Friday, October 11, 2019

Rocking Your World 2019; Week 41

Hi again folks. Just a quick one today. It has been a fairly uneventful week and it is nice to have one like that sometimes.
It started with our Harvest Festival of Thanksgiving on Sunday - always one of my favourite services.

Here is just some of the gifts brought in by our congregation.
The service was followed by one of our famous community lunches where we all contributed something to be shared out, and as usual there was more than enough to eat.
As a result of the harvest gifts, and items collected over the past few weeks, our two great food bank workers, Keith and Peter, together with their helper Hazel, were able to take a wonderful twenty-six bags of food to Jim at Zurgena Town Hall, to be handed out to needy families in the area.

I had some cards to post on Tuesday and decided to go down to the main Post Office in Mojacar with them. This can be a bit of an ordeal, but now the holiday visitors have mostly gone, it is easier. I still had to drive along the seafront a way to find a parking spot, but it was a nice day for the walk back. This week, each day has started off a bit cloudy, but later the sun has broken through and we have had a lovely sunny day, though there is a touch of autumn in the air in the evenings. Tuesday was particularly cloudy and the sea reflected the sky and was a gunmetal grey, but it was still pleasantly warm. 
That photo was taken looking towards Mojacar Pueblo on my right. Then I turned to face the other way, towards Garrucha on my left, and the sun was out, people were on the beach, and one lady was about to go in for a swim.
It's hard to believe the two photos were taken from the same place, at the same time on the same day.

You may remember that our car broke down when Chris was driving to the airport to join me in UK, just over three weeks ago. It was towed back to village and as soon as we got home, we took it to our mechanic friend. We were getting worried that we had not heard from him, but on Tuesday the call came to say it was ready for collection. It had been a major fault under the dashboard and a whole unit had to be sent away for repair. But I am very happy to say it is now in perfect working order. I am pleased to have it back as the old grey car we keep, for emergencies, and when we have visitors and a second car is needed, seems very heavy to steer after the blue one. We are very grateful for our friend who keeps our cars in running order as we know very little about what goes on under the bonnet!

I am struggling a bit with my left hand but last night I managed to write all my Christmas cards for UK, so I can take them with me at the end of the month for posting nearer the time.

I must share some photos of a dragonfly that came to our garden this week. Very sadly he had died when I found him, but only very recently as he was in perfect condition and still had his colours which soon fade when they die. He hadn't been caught by a cat or he would have been damaged, so probably he was overcome by heat or lack of water.

Isn't he beautiful?. Just look at the pattern on his wings. The Spanish word for dragonfly is libélula which I think sounds lovely. Here is another photo taken from a different angle which clearly shows the bright turquoise triangle just below the wings. This may have originally been the colour of all of its body.
And finally a close up of its eyes which were absolutely amazing. They are made up of hundreds of tiny cells. I hope you can click on the photo to get a closer look, so you can see them. They had an almost holographic effect so you could see right into them.
I do think God's creations are marvelous!

And so to my other go to topic, the sky. Once again we have been blessed with some lovely sunsets, and this one on Monday was something really special. I guess it was pretty windy up high, so it blew the clouds around in spirals and made this gorgeous curl as the sun went down.



But it is not only the sunsets that are lovely. On Thursday I had an early morning appointment at the doctor so I witnessed the sun rising. It was struggling to be seen at first, giving a pretty pearly haze with the Cabrera mountains silhouetted against it.
But as I got further around I looked back towards our house and the clouds broke apart and the sun finally managed to show through. It turned out to be another lovely sunny day.
And that's it for this week, so I will link up with Annie's Friday Smiles and Rocking Your World and I'll see you all again next week.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Rocking Your World 2019; Week 40

Hi everyone. Firstly an apology for my lapse in concentration last week, when I somehow managed to publish my post on my craft blog instead of here. But I am back where I belong this week!
This is a significant week for us as it is exactly eleven years since we rolled onto the ferry in Poole, with a very full car, to start our new adventure living in Spain. It was the following year in February that we moved into this house, but we enjoyed our first months here in a rented apartment on the coast, while we set about house-hunting. It was a good decision to move here, and we have no regrets. Let's hope we get to enjoy many more years here.

