Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy new year

I hope everyone had a lovely time Christmas, and Santa brought you everything you wanted.
Our Christmas day this year was on Christmas Eve.
Rebecca had been working five straight days but had the 23rd off, returning to work on the 26th.
Spanish traditions are different and they really celebrate for Three Kings 5/6th January.
It is always difficult when you need to split the festivities between two families, so this year Rebecca and I decided that we would ´do´ Christmas eve and they would stay overnight, leaving them to visit Antoni´s family on the day.

It worked out very well, albeit a little strange as we felt we were one day out for the rest of the week.
Christmas day we joined the neighbours for a drink at one of our local restaurants, we were going to stay for lunch (normal day as far as the Spanish were concerned) but still felt so awful from this bug, we changed our minds.

Yesterday was so mild, we reached 22C it was lovely to sit in the Naya enjoying the sunshine. Then I got itchy feet and decided to tackle the rose bed, it was piled high with debris from our high winds the other day, amazing how far the fig leaves etc travel, including four basket loads retrieved from the pool, the roses were in dire need of a good pruning. I tend to forget that everything is done earlier than the UK.
It looks so much better and just to make me smile one bush even had these

Three lovely flower buds.

Daniel, Shine and the girls flew out from Heathrow on the 29th for a month in the Phillipines.
Visiting Shine´s family and just relaxing

Wishing you all the best for 2018 with lots of love, health happiness and energy
Thank you for visiting my blog and ramblings this year, I really appreciate it
Happy New Year
take care

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Happy christmas

Wishing everyone a very Happy Christmas

Enjoy the festivities

take care


Thursday, December 21, 2017

When life gives you oranges

Yesterday we ventured out into town to collect the post and a few necessities.
It still makes me smile after all these years of being here, when I see orange trees laden with fruit lining the streets of the towns.
It is a sort of surreal feeling but feels very festive somehow.

This bug seems to have depleted all our energy and we were both absolutely shattered by the time we got home. Little by little!

On both of my flights to the Uk, I had a window seat and was able to get a couple of good photos
The first one is going over our Sierra Bernia mountain range, you can also see Calpe rock

The second is over Benidorm

The return flight was rather bumpy with seat belt restrictions most of the way, items even flew off the trays unless you held on tight. It was good to land!
Have a good day
take care

Monday, December 18, 2017

Exeter trip

I decided to go to the Uk, to visit Daniel and the girls. I was only going for a week, but was persuaded to stay for two. The weather was Cold but at least some days were dry and even saw a few blue (ish) skies.

I was able to see Leocia´s first nativity play and then join in a play afternoon with Maia at her nursery. I was definitely on Grandma duty, looking after the girls whilst parents went to work and even for them to have a rare night out with their friends.

One of the high lights was a steam train journey from Paignton, Devon to Kingswear near Dartmouth. It was so well produced with signs along the route for the children to spot and a cast of actors performing Sleeping Beauty. The characters went along the whole train in each carriage to deliver the story and on the return journey Santa arrived in our carriage with some excellent presents.  We even had mulled wine and mince pies to enjoy. 

I have visited these places before but never on the train, the scenery was lovely, especially going into Kingswear along the estuary. Brought back so many memories.

I had a day in Exeter to myself and enjoyed meandering along, collecting a few presents along the way and then enjoying a lovely vegetarian lunch at our favorite Herbies.
I was allowed a generous 23kg luggage allowance and I have to say that every bit of it was used up!

Apart from knitting a new dress for rabbit, there was no time for crafting, or sitting down much for that matter. You forget the constant demand for attention or emptying potties and the next meal, or even the swaying cuddles trying to get a fractious toddler off to sleep.

Everyone was just getting over colds when I arrived so it was little surprise I had a mild dose of one, but on my return I caught a virulent cold that has been going around all the neighbours, including Chris, absolutely awful, thumping headaches and sinuses and hacking cough to boot. It has absolutely knocked me for six, so glad I had organised most of the presents already. Taking life very easy at the moment.
I took advantage of Daniel´s Amazon prime whilst there and it certainly made pressie shopping much easier.
Before the train trip

 Exeter cathedral

 I decided to give my pressies to the girls so I could enjoy the fun of them opening them.
Here is the little elephant I made for Maia

 Love the little tail
I bought the pattern from Little Cotton Rabbits and have to say the instructions were excellent, very clear with total count down of stitches throughout. I have one for a rabbit too.
Maia was so sweet, walking round with elephant tucked under her neck giving it little kisses.
The other gifts were well received too.
Think I need a hot lemon and honey, catch up soon
take care

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Caves and finishes

Years ago now, I made Rebecca an advent calendar with little pockets, its a bit of a ritual now to fill it up and she enjoys her daily treat. I have done really well this year and by mid November I had only two presents to find.
We both enjoy our crystals and so I decided I wanted to go to the gift shop of some local caves to find something that would suit.
The caves are about 40 minutes away, not far and it was a nice ride in the sunshine.
Now I do not ´do´ caves, can´t even watch cavers or pot holers, gives me the creeps, however Chris persuaded me to give it a go.
It was very interesting of course, I just had to keep a lid on my thoughts, have a look at the video he took

I found what I wanted in the shop so we headed of to pay Rebecca a surprise visit as she had a day off work. Just need to wrap the presents up now.

