Friday, March 24, 2017

Rocking Your World 2017: Week 12

I am sure by now you all know that I can't look at a cloud (or a cliff face, or anything else for that matter), without seeing shapes in it. In general I see faces but not always, so when I spotted this picture this week, it made me smile, to know someone else is as daft as I am!

And here is something else which lifted my spirits. When I was so poorly with a virus just after Christmas, my friends Chris and her husband Phil came to visit me, and they brought me a rose plant in a little pot. As soon as I was feeling better, I cleared a space in our little bit of plantable soil and gave it a home. It immediately started to flourish and this week it has a flower.
Isn't it lovely? They had trouble deciding which one to buy but settled on this one because it was called KT-Rosa. There are a couple more buds on it, so it is doing very well for its first year.
As I came through the front garden the other day I went to look at a pot of squill, which have multiplied each year, and normally they have a cone of blue flowers from each bulb. This year there are none. I don't know if this is down to our odd weather this year, or because it is outgrowing its pot, but I will divide it up later in the year and see what happens next winter. But while I was there I saw a dear little viola flower peeping out between the squill leaves. It must have self seeded itself. Later I went back out to take a picture of it, and I found something had had half of it for lunch!
Whenever I hear people talking about our unusual weather, someone always says "But isn't it lovely and green everywhere, and the wild flowers are amazing this year!", and they truly are amazing. The oxalis are turning everywhere a bright, sharp yellow and there are whole fields covered with them where ever you look. On top of that, there are white and mauve flowers like I showed a few weeks ago, but far more of them now. But the one that has just arrived which I am not so keen on, is this.
Out here it is known by its proper name of acacia. I believe our Australian friends call it wattle, and in UK I knew it as mimosa. It used a be a luxury to have a spray or two in a wedding bouquet, but I think that may have gone out of fashion these days. Having looked it up on the internet I learned that mimosa is really a different plant but because they all come from the same wide family, and look so similar,  their names get interchanged, so I guess it will always be mimosa to me. And the reason why I am not so happy to see it appearing is because it grows everywhere in the wild, (not usually cultivated here), and each tree has thousands of flowers on it, and their pollen give me, and many others I know, hayfever! Fortunately I don't suffer as badly as some folk I know, but it is a constant irritant and you just can't escape from it. With all those flowers, there are also a lot of seeds and they germinate easily, and in the wild, no-one is weeding them out, hence the vast number of trees everywhere. I like the look of it, but many of the species around here are not such a pretty yellow. They are a darker, more brownish yellow. I much prefer another type of mimosa plant that grows here, which is also known as the silk tree, and it has long pink fans for its flowers. I was going to buy one for our garden, but the man at the garden centre told me they are too expensive to stock. Anyway, the ground will be yellow with pollen for a few weeks, and then it will be covered with brown dead flowers, followed by thousands of tiny black seeds, and then the long thin leaves fall. It's no wonder people who have one near their land, especially near their pool, keep cutting it down!

It has been another mixed week of days that are warm and sunny in the morning - hot even on some days - so we have been able to eat our meals outside, and I have sat out with my crochet some afternoons too, but then chilly later in the day. Today it is positively cold and I have had my fire on for a while, which is unheard of late in March. But it does mean I have been able to get on with my craft items for next week's sale. It is only a small affair, so I don't need lots of things, but I want enough to make my stall look nice, and I seemed to have a lot of half done projects. So this week I have concentrated on finishing them off. I still have a few to do, but this afternoon I sewed up this little teddy bear.
He was my first attempt at amigarumi crochet, which is making small figures all in double crochet stitch. He is rather cute but I found it awfully fiddly to put together with my fumble-fingers. I knew he was supposed to sit up but I thought he might need something to lean on so first off I sat him next to Arwin. She gave me 'The Look', so I hastily moved him and found he could sit unaided after all.

Cati sent me some nice photos this week of her children that are helped by ASADIS. Several years ago, when Gema was due to start school, I liaised between Cati, Gema's parents and The Lions group, when The Lions bought her a walking frame. At first her muscles were not strong enough for her to use it, but this year, the special needs class at the village school, has an excellent teacher, and he works with Gema in the walker every day, under the guidance of the physio therapist. One of the other children is helping out as well. 

She is gaining confidence now and although the teacher told me that she still needs help with her 'equilibrium', she can now stand unaided and is taking her first independent steps, which is great news. The teacher takes the children outside each day to talk about the weather, clouds etc, and I think in this picture she is laughing at her own shadow.

