Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Mum

I am getting older of that there is no doubt. No worry about that, no pretence, but an undeniable fact.

I,of course am a Mum and most days my own Mum comes to mind. She died nine years ago. Maybe I see her favourite colour,sometimes her favourite food. A smell or taste. Sometimes it's the time of year. A special time we shared. Easter is always like this for me. A nostalgic time a time full of memories .

After Christmas she used to like to get the brochures delivered and she would choose a cottage in Cornwall. A place where we could all go for a week at Easter. Cornwall was her very favourite place and as she lived in Devon all her life she never had far to go! We would pack her car with all the treats for the children, always new pants and socks,pretty hair ribbons and chocolate of course.

I think generational relationships can be blessed, wonderful,enriching and precious. You really do only have one Mum. They also can be intense,tricky,frustrating and downright difficult. You really do only have one Mum. A sum of all the parts that make that relationship. My Mum would see instantly if I was tired,upset or anxious. She also shared my joys with matching happiness. My happiness was her joy too. I miss her voice when I have things to celebrate and I miss her embrace when my heart is heavy.

My thirties were the best time for me with my Mum. She was well, she was still young,fit and active. She felt blessed as I had my children. I will never forget the way we looked at each other as I held my first baby in my arms. I had become a Mum too. I felt that overwhelming unselfish love and devotion for this new little life,our son. The same way she had felt about me.

I will never forget when my little baby would not settle on one of his first nights home from hospital. I was so tired and my Mum crept into the bedroom and took him. She sat in the rocking chair within my sight and as I drifted off to sleep I heard her singing lullabies to him as she had to me. I awoke many hours later feeling refreshed and as I looked across she was looking at me sleeping and she was still rocking but my son was asleep in her arms.

That memory still brings tears to my eyes.

Now, of course like all relationships we had "words," we disagreed, we disappointed each other. We had regrets. Sadly she suffered with bad health and unless you are walking in someone's footsteps it is hard to always feel empathy and compassion. I, was still young and had not yet felt the burden of aches and pains,the mantle that advancing years bring. So, I am sure she would have loved that extra time I could have given her, that extra visit to the same garden centre, that extra conversation about her memories. But we tried our best, Mum and I.

And yesterday I had a friends Mum for lunch. She is 93 and absolutely amazing. We had a lovely time. We picked her up and brought her to our home. We cooked her favourite food and we listened carefully to what she had to say. She read every word of the recent article about my blogging adventures. She marvelled at my latest auspicious blanket. She complimented Andy about his latest DIY project. She declared the food scrummy. And then we took her home.

But what makes her so special is, as she came through the door she was carrying a basket and in that basket was a posy of flowers picked from her garden. The stalks were wrapped in tissue and silver foil.

She showed me that she had chosen buds so that they would last. She had picked sweet paes so they would give us sweet scent. And that scent is filling the room this morning as I sit by them writing.

 

There was a bowl of the sweetest strawberries from her garden. I know the last ripe one will have been added. I bet there is not one for her breakfast this morning.

 

And there was a bunch of organically grown carrots and one leek. Grown from seed by her and all washed and trimmed.

 

 

My Mum used to come with a basket with love tucked inside too!

Gifts of love. Gifts of thoughtfullness. Gifts of kindness. Thank you Thelmum. Thank you for reminding me so much of my Mum. The one Mum I had. But, Thank You most of all for allowing me to still experience the feelings that only such a wonderful woman can give.

 

 

 

Monday, 21 April 2014

An Auspicious Blanket.

I rarely buy scrumptious wool. Stylecraft double knit serves me well. But,awhile back I wanted to treat myself to some lovely different yarn. So I ordered some from Black Sheep Wools.

It is soft,muted and expensive and I had saved it for a special project. A new Chevron blanket. Now it's not the blankets fault. Or,for that matter the yarns either. But, as soon as I started to use it,the bad news of William breaking his femur came through.

Usually crocheting is restful and peaceful for me. A special place I go to,where I feel most relaxed. But not with this blanket. I have been fraught, tense and frustrated.

It gave me a hiding place. I could sit by the computer waiting for news but pretending to myself that I was not feeling anxious. As the blanket grew I began to feel it was a blanket hooked with sad,anxious thoughts. I was never going to look at it and think how much I had enjoyed making it.

Then better news came from our little family from Dubai,so I decided to finish the blanket quickly and put it away until my feelings felt less raw. So with trusty trebles I hooked a border. It was wavy,loopy and actually downright ugly.

