Friday, June 23, 2017

Rocking Your World 2017: Week 25

I'll go straight in with my Smile for this week, and here it it.

Yes, I have finally completed my Sophie blanket. It is heavy and warm, and covers our bed perfectly. (The centre will lay flatter when I have blocked it).
It is really made up of several patterns.
The inner circle started out as Sophie's Mandala. Then it was made into a square with some flowers worked into the corners, and this was Sophie's Garden.
It continued to grow with various rounds of criss-cross fences, more flowers, and then a wider border with butterflies on it, and finally some more lattice work fencing, and this was Sophie's Universe.
You will probably have noticed that some of the colours have changed. This is  because this photo and the one above it are not mine. They are the photos off the patterns I used, because it is so difficult to get a good square photo of such a large piece of work.
But back to my blanket now. Many people stopped at the end of S.Universe, but it was not big enough for me, and when others also said this, it was suggested that we work a round of two squares, used alternately, and these squares were called Jack and Lydia. I chose colours from my blanket to make each of these, and they looked better than I had expected.
Then I wanted a way to finish it off. All the above components were designed by Dedri Uys, and their patterns can be bought on the knitters site, Ravelry. She also designed a narrow border but again I needed more so my blanket would fit our king size bed. Someone from a Facebook knitting page pointed me to another designer on Ravelry who had designed a much wider border of 35 rows, using elements of the Sophie patterns, especially for anyone who wanted a bigger blanket. So I have been working that. It is Anne Grethe Bjerrrgaard's border - Sophie's Univese Growing Up. 
This took a long time, not because the stitches were any more difficult, but really because the rounds were now so big. The blanket weighed heavy on my lap and I have been battling with the heat as I tried to do one side each night, determined not to put it away unfinished again this summer. And finally I made it.
It has been a challenge and I have mastered several new techniques as I worked through it, but I love the bright colours, and when next winter brings the chills, we will be glad to have it over us I am sure.

Finishing my blanket is not the only thing I have done this week. On Saturday we took a break from everything to go to a seventieth birthday of a friend in our village. It was a splendid affair, held at a local hostel, and there were around 120 guests. The room had been beautifully decorated.
It started off very warm when we arrived, but later they turned the air-con on and it became more comfortable. There was a good hot buffet overseen by the bar staff.
There was also a very good band, and soon people were up dancing and singing.

I have spent much of this week round at my friend's house, finishing off her packing, and accompanying her to lawyers, and other appointments. On Wednesday afternoon our friend with a courier van came and collected all her boxes, ready for delivery on his next trip to UK in July. With an empty house, and just a few loose ends to tie up, she is now ready to return, so she is flying out on Tuesday. I shall miss her, but I am glad she will be close to her sons.

In the evenings I have been working on some craft projects, mainly finishing off items for our son's wedding, and making family birthday cards to take to UK with me, which will save me a lot in postage.

We also fly out Tuesday, though not until the evening, and we shall be away until the following Tuesday, so next Friday there will be no blog post from me. We will all be busy making the final preparations for the wedding on Sunday.

We have been getting up a bit earlier in the mornings so we can walk the dogs before it gets too hot. Even then they really don't want to walk very far, so we use a shortened circuit, and then bring them into the house to cool down. On Tuesday Kim stopped to sniff around a wall, and when I looked I saw this beautiful moth. Kim didn't hurt it, so I hope it managed to crawl away into a dark corner until the night time.
After breakfast most days, I come down to my room to check my e-mails and Facebook before getting on with that days chores, and every day this week I have been deafened by a pair of magpies, shouting at our cats in the green zone. I think they must have some babies down there, but there is no need for all the noise. The cats don't even seem to notice them, and they are too hot and lazy to climb trees to find their nest. One magpie was sitting on the fence pole just outside my room but I couldn't get his photo because I have black bars (rejas) on the windows, and wire netting on this one to deter the stray cats from bothering Arwen. So I crept outside with my camera, but of course he flew further away. He was sitting on a roof top across the green zone and I took this photo of him, still shouting. My little camera has a good zoom on it, and I was quite please with the clarity of this.
Then he was joined by his mate, and they stopped their racket for a while. But they'll be back tomorrow, and every day until those babies have flown the nest I expect.

I have been trying to work my way through the oddments in the fridge before we go away. We are only going for a week, but some things won't keep that long. So I have made several smoothies at breakfast time. It is a great way to use over-ripe bananas, and any other fruit that is lurking in the salad box. Usually I add a raw carrot as well, just because I can, and you would never know it was there. This one was made from a banana, cherries, a few strawberries, one tangerine, frozen melon and a carrot, and it was delicious. A real glass of sunshine to start the day.

