Sunday, 24 March 2013

Mother Hubbard's Cupboard

As you can see this cupboard is as bare of food as poor Mother Hubbard's. That's because it's not for storing food. Tiina, from Finland, has said that it's a Finnish invention and I've seen one similar to mine in her photos. Although my kitchen has plenty of storage space, it doesn't have room for a dishwasher, so it has a small cupboard where I can put my dishes to dry without having to dry them by hand. Because I have to put pots and pans on the top shelf, I have to be careful how I stack them so that they don't come back on me. It has happened. Ouch!

I suppose everyone has heard that as of  this past Thursday (20 March) Multiply is no longer available to anyone who isn't an online seller. Sad, but no use crying over spilt milk. Some of us had a friend on Multiply and one of the posts he enjoyed doing was to research the origin of expressions like crying over spilt milk. Sadly, he doesn't like either facebook or anything google. He has a page on ipernity as do I, but says it's too complicated to do such a post of this type there. As for me, I haven't been able to get into ipernity, and if I were younger, I'd want to work for google. How about you?

As I feared our Easter weather, at least in Madrid, is going to be lousy. When I first started typing, it was raining cats and dogs, and now the sun is trying to make a timid appearance. I only hope not all of the processions get cancelled. Easter isn't Easter without them! Despite the horrible weather, I'm happily relaxing in my PJ's. It's so nice not having to prepare myself for tomorrow. I do have  to check on my friend's cat, but don't have to worry about the time factor. Next Sunday I won't be happy about losing an hour though, so I suppose I should take advantage of my week ahead.

Hope everyone is at least able to have a few days off. I'll see you next Sunday.  

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Oops I Did It Again!

On multiply, I wrote about a rug that I'd bought hoping that it would hide some of my dog's hair only to discover the rug lost more 'hair' than Zara did. I don't remember how long I put up with this rug, which I eventually threw out. It wasn't the kind of thing that I'd give to someone I didn't particularly like let alone to a friend. Not too long after getting rid of this annoying rug, I saw another rug marked down in a shop that was going out of business, and decided it was for me.  

Now this one has several perks apart from the price. I like the colour and it combines well with any colour I decide to put in the room. Naturally I'm not going to use dark colours, since those make a small room even smaller, so the colour is perfect. Although I always wear socks to bed in winter, it's still nice to put my feet on a nice soft rug instead of the bare floor. What's not to like you may ask? Because it's so thick, anything you drop on it either buries itself or gets camouflaged. Despite this flaw, it's a keeper. I'll try not to drop anything like a needle or pin or anything sharp and dangerous on it!

Tomorrow  is a holiday for us, and I know either later on today or tomorrow I'll have to listen to a detailed and then repeated version of a flat owners' meeting I couldn't attend on Monday evening. I was so not upset about missing it. At least I have an extra day to do some of the things I want to do (hopefully). 

We're supposed to have some big rain storms today, but so far only have big clouds. Only another week until Easter holidays. I hope it doesn't rain out all the processions like it has in the past. Easter comes a bit early this year to ensure a bit of good weather. And then there are the 'Fallas' in Valencia which end tomorrow night with big bonfires to burn the 'fallas' or monuments that they've spent all year constructing, with lots of noise and fireworks, so hope they don't get rained out.

Happy St. Patrick's Day and hope everyone  has a good week.    

Sunday, 10 March 2013

The Rain in Spain

It's been raining off and on, sometimes more sometimes less, for a week. On Monday evening coming home from class, the bottoms of my jeans got soaked and rain even got into my boots. I was so thankful the storm caught me coming home and not going to class. Then on Thursday, we had a cautionary (yellow) warning for winds and rain. Had I been in the street at about 4 pm, I'd have got more than my jean bottoms soaked! My photo doesn't show all the water that was rushing down my street, but I wasn't going to go out just to take a photo. There was a girl in the street taking a photo of the same spot as me from a different angle and much nearer, so I'm sure her photo was more descriptive, though mine shows the water almost getting into the hardware shop across the street. At the moment we have a bit of sun. I think it'll probably rain again tonight like it did late last night. In many areas of Spain, they've received record amounts of snow. As the saying goes: a year of snow, a year of benefits (water to drink and food to eat).

