Saturday, July 13, 2019

Music with tapas

Well I am happy to say that Antoni is very slowing on the mend and managed to get to London with Rebecca driving to Hammersmith and a short train journey.
He attended his interview, which lasted over two and a half hours, meeting all sorts of top brass and left with the promise of a proposal.

He is so chuffed that he got the job, it will give him great scope to grow a new department and the fringe benefits were quite generous too. He is working remotely for some of the week which will cut down the travel costs, such a relief he has secured the immediate future for them.

We are hoping he will visit the GP for a referral for physio, but in the mean time Rebecca has found some stretching and strenghening exercises on the NHS web site so hopefully he can get on with those.

Last night we ventured further up the mountain to the restaurant that Chris used to play at regularly, the new owners invited him to play for their tapas evening.

There was a nice gentle breeze on the terrace, cooling everyone as we have been having quite high temps of late, last week we reached 39.5C, but even the 34/35 is still a wee bit hot.

The tapas were delicious, a set menu of 6 with a bottle of wine to share for 19.95e per couple
A refreshing salad was an extra 3.50 but it was very tasty.
Although they had had cancellations the ones that were there stayed all evening listening to Chris play, it was a lovely evening.
One couple were over for a holiday from New Zealand and lived very close to where Chris used to and were in the entertainment/tourist industry, so knew all of the places he used to play, so he enjoyed catching up with all that. 

It looks like Chris will have a Friday night spot again, he does enjoy doing it

The tapas were pork slices with honey, tiny chorizo sausages, calamari, deep fried camembert, pate with caramalized onions and pea sprouts and a beef meatball. 

Hmm back to normal fare today then lol
take care

Friday, July 12, 2019

So disappointing

Rebecca, Antoni and his sister Daisy were all booked for a 10 days visit starting last Monday
Antoni had a very important job interview in London in the morning and they were due to fly in the evening.
Then disaster struck!
Antoni was all ready to don his suit and leave when his back just twanged and gave out
He ended up on the floor of the bedroom, racked with terrible back spasms every few minutes.
They decided to call an ambulance, who took 15 minutes of talking before they decided they would send one, then saying it could be between 1-2 hours wait.
The paramedics arrived after about an hour and were surprised at the severity of the spasms, so first it was gas and air, then some relaxant then morphine.
Nothing touched it, so they fetched a stretcher, rolled him on his side then back on the stretcher, lifted him on the bed and did the reverse. Arranged for a prescription, said there was nothing more they could do, and left!
So there he was, stranded like a beached whale in agony.
The meds still didn´t help so they called 999 again and were told to ring the GP for out of hours doctors, when she finally got through she was told the surgery was closed and they didn´t offer that service.!?
So back to 999 who arranged for one of theirs to ring, he upped the meds, said it was ridiculous they hadn´t given him pain meds and no he wouldn´t visit as it would take him 2 hours to get there, but faxed a prescription to their nearest Asda pharmacy for collection.
Talk about feeling dumped
The next day he was just the same and we were getting worried because he hadn´t been able to visit the bathroom or use the bed pan they had left him.
The meds slowly kicked in and things improved a tiny bit.
Rebecca went out and bought a back brace and yesterday he managed to get downstairs wearing it and be in the car for a little ride, in preparation for today to attend his missed interview.
Goodness me, you couldn´t make it up
We are all gutted that the trip was cancelled,
 Rebecca was so looking forward to ´coming home´ and relaxing, and of course Antoni was gutted to have spoilt it all, being told that these things happen and it wasn´t his fault was of little comfort to him.
We have turned it around into positives that Antoni gets his interview and have rescheduled the trip to the beginning of September. We shall just have to be patient and wait to have our huggles and cuddles and be content with phone and skype calls.

take care 

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Fiesta time again

Last weekend was the reenactment of the Mores and Christians fiesta in our local town of Benissa.

They really go to town with these, with the main town closing for days and the car park being used for the castle. Each year the costumes change with the most elaborate finishes
It begins on Friday with marching bands and continues Saturday and Sunday with thunderous blunderbuses, parades, storming of the castle and retaliation, on through till Monday. All very late nights and usually packed with onlookers.
We had a friend staying, so Chris took him down to enjoy the fun.

Not really my thing as you have to stand for hours with the crowd and it´s just plain ear bashingly noisy.
Thought you might like to see some piccies of it........erm there´s quite a lot!!!!

They really love the blunderbuses and fire crackers

Then they move into the narrow side streets where it is even louder, you also get covered in hot spent gunpowder if you are not careful!

It is quite something to see, and each night everything is cleared and cleaned and you would never know anything had been going on apart from the props.

