Thursday, July 25, 2019

BBQ night

Last Saturday was BBQ night in the plaza
No one turns up very early here and to start with there were only a few but by about 10pm the numbers grew.

People share their picnics, which can vary from the delicious to the weird
Someone was making a huge pot of some alcoholic concoction, finely sliced turnips went in, spices, lemon etc and would you believe 4 bottles of dark rum and copious amounts of sugar.
I had a sip, well it would be rude not too, nearly blew my head off 
Rosada and fizzy water suited me just fine.

Chris had set up earlier on the stage

and he continued playing till about 12.45 when everyone started to clear up and drift away.
By the time we had packed up and Chris had chilled out a bit it was nearly 3am before we got to bed!. What a long night.....

I haven´t been doing very much on the craft front, but when we were clearing cupboards out at Mum´s I found quite a few balls of yarn, so I scooped them up and decided to make a few beanies for the homeless with them. I made a few last year and they were well received.
This one I started whilst staying at Rebecca´s, but I didn´t have a darning needle to finish it and I left it there for another visit

Another one on the needles

Easy to pick up at any time

This little blanket is another one of those projects - as and when

My kids loved the story of the Hungry caterpillar and ours was a well thumbed version
I have made several of these for Rebecca´s friends children
Here is the latest one

We also lopped 6" of the tealight, so now we have one for the table too

I believe Deramores are having a 30% sale today, so I might just go and have a browse
Have a great weekend
take care

Friday, July 19, 2019

Cocos sunflower

Ages ago we were asked to look after Marias cockatiel, then she decided she didn´t want her returned, so Coco became a permanent resident.

The furries basically ignore her, even when she is out flying around, as she has a very sharp beak and is not afraid to use it.

She has a mix of bird food and sunflower seeds and Chris is in the habit of emptying her bowl into a garden waste container, a few weeks ago I spied a rouge plant growing, rescued and potted it up.
This is what grew

We hope to harvest the seeds then Coco can have a few treats.

This photo was taken back in 1971 when I was 14 and had just met Chris at the local youth club.
He was well into his photography even then, back in the days when you had to wait to finish the roll of film before developing. Although he did have a dark room up in his familys loft for black and white prints. This was a slide that he has turned into a photo.

Can´t believe the long white socks with hot pants!
We found all sorts of photos whilst searching for ones for Mums video

Enjoy your weekend
take care

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Garden ornament

When we bought our finca the bottom garden was full of algarve cactus plants, all quite mature and gradually over the years they have sent out huge flower stalks, quite spectacular, however once flowered the plant then dies, so we cleared the area ready to start a new type of garden.

They were also growing at the entrance to our drive, along the terraces, a couple of years ago one of them flowered and after chopping the stem down we stored it away.
I had an idea of turning it into some sort of garden feature (watching too many Garden Rescues I think)

At last we have done something with it, varnishing and making recess holes in the tops

A tea light holder
Personally I feel the tallest one is a little too tall, but its a bit late now unless we get the chainsaw out
These lengths are all from one stem and there is still another 5ft of small stem left
Shows you how tall it grows

take care

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