Wednesday 15 August 2012

Summer continues .....

 "A life without love is like a year without summer."
- Swedish Proverb

Sunshine at last
Had a wonderful family holiday in Spain and Portugal, an area we have visited many times before.   Photos really don’t capture the experience, but we have our memories.
Until a suspension bridge was built between, Portugal and Spain over the river Guadiana when Portugal hosted the UEFA Cup in 1992, this part of Costa de la Luz was quite secluded and is even now, compared to other resorts.  This means that we have easy access to Monte Gordo, Tavira and Olhao in the Eastern Algarve as well as the Spanish resorts.  There is a 1 hour time difference. 
 a spit of sand makes a natural harbour
A spit of sand forms a natural harbour and fish are plentiful as they are trapped at low tide

 Views from the balcony of our apartment

We stay in Isla Canela, almost an island but attached to the mainland by a series of canals.  Here there is a beach resort, a harbour and a golf course; what more could you possibly want?

 The nearest town is Ayamonte, where Team GB sprinters practised.  The alternative route to Portugal from using the bridge is the passenger/car ferry which sails from Ayamonte to Vila Real de San António, in Eastern Algarve. 
Vila Real de San António, in Eastern Algarve.   


 Monte Gordo

 The suspension bridge joining the two countries

This walkway and cycle path lined with palm trees and wrought iron benches in front of our apartment skirted the beach.  It stretched to Isla Canela Playa on one side and Punta del Moral, the harbour, on the other.  We exercised here every morning when it was like rush hour with joggers, roller bladers, power walkers and cyclists.

 The uncultivated vegetation

Barriada Canela is a fishing neighbourhood between Ayamonte and Isla Canela; very Spanish and picturesque.  In July every year sailors parade the streets with a statue of their patron saint Virgin de Carmen on their shoulders from the Chapel and into the water.

Our regular team met up for another quiz, this time with a Hawaiian theme.  We won a prize again; for our answers not our outfits!

 Steve (L) the barman who organises the events and Val (R)

5K Fun Run
Very proud of my daughter and friends who trained hard and completed the race with good times.They were running for SANDS 
Well done ladies!

Jonathan Kellerman’s Billy Straight; good psychological thrille
Martina Cole’s Two Women about a dysfunctional family in London’s East End
Barbara Zitver The JM Barrie Ladies’ Swimming Society for the feel good factor
Strangely, I find that the details, such as title and author, of literature read from the Kindle is more difficult to recall than in the paper version.
Some outstanding short stories are available for download to Kindle or PC, mine included.  (see and  but check out this author on her website for an excellent read:

Had short story published, submitted another which has been accepted plus two pieces read out on local radio.  This is the seventh month of the Write 1 Submit 1 challenge.  
Olympics.  Nothing else on.  The closing ceremony was amazing; showing London in a good light; such a contrast to the riots of a year ago.

Tuesday 14 August 2012

One July Summer

What has happened to summer,
that's what I want to know.
Is she on a vacation -
who knows where did she go?
Tell, what was she wearing;
A zephyr breeze and rosebud
or grass and wild berry?
Could she be honeymooning
with spring or early fall
Or has she gone so far away
she'll not return at all?

This poem is by Dorothy Ardelle Merriam, although I can’t find any more about her.  Very true about UK Summer 2012.

Gardens and More Gardens

Summer judging for Yorkshire in Bloom meant I was privileged to see some superb displays, allotments, public and private gardens and met some great people too. 

More Garden Visits

The Alhambra Gardens at Roundhay Park houses the Chelsea Gold Exhibits by Leeds City Council.  There is another one to be installed this month.  The annuals which cover the approach to the gardens are usually in full bloom by now, but lack of sunlight and heavy rains have resulted in a poor show.  However, two weeks later, things are looking up.
 Aunt Edith and Uncle Jack

 New exhibit (from 2011) the Waterwheel

 Alhambra Gardens

The gardens at Burton Agnes Hall are a delight and I have written about them previously on my blog and on this website.

 A visit to a suburban garden with my gardening group was a real treat.  An ordinary suburban street revealed an enchanting garden.  A beach garden in the front, complete with lobster pot and anchor and a back garden with the quirkiest of nooks.  Mirrors, stained glass, ornaments, ponds and even a reconstruction of an old washhouse.

 This is an optical illusion of an open door by using a mirror

 The old wash house with washing dolly and old washing powders

Our new grandson

We were overjoyed to hear the news of our newest grandchild.  He is feeding well and, although Skype is a boon, we can’t wait to see him in the flesh.  I was judging at the time of his birth, but although I suggested to call him by the name of the village, the baby’s parents decided on Ruben.  We welcome him to the family and wish him a happy and healthy life.
 Baby Ruben with big sister Freya

You will realise that I write my blog chronologically as this is clearly the most significant event!

Afternoon tea with cousins
After much organisation, we managed to fix a date and meet up with just a few of our female cousins.  It was great to catch up and hope to do it again soon.  I pitied the other customers who just wanted a quiet cuppa.

.... and afternoon tea for my daughter’s birthday

Visit to the Coast

 Bridlington; still a working harbour

 Pembroke Gardens, Bridlington

 Hornsea; on the near side of the groyn there's great sand

 Coastguard Cottages, Ulrome

Some decent weather meant we could spend some time on the beach at Bridlington, Hornsea and Ulrome.

Alternative Olympic Party
We went to an alternative Olympic party at Sue’s where the exciting events included welly chucking, Pringle eating, consuming chocolate raisins using chopsticks and other highly skilled activities.  The children enjoyed themselves too.  I was awarded a silver medal, although I thought my eating and drinking deserved gold.

Although I was not planning to watch the actual proceedings, the opening ceremony was superb and I found myself watching a good deal of the Games.  Such effort and determination is quite humbling.

“The sea is their grave but this Memorial sculpture is, in many ways, a headstone for the lost trawlermen”

I have always been impressed by the architecture in the centre of the maritime city of Hull, especially the old buildings with their carving...