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
xcx



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
xcx





Monday, October 2, 2017

Sunsets

With the temps being slightly cooler we were able to get out into the wilderness, sorry, garden and do some cutting back and tidying. As we are on the campo and rural we cannot get a burning license until at least 20th October and only then if our local town hall regulations permit. So we had to be careful how big a pile of overgrowth we could make. Nice to make a start though.

Apart from that a very lazy couldn't be bothered to do much weekend, hopefully we can find a little bit of get up and go this month. Repairs and outside projects can kick in now, maybe even a little bit of painting where hopefully it doesn't dry on the brush.
 

Its sunset season with some really spectacular skies. The bottom one show one of our huge cacti flowering, then it will die. Shame
Have a good day
Take care
xcx

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Baking and a little knitting




Rebecca popped over for the afternoon this week, which was lovely and we had a kitchen spree.
First we made another batch of lip balm, this time lime and bergamot, very zingy and fresh.
The we decided to make a batch of carrot and walnut muffins
They were lovely, moist and very yummy, we shared the batch and I had to hurry to take a photo before they all disappeared.

Today we had to pop into the garage to have our brakes checked, they were making the most awful noise. Luckily they did them whilst we waited and replaced all four calipers and brake pads, I was getting a bit concerned as to the final bill, but was pleasantly surprised and relieved at the invoice.
We carried on to Rebecca´s for a cuppa and to collect a parcel, lovely to see her and have a catch up.
As we were leaving she showed me a plant that had self seeded, it was quite amazing and I had never seen anything like it.
The pod was approx. 3" long
One of them had burst and this is what was inside
Gossamer seed heads, very light and fluffy, tightly packed together 
The inside of the pod was covered in a soft membrane similar to that of a horse chestnut, for protection
Some had spilled out and covered quite an area, so Rebecca very wisely decided to collect them before more of them self seeded.

It´s getting a little cooler in the evenings now, you can tell as suddenly the furries are looking for a nice lap to perch on and enough for a little knitting. 
Whilst on a recent skype call to Daniel and the girls, I noted that dolly didn't have a very varied wardrobe, so I´ve hunted about the various knitting sites and found a dress and cardi, start Christmas pressies early!
It´s usually impossible to knit with Benji on my lap, but he was so comfy and tired he completely ignored the tickling yarn and clicking needles.
Well, another weekend, enjoy what ever you choose to do
Take care
xcx








Sunday, September 24, 2017

Another new start

Feel a bit of a fraud! Here I was having a tad dar moment of having internet then I disappear again!
Bit of a catalogue of errors really, I went out on to the bancarles and fell down a huge hole made by the boar, smashed my left knee down, badly bruised but still functioning, just! That was on the Monday, then on Friday we had a day of fine mountain mist and drizzle and the courtyard gate began banging in the wind, so annoying, so I went out to shut it, turned around and slipped on the wet tiles on the slope, yup! straight on the knees, then to add insult, because of the slope I was unable to get up again.
So I sat and pondered, hubby was well away in the lounge and due to the thickness of the walls was unable to hear my cries for help. I even resorted to banging against a metal bucket to raise attention, nope, nada, zilch, it was raining quite heavily by then, hubby eventually came near enough to hear me and I was rescued, nothing broken just badly bruised and very wet.

Been nursing myself, taking it easy and gently going about daily life. So now, feeling better, (Just don't touch the knees) I thought I would share the hand sewing I have been doing during the summer
This was a project I took to the UK back in May, as I hate to be without something to do, and so I continued, it has been quite nice sitting in the warm shade hand stitching all these little blighters together. Then came the next stage....
Piecing it all together on a background design sheet. So now slowly stitching everything together, eventually a cot quilt.

Do you sometimes get to the stage where you think "what can we have for lunch, something different"?
So today I tried slicing sweet potatoes, grilling for 20 minutes then using them to create a pizza, very different but certainly gluten free, well worth a try,
So, hope you have all had a wonderful weekend, catch up soon
take care
xcx




Thursday, September 7, 2017

Back online

We have internet!!!!!!!! Yeah..........
At long last we are now back with internet, what a long and frustrating road we have been on. Our provider of 9 years suddenly announced our poor connection was that we were suddenly too far away!? So had we upped and moved our house, certainly got the feeling they couldn´t be asked. Then it was too much interference and too many holiday makers using the system and they wouldn´t review the situation until late September.

