saying last week, will go around the blanket to make it big enough, before I work the nine rounds of border. There are two designs, each using colours taken from the main blanket, so I think it will look quite good. Here is one of each. They will alternate all around the blanket. I have made five so far, but I think it will take quite a few to do all four sides.
Don't ask me why, but each square pattern has a name. The one on the left is Lydia and the one on the right is Jack! At least it will brighten up my evenings as I make them, and our bedroom when it is finished.
And now to share a heartwarming story that has made the headlines in local papers, and caused a stir on Facebook this week. On Tuesday a lady walking in Vera Town saw a galgo (Spanish greyhound) who was seriously underfed, foraging for food amongst the bins, despite having a broken front leg. She managed to gain the dogs trust enough to capture her and brought her to my vet in Turre. They fed her, and as an X-ray showed the leg had a clean break, Ellen was able to set it and bandage it up at the surgery. She noticed that the dog was producing milk and was anxious that there may be puppies somewhere who wouldn't survive long in the cold. So as soon as she was able to walk, they put her on a long lead and took her back to where she had been found. She set off straight away and they followed her for 3 km, when she led them to an abandoned building. Behind it there was an old car with cardboard across it windows. She slipped in through a slightly open front door, and when they looked inside, they found not one or two, but ten little puppies, still with their eyes closed, huddled together in a nest their mother had made from rags, on the back seat. They were still all alive so they were collected up and taken back to the vet's clinic with their mum. All are doing well. The mother has been called Vera after the town where she was found. She is being well fed, though it will be a while before she gets some meat on her bones again, with all that litter of pups to feed. I popped into the vets yesterday to see them, and she looked very contented with her babies all nestled around her. Two of them had opened their eyes over night.
It is amazing that after such a short acquaintance, she trusted the two ladies enough to take them to her babies, and now she is being rewarded. The vet is working with the galgo rescue society in Madrid, to find homes for them all when they are old enough to be separated.
Another little thing that cheered me up this week, is when I noticed that the almond blossom is appearing. The trees in the green zone behind our house are very old, and not looked after at all, but every year they produce blossom, usually a week or two earlier than most trees because they are in a sheltered hollow. And the flowers don't seem to have been affected by the cold winds and rain either. So it is a sign that Spring is just around the corner.
Needless to say, I have found myself in my craft room most afternoons this week, so I finally managed to make my third and last calendar. I know it is only just over a week before I turn the January page over, but at least it is on show for that little while. The original calendar I made, that I sold so many of this year before Christmas, is hanging on my craft room wall with all the birthdays marked that I make cards for. On the other side of the room, above my computer, is my all year on one page calendar that is such a useful reference resource, when I am typing or talking to people on Skype. But the third one I need is down in the kitchen to put reminders of events on. I usually wait to see whether I am given one at Christmas, before I make one, but this year I wasn't, and it has taken me a while to find time to do it. I had a template pack ready that I bought from a scrap-book site. Every page is ready to go with different numbers and shapes of frames each month to put photos in. The rest of the pages are in layers so you can personalise them in Photoshop with your own choice of papers and embellishments. So I used photos each month that were taken in the corresponding month last year, so I can look back and remember what we were doing a year ago. Then I had fun searching through my rather extensive collection of digital scrap-book kits, to find ones that matched the photos. Here are a few of the pages to show what I mean.
I enjoyed doing it and it made a change from cards. But the rest of my gold vinyl has arrived (I ordered the correct one this time), so now I shall be concentrating on making wedding invitations for a week or two.
Yesterday morning I was invited to meet with a couple at a coffee shop in town, who had been given my name by a friend. They wanted to give a donation to ASADIS, the charity for disabled children in our area, so this week I will be talking to the founder Cati, and helping to make that happen. I am always warmed by the generosity of people who give to local causes, without knowing the people or having any personal involvement. They just hear of a need, and feel they can help, which is so lovely. I am just glad I can help in some small way.
So now here are a couple of pretty skies. By tea-time yesterday, the sky was clear and as I looked at the darkening blue sky I thought "Oh well; there won't be any sunset tonight"
Then as I turned to go indoors, at the front of the house, I saw the sky was a lovely apricot orange.
The sun behind me was gone from sight, but the clouds in front had managed to pick up some colour from it. I stood looking at it, and while I watched, it quickly changed to a pink and then purple, and within a few minutes it had gone.
I hurried through the house to front door, and a bit further round, the shifting clouds made this 'stag beetle' shape and then that died away too.
I love the way it changes in colour and shape even while you are watching and I was so pleased I chose just that moment to go and look, or I would have missed it.
Now I shall surprise them over at Rocking Your World, and Annie's Friday Smiles, because I am linking up a few hours earlier than usual, so I can go down to a warmer room for the evening. Followers of these blogs will know that Lisca usually posts quite early in a Friday. I expect she will have some snowy photos today too as she lives higher up and further inland that I do, so she will have got much more snow that us.