Saturday, 31 January 2015

The sun is shining

Tuesday afternoon we visited The Oasis at the Arches, Alcazare for an afternoon of entertainment. The offer was chicken and chips with three hours of music for €5 each. It was a great afternoon, with singer Terry J performing many songs from the 60 / 70's plus some opera, a real mixed bag of music. The food was good so we have all decided to get tickets for the next show in two weeks time.

Wednesday and Thursday were spent lazing around doing a little shopping and walking along the sea front.

Yesterday was a fun day, looked like it was not going to be so hot, boy were we wrong! It reached 78 in the shade and was baking hot in the sun, while pictures of home showed snow in Northampton.

We started the day with a visit to a market where all the local charity shops go and sell everything once a month, especially clothes. I bought a padded waistcoat, blouse and brand new shirt for €1 each, plus a great long cardigan for €3.

Next was a quick visit to Zenia, a large shopping Mall. I was wearing black trousers (it was suppose to be a cooler day) and T shirt with socks and trainers. I managed to buy two pairs of lightweight trousers, pink and blue, and a thin pink blouse. Went into the loos and changed before we met up with Pauline and Brian for fish and chips.

We found a house to rent near where they stay and have made arrangements to use it next Jan/Feb. It will get more sun than where we are now and it will be nice to explore a different area. Plus it has lemons growing in the garden.

The four of us sat on Shaun's deck enjoying the peace and quiet overlooking the pool. It got hotter and hotter, so the sun cream came out and hats were worn. Had to use the Aircon on the way home in the car. This is the life.





Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Some you win... Some you loose

We decided to buy tickets for a chicken and chips with live music yesterday, for a show today, our friends said they would like to come to so Chris paid the €20 for the four tickets. We were glad they still had four seats left.

Having been here a week without going to a local market we thought we would visit the market at San Pedro. It is always nice to mix with the locals and see all the different things for sale. I liked a set of kitchen knives so Chris bought them for me €20 only.

The sun was shining and we felt good.

One minute later Chris had his wallet stolen from a pocket that had a Velcro flap holding it down! Gone were cash, credit cards, driving licence and store cards. We found the police who said to report it to the Guardia Station. The officer at the Police station was most unhelpful and just said come back with an interpreter!

Luckily we know a number of people that live in the same house block and Mark offered his help and also called a Spanish friend who offered to come as interpreter. I stayed home and they were gone about 2 hours! Chris returned with a wad of legal documents, so the credit cards were cancelled (luckily I had brought a spare or we would be in a real mess) the travel insurance company has been notified. Plus the police said to keep the paper work with us so Chris could prove why he has no driving licence.

We were both shattered by the events so threw two pizzas in the oven for dinner and watched movies all evening. Today is a new day and we are off with our friends for an afternoon of entertainment.


Monday, 26 January 2015

Happy Sunday

I started the day with a visit to the nearest Church of Latter Day Saints at Torrevieja (3/4 of an hour away) for the Sacrement meeting. I was greeted like an old friend, even though I had only been there once before.

It is amazing how small the world is, one lady had a son living in Lumbertubs, another had a brother in Duston and a third knew someone in my home ward. All only a mile or so from where I live!

On the drive to Torrevieja I saw dozens of cyclists and the organisers were obviously putting up barriers and finishing posts for a big race, so I thought I was quite daring coming home a different way. Three cheers for Sean, my TomTom.

A lazy afternoon was followed by face book time with Abigail and the family back in England. An email earlier in the day said Abigail had been chosen to dance at The Royal Albert Hall in London did we want to go.... Try stopping us! So something to really look forward to at Easter.

It's now Monday morning and one load of washing is on the roof top line with another about to finish in the washing machine, then we will be all clean again for another week. Hard to remember the last time I put washing out at home and it dried, but here the wind and sun soon dry everything.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

The sun has come out

A quick visit to a charity shop, where I managed to buy two skirts and a blouse that I am really pleased with. Then to Mercadona to top up the groceries.

Back to the villa and the sun is really hot and the wind has died down so sun chairs on the balcony, feet up and a good book by John Paterson to read... This is the life!


Fish and Chips Friday

Friday we visited Pauline and Brian who are staying at their sons holiday home a few miles away. Our friend Pat came with us.

It was really nice looking around Sean's new home in Spain.

After the house tour we went to a local Fish and Chip resturant for dinner, yummy... The fish batter was really light just how I like it.

