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

Saturday, November 17, 2018

A wonderful trip

We have just returned home from visiting family in the UK. We were really lucky with the weather too, not too much of the wet stuff and not to cold either.
We left Alicante about 4pm and reached Gatwick about six. We had organised a taxi online, on a return basis and were pleasently surprised to find it only cost 102 pounds, we were collected in a rather nice Merc, very comfortable and with a courteous driver, so we arrived at MIL in Pyrford, Woking quite relaxed.
The next day, having borrowed Mum´s car, we met Rebecca half way to us both in Bracknell.
The traffic!! it was unbelievable, everyone rushing, squeezing you out, hasseling you, certainly don´t miss that.
Rebecca and I had a lovely day together, looking at baby things, catching up and replenishing cuddles. As she was working the next day, I went back to Pyrford.

Antoni had seen that Reading were playing at home on the Saturday and suggested they go to watch, which was really sweet of him as football is not really his game. He even bought Chris an early birthday present of a team scarf.
It was also the fifteenth anniversary of placing Chris´s Dads ashes under the goal posts, which was made even more poignant when a rainbow suddenly appeared over the stadium. Rainbows have special significance to us as they always appear at special times
I spent the day cleaning and have a good tidy up to make Mum´s life a bit easier,  I was getting worried having so many things around her chair she might trip over.

Daniel, Shine and the girls drove up from Exeter and arrived early evening, which was so lovely to catch up with them. They headed off to a nearby hotel for the night.
Rebecca and Antoni made a surprise visit on Sunday morning, then we all drove back to Reading for a meal, where we met up with Chris´s brother and sister. It was a lovely day, catching up with news, being able to spend time with the children.

Daniel and Shine had brought a lovely cake, very light and fluffy and it was presented with a sparkler candle, I think they thought it was someones birthday.
We took the girls to the nearby park, they had been so good, helped by me producing a pot of Playdoh for them, and they ran around having fun, whilst we took the opportunity to catch up some more.
Maia enjoying Grandma pushing her swing

Daniel and Rebecca

As it grew colder we returned back to Rebecca´s flat, which was a little crammed but enabled us to spend just a little more time together, but all too soon it was time for them to go.

I stayed with Rebecca and Antoni until Tuesday evening, we had timed this trip around Rebecca´s work schedule where she had three straight days off. I was also invited to go with them for her 16 week midwife appointment. The midwife said not to be alarmed if we couldn´t hear baby´s heart beat straight away as they play and hide and make it awkward, Oh my goodness, the probe had hardly touched Rebecca´s tummy when we heard the loudest and strongest heart beat ever, 145 beats a minute, talk about welling up, tissues are on the shelf she joked.

We had such a lovely three days together, wandering around the shops, having a naughty but very nice soy hot chocolate, I had salted caramel and Rebecca had gingerbread,  Being together was so special and very hard to leave her.
Wednesday we helped Mum again and bought her a new, light weight kettle, she was using a ceramic one that even I had trouble lifting, that was an accident waiting to happen with boiling water! Then in the evening we all met up again for a last meal, topping up on the cuddles and trying very hard to keep it together.
I will just have to wait and look forward to another trip in the New Year.

Whilst I was in Reading, Chris managed to find and photograph loads of old snaps, family, friends etc so that we can start to compile a memory book for Mum´s 90th birthday next June. 
Having done his tree on Ancestry, it was very special to put faces to some of the rellies we had discovered.

Well back to normal routine again. Have to dusted off the needles and start another project.
take care
xcx

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Finished projects

I have finally got round to taking some photos of the projects for Baby.
The hooded bathrobe with matching wash cloth is really soft and made with 100% cotton

This blanket was quite theraputic to knit being a repeat pattern of 12 rows
Nearly finished the other blanket, I don´t think you can have too many you just never know what will be spilt on them

Chris had a gig yesterday at Maria´s restaurant, we first met this Dutch couple four years ago and Chris has played for the husbands birthday every year.
We have lots of visitors to the restaurant, regulars who enjoy the atmosphere and the cooking on just an open fire pit. All sorts of nationalities too, they soon get used to the winding, meandering road, it is quite narrow in places, but the views are spectacular, just don´t look down!
It was a long day as he started playing at 2.30 and although he had a lunch break he continued on till 7.45, still everyone enjoyed the party, he just can´t move today.

Poor Thomas has a rupture in his ear and has had to visit the vets three times already
unfortunately he does not travel well in the car and rather disgraces himself
He certainly isn´t a happy furry, but perhaps he can tell you all about it





take care
xcx

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Weeding

 Weeding Wednesday!
For various reasons the garden has got rather overgrown, so a real effort is needed to bring it back to shape. This is what it started out as
Then after several hours, it looked much better

Our plan is to put weed supressing membrane down, then either gravel or artificial grass we have been given.
This area houses the access for the septic tank so we will use planters, pots and ornaments,
 rather than plant directly, just in case we get rampant roots. There are several more areas like this, but little by little

All the oleander bushes need pruning this year, so we are hoping they are issuing burning licenses
at the Suma office now to cope with all the excess.
Chris has been tackling one of the dead almond trees
Quite a large job as he had to saw and grade all the branches and twigs into
good sized logs and kindling.
I asked him to leave quite a large stump as I have some ideas for it
(more on that later)

We had some business to attend to in Javea on Thursday, that´s about 45 mins away
It was a lovely sunny day, warm too about 26C at the coast with a gentle breeze.
Once matters were completed we drove to the sea as I wanted to visit a shop along the sea front.

