So, looking back across the past week, it has been a very pleasant one for me, and I'll start with a couple of photos that have made me smile.
First up, this one popped up on my Facebook page as a memory of last year. Our second son Mike was visiting, but whenever he sat on the lounger to relax, an animal climbed up to join him. I guess he is quite well padded! Our little campo cat Paco got there first, and made himself comfy, but Kim decided to join him. He still thinks he is a lap-dog. He is more like a fur blanket in the middle of summer, but he was not very pleased to be told to get down.
This one also turned up on facebook, and it gave me quite a start to see Chris and I on a photo on the Town Hall page. This was taken on the day of the Ruta de Tiendas (the route of shops), which was an initiative to encourage folk to explore the little shops in our own village. We had just been talking to the couple who are the main focus of the photo, outside their Kitchen and Bathroom shop. They are the company who installed my new kitchen a year ago, and we are thinking about having our bathroom done by them soon.
And then there are these two taken this week, as our youngest son Ben marched with the Railway group of his co-workers, in Birmingham Pride parade.
Ben is the one in the grey shorts. He has worked for West Midlands Trains for 16 years now, and is very happy there. He has worked his way through the ranks, and I am so pleased that he has been able to lead his chosen lifestyle with no fear of discrimination or bias against him. They are a colourful bunch anyway.
And now for my week. Summer has arrived and it is getting quite warm. I try to get my work done in the morning so I can relax in the afternoon, but it is not often with my crochet now as it is too warm on my lap. I can still do a row or two in the evenings, but I think the fan will have to come out soon.
We went over to the school to cast our votes in the local election on Sunday morning. There was an air of excitement and quite a crowd of folk just standing around chatting. It is the first time in many years that there has been any real opposition against our Mayor Maria. Well the 'unthinkable' happened and she was deposed, and Fran is now our new Mayor with a considerable majority. We don't think it will make a huge difference to the way the village is run, but we will have to wait and see whether he does a good job.
I had a busy day on Tuesday as it was my turn to host our house group. My friend Margie led a very interesting discussion on the book of Revalations which has always been a bit of a mystery to me. After that my friend Chris stayed to have a bit of lunch here, and then we went over to Albox for an extra choir practice just with the altos. We have a concert coming up in a couple of weeks.
By the time I got back, my Chris knew I wouldn't want to cook a dinner and neither of us were very hungry, so he suggested we went somewhere for a few tapas. We decided on Garrucha. There is a good wide, marble promenade there which is popular for evening strollers.
Garrucha has a good beach, and at the end it curves round to the new marina and docks. We were in the shadow of the tall buildings across the road from us, but the sun was still shining round on the port.
We found a bar that was new to us, and had some generous tapas and drinks for 'silly money', - two big tapas each, two beers for Chris and two martinis plus mixers for me and the bill was 8€. You can't go wrong for that really. Then we walked round to the marina and I bought us both a frozen yoghurt icecream. I chose strawberry and white chocolate and we watched as the young man put a few fresh strawberries on a freezer plate and poured over some thin yoghurt. (the photos aren't very good because there reflections in the glass).
He squashed the fruit and added melted white chocolate, and with a pair of spatulas he soon had it all mixed together and spread over the plate.
Then he scraped it off into curls and piled them in a cup. Chris had banana added to his and darker chocolate.
We found a bench to sit and eat them and they were delicious.
We watched the big barge loading up and leaving the port. There is a constant stream of them coming and going to the port, and a constant convoy of lorries take the gravel there to load onto them.
The marina was full that night and I like to read all the names on the boats. It passed a very pleasant evening, and made a change for us.
On Wednesday I went to my sewing group as usual and then I drove back down to Mojacar as I wanted to post a birthday card at the post office there. It is getting busy with holiday folk now, and I had to drive along the front a bit to find a parking space. I guess it did me good to have to walk back to the post office anyway. It was lovely down there. There was just enough breeze to make rows of white breakers splashing on the rocks, but not windy enough to make it too rough. The sky was blue so the sea was too. I always marvel at the plants that survive there. I know cacti are used to growing in the sand, but they only have very salty water, which they have obviously adapted to.
I took a second picture because Garrucha is the next beach along, and I spotted another of the barges leaving the port. I believe there is another one coming in behind it too.
And now, much closer to home, here is a beautiful jacaranda tree in full bloom at the end of our road. They are such a beautiful colour, and always have their flowers before the leaves appear.
When I zoom out, you can see there is a whole row of these trees along the slip road that runs along the front of the village. It is like a haze of blue when they first come out. They have been flowering for a couple of weeks now and soon the floor under them will be carpeted with blue petals, and then pretty fern-like leaves will open up in their place.
Finally, a new photo posted by our son Michael today. He had met up with two of his brothers, Jim on the right from Wolverhampton, and Jonathan in the centre from Manchester, and Mike's young son Fin, all to watch their team Arsenal in the Europa League final on Wednesday night. My whole family have faithfully followed the same team all their lives, and although they lost on the night, they were still happy to have a brotherly meet up.
Mike's caption on the photo was "I've had 15 addresses, 5 serious girlfriends plus 2 wives, 2 schools, run 2 pubs, had 12 jobs and god knows how many paper rounds; But I've only ever had ONE club and ONE family"
And with that I will link up with Annie's Friday Smiles and Rocking Your World.