Friday, February 17, 2017

Rocking Your World 2017: Week 7

Here we are at Friday again already, so it is time to find the little things that have made us smile and feel grateful for all we have. I have had to dig quite deep this week, but there is always something there to lift me, so here goes.

First a photo that really made me smile. A niece of ours who lives in America, came across this old photo and posted it to Facebook. Dated November 1990, it shows our three youngest boys (two in the front and the little monkey hanging on the rails!), with their three cousins. The 'little monkey' is about to hit thirty this week - where did those years go! - but this brought back so many happy memories for me and for them. It was taken on the front step of Nanny's house, and all the children loved going to visit her.

The news that wasn't so good this week also involves Ben (Yes, the little monkey!). I came home from the shops on Tuesday to a phone message, taken by Chris, "Just to warn you I've had a bit of an accident. I wanted to tell you before you see it on Facebook". Of course I immediately thought of all the bad things he may have done, but it turned out to not be so very bad, though it is pretty devastating for him. He was cycling to work on a push bike - the fastest way to get through Birmingham traffic - and a combination of a corner taken too fast, wet leaves on the road, and a pedestrian who walked out against the traffic lights, found him falling sideways and hitting the pavement hands and face first. The damage, apart from bruised pride, is not one, but two broken wrists, and four damaged teeth! The left wrist has hairline fractures which will heal in a support given time. The right one is broken with bone pieces 'floating' so it is in a partial cast while it settles down, and next Tuesday he will have an operation to set it and fix a plate to hold it. One tooth will have to go but the others may recover with some cosmetic covering up. Next Wednesday, which is his birthday, he will have dental X-rays and then he will know what can be done. For now he is sipping soup, and feeling a bit sorry for himself. His main concern is that he will not be able to play his beloved piano for a few months, nor use his new games machine, but it could have been so much worse if he had fallen the other way towards the traffic, so there is still plenty to be grateful for.  I am so grateful too for Skype. I know I have said that before, but at times like these it is great to be able to chat to him for an hour or more when he is feeling down or bored, and I can see for myself how he is doing. Here is the photo he didn't want me to see until he had warned me. It was taken at the hospital while he was waiting for a scan.
He didn't look quite so chipper when the morphine wore off, but he is determined to enjoy his birthday party organised for tonight, with all his brothers and lots of friends. That's sons for you. I have five of them, so I am used to riding out all sorts of accidents, though as a family we don't usually damage bones. We are a tough lot in the Perry Tribe!

So what about the rest of the week. Well on Monday afternoon I was able to visit the teacher of the Special needs class in the village school. I went with Cati as we wanted to discuss new equipment for the children, but to save any misunderstandings, I also asked a Spanish friend from my Intercambio group to come and translate for us when needed. It was a really useful meeting which cleared up a lot of 'muddy' areas, and I got useful information to pass on as a report for the several English groups that I have helped, when they have wanted to give a donation to ASADIS for these children. So I have now written out an order form for a Spanish educational company and just need to meet with Cati again to get her details filled in, and then we can get it all sent off. It has taken six months at least to get this far, so I feel it is quite an achievement, and I am glad to see it moving forward at last.

On Wednesday we had our usual choir practice and we got stuck into a new set of songs that form quite a big medley. It was difficult at first, but we made good progress and next week we will all have practiced at home and will be able to consolidate it. I love the programme of music we are learning for our Spring/Summer concerts, but there is a lot to learn so we have to work hard at it to be ready in time.

