Sunday, July 28, 2013

Life Is a Gift

Today I am 'borrowing' a poem from Facebook, it just came up in my feed... things move so fast on my page I am lucky to catch things sometimes... there was a sad story which I have not included and no doubt some of you will have read this before...
Life Is A Gift

Today before you think of saying an unkind word–
think of someone who can’t speak.

Before you complain about the taste of your food–
think of someone who has nothing to eat.

Before you complain about your husband or wife–
think of someone who is crying out to God for a companion.

Today before you complain about life–
think of someone who went too early to heaven.

Before you complain about your children–
think of someone who desires children but they’re barren.

Before you argue about your dirty house, someone didn’t clean or sweep–
think of the people who are living in the streets.

Before whining about the distance you drive–
think of someone who walks the same distance with their feet.

And when you are tired and complain about your job–
think of the unemployed, the disabled and those who wished they had your job.

But before you think of pointing the finger or condemning another–
remember that not one of us are without sin and we all answer to one maker.

And when depressing thoughts seem to get you down–
put a smile on your face and thank God you’re alive and still around.

Life is a gift – Live it, Enjoy it, Celebrate it, and Fulfill it.

Saturday, July 27, 2013


Great bit of design work in the local McDonalds in Calahonda!

Blue moon, well, no actually was the full moon....  Looks like a Christmas decoration!

Beach front destination! How lucky are we! Thank you Maria!!

The paseo maritimo in Fuengirola, the beach covered with people and parasols! 

Outside the bar we were drinking in in Fuengirola...

And on the roof terrace...still amazes me, after all these years...

My pineapple desert! Could be a painting the design is beautiful!

Alhaurín July 22nd night-time view taken towards the white church from the other side of the Mercadona roundabout!

Nearly home... the Twelve fountains down there centre stage, lit well!  The garage door which is where the doughnut man hangs out, or did at least!! Doughnuts fresh and hot and so near to my front door!!!

Road near our house...


Friday, July 26, 2013

Holibob pics!

Some shots from Malaga, taken July 17th ... Above, just an attractive apartment building!

The front end of the market in Malaga, mostly a fish market, it was closing up by the time we entered it to walk through to the next street, beautiful stained glass windows this end, and Arabic arches on the other side...

If you look closely the apartment on the second floor is up for sale!!! Hope it looks better inside than its does from the out!!

Alhaurín el Grande, our church near our house, so pretty at night.... and during the day with the Roman pillars outside the town hall and the buena vista of the valley... magnifico!

The path towards the gardens in Mijas pueblo, every house recently painted white and the pots painted a beautiful blue, so fresh and clean looking, there were two little girls selling small hand made knitted bits and pieces, babies booties, gloves etc...

This picture, a bit of an optical allusion, because I took this looking down into a gorge in the gardens of Mijas pueblo, there is a little walkway bridging the gap where rock climbers climb or abseil! Centre of the photo is me, arms raised above my head to take this photo, but afterwards looking at it, I can see the big shadow on the left, and to me, just me maybe?  but I see my Pippa dog, sat down, and leaning slightly to the left, one ear up the other down...!! Only me then is it that sees her??? Oh well... I was missing her....

This beautiful avenue of trees is on the way from leaving the grotto of the Vigin de la Peña... also in Mijas, one of my favourite places in this village, and I was more than a little bit annoyed on leaving, I had gone in on my own, put some money into the electronic candle box, lit five candles for various thank yous, and wishes... and there was a couple in there laughing about and taking photo after photo.... flash flash flash, shouting and acting about!!  I know its not some great Cathedral, but to me, its somewhere special, and beautiful, and is normally so calm and sort of listens to your thoughts... oh well!!! Tourists eh! lol!!!

Above and below taken in The Palm Trees restaurant in Calahonda, the whole place has changed, I know some would say for the better as it hadn't since I first set foot in there, back in 1989, but went in there to see Antonio, who had managed the place for all those years, or at least up until three years ago... now he is gone?  Maybe still has his other restaurant near Fuengirola, one I will try and visit next time, car permitting, its out of the way somewhat!  The whole place has been repainted, the seating running up the left hand side, the booths, are raised on a platform, they still are, but all totally new!  Less tables in the main area, but where the pool table was, are now more customer tables and chairs, gone are the champagne holders, the ice cream machine...