My smiles for this week revolve around sunflowers. By now you are probably mostly aware that I love sunflowers (and other daisies), and poppies, and more years ago than I care to remember (around 40 I think), I bought a simple summer dress at Wembly market, that was covered in sunflowers. I have always loved it, and have worn it so it is now paper thin, and I doubt the seams will take any more repairs. At the time it was quite 'adventurous', for me anyway, and I took a lot of stick when I wore it. It became a family joke and a symbol for 'Mum'. Some thirty years on, when we moved here, I again wore it regularly but now it was greeted with much more enthusiasm, and my friends all recognise it here too. 
Here it is (on the left), together with a new one bought this year. The new one is more of a sundress so it won't get worn quite so often, but the old one will still make an appearance, even if it is only as a 'house dress'.  Almost two years ago, on my seventieth birthday, the boys bought a plain set of Russian style dolls, and a friend painted them as caricatures of myself with the five boys. Some of the likenesses are really good too. So of course, in the photo they gave the artist to copy, I am wearing 'that dress'.
Now, this week I have given them all something else to smile about as I sent for a Chilly bottle, and of course I chose the one covered in a sunflower design.
This is quite a luxury for a drinking bottle, but it is guaranteed to keep hot drinks hot for 12 hours, and cold drinks cold for 24 hours, and it will be well used as I take a drink to both my choir practices each week. In the winter I take warm honey and lemon which is always cold by the time I finish it, and water or a sharp fruit drink in the summer, which gets decidedly warm by the end. I am also hoping I will be able to take a cold drink on long journeys as bottled water soon warms up in a hot car. So I guess my bottle will be a good investment.

Here are two little visitors that we had this week. I was sitting in the front room with Chris and looked up to see this little gecko high up on the wall. We do see quite a few tiny babies indoors, around an inch in length, but this is the first time I have seen one this size inside. I just left him there and he disappeared. He may be hiding behind the mirror or a picture, but it is more likely he found an open window and went home.
The second visitor was this handsome praying mantis. Again, it is one of the biggest I have seen out here. She was on the path when I went out to the bins so I wanted to encourage her into the garden and onto a plant where she would be less vunerable.  She wasn't keen on being moved and I was surprised at the strength in those long back legs, but eventually I got her to climb the wall and head for the garden. At this time of year she was probably looking for somewhere to lay her eggs.
Both of these visitors are very welcome because they feed on mosquitoes, and other bugs that come to annoy us. So as far as possible we leave them alone and they don't bother us either.
This week I finished another project which I will be writing about at a later date. But since then I have been busy making angels. A few weeks ago I introduced an Advent Angels project at my church where I am encouraging all the congregation to get involved in making little angels. These can be knitted or crocheted, made from felt or fabric, beads, ribbons and even paper. At the start of Advent (four weeks before Christmas), they will be blessed in a service and then we will distribute them along with a card listing all the Christmas services in the three churches of our Chaplaincy, leaving them on supermarket shelves, in bars, on park benches etc. It is a fun little project and lots of people have joined in. To give them some inspiration, and show them what can be done, I am making a few using different methods, to display in each church, along with some patterns. Here are some of my originals that I made before the project launch, and some images taken from the patterns.
And here are a few I have made this week.
I love the little felt one, centre, bottom row but she was very fiddly, so I have enlarged the pattern a little and will have another go. As my arthritic hands find these small pieces difficult to manage, much of the sewing has been replaced using a hot glue gun. I am not very clever with that either, but it is a good way of holding different materials together.

After so many months of blue sky and no clouds, there have been very few sunsets to marvel at. But this week, there is a real change in the air. The days are still hot and sunny, well over 30º on most days, but the evenings are drawing in, and the mornings are often hazy first thing. With more clouds around the sky has been lit up around teatime, so I was quick to take my camera out when I saw this through my window on Monday.
It was subtle and pale, but very pretty. 
My Wednesday night choir practice takes place in a glass fronted building and I saw a beautiful sunset. But we still had ten minutes of singing to do, and by the time we got out, only this bright orange glow remained.
But last night I was just in time to spot this glorious sight. It changes so fast and only lasts for about a quarter of an hour, so it is a case of being in the right place at the right time, and fortunately, yesterday I was.

And on that beautiful note I will leave you and link up with  Annie's Friday Smiles and Rocking Your World,

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Rocking Your World 2019.

For family and friends who read my blog each week, I have written a post this week but managed to publish it on my craft blog. So if you are looking for it, you will find it by clicking HERE.
Thanks for calling by.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Rocking Your World 2019; Week 36

This has, of course, been a relatively quiet week, as it always is when the summer draws to a close. I am sure, all over the country, mums have been proudly displaying "First day of school" photos. They record such a special moment, and although they are really only important to the parents themselves, they are moments to treasure for ever. 

This week my grand-daughter posted her two; Isaac is now 8, but Alfie will be 5 at Christmas so this was his first day in 'big school'. He looks really happy to be going which is a bonus. 

I posted back with this photo of his Grandad, my son Michael with his big brother James, on Mike's first day. I just love that photo and it is still one of my favourites. Uniform for primaries was much stricter in those days, but they did look cute in it.