I went to bed and could not sleep. I hated that border so much. But it was almost the sum of the parts. The final bit. Of course I could not get to sleep. I may as well have come straight downstairs and ripped that border out. As soon as I got up this morning that was the order of the day .... Even before a cup of tea.

How much better that felt. And then I got a text message. A lovely text message from my nephew. It was to tell me that a new baby was on its way. I was going to be a Great Auntie again. My nephew and his wife mean a great deal to me and I was so happy to hear this lovely news. And as I thought about them suddenly my blanket became special, auspicious and loved.

 

My goodness. A new border. A border full of small special stitches. A blanket that may have started with sadness but it has been finished with love in every single crochet stitch. And what makes it even more special is that as I have finished it we know William is getting better. His femur is mending. So, soon he will be back to his bubbly,energetic happy self.

 

 

 

And just as soon a new little baby will come into our family. What a special ending and what a special blanket.

 

 

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

A tutorial for Handbags for plants.

I am so pleased with how the little plant pouches that I mentioned in one of my posts have turned out.

So,I thought I would write a tutorial about how I made mine.

I was sent this picture by a friend. She knows I love quirky and these certainly are cute and quirky.

 

The original source of these plant pouches can be found here.

I just looked and hooked. As you do. The best part was using up some of the rough wool in my stash.

Good garden colours too.

 

Of course I swapped the knitting for hooking.and I hooked away like this....

1.Make a chain of 60.

2. Work a foundation row with a double crochet in every chain. To be honest this is a real... " No worries" project. You can make the pouches any size you like

3. I then joined the rows into a circle and worked rows of half trebles. I used two strands of double knitting yarn as I wanted it to be a fairly solid shape. If you gave more patience than me you could work your rows using double crochet stitches.

4. I added a couple of contrast rows at the top edge and at the base. It just took my fancy to work that way.

5.I then had to decide about the handle.

I knew exactly where the first plant handbag was going so I only needed a simple handle.

So I secured the yarn really firmly by knotting it again and again and then made two strands the length I wanted the handle to be. I fastened these just as strongly on the other side.i then simply worked double crochet stitches all across the strands to make the handle.

 

 

The other pouch is for my friend who sent me the idea. She lives up in the mountains nearby and as I don't know where she might hang hers I decided to copy the original idea and add strings. Perhaps safer in the wind too!

 


 

6. I lined mine with a double thicknesses of storage bags with a few holes for drainage.

And merrily filled it with ivy.

I chose ivy as I wanted this little handbagfull to grow happily and cover something I don't like looking at!

The sweetest hanging basket I have ever seen.

 

 

 

Some for me and some for presents.

I think they would make brilliant gifts. Housewarming,garden parties or just that occasion when something a little different is needed.

For me in my Spanish garden it's usually succulents all the way but it looks lovely with trailing ivy.

Bedding plants,trailing strawberries would be great too.

What's going to be in your bag I wonder?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, 14 April 2014

Shopping in our village in Spain. And baby bibs.

I have said many times before that the day we stopped comparing our lives in Spain and our lives in the UK was the best day ever.

Actually nothing equates. There is no comparison.

To try and balance the two devalues both.

I have the loveliest friend. She is English, we worked together, we shared an allotment in the Uk and now she lives only ten minutes away from us here in Spain. She said when we moved to Spain " you are so lucky having both parts of your life"

And her wise words have proven to be so true.

Now, I really do love a simple life. I really do. And our life in Spain is simple.

Let's look at shopping. I love the markets . The vegetables are amazing. The fruits too. We love wandering around the markets. They bustle,they thrive and I love feeling a part of all that.

Then if we think about retail therapy. Well that puts a different perspective on things. In the Uk there is a plethora of shops. I don't think there is anything you can't buy. And you are tempted by a lot more.

Here we have Super Turre . The most amazing shop in the whole world.

To be honest in our village there is only really one shop and it's Super Turre. It's an Alladins cave where you can find anything and everything you need. You may have to look really carefully sometimes!

Sapin I don't believe belongs to the same EU as the Uk. By the tills at about pushchair height are boxes of caustic soda. And in the gardening area there is compost for Cannabis. Not what usually assails you in Asda or Tesco.

I went in today and there were some micro fibre cloths amongst the candles ... Well why not and I bought some. I really did not need any but who could resist such pretty mico fibre cloths...not me!!

I bought them home, looked at them and thought... Micro fibre. Good for mopping up .. Mopping up .. Spills and dribbles.

With a snip and a stitch a bib was born. No ordinary bib. The front a micro fibre bib .. The back the softest upcycled shower curtain. Here we have the first. Very 1960's flower power.

The second looks really pretty in minty green.