Later in the evening I decided to try sitting out on the bedroom balcony in the sun, it is quite sheltered and was very pleasant. Opposite the house are some very tall trees that unfortunately block out most of the sun on the ground floor ( did think that if we came again at this time of year instead of bringing an electric blanket we would bring a chain saw!) .



Friday, 23 January 2015

A day of Pilgrimage

Yesterday we decided to make a trip to Calasparra to see the sights there and visit the Sanctuary.

What an interesting place and there were only two other cars in the car park meaning we had the place to ourselves.

In 1786 the legend goes that a shepherd came across a cave and inside was a small wooden statue of the Virgin Mary. The local villagers decided to move the statue into one of the towns churches but when they came to move it they found it was very heavy and they could not force it out of the cave. A decision was made to make a chapel around the statue. The Virgin de Esperanza now resides in all her glory in the cave.

The sheer crumbling rock face above the chapel looks like it will fall at any minute even though it is encased in a 'hair net' of wire mesh.

Slightly off putting for such a sacred place was a machine to turn a coin into a medal and the swings and slides for children! The gift shop sold a lot of tat, but I did buy a nice Nativity to add to my collection.

This area of Calasparra is also famous for its rice growing which is especially good for paella. It was interesting looking at the paddy fields from a high viewing area.



Tuesday, 20 January 2015

A hint of sun

After a couple of grey cold days the sun came out this morning enough for us to sit in the conservatory.

Yesterday friends Pauline and Brian called to see us, they are staying at their sons house a few miles away.

A hunt for some drinking chocolate led us to Iceland, amazingly it was like stepping into an English supermarket, everything was English from Branston pickle to marmite, plus they sold hot choclate mix.



Monday, 19 January 2015

Spain and the electric blanket

Yesterday we set the alarm for 3am! and by 3.30 am were on the road to East Midlands Airport for our flight to Alicante. The roads were empty and we made good time.

Breakfast at Burger King went down well. The Monach flight was good and we arrived early in Spain. A five minute wait for the shuttle bus and we were about to pick up our hire car. The car hire company gave us a free upgrade so we are now driving around in a Fiat 500L the same car as we had last year only that was French and this one is Spanish.

A stop at Zenia for lunch and to buy a few groceries we arrived at San Javier at 2.30pm local time.

This is the third house in the same small complex that we have rented, #41. As usual I forgot to take a photo when we arrived and all was neat and tidy.


Are you wondering about the electric blanket? A few weeks ago we had a new electric blanket at home so I thought, much to Chris's amusement, that it would be a good idea to take the old one to Spain as I was told it gets very cold at night in January. We were very glad of it last night and slept well.


Saturday, 17 January 2015

Progress on my "to do list"

One of the items I wanted to work on this year is my Amish fabric jacket, so a few days ago I dug out the box with all the pieces in and found all I had completed was cutting the sweatshirt into pieces and sewing oblongs of Amish material together but nothing else. Goodness knows how long ago I got this far!

I decided I already have two jackets made by this method do I really need another? NO.

SO.. I joined all the fabric pieces together in a random design, threw away the cut up sweatshirt and using a fleece I had been given quilted the fabric to the fleece. I then trued everything up and it has made a quilt 40 x 60 inches. I will donate this quilt to the Linus project and hope some young man [ the cows, buggies etc would be good for a boy] gets pleasure from it.
I have the binding on just need to finish sewing the binding down.

I can now mark off two items on my 2015 list of jobs: Amish jacket and a Linus quilt.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

The first snowdrops

It has been pretty miserable weather lately, but the first sign of Spring made an appearance this week.... Snowdrops. I love them.

As I will be off on my travels again at the weekend I decided I better find the adaptor for camera to iPad.

Hours later having worked out where I could go to buy another at the last minute! Plus emptying a cupboard to eventually find I had put it 'somewhere safe' I at last have it.

One good thing is emptying the cupboard made me toss out to the charity shop another bag full of things no longer needed, in fact why would anyone want about a dozen eye covers collected on different flights! I am really being strong with myself about clearing the clutter.


