Wednesday, November 09, 2016

All manner of happenings


It's been a busy couple of weeks since we got back from Europe - but I have managed to get the front and back covers out and in finished for my grannie book and have worked a tiny bit on some of the other little books I started ages back. This little hexie idea I have further plans for - none of this papers in the back stuff for me - it actually sounds rather boring.   Two great concerts we have been to - last week the ACO and we simply loved the programme. Sorry to have missed the one while we were away but them's the breaks. And then last night we went to the Tallis Scholars and they were simply sublime.    The All Blacks have gone on their northern tour and played Ireland in Chicago last Sunday morning. Not shown live on Fox so we paid for the privilege of getting up at 4am for live streaming on my computer screen (a large one) but in a  small space. It was a fabulous game with Ireland winning and deserved. I don't think it is a bad thing for the ABs to lose - and it is good for rugby and anyway if any team had to beat them, Ireland was the best. We watched the 2013 game down town in a bar full of Irish folk who were devastated at the end - not us of course. The game in Ireland next weekend will be well worth getting up at any time for!  


I am amazing myself by managing to keep up with the 100 days project - up to day 78 and still going. I started on it because I thought it would be a good discipline and doubted if I would manage it - I feel that if I don't post every day I will quickly miss the plot. It is keeping me out of mischief.

I am also working rather furiously on quite a few other things but they will keep.

Big weekend coming up - Grant and Hannah are getting married - last Sat was Hannah's hen party - a little bit different from the kitchen tea I do remember my mother organising some thousand years ago.

at least I got to drink champagne.

So right now, apart form being shocked by the US presidential elections like we did with Brexit - I am wondering if it all stems from our tree being poisoned - we are welcoming our relations and off to Margaret River for the wedding.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

A week or so later

We came back to a pile of parcels, boxes and the like - this box was delight to open - single colours in sari ribbon but each one is different. I am looking forward to using them - I am going to iron them first. Of course. It is obviously helping the Indian economy and they are not guaranteed strong etc but this is te delight of working with them. Weave and stitch and cover weak spots or leave them to vies things below 0r bond to a surface like felt and stitch strips. Yummy.  
Before we went away we sent our two sofas off for recovering and they have just arrived home. We are thrilled with them - red velvet and of course madam who is seen on the patchwork chair has rapidly moved over.
We put a matching red towel down for her to sit on but of course she moves over as fast as you can blink. Anyway the recovering man gave us all the fabric leftover so we can cut patches and arm covers. We have had these two sofas for a very long time - we bought them from a friend years ago - they are the best. Goodness knows what new ones of this quality woudl cost. As always when you go away we have been busy with the verandah and orders. We brought back 20 kilos of khaki books and paper and it has all sold but we have another bigger order coming on the 7th. Al least we don't have carry them in our back packs this time.
Our special veg and herb garden is full to chukka but I have found a tiny bit more space to squeeze some more in. It is great collecting greens every day for salads - can't get fresher than that.  
Today I bought some more lavender to fill a spot - or rather to replace something in a spot. We have many weeds to clear out this week but pleased to say bbq time has cometh.

Friday, October 21, 2016

That's it folks for this trip

Wednesday morning we left Girona - really enjoyed our stay - but time to head back to Barcelona
Very pleasant medieval city   
Back in Barcelona for half a day we checked out Gaudi's work along with thousands of others - the inside of the cathedral is rather awesome and loved the stain glass - the colours and the play of light were wonderful We also went to the Maritime Museum where there was a life size replica of a 16th century - I think - boat - was rather hoping to see the Spanish Armada but no go  
ANd yest another fabulous door to give plenty of inspiration - look at the writing in the top left. Mmm.....
We caught the TGV back to London via Paris - we had paid a wee bit more for 1st class and the service etc on the Eurail was very good indeed. - My holiday stitching is making progress.   Waiting at Heathrow to catch our flight for the usual long boring flight but that's the rules if you want to travel. Our three suitcases came to 59.9 kilos - that's including 20 k of khaki books and paper - 2 giant rolls of lutradur rolled off the core and lots of threads and stuff. That's a bis shipping saving we don't have to pass on to our customers.   See you on the sunny side for a bbq on Sunday night after a hopeful All Black win on Saturday - and then it's back to work

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Out in the countryside

We hired a car for a opulent of days and made some trips out of Girona. it is very easy driving around - the roads are very good. First day we went to the Costa Bravo - not our sort of place really - I think we are spoilt on the west coast of OZ - this was at Tossa de Mer and it was full of tourists so I expect really bad in July/August - in fact the book said you would never be able to find a spec of untouched sand. Against my better judgement I had a Kiwi COla - nice fresh kiwifruit but sadly ice cream which has melted and reiced. That will teach me. 
There were wall to wall restaurants which ever way you looked
Then we drove north along the coast - magnificent views. This was looking back to Tossa de Mer
And some more - the road was amazingly pretty and windy and scarey - and all the way there were these enormous holiday places like large towns - you couldn't just drive in but only look from the car rather gobsmacked.
I guess it is pretty packed in the summer. Second day we went into the hills - we thought we would be driving up little windy roads - ha - 4 lane highways and magnificent tunnels. We got right up near the border to France and stopped at a lovely little town for lunch. I didn't take any photos at all - one things we loved seeing were the autumn trees.
Back in Girona I came across this statue - I though it had ideas for doors actually.
Last view of Girona walking across one of the bridges. We had a great last night meal at a delightful restaurant where the guys were very friendly - possibly the best red wine we have had.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Salvador Dali

