Well I wrote a bit early last week because I was going out on Friday evening. This week I am busy for most of Friday so I am starting this on Thursday night ready to link in the morning.
My smile this week is Kim. Although he was five years old at Christmas, he can still make puppy eyes at me when he wants a cuddle! He weighs 48 kilos now so he nearly flattens me when he tries to climb on my lap. But I do let him just put his front paws up so he can lay on me for a little while, though usually Tango has beaten him too it and is already laying across my lap, and he doesn't allow any extras!
So last Friday evening we went to my choir's 3rd birthday bash. It was a lovely setting and we had a very nice meal. And it was good to have the chance to chat with other choir members in a relaxed atmosphere. Usually we are all keen to get off home when the practice finishes, so there is not much time to socialise. I only remembered to take one photo and it is not very good, but here it is anyway. We were all seated around both sides of a horse-shoe table.
There was a big log fire behind us which was very welcome, and some interesting decorations. The big hanging, Moroccan-style lights were lovely, and you may just see a full size stuffed peacock up near the rafters!
When I went to church on Sunday I could see snow on the distant mountains.
I did zoom in for that photo. They are really quite a way from us. The snow rarely gets right down to Llanos where the church is, and almost never gets to our village which is quite low. This one gives a better idea of how far away they were. They are in the direction of Granada and Sierra Nevada, which does get a fair amount of snow every year.
On Tuesday we had our house group, and this week we met at a friend's house who lives on the far side of Huércal Overa, about 40 minutes drive from me. It was a lovely sunny morning so I didn't mind the drive, and as I got closer to her house, it was so pretty to see the roads lined with almond trees in full blossom. I don't know why some are white and some are pink, but they seem to all grow together. In some places there were whole fields of them that had the appearance of a pale mist all over them, but there was not a suitable place to stop to take a photo. I did have to stop to let a big lorry out of a farm, so I whipped out my phone and took this through the car window, but it doesn't really show their full beauty.
We had a big crowd at the sewing group this week. Most people must be getting over the viruses now. I had some fun showing people how to use my pom-pom maker. They couldn't believe how easy it makes the task. So much better than trying to wind round hoops of cardboard.
I have done the last page of my scrapbook, so in a way, that is another project finished, but really I need to recover the album before I can say it is done. It is a new album that I bought very cheaply when a shop closed down, and it had been on display for a long time so it is faded in places, and the cover is almost like mulberry paper which will not last long if it is handled. I thought it would be quite easy to buy some book-binding fabric, but it proved very hard to find. I started my online search in Spain, but found no results, and UK was not much better. There are plenty of places that supply it in big rolls but not in the small quantity that I need. A couple of American companies would supply it but wanted to use very expensive couriers to ship it to me or else wouldn't ship it at all. Amazon only had sheets intended for small craft projects and they weren't big enough for my book. I eventually found one London company who would sell one metre at a very reasonable price, but when I got to the last line of the order form, they added on a whopping £52 for shipping! So I cancelled that one quick! In the end I settled for some sheets from America. The company wouldn't ship to Spain, but they are sending it to my sister in UK with FREE shipping. (Doesn't make sense really does it?). Anyway it is going to take a fortnight to get to her, and then she will send it on to me, so I guess it will be another month before I can cross that project off my list. In the meantime, here is the last page, which finishes with a photo of my five sons who were all waiting for us when we got back to our house. They had all come over together to surprise me for my 65th birthday. And it really was a huge surprise. I had no idea they were coming. Of course this all happened five years ago, but it doesn't seem that long and playing around with the photos brought back lots of happy memories.
Today I have been busy baking. When I was first married, having my own kitchen was a novelty, and I had a regular baking day every week. As the boys grew up I continued to bake when I could. Young boys have 'hollow legs', and they always wanted something to eat. Now that there are just the two of us, and our appetites have diminished, especially for sweet things, I don't bake very often, but tomorrow morning is the service of installation for our new priest, and we are following it with a fellowship lunch. We all signed up on a list for what we would bring, so I made a big slab of ginger cake, topped with lemon icing and pieces of crystallised ginger, and a family favourite - Irish tea loaf, so called because you start by soaking the fruit and sugar in a cup of strong tea. It goes by a lot of other names too, depending on where you live, but in my mum's cookery book it was Irish tea loaf and it was dad's favourite. (The larger one is for tomorrow and the smaller one for us to have at home). I will have to get up early tomorrow and slice and butter it before I go.
I also made a batch of empanadillas, which are little pies always filled with a tomato salsa and either meat or more often tuna fish. They are the Spanish equivalent of sausage rolls at a picnic, and can be made in a large tray and cut up into portions, or as bigger pasty size pies, but for a finger buffet the smaller ones are better. Mine are filled with my home-made 'pisto' - fried tomatoes and vegetables roughly puréed, and some fish paté made from tuna and Philadelphia cheese. I think I was a bit generous with my filling as mine have mostly burst their seams, but the filling stayed inside, and they are tasty little bites which will add something different to the buffet.
There is a succulent plant that grows very freely out here, and many folk consider it to be a weed, because it can spread so very quickly. I love it, but when it threatens to take over all my flower pots, I do root some of it out and toss it over the back railings into the green zone. This week I noticed that one lot had refused to die and was now in full bloom. The flowers grow on very long stems and are very pretty.
You can just see the long, narrow leaves which are toothed all along them, and every tooth can produce a new plant. Also each flower can send down long hair-like roots which can also grow into new plants, so you can see why it spreads so abundantly.
And on that note I think I will stop for this week. I'll pop back at some time tomorrow to link up with Annie's Friday Smiles and Rocking Your World, but I don't know when as after the service tomorrow I will only have a short break before I go to choir practice followed, this week, by our AGM. So I will let you know how it all goes tomorrow, in next week's post.