All back to normal now, we can use the square, cafes and shops, until the next time

take care

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Party time

The day before the party, we took Mum to Old Basing and went on to Reading to collect last minute items and the flowers. There is a flower stall in the main street where Rebecca had placed my order. I picked statice, small carnations, gyp, some bell shaped ones (don´t know the name) and the huge bouquet we wanted to present to her. We had our arms full and the total price was only 35.00, extremely good value.
Then on to Rebecca´s where I spent most of the evening decorating the glass jars for the table posies and assembling the decorations that I had flat packed in my case.
I invested in a new glue gun which was waiting for me, so glad I did would have been very hard without it. It also worked so much better than my old one.

Daniel, Shine and the girls were supposed to join us for dinner, but when they went to collect the cake, there had been a misunderstanding about the collection day so they had to wait for it to be decorated, that got us in a bit of a tizz and they didn´t arrive till after midnight.

Saturday we were up early, packed and off to the venue to decorate

The place is centuries old complete with working water mill, the room had low beams which made hanging the decs much easier.

Luckily we had Rebecca, Antoni, Daniel, Shine and SIL, Jo helping, we were gluing, blowing up balloons, at least I remembered a pump, stringing, sprinkles for the tables, I mixed up the coloured water using acrylic paints and took it in bottles so we made 14 posies. The girls were enjoying themselves playing with balloons and ´helping´!

With just enough time to change, we finished before the first guests arrived, then the guest of honour arrived at 1.15, completely flabbergasted by the whole thing, seeing so many people there (48) wishing  to celebrate with her

Mum has lived in the same cul de sac, along with most of her neighbours, all of a similar age, for 63 years and she was totally overwhelmed by the fact that they were all there.
Along with nieces, nephews, grand and great grand children, old work mates and friends.

After the buffet we all gathered round to watch the video Chris had painstakingly made for weeks. What was truly wonderful was everyone could identify with it, having found photos of her friends and neighbours and of her parents and Aunts etc so all the rellies had a connection with the film too.
There were quite a few giggles and a lot of tissues being used as it progressed. Chris had coordinated music from each decade as the photos flipped past and all wanted to know just how he had managed to get such good images from the very old cine films. There was even a clip from 1971 of me as a very young teenager, when I joined the family on a camping trip to Ringwood with us playing piggy in the middle with Mum.

It was cake time next, I wanted one of the delicious Filipino ones and asked Shine to organise it. They use purple yams and is the lightest, fluffiest yummy cake ever and of course, when cut its purple, Mum´s favourite colour.

Unfortunately the centre flower failed, it was supposed to slowly open, play Happy Birthday and sparkle, but it was still effective.

Chris performed a few songs, we couldn´t take his guitar with us but during our house search found his first original one that hadn´t been played for 40 odd years, but with new strings it certainly did the job.

About 5, people began to drift away, I think the oldies had partied enough
Then came the clear up, always quicker than putting up
Everyone loved the afternoon and with the sun coming out we managed a series of family photos too,
it was certainly worth all the effort, just a shame it all seemed to whizz by so quickly.
Mum was joking about what are you going to do for my 100th then?
We shall see

take care

Saturday, June 29, 2019

I´m back

Hi everyone, I´m back
What a trip and a half that was, I have gone from sitting there with a cardigan and fleece on, (it was really chilly, dull and raining) to coming home to temps in the high 20´s and today it was 30C at 10am. It´s hot in the UK too now, so take care everyone.

Luckily the weather on the day of the party was quite good and the last day of my trip I actually managed to wear a short sleeved top, getting me in training for coming home!

We took lots of photos, especially the decor, which I am pleased to say everyone loved, but they are on different devices so I will have to collate them to post.

A couple of weeks before we went we learnt that Mum had had a fall and banged her head, leaving her with rather a large bump, but she didn´t have signs of concussion and was luckily Ok.
So it was a shock to learn that other members of the family had taken it upon themselves to investigate a care home in Basingstoke. Not only that but Mum had been whisked over to view and they signed her up on the dotted line and had already started the procedure to sell her property! Talk about fait  accompli.
We had plans in place which meant we were hopping around the countryside to fulfill them, Chris was only over for 8 days so when
 we were suddenly given the task to remove any personal memorabilia, mementos etc it was panic mode. Especially as we had to find temporary storage ready to ship over to Spain.

Mum´s house is a 5 bed, 3 reception house that she has lived in for 63 years and she is a self confessed hoarder. It was absolutely bedlam, everything was crammed in and we had to declutter a bit first then find all the treasures.  Old Edwardian and 1920´s family photos stuffed in shoe boxes, Victorian items from Mum´s grandparents, including a mug from 1897 Victoria´s diamond jubilee, WW1 artifacts from her parents and many sets she has collected over the years.

We at least persuaded the others to organise auctioneers to come and value the items rather than their preferred method of house clearance. Most of the clearance companies wanted between 4 and 5000 and they kept the goodies! outrageous!

