Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Comes in three´s

Our main computer decided to play up, just when certain documents needed to be printed
although we did manage to get the phone to talk to the printer, but it´s amazing just how used you get to it being there at the ready.
Bit like losing the power and automatically reaching for the light switch!
Luckily the guy we took it to fixed it really quickly and for a very very reasonable price, so we are all back up and running again.

That was the third thing to break
The other day whilst in the kitchen, a heavy chopping board crashed down into the plate rack and although I managed to save a mug and dinner plate this one escaped.

solid tiled floors and pyrex plates don´t go, 
it went absolutely everywhere

The second was just a silly really
Having left a knitting project using bamboo needles on the arm of the sofa, I accidently lent on it and heard a crack

It was a baby blanket so had stitches crammed onto it, but I was able to carefully transfer them and pick up the loose ones. Chris has used super glue to fix it, but I´m not sure it will hold, maybe keep it for small projects.

I have been making a baby play quilt to take with me on the next trip
I have hand quilted the ducks and frogs, then began the quilting
I am not very good at free quilting so chose straight lines

All those loose ends to sew in has taken absolutely ages

Then I decided to use my stitch regulator and try free machining on the borders
My machine kept having a hissy fit so its a bit hit and miss
Chris says no one will notice, but I do, I usually unpick when something does wrong, but not on this so I have had to lump it

I had a very persistent furry friend, Felix, who insisted he helped me with the ends oh and trying to chew my scissor fob and didn´t take too kindly to being shoved off as I moved the quilt around.

Bit of a wishy washy photo, but I just have to outer border to hand stitch down now.
Note to self....remember next time just how long it takes to make one of these and double it!!

take care

Friday, November 15, 2019

A little rant

When we moved to Spain 12 years ago we were well under the retirement age (and still are) to qualify for health care so we took out our own private medical insurance. We settled for the top level which gave more coverage.
This included a yearly Gyni Well woman check if you so wished.

Yes, the dreaded that we all hate, but know we must do to look after ourselves.
So having made the appointment and received the various authorisations, we bundled along to the hospital I have been to many times in Benidorm.
We left plenty of time ready to stand in line to book in knowing from previous experience this can take some time.
Leaving Chris to park the car, which in itself is quite a feat due to the small car park and tiny bays they allocate, I went in and found they had changed all their systems.
Now there is a ticket machine, you choose your language and department and wait for the ticket, except my department wasn´t on the screen, so I pushed ´Help´instead.
Hmmm, nothing happened, so I inquired at the desk only for a very short tempered girl to push back her chair telling me I had done it all wrong. Like this, she informed me, tapping at the machine, now take this to the girl upstairs.
Still no Chris, so I sat for a moment waiting for him, only for her to bark her question of why hadn´t I gone upstairs? on my reply she just shrugged.
This was going well!!, Ok, he will find me, so off I trotted to find the other desk.
I waited patiently, as us Brits do, for her to finish then moved forward, only to find another woman glaring at me and waving her papers in front of my face.
Rather confused, I apologise, did I push in?
The receptionist asks if I have a ticket, yes, then points at a chair and barks wait.
It was only after a kind man informed me the screen would tell me when it was my turn to approach the desk that I realised my mistake.
In my experience Spanish people do not ´wait´but barge in with questions etc even if its not their turn, especially in shops, so I was already on the back foot.
My turn, paperwork printed on to the department.
It was obviously a block appointment so first come first served.
Telling myself to breathe and give it 10 minutes and all would be over, after 30 minutes I was called.

Someone I hadn´t seen before, so I politely asked, in Spanish, if we could speak English please.
With relief he said yes, then in perfect English, what is the problem?, 
Erm, no problem just WWC, he huffed, asked a couple of questions then said go and remove clothing.
Ahh, we have a real friendly one here, Not!
During a not so gentle procedure he stated a couple of things with one word then examination complete get dressed.
He asked the nurse, who was coughing and spluttering what other procedures were required.
Everything, she replied, ´What¨? Oh bone density and mammogram ok
I explained I did not want a mammogram but an ultrasound. Then added that my GP had confirmed it was a better option for me
What I didn´t expect was his explosion of "Rubbish", "who is your GP" "never heard of him"

At this stage I felt like asking him how would he like his ´bits´put between two cold metal plates and have the living daylights squashed out of them, but I was very restrained and swallowed my retort.

This was all going so well!?
Next he slides a prescription towards me, and this is for??
Cream! ok, and how is this applied, pessary, Ok, morning or night? night, and the reason I need this? hormones or lack of them, 

In for a penny as they say,  I asked a question about tropical moments (hot flushes to him)
His reply? Í don´t know¨
I do wonder how many years he had in training and considering his age (about 55) how many had he been practicing and whether I could suggest a course of how to treat patients.
In a split second of having discarded that idea
I was dismissed, by being told to see him again next month and to report to the X-ray department.

