Saturday, January 12, 2019

Lady at work

Can´t settle, don´t feel creative, so next best thing, tackle the garden
We all know how gardens can run away with you, but ours seems to have galloped off running amok

First to tackle was the rose garden by the pool. I learnt very quickly that pruning takes place so much earlier than in the UK. I forgot to take a before picture, but I´m sure you can see by the piles of weeds and clippings how overgrown it had become. In fact we have one rose already in flower.



Finally finished except I can´t find the photo lol
Then moved on to tackle a very invasive plant, its all top growth with loads of dead wood beneath
There is actually a 2/3 foot bed underneath that lot

We have some large builders sacks which are very useful, three filled so far plus a couple of wheelbarrow loads

Moved the bench with its back to the pool and now I can sit and view the Med



Much warmer today, so after a nice cuppa in the Naya, it´s back to work.
Luckily we obtained our fire licence from the Suma office, so hopefully with a controlled bonfire most of the debris will disappear.

Take care
xcx

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Thank you

Wishing you all a very Happy New year

I would like to sincerely thank everyone for your comments, they were very comforting.

I returned home late Sunday night, it was so very difficult to leave, but it is nice to be in my own environment again, also to be able to feel a little warm sunshine on my face.

I didn´t have a device to be able to do a post, I also didn´t think it appropriate given the time of year.

We were told to arrive 10.30 Monday morning but unfortunately treatment couldn´t start until 4pm as the room was being used. Rebecca and I went to find some lunch which was surprisingly good from the cafe. We were getting more and more anxious as the hours drifted passed.
We were shown into a special en suite with double bed and sofa, Oh goodness was the sofa hard though, with coffee machine, kettle and all the necessary items to make drinks and a little fridge for our sarnies etc. Although in fact Antoni was catered for with meals as well as Rebecca.

Rebecca and Antoni´s Angel baby Rose Elizabeth was born 18th December after 14 hours labour.
So tiny, so beautiful
I was honoured and given the privilege of cutting the cord
(Antoni didn´t want to)
At least I was able to be there to rub, hold hands and forehead when the morphine caused sickness and give comfort and of course blessed to be there for Roses´birth.

Antoni!? well bless it was all too much and he slept for over 4 hours next to Rebecca whilst she did what us women do! He did wake up in time for the birth though and for someone who said he wasn´t going to be there for that bit did very well.

I cannot praise enough the gentleness, caring, thoughtfulness and compassionate care that the nursing staff and everyone afforted us.
Nothing was too much trouble, and we were all left to be able to hold and cuddle Rose for as long as we wanted and were encouraged to take as many photos as we could and with a phone call were able to arrange other visits whenever we wanted.

Rose was dressed in a sort of tiny shroud and the teeny hat I had managed to knit, she was also wrapped in one of the blankets I had made and gifted to Rebecca in November.
They were presented with a beautiful memory box containing amongst other things, a Guardian Angel keyring, a beautiful candle in a silk bag, two little teddies, one for Rose and the other Rebecca. There was also a special kit for taking tiny hand and foot prints and the midwife was so so gentle making sure she got it right.
They took photographs too and arranged for the Chaplain to come and conduct a naming ceremony.
Although Rebecca was given the all clear for discharge, we were not rushed and stayed for many hours holding and cuddling. I stepped out quite a few times to give them the space and privicy to be with their daughter.

Having to leave the hospital with empty arms was devastating made even more difficult knowing we then had to go to the funeral directors to arrange things, with the holiday period this was quite tricky.

We chose the Co-op as they were very accommodating, helpful and could offer better times to allow people to travel. To our amazement we were told everything was for free, the only charge was for the Order of Service. We were offered the 10th Jan but Rebecca said no can´t wait that long and managed to get the 3rd Jan. Again they did everything in their power to make this as easy as they could with the Chapel of rest offered when ever you needed.
Rebecca had ordered some story books so she could read to Rose
How much I love you, The Snowman and The Owl who was afraid of the dark
She sat very serene, cuddling Rose quietly reading to her every time we visited.
It was very moving to see, but also very hard to keep a lid on my emotions so I could be there for her.

Amongst all this of course they had only moved house the previous Friday so we were living in boxville! Rushing from the flat loaded up back to the house. Glad I was there to help as Rebecca was told not to do very much!! Ha, I tried telling her! but we managed to get some sort of order amongst it all, especially as they planned to have people back after the funeral.

