Friday, August 26, 2016

Rocking Your World 2016: Week 35

Here is my Smile for this week. It is my grandson Oliver, enjoying leaping from the sand dunes.  My son posted this photo as his contribution to world photography day. I love it. To me it is exactly what a child's summer holiday memories should be like. Oh to have that much energy now - not to mention the ability to 'leap' anywhere!!

Well the start of this week also saw the end of our son Tom's holiday with us. We had to leave at 3.00 Tuesday morning to drive him to Alicante airport. It is just over a two-hour drive from here, but at this time of year it is often our only option, and as Tom lives in Denmark, his options are even less than ours when we fly to the Midlands in UK.

But we managed to make the most of our last couple of days together. There was much splashing in the pool, making jugs of sangria, and just sharing quality time together. 

When he is here, Tom likes to borrow his dad's bike occasionally and do a bit of off-road exploring, and when he went through Huerta Nueva, (an urbanisation built across the road from our village, but still a part of it),  and on to the campo beyond, he took this lovely Instagram photo of the Cabrera mountains. It is nice to see them from a different perspective, with no buildings getting in the way.
We spent ages one afternoon trying to get Kim to sit beside Tom for long enough to get a photo of them. Tom house-sat for us when we had only had Kim for a few weeks, so he has known him from his puppy days. We did eventually get this one. As you can see, it was a bit hot and patience was running thin. Somewhere I have the matching shot taken back in 2013 but I couldn't find it for tonight.
Also on that visit three years ago, Tom went down to the playa at Mojacar and discovered a little restaurant that became his favourite haunt, especially when he wanted a special breakfast-cum-lunch, and it has become somewhat of a tradition for us all to go there for breakfast on the last day of his visits.
So Monday saw us driving down mid-morning to Dulce Vita. We were lucky to get a table as it was full of holiday makers all there for the same thing. We parked along the beach a bit and the sea looked lovely.
Dulce Vita, of course, means Sweet (or Good) Life, and it doesn't get much better than this.
The service is always good there, as is the food, and before long we were all tucking in.
When I posted this photo on Facebook with the caption "Breakfast at Dulce Vita for Tom's last day", another of our sons commented "I think I can see a trend here" and he reposted my almost identical picture and caption from last year!!
The sea was getting very lively by lunch time, and Tom just loves to be in the waves, but the beaches to the left of us were all flying the red flag to say it was too dangerous to swim. But we walked the other way and further along there was a yellow flag flying and lots of people in the sea, so we sat there so Tom could have one last swim.
Wading out through the foam.....
 Waiting for the wave to break......
 And surfing back in with it.
I stood on the edge, and every so often I got soaked too. The water was so warm, but I am not confident enough to swim in it any more, when it is so rough .

When my visitors go home, I always feel a bit deflated and disorientated at first. We got back from taking Tom to the airport at 8.30, so we had a cup of tea and a very early siesta, but after lunch I needed something to keep me busy so I came down to my craft room and made some Christmas cards for the Rudolph Day Challenge that I enter every month. (The challenge is to make something Christmas related and write a post about it on the 25th of each month). I made this set of cards, and you can read more about them on my craft blog by clicking HERE.
As it happens I have had another little diversion this week too. A few weeks ago, a friend brought a gorgeous little kitten into our Wednesday sewing group, to show us. It had been dumped on her doorstep and she was hoping to keep it although her husband is allergic to cats, so Molly was to live outside and sleep in an outhouse. But this week she brought her in again trying to find a new home for her, because her husband had become so ill that keeping her was not an option. I have a couple of friends who have been talking about having a cat so I brought her home with me to foster until somewhere is found for her.
She is so sweet, and has lovely markings, but we really have enough animals so I am hoping we can find somewhere for her. This photo is deceiving as it makes her look bigger than she is. She is really tiny, and doesn't look as though she is almost three months, which is what the vet has suggested. She looks very happy having cuddles on my lap here, but she is almost hyperactive, and is never still for more than a few minutes.
She is used to having a dog around and Kim mostly ignores her, but Foxy is a bit too friendly and follows her around, and I wouldn't want to leave them together for too long. Unfortunately she doesn't like our other cats, and they aren't keen on her. Even our laid back Tango hisses if she comes too close, so I don't think we will be keeping her. But for Charlie's sake (my friend's husband), I will hang on to her for a bit longer and try to find her a home.

The only other thing I have achieved this week is some more of my new crochet project - the Seaside Winter blanket. I have made seven squares so far, using the colour scheme I showed with my pegs a couple of week ago. Some of the squares came out very wavy and they weren't all quite the same size, so I tried blocking them. I have never done this before as I usually find that most squares stretch into a flat blanket when they are joined up. But these were seriously wonky and I have been meaning to try blocking for a while. It is a case of making the square really wet and pinning it to a foam board to the measurement that you want, then leaving it until it is completely dry. That is fairly easy here, as with the heat we have they are dry in twenty-four hours. I bought a set of cheap children's puzzle blocks for mine, and some plastic pins so they won't rust.
I have to say it worked really well, so I did two more and now all my squares are flat and the same size. Here are the ones I have made so far. A couple are the same square pattern with the colours in a different order, and the rest are different patterns as I wanted to try them all out. There are still another three that I haven't done, and of course, I will need to make several of each for my blanket.
There are also patterns for two large squares so I started making one of those today. Hopefully it will be the size of four of these or I will have a problem joining them together! All of these need their matching borders in the colour yarn parchment, which is very neutral, but it will draw them all together. Now I have a couple more cards to make before I can go and finish my square.
But first I will link this up with Annie's Friday Smiles and Rocking Your World. Wishing you all a week of very positive thoughts and happy occasions.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Rocking Your World 2016: Week 34

Hi everyone. here is my smile for this week. Two more bags of squishy loveliness that arrived in the post a few days ago.