I have been adding to the dolls set made for Leocia adding some things for Maia
A little blanket to keep dolly warm
I am making an elephant for Maia, still in bits! and thought a little sleeping bag would keep her snuggly
Leocia has started dancing lessons and ballet so I thought leg warmers would be just the ticket
Need to make some for Maia too

Finished off a jumper for me, but I´ll save that for another post
Take care

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Dorset buttons

Rebecca has been having a declutter and I have been helping her.
Firstly to keep her company but also because it seemed to be a huge mountain.
We have worked hard for the last couple of weeks
then on Sunday we took a car load to the local Rastro (market)
This one is held on a local industrial estate and the pitches were on the road and only cost 10e
We had reasonable success, but I think Rebecca was a little disappointed to have to bring a lot back home. Still we can always try again, each Sunday will be different.
We had to set up before 8 which meant leaving home at 7 then we couldn´t pack up or leave before 2pm, then unpacking the car again, so it was a long day.

Yesterday we went for a ride down to Javea and had a sorbet by the arenal beach.
Rebecca joined us which was lovely and I managed to get a couple of small Christmas pressies

It was quite windy and cooler which whipped the waves nicely for the surfers.

I saw a clip on the telly the other week about Dorset buttons and decided to have a go.
I improvised slightly on the materials but I was really pleased with the results
Then I made some into brooches

The Dorset button originated from the 18th century in Dorset. Originally they were made on a disc cut from the horn of a Dorset horn sheep which was then covered with needlework.

The buttons were made by outworkers working from their homes as piece work and was an important source of income. The buttons were graded by quality and fixed to different coloured cards, ranging from export to domestic. A good buttoner could make around six dozen (72) buttons a day and could earn up to three shillings. The buttons sold at retail for between eight pence and three shillings a dozen. Perhaps better than working on the land in all weathers but it was certainly a hard graft.

Something I enjoy, looking into the history of these old and sometimes forgotten crafts.

Take care

Saturday, October 28, 2017


As the summer temps cool down, the plants and flowers are having a second bloom, which gives the garden a nice bright feel.
We have Chinese bazaars, independent shops that seem to sell everything, although not always a good quality, but they do tend to sell nice plants at reasonable prices.
Rebecca bought me some petunias a few weeks ago from her local chino and once repotted they have flourished nicely, so I asked her to keep her eyes open for other nice plants. 

Beautiful, and both for only 8 euros
Here Puff is enjoying their colour, Merlin is in another part of the courtyard!
I used to enjoy buying crysants in Tiverton at this time of year, they always gave, lasting a long time and creating a lovely colour as the days drew in.
Here, these types of plants are mainly used to celebrate All Saint´s day (a national holiday) 1st November, (the day of the dead)
However as I don´t associate them with this day, I shall just enjoy their blooms.

Bit of DIY too this week, our log burner had gone a little tarnished due to the chimney leaking a bit.
The prep took the time, protecting all the walls, floors etc from the spray paint.
and after, all ready to go now
Have fun, enjoy your extra hour
take care

Monday, October 23, 2017

Tasty morsels

Bit of an autumn clean going on here today, I decided the gas hob was due for a bit of elbow grease, then somehow moved on to sorting out kitchen cupboards. Made good progress making space to put things away instead of being left on the counters. Next question though, will hubby find anything lol

Jo from Through the keyhole put a post up referring to Walkers crisps, choose or lose campaign
It was fun to see the flavours people preferred, including the marmite love or hate ones.
Today Chris popped into the supermarket and came home with these
Allioli is a popular garlic mayo here, I did try them, but not many because of the milk coating, but have to admit they were rather delicious.

This is a spinach, goats cheese and onion tart I made for Saturday´s bbq

Apart from the button on the cardi, I have finished the dress set for Leocia´s doll. The pattern was for a 16" doll, so I hope it fits hers.

Just for fun, I took a photo of a 1/12 scale dress I made ages ago to see the size comparison, this was made using 1mm needles, a tad fiddly
Take care

Sunday, October 22, 2017


Last night was the end of the season for the BBQ´s in the plaza. A nice, warm, clear evening, that was well attended. We started earlier than usual at 8pm instead of 10pm just in case it got cold, but this also meant that it wasn't such a late night (early morning!)
As is the way here, as more people arrived another table was set out and the sharing of our goodies began, Chris had already set his gear up and played for most of the evening.
Good fun had by all

The other evening Chris captured this lovely sunset

Last December I made various items for the first little market held in the plaza to raise funds for the village, but then it was discovered this wasn't permitted by the council so was invited to have a table just for me. I had made various fingerless gloves and was chuffed to sell 5 pairs.