We managed to find another provider with a complete package to offer, we waited for the engineer, and waited, only to be told that he had visited the plaza (which is way below us and we know does not receive signal) but not the house and refused all pleas to try again properly. We knew we could get 4g via the wireless because that's the system we use for the house line.

We tried another provider, 4g wireless router, fast connection and lots of bandwidth. Ok it does pop in and out sometimes but its so fast. Now I can catch up on blogs, Ancestry, courses and more. Yes!!!

I´ll leave you with our new visitor who is very industrious and seems to be growing by the day.

She has been named Doris, and already has quite a following, just be careful where you walk at night!
Back soon, take care
xcx 



Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Travelling

We have just returned from a week away in the UK. We flew into Gatwick, such a huge airport, thank goodness for assistance, then headed for Woking to stay with MIL.
I had arranged a couple of appointments for the Thursday but once they were completed we went off with MIL to her caravan in Littlesea, Weymouth.
Her pitch is up on the top of the hill so commands excellent views of Chesel Beach and the lagoon. We were so lucky in that the predicted weather reports stated rain for most of the time, but it only rained during the night, so we were able to mooch along to the quay, have a lovely breakfast and do a little retail therapy. I was looking for a shop called Yours where I happy browsed away an hour and came away with rather a large bag of goodies.

We drove out heading towards Lyme Regis direction and found Hardy´s monument (ie Thomas Hardy) with a field nearby with a carpet of blue bells, so pretty. However it was blowing a gale, cloudy and freezing, bearing in mind we had just left behind temperatures of about 25C at home, so we didn´t tarry.


We left on Monday, travelling through heavy rain, which did stop by midday,
 back to Woking for another appointment. Then off to a Harvester for an early dinner as by this time we were all famished.
Part of the reason for going over was to help Mum sort out various things, as she had got into a bit of a pickle in not dealing with things very well. So we arranged for a home help cleaner, took stuff to the recycling and shredded what must have been a small tree lol. All sorted now and she is much happier now the little mountain has gone.
Having said that, her social life is pretty amazing and she does enjoy herself to the full.

We returned on Tuesday but were subjected to an hours wait on the tarmac whilst they sorted a few technical problems out, so were consequently 40 minutes late leaving, so by the time we arrived back home it was 2am, such a long day.
We had a welcoming committee though from the furries with Monster and Thomas leading behaving more like puppies than cats.
Nice to be away, but so nice to be home again, and back to 26C today
take care
xcx


Friday, April 28, 2017

My day

It was my birthday last Saturday (22nd), a special one, lets just say it had an ´0´on it!
Daniel, Shine and the two girls flew over on Thursday, as did Mum (Joyce) and sister in law, Jo.
Rebecca and Antoni joined us on Friday and we had a lovely family meal. 

It was so lovely to all be together and of course catch up with everyone´s news.
Leocia and Maia have certainly grown, as they do, and Leocia is talking quite clearly now whilst Maia is quite content to sit and watch then mimic.

Luckily Saturday dawned bright and sunny (we had been expecting rain) and after a hearty breakfast I was treated to some wonderful and thoughtful gifts. I was also presented with some really beautiful bouquets.


Everyone went off to set up for the party in the restaurant and Chris went to set his gear up and he was playing for us all.
When I arrived a few hours later they had transformed the restaurant with purple and white balloons, streamers and pom poms, Rebecca had worked so hard to make it perfect. Antoni had also created and made on his 3D printer beautiful napkin holders in the shape of cats.
All told about 30 of us ate, danced, chatted, tapped our feet and generally had a wonderful time.
I was also presented with a beautifully decorated chocolate cake, both gluten free and vegan. It was divine.

Chris played for over 3 hours, love him, and was brilliant, he also got me up for 3 songs, but no one left lol!
We carried on with the party at home with some of the guests which lasted till about 2am,
I was treated like a princess, spoilt, hugged and loved and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. What a wonderful day.
Then all too swiftly it was over
Daniel, Shine and the girls left late Sunday night
Mum and Jo stayed till late Tuesday
then it was just the clearing up to do!!
All so totally worth it
take care
xccx



Wednesday, April 5, 2017

A finish.....

