Friday, 23 February 2018


Some time ago I went on a workshop to make a batik table runner. I managed to finish the top but that was as far as it went. I decided when I got home I did not like it as a table runner so it sat in the "I will do something with it" pile.

Table runner before cutting into six pieces
After all my de-cluttering I fancied an easy sewing job and took the table runner apart into six double block pieces. With my fabric now easy to find in its new order I quickly located suitable fabric for lining and completing the new bag idea I had. I also needed a bag for a set of game pieces.. so I prepared seven bags and have spent today making them.  For cord I used thick Kumihimo braid that I already had. So no expense was involved.

Six bags from the table runner and one extra for the game pieces

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

De-cluttering BIG time

I have spent almost all day working on de-cluttering my fabric cupboards... I need and deserve chocolate!
Maybe they are not as neat and tidy as they could be, but I can work on that. I have everything sorted into colours, novelty prints, Christmas, Japanese, plain etc etc.. also all non quilting cottons sorted into silk, leather, netting etc...
Cupboard THREE

Cupboard TWO

Cupboard ONE
Three extremely large and heavy bags ready for donation.

I will NEVER buy another piece of fabric, well okay I better not say NEVER, but hopefully not for a long time.  Maybe next week I'll start on the unit full of drawers and the many boxes... but not today.

Fabric, fabric and more fabric

After a busy few days I have at last a completely free day. One task that I have been putting off for absolutely ages is to sort out my fabric cupboards. I thought if I wrote about it on my blog I would have to complete the job, rather than just feel it is too daunting a task.

I have three kitchen wall cabinets so full of fabric that whenever a piece gets taken out the rest fall in a heap and just get shoved back in! There is also a small amount of overflow fabric in a cupboard under my desk.
Cupboard ONE

Cupboard TWO

Cupboard THREE

Where to start is always my problem, but start I must... so I put up both my banqueting tables up in my Happy Room and emptied cupboard ONE onto them! I hardly remember some of the fabric other pieces brought back happy memories but have not been touched for years and years!

Neat piles all sorted into colour, fabric or design order.

Large pile to go OUT.
I have asked a friend with local school age children if their school would like it.
Whatever happens it is NOT going back in the cupboard.
Time for a much deserved cuppa, then onwards and upwards... TWO and THREE are waiting..

Friday, 16 February 2018

Stowe National Trust Gardens

This has been a busy week, having the girls on Tuesday, out for a meal on Wednesday, Valentines Day, with 12 other members from church. Thursday the sun shone and it was too good an opportunity to get some fresh air and a walk.

An early lunch and we set off for Stowe in Buckinghamshire to explore the National Trust Gardens.
A buggy ride down to the main gardens and we set off in search of snowdrops and aconites. We found a lot of both and also miniature cyclamen peeping out under the trees.
It was very muddy under foot and very busy being the first really nice day for sometime and the children are on half term.
Love this view of the lake
 There seems to be something new to see around every corner, and in a small clearing there is the outline of a previous building and this stone...
Since all things are uncertain indulge thy self

Carved wooden benches are a delight amongst the snowdrops and aconites.

The Temple of Virtue

In 1730 William Kent and James Gibbs designed many temples and statues in the gardens
and I believe this is the Temple of Virtue in the middle of the golf course!
We managed almost 5000 steps and went home with rosy cheeks as there was a cold wind on this nice sunny day.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Welcome Home

It is nice to be back home, but OH! so cold, and this morning -4 and everywhere is covered in white frost.  My amaryllis was in bud when we left for Spain and what a wonderful welcome sight on our return, thanks to Martin for looking after it.

Four deep red flowers on a very short stalk.

The girls are on half term and came for a visit yesterday. It was too wet and cold to do anything outside, so a dinner plan was arranged.
They made menus on the computer and organised timings for cooking a chicken, pigs in blankets, cheesy mash and carrots, followed by pancakes [it is Shrove Tuesday], with many different fillings, and a final course of cheese and biscuits.
Abigail age 14 making the first batch of pancakes

Eleanor age 10  just preparing to turn her pancake over.
They made about six each

Enjoying the pancakes, which left no room for the cheese and biscuits!
They did so well preparing and cooking the meal, the only thing I helped with was carving the chicken, and Grandad was on clear up duty.

While finding the recipe for pancakes in my old notebook, we needed the precise amounts as they used the Tupperware shaker to mix the batter, they found a recipe for a Diana Cake.
When their father was living in the Nurses home training to be a nurse, he regularly came home and I would make a Diana Cake for him to take back. I decided it was time for him to learn how to cook it, so bought a cake tin and all the ingredients and presented it to him on his next visit. The girls loved the story and as soon as dinner was over wanted to make one for their Dad.
Back in the kitchen I managed to find all the ingredients for this fruit cake and they made two, one to take home and one for us. Richard was delighted when he came to collect them.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Friday fish and chips

We met up with Pauline and Brian and their friends Maxine and Karen at the Quesada Fish and Chip resturant in Villa Martin. The resturant has just been refurbished from dark and dingy to bright and new, but luckily the fish and chips are still as good and cost the same €7.
It was nice seeing everyone again and the food was delicious as usual.

Karen, Maxine and Pauline

After such a nice meal, luckily there are no calories while on holiday! We went for a walk.
It was nice getting a last dose of sea air before going back to pack for the journey home tomorrow.

