Showing posts from January, 2017

Haute Couture

The rains came. The finca is grateful. For those who follow sporting events you may know that there is a large rugby event looming. Steve has already downloaded the programme and it is clear that normal life will revolve around the TV for at least two weeks. It is my custom during such events to challenge myself with some creative project. This year I am going to begin my long planned haute couture jacket. The ultimate goal would be to make an LFJ. This is shorthand for the iconic Chanel box-shaped jacket, since Chanel as a company (fashion institution) are zealots in the protection of Mme Channel's name her iconic style of jacket is now known as the Little French Jacket. There are several techniques that distinguish an LFJ as different from the run of the mill, the amount of hand stitching being one. And if like me, you cannot afford (or simply on principal would refuse to pay for) an authentic haute couture jacket, then the only option is to make one.

Winter is Here

It's winter here now. How do I know? Well at first the mornings would be damp and foggy but now we awaken to sheets of frost across the finca, it's patchy, not consistent and it's a good time to notice where not to plant delicate peach trees. Citrus are also not great lovers of the cold. This will be our fourth winter in Extremadura and every one has been different so far. This year we haven't had the rain although I am promised that it is coming. For now the little stream that runs through the finca is dry. And most days the sun shines and the sky is blue. The weather forecast has warned us of temperatures down to minus six but our own outdoor thermometer hasn't registered anything lower than minus one.  And that was just one night. The thermometer is North facing but sheltered from the wind so perhaps it was colder out and about. During the day it has mostly been sunny and bright and very pleasant for walking or working on the finca. Steve has been

12th Night

If this was ever a special day for my ancestors (and I don't know that it was) it certainly isn't for us. While the Spanish in the village are parading with the three Kings and the children getting really excited, we are slowly dismantling Christmas. I say slowly, because most years it is, but this year we only put up one decoration and even that became hours of fun for the cats. It took all of five minutes to put away. I put the Christmas cards up on the garland and was constantly having to replace them when the cats knocked them down. So glad we passed on the tree this year. So the house moves into its Winter mode. Outside the days start foggy and cold, often warming up enough to sit and knit or spin on the verandah by the afternoons, but not always. After several days of this I give in and do an essential laundry load. We brought a tumble drier with us from the UK but we didn't keep it. Why pay the electricity bill if you don't have to. Our alternat

Medical Stuff

It's been more than four years since I have seen a doctor. I am blessed to be generally very healthy, however over the new year period I developed a urinary tract infection. At first I mistook the pain in my lower back for something muscular and was about to insist we buy a new mattress. By the time the more obvious symptoms appeared it was New Years Eve and I faced a dilemma. Go now as an emergency or suffer over the following two days until surgery opens on the Tuesday. I did a quick Google search to see if there were any natural remedies. The internet is full of such stuff but I thought if I could avoid the doctors visit so much the better. A weekend of copious water drinking as well as a mixture of cream of tartar in water ensued. The extra fluids definitely helped but by Monday night it was clear that antibiotics were the only way to go. How fortunate we are to be alive in a world full of penicillin. The cause of death on my great grandmothers death certificate is '