Anyway I´m sure you have the gist of the proceedings, so the whole trip was tainted by this sudden revelation with ´family meetings´, lots of stress and upset and that poor Mum will be living in one room, leaving most of her treasures and memories behind as the place is too small.
All this in 3 weeks, including viewings which resulted in accepting the first offer! Perhaps they don´t want Mum to change her mind!

However, we had a lovely day sharing Rebecca´s birthday with Antoni and we took the train to London, had a very nice meal (omg! the prices though) then went along to the Prince Edward theatre to see the musical Alladin. It was a brilliant show. To save money on taxis we walked from there afterwards to Paddington, it was a long way but we did save over 40.00 and passed landmarks for photo opportunities. 
So lovely to create memories and enjoy each others company. I used to take the kids to the theatre in Barnstaple which is where Rebecca got her love for going.

We also found our train fares covered the cost of the underground, so with much trepidation I agreed to go on it, I hate, long tunnels, caves etc so this was quite a feat, of course we then had to do the same in reverse which was not so pleasant, probably because I was tired, but I did it, although I think I shall quickly gloss over that bit

Well I really need to find the various photos so will go now, enjoy the good weather and weekend. Catch up soon
take care

Monday, May 20, 2019

Busy bees

We have both been very busy with prep for Mum´s birthday party
Chris has been sitting for hours on end at the computer, firstly making a photo album ready to be sent off for printing, then making a narrated video for screening at the do
Last time we were over he took images of the old family photos and even managed to re video some footage of their old cine movies of the 60´s and 70´s.
Using todays technology, he is a whizz at making them look like new by taking out the grainy bits he has even managed to colour her original black and white wedding photo. It starts out in b/w then gently turns into colour.  A bit of clever conversation being used to find out the colours of her bridesmaids dressses and flowers

He has made it into each decade with music suitable for that time, with a short narration, he has even taken a photo of Mum taken when she was in her late teens and at the end of the video this fades and turns into the latest one wishing her a happy birthday.
Think she will be blown away when she sees the video on the day

He is now putting the newspaper together using font from the era and all the research I have done over the weeks. We will then need to get it printed

Me? well I have been busy too, making decorations for the venue, the colour theme is purple, lilacs and silver

I decided to make a flower swag for the buffet table

just need attaching to ribbon now

I am going to make little posies for the tables, I have asked for glass jars to be saved and will decorate them and add coloured water by mixing some acrylic paint in 

In my stash I found some little lacy flowers so sat there separating the gems and putting them in the centers, unfortunately their sticky backs wouldn´t hold them in place when they were moved, so I had a rather laborious job of finding the ones that had pinged off then removing them all and reattaching using a glue gun. Now ready for the jars with some butterflies
Then made a little brooch for Mum to wear

Organza spheres - going to put different colours together ready for hanging

I punched out butterflies and added a little bling, wound organza around an embroidery hoop and made it into a mobile

(cant find that photo at the moment, have to add it later)

I found some really pretty wrapping paper so am hoping to make some paper fans with them. I shall have to make them and then assemble together when we are there

Luck was with me that day as I also found in the chinese bazaar, an English happy birthday banner with balloons attached, thought that could go on the outside patio, 
although the bunting is the wrong colour, it has given me the template, the card is cut just the lettering to do

Right, well I had best be off then and crack on
take care

Thursday, May 2, 2019

What a day

Oh my word, what a nail biting day yesterday was!
I had a niggling feeling in the morning and messaged Daniel to see if everything was ok
only to find him waiting in the doctors in great pain
He was given a letter for immediate admission to the hospital for appendicitis 

He had to wait in surgical triage for hours before being seen by a doctor, luckily he hadn´t had any food etc since 8am so he was whisked off about 9pm for surgery and returned about 1am.

They warned him that they would try keyhole if not it would be the traditional method, but I´m really pleased to say that the keyhole was successful as the recovery rate is much quicker.
They gave him hot chocolate during the night for which he was grateful for as he was feeling really dehydrated. I think its a 2/3 day stay then at least 2 weeks recovery.

Daniel and Shine have spent a lot of the last three weeks moving house. They overlapped the move to make it easier to do it themselves. He now tells me this pain had been rumbling around for several weeks but he put it down to strain moving all the furniture and boxes. He is so lucky that it didn´t burst.
They will have to call in some favours to finish the move as he will be on enforced rest.
Our bodies do have a way to tell us when we are pushing the limits, perhaps we should all listen a little earlier.

They have also cancelled his scheduled dental surgery for wisdom teeth extraction on the 10th May and he now has to wait another 6 months. He did suggest they did the two things together but they declined! lol
It´s at times like this that makes the distance between us really hard at not being able to offer help

Four year old Leocia was collected from school yesterday wanting to know where Daddy was, when she was told she demanded to be taken to see him immediately for a cuddle 
aww bless

take care