Franco had to settle with pasta, not the greatest thing to eat out, for those of us that eat so much of it at home, cook our own sauces etc ourselves and are rather critical of Italian food other than our own!

But I had the most wonderful salmon dish and was more than pleased with it!!!

Fuengirola market Saturday and half way round, near where mom and I nearly bought a place is this area, below, two bars, the one of the left, hardly seen from here is where her and I went often whilst living in Fuengirola, at least twice a week anyhow!


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Feliz Holibobs!

 Okay amigos, lots of photos and quick run though of holibobs in Spain last week!!

Above the view from home, there, almost the same view, a few changes, some new terrace work, the odd bit of solar panneling!! But basiclly just the same, with the wonderful Guadalhorce valley and Malaga mountains in the distance...

My Birthday cake! It was so beautiful, and tasty so beautiful too!  Only the second birthday cake with my name on it, ever!  The first on my 40th Birthday back in California...

The wonderful art work in Malaga rail station... Picasso shining through, zoom and in and see his well known face...

This big glass building is the Malaga town hall, or a part of it, tonnes and tonnes of glass, not just the windows, but hanging there as if by magic, looking like wonderful opaque shelves...

Couldn't resist taking a photo of this great Mercedes-Benz camper van!  Yes a camper van, should have taken more photos from the sides and back, but the two occupants came back and drove off, a couple of girls, girl power I say, what a great vehicle to drive around Europe in!!

Franco drove, [pedalled] us the length of the port, easier than walking that's for sure, especially for me!  We did have a rather steep ramp to negotiate, luckily it had a good hand rail for me to help pull us up!!! Must have been funny to watch!!  We were over taken by people walking, horses pulling tourists and boys on electric bikes!! Oh well what the heck!!

The little Chapel on Malaga Port, I am glad they kept this charming piece of history,  it is the most beautiful part of the Port, surrounded by the multitude of tourist shops, bars and restaurants...

Tapas above, two beers and two tapas for less than €4 for both! Not a huge amount obviously, but fresh and tasty!

Wonderful architecture of the approach to the Port on foot, took this on the way out, the open roof is in the shape of a wave, sort of! The shadow below shows you the same design... beautiful eh!

We arrived Tuesday July 16th, mid day ish, got the bus to Malaga bus station and then onto home in Alhaurín el Grande!  Chilled out in the afternoon, very tired from getting up so early, left before day break and travelled through very foggy patches at times, but then as time past we watched the sun rise on our way to the airport at Bristol.

Wednesday, my birthday! Whoop whoop!  Still excited about my birthdays, usually left with a cold empty feeling by the end of the day, but not this year...  First thing I went down to 'The Office' and had coffee with the gang!!! Was met along the way and safely escorted into my chair!  Had the most beautiful birthday cake as seen above... very very nice! It lasted up to the last morning when the final slice and crumbs I consumed!! lol...

Then it was off to Malaga City, the first bus to arrive! And spent the whole day there, walking, sitting, riding [the bike], eating! And more food!!!  Last bite to eat was near the bus station and we got the 6pm bus back to Alhaurín el Grande! Took the bags back and came back into town for dinner at Bar Rosa...

Thursday a day around town, and visited friends locally...  In the evening met up at Bar Rosa and three of us went to Al Alegra, lovely dinner with great company...

Friday bus to Fuengirola, we went to a parada further away from us, so as to beat the rush of kids who would be going down to the beaches, it worked, or we wouldn't have made it at all!  And because we had gone to a bus stop we wouldn't normally have used, I bumped into a friend I hadn't seen on my last visit, so was really great to see her, catch up with the past year or more, since I last saw her... Wouldn't have seen her this time otherwise... fate eh! 

So, back to the bus.... Was all push and shove to get off at Mijas, but I had to have some time there, we did, the whole morning, some small changes here, and one big one!  I remember when they cemented the walls around the garden walkway, disturbing something Tony had left for me there, gone forever more... and now I was disturbed again! A special place that I had loved as it was was different, extended and just not the same anymore, why can't they leave things alone... don't like changes sometimes... We had food there, at a bar I have also been using for twenty four years... then bus down to Fuengirola, another to La Cala, where we visited a friend at work in her bar, then onto Calahonda!  And dropped off out bags, again!!  Back out and to El Zoco, all change there with bar owners etc, opened shops, closed shops, new shops and some old ones!!