The day dawned and we visited Rose for the last time, you have heard of the expression ´cried buckets´ well I think we filled several with Rebecca having to be firmly lead away by Antoni

We were collected from the house in the limo with Rose on the first row of seats.
Daniel, Shine and the girls made the journey from Exeter with 10 mins to spare, squeaky!
Unfortunately, even though they had caused no small amount of selfish stress, Antoni´s family, travelling from Nottingham, decided at the very last minute they were not attending.
Well if you could see my tongue it still has the grooves in it where I had clamped it firmly between my teeth!!
The chapel was quite small seating up to 40 people, it was warm cosy and quite welcoming, as opposed to the cold stiff places I have attended before.
Rebecca and Antoni carried Rose in, a tiny pink coffin, which was set upon a large cushion.
The service had been very carefully thought out with the celebrant and was very moving, beautiful and totally in keeping with a tiny Rose.
The flowers were kept to a minimum but they were fresh, vibrant and a beautiful mix, including of course roses.
Daisy, Antoni´s sister sang her own beautiful version of Fly by Celine Dion, they were heart touching poems, I read (just!) our family prayer and we listened to A Mother´s prayer again Celine and music during reflection.
I don´t know how she did it but Rebecca went over to Rose and read her the story of How much I love you, not a dry eye to be seen.
There was a collection after wards for the Willow Charity, they have a support group for families to share and provide the memory boxes etc.

After the service we went out to the Flower garden and Rebecca and Antoni, after a short poem, released a balloon each and we watched as they danced around each other, drifting higher into the sky, until out of sight
Fly high little Angel Rose fly.

Time is needed to reflect and heal and whilst all the cliches are old they are still true.
Thank you again for your thoughts
Take care
xcx

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Devastating news

I have been deliberating, swinging back and forth should I post or not?
Does any one want to know or should know, but then as many bloggers say this becomes our own form of a diary so yes here goes.

We have just received such devastating news that at Rebecca´s 20 week scan they have found serious problems with the baby, so much so that even after a second scan today they are saying that the baby would not survive outside the womb.
So with much sole searching and medical advice it has been decided that there is only one course of action. It is all going to happen very quickly, Monday in fact, and I have managed to get a flight out on Sunday to be with them, support them and help.
The medical team have been very supportive, explaining everything, it´s just a horrible process.

They have been told to name the baby as they can have a naming ceremony and there will be a sort of funeral service after.
.
Rebecca told me she is having an angel baby and that God missed her so much that he wanted her back.
A beautiful thought
So we shall say both hello and goodbye to our little Rose
Such a pretty name

Both Antoni and I are allowed to be with Rebecca throughout, which is a comfort to us all.
Such a sad, sad time

take care
xcx

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Baubles and tassels

I know everyone says the same thing, but this week really has just zipped me by.
They turned off the power on Wednesday, some for only a few hours, but we were off all day
Isn´t silly! you know the power is off and yet you still go to turn the light on or switch the kettle on
We are lucky in that we have an electric oven but a gas hob so can still cook etc. We were always getting outages and this made life easier, it´s better now, new meters etc and it has resulted in our bills reducing!
It was Spanish conversation evening in the old school house, but we were armed with battery torches, extra layers, which we didn´t need as it was quite warm still, munchies, wine, oh and our homework.
It´s usually for about 1- 1 1/2 hour, we kept checking to see if the power was on, getting slightly concerned of no power for the evening, but when the batteries started to dim we packed up. Outside I saw we had power, the trip had gone and we were sitting there in the semi darkness for nothing!

When we went over to the UK in November I took most of Rebecca´s advent pressies, there were two problems, one because the zip broke on Chris´s there wasn´t enough room in his smaller one for some of them, and also I needed to buy about 6 more.
So that was duly done, wrapped and ready.
Then I decided to make her a Christmas bauble

Looks a bit wonky in the photo but it wasn´t

Definately her colours and as one of her pressies was a length of purple tinsel they went well together, which funny enough she chose as her next gift.

I made the tassel using this little gadget
Bought it years ago and it certainly makes making them very much easier.
With three sizes to choose from you can make some really spectacular tassels



The art of making elaborate trimming or edgings including tassels is called Passementerie. In the 16th century the Guild of Passementiers was created in France with a 7 year apprenticeship before becoming a master. No wonder these creations used to show your wealth and standing in the community.
Simple or elaborate they are limitless, I used a silver glitter thread to run with the main colour, just giving it a little more interest. I didn´t decorate with beads this time but they do look really nice.

