A Time of Breakdowns

We've had a spate of breakdowns over the past few weeks, not personal ones thank goodness, but equipment and machines. Now Steve is an excellent engineer and is relied upon to fix just about everything mechanical that we have but sometimes things come to their natural end.

The automatic washing machine is kaput. It was an expensive purchase about 7 years ago, that we expected to keep going for at least another 7 years!

Our previous Hotpoint lasted 20 years with various small repairs over time. So we were very disappointed with the expensive Bosch giving up the ghost so soon. The trouble? The spider was corroded and snapped. A replacement is only available to purchase along with a new drum making it prohibitively expensive. If it had been a Hotpoint we could of replaced the spider for £30 + postage. So there is something to think on, the more expensive model is not necessarily the best.

So how am I washing our clothes? I have a small twin tub at the casita which I use for washing …

Why Retire to Somewhere Quiet?

I get asked this alot. More specifically, why here? The location is only important to me. The idea of Retirement to my generation was always, a quieter life, putting your feet up, having time to do what you never had time for before.  The location is simply somewhere where you can do all of the above.

On a personal note, after many years of stressful work, home and children juggling I really just looked for a little more of a selfish life.

Part of my ideal retirement involved ignoring all the bad news of what's going on in the world. And for the last six years it's worked, mostly.  I found that if I simply did not read or listen to the news of what's happening in the UK or USA or EU.. life bimbled along nicely and I rarely felt stressed, anxious or worried about the future.

Of course occasionally momentous news events would make their way through and I would have to deal with things. Like the climate crises. That's depressing - but the one glimmer of hope is that now …

On Patience

I remember distinctly my mother proclaiming that I wasn't a patient person and predicting my downfall because of it. Well! Who knows you better than your mother right? Well she was wrong! Not about me being impatient, I am at heart a very impatient person, but about it being my downfall - it isn't. It wasn't and it will never be.

Because, you see, although I am not very patient by nature I can BE patient when required. Life requires patience from time to time and you are given no choice. You can wail and stamp your feet (physically and/or metaphorically) but ultimately you have to wait and tantrums are boring and not always productive so what can you do? The skill of patience is acquired and as life goes on even an impatient person can get good at it.

And so. 6 months after our phenomenal efforts with the olive harvest, our new cooker, the real fruits of our labour, is finally installed in our kitchen.

After the harvest we waited 6 or 7 weeks until we got paid. That was t…

Harness and focus..

Of late I have been really working on alot of art projects. Did you notice that no one wanted my felted bag giveaway from a couple of posts back? Embarrassing? No, not at all - It made me refocus.. if I can't give it away then there is definitely something lacking in it. Not to let the bag go to waste I have repurposed it by transforming it into something totally different.. as I did with another two bags of similar construction.

So what did they become?

These are called 'inchies' and 'twinchies' because they are one Inch and two inch tiles.  It's only when you see exactly how small one inch is, that you begin to appreciate how tricky it might be to embellish them.  But overall this is a fairly quick art form.. with pretty immediate gratification which is often just a way of distracting yourself from a more involved and longer term project.

I do alot of this.  I can get quite frantic producing loads of quick fix projects in a very short amount of time before t…


When I was a young woman I had a very good friend, she was 30 years older than me but we both enjoyed creating with textiles and the age difference between us melted away as we became engrossed in conversation about our latest projects. Flo was energetic and indefatigable. I remember once her husband went to work in the morning and she set to decorating the lounge. She took all the paintings off the wall, moved the furniture and with the help of stepladders (she was only just 5 foot tall) she repainted the ceiling and walls, in the same clean white colour as before. And had all the furniture and paintings  back in place before her husband returned home from work in the evening.

She made pill box hats by hand and wore them with little French jackets and every year on her wedding anniversary she would wear the same lace blouse (now very threadbare indeed) that she wore on her wedding day and go to a restaurant with her husband, him sporting his wedding tie.

Eventually I moved away and …

Sew Lovely

Some time ago, a long time ago. I posted about some beautiful fabric my cousin sent me from Scotland. At first I was terrified of doing anything with it.  I would bring it out of the cupboard and pet it once in a while, or browse through the patterns I own and then gaze lovingly once again at the fabric.  But for the longest time I couldn't get past that.

Well finally. I chose the pattern and set to with gusto! Et voila...

I made a coat.  I've never made a coat before.

I am so delighted with how it turned out that I felted a grey beret to go with it.  The beret didn't turn out quite the right colour so I will do another one in a contrast colour.  But you know it takes a very long time to do a beret, especially, if like me, you are starting from the wool direct from the sheep. And it's the first hat I've made!

Then I turned to the rest of the fabric.  it's a beautiful tweed and a coordinating brown wool.  It would be perfect for a jacket and skirt.  but the mor…

The story so far

It's been so long I can't actually remember everything that has happened since I last posted. But I will try.

The Olive Harvest came and went, we did very well.  but alas the price was 37 cents a kg so our monetary gain was very poor.  It is just enough to purchase the swish new cooker I have my eyes on.  but this is a slow process. The cooker will be purchased in the UK, delivered to my son who will store it for a while (time unknown?) until his neighbours who have a house in Madrid which they are renovating decide to load up a van full of goodies and drive to Spain.  We will then collect the cooker from them in Madrid and bring it home.  I feel like it's Little House on the Prairie and I have to await the arrival of the next wagon train west.  Patience not being my strong point this is a challenge.

I had planned to get cracking on my Fig Recipe Book which I hope to publish this year but then I was asked to participate in the celebrations for International Women's Da…