 

And for the boys. It's a shame they don't have cars,buses or dinosaurs on cloths.

But at least this isn't flowery.

 

That's what I love the most. When life is simple ..... You think the hardest. And at fifty pence for each cloth these bibs are really economical to make. And babies need a lot of bibs if I remember rightly!

If you would like to make one I found the pattern on this lovely blog.

http://www.newconceptions.com/free.htm

I just want to add a special " Thank You " again for all your kind wishes for our Grandson William. They have helped both Andy and I so much.

The X-ray yesterday showed that the bone had remained in its rightful position with the second cast made from fibreglass and healing is beginning. An enormous relief for his Mummy and Daddy and all William's family.

So now it's a waiting game until he gets the cast off, but at least things are looking up. I am, resolutely ignoring Google at the moment. On googling the problem of being constantly signed out I find I am not alone. I am among a very large number of frustrated people having the same problem. I hope you never join our far from merry band!

 

I opened the curtains this morning as the sun was rising over the village here in Spain and my heart felt lighter.

 


 

And our daughter must be feeling the same in Barcelona. What a great photo by the coast this morning.

 

I am off to Yoga now. One of my favourite times of the week. And a time this week to be thankful.

 

Shopping in our village in Spain. And baby bibs.

I have said many times before that the day we stopped comparing our lives in Spain and our lives in the UK was the best day ever.

Actually nothing equates. There is no comparison.

To try and balance the two devalues both.

I have the loveliest friend. She is English, we worked together, we shared an allotment in the Uk and now she lives only ten minutes away from us here in Spain. She said when we moved to Spain " you are so lucky having both parts of your life"

And her wise words have proven to be so true.

Now, I really do love a simple life. I really do. And our life in Spain is simple.

Let's look at shopping. I love the markets . The vegetables are amazing. The fruits too. We love wandering around the markets. They bustle,they thrive and I love feeling a part of all that.

Then if we think about retail therapy. Well that puts a different perspective on things. In the Uk there is a plethora of shops. I font think there is anything you can't buy. And you are tempted by a lot more.

Here we have Super Turre . The most amazing shop in the whole world.

To be honest in our village there is only really one shop and it's Super Turre. It's an Alladins cave where you can find anything and everything you need. You may have to look really carefully sometimes!Spain,I don't believe is in the same EU as the Uk. By the tills at about pushchair height are boxes of caustic soda. And in the gardening area there is compost for Cannabis. Not what usually assails you in Asda or Tesco.

I went in today and there were some micro fibre cloths amongst the candles ... Well why not and I bought some. I really did not need any but who could resist such pretty mico fibre cloths...not me!!

I bought them home, looked at them and thought... Micro fibre. Good for mopping up .. Mopping up .. Spills and dribbles.

With a snip and a stitch a bib was born. No ordinary bib. The front a micro fibre bib .. The back the softest upcycled shower curtain. Here we have the first. Very 1960's flower power.

The second looks really pretty in minty green.

 

And for the boys. It's a shame they don't have cars,buses or dinosaurs on cloths.

But at least this isn't flowery.

 

That's what I love the most. When life is simple ..... You think the hardest. And at fifty pence for each cloth these bibs are really economical to make. And babies need a lot of bibs if I remember rightly!

If you would like to make one I found the pattern on this lovely blog.

http://www.newconceptions.com/free.htm

I just want to add a special " Thank You " again for all your kind wishes for our Grandson William. They have helped both Andy and I so much.

The X-ray yesterday showed that the bone had remained in its rightful position with the second cast made from fibreglass and healing is beginning. An enormous relief for his Mummy and Daddy and all William's family.

So now it's a waiting game until he gets the cast off, but at least things are looking up. I am, resolutely ignoring Google at the moment. On googling the problem of being constantly signed out I find I am not alone. I am among a very large number of frustrated people having the same problem. I hope you never join our far from merry band!

 

I opened the curtains this morning as the sun was rising over the village here in Spain and my heart felt lighter.

 


 

And our daughter must be feeling the same in Barcelona. What a great photo by the coast this morning.

 

I am off to Yoga now. One of my favourite times of the week. And a time this week to be thankful.

 

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Driving me completely nuts!!!

I have no idea why but Google is constantly,continually and in a completely infuriating way throwing me out of a Google.

I have to sign in nearly every time I want to leave a comment on my lovely bloggy friends posts.

I have to sign in every time I want to post on my knitting thread.

Pinterest is the same.

It is so frustrating. I forget,write my comments then click the post button and they simply disappear .

It is taking the pleasure out of my IPad and my online life.

Am I the only one dear friends? Is it happening to you? Does anyone know a solution to this problem which really is driving me nuts?