It´s called Ale Hop and sells all sorts of different fun things
Exactly what I wanted as I am collecting 24 little treasures for Rebecca´s advent calender, although there wasn´t that much small enough.
I have 12 items to date, so more hunting needed.

There were quite a few people in the sea and a lot more sunning on the beach
a beautiful day for those on half term holidays.


 Mind you in the summer you can´t move on this beach for people.

Have a lovely weekend everyone
take care
xcx

p.s. Welcome to a new follower


Sunday, October 21, 2018

A little miracle

I have been so excited over the last two months and have found it very difficult to keep a huge secret
but now I can share.

We are absolutely delighted and over the moon to be able to announce that 
Rebecca and Antoni are expecting their first baby in April
What a little miracle after everything she has been through

Now 13 weeks, and baby is about the size of a plum. The twelve week scan has passed with every thing OK
Baby was hiding and we only got a wave, but soooooo exciting
I sent them a special photo frame that says 1st scan, 2nd scan and I´m here, to keep the photo safe

We knew two months ago and straight away out came the needles
using yarn I had been storing up in readiness I clicked away knowing they were coming out in the next three weeks and I wanted to give her some goodies made with oceans of love.

So in those three weeks I made, two blankets, cardigan, hats, mittens, bootees, found some pink and blue wrapping paper and was ready, 






Rebecca came out first and I couldn´t wait and she was so pleased with every thing
Oohing and Arring over each piece.
Antoni was pleased too, but it´s different for the men isn´t it!

Since then I have been working on a larger, cot size blanket and a hooded towel in 100% cotton.

So I have been busy but just couldn´t say anything, we speak every day to catch up on news and any thoughts or niggles, which is very comforting being so far apart

I am careful to say lets find out about a topic because many years have passed since having my two and with modern technology at your finger tips and different medical opinons, some of it is old hat, although some is also just common sense. Also of course, Rebecca has some special medical needs, but she was given a cardiologist appointment within three weeks, with ultrasound and halter tests arranged, next is an obstetrics appointment, so they are on the ball

Rebecca has a couple of apps, detailing week by week what is happening with baby and also Mum which is quite informative for both of us. Not like me, it was just get on with it back then.

So now you know why the yarn delivery from Deramores was a little bit secret, couldn´t show all the lovely pastels and soft bamboo and cottons without giving the game away.
Already used the cotton for the hooded towel robe, finished the large size blanket and now onto a smaller one idea for car seats or pram.

There is a fair amount of steam coming from them there needles lol

take care
xcx 





Wednesday, October 10, 2018

A little baking

Got into a bit of a rut with meals so decided to make a bit of an effort
We are waiting for our supermarket delivery this afternoon so the fridge was rather low on goodies
but with a courgette, carrot, and a little cauliflower grated, mixed with a finely chopped 1/2 onion and some red pepper with an egg and seasoning, I made some veggie muffins, the only other ingredient I added was some grated semi cured goats cheese.
180 and 20 minutes later, these appeared


 served with some beans, a simple but filling lunch and Chris came back for seconds.
I also had some stale crusts left. I usually make breadcrumbs, but quite why I don´t know, a thought popped into my head of making bread pudding.
I haven´t made this for years, but as a kid, my Mum always served it with golden syrup or custard.
She also used to make bread and butter pudding, but I wasn´t so keen on that.
We are not really dessert people preferring a natural yogurt or fruit, but the spicy aromas wafting around prompted Chris to investigate which produced a huge smile and a ├Żummy
It´s a good job I took a photo when I did as there isn´t that much left
someone kept popping back for more!

I thought the muffin mix was tasty and made some more but this time adding red cabbage very finely sliced. The idea being when you want just a little something to get you by whilst waiting for a meal this sort of coleslaw would work. Didn´t add the cheese or any dressing though, thought that was better added at the time.

Finished the green/silver necklace during cooking time, so now have 3 necklaces and 1 bracelet to add to the board

Need to do my spanish homework for this evening, so
hasta luego
take care
xcx



Sunday, October 7, 2018

A bit of a yarn

I thought it was about time I put some new additions on my jewellry board that is up at Maria´s restaurant. I also wanted to make something a little different, I usually go for petite designs so after rummaging I was pleased to find some chunky beads and began threading.
Apart from jazzing the board up a bit, my main thinking was more choice for perhaps Christmas presents. It´s been about 27C so it was nice to sit in the courtyard just beading.
Perhaps my biggest problem is trying to work out what to charge
Always a difficult one no matter what you are crafting