I now have at least one ball of every solid colour in the Stylecraft Special DK range. They do make about six 'marled' colours, but as I am not so keen on those, I haven't included them in my collection. So now I have completed my set of colour-sample pegs, and I am really pleased with them.
I used them to select the colours I am going to use for my next project. It is called the Seaside Winter Blanket, so I decided on a range of blues and yellows, plus silver (not in the photo), and a very neutral colour (parchment) for the borders and joining of the motifs.
The blanket is made from small squares plus a few much larger ones, and I have seen it made in a range of colours, including some made with all the colours that folk have left over in their stash, but this time I wanted something more simple. It has been too hot to make a start this week, but I hope to get into it soon.

You may remember from last week that our son Tom is here for a fortnight. He has had better weather this week - if hotter is the same as better!(He says it is when you are on holiday) - and we have spent a lot of time just sitting in the porch and dipping in and out of the pool. So here are my menfolk enjoying the sun.
Tom borrows our car sometimes and goes down to the beach for an hour or so, but it is a bit too hot down there for us, but yesterday we decided we would all go on an adventure, in search of a small commune near the Rio Aguas - the only river in Almeria that is in constant flow all year round.

They say only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noon-day sun - or 37ยบ of Spanish sunshine at any time of day, but at around 10.00 we set out. It took us a while to locate the area we wanted, but eventually we parked and set off looking for some signs.
The commune is a small group of people trying to live a sustainable lifestyle, growing their own food, generating their own electricity and managing their own water system. They took over the area when it was an abandoned hamlet and made their homes in the derelict buildings, which they weatherproofed with wood, plastic sheeting and other discarded items found around them. Many have now been made more complete, but it is all still very basic.
We followed a narrow path down through the houses. I have broken my 'dog-walking shoes' so I was only wearing sandals and I needed a hand on some of the rocky places.
The views were beautiful - lovely unspoiled countryside which was greener than anywhere else at this time of year because of the river below.

Tom wanted to try out my camera so I caught him on my phone instead, and at the end we combined our photos.
The path wound down through a garden of chumba, (prickly pear), which had sadly been attacked by the white fly that has nearly wiped it out in the province again this year.
There were lots of ripe figs on the trees which were very tempting, but these people live on what they can grow, so we didn't touch them.
There was plenty of wild life, from this lovely red dragonfly...
... to these frogs, sunning themselves around a rather murky pond.
We were told there were a lot of turtles down near the water, but maybe we were there at the wrong time of day, because we didn't see any of those.
Our path took us down through a bamboo wood.
Then finally we were rewarded with this view of the river.
The steep incline down to its edge was a step too far for us oldies, but at least Tom could revive himself with a cooling dip.

While he swam, we walked back a short way to some steps we had passed, and sat there in the shade, drinking gallons of water, and regaining our composure before the return journey. I took this selfie of us. We do look a bit 'glowing' don't we!

Of course, what goes down has to come back up, and the walk back to the car nearly finished us off! But we made it, with a degree of relief that it was Tom who was driving home.

At the start of the walk I got funny looks from Chris and Tom when I pointed at a rock and said "Look, it is smiling at us". But it was. Don't you agree?
But you know me and faces. I went on to see them everywhere. Here is another one on the far side of the river.
And I can see at least three in this rock face.

When we got home I was surprised to find it was still only about 12.30, so we had a quick swim in the pool, and then relaxed in the sitting room with the air-con on while we all calmed down. Tango wanted to sit on my lap and was very disgruntled when I wouldn't let him! The last thing I needed was a furry blanket.

That's just about it for this week.
I was pleased with the treatment I received at our village medical centre. I went there a couple of weeks ago with a small raised lump on my leg, that has been there ever since I had an insect bite way back last Autumn. I thought it was getting bigger though there was no sign of infection, but I was worried that it might be developing into a diabetic ulcer, so I thought I'd better get it looked at. The practice nurse did something to it,  with a clear liquid that turned black, and then put a special dressing on it. I have been going back to have a new dressing every couple of days, and today she said it was fine and has left it uncovered. I wasn't supposed to get it wet, so I have been wrapping it up to have quick dips in the pool with Tom, but I don't have to worry about that any more. It was very strange but I am glad it has been dealt with, with such efficiency.

I love the hibiscus flowers that bloom out here all summer. We have a yellow one and a double pink one, but I wanted the more traditional red one as well, so a few weeks ago we bought a trough that turned out to have six small plants all squashed into it. It was difficult to keep them watered - they are quite thirsty plants, so a week ago we replanted them, with three in each of two big pots, and they are now covered in flowers. Isn't this beautiful?
And finally, here is one pretty sky. Once again it is not a sunset, but another sunrise that I took when we were out walking the dogs. Such a beautiful promise of another beautiful day.
And while on the sky, did you see the moon last night? It was full and bright - here anyway, but I am no good at taking photos in the night. But it really was rather splendid!
Well I actually wrote most of this in the morning instead of the hour before midnight like I usually do! Now I am back after a very nice lunch at a local hostelry which means I have a day of from cooking. Win, win for me! So now I will link up with Annie's Friday Smiles and Rocking Your World at Celtic House, and then I will join the others in the pool.