Saturday, 29 September 2012

Sunny Spain?

Just got back from a few days in Spain.  We were hoping for a few days of warm sunshine to relax and lie by the pool or on the beach, but to be honest the weather wasn’t that good!  It was warm, and we did sit by the pool and on the beach, but it was either windy or cloudy or both!  Then at the end of our holiday it rained!  Big black clouds came rolling in from the sea bringing torrential rain.  You may have seen it on the news, if not have a look here.  We were not that far south, but still experienced torrential rain, especially on our drive back to Valencia airport yesterday.

We stayed in our friend’s villa on Cumbre del Sol between Javea and Moraira on the Costa Blanca.  Here’s an aerial view. 

 Discover Cumbre del Sol, a unique location in the Mediterranean

There is a spectacular view from the Cumbre, and we really enjoy sitting on the terrace just looking at the view.

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As I said we did spend some time at the beach, here’s Maurice and Lucy at the Arenal at Javea.  It’s a gorgeous sandy beach, with a promenade with shops, restaurants and bars right there on the beach.  You can see that the sun is behind cloud, however, this is my favourite place.

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Here’s another favourite beach, El Portet, just to the north east of Moraira.  We really enjoyed watching a couple of families with little toddlers playing in the sea!  It was lovely when we first arrived, but you can see how the wind got up late morning, and made the sea much rougher.

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We ate really well!  When we arrived at the villa all the supermarkets were shut as it was Sunday.  We were really thankful that the previous occupants of the villa had left some fresh food, plenty enough for lunch!  Spain always seems to have much fresher, bigger fruit and vegetables than the UK, you can really taste the sunshine!

We ate in restaurants most nights, and had breakfast at the Arenal Beach on the first morning, YUM!

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We loved sitting in the sunshine sipping cold beers or lemonade (it was really windy the day we sat here, but lovely and sunny)

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I was intending to swim every day.  Here I am in the pool on the Cumbre just 5 minutes walk from the villa.  It is a lovely pool, but this was another windy day and it was freeeeeezing!  I was trying to swim for 30 mins but just had to get out after just 15!  I can usually stand cold water, but the wind was just cooling me down too much.  Bit of showing off here, with photos of me in my swimming costume, yes, the Boot Camp really has helped!

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There’s usually a lovely sunset over the mountains: spain 2012 020

Sadly on our last full day the weather had really turned, so we decided to motor down to Benidorm, about 1 hour’s drive away.  We had never visited Benidorm before, but knew of it’s reputation!  We were quite amazed at how high the buildings are!  and how 1970s it looks, although I think quite a few of the taller buildings are much newer than that.  The sand is absolutely golden and it is a beautiful beach.  So we walked along, found a restaurant and sat for a couple of hours people watching and looking out over a rather rainswept beach!  Apart from the fact that we were eating grilled sardines and mussels, and it was still quite warm, it could have been the UK!

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Although we were a bit disappointed with the weather, and I was disappointed not to meet with my blogging friend Alison after all, (she had to make an emergency dash back to the UK), it was a lovely late summer break.  And it was really lovely to spend so much time with Lucy!

Back to normal with a bump – just been grocery shopping and the shelves are full of Christmas goodies already!

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Simply a Moment

Inspired by Alexa, I took a moment on Saturday lunchtime and made notes and took photographs to document ‘simply a moment’.  Here it is:

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It is 1.25pm on Saturday 15th September 2012.  I am sitting in the conservatory with Maurice having just eaten lunch.  We had muffins with bacon, eggs, mushrooms and tomatoes, with orange juice to drink.  It is warm and sunny outside, but the sun has yet to come round onto the conservatory.

The kids are both out, there’s just us and the dog, who is hanging expectantly about us waiting for scraps. 

The table is an old oak draw-leaf covered with a pale blue tablecloth with white polka dots.  There is a pile of sticks on the table, waiting to be painted a la Alisa Burke, and Motorcycle News, which Maurice is reading.  The rest of the conservatory is messy with Lucy’s washing hanging on a dryer, and a big cardboard box with stuff spilling out fo the top waiting to go to the shed.just a moment 003

There is a lovely green view from here out onto the garden, with a backdrop of trees from neighbouring gardens.  There is a new shed in progress of being erected on the patio outside. The sun is noticeably lower in the sky now it is September, but is shining on the leaves in the pots outside, and I can see little white butterflies fluttering about in the gentle breeze.

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The radio is playing – Tony Blackburn’s top 20 from 1974.  Here’s the top 5:

5 John Denver – Annie’s Song

4 Sylvia – Viva Espana

3 Donny and Marie Osmond – Leaving it all up to you

2 Carl Douglas – Kung Fu Fighting

1 Osmonds – Love Me for a Reason

We are talking about the music and how we remember these songs!  Sadly, I can remember all the words!!  We’re talking about a family member expecting a baby, while a small airplane flies overhead, and the beep of the microwave interrupts us as the milk for our coffee is ready.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Pass the Book

Fancy a bit of scrappy inspiration?  A few weeks ago, Alison passed this book on to me.  Could it be your turn next?  Please leave a comment below and I’ll choose someone next week to send it to.

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It’s an interesting book, with some great ideas for using texture on scrapbook pages and cards.  It’s very bright and colourful with lots of big clear photos of scrapbook pages and step by step instructions.

PS, I am going to meet Alison in person in a couple of weeks!  We are hiring a friends villa in Spain which turns out to be very close to where Alison lives, so we’re meeting for coffee and chat!  Can’t wait!

