Well, what a week we have had. I promised you a shorter post this week and that is what you will have, mainly because not a lot has happened in it. After a fine weekend, Monday was our son's last day and it was quite cloudy and several degrees cooler. He didn't mind and still went down to the playa, did some last minute shopping of things to take home, and had a final swim. The cloud had thinned during the afternoon and there was quite a nice sunset, though the purple haze over it was a warning of a storm to come.
We decided to sit up late as Tom had to leave for the airport at 2.30am, so it wasn't worth going to bed. By the time he left, there were a few drops of rain, and his road to Alicante was lit by frequent flashes of lightning, but there was little thunder nor any real rain.
However, we had been warned that an unseasonal storm was on its way, and by Tuesday the rain had started in earnest. It continued with heavy showers all day, but as darkness fell we had an almighty storm. The lightning lit the sky up like it was daytime, and the flashes were almost continuous. It was mostly sheet lightning, but later there were a few forks as well and I did my best to capture them on camera. It is almost impossible to time it right but I did manage a few.
The thunder eventually rumbled away, but the rain was heavy all night and the next day.
We were really sad about this because we had been looking forward to Wednesday. Remember I said last week we had one more event to look forward to. On Wednesday the big cycle race La Vuelta, (like Tour de France, but it takes a different route through Spain each time), was passing across the top of our village, coming up through Turre and on to Sorbas, and we were all set to watch it. However there had been so much rain all over Spain that there was talk of cancelling this leg. In the end it went ahead, but because they took advantage of the best conditions as they occurred, the timing was not exactly to plan.
Chris was unwilling to stand around in the rain for too long, so we didn't go out for the promotions caravan that normally passes two hours before the actual race. But we did drive to Turre for the race, but got stuck in a line of traffic because the road had already been closed. I got out and walked the last bit but I was too late. It had gone through about half an hour ahead of schedule, and I just saw the last of the support vehicles that follow the cyclists! I was disappointed, but some things are not meant to be.
As I walked over the bridge at Turre, the rambla was filling up with water, and was already like a muddy river. In the winter storms it was a raging torrent for a short while, washing debris and even cars before it. The rain eased a bit that afternoon so it probably didn't get any higher this time, but normally it is a dry, sandy bed all summer.
Anyway some stalwart friends who did arrive early despite the weather, posted some good photos of the cyclists, so here are just a few.
Team Sky as they left Turre towards Los Gallardos.
The conditions were horrible for the riders, but brightly clad road marshals kept them on the right track.
They were followed by the support vehicles who all had their lights on although this was only around 3.00pm.
The weather has caused quite a few accidents. Chris Froome crashed yesterday, changed his bike and immediately crashed again, but he is just hanging on to his lead by a few seconds, and there is still a long way to go.
Today the sun has been out for a while though it is cloudy again now, but it is still very warm - in the upper twenties. The first rain was filled with sand and made everything so dirty - also leaving a fine layer of slippery mud on the roads! We have seen storms like this before, but never in August. I feel so sorry for all the folk who came over for a week of Spanish sunshine before school starts again. They really have had a bad week. This was a page of the local newspaper this week.
It is referring to the Almeria province as shown in the map, and the headline says "More rain in three days in August, than in the last fifty years"!!
There is no doubt that the ground was ready for a good soak, and the plants have enjoyed an unexpected drink, but they will all be ten foot tall by next week.
This is a photo from last week that I didn't have space to add then. It is rare for us to see a butterfly out here. I am not sure why as there are beautiful ones in other hot countries. Maybe it is too dry for them here. Anyway, we saw this one fly over our yard, but then, I am not sure whether it wanted a drink, or whether the wind blew it off course, but it landed straight in the pool. We rescued it as fast as we could, and I put it in the sun to dry. It had some damage to its wings, but later I moved it onto a plant and eventually it did fly away, so I was happy that we saw it in time to give it another chance. Isn't it lovely?
This may not sound like such a happy week, but everything has a silver lining.
1. The change in the weather has caused the temperature to drop just enough to be more comfortable. It is destined to go up again next week, but this has been a nice respite.
2.The plants have had an unexpected watering which has saved me getting the hose out every couple of days to keep the plant pots hydrated. It has also saved the local agricultural workers who pay for the water for their crops, and has refilled the reservoirs.
3. I have had more 'home-time' than usual so I soon got the rooms put straight after all our visitors. I even got most of the bedding and towels washed and dried before the rain came.
3. I spent a full day sorting out my craft room which is now much cleaner and tidier. I am an untidy worker and sometimes I almost lose my desk under piles of paper, rubber stamps etc. etc. Now it is all put away and looks much better again.
4. A tidy craft room inspired me to get some work done and I have finished off all those images I showed you a couple of weeks ago, and turned them all into Christmas cards. This week I have made sixteen which has bumped up my total considerably.
5. I found time to play with some new scrapbook layout templates. There is a lady called Annette Coriale who has an etsy shop to sell her digital template designs. I follow her on facebook and have recently bought several of her templates but never seem to have time to use them. Annette and other users of her Fbook page, have given me some helpful hints on one point that I was having difficulty with, so now I want to make time to try that out. But in the meantime I used one of her more simple templates that was a free gift last week, to record Kim's meeting with my visitors. And here it is.
Maybe I will have tried a more complex one by next week.
One other little item that has made me smile this week is that I have a new vacuum cleaner. That may not sound very exciting but I have been without one since our previous one died about six months ago when Chris washed the filters and put them back before they were quite dry! Replacing it seemed a bit unnecessary as we have all stone floors with just a few rugs in the bedrooms, but now all the animals are in full moult and every day is a battle against balls of fur in every corner, we decided that we did need one after all. So Chris splurged out and bought the new GTech one (as seen on TV!), that is specifically designed to cope with animal hair and it arrived on Wednesday afternoon. I have to say I give it five stars. It is by far the best one I have had, and worth every penny. Anything that makes housework faster and easier gets my vote, but this really is better than I had hoped for.
Now I will link up with Annie's Friday Smiles and Rocking Your World, as I am in danger of rambling again.
Thank you to all who read last week's marathon and left lovely comments. I do enjoy hearing from you all.