Before eating in the evening, on way through El Zoco, we detoured to friends house, they haven't been having a great year so far, and not been out, but thought it would be worth just popping by.... and there was their car!!  They were visiting too!! So popped in for a chat and made a date for Sunday evening with them!  Then off we went to The Palm Tree restaurant at one of the resorts there, one I have been going to since 1989!!!  Expected to see the owner we have known and last seen about three years ago... he was gone!!!  Will have to visit his other place near Fuengirola, need a car for that trip, hope he is okay...  took some photos... tomorrow of the new place, felt very strange in there now, things change eh!

Saturday bus into Fuengirola and around the flea market, love that place!  I went with purpose, to buy ornaments for home in Spain!  Enforced ornament buying does not work, believe you me!  Its alright seeing something when your not looking for it!  And only saw one thing out of the billions of things there that I actually really liked, but it was too costly, no way worth what they were asking, so let it go... no matter eh!  Went to the usual bar I always went in with Mom, and had the usual croissant toasted with marmalade!  Spent the rest of the day on the beach, parasols and sun beds incluido!  Kept leaving for drinks and snacks at another friends bar, he wasn't there, had had a knee operation but caught up with his wife about how they've been doing so far this year...

When we eventually came away we thought we would eat there in town and had kebabs!  I know I know... I hear ya'all!! But you know, it was pretty dam tasty!  In a restaurant, sit down dinner and drinks!  Ice cream of pink bubble gum from a parlour along the paseo maritimo and job done!  Back on the bus and back to apartment on the beach! Thank you Maria.... xx

Now, before leaving town we went for a wander about town, shoe shopping!  For Franco!  His favourite shop, we were in it for ages, then I wanted a pair, of course! lol, and because of that we then bumped into friends we had been looking for earlier but couldn't find! Made a date to see them Sunday morning! Another lucky fateful meeting!El Zoco again in the evening for wifi! Thank you peeps!!

Sunday! Off to Fuengirola again by bus, great seeing everything on the roads we used to travel on every single day, for so many years, seeing the changes, the updated buildings, the beaches, all the wonderful flowers in bloom... Looking for the new speed cameras around La Cala!  First of all in Fuengirola we met up with friend for coffee near their place, then onto another bar in town, and there, someone called my name, a friend from up in Alhaurín I wouldn't have got to see otherwise, more fate eh!  Its everywhere no doubt should we stop and take notice of it!

Then to the beach again, another parasol another sun bed!  Left the beach and had a wander around town again, coffee in a favourite bar near the church where me and the boys used to have chicken and salad sandwiches going back to the early 1990's... Then a bus, then back to the apartment to change and back out again for dinner with friends.... but on the way, saw a neighbours blinds open, which had been closed the previous walks past, so popped in and caught up with her, just two doors down from our old duplex apartment at Calahonda, been ages since we had seen each other, and not enough time, but so glad we came around El Zoco that direction or we would have missed her altogether.... fate, again...  and then to dinner with friends.... Went to a new Mexican restaurant, where the sushi bar was.... where the furniture store was until the fire took it all out!

Great food! Could eat Mexican until the buffalo come home!!

Where am I now.... Monday July 22nd VID!  After a meeting to do some business!  Our friends gave us a lift back up to Alhaurín, via the garden centre which was great, had wanted to visit it, but not sure if I could have made it by foot and the bus goes only as far as the golf club on the main road!  So thanks to our friends, fate intervened and drinks at the garden centre were enjoyed by all!  Back home,  and out again!  On my way to meet up with friend past by another neighbour I wouldn't have seen otherwise... fate!

And to the home of the pre-Raphaelite brotherhood! For music, food, y té!

In the evening out for dinner, first at Bar Rosa, then onto restaurant, not sure which one we were going to, and therefore can't remember the name the place we did eat at... it was further up the street and the food was lovely! We went to Bar Cruz after dinner, and watched the Full Moon rise over the apartments and over the Sierra De Mijas... A new future King of England had been born that afternoon, an amazing day... ending with my roof top vista of Alhaurín, the lights, the smells, the sounds of a village in Spain... I feel a poem coming on, the colors purple and green and yellow.... with Rod Stewart playing in the back ground and a padded room!