Monday, 10 September 2012

10 photos of Proms in the Park

This time of year is the end of the Prom season, one of the world’s finest music festivals, which takes place in the Royal Albert Hall in London. There is always a traditional end to the Last Night of the Proms, with the audience (called promenaders because they are free to stroll about) joining in with a rousing chorus of our patriotic songs: Jerusalem, Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory.  Lots of flag waving too!

This year, after our gloriously patriotic Jubilympics Maurice and I decided to go to the Proms in the Park, an outdoor concert in Hyde Park, London, to coincide with the Last Night of the Proms at the Albert Hall.  Here’s 10 photos of Saturday evening:

There were 40,000 people there this year, much more than usual, possibly down to Kylie Minogue or Jubilympics or a bit of both

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Hosted by one of our national treasures, Sir Terry Wogan

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Featuring tenor Alfie Boe

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and operatic boy band Il Divo (Carlos is my favourite!)

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It was a really gorgeous sunny warm evening!  How lucky after all the rain we’ve had this summer.

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The London Community Gospel Choir were really ‘groovin’ their thing’!


Kylie looked and sounded stunning!


But the highlight of the evening for me was when we joined by video link up to the Albert Hall and sang Land of Hope and Glory, Rule Britannia and Jerusalem.  Here’s what 40,000 union jacks looked like from our perspective down at the front!



What a great evening! Magic!

Thursday, 6 September 2012

More Scavenger Hunt photos

Here’s some more of my Scavenger Hunt photos (se Rinda’s blog for details)


I found this one at the National Trust Gardens at Nymans yesterday

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I thought about this one for a while.  Where was I going to see a bride?  We were not invited to any weddings this summer.  I thought about photographing the bridal shop in town, or a bridal magazine, I even tried to photograph the Victorian bride in the costume department of our local museum.  Then I realised that she was staring right at me!  This painting of ‘Her Wedding day’ by Anton Weisz hangs in our bedroom.

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A disused chapel in the back streets of Worthing.  It was built in 1850, but has been shut down for many years and looks like it might be falling into disrepair.

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Here’s 5 movies!  As advertised at our local theatre, the last week in August:

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Found in the same back streets as the Gospel hall above.  I love this curved stairway at the back of some apartments.  I had to go back to get this picture as there were too many cars and vans parked in front to get a picture the first time I found it.

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That just leaves me 2 to get, an swing hanging from a tree, and a roadside stall.  Hope you like my photos!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012


I have been busy with crafting lately but have not blogged about it much, so here’s an update:

First my ‘Tuscan Village scene’.  I started this a couple of years ago at a sewing class I went to.  The middle is appliqued, with lots of embroidery.  You can see the original here, designed by Becca Lo Giudice.  The original has another border with lots of appliqued flowers, but I don’t have the pattern so was wondering how to finish it off.  I’ve placed a thin green border and more of the gold at the top to see how it looks.  Needs more thought!

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It’s my brother and SIL’s silver wedding anniversary today, so here’s the card I made for them:

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I went to my scrapbook crop last Saturday.  You’ll remember that we have a theme and a ‘page of the day’ competition?  This months theme was ‘GAMES’.  I tried to do something different as I had already scrapbooked my Olympic Games pictures.  So here’s Nicholas aged about 9 months, playing with saucepan lids on the kitchen floor!

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I love how Basic Grey’s ‘Oxford’ goes so well with the photo.  I think  I used a Shimelle sketch.

I have been slowly working through scrapbooking all our holidays.  I am doing a few 12 x 12 per holiday and then putting the rest of the photos in divided page protectors, with lots of journaling.  This is a Summer holiday to a Alpine ski resort in Austria, Zell am Zee in 2001.  We had a wonderful time!  This picture was taken at the Salt Mines at  Berchtesgarden.  The miners used these wooden slides to get down into the mine!  What fun!!! (Sketch from Page Maps)

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We loved going up on the ski lifts and then walking around the top of the mountain, although walking all the way down sure hurts your legs!

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I love these ‘Campy Tales’ papers from American Crafts.  Another Shimelle sketch.  Another highlight of that holiday was visiting Salzburg.  It’s a really pretty place, and so evocative of the film ‘Sound of Music’!  It is the birthplace of Mozart, so lots of musical refernces too.  It’s a place we’d love to go back to.  In fact, we often say we should do another Alpine holiday.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Storytelling Sunday–Back to School

Now my kids are grown up we don’t have the ‘back to school’ thing in September.  But it still feels like we should start anew, as Summer comes to a close, and Autumn approaches.

Sian suggested a ‘back to school’ story for today.  Not quite ‘back to schhol’, but this about learning:

We did a motorcycle tour of Germany way back in the mid 1980s.  We had both done O-level German at school, so decided to enrol on a German evening class to brush-up.  We really enjoyed our classes, Renate, our teacher was really funny, and it was a lovely group.  We learned ‘holiday’ German, for example, how to book a room:

Haben Sie ein Zimmer frei bitte? (Do you have a room free?)

to which in our text book they would reply:

Mit Bad oder Dusche? (With bath or shower?)

Well imagine our delight when we stopped in Cologne for our first night, and asked in our best Deutsch:

Haben Sie ein Zimmer frei bitte?

to which they replied, straight out of the text book:

Mit Bad oder Dusche?

We had a hard time keeping a straight face!  And we still snigger about it today!

We did have a really lovely time exploring the Romatische Strasse, into the Alps for a bit, then back up through the Black Forest.  The weather wasn’t always that good, but it was a brilliant holiday!  Not sure we’d go abroad without any accommodation booked nowadays though.

I am afraid I haven’t scanned in any of our photos of the trip, but here’s one of a really lovely town called Rothenburg ob der TauberI found off the internet:



Linking up with Sian’s Storytelling Sunday.