Monday, 29 October 2012

In Love!

We can not believe how lucky we are to have this gorgeous little fellow in our lives.
William is 10 months old now and has just got his passport.
I suppose it is a bit early to be getting excited about his first visit to our house in Spain next April. Well of course I know it is, but I am anyway!
But, first we have cuddles booked when we return to the UK soon.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Mama Bags!

I have often blogged about Loving Hands Charity knitting group.
Lou Jaap the founder of this wonderful organisation publishes challenges every quarter.
They are varied and encompass a lot of folk who need help.
I try and send a contribution if I can and this time I was interested in Mama Bags!
Here is what Lou had to say...
I have been having a conversation with the Hattons who represent Greenfields Africa – the Shires groups have been donating a lot of aid directly to this amazing charity already and after much deliberation I have decided to throw the weight of the main group behind the ‘Mama Bags’ project that they are doing for Ugandan mums and babies. Here is what Barbara Hatton had to say in a letter about it ;-

‘More and more babies are being born in Africa without AIDS, they have a normal life expectancy, so they need what we think of as normal baby clothes.

To try to reduce the mortality rate of babies and mothers in childbirth, the pregnant mothers are encouraged to attend 3 antenatal classes (where they are also tested for AIDS) they are then entitled to a Mama bag in their last month of pregnancy.

A Mama bag consists of

a cotton baby vest,
a cotton baby grow,
a woollen hat
a woollen cardigan or jumper (Fish & Chip vest acts as a jumper)
woollen bootees / socks
a blanket.

We soon return to the UK and I will be having a look for some vests and baby grows to tuck in the Mama Bags. But travelling with me on our flight will be a blanket. I have really enjoyed making it.The colours have brightened my days and I love the effect of just joining the coloured squares together without a neutral border around each one.
Can you see the little loop of satin ribbon I have stitched in one corner. As I have been hooking I have been visualising a little baby on it's Mama's back and finding a little bit of ribbon to cuddle. When my children were little that was their favourite part of a cuddly blanket.
And I love Granny Squares so much.

Perhaps you may feel inspired to have a look at the challenges that have been posted on Loving Hands this month.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

We do know the way to San Jose!

The Cabo de Gata is a natural Parc near us. We had to drop a friend at the airport and the chance to visit San Jose was too good to miss. The last time we went we saw Whoopie Goldberg today we saw The Three Billy Goats Gruff. As you do in rural Spain!
The beach at Genoves was the setting for some of the scenes from the Indiana Jones films. We didn't see Harrison Ford either!
It was however the most perfect day,perfect in every way. It was so perfect I never even got my hook and yarn out. That does not happen very often!
And of course the perfect end to a visit is to find a little Tapas Bar and try some of the local delicacies. They were pretty perfect too.
Spain is such a diverse country it is sad that some people think it is all high rise and busy.
The Cabo de Gata is one the very special places I have visited in the world so far.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Tortilla! Bueno!!

I love tortilla. It graces every bar here in Andalucia and is a good indication of the quality of the chef.
I have tried it many times and the results have been variable. But today I really could be a Spanish Señora... Delicious.
Slice your potatoes as thinly as possible.
Boil them until just tender.
Cool the potatoes and then add them to six beaten eggs.
Leave to sit for 30 minutes.
Season well with salt and pepper.
Oil a pan (choose the smallest pan possible to fit the mixture in or you end up with the scimpiest tortilla!)
Put the mixture into the pan and place over the lowest gas or electricity ring
Patience at this time gives the best result.
The eggy,potato mixture seems to hardly cook but golden gorgeousness is developing.
Then the scary bit ..... Slide the tortilla onto a plate,invert it and just as gently cook the other side.
And there you have it ... Delicious tortilla espaniol!!!!!

Monday, 15 October 2012

Tiny babies in Spain!

A friend is visiting our nearest hospital here in Spain tomorrow and there is a special care baby unit there. So, whilst she is waiting,and there is always a lot of waiting!! she has offered to deliver this little parcel filled with tiny things for tiny babies.
The last time she took some things the nurses were so delighted they dressed a baby immediately and bought it out to see my friend. Probably not protocol in the UK but delightful all the same.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Cotton Sheets and memories of the 1950's!

I only have to close my eyes and memories come tumbling into my mind.
 A childhood in the 1950's!

They tumble somewhat like this from a 1950's baby!

1. Waking very early on a Monday morning and smelling water coming to the boil
2. The copper pan on the gas ring.
3. Piles of washing being sorted on the stone floor in the kitchen.
4. The wet wooden draining board worn away at the edge by the scrubbing brush working on stubborn stains.
5. The blocks of Fairy Soap.

6.The little Blue bags popped in with the whites

7. Fascination of the mangle as it turned and spluttered water in it's wake.
8. A hurried breakfast and being literally sent out of the door to play -- where? Well anywhere! Anywhere but under Mum and Grandma's feet!
9. Seeing the white washing on the line and knowing that soon you would be allowed back in until it started all over again the next week.
10. Ironing seemed to go on all week. With much spraying of Robin Starch.

I can remember lying on my back under a cherry tree in the garden just watching the sheets blow. Strangely I have no memory of what they did when it was raining and the washing could not be put on the line! Maybe it went over the bath!

Well, as I have said before it is so hot here in Spain right now and as I was wandering in the little village market I saw some very large,very white,very crisp, cotton sheets!
Immediately I thought cool,calming and relaxing.
Well of course much Spanglish was enjoyed.
"Oh yes -- Of course they are top quality!"
"Oh yes --of course they are Egyptian cotton!"
"Oh yes-- there are 400 threads per inch!"
And, "Oh yes--- most importantly they will keep you super cool!"

Well, for 8 Euros for all that who am I to argue!
Of course when you buy something from the market it deserves to be washed.
It deserves to be hung out on a long line!
Shame about the lack of grass and a cherry tree to lie under in the dappled shade and watch it blow on the long line!

Well, so far so good and in a trice it was dry!
Oh, I felt just like my Mum!

Here she is with me and my brothers.
And then the trouble started.

Can you see those creases?
I dashed away with the smoothing iron!
I pressed,I sprayed, I pressed some more and some more and then suddenly I remembered something else!

Mum and Grandma used to be a bit grumpy on Mondays -- I am sure they must have been dreading ironing those sheets.
Well I gave it my best,hardest,most powerful press and the result was-----
Pretty pathetic!

Young ones today!
Sorry Mum, not up to your standards but I have enjoyed remembering you and the cherries!

Friday, 5 October 2012

Oh! The Spanish love to party!

Our little village is celebrating it's patron saint. St Francis of Assisi. I love to watch the way the whole village come to life... And they are really lively I can tell you!