It is a photo of our five sons, and although we couldn't be with them this time, it always makes me smile to see them enjoying some time together, and they always try to pose in a picture together for me.
And I did have the next best thing to being there. The occasion was our youngest son Ben's thirtieth birthday party, which he went ahead with, and thoroughly enjoyed, despite having both hands strapped up after his bike accident last week. A friend had made a cake for him, depicting his favourite pass-time which is playing his piano, and when it was time to give it to him, and sing "Happy Birthday" of course, they rang me on Skype so I could join in with them. Just behind the cake, my grand-daughter is holding the phone I was linked with. Isn't technology wonderful?
We've had another dull, and sometimes very cold week, but nothing to compare with what the UK has suffered with Storm Doris, at least around the area where my family live, so I hope you all stayed safe, especially yesterday when she seemed to be wreaking havoc everywhere.
We had been promised rain on Wednesday, but it didn't come by the evening. Then I thought we were in for a real thunder storm. The sky was a menacing yellow/red colour as I drove to choir practice at tea-time, but I suddenly realised that it wasn't because of the weight of water in the clouds. It was because they were full of dessert sand again. Driving home again around 9.00, there were some bright flashes of lightening in the hills around me, but I didn't hear any thunder, and there were only light showers of rain. But the sand fell continually so I had to use the screen washers and lots of water to clear the window every few minutes. The next morning everywhere was a mess. I had cleaned up after it fell last week, but this was the worst we have seen, and there were posts on the internet telling us not to clear it yet, as there is more to come in the next few days!
I was wandering around the garden on Thursday to see what damage it had done, and I saw this beautiful rose that was blooming quite out of season in our front garden, and it too was speckled with brown sand. So I gave it a gentle spray with the hose to wash it off.
Anyway, after the sandy rain, yesterday was warm and sunny, at least for the morning. There was still a lot of sand in the air, but the sun won through, so we went down to Mojacar to visit a specialist shop on the Playa. It didn't feel so very windy but the sea was 'lively', just how I like to see it.
Our beach is sand and shingle and I love to hear the waves breaking on it. As usual I stood for ages trying to catch one wave on camera just as it broke. It is very difficult, but I did manage this one that I was quite pleased with.
We stayed down there and had our lunch at an outside café, and it was really lovely just sitting in the sun.
I love this time of year out here. The spring flowers are beginning to bloom and everything grows so well. We have whole fields of mauve and yellow.
These are the two flowers that are blooming so profusely. The yellow is the oxalis that I mentioned a few weeks ago. You can't go anywhere at the minute without seeing some, either on rocky outcrops, along the verges of the roads, or covering whole fields and spaces under trees. The lilac one is very similar to a wild stock and it too grows everywhere, though it seems to prefer the open ground. I stopped on the way to the supermarket this morning to take these photos, and they weren't the only wild flowers I saw. On the edge of the lilac field there were also white and orange flowers. I love the orange ones which are like very tiny marigolds.
And finally, this flower is also beginning to open now. It too grows along the sides of the road, and it reminds me of one I used to cultivate in the garden in UK. It stands tall and proud above the other plants, and although the wind makes it dance, the stems don't break, and it flowers for months.
Here is one last picture of the place where I stopped this morning which I have included, because if you look beyond the flowers to the hills and the little white village behind it, you can see by the misty effect, just how much sand is still in the air all around us.
We have a narrow paved piece of land running behind our house, where we sometimes sit looking out over the green zone. It is a real sun trap there, so in the middle of summer it is too hot to even stand there for a few minutes, but in Spring and Autumn, and even winter when the wind is not blowing that way, it is a nice peaceful spot to sit and read or enjoy an early morning cuppa. We have had a heavy garden chair there ever since we moved in, but the cane furniture we put there had rotted in the sun, so we have managed with an old white plastic chair when we both want to sit there. This week a friend was selling a pair of the heavy chairs so we bought them off her. Yesterday we bought the right stain for the wood, and metallic paint for the arms and frames, as our own was in need of painting, as are the ones we have just bought. So as soon as the weather decides to give us a proper clear day, we will get them done. They all fit together very well, and it looks a lot better than it did.
Last week I made a birthday card that involved some paper piercing and beading, and I entered it in a blog challenge.
It was nice to hear this week that I had won a prize, so that is something to look forward to.
As well as card making, I have done some digital scrapbook layouts too. I have finally got around to doing four more pages for my album "Our holiday in Ireland", which was in 2012!!
So I will leave you with three of the pages, a single one and two that are meant to be a pair and will be opposite one another in my album. I have the next two planned and I am hoping to get them made tonight.
And I finished the week on a good note too, because last night I prepared lots of vegetables and left them in salt over night, and today I made a double batch of picalilli. I have a couple of people waiting for some, so they will be happy when I take a few jars in to church on Sunday.