Monday, 16 January 2017

Full English Breakfast

The head cold rages on, but undeterred we went to the Lemon Tree Market ( also known as the English market) for breakfast. The wind was blowing a gale so we wrapped up in our coats for the first time since arriving here.
There is an old saying feed a cold, starve a fever... so I went mad and ordered the FULL English breakfast costing four and half euros. I must admit it beat me but I did not leave much.
We wandered around the market and bought a couple of items then headed for the warmth of home.
Full English with hot chocolate on table 13 !
The toast is to share !

Love these little Spanish dresses, bought them for my granddaughters some years ago.

Laser cut vinyl records, a new one on me.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Catch up

Here we are Saturday already, where did the last few days go?
Firstly I have caught Chris's head cold, which has meant I was not keen to do very much. However we have managed a walk most days it is just against my nature to ignore the lovely sunshine, especially when pictures of home show snow has fallen.

Orange trees growing in someones garden

These bushes and their vibrant colours are everywhere. Bougainvillea I think

The pool is being drained for repairs but just look at that sky and the sea in the distance.

My first sock of many countries [knitted in England, France and Spain]
It's partner has been started.

Friday 13th temperature at home mid-day 2C burr

Temperature here the same day 16C much better.

Out for fish and chips as its Friday and become something of a ritual.
We were joined by Pauline Brian Karen and Maxine.

Villamartin tiled plaque. I love all the colourful tiles everywhere.
Today we made a quick trip into the local C & A where I bought a cardigan and another local shop where I bought a top, then back for feet up to try and stop the miseries of a head cold.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Man at work

In the garden of the villa is a lemon tree full of the largest lemons we have ever seen.
Chris has been suffering with a really heavy cold ever since we got here so the lemons have been squeezed and honey added for him to drink.
We also had some oranges, so while he was in the kitchen they were also put through the juicer..
Fresh orange juice for breakfast, nothing better..
Man at work!

Mojon flood damage

Last year we visited Mojon beach to admire the sand sculptures and beautiful beach. The tiled broadwalk along side the beach was a pleasant walk to admire the scenery.

A return visit yesterday was a completely different picture, the floods that this area of Spain received a few weeks ago had obviously come in a torrent down the little side streets, taking out the railings and washing away the sand. I think it will take a long time for this area to recover.
September 2016
This is all there is left of the sand sculpture area

Red tape where once there were pretty railings

Sand and debris every where

Monday, 9 January 2017

A stroll around the block

I am walking more each day, the sun is a real help to motivate me and the scenery so nice. Everyone you meet has a smile and friendly word. Come with me today.....
Our front door and the only steps I need to cope with

Out the gate and turn left, this is a nice well kept planted area between the houses

Walk past the swimming pool, much too cold for a dip

Back around the block with the sea in the distance.

The saga of the Heathland blanket

Attic24 blog site have a CAL running that started a couple of days after we arrived in Spain so I bought the wool and was keen to work it as my holiday project.
Fifteen balls of Wool were wound into cakes, I prefer to use cakes for crochet. This looked like a LOT of wool so I asked Lucy the designer of the Heathland blanket what colours I would need for my six week holiday. Her reply was the five balls of green, so I left the rest of the wool at home.

January the 6th arrived, the first day of the Crochet Along and I soon realised I could only work the first five repeats, which only took me a day, before I could go no further. I need the colours I had carefully wound and left at home. HELP!

After asking around about receiving post at our rental villa it looked hopeless.
A trip to the only wool shop I could find within a fifty mile radius turned up a similar wool that was either too thin or too fat, definitely would not do.

Put on Sherlock hat and think again....
I am using Stylecraft Special DK so went to their www site to see if there is a Spanish retailer.. BINGO one name appeared. Looked up where the shop was located, not good news it's one hundred miles away. BUT one of the places we want to visit is about seventy miles in the right direction so what is another thirty miles ?
Emailed the shop only to find it is closed until Jan 16th Elaine the owner is in England.
However she is pretty sure she has the colours I want and will email me as soon as she is home to let me know.. Guess where I am going on January 17 th?
Progress so far, decided to substitute the next two colours as I
need to keep going and do not have the right colours. 

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Friday Fish Chips and the beach

Friday we went to the local fish and chip resturant for lunch. It is always a favorite and such good value for 7 euros.
Cod chips and peas for £6, the best ever.