Yesterday was dry but not too sunny, so we decided to spend the morning clearing the garden at the front of the house. The recent rain and sun had made everything grow so fast, including the weeds. This was our little front patch of land which was completely swamped with weeds.
In the centre there is a mound of earth surrounded by rocks, with our Bird-of-paradise tree in it. It has to be strapped back to stop it straining away from the dark wall, which is about to be smothered with pink jasmine flowers, so that got in the way a bit, but by lunch time I had it cleared, Chris had pruned the roses back hard, and the lower branches of the tree, and the mound could be seen again.
The pink pot on the left is the rose that my friend brought for me last week when I was unwell. It has already grown and has a bud on it, so we will get that planted  this week. We also weeded around the other pots and pruned where needed, and Chris swept up all the dead leaves and other debris that had blown in since Christmas.
Today I went to the market in Turre, and I came back with a young mandarine tree that will either go in a large pot, or somewhere in the little patch alongside the other tree.  I also bought two pink cyclamen. We have two pink pots on the ledge outside the garage window, but we don't have much success keeping plants in them, and they have sat empty for several months. But these flowers looked just perfect for them, so I thought I'd have another try.
And finally I bought a pink azealea, to go on the top layer of our porch planter. We still had our Christmas poinsettia in this, which had lost most of its leaves but it still had several big red heads of 'flowers' on it. We moved it down onto the path while Chris was hosing down the porch and surrounds, and the wind got it and broke most of the stems. So it was time to say 'Goodbye' to that, and now we have the new plant in its place. It needs a few days to settle in, but it is very pretty.

I had a little parcel this week from America with a new set of stamps and matching cutting dies in it, so one day I had fun using them to make a card which I will write a post about next week.

I have just been out to feed the dogs their tea and the sky is black as thunder. There is rain forecast for the next few days, and possibly on into next week too and it looks as though it may start tonight. We have had a few showers this week and they were what we call 'dirty rain', so we got up in the morning to find a layer of fine dust on everything, carried here in the rain from the Tabernas desert just inland from here, or across from Africa. This was the glass table top in our back porch. The windows in the car were like that too and I had to wash them every time I went out so I could see where I was going. So I hope if it does rain again next week, it will be a bit cleaner this time.
Inevitably the unsettled weather has given us some disturbed skies too. The first one was rather nice with a little black cloud trying, and failing to hide the sun, but the others show how windy it was up high, and how the rain clouds were constantly gathering and then dispersing again, but occasionally getting too heavy and releasing the rain.

So now I will link up with Annie's Friday Smiles and Rocking Your World, and see what you have all found to make you smile this week.


  1. Gorgeous photos Kate. Pleased to see your son isn't looking too bad after his accident it must have been an awful shock for you. That's interesting about the 'Dirty rain' I've heard about this before, we even saw some of it in France last year at the end of the ski season. Have a great weekend, Angela xXx

  2. Well done with the gardening....what a difference you've made. Love your flowers and your sky pics are as gorgeous as always.
    Annie x

  3. Hi Kate, so sorry to hear about your son. I hope his recovery goes well and that he has a great birthday party! I loved seeing your garden and your new plants. We are having a huge wind/rain storm here today in southern California. I love rain but I could do without the wind. Have a wonderful weekend and so happy that you are doing well. Take care, Pat xx

  4. Uh Oh - that 'Monkey" sure gave you a shock for the start of your week!!
    Sounds as though your choir work will be a challenge this summer Kate, but no doubt you will all learn the music and acquit yourselves well.
    Your plants all look lovely - I have an azalea like yours, and I love your cyclamen.

  5. Oh Gosh! Poor Ben! But as you say: it could have been so much worse....
    Yes, we had that 'Sahara' rain (as I call it)too.
    Your little front garden looks a picture now and with all those lovely colourful plants, the front of your house will look lovely.
    It's very sunny here today, but there is rain forecast. Oh well, it makes for interesting skies. Your sky pictures are beautiful.
    Have a good week and success with the new medley.

  6. So sorry that I am so late commenting, a full week as always. Your poor son - but like you said it could have been so much worth - he looks rather chipper in the photo all things considered, I hope he has a speedy recovery and is back playing the piano in no time.

    So glad you managed to sort out the translation issues and that you finally have your order sorting for the children, getting those sort of things right is so important, I used to work for a charity that had a group that met where the children were autistic, the need to get the equipment just right meant they had a fantastic time - so I appreciate where you are coming from on that one.

    You seem to be making great headway with the garden, the azalea is lovely, I was only talking about the fact you manage to keep your poinsettia outside this weekend when I was chatting with my Mum, mind you we've just got back from a short break to find a flurry of spring bulbs have suddenly bloomed - we only went away Friday!

    The skies are fantastic, I hope the rain doesn't last too long and hope it is much cleaner for you!

    Hope you have had a great weekend and week ahead.

    Much love


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