Here we are at Friday once again, the day when we look back on our week and try to focus on the good things that have happened. I happened to see this meme on facebook one day and I took a copy as it seems to embody the true ethos of these posts. Don't you think so?
When my grand-daughter was here a few weeks ago, she saw me trying to take a selfie and said"Grandma, you are doing it all wrong!" Apparently I was holding the phone too close, and too low down, which is why my photos were always distorted. She showed me what to do so I had a practice. I was much more pleased with this one so she was a good teacher, and I decided to use it as my online profile for a while, as my current one had been the same for years! I know some folk don't like to use their own photo as a profile, but I have to admit that if I see a name I recognise but can't quite put a face to it, I often click on to their profile, and I find it very frustrating if I just get a picture of their dog! etc.
I am even going to bother you with a second one I took when I was trying to persuade Kim to pose with me, but he wasn't having any of it. I gave up in the end, but I have included this picture so you can see how huge our bougainvillea is again. It was only last year that we cut it right back to the fence-so hard I thought we might have killed it. But no, it was growing back in no time, and this week it was almost as big as it was before, and long branches were stretching across our narrow back yard and annoying me every time I needed to pass them.
When I came home from my sewing group on Wednesday, I found Chris had tackled it again, cutting it right back to the fence, though not quite as hard as last year. It always amazes me how much debris there is after such a job, and this was no exception. Just outside the kitchen door there was a mountain of branches along with leaves and the dead bracts from last year's flowers. Seeing as Chris had done the cutting down, I promised I would deal with these today, so when I got home from the market this morning I settled myself on a chair with the mountain of branches on one side and big bin in front of me, and two pairs of secateurs so I could keep changing them when my hands got tired. We don't have individual dustbins out here, but there are big bins known as basuras (meaning rubbish) at stages along the road. We are not supposed to put garden waste in these, but they will take anything if it is in a black bag, and as we have nowhere that it is safe to have a bonfire, we have little choice. So we try to cut any sticks into short lengths that won't puncture the bags. I spent a couple of hours cutting, by which time my hands had had enough - and they will probably complain loudly by tomorrow - but I had two black bags full of disposable twigs and a small pile of bare branches that were too hard or thick for me to cut. I'll put those through the shredder later. I could have shredded it all, but the younger green branches and the leaves would have choked the machine very quickly and I would have spent more time un blocking it than I would have saved.
I have managed to clear the big mountain, but there is still two much smaller piles to tackle another day. But it will be a good job out of the way when it is done.
All that is left for me to do..
Ready for the shredder..
Here are a couple more photos from the garden. These are my little pots of succulents that have been very neglected this summer. But of course it is their nature to survive in harsh conditions, so after the rain last week they are looking quite good again. The picture made me smile because if you look very closely, right in the centre behind the black pot, you can just see the little stripey head of Luna. She is one of our campo cats and we don't see much of her indoors except when it is feeding time. She is a born huntress and spends most of her day roaming the green zone and catching lizards, grasshoppers etc, which she sometimes brings home for me! Aren't I lucky? But just occasionally she chooses one of our chairs to sleep on, and she must have just looked up as I took my photo.
And while talking of grasshoppers, I don't mean the little things we have in UK. Out here they are huge. This one came to sit on our fly free netting and it is about five inches long. Luna has the lovely habit of catching them and chewing them up, but leaving the legs for me. They must be too tough for her!
A couple more garden pictures. This one shows what a few days of rain can do in a barren land, even in August. The ground around the orange trees next door is sprouting tall grass this week. I love to see it looking so green. It is really warm again now so this may all burn off again, or it may last into Autumn. We can only wait and see.
And one more. When I went to take a picture of this morning's work, I found Tango, laid out in the shade of the low wall, enjoying his siesta, and completely oblivious oto my presence.
The rest of the week has passed me by, but I have kept busy. I suddenly decided that as a follow up to clearing my desk and tables in my craft room, I should tackle another task that I have put off for probably three years or more - filing my 'new' rubber stamps. Some of them are not so new now! I have a bad habit of opening packages when they come and trying new things, and then leaving them in a pile on my desk until I am tired of moving them, so I throw them into a big box on the top shelf of my bookcase. I know what is in there, and when I want to use one I root through the box to find it, but the longer I leave them, the harder it is to do something about them. I should say at this point, that I do not have space to store bulky wood mounted stamps, so I always remove them from the block and back them with mounting foam. I do the same to any unmounted ones I buy, and then I store them on laminated pages with a stamped index for each page, in big lever arch files. There is one file for each topic e.g.floral, words, backgrounds etc. Some categories are subdivided so I have four Christmas files - Nativity, Traditional, holly, trees, etc, Cute, snow, candles and bells, and Christmas words. So sorting my box was a big task and the first thing I did was to make separate bags for each subject. Then I backed any that needed mounting foam, and one by one I am stamping the index and arranging the pages, then filing them in the appropriate folder. So far I have managed to put away about half of them, and I shall keep going now I have started, until they are all in the right place. That will give me a real sense of achievement, and it will betide me to put any further purchases away when I get them!
We took a break yesterday to visit the kennels where Kim and Foxy will stay while we are in UK next month. Unfortunately neither of our house-sitters are available, so we have no choice but to put them in kennels. A friend will look in daily to feed the cats, who would hate to be confined in a cattery even for a few days, but kennels are a better option for the dogs. So when we had checked out where they would be staying, and filled in the paperwork, we drove on down to the playa at Mojacar. We keep away for July and August when it is full of holiday makers and the traffic is a nightmare, but this week it was fine again. We stopped for a drink and a snack at one of our favourite places. We like it because it has a big patio where you never feel crowded, and it is surrounded by palm trees and has a sun cover to give some welcome shade. On top of that there is a lovely view out across Mojacar beach, and the food is very good.
On Wednesday our choir met for the first time since the summer break. It was good to get back singing again, and to meet up with friends, who mostly live over near Albox where we practice, so I don't get to see them during the break.
We had the plumber here this morning so now I have a new drinking water tap in the kitchen so my table top won't get flooded any more whenever it is turned on, and that makes me happy. We also have new taps in both the showers. As the plumber was working there, I couldn't use the kitchen to cook our lunch today so we had a snack and now we are off to a local bar for some food. That's a nice bonus.
I had a quick whizz round Turre market this morning for the first time in ages, and I was able to get some new walking sandals. I have been looking for some because my others have split across the base and are becoming a bit of a hazard. I wear them when we walk the dogs in the mornings, as the dust ruins my good shoes.
I will close with a few photos of the sky that I took on Tuesday evening. These were all taken within a few minutes of each other. The sky was grey with a streak of light that didn't look very promising, but before long it was aflame with pinks and oranges, and then it was gone. I was just glad I was outside at the right moment to catch it.