One day we caught the train to Figueres to visit the Salvador Dali museum - wow! This was outside but the museum was amazing as only Dali can be. Full of people with smiles on their faces as we climbed up stairs and down stairs and wound our way through this enormous collection of work.
From outside.  
I personally really liked his drawings near the entrance - they reminded me a little of Lewis Carrol but of course - more bizarre. There was so much to see and it was well worth the visit. 
Along  the streets there was a hotel with interesting cows on the balconies. This town really only exists for the Dali methinks
We have been eating at some interesting restaurants - not the touristy ones but the host of this air bnb left cards for quite a few and we have worked our way through. Most of them you wouldn't know were even there - this one was up a little cobbled street and in the daytime when the doors are shut and the gate closed you would not even know there was a restaurant behind the door. We are drinking Catalin wines of course and mostly reds - interesting bottle this one was. The food we were told was outstanding in this region but I wouldn't really say that - have not been knocked off our feet - and mostly all the same. But nothing bad.
Ian- who hates anchovies - has had to eat at least three of these offerings - they bring out extras which is really very nice and he has to eat them. Actually the anchovies have been okay but in general the food is very salty - obviously we have abandoned a lot fo salt in our cooking or we wouldn't have noticed.
My little holiday stitching of woven and stitched is now ready for toppings.
This is our apartment from the courtyard below - we have the top two floors - that terrace at the top is where we sit outside for coffee - breakfast and drinks at night - wonderful view - just have to make it up the windy internal staircase.... The pole you can see on the ground holds streetlights
All outings on foot require up many cobbled steps and down many cobbled steps - this is at the top of the steps looking down at a restaurant we went to the other night only no rain and people sitting outside.
Ian encouraging me to get climbing - this set of steps went up and up and up and eventually came down t a little shop where I bought a couple of bowls having been reminded how much stock is waiting heavily in the third suitcase back in London.
And another wonderful gate at the front of the theatre (the back of the theatre is in front of our house) - maybe we could incorporate this idea in our Secret Doors and Opening workshop in Adelaide in January - i shall work on the idea.  

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Girona some more

Girona is a medieval walled city of around 90,000 and we are lucky to be staying inside the walled area. this is a view from up on the wall looking to the Pyrenees 
Another view from the wall - they tell us that they had hardly any rain over summer and the rain we have had has been that sort where the black clouds roll over and down she comes - but it is sunny again and quite lovely.  I think it would be horrendous in August somehow. Plus it is a cycling city - apparently Lance Armstrong used to be based here. You can't escape cyclists these days.
Yes - I did climb up these steps and many more and of course if you go up you have to come down again...
My favourite citing on the walk
And along the way we looked down at the gardens - so tranquil -   
We visited the cathedral which has the widest nave in Europe - I think it said- and the oldest known tapestry- well worth a visit
Coming down the steps I spotted another inserting door and frame - reminded me a little of Orvieto
We have been eating at some interesting places - our host left us a few cards and most you wouldn't find on your own. In fact some closed up during the day you wouldn't even know were there. This one is a heathy place - La Vedette or similar - and this was pea soup with bacon on top - we got there at 3pm and it was empty but filling up when we left - and that was for lunch. We also had the most interesting crepes.
A cover near our 'house'

Girona

Now are in Girona - we have a great air bnb with a fabulous view from the terrace - we are staying in the old walled part of town - very central - it's a very well preserved place - cobbled stones - no rubbish anywhere etc etc
Here is Ian on the first morning walking down to get milk for his coffee. We have had a heap of rain mostly whenever we decide to step out. 
the houses - quite famous - from one of the bridges - the water is a bit muddy I expect from the rain  
We have enjoyed great meals since we have been here - this was one we visited in the heavy rain so we didn't wear outside   
A very interesting restaurant - with a distinct 40s of 50s look to it but they were friendly - the food was fine but not many people the night we went - our little umbrellas bought in Portugal some years back for 1 euro struggled to keep us dry.  
The menu was in Catalan - even harder for us than Spanish - these are the pizzas - pernil is ham - we didn't have a pizza though
We had started our walk along the medieval wall that night but it rained somewhat so we abandoned and started again next day - lots of climbing steps to get up to it - not liked by someone who has never liked steps but she got there and back
Another view from our terrace
And another
chasing Ian to get back up om that wall - most of the streets are like this - it's very well preserved. Fortunately the rain stopped for us this time.    

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