Friday, August 31, 2018

Rocking Your World 2018: Week 35

Just popping in for a very quick post today. Here I am with our son Tom, who looks as though he has had a very good holiday. He certainly has a good tan to take home to chilly Denmark early next week.

I am a bit late writing today as we spent the afternoon at the village pool, which was completely empty when we arrived (except for the two young lifeguard/ticket collectors). Doesn't it look wonderful. There were quite a few families there by the time we left though.
I managed to swim quite a few lengths today, despite the arthritis in my arms and shoulders. I did much better than on my first visit here this year. Sadly this will be my last chance to use it as, for the Spaniards, holidays end as September arrives. Also I think it is mainly manned by students who will be preparing to return to college very soon.

There weren't many folk left when Tom left the water park in Vera yesterday either. That too will close very soon, so they ended the season with half-price entry for the last few days and Tom took of advantage of that.
This was taken from the top level looking down on the wave pool and swimming lagoon, but he spent most of his time on the slides, and thoroughly enjoyed himself, going on each of them at least three times. He posted a selfie on Facebook with the caption, "I was the biggest kid at the water park".

This picture shows my second son Mike, (aged 45), with his fourteen year old son, on an horrific 'ride' at an amusement park in Wales. They were hoisted up to an incredible height and then catapulted out to swing in a wide arc, back and forth many times before coming to rest. On the video he sent me, at one point they are seen with their arms wide spread and Mike is saying "I'm flying. I really am Peter Pan"! I am sure he will never grow up, and I have to wonder how I came to give birth to such a nutter. But at least he knows how to enjoy himself. He described it as 'terrifying but at the same time an awesome experience'. There is no accounting.....!

And that is just about it for this week. By next week it will be back to just Chris and I, so maybe I'll find time to write a better post. But now I am going to sit outside and share the jug of sangria that Tom made - before they drink it all. But first I will link up with Rocking Your World, and Annie's Friday Smiles. And I will leave you with a little funny I saw on Facebook this week. It is not the first time I have seen it, so it may be familiar to you too, but it still made me smile, and that's what we want to see on Social media, things that make us smile.

A frog goes into a bank and approaches the teller. He can see from her nameplate that her name is Patty Whack.
"Miss Whack, I'd like to get a $30,000 loan to take a holiday."
Patty looks at the frog in disbelief and asks his name. The frog says his name is Kermit Jagger, his dad is Mick Jagger, and that it's okay, he knows the bank manager.
Patty explains that he will need to secure the loan with some collateral.
The frog says, "Sure. I have this," and produces a tiny porcelain elephant, about an inch tall, bright pink and perfectly formed.
Very confused, Patty explains that she'll have to consult with the bank manager and disappears into a back office.
She finds the manager and says, "There's a frog called Kermit Jagger out there who claims to know you and wants to borrow $30,000, and he wants to use this as collateral." She holds up the tiny pink elephant. "I mean, what in the world is this?"
(You're gonna love this.)
The bank manager looks back at her and says, "It's a knickknack, Patty Whack. Give the frog a loan. His old man's a Rolling Stone."
(You sang it, didn't you? Yeah, I know you did.)