Finished something at last,
I began knitting a waterfall waistcoat several weeks ago, then when all was knitted it sat in the basket waiting to be stitched up, (my least favourite part)
The yarn is King Cole Opium Palette and varies in thickness
something completely different for me and a challenge, although once I got used to it and keeping the tension is didn´t turn out to badly.

I started on a short sleeved long jumper too, it seemed a nice simple easy pattern! Until I came to pick up for the round neck, use straight needles it said, yeah right got 3/4´s of the way round and came to a grinding halt, no way could you pick up the rest of the stitches, so I emailed the designer (twice) but didn´t get a response. So I thought to ask an expert, especially one who knits such lovely socks. Jo at Through The Keyhole came up with the answer, use a circular needle, so that project is now waiting in the wings

I was given some lemons straight from the tree, lovely fresh and sweeter than shop bought ones, so I thought I would plant some of the pips, I am so pleased as all six pips have germinated
I made little cloches from the water bottles and a recycled meat tray


Baby monster, now at 7 1/2 months, has had his trip to the vet, he was a little dopey for a couple of days, but then was soon back to his mad scatty ways
The vet said he was much bigger than average for his age and he already weighs in about 4kg

Better go, have Spanish homework to do before the lesson tonight
take care
xcx
 

Monday, March 13, 2017

What a difference........

a day makes................in 24 hours we have gone from 28C, beautiful blue skies to 7C raging storms and lashing rain.  We have weather watch groups here so we were warned to batten down the hatches, but my goodness, when it rains, it rains.

It started last night with crashing thunder and zig zagging lightning over head, losing satellite and turning off computers and routers. Then the rain started, we left it to get on with it and retired to bed. Then in the night I awoke to the awful acrid smell of smoke in the bedroom, that was a heart thumper. On investigation we found that the rain and wind had made the log burner blow back and filled the house with smoke. We had to open the lounge, landing and our bedroom windows to get an air flow, not the most pleasant experience in the middle of the night, cold and wet.  It cleared enough to close the windows, but this morning the smell was still quite strong.

It was miniature club today and although the rain wasn´t too bad up here, by the time we got down the mountain it was absolutely throwing it down, and continued to do so for our journey, the rest of the morning and on our way back up, visability was about 50m, not very pleasant. Amazing how everything suddenly turned into raging torrents, along the road sides, rivers down the roads and huge puddles spanning the roads. At home our lounge terrace was 4" underwater, the kitchen courtyard about 3" and some of the driveway has been washed away. Not too bad and with the log burner going again we are quite toasty.

This was today´s project

Decoupage butterflies.
A base print of butterflies then cutting out and adding each individual one on top and curling their wings to make it 3D.
It was very fiddly and eye boggling, but very effective.

I had a call from Rebecca yesterday, she is in Nottingham at the moment, asking me to guess what they had just found..... It was a Kitty Café, they had to book a table for later as it was so busy and when they returned they delighted in being able to spend an hour with so many furries, all shapes, colours and sizes, all playing, sleeping or relaxing around the customers. With toys, cat trees, walkways and entertainment areas. As they were missing their own two furry girls, it was a lovely for them to have hands on.
Apparently it is a rescue centre and adoption agency for rehoming the cats with wonderful food.
What a brilliant concept, the kitchen is sealed behind glass so there are no paws helping and the entrance fee allows them to look after the cats until there are rehomed.


 Their cat trees are brilliant, Daddy can you make us one pleasssssssse............!!!!!!

Oh well off to make kebabs for dinner
take care
xcx

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Wild orchids

This is lovely time of year here with all the wild flowers coming out, wonderful shades of greens and everything looking fresh and healthy. Unlike the middle summer months with the high temps and lack of water making everything curl up, turn brown and protect themselves.
We have some beautiful wild orchids growing on one of the bancales


We have also been having some spectacular sunsets, which Chris has been delighted to capture
This one is very Lion King
Thomas playing in the tree

One of the ladies at the miniatures club expressed a wish to make a 1/12th scale greenhouse, so Chris ever ready for a challenge, made plans and has partially built one. Yesterday he bricked the walls and today is making the door and hinged windows.
Glazing should be fun!