Tuesday... to town, coffees, more coffees, time with friends, shopping, food! Back to the house, everything cleaned up, swept up, washed up and closed up!  Thankfully my friends visit every day whilst walking their dogs and I am eternally grateful for that... the house was clean and fresh and totally damp free, dust free too!  It did feel very strange the whole week with no Pippa there though, at every turn, and every room, I felt Pippa had just left or would soon be walking into, even or especially on the terrace, where is she, what is she doing!  Will she bark when she hears 'that' noise in the street, those people talking or walking past?  Those dogs barking!  And when down at the coast, I felt I had left her up in Alhaurin on her own!!!  However much I had cleaned, swept and hoovered before leaving there were still some signs of her... her hair of course!  And a load of her toys!! Brought a couple of them back for her, her nose buried deep in the suitcase when I opened it here, she was burrowing down in like the hunting dog she is!

We were getting the bus back to the airport, a return trip to the one taken last Tuesday, but were given a lift, which was a great saving, of time and journey, and kept Alhaurín and home that much closer to my heart for doing so...

The flight wasn't until 23.40 and seemed to be in the middle of the night, entering the airport in day light, dropping off the bag and returning to the outside bar for drinks, a headache I had had for an hour or more really started to kick in by then... Once into departures wandered about the shops, Desigual, of course! One of my favourite shops!  And then I bought a purse in a different shop, designed with Blythe dolls all over! Perfecto!!

A little too early we went through into the gate area, nothing much there, and it was the old area of the airport, so seemed to be going back in time by nearly four years, and felt like the rest of the airport must have reverted to its old self, and that by walking back out time would have gone back... and so much unchanged, so much to do again, some for good, some for bad, but so much all the same....

The flight took off on time, and we watched the whole journey over France and Southern England the amazing display of lightening storms going on beneath us and in the clouds... bright white and green? The lightening flashing through the skies in the most amazing patterns only nature can produce!  The still Full Moon seems to follow me the whole way too, always outside the window...  and then we landed about one am back in Bristol, collected bag, and bus to car all in good time, the drive back was good, dry, clear night, but the moon had a mist over it, a sad veil of whiteness...

Back at the house about three thirty am, Pippa still so sleepy still so excited to see us, but soon went to sleep as did we, and the neighbours no doubt!

That's it amigos... a holiday in a nut shell! Bound in sunshine and moon dust, heat and sand...

E&OE [typing in the dark]

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Alhaurín El Grande!

Be looking at this wonderful view again soon! Cannot wait, well have to, but not long to go, before this buena vista of the Guadalhorce valley will be in my sights...

And the terrace from which the view is seen by... of course Pippa dog will not be there, that will seem very strange indeed, been the odd night when Pip was at the vets... but the house will seem empty indeed without her very noisy presence....

I have been very slack in my Blogging, been busy, working and working!  I go to a centre once or twice a week and have leant some new things I hadn't learnt before!  Card making, and gift bag making, I have been really enjoying the experience, not just the craft work of course!

I had a long days course on Thursday, luckily nearby, very interesting course, day went quicker than I thought it would, but sitting for over seven hours is not high on my list of must do's is it!  So was not surprised when a migraine followed yesterday, wasn't too bad at the centre, sort of managed to hold it back, and my day ended earlier than it should have, lucky again, as the migraine took over, although maybe of course, had I still been working it may have held back a bit longer?  not sure though...  Anyway, came it did and bad, went to bed, stayed there till whenever, got up and sent a couple of messages and was back into bed soon afterwards, in the night it kept bothering me, but when I woke up this morning, I was better, took a while to get going, bleary eyed and slightly dyslexic as I am after a bad migraine... and then I finished Lorraines book on both Kindle and LULU, and then finished Peter Maddocks Pig & Whistle on Kindle and CreateSpace!!  So two books, three different formats all done today - after a bad head!!

Well well, and the sun is still shining, lots of washing washed, dried, brought in and put away!

Need a poem here, bare with, let me go purloin one from somewhere.... play quietly while I am gone....

Birds song rises early
Sun through trees filters like golden speckles
Plants grow green and lush
The lawn runs wild
Sun sets late
Red gold the sky
Swallows here, so is summer.