Friday, August 24, 2018

Rocking Your World 2018: Week 34

Hi everyone. Firstly an apology because my link to Annie's blog did not work last week. I have no idea why, and when I tried to add the correct one, it disappeared after a few minutes, and I couldn't add it again. Hopefully this week it will be OK.
I am smiling again this week because I have another visitor, and as you can see, he is smiling too. (Sorry about the quality. It was taken on my phone after dark).
Tom is our middle son, and he spent the week before this, travelling across Morocco. He lives in Denmark, and flew direct to Marrakesh, and then crossed to other side of Morocco, stopping at several places on the way, and ended up at Nadar where he was able to take a night ferry across to us at Almeria port. So last Sunday we took our other son and his family back to the airport for an early flight and then went down to the port to collect Tom.
This week has been quiet. He has been relaxing, dipping in and out of the pool, and enjoying the sun, which after the heat of Morocco, feels quite comfortable for him. We have spent the evenings sitting out in the porch, trying to avoid all the biting insects which are a real nuisance this year, and, as you can see, enjoying sharing a jug or two of home made sangria. It has been fun to hear about his travels.
As you can see in the photo above, I have put my big, very strong, fan outside and it has been very welcome some days and evenings, as the temperatures hover in the upper thirties. On that evening I was even able to do a few rows of knitting to finish off the back of the cardigan I am making. I had to start a new ball of wool for around six rows which is always annoying, and it comes in big soft, floppy balls which start to fall apart as soon as you use them. So I decided to rewind it into a proper ball first. I saw the light shining on it in my lap and just had to take a photo of all those gorgeous colours. It will be perfect with my Autumn wardrobe, so I must try to get it done by then.
Tom has a few ideas for things to do next week, so I may have more to write about then. But this week has been all about doing as little as possible.
As it happens the weather has not been quite what we expect for August, as each evening the clouds have gathered, so for the first time in ages, we have had some pretty sunsets.  Last night the clouds were very black and there was thunder rolling all around us. We only got a few drops of rain, not enough to do any good, but villages near by had very heavy rain and there has been some localised flooding and damage. But as it is a long time since I posted any, I will leave you with three sky photos.

And now I will try those link ups with Annie's Friday Smiles and Rocking Your World, and hope I do them better than last week.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Rocking Your World 2018: Week 33

Well another week has flown past, and though I have been too busy to take many photos I have some to share.

Happy Moments often involve happy memories too, and yesterday my memory on Facebook was this photo of my curly-haired grandson Finlay, taken nine years ago. I loved it then as he is the image of his daddy at that age.
He was here on holiday with his parents and brother, and it just so happens that he is here again this week, though nine years on he looks somewhat different!
His hair is still curly but he keeps it too short to really see them, and next month he will be starting at the secondary school. As you can see, Kim has found another new friend.
In fact he is spoiled for choice this week, as we have our son with his two boys - aged 14 and almost 12, and his partner with her two boys aged almost 6 and 9, so we have a full house, and Kim spends his time going from one to the other, wherever he thinks he may get some special attention. All four boys love all the animals, and are happy to fuss any of them.

The family arrived last Sunday, which happened to be the end of theatre week in our village and this is always marked by some sort of street drama. It ranges from the sublime to the ridiculous and this year's show definitely fell into the latter category. I guess it was slapstick, a sort of circus clown act, but the 'cast' were dressed in a range of vaguely Scottish costumes. They had several noisy instruments and did some rather bizarre dancing/marching around the plaza. Bear in mind that, like most Spanish events, it didn't kick off until 10.00 at night, but like a film of the Pied Piper, young children slowly appeared from every direction, with a fair number of adults behind them, and they all sat on the ground around a makeshift stage to enjoy the performance. It was a strange series of 'mixed metaphors' with bagpipes, some highland dancing and a mock up of tossing the caber and other events from the Highland games, though I doubt whether young Spanish children have much knowledge of Scotland and its traditions! But they loved it all, from the noisy lady shouting instructions, to the odd costumes, the 'castle' that became a train and was driven around the plaza, and the 'pretend' bus with twirly umbrellas for wheels.

I didn't understand all the Spanish but I heard them say something about a storm when there was a loud clap of thunder, and the lady with the microphone was shouting about a Phantom. Then this weird creature appeared from behind us and caused a stir among the children.                    For the final dance sequence, the umbrellas came out again and this time they were filled with glitter that scattered everywhere as the umbrellas were opened and twirled. It was very effective against the dark sky and bright stage lights. The children loved it and were soon busy trying to collect it up to throw again.
By midnight we were wandering back to home, and I think our visitors knew they had arrived in Spain. You don't see anything quite like that in UK.