After the large meal a walk by the sea was called for and we took off to find  a beach area. The weather was not as hot as the day before but it was still very warm, when we came across this Watchtower at Torre de la Horadada. Built in 1591 it gave its name to the town together with the "pier" an outcrop of land into the sea with small caves made by the water.

The Watchtower, sadly closed to the public
The watchtower sign

The pretty harbour guarded by the watchtower

walks down to the sea

We are having  a lovely time

Friday, 6 January 2017

Socks and Sun

The weather here during the day is glorious with clear blue sunny skies. It is so nice to be able to sit outside, but I get bored so have to have something to do. I tried playing on my iPad but the sun makes it hard to see the screen, so out came my trusty knitting.

I started knitting a new pair of socks in England and managed to get the 16 rows of ribbing done.
Travelling through France as soon as it was daylight and I could see what I was doing to worked the main part of the sock down to the heel and completed most of the heel turn.
As soon as we hit Spain I worked on the rest of the sock.
I am amazed I can knit in the car, as I am not a good traveller, but I find I can only knit while we travel the Autoroutes / Motorways, as soon as we start going around corners I have to stop.
Sock knitting in the sun

Rib in England
To heel in France
Main part in Spain

Thursday, 5 January 2017

January 4th and 5th

Our final day on the road, was quite a journey. 500 miles to be exact from Pau France to Villa Martin Spain. We left the Hotel at 8am to arrive at the base of the Pyrenees when day light appeared at 8.30. No point in missing the wonderful scenery by travelling too early.
At the base of the mountains the temperature was a freezing -5C with many of the waterfalls a mass of frozen ice. The road on the French side was pretty clear of traffic but as we reached the Col du Potalet the traffic approaching from the Spanish side was nose to tail, mostly with ski racks on their roofs.

As we continued our journey we hit dense thick fog / smog near Valencia, then the temperature started to rise and topped at +22C with lovely hot sunshine.

1335 miles on the road from home but at least the fuel is cheaper in Spain, we paid E1.28 litre.

After collecting our keys and unpacking the car we went out for fish and chips with our friends Pauline, Brian and Shaun for a very pleasant evening.

5th means sorting out our belongings, shopping for food and generally relaxing. Even sat in the sun with my sock knitting, while Chris sat in only shorts sunbathing... this is the life.

The approach to the Pyrenees from the French side.

Suddenly Shaun the Sat Nav sends us down a narrow street!

Not only narrow but bandy and two way!!!

Approaching one of the many tunnels.

There are a number of Dams along the route and this one has bears feet painted up the side.

Fabulous views in all directions

Scenic water ways

As we approach the ski slopes the snow gets thicker.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

January 3rd 2017 Campanile Hotel Pau France

Our second night in France at Pau on the edge of the Pyrenees, we arrived here at 3.30 so having a quick cuppa and feet up before finding some fuel and dinner.
Campanile Classe Hotel 

Monday, 2 January 2017

January 2nd 2017Kyraid Hotel Le Mans France

First night of our almost 6 week holiday.
Kyraid Hotel Le Mans France
We arrived here in Le Mans at the hotel for the first night having stopped at The Buffalo Inn for lunch.  We usually go out to eat in the evening but we made such good time we were too early to check in and decided to eat first.
Fuel has shot up in price now €1.55 a litre  in most garages ( exchange rate £1. = €1.17 ) but we managed to find one garage selling petrol for €1.35 so our first days journey cost €54. 420 miles.

The hotel is nice and clean and the gentleman on reception was extremely welcoming.
Off to Pau tomorrow, near the Pyrenees and Spanish border.


Left home at 3.20am to start our journey to Spain for six weeks holiday.
We had a good journey to the Eurotunnel and caught the 6.20 crossing arriving in France at 8am (1 hour time change) it was still dark! There was a lot of snow on the sides of the roads and the temperature was one degree, sure hope its warmer when we arrive in Spain on Wednesday.

The Channel Tunnel is one of the biggest engineering projects ever undertaken in the UK. Taking more than five years to complete, with more than 13,000 workers from England and France collaborating to realise the vision, the tunnel has been named one of the seven wonders of the modern world.
Today, as thousands of passengers take the Eurotunnel le Shuttle under the Channel every year, it can be easy to take for granted this extraordinary and unique man-made feat.