Monday, 12 January 2015

My Baby is back

At last my baby [ Brother 4000D embroidery / sewing machine] is back from it's enforced stay at the BSK hospital.
When she stopped working before Christmas I was in the middle of a large stitched project. I kept the project in the frame hoping I could continue where I had come to a crashing stop!
YIPPEE I've managed it!
65979 stitches in the design, so I lot of thread and time would have been wasted if I could not sort it out.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Jason and the Land Rovers

Just before Christmas Jason Robertson the Rep for GLASS Oxfordshire was tragically killed in a road traffic accident. [Green Lane Association]
He was a huge supporter of Help for Heroes and arranged convoys of Land Rovers to raise funds.
Yesterday was his funeral so a Land Rover convoy was arranged to follow the Land Rover Hearse.
15 to 20 Land Rovers met at a Service Station near Banbury and followed the hearse. It was a very moving and fitting tribute to a much loved man.
Gathering at the M40 Services

Preparing for the 'off'

leaving the service station

Convoy on the M40 [ about 7 in front of us and 8 to 10 behind us ]

Car park full we parked in all the side roads

So many Land Rovers of every shape and size

Jason taking his final ride. 

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Progress on the log cabins

I have managed to make a little progress on my Black and White with a dash of red quilt blocks.

I need to make 168 [yikes!] to complete the quilt and have ten from last year but managed to make 11 so far this week.  This weeks effort is a drop in the ocean but then every little counts.
Eleven made 147 more to make!

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

The Boiler man and my kitchen

The boiler man came and serviced our boiler on Monday afternoon which meant sorting out the kitchen for him to get at it.

When he had finished I thought it time to sort out my pantry, funny how one thing leads to another!

I try to be prepared for the unknown, and storing food is one of the things I try and do. I use an Excel sheet to keep a check on what I have but sometimes I need to do an inventory and the New Year is a good time for that. SO... I emptied the shelves in the pantry and sorted through anything that needs eating up and made a list of anything I need to stock up on when that item appears on sale. My kitchen looked like I was a kid playing grocers!  Chris was happy when he came home I cooked a tin of Chilli Con Carnie and rice that needed eating up for him.
Food everywhere

A nice tidy shelf

Room for more

Monday, 5 January 2015

2015 Aims for the year

2015 Aims for the year
I am a constant list writer, I write lists for everything.
 The days I do not write a list of jobs to do I do not seem to get anything done, but if it is on a list I do my best to get it completed. I always give myself a few "nice" jobs if I have a lot of "I really do not want to do" jobs. For example if I have to do washing, clean toilets... boring jobs I also add a sewing or crocheting job that I really want to work on.
Shopping lists mean I get everything I want, if its not on the list I never remember to buy the missing ingredient or magazine I really want!

So here is my list for 2015 in my Happy Room. Hopefully making a list will mean I get things completed.

Must complete, or at least work on, already started:
Amish jacket
Hexagon block saying quilt
USA paper pieced stars quilt
Black white and a dash of red quilt
2 coloured Trapunto cushions
Bird paper pieced blocks
6 Machine embroidered train cushions
Season's cross stitch
Crochet granny quilt

New challenges
Quilt for Abigail to match her new bedroom
4 Linus quilts
Machine embroider 6 hand towels
Curtains for the summer house
Making a start... I have "make 6 log cabin blocks " on my list for today!

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Family Birthday party

Yesterday we celebrated Jacquline's [ daughter in law] birthday.
The family arrived during the afternoon and we had a nice meal with crackers and cake followed by a right left game, always a favorite, and then played Mexican Train with a 12 set of dominos.
Jacq was not very well with a recurring chesty cough, but I think she enjoyed herself.

Friday, 2 January 2015

First finish of the year

I have managed to finish the crochet project I started in the summer of last year. It has been a real learning curve as I had not crocheted for years and then only very simple things. I had to learn a lot of new stitches and some leave a lot to be desired!
The edges are a bit wavy but it is a nice snuggle blanket that I am happy to put over my knees.

There is a lot of wool left over so I will have a search for something I can do with it, maybe another lap blanket? if you have any ideas please leave me a comment.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

2015 Happy New Year

Chris and I saw in the New Year together for the first time in a few years. Usually he cannot stay awake and goes to bed leaving me with the TV for company, so I felt it was a special start to our 43rd year together.

We watched the fireworks in London on TV, it would have been nice to be there in person but so much more comfortable to watch from our own settee!

Holiday plans are under way and it is funny how easy it is to forget what we did in 2014. retirement has seen us enjoying many holidays after recovering from my knee op in Dec 2013.
March a few days with Daish Travel in Weymouth
April Scotland with the family
May Eastnor Castle for the Land Rover Show
June Blankenberge Belgium
August Set off for a memorable time [ see blog!] in France
September in Spain
November to Lincolnshire to celebrate my 70th birthday

Biopsy, bruises and a block finish

Thursday I went into hospital at 10.30 for my lung biopsy, the staff could not have been nicer and put me at ease. The procedure meant lying...