Category Archives: Coast

Lazy Beach Days

FootprintOur seven weeks in the Spanish sunshine seem distant now that winter has really arrived, but I haven’t blogged a thing in ages and wanted to fill in at least some of the gaps.

Spain was fabulous, we travelled down to Javea on the Costa Blanca. It’s become very familiar to us over the years and although I used to think it so boring to return to the same place year on year I kind of like the familiarity these days. Despite it’s  ex-pat reputation  Javea  has a great deal to offer and you are left in no doubt as to why the whole area  has become a destination for so many Northern Europeans .  There’s the seaside area, the Arenal (lots of English voices here), with a sandy beach and a busy promenade. A great place for young families and lively in the evenings. The port area; older,  quieter and more Spanish with a fresh fish market when the fishing boats come in. We love to cycle down here in the morningIMG_0457 for a coffee overlooking the sea. And lastly the old town, which is very much a typical Spanish town with a wonderful daily market in the traditional market hall and a colourful weekly market, shops that stick to the traditional timetable and a maze of narrow lanes to wander. All three areas have great restaurants and bars, traditional and modern.  Much very pleasant time is whiled away eating, drinking coffee or wine and just watching the world go by.

We played plenty of golf on some of the fabulous courses of the Costa Blanca, mostly with our good friends who make our trip to Javea a must.

We enjoyed our beach time too, but when I wasn’t  reading copiously (until I lost my kindle on the beach!) or taking the occasional dip before a wander up to the chiringuito that I found myself thinking about crafting or the garden. I played around with stones and and found myself doodling on the lovely pale,  smooth pebbles of the  port beach. I ended up with quite a collection, some of which were left with our campsite neighbours and others which made it home and are now scattered amongst the Welsh slate and granite in the garden.

Jeff the chef joined in the stone fun too. His creations were numerous towers, like these ones on the picturesque beach  at Portichol – if you ever find yourself here wander up to the beach restaurant, La Barraca. You’ll step back in time at this rustic building built into the cliff where you round the corner of the bay. Just look for ‘bar’ painted on the rock face!

Beautiful mediterranean blue and white.

We did manage a little IMG_4823bit of culture  too and visited the ancient and historical city of Salamanca with it’s amazing medieval and gothic cathedrals and stunning old university buildings.

We had a great campsite here, part of a hotel complex  and just a cycle ride away from the city centre.

P1000265Another stop-over on our homeward journey was in the Northern Rioja town of Haro. Here we indulged ourselves in a tour of the Muga bodega. A really interesting tour with a real insight into the making of one of my favourite beverages. Bringing back a couple of Christmas treats from here was an absolute must!

Well back home and let the crafting begin. After restoring the garden to order and getting back to my somewhat ambitious  unfinished garden project of course. I might just have to make that my next post!

In a house by the sea

IMG_0690   Cot bumper I’ve already blogged my very first make when we moved to Rhydyfelin; it was a cot bumper for Dougie’s first visit.   Dougie's nursery   The seaside themed fabric seemed just right for his visits and a change from his jungle themed room at home. I had made up my mind that before he came for Christmas I would use more of the fabric to brighten up the room a little.   Making curtains wasn’t an option as I still haven’t decided what to do about the quirky window. I do like it, it has a bit of character but it needs a little bit of thought. Inspired by my daughter, Bethan,  making lampshades for their family room I decided to give that a go and to make some bunting in the seaside fabric and some co-ordinating patterns as well. His Christening party bunting is up in his room at home so it felt right – and it’s an easy,  speedy way to add a bit of colour. I found a drum lampshade kit in The Deco Shop in Machynlleth. You never know what you will find there and for all it’s so tiny I don’t think I have ever walked away empty handed. Making the lampshade was fiddly and I could have done with a third hand but it wasn’t difficult and I intend to do it again. Jeff suggested maps ….. watch this space.