Most of the week, the family have been visiting one of the beaches. Mike loves the sea and I think he has managed to get in it every day. One day they drove over to Roquettas to the big water park there, but we stayed at home. It was a bit too far for us on such a hot day. We all went up to the village pool one afternoon and had a good swim up there, and we have spent the evenings playing cards and relaxing at home. I have taught the older ones how to play gin rummy and we have enjoyed getting to grips with that.

This morning Mike took his two boys off to a water fun park on their own. There was a minimum age of seven, so Lucy's boys are not old enough for it yet, so she took hers down to the beach. I went with Mike because the park is a new venture this year, so I wanted to see it so I know whether or not to recommend it to other visitors. It was set in a large man made canal or reservoir that was constructed back in 2008 for the Mediterranean Games. The dam at the top is painted to depict an Indalo man and the flag of the games.(You can just see the head of him as he disappears over the top).
The park itself is a series of inflatables linked by floating walkways, and each participant can book a one hour session. By the state of the boys and their dad at the end, an hour was more than enough.
At the water's edge, there were groups of old-fashioned style deck-chairs under sun shades and I was happy to sit on one of them to take care of the bags etc, and I was armed with two phones and instructed to take some photos. In the bright sun shine it was hard to see which was my little group, so the photos are not that good, but they had so much fun climbing, jumping and swimming. It's no wonder they were tired out at the end of it. Here are just a few of my photos. I am hoping there are some better ones on Mike's phone.
From the big splash at the bottom, I am guessing Mike has just come down the slide in this one!
Here are a few more that I think I can identify our boys in.

Afterwards, as we were walking back to the car, I spotted this monkey face in the cliff, and just had to take a photo of him too!
And that's about it for this week. We are all off down to Mojacar for a meal together now, so I'll quickly link up with Annie's Friday Smiles and Rocking Your World, and I'll be back later to visit you all.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Rocking Your World 2018; Week 32

Hi folks. Sorry I was missing last week. I had every intention of posting as usual, but I was having a good time with our visitors and simply forgot what day it was! But I'm back today, looking back on those very good times.

Because we have several lots of visitors coming this summer, we decided we needed to replace a couple of our loungers for the patio. So the day before they arrived, I bought one to try it. (We are pleased with it, so yesterday we went and bought a second one.) It came in a huge cardboard box. I pulled it out and took it outside to open up, and when I came back in, I found my lovely Tango had taken over the box! They just can't resist a box, however bad a 'fit' it is.
Fortunately all our visitors this year have managed to get flights into Almeria rather than Murcia, which is only a 40min drive from us - much better than the 1hr 20mins to Murcia. So on Wednesday morning we set off early as this lovely pair and their two boys, were due in at 9.30. They were delayed a bit but not too much.
This is my beautiful granddaughter Emma, and her husband John. I minded Emma for the first eight or more years of her life, and it was lovely to see her with her own little family. She always was, and still is a natural mum, looking after her younger brother as a child, and now with her own two.
The boys don't know us very well, and were a bit shy at first, but they were soon posing for us. Emma had sensibly bought them special swimming tops and shorts, so neither got sunburned, and they were happy to show off their new clothes.
Of course they were eager to jump in the pool. Isaac who is 7 this month, is already a good swimmer, though his main love (dare I say obsession) is football, and it wasn't long before little Alfie, who is 3½, did his first strokes without his armbands. 
The four of them, mum, dad, and the boys, spent hours in the pool and it was so good to see them having such a good family fun time together.
One day we went up to the big public pool at the top of the village. It was busier than when I went with Jonathan and Ella last month, but still not at all crowded, and we had a lovely time there. It amazes me how long little ones can keep going. I gave up long before they did, but eventually they had to get out, and they looked so cute sitting chatting together.
One day I went to the water park at Vera with them. We knew Alfie would be too small for the big slides, but we were hoping Isaac would get on some of them. Unfortunately he was still just 1cm to small, but it really didn't matter as they had such a good time in the children's pool. They must have come down this yellow slide and curved red and green ones on either side, at least a hundred times.
There were not too many steps to get up to them, but even so I was worn out just watching them! We managed to secure some loungers just near this pool so I kept an eye on them while Emma and John went off to try the bigger features. Then we all went into the wave pool. It is good to see the little ones so confident in the water already. Their year of swimming lessons has definitely paid off.
I also went to the beach with them one day, and then they went on their own a couple of times. We had to go down as early as possible to find a parking space, and came home at lunch time as the afternoons were too hot for the beach. The sand was scorching but the water was lovely. The children were equally at home in the sea. The first visit the waves were too rough for them, but the next time it was better and they had such a good time. Alfie thought he was afraid of the waves and would only sit on the sand and dig at first, but once we enticed him in  at the edge there was no stopping him.
We have known for a while that at the far end of Mojacar beach there is an Italian ice-cream parlour, but we had never been there. Somewhat bizarrely, their opening hours are from 4 in the afternoon until 2 the next morning! 
So one day, we had a quiet morning, and towards evening we drove down to the sea. We parked up and for the first time all holiday, we sat Alfie in his buggy to walk along the promenade to find the ice-cream shop. Of course he fell asleep, so he is looking a little confused to be woken up and find an ice-cream mouse on the table in front of him. Needless to say, once he was properly awake, the mouse had a short life!
We all had something special. Mine was a delicious concoction of caramel ice-cream on a sponge soaked in Baileys, with a butterscotch sauce. Very naughty but very nice! 
John's was rather clever. He chose 'steak and chips' which turned out to be a big slab of chocolate ice-cream, whipped cream and apricot halves for the eggs,
and chips made from slices of banana with strawberry sauce drizzled on them. It really looked very convincing.

