Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Finally, a sad farewell

 Good morning, dear Blogger friends. As all good things do, the holiday in Spain came to an end. 

But hey ho! We had SUCH a wonderful stay with my dear sister Rose, and BIL, Pete. 

When Celia and I were shopping on our own, we desperately searched for a "fun medal".  But no such luck. That last Sunday while we sat in Pete's car hire business office, I spotted a medal hanging on the wall behind my nephew's desk.

When Rose popped into the powder room, Celia and I asked Mark if we could borrow it. He took it down and handed it to Celia. It was our intention to present Rose with a "Best driver and tour director" award.

The medal hanging on the wall behind my nephew, Mark

Medal of excellence awarded to Rose as the best driver, tour director, restrateur and hostess in Europe! 

We're grateful that the men in the office, humored us and even photographed the awards ceremony! 

And then it was time to be taken to the Malaga airport. Oh sigh. 
Just two weeks earlier we had been collected from here and Rose drove us to Fuengirola to start our Spanish holiday!

Although I'd been walking unaided on holiday, I had to use my crutches on the return trip for two reasons: 1) I had nowhere to store my crutches which had to return to SA and,  2) once again, we were booked  as asssisted travel on the airplane! What a pleasure! 

Celia turns to send Rose a heart gesture. 
I didn't turn around: goodbyes are just so sad 
Off to be checked into the boarding lounge

During the two-hour layover at Charles de Gaulle (Paris), I had an airport official trundle me through to the boarding lounge. Celia trotted alongside, taking photos!

After a pleasant overnight flight on Air France (we loved KLM on the way out but found Air France very professional on the way home), we landed at OR Tambo airport, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Back home we were assisted to the boarding lounge by a very friendly airport official. WE WERE HOME! 


Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Shopping Spainish style

 Good morning, dear Blogger friends. I'm trying to visit your blogs to show I am up and about again in Blogland. However, on Saturday evening,  we had a heavy storm with a terrifying lightning strike which knocked out the universal cell phone tower in the Valley. Last night, I couldn't access blog comments, try as I might. I will get to blog hopping and visiting soon. 

Meanwhile I'll share the last couple of days of our Spain trip with my sister. 

When women go on a shopping excursion together, you'll often find one of them is looking for something special. And rather than being an irritant to her shopper mates, they dive in enthusiastically in the quest to source her treasure. 

I was that lady who was looking for a special headdress for a wedding back in South Africa in July. I wanted long black or red gloves. No problem, said my sister, I know just the shop. Off we sped through the city, down a side street and stopped at a haberdashery which she said would have this item. Entering a shop where two ladies were sitting behind sewing machines with swathes of beautiful cloth around the workspace, my sister explained in Spanish, what we were looking for.  

They did INDEED have gloves but not satin or cotton as I seemed to want. They had black lacy gloves. Too beautiful. And the price was so good that I bought two pairs with different patterns.

As we passed the window display from the inside, my sister reminded me that I had wanted a fascinator - and there were several set out beautifully in the window. Rose asked the shopkeeper to bring out the one I pointed out. Here the price was exorbitant, (I mean, this is a piece of lace, with a couple of feathers and a clasp to secure it to your hair.) Unfazed, my sister said she would pay for it. I had my gloves and fascinator!

Next Celia said she was looking for a piece of cloth to take home to a lady in her church. Of course, it wouldn't be just any cloth. It had to be a special piece of material. 

Once again Rose said, no problem. We three piled back into her car and she set off in another direction. This time I could see that the surrounds was less upmarket. Suddenly she turned the car into an alley and parked on the sidewalk. She indicated that Celia and I accompany her into her Arabic cloth merchant.

 Inside the large warehouse type shop, were bales and bales of different cloth. All very reasonably priced. I'm no seamstress, but Celia and Rose are talented sewers and oohed and aahed over the selection on display. 

This Arabic shop was nostalgically reminiscent of my furors into the souks of Khartoum many years ago. Here Celia proudly displays her purchase. I suggested that we have a photo outside the shop for Celia to prove to her friend she'd not bought the cloth in South Africa! 

Me wearing my Africa dress in Spain.

I asked Celia to snap me in this dress. I knew I was going to blog about our trip and this dress played a significant role in me deciding when we would travel. Way back in November last year, Rose had told me they would like to gift me with a flight to Spain for my 70th birthday. Because she is aware of my various irons in the fire, she said: don't stress; you decide when you would like to come. 

In February this year I saw this dress displayed in a quaint supermarket/gift shop, The Oaks, in the Valley. I bought it; phoned Rose and said I would like to come and visit in May 2023. I then notified my SIL, Celia, who had been rearing to go. She was thrilled that I had set a date!  