On Sunday we took our grandson Mikey and his girlfriend back to Almeria airport. We were not in a hurry to get back home, so we detoured via the coast to find a coffee stop. Ameria is the capital city of our province, but it is built right on the coast, so you can literally drive through the shops and in two minutes you are on the beach. The airstrip runs parallel to it so when the planes leave and take off you think are going to end up in the sea!
The main beaches were very crowded with local folk and the last of the holidaymakers, making the most of a sunny Sunday morning, but we drove a bit further along and stopped by a lovely deserted stretch of coast line. It was so calm and peaceful there.
As you can see it is a bit short on facilities so we got back in the car and drove a bit further inland until we came to an open market. It was very busy but we managed to grab a parking space as someone drove away, and we spent a pleasant hour browsing the stalls. There was lovely fruit and vegetables on sale, but I really didn't need much. We did buy big, red plum tomatoes and two delicious melons. You couldn't buy just one but we thought we'd be able to manage two, but when we got them home they seemed a lot bigger than at the market. Still the first one has gone, so next week we will enjoy the other one.
We found a refreshment stall near the entrance, with a big sail providing shade, so we sat and had a drink and some yummy fresh cooked churros, before driving home.
Each evening we have had one or two cicadas coming to rest on our fly screen. They are amazing creatures, with very stiff, strong wings and a very ugly pattern on their back. They have a 'sound box' inside their abdomen which the males use to attract a mate. The sound is almost deafening some days, but they go silent as soon as you approach them. The days are drawing in now so they won't be around much longer, but I did manage to find this one that had fallen into the pool. So I scooped him out to take some photos.
Here is a close-up of the 'false face' on its back. Not very pretty is it?

I have been grateful for slightly cooler evenings to sit out on the porch with my crochet. I still need the big fan on to handle the wool, but bed-times are a bit more comfortable. All of us, but particularly our visitors, have suffered a lot with insect bites this year; far worse than we have had in previous years. So when I sit out at night I burn a citronella candle to keep the tiny ones that can come through the net, well away from me. Because the fan would blow it out, we put it on the floor which protects our legs and ankles. Nearby there is a small white footstall, and Tango has taken to sitting on it each evening. He seemed transfixed by the flame, not making any effort to touch it, but just staring at it. The dogs hate citronella and keep a safe distance away, but it doesn't seem to bother him at all.
Although there is plenty of washing and cleaning to do, I always feel a bit at a loose end when the visitors leave, so this week I have kept busy making Christmas cards. I got out my Brushos (ink dye crystals for anyone who doesn't know), and played around making backgrounds. Then I used a new die to cut out a fancy silhouette of the three kings. I made a set of eight to start with, getting two cards out of each sheet of backing paper I had made. I cut the die from black card or mirri-card according to what colour looked best. Here are just two of my set.
Because I was quite happy with the end result, I had another play with the Brushos and made a second set of eight. I entered these in my usual Christmas card challenge on Rudolph Day (25th of each month), and  I won the prize for August of a nice Christmas script die. 
Over the last couple of days I have made a set of twelve different cards, ready for the challenge at the end of this month. Now I have enough to start writing some to take to UK when I go.
Sadly for Ben, he is still waiting for Dave's death certificate so he can't plan the funeral yet, but he has other things that he can start moving on. I am so grateful for our smart phones, that have enabled me to chat with Ben every evening, sometimes for several hours, as the evenings are the hardest time to be alone.
I don't want to end on a sad note so here are a few funny things that have caught my eye over the passed few weeks. This just shows what a silly language we have at times.
This is so true. I wonder if they actually realise it.
And this one, I just loved those little faces!

Now I will link up with Annie's Friday Smiles and Rocking Your World. See you next week.


Friday, August 30, 2019

Rocking Your World 2019: Week 35

So another week has passed, and although I am so very sad about the events of last week, there has been plenty to make me smile as well, so that is what I am focusing on today.

We had a really lovely week with our grand-daughter Emma, her husband and two gorgeous little boys. They chose to pose for a family group by our pretty pink bougainvillea. They were with us until Wednesday, but last Sunday we were also joined by her brother Mikey.





I used to mind these two from when they were babies until I took my last job as a nursery manager. It was a full-time post, and although they were both in school by then, I wasn't free to collect them, and their mum had to make other arrangements. But it is lovely to see them grown up, and Emma with a family of her own now.




Mikey has spent the last four or five Christmasses with us, and he is coming again this year, but he wanted some Spanish sunshine as well. This time he brought his girlfriend Lily with him, and they are here until Sunday.



The young folk spent some lovely times on the beach and up at the big village pool, and also spent hours on end in our pool. But we did have some nice excursions out together as well. One day we went up to Mojacar Pueblo. They didn't see it at its best as they were busy preparing for a fiesta that started that night, but we still had a good wander around before going down to the beach. There is a big 'fortress' church up at the top with a lovely pastel painted fresco, and we went in there to light a candle for Dave, which pleased Ben.

