Friday, October 6, 2017

Rocking Your world 2017; Week 40

My word - week 40 already. And it will be a very quick post today as I am busy sorting the house and packing our cases, ready for an early  flight tomorrow.

I'll start off with some visitors we had this week. I heard their lovely bells jangling in the green zone behind us so I went out to see them.They always make me smile, as they clamber over one another to reach a special leaf they have seen. It is pretty much dry scrub out there at this end of the summer, but they still found plenty to munch on. They are doing us a favour if they clear some of the dead plants.

What made me smile more was the goatherd. These are usually quite old men who have spent their lives wandering the campo with their herd, looking for food for them to graze on, and they sit on any patch of higher ground so they can keep an eye on the animals, and usually they have a goat-dog along side them. They rarely need a dog to actually herd the goats as one word from him and they obediently follow him. But these goats behind us had a much younger goatherd, and he was passing his time, browsing a smart phone. How times change!

Most of this week, the days have ended with a clear sky that fades to a lovely peachy pink and then goes dark. But one day we did have some broken cloud. My dad was a fisherman in his free time, and he would have called this a mackerel sky. As the pink crept in around the clouds it was so pretty.
I sat out the back and watched it for a while. The sky was full of little birds, all chattering to one another as they made their way to their night time roost. They were everywhere, but they move so fast that it is really difficult to catch them on the camera. But there are about five in this shot.

Last week I showed some little lavender dolls I had made, so this week I have been working on bells. They are quick to crochet, but a bit fiddly for my fumble fingers these days. When they are finished they have to be starched and shaped over a ping-pong ball sitting in an egg-cup. Here are three that were dry in time to be photographed. I want to make at least another blue one and a couple of cream ones before my charity sale.

Last night as I was clearing up, Chris came in and suggested I went out to see the Harvest Moon, which is supposed to be bigger and brighter than your average full moon. So of course I grabbed my camera and followed him outside. The moon certainly was big and bright, but taking a photo of it is not something I have much success with. After a few tries and changes of settings - without me having a clue what I was doing! -  I got this one which is clear and sharp, but could actually be a picture of almost anything big and round!
While being a bit better than I usually manage, I wasn't very inspired by it, so I kept trying. When I zoom in as far as I can, I should have a tripod, as it is impossible to hold the camera still enough to find the target. Hence the collection I have of moons just sailing out of frame! So I borrowed Chris's shoulder to lean on, and steadied myself as best I could, and after a few more abortive attempts I got this one, which I was quite pleased with.
So, on that note I will link up with Annie's Friday Smiles and Rocking Your World, and then get back to the packing.
Please forgive me if I don't get to do much commenting this week, and next week I doubt whether there will be a post at all, as it is the day I hopefully fly home, along with my sister Jean. But there will be plenty to tell you about the following week.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Rocking Your World 2017; Week 39

Here is my smile for this week, which is, of course, telling you that last Sunday was our Harvest Service of Thanksgiving. It is one of my favourite services of the church year. Sadly it is not celebrated as much in many places now, but I remember as quite a small child, entering the church and being greeted by the colours and smells of fruit, vegetables and flowers, and I am happy to say that at our church the tradition continues.

Although this first photo represents the most important gifts of bread and wine, The rest of the church was decorated with produce of all kinds too.

In the picture below you can just see a jug of water on the table. Water is such a valuable commodity out here, that it needs to be remembered when we are giving thanks.
These decorations were kindly done by some ladies from the church so that it was ready for us. But on Sunday we all brought in our offerings of non-perishable foods and made this wonderful display under the altar.
Early this week, some of our workers sorted all the food into family parcels, and were able to take 30 bags up to Zurgena Town Hall to be handed out to their most needy folk. This was a tremendous result, especially as we only average around thirty-two people in the congregation each week, and last year we were able to donate just 15 bags.

We actually had some more fun up at the church at the weekend because on Saturday we had our first fund-raiser of the season. 
It started with a 'fashion show' when some of the ladies, and one gentleman, modelled some 'nearly-new' clothes, which were later available for us to buy.
Gus was our only male model, and here he is, looking very smart, walking with his wife who was modelling a pretty pink dress, to the catwalk. He also escorted each of the other models on their first appearance.
In the picture below, the man in a pink shirt, talking into a microphone, is Tony, our church warden, who had arranged this event. The model is his wife, and although she was reluctant to be involved at first, she threw herself into the role.
The final model was the 'world famous Chantelle le Belle', AKA Tony, who was resplendent in a bright pink wig, short black skirt, zebra print shirt and large heavy walking boots!!!
When the models had 'strutted their stuff', we all enjoyed a barbecue cooked by Richard and John, who slaved over hot grills to feed us all.
William and his wife Sylvia, who disappeared when I was taking photos, manned a bar selling wine and beer as well as soft drinks.
There were two other very special guests;- Matty the eagle owl, and Molly the barn owl. Aren't they beautiful?
It is hard to believe that, born within a day of each other, they are both just eighteen weeks old. This was their first public appearance, and they were very good. I got to stroke both of them, but later maybe the heat and all the people got to Matty, and he had a tantrum and had to be returned to his holding cage. But I did get to hold Molly who was very friendly. She is responding well to being trained , and will already return to a glove when called. They are being trained to show at various events around the area.
The whole event was a great success. The sun shone without it being too hot, and over fifty people turned up to join in the fun. We raised 588€ for our funds.

The rest of the week has passed in its usual blur. I have done some crafting, including making a set of 11 Christmas cards. (It should have been a dozen but I had a slight mishap with one). You can read more about them on my craft blog by clicking HERE.
But I have also been trying to do a bit of knitting and crochet, as shortly after I return from UK, we have our Christmas charity coffee morning which I have a table at, and as usual I have very little ready to sell. I said I would show you when I had completed one of my projects so here are some lavender dolls that I have knitted. I think they are really cute. I have nearly finished the fourth one now and hope to make at least six for the sale.
The pattern is by Dolly Time and it is free. You can find it HERE.

When we set out with the dogs on Saturday morning the sky was looking a bit doubtful, and we were wondering what the weather would be like for our event that afternoon. But we need not have worried, as the cloud soon burned away and we had a lovely day. This was sunrise at around 8.00 that morning.
And so another week has flown by. I am expecting the next one to pass even more quickly as I prepare for our trip to UK, but hopefully I will manage a quick post before I go. For now I will link up with Annie's Friday Smiles and Rocking Your World, and then I had better go and feed the dogs (and the husband if he is lucky!).