This area was devastated with the floods a couple of years ago. 
Some progress has taken place to restore the walls but the beaches have all but been washed away in places.

Goldcar car hire to be returned and flight home from Alicante at 11.45 to East Midlands Airport, should be home late afternoon.

Friday, 9 February 2018

EGGciting time

We have had an eggciting time here in Roda Alcazares Spain, but all good things must come to an end, and today is our final day as we leave to fly home tomorrow.
Chris has found days hot enough to sunbathe and I have enjoyed knitting two Easter bunnies and a lot of Easter eggs for a display next month.
Arne & Carlos egg patterns and some I made up myself using polystyrene eggs.

The Golf club complex we are staying on has some wonderful topiary and well tended gardens.

Squares, discs, twirls, every shape you can think of.

The closest we have come to the swimming pool is Chris put his hand in! Too cold at this time of year.
The swimming pool is about six paces from our back patio.
It looks so inviting but too cold at the moment.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

The club House

Having been here three  and a half weeks, we decided to visit the Club House for lunch, we both had burgers and fries that were delicious.
The place was pretty deserted except for a group of golfers receiving awards.
The view from the restaurant our rental house is to the right across the golf course 

Chris waiting to pay the bill at the bar
Roda Golf Club And Resturant

Makes me wish I played golf!

X stitch hedgehog

One of my Christmas presents was a small hedgehog cross stitch kit. I have not ‘been into’ cross stitch for a long time, but thought it might be an ideal kit to put in my suitcase for this trip to Spain.  The light in the house is not very good for close work but during sunny days I have managed to complete the kit and will turn him into a pincushion when I get home. Thank you Judith.
Heritage Crafts kit by Susan Ryder

Meal with friends

We picked up our friends, Pat and Jim, from Pat’s home at 12.30 and drove to San Miguel for lunch at Mason El Prado. They live here in Spain so it was nice to take them somewhere they had not been before. We had not really met Jim before and he was good company and the meal as usual was excellent.
Pat and Jim enjoying a chat

Chris choose paella as a starter

I had York Ham, which seemed to be two slices of ham with a slice of cheese in the middle cut into thin strips, on salad

Main course, Tuna for me and Goulash for Chris. Both were excellent.
Lemon tart for Chris

Profiterole cake for me, very yummy!
All this and either half a bottle of wine, beer or cold drink for €9.50, about Nine pounds.

A visit to the toilet at the end of the meal, made me homesick, why?
Yes a sewing machine in the ladies room!

Monday, 5 February 2018

A high of 12

It has definitely turned cooler this week and the forecast today was only for 12 degrees. However the forecast at home was for only 4 degrees so we should be thankful, plus the sun came out for most of the day.
We went for an after dinner stroll along the beach and sat for a while just watching the world go by. Actually I think only a couple of people walked past us, it was very quiet and peaceful. Dark clouds started rolling in over the hills so we headed for home.

A quiet peaceful place to sit

Dark clouds rolling in over the hills

Sunday Church and lunch

The LDS web site said sacrament meeting started at 10.50 so I set off for Cartagena in plenty of time to attend the service.
It is always a little hard on the nerves attending a new church building, especially not speaking the local language. I met one of the elders as soon as I walked through the door and luckily he spoke some English. Timings had been changed and sacrament was not until 12 midday but they were just starting Relief Society, with no knowledge of Spanish this would be a more difficult meeting for me to understand, how wrong could I be. One of the missionary sisters was called to meet and help me. Sister Stringfellow was from Utah and translated the whole meeting, I am so impressed with our young, she was probably about twenty years old, to be able to hear what is being said and instantly translate for me.
No one else spoke English but the fellowship I felt was very real. Sadly I could not stay for the changed sacrament time as we had a lunch appointment I needed to get back for.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Cartagena 

As soon as I arrived back in Roda and picked up Chris we went to the Arches bar/restaurant for Sunday lunch English style. It was very nice, but I must have been really hungry as I forgot to take any photos!

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Cold start, warm finish

It started off quite windy and cold this morning, so we decided to go to the local cinema, Las Velas where they show Films in English on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The new Nick Parks film, Early Man was our choice for the 3.30pm showing... there were six adults and two children including us in the cinema! No adverts just straight into the film. It was a good film and full of innuendos that I am sure most children would miss.
The cinema almost to ourselves

When we came out of the cinema the wind had dropped and the sun was warm, so we went home, had a quick bite to eat and then drove down to the coast for an evening stroll.
6pm in the evening enjoying the last of the sun

Alcazares beach ar sun set.

Fish and Chips

Friday so it has to be fish and chips! 

We awoke to rain, and when it rains here in Spain it really rains, the roads become rivers and the puddles small lakes.
We had arranged to see our friends and go out for fish and chips, sadly the place we usually go to is closed for renovation, but Pauline had been recommended another bar/restaurant so we waded to the car and set off for Witherspoon’s. 

Needless to say we all choose fish and chips from the extensive menu, and the portions were huge and really delicious. We enjoyed chatting and taking in the atmosphere of the place, which seemed to be a Spanish take on Weatherspoons in England.

Chris, Pauline and Brian wrapped up for the cold wet weather

Hot and cold drinks before the food arrived.

Witherspoon’s, Calle Espronceda, 03193 San Miguel de Salinas

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...