On their last day we went up to Mojacar Pueblo, the little white village above the beach. I like going up there. It is a maze of narrow, hilly streets with loads of little shops overflowing with nick-nacks, and ideas for gifts to take home. It is very geared up for the tourist trade, and I would not choose to live up there, but it is lovely to visit. In several places, the narrow lanes had bougainvillea growing right across them, often clinging to the many electricity cables that try to spoil the view. This one had such pretty pink flowers, so I got Emma to pose under it for this picture.
Although Alfie sometimes had a little nap at siesta time, Isaac had limitless energy, and he found it difficult to settle down. But we wanted to go out again that evening so we bribed them by saying if they had a chill-out time, we would then go out for dinner down by the beach and they could have a late night swim in the pool before bed.
They are both active little boys so they don't spend too much time on 'technical toys', but when a spell of rest is required, the tablet came in handy and they did both sit quietly for a while. What strange positions they make themselves comfy in! But it must have been comfortable enough, as he stayed there for quite a while.  This one shows how at ease they were with the animals, especially our big boy Kim, and how at ease he was with them.

Eventually we set off to find dinner at one of our favourite beach bars. It was still light when we got there, so we managed to take a few photos. I snuck in on a family group and then we got one of Emma with both her Grandma and Grandpa, which doesn't often happen as I am usually the one holding the camera!

And finally we took one of two lovely sun-kissed boys who had had a great holiday. Everyone went home with a lovely tan and no sunburn, which was good, and I think they had all had a really happy, relaxed week. I was sad to say Good-bye to these two smilers, but I am sure they will come again one day.
And yes, they did get one late night swim. As they stepped into the pool just at dusk, I turned on the under water light and little Alfie said, "Oooh. That's cool!" They had to pack some damp swimmers for the journey home, but it was worth it to give them such a fun last night.
So Wednesday it was off to the airport to see them safely away. I have had a couple of busy days replenishing the fridge and cupboards, and washing all the bed linen and towels. The beds are now remade, the cupboards are restocked and we are ready for the next set of visitors who arrive on Sunday morning. We take them back the following Sunday and at the same time collect son number three who is coming for two weeks. So I can't say whether or not I will post again for a while, but I'll do my best to pop in. Now I will link up with Annie's Friday Smiles and Rocking Your World, and them maybe have a wee siesta!