Friday, 15 August 2014

Blogiversary and a Sabbatical

Today marks my second anniversary using Blogger. That first post, for me anyway, was bittersweet as I was missing a site not everyone has heard of, and a site that's no longer important since it no longer exists. So, I thought I'd give a shout out to celebrate the day. Besides, this will be my last post for a while. I'll still read what others post and leave comments too; I just won't be writing my weekly post. For those who are on Facebook, I'll also keep in touch with you there.

The last couple of days have been heavenly weatherwise. I love not having to use any type of artificial cooling machines other than the fridge. Yesterday I went out for lunch with a friend, and I loved both what we ate - meatballs - and being able to walk down the street without looking for the shade. We each had 4 big meatballs. Neither of us was able to finish the tomato and cheese salad, but I ate all 4 meatballs. My friend took her remaining meatball home to her dog. Lucky Scruffy!

Last week I mentioned the problem of falling tree limbs in Madrid. Now several areas are suffering from a plague of insects that are eating the leaves, causing tremendous damage to trees. Apart from stripping the poor trees, they're being a nuisance to people, because the bugs are entering the homes, especially at night when windows are wide open. Unless the city does something to stop these insects, they'll surely spread to other areas. 

I'll leave you with a couple of photos - my artsy take on the recent full moon and my friend Chris's cat. Another friend and I have been going in a couple of times a week to check on her. Going more often isn't really necessary as her sister-in-law is staying there. Enjoy what's left of Friday.


Sunday, 10 August 2014

What's in a Name?

For those of you who don't know where you are, look up and you may, if there isn't any greenery in the way, see the name of the street. In this part of the world you'll find the street names on the buildings. When you don't know the area and you're desperately looking for a certain street, you often wish that balcony there on the corner didn't have such lovely plants hanging down, or if only that tree wasn't so tall. 

This particular street in the photo is one I've walked in since I've lived in Madrid. It's where my old language school was located before it was sold and an apartment block built in its place, and I still live around the corner from the street. However, compare the names in the two photos.(Sorry, the sign looks a little dirty in that first photo).

Can you see the name of the street in the first photo is Francisco de Navacerrada and in the second one Francisco Navacerrada = the right name. Somebody messed up when they made that first sign! 

The shop windows under the sign in the second photo advertise flats and places for sale. It's right next door to where our institute was. I've seen a video of one of the apartments for sale (haven't been in the building). I must say although the apartments are small, the kitchen was completely furnished and the distribution of the rooms was well-planned. I, however, have no intention of going there to live as it's probably got ghosts. LOL.

When it's hot and I'm out, I always try to walk on the side of the street with the most shade. Since the beginning of summer, 15 limbs have fallen from trees around Madrid. The first one we heard about happened in Retiro Park. The limb fell on a young father and killed him. He was able to push his two children out of the way, but how sad. A few cars have been damaged by falling limbs, and, on Thursday I think it was, a big limb fell onto an outdoor cafe in the centre. A couple of people were slightly hurt. They were lucky in that the parasol under which they were sitting cushioned the blow. I heard an 'expert' claim the other day that there was nothing the matter with the trees in Madrid. Well, I don't remember hearing of so many limbs down without there being a storm. Now it seems we have to look up for weak limbs too.

It's been a 'red' weekend for me as I've made gazpacho, and earlier today I made pisto gallego, which uses some of the same ingredients as gazpacho. While gazpacho isn't cooked, pisto is. Nobody can say I haven't got my vegetables in this weekend. I'll have pisto for a couple of days for sure.

That's me for this Sunday. Wishing everyone a wonderful week.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Dust Bunny Fun

Since I haven't had class I've been cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. The last time I took everything out from under the bed to capture all the dust bunnies like the one in the photo was at Easter. Actually this bunny came from a photo I borrowed from the internet. I'm not that talented nor were there enough to make an art piece. I did find lots of lint and about 10 clothes pegs under the washer when I pulled it out as much as possible. Unless someone has a cleaning lady that does all these chores, I imagine they'll have quite a bit of stuff under their washing machine too.

If I didn't realize it before, I do now. I have too many clothes. I've finally got all my winter things washed, and I've already gone through them twice picking out things I didn't wear this past winter. So I've decided if I buy anything for the coming winter, it'll just be no more than a couple of pairs of jeans.

Yesterday morning I was taking things out of the kitchen cupboards to clean them out when the phone rang. It was a friend telling me she was sending her husband with some lavender that she'd promised me a while back. I just had time to throw on some clothes as I was wearing one of those short dorm shirts and to clear the table off a bit. He also brought me about a kilo of peaches.

This is how I prepared a pot of soup beans today. As always I put some type of fat, in this case bacon, to give them a down home flavour. This time I added a lettuce leaf because one of my friends says it absorbs the gas. I had some for lunch and so far so good. Although I took the lettuce leaf out before I served the beans, there were bits of it still in the soup. The lettuce leaf and the bits didn't change the taste, but I wish Spanish brown beans were as nice as American brown beans. The lentils, chick peas and other types of legumes are delicious. It's just the brown beans that are different.

Our weekend weather has been wonderful, not too awfully hot and cooler at night. The temperatures will start going up tomorrow though. Tomorrow I start visiting my friend Chris's cat. Her sister-in-law is there at the weekend, so another friend and I only have to go Monday to Thursday.

I guess I'll leave you and see what mischief I can get up to. Hope everybody has a good week.