An idea that I have used over the years is to use the tassels as part of your decorations for your gifts. Personal colours or to match the current scheme, rustic ones from raffia to go with a gardening gift, or soft delicate ones for a special gift, perfume or jewellry.
If it will wrap you can use it. 
Obviously you can use the tried and trusted method of a stiff piece of card and wrap, as long as you secure both the lead in and off threads, then it´s much easier to fiddle with the top part and loop.
Have fun with it.

I also came across a lovely needle book that I purchased years ago when I loved looking in the local antique shop. The proprieter knew I collected sewing paraphernalia and used to save me odd and ends. It is probably circa 1930´s, it´s difficult to see, but the figures are pop up, very sweet




The sky is blue and the sun is lovely and warm, time to take a project up to the Naya and enjoy the rays.
take care
xcx











Friday, November 30, 2018

A theme

It was lovely bright and warm in the garden yesterday, I think we reached about 20C
not bad for November, unfortunately due to our neighrbour building his roof terrace wall higher it has cut down our quota of sun in the courtyard, as I was wandering around I realised a theme was going on, so I thought I would share it with you

This plant was looking quite sorry for itself before we had all the rain, now it´s perked up with a sunny flower
These little flowers come up year after year and just love companion planting themselves
I have already harvested loads of these little chillies already and was surprise to see another round, they are "hot" and need to be used carefully!

This is a Salobrena, most of the summer it curls itself into tight buds for conserving moisture
then suddenly it bursts into life, unfurls and starts to produce clusters of yellow blooms (bit early at the moment though). It is extremely easy for pieces to break off but then they root very well, making it a cheap way of increasing plants.
This is a bit tongue in cheek!
Growing in the lemon tree pot, I know technically it would be classed as a weed, but it did fit in the theme and also its a wild flower so who am I to pull it out

Although not yellow,  we still have peppers growing
We also have a rather straggly fushia flowering and the daisies are popping up their cheerful heads, they are pink but never mind they are still pretty


The Jasmine is also in flower and giving off a wonderful aroma as you brush past it, it does get a big unruly but recovers very well after a haircut.

We have just had 5 cubic metres of logs delivered, a mix of olive, almond and pine, it´s a huge pile (thought I´d taken a pic, but can´t find it) anyway, trust me, its big, that all has to be trundled down the garden into the wood shed. Usually thats over 30 heaped barrow loads.
Luckily the weather is dry so we can take our time and do it in stages rather than kill ourselves moving it in one go. Mustn´t grumble, it keeps us warm

Must go, I have at long last brushed of the cobwebs (metaphorically speaking) to the fabric cupboard looking for Christmas fabric for making decorations, makes a change from knitting
Have a lovely weekend whatever you are doing
take care
xcx

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Random


Just sorted out some of the phone photos so a bit random

We were given a lovely present from Rebecca and Antoni and Bump, a real aww factor

Tear jerker with the little wave.

Our wonderful hot chocolate, not sure what was most satisfied, the tummy or the feet for the rest!
Salted caramel and gingerbread with soya

Decided on a little play time in the kitchen, when we left, the fridge was really empty and I was grateful to be able to secure a supermarket delivery slot for the day after we returned.
So experimenting, I made cranberry, walnut, sage stuffing for a turkey breast, with honey, garlic roasted carrots. Now Chris hates carrots unless they are cooked with orange, which being so allergic to them, (oranges)I can´t even have them in the house. It was a gamble, suffice to say we have had them since. Yes!! a result............
Then it was pumpkin, carrot and coriander soup

Moving on to bread pudding, Ok I started this, but now it seems to have become rather a favourite

I have always enjoyed being creative in the kitchen, 
I can buy 72% dark chocolate from the supermarket and as long as I don´t go overboard, ie. two or three squares a week, I can get away with having it.
However, flat, hard chocolate doesn´t really ´do´it, so
I made these, please excuse the presentation as I packed them and took them down to neighbours night, forgetting to take a  photo

Cranberry with almond and ginger
They didn´t last long at all
Having children with dairy intolerance taught me to improvise, so I used to make their chocolate Easter eggs, in those days using carob substitute, felt a little like capturing years gone by
Got some orders now lol
As I am writing this, having done prep first and left other half to carry on,  a small bowl of green olives stuffed with anchovies has appeared on the desk, hmmm
Must be a cue to get off and carry on
take care
xcx






Monday, November 19, 2018

Drenched

Ooh we are getting drenched!
We don´t get that much rain, but when we do, boy does it come down.
180mm/12 hours, 50mm/1 hour
The dry rivers beds fill with a tremendous amount of water
Roads are flooded, all the schools are shut for the day, along with alot of businesses
No unnecessary travel

Oh well will just have to hanker down with the log burner and knitting

take care
xcx