Yesterday was another local celebration know as the Day of the Old (or of the Grandparents). It is only celebrated in this region of AndalucΓ­a, and takes the form of a picnic, up at the area around the sports centre in our village. The origin of this was to give the workers one day when they could break their forty days of fasting for Lent, to enable them to continue working efficiently for the whole time. But around here, the picnic ends with the children all using sticks to break open pinatas made in the shape of old ladies, to get the sweets out of their heads. (Sometimes referred to jokingly as 'bash a granny day'!). It is a strange ritual, and one that I have not been able to learn any reason for, but it is a tradition which goes ahead regardless of the weather or anything else. We often take a picnic and go up there for a while. It is fun to watch the children enjoying it. But this year it was cold and windy and we opted to stay at home. However the Town Hall posted some photos today and it seems a lot of families wrapped up warm and sat enjoying a family picnic. Here is just one of the Grannies who was awaiting her fate.
Some families make their own figures, and other are made by a local day centre and sold in the village shops. Cati went into school and helped her little friends to make one, and she sent me this picture of them all.

Because there have been some clouds this week, we have almost had some pretty sunsets, but the clouds have been too thick by evening on some days. However, there was a lovely peachy pink colour in the sky when I was walking round to my Intercambio group on Tuesday, so I took a photo just to have a different skyline from the usual one in our back yard!
I then turned around and took this one,because I just love the shape of the big, old olive tree  on the rough ground where we start our dog walk each morning. If it were a cultivated tree, it would not have been allowed to grow this big. They are kept small to make picking the olives easier.

I turned out to be the first one at the group, so I continued walking for a bit,  and soon the sky colour deepened and turned pink. My Spanish friend came round the corner and saw me taking the photos, and she told me that in Spain, when the sky is that colour, then they say that the next day will be windy. So I told her our little rhyme "Red sky at night, shepherd's delight: Red sky in the morning, shepherd's warning". But she insisted it wouldn't be a nice day on Wednesday, just windy, and I think she was nearer the truth than I was!
And finally one from last night. After an afternoon of really black clouds that I was sure would drop rain on the pic-nics, it started to clear, and the wind split the clouds into layers giving us this stripey sky.
It has taken me ages to write this tonight. My computer wasn't in the mood to cooperate! So now I will just link up with Annie's Friday Smiles and Rocking Your World, and go and see what others have been up to this week.


  1. It's red nose on the telly tonight so I'm posting rather later than normal for me. I always love your skies but I have to say I did chuckle at the air guitar pic. I do love the celebrations you have over there but I'm not so sure about bashing a granny πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€ being a granny of course I wouldn't.
    Thanks for linking up Kate.
    Annie x

  2. Hi dear Kate, a great post as usual so good to join up even tho dont have the time !!
    Loved the air guitar,and oh what a joy re your granddaughter learning not walk a dedicated teacher indeed.. re the wattle or acacia, to be honest it doesn't look at all like the ones we have here, ours are a clear, bright yellow not dirty one like that..
    I wonder if has been crossed with another variety by someone. a lot here do have issues with wattles so I dont grow them either.
    Thanks so much for sharing your inspiration!
    Happy Smiles Day!
    Shaz in Oz.x

    {Shaz in Oz – Calligraphy Cards}

  3. Hi Kate, great collection of photos as usual. Bit late this week as I've been otherwise occupied but I'm here now. Maisie and Stan do seem happy to be back but I think they like the kennels too as they can bark as much as they like whereas it is not allowed when they are at home Lol! Have a great weekend, Angela xXx

  4. It's lovely to see the children benefitting from the charity donations.
    I love your little teddy bear, he's really cute.I hope someone buys him and gives him a good home.
    Your new rose is very pretty too. I hope the mimosa doesn't cause you too much trouble.
    Jean x

  5. What a great guitar Kate - I love it!! :-) You have had some interesting weather, as have we - as wet summer and then a warm month in March when it is supposed to be cooling. Thankfully we don't have many wattle trees here in NZ, but I know what you mean about hayfever.
    I though your photo of Arwyn and his 'look' was a classic!
    Love your skies

  6. So sorry I'm so late coming to visit - it has been a somewhat hectic weekend if I'm honest! Your air guitar photo made me smile! loving the rose and the viola - poor thing getting eaten that quickly!

    I must admit hubby hates summer for the hayfever side of things, his is triggered by oil seed rape that you see bright yellow fields of soon - I'm dreading it for him! I've seen mimosa plants here and they do look pretty but they aren't prolific. I've never liked the gorse flower for the same reason - I don't like the yellow - its almost a dirty yellow colour if that makes sense!

    Your crochet teddy is brilliant - I can't crochet alas!

    Loving the sky photos always a delight and how amazing to have a teacher willing to help with the walking frame, having that bit more independence must be an absolute joy for her.

    I hope your weather settles soon so you can enjoy the sunshine!


  7. Hi Kate, lovely smiley post. Love the air guitar. Did you know that there have been 11 new cloud formations named this week - the first in 30 years! My husband, who is in to meteorology, is thrilled at this news. Your rose is gorgeous and the name couldn't be more appropriate. Your wee teddy is adorable, even if Arwin clearly doesn't approve. It's good to see Gema's progress - she looks so happy too. I can understand how you feel about the acacia. Here in Scotland it is the fields of rape that cause difficulties for hayfever and asthma sufferers. Hope the weather improves for you this week. Elizabeth xx


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