A couple of weeks ago I placed an order for yarn with Deramores
Their postage charges are usually 4.95 no matter how much you order and usually take about a week to arrive.
Having made my selections I found they were offering free postage to Europe on orders over 25.00, and as I had umm spent a little!! bit more than that, I qualified.
Then I spotted a 15% off code, even better
They are also doing a points system that you are able to redeem on your next order or save it up
I was also able to collect more points by just liking them on Facebook  etc, so discounts and now I have over 5.00 saved in points.
Win, win

The parcel was quite large! It took a week as expected and now I just need more time in the day to complete some of the intended projects.
I´m sure we can all identify with that lol

take care
xcx

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Beanies

This summer with it being so hot, has really stopped alot of things happening, including finding the mojo for crafting, so wanting something easy but satisfying to do, I found my inspiration here

Jo´s post was all about what was on her needles, including knitting beanies for the homeless.
What a fantastic idea, I had some yarn I was given but didn´t know what I would use it for, so tad dar moment
So Jo I hope you don´t mind that I nicked your idea and thank you for your inspiration
I have made these through the summer and have given them to Rebecca to take back to Reading as there is a homeless shelter there.
I basically used just two patterns using straight needles
I do hope they will be of use to them.
Moved on to some different projects now,
but I can´t show them yet!

take care
xcx

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

More fish in the sea

After sharing our exploits of the beaches with our friends Gary and Leslie, they wanted to visit the Moraira beach which they have never been to. They usually only visit the dog friendly ones further along the coast.
It was a lovely day out, still warm but with a gentle cooling breeze, the waves just a little choppier, fun was had by all with the boys taking the cameras off fish hunting again.
Gary couldn´t believe the amount of activity just under the surface.
We had coffee at the beach side cafe watching the sea, then with the sea air giving us all a health appetite they took us for lunch at the WOK,
a lovely restaurant where you choose your food and take it to the chef to cook
there was so much to choose from, ranging from meats to fish an abundence of veggies and salad, along side pre cooked dishes, different rice, noodles, sweet potato chips etc
You could return as many times as you wished to try different things, the only stipulation being no waste. There were plenty of desserts too including fresh fruit which suited me 
We were all suitable stuffed and came home to just chill out.

We had a wonderful view of the moon from our courtyard
and Chris took a couple of arty shots too

Bernia sunburst
Then he had a little play
with photoshop!

It´s amazing what a little rainfall will do, we are having showers at the moment and everything in the garden that was seemingly holding its breath, has now shot up and is beginning to resemble a jungle. the terraces are now green and in need of a mow, unfortunately the rain has done something to the courgettes, there were loads of flowers but they were not setting and now the plants have curled up their toes and have been affected with mildrew
We have lost several almond trees due to lack of water for several years but also we think age. We did have 18 but are reduced to just a handful, but it is the same for everyone.
Instead of just chopping them right down for firewood we have decided to make a feature out of them, so instead of an ugly stump, (we certainly couldn´t dig them up) we hope to have a bit of fun.
Work in progress.........

take care
xcx


Thursday, September 20, 2018

A wonderful visit

We have had a fabulous time with both Rebecca and Antoni
Seemed to have crammed so much in
They took the car a couple of times to visit friends
We have even been to the beach three times

We are not really beach people and find it incredibly boring just sitting there cooking
but this time the boys wanted to take the Go Pro cameras out
Secure in their waterproof cases, they were able to dive and film

We tried three different beaches, the first, La Fustera was a cove with rocks on either side but the beach was like small grit, not sand at all and the seaweed was in abundence, also the beach shelved quite steeply, not so good if you are not confident in the sea
The second one was in Javea, this has a port side and a lovely sandy sweeping beach
The gradient is so shallow that you can walk out for ages and still only be up to your waist
I have rather long standing issues regarding the beach/sea
Amongst them being stung by jelly fish, very painful!
Stepping on flatties/Dabs etc and feeling the sand wriggling like hell under foot, I was only about 9 at the time and frightened the life out of me. The worst one was being trapped in a Spring tide in Langston Harbour with 15ft waves crashing around, sliding down the waves and being tossed around like some sort of theme park ride. We were in a rubber dingy desperatly trying to keep the engine running whilst bailing out at the same time.
After what seemed like hours battling the tides we eventually got back, exhausted and very frightened.


On Rebecca´s insistance, I bought sea shoes
They were brilliant and gave so much confidence that I achieved a great milestone and actually enjoyed swimming and being in the water.

The third beach was Moraira
This was perfect, rocks for the boys to film underwater
and a lovely sandy beach with gentle gradient for Rebecca and myself to have fun with. A wonderful way to celebrate their anniversary

They had forecast storms and heavy rain but apart from a couple of down pours that quickly blew away we had glorious weather and temps up to 29C


An abundence of fish just milling around quite oblivious to swimmers


 Moraira


Javea
We had fun cooking old favourites for dinners, including meat pie and apple crumble
We celebrated their 2nd wedding anniversary with a super meal out
We achieved what we set out to do and made many more memories.
The time just skipped by and suddenly we were taking them back to the airport yesterday
I will admit to a little blubbing, but will just have to look forward to seeing them again soon.
take care
xcx