Me, my cats, puppies and a beautiful hair slide

Hi folks! I hope you are all coping okay, especially in these worrying and sad times…

I just wanted to share a couple of photos with you from my early morning walk, here in my local countryside of Posadas (a village in the province of Andalusia, lying about 35 miles west of the historic town of Córdoba).

As you can see, I was well-accompanied by my six of my fifteen (I think) cats.

“How we behave towards cats here below, determines our status in heaven.”

Robert A. Heinlein (July 7, 1907 – May 8, 1988) an American science fiction author, aeronautical engineer and naval officer. Together with Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke, he was considered one of the «Big Three» of English-language science fiction authors. His works include Stranger in a Strange Land, Starship Troopers and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.  

When I arrived back, my (destructive) mastiff puppies were only too pleased to help me untie my laces!

«The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven not man’s.»

Mark Twain; his real name Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), was an American writer, humourist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer. He was lauded as the «greatest humourist the United States has produced», and «the father of American literature.” His novels included The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884).

(However, judging by the above photo, I’m not so sure about the gentleman bit!)

Before I sign off though, I just wanted to share a site I found and now love on the homemade-crafts Etsy shop, called Costurero Real. No, I’m not promoting myself, nor a friend or relative, but just some lovely hair slides that I came across when looking for a clip for my hair. He or she does some beautiful work, and I’ll be buying the blue butterfly for my hair. It’s so pretty! I love butterflies, and though it might be a bit young for my age, I just can’t resist it! You can see his or her work by clicking here.

(I’m going to order the blue one). They also have leather leaves and moths and butterfly capes! All very lovely and woodlandy!

PS. I hope I’m not infringing any copyrights, but I think it’ll be alright as I am sort-of advertising for them…

Well, that’s all for now. As usual, your comments are always welcome, I love the interaction!

Take care xxx

Hand-painted stones from Posadas (Cordova)

Hi folks! I hope this finds you all well…

The good news is that since the incidence numbers have fallen here in Cordova and the province is now in level 1, things are gradually opening up and there has been more movement on the tourist front. This is also good for me, as the tourist shop in the Judería (Jewish Quarters) which sells locally-crafted items, has also opened. (See photos of the Judería here.)

I regularly place some of my items with them, the latest being a couple of paintings on locally-sourced cork from the oak trees in my neighbouring Hornachuelos Natural Park area — you can read about this area here in case you’re thinking about visiting in the future — after all, it is a place rich in ecological diversity and also boasts a supposedly-haunted monastery).

I have also painted some stones with acrylics and will start my new autumn/winter/Christmassy selection next week.

Here are a few photos of what I’ve been doing. (Most of these items are available in my Etsy shop at this link.)

But how could I leave without a quote? So here’s one for reflection:

«I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.»

~ Saint Mother Theresa (26 August 1910, Skopje – 5 September 1997, India)

That’s all for now — thank you for visiting.

Take care xxx

Another beautiful sunrise!

Hello all! I hope you are keeping well in these difficult times…

As you can see, this morning I was met with a beautiful sunrise!

An impressive daybreak looking eastwards beyond the haunted castle of Almodóvar del Río towards Cordova

I would also like to take this opportunity of introducing to you one of my favourite blogs that I follow, written by a talented lady who lives in beautiful Yorkshire: https://lisafeatherstone.co.uk/ .

The posts are very articulate, well-written and enlightening, with topics ranging from hand-knit designs, birds, books, plants and thoughts (wellbeing, drawing and accessibility). There’s also a quiz on Fridays which not only serves as a mental gymnasium but is sure to test and increase your general knowledge too.  In short, there is something there for everyone!

Oh — and if you wish to view Lisa’s hand-crafted delights on Etsy, you can see them here: https://www.etsy.com/es/shop/LisaFeatherDesign.  You can also follow Lisa on instagram at https://www.instagram.com/lisa.featherstone

Happy interesting reading!

But to finish with, I’d like to include a poem that celebrates the early morning:

DAWN by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919, Wisconsin, America)

Day’s sweetest moments are at dawn;
Refreshed by his long sleep, the Light
Kisses the languid lips of Night,
Ere she can rise and hasten on.
All glowing from his dreamless rest
He holds her closely to his breast,
Warm lip to lip and limb to limb,
Until she dies for love of him.