Another evening we all went down to Garrucha for our favourite walk along the promenade and around the harbour and marina. All summer there is a small street market every night, and Emma stopped to have a braid put into her hair. It was still there when she went home.

The little ones kept us on tenterhooks as they ran from side to side of the boardwalks out between the boats in the marina. The sea is full of little fish and they wanted to watch them. When we got to the end we managed to sit them still for long enough to get a lovely photo with Great-grandad and then  one with Great-grandma.

As we walked the sun was going down and the sky turned a lovely misty pink and grey.
We watched it as it turned to a deep gold with a lovely silhouette of the domed rooftops, and the masts of the yachts. I was pleased with this picture.

Once again Kim was so patient with his house being invaded, and was especially good with the children. Isaac is not a 'dog person', and we thought he would just avoid Kim, but instead Kim became really attached to him, and went straight to him every time he came home. He kept a proprietorial paw on his leg, and didn't let anyone else sit by him. Isaac loved the attention and they became firm friends.
Little Alfie was not quite so sure of him, though he wasn't bothered by him either, but he preferred the cats and was so pleased when Tango sat beside him for a bit of fuss. Tango doesn't look impressed but we know he is never as grumpy as he looks, and was purring contentedly at the time.
Both boys remembered that when they visited last year we all went to an ice-cream parlour in Mojacar, and wanted to go again. So one day we had an earlier dinner and then went down for our dessert.
There is a wide menu and we all chose something different. There was even a cute little bird for Alfie with feathers in its head.
This one was my choice. Very, very naughty, but also very, very nice!

The day Emma and family went home was Isaac's 8th birthday. As they had to leave for the airport at 7.30 in the morning we decided to make the night before a bit special for him. We all went out to dinner at a bar-restaurant in the village. We weren't sure what it would be like as it is under new management and we have not eaten there since the change. But we need not have worried. We all had a lovely meal and the young girl now running it, couldn't have been nicer to us. I had made a simple birthday cake that morning and taken it round to the bar before everyone arrived. It is too hot for that sort of cooking really, but I took it on freeze blocks in a cool bag, and it survived. 
After our meal, the waitress brought it out and lit the candles and we all sang Happy Birthday to him. The restaurant was full and everyone joined in, lots of them singing in Spanish. (They use the same tune  as us, but I don't know the words of the last line). The only picture I have of him blowing his candles out is this screen shot from a video in WhatsApp, so it has the play button in the middle and is not very good. But sufficient to say he enjoyed his special tea. When we got home he was  allowed to open a present (another Arsenal kit of course!), and some cards before falling into bed ready for an early start the next day.

There is no further news from UK. Ben is still waiting for the outcome of an inquest before he can make any further plans, so I will probably be back next week as usual.
I really appreciated all your kind comments last week. Thank you all. x
Time now to link up to Annie's Friday Smiles and Virginia's blog, Rocking Your World. Have a good week everyone.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Rocking Your World 2019: Week 34

Here we are at Friday again, the day when we look at what has rocked our world during the past week. Usually we can find things that have rocked us in a good way, but just occasionally the rocking is much harder, and we have to find a way to right ourselves again.
This has been one of those weeks. 
On Wednesday we were devastated to hear that our youngest son Ben's partner of 14 years, was killed in a motor accident - knocked from his push-bike. We are all in shock, and the ether has been vibrating with all the calls and messages that as a family we have shared. I was so glad that I managed to contact his oldest brother who immediately went to be with him, and the others soon followed him. I shall of course be flying over very soon. As I already have flights booked for October, and I have lots of visitors here for the next ten days, I am waiting to hear when the funeral will be, before going over. I know he has probably as much support as he can cope with at the minute, but he also knows I can live-chat with him at any time, and have been doing so. It is the first time in the ten years we have lived here, that I have really wished I was still in UK.

But despite the bricks life throws to try to shatter us, life does go on, so I have just a very few photos of happier moments this week to share.
Our grand-daughter and her family arrived on Wednesday and they all immediately made friends with Kim. So here he is giving mum, and one of the little people, some love.

Kim can always make us smile.

I have had two little fish in my pool each day. Four year old Alfie is showing me his backstroke.
They played lovely together for over three hours in the water yesterday.

On a different note, our son Jonathan sent me this photo of the crowd he and his band were playing to at "an awesome gig" in Manchester at the weekend. He is the drummer in three or four bands, and he gets such an adrenaline kick when he plays at a gig. He has a some big ones lined up.
Rather him than me, but I love to see him doing what he loves best.

Please forgive me if I don't get to visit you all this week. I have two more visitors coming to join us on Sunday for a week, and too much swimming around  in my brain, but I will try to read everyone's post at sometime.
I hope I have found some pictures to make you smile so I am linking with Annie's Friday Smiles and Rocking Your World.

R.I.P.Dave. You were a gentle man and a gentleman and you will remain in the hearts of all the family.