This is the day when we focus on the good things that have happened this week, but I am starting with a bitter-sweet Friday Smile. It is a Smile none-the-less, so I hope you will accept my posting it, in the spirit it was intended. I was born into a family of eight, with six of my brothers and sisters being 'pre-war' and just Jean and I being the 'post-war' ones. Despite the wide age gap of twenty years between us all, we have always been great friends, and there has never been a serious disagreement between us. I see that as a great testament to our parents and the loving home we grew up in. Sadly this week, our eldest sister passed away, just one week before her 87th birthday. She suffered a massive stroke, and although we are so sad to lose her, we are also grateful that she was able to slip peacefully away, as her life would have been very difficult had she survived. I took this photo of us six sisters, last September when I visited UK.
We managed to get together at Jean's house, for a lovely day of catch-up chat, shared memories, fun and laughter, and I am so glad we had that last opportunity to do it. This photo is on the wall in my craft-room, and every time I look up and see us all smiling, it makes me smile again. So don't be sad for me, but smile with me. What a blessing our families are! Grace is the one in blue - I have my arm lying across her lap. She read this blog faithfully every Friday, so I always felt we were in touch.
As always there is something positive coming from this. I get an extra trip to UK as I shall be over for the funeral which isn't until Easter week. Knowing our family, and our shared Christian faith, along with the sad 'Good-bye', we will be giving thanks for a long and interesting life.
As I am going over anyway, I now have a flight booked for next Thursday, so I can spend a week with our middle son Tom, who is moving to Denmark the following week. I shall be able to help him finish clearing his flat and making it ready to hand back the keys to the landlord, and I shall also be able to go to the 'Good-bye' dinner that all his brothers are holding for him on the Sunday. So that is an added blessing for me. I hadn't expected to get over for that as we have already got flights books for a trip over in May for our grand-daughter's wedding.
Another nice thing that happened this week is that I got some mail. We have very little here except the odd brochure from the bank, and of course lovely mail on birthdays and at Christmas, so an unexpected envelope is always a nice surprise. It was from my sister Jean, (That's Jean Sraw, who many of you know from her blog, and challenge entries). She sent me some difficult maths puzzles that she tears from her Puzzler book and keeps for me. She likes doing all the crosswords etc, but I am the number cruncher! And she also sent me two lovely ATCs. This one particularly made me smile. She bought the stamp because it reminded her of my photo of Arwen 'trying to read' my Spanish dictionary. Isn't it great?
While I was looking back through my Project Life album to try and find the photo of Arwen, I saw the ones of Kim as a baby, and realised that it is exactly a year since we took him in. How anyone could abandon such a beautiful pup I don't know. Of course we couldn't be sure how he would turn out, though we knew he would be quite big, but it is probably just as well that we didn't know then what we do know now! He is pretty huge, but I call him my Gentle Giant. He is very affectionate, and we wouldn't be without him for the world. I tried to get him to pose for me today but he went into playful mode, and kept tearing around the pool with his favourite toy in his mouth - an old brush that he wrecked when he was a baby so we let him keep it. Miki pinches it sometimes, but he always manages to retrieve it.
He is just moulting out the last of his baby fluff from his haunches, and I guess he is almost fully grown now, which is probably just as well!
I don't have a lot of other news this week. My dear friend Julie drove over to have lunch with me on Monday which was lovely. We had a great couple of hours chatting.
Today I went to the town hall and got permission to hold a Cantante concert in the Tercera Edad (Third age, or pensioners club) in Los Gallardos, like we did at Christmas. This was very popular. Some of the Spanish folk said they had never had a proper concert in the village before. Sadly we had to turn quite a few away because the hall and the ante-room were filled to capacity. So for the summer, we are going to use the big outside area at the back, as well as the hall, and hopefully there will be space for everyone who wants to come.
I had a good crafting week, and made a set of ten Christmas cards. I found all the colouring of the images very therapeutic. They are a useful addition to my growing collection.
I also joined Pixel Scrappers digital scrapbooking group so I am hoping to get some inspiration for the hybrid album of our holiday in Ireland, that has been on my 'to do' list for some time!
Here are this week's skies to leave you with. It was quite a menacing one on Monday. I can see a face in it; can you?
Half an hour later it had turned into glowing embers which I love.
I shall probably be missing for the next few weeks. Next Friday I shall be with Tom, camping in his almost empty flat. His company are collecting all his belongings to ship to Denmark on that day! So we may not have internet available. And the following week I will be down near Bournemouth with my sisters. I am bringing Jean back with me, for, hopefully, a week of Spanish sunshine, so I don't know how much blogging I will do then either. But I will be back eventually, armed with lots of photos - so you have been warned.