Pilar, one of our neighbours came round to ask me to make her another pair to give as a present. Luckily I had a Blue Peter moment and showed her the ones I still had left over. Another pleasing result.
I needed to know how much yarn they took to make so decided to weigh the gloves then the leftover yarn rather than start to knit and not have enough. I am glad I did, as there wasn't enough. Saved some time and effort there!
Hope everyone had a good weekend
Take care

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Thunder and lightening

We have just had a huge storm, hail, thunder, lightening and torrential rain, but now its all gone, the sun is shining and we have power back. We shall have to wait for everything to dry before clearing up, tree debris, our gravel drive half way into the plaza, soil washed into strange places, oh well it watered the garden!

The other day Rebecca helped me to sort out one of our garages, you know the scenario, boxes still packed with things, not sure what to do with others and then turning a blind eye. This was also where I had stored some of my Dad´s Tiffany style glassware he had made, as I didn't have enough room in the house. Anyway after various comments mostly, why did we keep this? we made excellent progress and cleared loads.
Amongst the ´finds´ was this
Does anyone else remember this, or even had one, I loved doing this as a kid. The box was complete, even the pens were in the box, ok totally unusable, but still. 
Be nice in a few years time to play with the girls and say this was Grandma´s toy.

The other totally awesome find was a cassette tape with my Mother reading the story she wrote for my son, some 33 odd years ago. Chris, very carefully, sorted it out to be able to play, you remember, the pencil in the hole trick etc! it worked!
I haven't plucked up courage to listen yet, probably need a box of tissues at the ready, but what a lovely legacy to be able to produce copies using modern techniques, reprint her written words and let her great grand children hear her story.

I encouraged my grandparents to record some of their lifetime stories and so now have both a lovely family history and a social one too. Do encourage your older family members to record/write some of their stories too, once they are gone, they´re gone.
Only thing is Rebecca too is now asking me to do the same, her excuse is she can´t remember the stories, opps time flies!

take care

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Minies again

Yesterday was our Miniatures club meeting, getting a bit thin on the ground now with only 4 of us there this time!  We haven't met up since May due to every ones own commitments, but we decided to carry on the last theme, window boxes and planters.

I took the workshop this month as everyone wanted me to show them how to make embroidered ferns. A lovely variegated effect is achieved by tweeding two threads together. The technique is needle weaving, which allows the fern leaf to fall free once completed, the longer you make it, the more it twists. They also resemble spider plants
(Just viewed the photos, opps, sorry bit blurrey!)

Its a very soothing technique and everyone enjoyed doing it, you can be as wild and full on as the fancy takes you and when finished, by cutting quite close to the finish petals they can be inserted into troughs and pots. Next time it creeping plants, ie aubretia

There have been builders in the square today, one of the stone walls to the plaza store is in need of some serious tlc. They have rebuilt the wall and added a new window surround. At the end of the day we realised we didn't have any furries around. Cat trap! there were four of them investigating all the work giving their opinion. True to word of being inquisitive. Where the others were is a mystery lol....

Lucy was the only one who owned up!
Take care

Sunday, October 15, 2017

A visitor

This wasn't going to be my post for today, but we had a visitor last night and Chris was clever and quick enough to film it.

During the day we had been watching an eagle, circling and swooping around in the valley, but this evening this huge owl suddenly appeared. We have heard the odd hoot now and again but its the first time we have seen one here.

Look at his huge claws

We do get concerned for the furries when huge birds like this appear, some of ours are quite light and tiny, no match for talons
take care

Sunday, October 8, 2017

A trip out

We decided on a little trip out to explore some of the little coves along the coast. It was about an hours drive, pleasant with less traffic now the main season has ended, very sunny and bright.
First up was Grandella, a pretty spot, but my was the wind blowing, made me smile as the information board said it was renowned for ´gentle breezes´!  

Being hungry we decided to visit the local restaurant - Oh my - talk about captive audience,
A small bottle of sparkling water for me was 2.95e, Chris had a coffee, a reasonable 1.65e, with a mixed salad and potatas bravas (spicy potatoes) to share the bill came to 20e. Moral of the story - take a picnic!

We visited another cove further along, but this was a cliff top view only and again extremely windy.
On our way home we passed through an area that was totally devastated in last years horrific bush fires. Amazingly the area is now covered in greenery as everything starts to replenish.
This whole area had to be evacuated, in this park area a sculptor has used the remaining tree stumps to carve the most wonderful animals.

As you can see there are a few more stumps left, so I do hope they continue carving, lovely to see the inspiration after such a tragedy. Apparently it is one of the bomberos (fireman). Probably most of it done with a chain saw.

I leave you with a photo Chris took the other evening of the harvest moon
Enjoy whats left of the weekend
take care