We are getting through those weeks aren't we, and already it is Friday again, and time to look at all the happy moments in the last week. And it has been a good week here. This is partly due to the fact that it was my husband Chris' birthday on Monday and mine on Wednesday.
We don't make a huge 'thing' of our birthdays these days, but we each had some beautiful cards to open, and on Wednesday evening we went to one of our favourite restaurants for a lovely dinner. (I forgot to take any photos!). I asked Chris not to buy me a present but instead to pay for my new glasses when I have my eyes tested in UK next month. Then the money I had saved up for them, I can spend on anything that catches my eye when I browse the shops in Birmingham. I am sure I will have no difficulty in spending it there!
Our flights were booked a while ago, but this week I also bought the train tickets I will need to travel between the boys houses, and I sent them all a schedule of my plans for the two weeks, ending with "and on Saturday I fly home to recover!". It is going to be a very busy two weeks and I am so looking forward to it now. Only two more weeks to go.
Last year was my seventieth birthday and a couple of weeks before that I travelled to UK and we had a huge family gathering for a party, at our son's house, which is when the photo on my blog header was taken. Then I went down to the south coast to stay with my sister Jean for a few days, and then she came back to Spain with me for my actual birthday. When I visit her we nearly always spend a morning at the big Hobbycraft store, and then cross the road and browse round a beautiful garden centre-come-gift shop. While we were in there, Jean managed to not only find a perfect birthday present for me, but she bought it without me knowing, wrapped and packed it, and brought it here to give me on the 'right' day. Somehow there was too much gong on then so I didn't get around to showing it to you, but now it too is having a birthday, albeit a first one, so I thought I'd introduce you to duck. Isn't she lovely?
She has a rather sad look in her eye but I don't think she is sad at all. I just love things made from wood. She is so smooth and tactile and I often just stroke her for a while. When she turns her head, she shows her other face which is a deep reddish wood.
I think she is quite proud of her two colours, but her best secret lies on the label around her neck. This is what it says.
Doesn't that just make her extra special?
We have had several days that are a mixture of rain and sunshine this week, but on Wednesday we were blessed with a lovely sunny afternoon so I spent my birthday sitting out on the porch and I read a whole book. That is luxury I don't have very often.
But I have also spent some time this week with my crochet projects. My set of four hangers are finished and ready to wrap up as gifts, so I turned my attention to my new blanket. I needed to work out a proper colour scheme so I got out my yarn pegs. I keep a stash of wool and almost all of it is Stylecraft Special Double Knit acrylic yarn. It comes in 46 colours and I try to keep at least one ball of every colour. I also have wound a peg in each colour so I play with them when I am working out a scheme for a project.
This is more or less what I ended up with. I don't want my blanket to be in harsh stripes so I am gradually moving from one colour to the next always using two that contrast well, but changing them randomly. Here is the part I have done this week which I am only showing so you can see what I mean about the colour changes.
The actual stitch pattern will change a little soon but I will still stagger the colours.
The week ended on a good note too as today we had another church fund-raiser, and Yes, of course it involved food! Back in the spring we held a "posh picnic" and it was so successful, we decided to do it again. It was to be at the same site, up by the village fuente, where there is plenty of space, and some picnic tables set up under pergolas. However the weather was not so kind. We had heavy rain yesterday, and more in the night, and when the organisers checked the area, they found a lot of mud making the ground a bit unsuitable for the less-able among our group, and the seats and tables were very wet, so it was decided to use the patio outside the church instead. When we arrived the sun had decided to come out, so there were six tables beautifully laid up for eight settings each, and the big parasols were up in faith that the sun would remain for the afternoon, which it did.
Before long, the guests started to arrive and soon all the tables were filled. We were served with cava (sparkling wine) and canapés, and then a huge array of pies, meats, salads and potatoes. Here is just a small selection of what was on offer.
For those who still had a small space to fill there were trifles, chocolate mousse, meringues and lemon cake which all looked delicious.
And this is our dear friend Dawn who with her partner and daughter were responsible for making most of the food.
After the meal we were given a quiz which was a bit different from the usual. A common English proverb was written in ten different European languages and we had to say what language they were. Our table found nine out of ten and won a bottle of wine to share.
As we drove home the clouds were gathering again, so we were really lucky to have had such a lovely afternoon. It had been warm without being uncomfortable hot, with no sign of clouds until the end. It is getting even cloudier now and there is a red alert over much of Spain this weekend for the worst storm since 2005, so we will have to wait and see what happens.
With most days ending with clouds, I have seen some beautiful sunsets this week so now I am going to blind you all with their brilliance. The best ones were on Sunday when I saw this as it started, and then sat outside watching as the sun sank lower and the colours changed from yellow and orange to a deep pink.
Although there were fewer clouds to break it up, the sunset last night was equally stunning. When I went out the back to give the dogs their tea, there were dark, heavy clouds with a very bright yellow line below them.
As it got darker the glow spread and widened out.
Turning around, the sky behind me was lighter but just grey, and the dying rays of the sun were reflected off the Cabrera mountains, staining them a rosy pink.
Then suddenly the sky became dark except where the sun was setting, and there it looked as though the whole sky was on fire. Then just as suddenly, it was gone!
So there you have it. I am not sure how it will end today. It might be quite tame after that, but I am going to close here and link up with Annie's Friday Smiles and Rocking Your World on Virginia's blog, and then go and watch the sun go to bed!