I have had two sessions of physio on my arthritic shoulders this week. It was so hot today, and I really didn't want to drive over to Vera for it at 5.00, but when I got there, the room was comfortable cool, and I dare say it did me some good. It was lovely to come home and have a cooling dip in the pool before tea.
Well I have an exciting week ahead, and I'll be back with all the family news the week after. We have chosen the right week to travel to cooler climes. It has been in the mid-thirties all this week and they have forecast three degrees hotter from next Tuesday, so it could be hitting forty degrees. We usually only get that sort heat in late July and August!
For now I will just link up with Rocking Your World, and Annie's  Friday Smiles, and I'll see you all again in a fortnight.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Rocking Your World 2017: Week 24

Hi to all my dear friends and family. On a week such as this, when the news has been filled with horror, anger and grief, it can be hard to find anything that 'Rocked your world' in a good way. But here we are at our usual Friday spot, so let's look back at the last few days, and dig out those heart-warming moments that keep us all going.

Well Sunday was a good day. We are still, (and likely to be for some months to come) in a state of 'inter regnum' at our church, which means that we are without a vicar, so we are inviting a stream of locums to come for a few weeks each, to keep us going until a replacement can be found. I have to say, we have had some lovely visiting clergy, who, as well as leading our worship,  have joined in with everything we do. But there is always a question mark in our minds when a new one arrives, as they are all 'unknown quantities' to us. This Sunday was no exception, and there was an added tinge of uncertainty as we had been told our next visiting priest was an American lady in her eighties! As people arrived for the service there was a lot of anticipatory chatter in the congregation.

But we need not have worried. She was delightful. She was thoroughly enjoying our sunshine and heat without the humidity of her home in Florida. She came with her husband who was also very friendly, and they happily posed for our resident photographer.
After the service we had a bring-and-share lunch to welcome them, and as usual the table was weighed down with a wide range of food for us all to enjoy.

The whole week we have enjoyed clear blue skies, and although the temperature has been in the mid thirties every day, we have managed to get things done when we needed to, and siesta or cool down in the pool when there was nothing urgent to do.

Each morning we walk the dogs, earlier now before it gets too hot, and we take them passed the new roundabout being built at the front of the village, so we can check on its progress. Even when we are there just after 8.00, the men are already busy. The main structure has been built, and this week they have been building it up in two layers.
It is a long oval, rather than a circle, and although we are not quite sure haw the various roads will lead into it, they have built some islands to divide the lanes.
This morning we saw four olive trees with large root balls, stacked at the side of the centre, and one had been planted in the top level.
When I drove passed it on my way home tonight, the men were busy planting the last one. (Just to the right of the Stop sign).
Across the centre of the oval there is a wide channel which will be a pedestrian crossing for people wanting to walk from the village to the urbanisation of Huerta Nueva on the other side of the main road. This road carries a constant stream of big lorries on their way to Garrucha docks, and it is very dangerous to cross at busy times. There have been a few fatalities there, hence the new roundabout. We are looking forward to it being complete, as it will give us a nicer and safer walk with the dogs each morning.

So what else has made me smile this week. 
Well it was lovely to call in to see a friend who has recently had a hip replacement, and is only just feeling up to receiving visitors. So we called in on our way to choir practice on Wednesday evening, and had a good catch-up.

I have spent several days with my friend Elspeth, doing more packing for her, and I am happy to say it is almost done now. I think she has agreed to return to UK a bit earlier than she planned, where she will have her two sons to help her. I shall miss her when she is gone, but it will be a lot better for her.

Being taken out to lunch by my husband, yesterday and today. Poor Chris must be feeling a bit neglected and is probably tired of waiting until mid-afternoon for his dinner. And for me it is two days when I don't have to work in the heat of the kitchen, so win-win for both if us.

Little things like the vast blue sky each day; the light breeze that cools us down; the smell of hot earth when I hose the plants; finding a baby mandarine on our new tree when I thought it was barren this year. I hope it hangs on in there, so we can share it come the Autumn!
Finding a couple of light cotton day-dresses in Turre market so I can throw away some of last year's faded ones.

Managing to fit a bit of card-making around everything else, even if I haven't had time to write a blog post about them.

And finally catching a beautiful sunset one teatime, which came to a very fiery end.

So now I will link up with Annie's Friday Smiles and Rocking Your World. I hope you have also found something to smile at. If so follow me and share your smiles too.