Having smiled sweetly, well I think I did (hope it wasn´t a grimance) I left.
Maybe my face told a thousand tales because all I could answer to Chris´s polite, Are you OK? was a terse, No. I was fuming
It couldn´t get any worse... ha ha

On arrival at radiology we found a free receptionist, we waited, eventually she barked have you a ticket, looking around we found a machine near her hatch, duly took one, with the machine telling us to go to the waiting room and well wait...
On hearing Chris asking what did we do now she pipes up, you give it to me.......

For goodness sake!!!!!!!!
To add insult to injury we are informed appointments cannot be made as they did not give me the correct paperwork upstairs and that she would have to contact them and ring me at home.

In my opinion when you are apprehensive anyway, haven´t a clue how their procedures work, wouldn´t it be easier to be user friendly, no barking, no making you feel stupid, oh and maybe a tiny smile now and again to put you at your ease. Most of them speak 4 languages so they cannot hide behind not understanding.
And to think I pay a lot of money each year for this........

Well thank you for listening to my little rant
all done now till the next time
and breathe

take care

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Taming the jungle

We have had quite  strange and different weather patterns this year, going from blistering heat to gota frias and this week we have been having high winds, luckily without too much damage.

Thursday the wind dropped, the sun was warm and I managed to get out to tidy up a tiny bit of the garden, 
This part is just above the lounge and although we put weed suppressing membrane down and gravel, the weeds still germinate at a fast rate of knots.

I´m not sure of the name of the small tree sprouting  in the foreground, all I know is that its parent tree, just behind, grows so much during the season that we have to lop it back to get more light into the lounge. It also produces long seed pods that suddenly dry and release thousands of seeds. This area gets covered in tiny seedlings with a huge root making it difficult to pull them out if they are left too long. We were a bit slow in lopping this year so it was quite a big clean up job.

Bit of a jungle

Got there in the end, although there were a couple of casualties including a large lavender bush
Now we just need to go to the town hall for our burning license before we tackle some of the other shrubs.

Sometimes I catch the programme Eat well for Less where they have some good recipe ideas
One was for veggie Cumberland Lentil pie, store cupboard ingredients with carrots and celery, I substituted red peppers for the celery, which I didn´t have and added garlic too. The addition of a dollop of marmite really brought out the flavours.
It was very tasty and had a nice texture, not powdery as sometimes lentils can be.
I used it as a base rather than potatoes along with fresh veggies.
Well worth doing again.

The sky is blue, the sun is out but the wind is very chilly today, the log burner is lit, so I think a little chill out with the knitting is called for, after I rescue it after a little accident!

take care

Friday, November 1, 2019


November already!
Today is All Saints Day and is a red day here, so in general everything is closed

We like this time of the year, the temps are still around 24ish during the day so it is just right to catch up on some jobs around the place, especially outside. The flowers get their second wind so its quite colourful again.

We had our water delivery on Wednesday, at least we hadn´t run out this time, they are not so busy this time of year as they are not filling up the pools.

Our neighbour generously gave us a bag of garlic bulbs and although some of them had been visited and chomped by bugs, I still managed to get quite a bowl full

We get through quite a lot of garlic so it was very welcome

We do like our roasted veggies, this time I made a cauliflower and broccoli cheese bake which was a nice change and rather yummy too

 I also made egg muffins, onions, garlic, red pepper and mushrooms and as I had some bacon lardons to use up, I popped those in too.
3 eggs made 6 muffins, 15 minutes at 180 so quite quick really.

It´s always difficult to decide what to do for lunches, keeping away from bread and so its usually a salad. Sometimes as a treat I buy a salad mix with pinapple, crab, egg etc in a rose marie kind of sauce, but this week after having it twice I have ended up with a thumper of a headache each time.
 I always check ingredients for lactose etc so couldn´t understand why this happened.
Until Chris read through the list using a google translator on his phone.
We found orange juice listed, What! My worst arch enemy
 who would have thought they would put that in a salad mix

What do you favour for lunches?

I usually make things from scratch. just so that I know what is in it using alternative ingredients and can make a calculated risk if I want, much safer as the 10% rule means you could get something you hadn´t bargained for. One example is flavoured crisps, they spray with milk powder so the flavour sticks, only now do they include that in the listing.

So thats one treat out of the window, back to homemade coleslaw.
lesson to self, just because you have had it before, recheck ingredients in case they have changed them!

Better go as I am trying to finish a play mat to take with me, and the blanket, oh and a little cardi and...........lol

Have a lovely weekend
take care