Your lovely comments after my last post about sweet William stopped me folding up my IPad and leaving it in a dark corner somewhere. So, thank you. Your kindness and concern have meant so much x x x

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Distractions!

Our thoughts this week have been a long way from us here in Spain. Our family in Dubai have had the most terrible time. Our Grandson fell and broke his femur and to think of them so far way with so much to deal with has been so very hard. But, even harder for them to see their sweet,active two year old having to undergo two operations and now they have six weeks with him in plaster from his tummy button to his ankle.

So,distractions have been the order of the day. To begin with nothing worked and it seemed impossible to do anything but sit by the computer and think of them.

Hooking! Quiet hooking . Chevrons but I think this will never be a happy blanket. But, time will tell. Maybe it will become the blanket which is finished when William returns to his normal bubbly self.

 

 

Words Wilth friends. This online scrabble game has helped so much. My poor sister in law thinks I have been playing like a fiend. I have thanked her for being a good loser and kept on playing. During a few sessions in the wee dark hours it has been good to play people around the world. If you have not tried it I can recommend it.

http://www.wordswithfriends.com

 

And Pinterset. Well I have searched and searched random boards but last night after being sent this great photo by a friend I started to crochet a couple of hooky bags.

 

 

An excellent way of using up some very harsh,hard,horrible coloured wool.

 
 

I am going to use a bit of an old shower curtain to line them. But that means getting the sewing machine out and that might have to wait a while. I am in no mood to argue with it in my usual fashion. But I really am looking forward to filling them and hanging them up to see how it works.

That got me thinking about succulents and of course Pinterest was inspirational.

So, this morning I got out some empty strawberry boxes and made a start.

Filling, building and planting.

 

 

It was so bright in the garden I had to retreat to take some photos.

But here we have the sweet boxes in situ.

 

 

One of the things I love about succulents is that you can just break bits off and dap them in.

They nearly always grow, and thrive with a good dose of neglect.

They also provide another distraction. A very unwelcome one this time. I carefully held the ear of the one in the centre with some tissue to avoid the tiny hairs which are as sharp as pins.

Then I got distracted and wiped some soil off my hands with the same tissue .

So, removing the hairs from my fingers could take a while.

I am not the only one who needs distractions.

Poor Grandad may not show his concern as openly as me but my goodness I know him so well.

 

Andy hates painting but I think it has proved a distraction for him too.

 

Thank you to my lovely followers who have sent such kind messages after my last post.

I appreciated them so much.

 

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Love.

Missing our little Grandson such a lot just now x x x

 

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Fatima's. A Riad high in the Sierra Cabreras.

I can be indecisive about where to go to eat. It can be a hard card to play. If you recommend somewhere you have enjoyed,it may not be the same for someone else. We still laugh with my sister in law, as in 40 years we have only ever left one restaurant and that was one she had recommended.

I am sure you are getting the picture!

So, today with it being Mothering Sunday I could not wriggle out of the decision making process. I could not defer the choice. It has been such a treat to have our daughter and her partner with us.and in return they wanted to treat us/ME!

 

 


And they were having none of my usual " I really don't mind" nonsense. Now the men love a local Tapas Bar. I love the local Tapas Bar. The Tapas is excellent. But not Tapas for me today.

I have been wanting to try a restaurant called Fatima's for ages. It is nestled high in the Sierra Cabrera mountain range near us. It is Morroccan in style. My favourite style in all the world. I was quietly so excited.

And the entrance entranced me!



Morrocan,beautiful, and just up my mountain.


 

 

And what a treat as soon as you stepped inside the courtyard. The planting fountains,pots and plants.

Simply magical.

 

 
I absolutely love the blue of Morrocco.
The blue of the shutters,the pots and the tiles.
 

 

 
 
Now, when you are being treated you really can not disappear for ages taking photos but this one made me smile. A true chip off the old block. Lindsay was busy snapping away too.
 
 


Outside was stunning,but so was inside.
 
 
Those tiles.
 
 
Those lamps.
 
 
 
Those fountains and plates.
 
 

 

Artefacts and inlay.

 

 

Now,surely we should talk about the food...... Well, the best thing was the food spoke for itself.

I have already left my My Trip Advisor review it was the best you could give.

 

 


The service was great.

I loved it ... ALL!

 



Well of course we had to leave.

Leave the art.

 

 

Leave the architecture.

 

 

Today, I loved being a Mum.

We also had a great phone call from our youngest daughter and a great Skype from our son,daughter in law and young William.

Absolutely perfect.

And we will return to Fatima's on another special day soon.