1802Ideas for a tunnel connecting England and France have been in existence since at least 1802, when French engineer Albert Mathieu proposed an underground highwayfor horse-drawn carriages, with an island in the middle for changing your steed.
1856The first serious railway connection proposal came in 1856, again from the French, when surveyor Aimé Thomé de Gamond suggested to Emperor Napoleon III that a tunnel could be mined out, but the scheme was not taken any further.
1980'sIt wasn't until the 1980s that a coalition of French and British leaders invited private companies to put forward plans for an international link. Ideas mooted included a 4.5km suspension bridge, holding a road encased in a tube, a drive-through tunnel and, of course, today's high-speed rail link.
1988Once a decision was made construction was able to begin in 1988, with the tunnel being dug simultaneously from France and Britain. It was at the time the most expensive construction project ever proposed and the cost finally came in at £9 billion.
Giant boring machines were used to shift tonnes of rock and soil every day. Some of the machines were built especially for the job, with a combination of extremely high pressure water jets and rotating disc cutters used to burrow through the land beneath the Channel. The spoil from tunnelling was used to create a 73 acre hoe on Britain's coast, on the French side their spoil was piled up into a new hill. 
1990On December 1 1990 a Frenchman and an Englishman shook hands in front of the World's media, through a hole connecting the two tunnel ends.
1994The completed project was opened by Queen Elizabeth II and French President François Mitterrand on May 6 1994.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Happy New Year

I would like to wish all my blog friends a very Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year.

Chris and I both finished the old year with a number of health problems and are now hoping they are behind us as we step into 2017. Although I need to have a tooth crowned, lost half of it two days ago, and Chris is waiting for his gall bladder to be removed.
Luckily the terrible pain Chris suffered has subsided and my dentist gave me a temporary filling, as we are off to Spain for six weeks tomorrow.

New Years eve was spent with the family eating KFC and playing games. The KFC was the choice of the girls and with my knee still so dodgy I was happy to oblige. Standing in the kitchen is low down on my list of exercises.
Eleanor making her move

Me, Jacqueline, Abigail with her new shorter haircut, Dad Off Duty and Eleanor.
Chris is behind the camera.
If you see anything you wold like to comment on, good or bad, I love to read your messages.

Monday, 26 December 2016

Christmas Day with the family

The perfect way to celebrate the Saviours birth, spending the day with the family.
We arrived at our son's home around 10.30am and had a really wonderful day with great food prepared by Richard and Jacquline. Endless games were played with the girls, they are such good company.
Piles of presents to open before we leave home, a BIG thank you to all our friends.
The quilt on the settee was made in 2004 and is still a favorite..

Abigail opening her gift, a new handbag [ she cannot have too many!]
full of everything you need in side, all individually wrapped.

Eleanor opening her gift, a Sleepover bag made by me,
full of everything she will need when she goes to stay with her friends overnight.
Richard and Jacq also opening their presents.

Christmas dinner, with enough food to feed the neighbourhood!

Playing the right / left game

Eleanor and I had a go at the Skittles "thing" I had seen on facebook.
place the skittles in a circle and add hot water gently to the centre.

Such an interesting pattern appears from nowhere.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Happy, healthy, Peaceful Christmas

I'd like to wish everyone a happy, healthy, Peaceful Christmas.
It's time to remember the meaning of the special day and the wonderful birth of our Savior.
Every year as young children my sister and I together with school friends would re-enact the nativity.
I am Mary and my sister is standing on a stool reading the nativity story.
My favorite black doll is in the manger as Jesus.
Such innocent days.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Preparing for the Attic 24 CAL

 Today is the official start of Winter, it is dark, cold and just plain miserable out there.  It is the sort of day to light the fire [ well OK I turned on the electric flickering fire for effect ] close the curtains and just vegetate. I had to brave the elements and go for a walk around the local block to try and get my knee moving but that was all I wanted to do outside.

Something I have been thinking of doing was to prepare for the Attic 24 CAL, so today seemed like a good day to spend in my Happy Room with my wool winder.
The kit from Woolwarehouse that my friend bought me for my birthday consisted of 15 balls of wool. I have now wound them all into little chubby balls, mostly two to the original ball, except where I lost concentration and got in a tangle, then there were three balls.  It certainly gave my arm a work out using the winder.

Once I started I was on a roll, and wrote labels with the names of the colours on, I used garden plant labels as these fit flatly in my little box.  The 'roll' continued and I made myself some stitch markers with wires, clips, beads and small silver accessories that I bought on my last trip to Spain.
Five balls rewound, ten more to go.

Now I'm ready to start when the pattern is released on January 6th.