Back in the city that day, we had shopped up a storm, and were mighty thirsty by now, so Rose took us to their favorite barista Mia Coffee shop for refreshments.

Three shoppers stopping for a cuppa and a bite.

Back at the apartment, we three relaxed at the pool 
after our city shopping spree.

The next morning, Saturday, was our penultimate day of our lovely holiday with Rose. And Saturday markets in Fuengorila are not to be missed. 

Before we set out, Rose cooked us breakfast while Celia and I dressed for our day's shopping. Again. 

I popped into the kitchen showing Rose how thrilled I was with the previous day's purchases. 


We arrived at the Saturday market held weekly in the Fuengirola fairground and which boasts some 300 stalls. You are simply SPOILT FOR CHOICE! 

Rose waited at the entrance to the markets while Celia and I shopped. We were glad because we wanted to buy two plants for our hosts: Peace Lily which originates from the rainforests of Columbia and Venezuela.  We wanted one for their car hire office and one for their apartment. Peace lily is associated with tranquility and serenity. Apparently having this plant in your home, also promotes health and wellbeing. 

At first, we thought we were looking for a needle in a haystack. Finally, I spotted a stall with plants on display. And lo and behold, they had healthy peace lilies in pots! 

Emerging victorious from the street market! 

Later back at the apartment, Rose was preparing a light lunch for us; Celia was watching Italian Open Tennis. 

 I was relaxing...

I am doing Legs up the wall yoga discipline as we learnt in our Taigelates class** here in the Valley. The benefits of Legs up the Wall are, among other things, deep relaxation, stress relief, knee pain reduction and neck tension relief.

Another memorable day with my beloved sister, Rose and SIL,  Celia. 

Note: ** Taigalates: our exercise class here in the Valley, is a combination of three disciplines: Tai chi; yoga and pilates. The word is an orginal coined by our exercise guru, Caroline. 


Monday, October 23, 2023

A Spanish sea trip

 Good morning, dear Blogger friends. Thank you for your comments, even though I have been absent.

The road trip over, once back in Fuengirola, we were then treated to a trip on the harbor. 

Fuengirola is a city on the Costa del Sol, in the province of Malaga, within the autonomous community of Andalusia, in the center of the southern Spain coast. (Phew, that's a mouthful!)  The city has its origins in Phoenician, Roman and Moorish civilizations. Today it is a major tourist center with more thank 8km /5 miles, of wide beaches with a subtropical Mediterranean climate.

Driving us to Benalmadena bay, Rose booked us on a luxury day cruiser. All around us were luxury yachts moored and waiting for their owners to take them out of a weekend. 

After the first mate had given us the regulatory safety demonstration, the captain fired the engines, and we headed out to sea. 

The claim to fame of these seagoing tours, is to show visitors the dolphins, which are always prolific. However, that day, although we were out at sea, and could drink in the beautiful city, sparkling in the sunshine behind us, the dolphins were most elusive that day.
Me sister, Rose and I aboard the tour boat

We South Africans were not fazed at all, as when we get to the sea back home, we see dolphins. Often! 

After an hour, we turned around and headed for home. The crew was most apologetic that we'd not seen any dolphins. To keep the passengers entertained, the captain called the small children, one by one, and allowed them to "steer" the ship. Their proud mums leapt up and took photos for the family holiday album.

As we three ladies were seated just behind the cabin, I never realized that I, (granny on the ship) would be next in line. The captain took me by the hand and seated me at the controls. 

I'd watched the captain showing the children to pose with a hand on the hip and look back at mama. To his obvious delight, I did the same! 

Back at Rose' apartment, Celia and I enjoyed the sunshine at the pool while Rose prepared lunch.

A Continental feast; the perfect end to a perfect morning 


Sunday, October 22, 2023

Rest in peace, my friend

 Good afternoon dear Blogger friends. Once again, I have been absent since 28th September 2023 due to work pressures and social commitments. But hey - ho. Here I am again...

Re Diane's comment on my Blog about a mutual friend's passing; this wasn't out of context.  Lynda, who lived in Tanzania, and whom I met on her interesting blog, ultimately encouraged me to start blogging. Am I grateful to her! 

It was also through her blog that I met and connected with many bloggers: Diane, (my life in Charente); Penny, Lori, Skoog farm journal. 

Her blog and our private emails between her in East Africa and me (I lived in West Africa those days), provided a good basis when Grant and I eventually lived in Tanzania.

In 2009, Grant and I met Lynda and her parents in the Eastern Cape and spent a great morning together. Sadly, her mum passed away suddenly a year later. Her dad, who was battling cancer at the time, passed in 2012. 

Reading about Lynda's death was a great shock all.