Rebecca is visiting Antoni in the UK at the moment, but I think the cold, rain and dreary grey skies, all the hussle and bustle too are a bit of a shock to the system. So glad the sun has decided to come out here at last, yesterday was about 25C, bit warmer today. yeah!
take care
xcx


Monday, February 27, 2017

witches cauldrons

What a nice treat this morning, to be able to sit out in the courtyard for a late breakfast in the warm bright sun, it managed to reach 20C today, now that´s more like it! First time this year, the weather has been really cold this winter, very unusual.

Rebecca came up for a few days and we had a great time, chatting, baking, planning, and experimenting. We made a new batch of lip balm, a crème to sooth headaches and then a lovely lavender body butter.  We whipped the body butter so that it had a nice fluffy light texture, rather than the harder lip balm.


We used coconut oil, shea and cocao butter, beeswax, vitamin E, and essential oils. Bit like ubble bubble toil and trouble lol
Very therapeutic though and a wonderful result. The butter is smooth and light enough for the face, but also for harder areas like elbows, hands and with the sandal season soon upon us its great for heels, especially when applied at night as the lavender spread on the feet is a great aid for sleep.

I mentioned about making Leocia a fox hat/cowl and some beanies, so here as some pics,

Without a model it´s hard to see the fox shape but hopefully Leocia will model it for me. She has been in the Philippines with her sister, Mummy and Daddy for 5 weeks so now they are back in the UK I can send it to her. The beanies are not my favourite colour, but I´m told it´s a ´bloke´colour!!
These are some of the fingerless gloves I made,
and a few cotton hot pads/wash cloths
I have made and sold over a dozen more of the mittens for various people, end of season now

We baked a lovely chicken pie
I like to buy quite a big bird because it lends itself to so many different meals, a lovely roast to start, then the choice of cold meat with salad or sandwich, or a chicken supreme to have as it is or to make a pie.  Then I like to make stock with the bones and vegetables, especially the hard ends of things like broccoli etc

We were getting hungry whilst all this was going on so I decided a quick tapas was needed.
These are aubergine slices coated with a flavoured rice flour (garlic granules, black pepper and spicy red pepper powder), dipped in egg, then bread crumbs with grated sheeps cheese, baked for 15 mins they are delicious,

One of our 5 a day, or should that be 10 a day now, anyway they are great for drinks nibbles tapas

All this talk of food.....must go and continue with cooking the supper
take care
xcx






Friday, February 17, 2017

Hello again

Here we are again!
I left you last time with photos of our newbie, well I thought you might like to see him now
Dino, aka Baby monster


Shall I sing while you work?

He is six months now, still crazy and into everything.  He follows Chris around like a puppy and cries pitifully if he is excluded. As he was so small when he arrived, he loved to nestle upon our chests and snuggle to keep warm, he still does this, cuddling up under the chin, only thing now he is so much bigger it gets a little more difficult to accommodate him lol, but at least he has grown into his ears

I am trying an experiment in regrowing certain veggies, starting off with lettuce and celery
its working!
I have received my order of various herbs from the UK, there are about 6 different Basil´s alone, so I shall have to start organising and sowing them
I have made little cloches from water bottles for protection, just need a little more warmth now

 We have been having some very odd weather conditions here this winter, flooding, cold, damp, very windy and even large snow falls, we have only managed a few afternoons in the sun in our naya not like the usual nearly every day. As we don´t have central heating, it´s getting a bit much now! even our Spanish neighbours are complaining.

I have been mainly knitting, especially fingerless gloves, our Spanish neighbours loved them and asked for 6 pairs, must have made a dozen or more. Chris wanted a beanie to wear when he goes skiing again, a lacy waistcoat just needing the collar doing and a nice jumper. Shine also asked me to make a special hat/cowl for Leocia which is in the shape of a fox. Being so cold outside, it makes a nice craft to sit in the lounge with the log burner. 
Piccies to come.

Another weekend here already, have fun what ever you are doing
take care
xxx