Last week I mentioned that we feared squatters had got into the abandoned house next to some friends' house, because smoke was coming out a window and the door. The police came along with the fire brigade. It's not certain that there are only two people in the house, but that's how many came out. César told me that they've been very quiet. I haven't seen or smelled any evidence of smoke whenever I walked past there. They're still there though, because without a court order they can't be evicted, at least in Spain. Now there is only one more abandoned house to occupy in the street.

I spent a couple of hours yesterday evening making a chicken cobbler from scratch. I made a potato soup (should have mashed up the potatoes more I think), cooked the chicken and made the biscuits for it. This time my biscuits came out to my liking. I had dinner with some friends on Tuesday evening. The last time we had dinner together I made some biscuits, which they really liked. This time I decided to double the recipe. Well, I doubled everything except the milk. Were they ever dry! Yesterday I told Noemí to throw them out and she said she liked them.

Even though we're not springing forward just yet, I'm not looking forward to this week. The one enjoyable event planned is celebrating a friend's birthday in a Mexican on Thursday night. Good luck to all who have catch up on a missing hour! 

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Drinks Are On Me!

No, I didn't win big on the lottery, unfortunately. As a matter of fact, I haven't played since Christmas even though one of my friends tried to give away 10 euros that she thought she owed someone for lottery. Once a month as many of us as possible get together for lunch and a good old chinwag in a bar-restaurant round the corner. They offer 2 menus - one for 9 euros and the other for 15. I always have the 9-euro one because the more expensive menu includes mostly seafood. Both are good value, with drinks and dessert or coffee included. So there we were ready to eat the six of us. Chris was getting ready to fill everyone's wine glass when the bottle jumped out of her hand and a good deal of the liquid got me on my left sleeve and leg with a few drops on the tablecloth and some on the floor. When wine is dribbled on the table, it's considered good luck in Spain. I don't know about most of a bottle being thrown at a person, except that it wasn't too obvious (I hope) that I was wearing wine-soaked clothes. By the time we left it had mostly dried anyway, and this is why I say drinks on me! And Chris didn't pour any more wine!

Our crazy February is finally behind us. I'm the only one who thinks February drags I suppose. This past week has been freezing. On Wednesday and Thursday it snowed in Madrid. It didn't stick either of the two days. I was wishing though that I'd got out and taken a couple of photos of the Plaza de Toros in the snow. Thursday I was out in it as I had an appointment to get my hair cut. By the time I went out the snow wasn't so pretty. I wore 3 layers under my coat, because my friend Jenny had told me the last time she was there they hadn't put the heating on. We go to the same hairdresser's. I'm happy to say I didn't get cold in the hairdresser's and they had a small radiator on. Outside was a different story. I fought with my umbrella to get it up. The wind wanted to rip it out of my hands. Then I fought to close the doggone thing. So far March has been mild. What is it they say about March? Comes in like a lamb and goes out like a lion, or vice versa? Whatever it may be, winter still has something to say I reckon.

In other posts, I mentioned that there is a house full of squatters just round the corner from where I live. They've already set the house on fire once. On Friday when I left class with my friend Cielo and the mother of one of my students, we both smelled smoke and I was convinced that the squatters had started another fire. No, it was much closer to their house. It was coming from the abandoned house next door. The windows had been boarded up, and there was a hole in one of the boards and the door was open a crack. Smoke was pouring out of both places. I don't imagine the house was on fire, but that those inside had made a fire in the fireplace whose chimney was probably blocked from disuse. Cielo told her husband to telephone the police. I had to leave, so I don't know what happened. Guess I'll find out on Wednesday. Bet they're still in the house though. Now there's only one old house to be occupied on this street.

At the beginning of the new year, I never said anything about resolutions so as not to disappoint myself. I am happy that I'm a non-smoker though because I saw people outside in the freezing cold just to have a cigarette this past week. Instead I've decided to de-clutter as much as possible yet again and use my crock pot more. I found a couple of things that had got lost in my bathroom last weekend, which I gave to my friend the wine spiller, and made a chicken dish in the crock pot. This weekend I've made soup beans, and they are soup beans with lots of water! I'll take some of the water and make an actual soup I think. Nothing like starting the week with lunch already made!

And this is me for another week. Hope everyone's week is a good one. This photo is my grand reserve of wine, three of the bottles being gifts.