Thank you for visiting — stay well! xxx

What I’ve been up to these days of ‘Stay at home!’…

Hello again to all of you. I hope this blog finds you well — and hopeful too (we must always strive to stay hopeful, especially in these worrying times)…

Anyway, I haven’t been out much, save for the permitted one hour of exercise which has to be performed during 6 a.m. and 10 a.m., or in the evening between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m., (although the timetable has become freer from last Monday as we leave Phase 0 and enter Phase 1). I have been at home a lot, painting, tending (unprofessionally) to my garden and vegetable patch — as the photos below will show. In the last few days I have also been out walking along the foothills of the local Sierrezuela that form part of the vast Natural Park of Hornachuelos (see my blogs: https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/anenglishladyincordova.home.blog/484; https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/anenglishladyincordova.home.blog/548; and https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/anenglishladyincordova.home.blog/605 for photos and a brief history of this area).

It was really an excuse to take my 22-year-old daughter out a bit, as she is missing her usual student life in Córdoba, her friends and also more importantly, her lovely boyfriend. Although Córdoba is just a bus and train ride away and it is permitted to travel (clad in masks and observing the safety rules), we think it is a bit premature to go rushing headlong into things — better to be patient, go slowly but to get there safely, rather than being impatient and perhaps undoing what has been achieved over these weeks of confinement.

Anyway, enough of the waffle for now, and here are those promised photos…

As you can see my vegetable patch is very ecological — no herbicides nor pesticides, just pure elbow grease and some lovely weeds growing complementary to the veg. Here you can see peppers on the right, then potatoes and courgettes working leftways. The potatoes are flowering — wonder when I should pull them out…
The first plum tomatoes are making their appearance… Many of these plants I rescued as seedlings that were growing up from last year’s compost heap (that is, what remains of it after the wild boars have had their fill!)
The first green pepper… Italian I think — great for peperonata! (Do look at my future blogs which will include unprofessional and natural photos of some of my homely recipes…)
You can’t quite appreciate the size of these white courgettes, but they are growing rather monstruous! I made a courgette bake with a cheesey bechemel/souffle topping yesterday in my new oven — great for my son who’s a vegetarian. My maternal grandmother who was from north Italy (Alessandria province in the Piedmont region) used to stuff the yellow flowers, then roll them in egg and breadcrumbs before frying them. (No, I won’t be showing you any photos of me attempting this!)
Here they are again. Although the soil quality has a tendency to be poor (we are on top of a hill so all the topsoil has washed down, leaving the schisty rock exposed), I have heaped on loads of horse manure that one of our friends kindly gave us. (There’s nothing like manure, or seeds or cuttings or paintbrushes or oil paints or canvas that makes an ideal present for me!)
The potatoes are flowering. I’m waiting for the growing potatoes to start showing above the earth before I can then heap up more earth over them, just as I have seen in a gardening programme on television. I hope the slugs won’t get them, but I am collectiong egg shells to crush and scatter around the plants. The yuccas at the back will hopefully make a hedge, deterring any invasion from wild boars or the neighbours straying cows, who did trample down the wire fence last year and ate all the vegetables from every single plant except for the chilli peppers!
And here’s a Spanish cucumber (short variety). I am training them up and along the wire fence so that they won’t trail on the ground. They’re delicious — I didn’t realise until recently just how good cucumbers are for you: not just hydrating (and we need it, today is already 33 degrees celsius, going up to 38 on Friday, that is 100.4 F!) — but also packed full of minerals. (I am in Posadas, Cordova, inland Andalusia. Hot!)
My faithful helper. I have five cats and seven kittens (no problem with rats or mice, but I do feel sorry for the lizards and geckoes though! However, they’re not too partial to the dreaded amber-coloured scorpions or millipedes, but they do have fun with the snakes…).
And there’s Stawberry, another of my helpers walking between the rows of courgette and aubergine plants.

Apart from gardening and using the fruits of my labour in the kitchen, I have also been painting. (Oil on canvas. This painting and my others are for sale by the way: some are advertised on this link, as so is my humorous, fully-illustrated book An English Lady in Cordova — the Alternative Guide. https://www.etsy.com/es/shop/GillysWork?ref=search_shop_redirect Well, here are a few self-explanatory photos:

I hope you enjoyed this blog — thank you for visiting and look forward to writing again soon. Take good care of yourselves. Bye for now!