Some pics of sunny stuff!

Well it is snowing again here – only lightly at the moment but added to the 20 hours worth from Sun night to Monday the world is very, very  white again. Last night the back of my house looked like a set out of Narnia – we have a street light just outside the back garden and I was half expecting to see Mr Tumnus in a nice woolly scarf! 

As promised here are a few of my pics from Spain – again I have chosen some of my favourite things about visiting. 

view 1
The views over La Marina - a sunny Sunday on the way to the market
View 2
The mountains - I love the fact that you can see mountains from wherever you are
garden
The beautiful gardens - this one is my Aunt's newly finished front garden

Because a lot of the people who live on La Marina are retired they lavish a great deal of care and attention on their houses and gardens. The climate lends itself to desert flora and as there is little chance of growing grass people use hard landscaping and ornaments including fountains. My aunt has a wonderful collection of amphora pots here – it looks like a Roman dig! I love wandering round just admiring what people have done. 

cactus 1
The cactuses have the most amazing sculptural forms
cactus 2
And some serious protection against being nibbled!
cactus 3
These pictures were all taken on my walk to the supermarket - a nature walk as well as shopping!

There are lots of communal green spaces in La Marina known as verdes where there are large trees for shade and public benches etc. What I particularly like are the way that people personalise these with planting or with their own seating. This pic below was taken just down the road from our house. 

Seats
This small table and seats have been made from old tiles and shells used whole and in mosaic

sea 1
The view from my favourite ice cream parlour

As well as the mountains I love the sea – as La Marina is on a hill I can actually see the sea from the kitchen of my little house. And you can paddle any time of year! 

paddling
Me paddling on New Year's Day

This year we were there for a festival that we have not seen before – the Festival of the Three Kings which is the main celebration of Christmas in Spain. This takes place on the evening of the 5th Jan and we went to see the parade in Torrevieja before going out for a lovely meal near the seafront. 

3 kings 1
In true Spanish style there were wonderful over the top helmets!
3 kings 2
The kings arrive on floats accompanied by bands, dancers and sparkly elves who give out sweets and presents to the children
3 kings 3
There are also camels, oxen, donkeys, a llama and of course fireworks!

We went on a couple of cycle rides again – as well as the rides over the scrubland one of our favourite ones is down to the Marina at the local town of Guardamar and then along through the pine forest and dunes for lunch on the seafront. 

Marina
Look at all those lovely boats!

Prices have gone up a bit in recent years but things are still very cheap and I discovered these handy little wine packs in the local supermarket for 1 euro! 

wine
Unfortunately they do not come with straws...

As you know I am always on the look out for stitching and we went to visit the Belen – a large nativity scene – outside the church in Torrevieja. I have been to it before but had not noticed this little animatronic model … 

belen 1
There she sits with her little cross stitch of an angel - needle going in and out all day.

Belen 2
The stitcher and her husband in her little house at the Belen - I think he is making a crib

The last two pictures of La Marina are not mine – I found them on Flickr but I hope the photographer does not mind me sharing them with you. These were taken by Pablo icu202 canon who also has a house on La Marina and who has taken some wonderful sunset pics of the local area. 

sunset
The sunset over the mountains seen from La Marina
sunset 2
The view from his villa showing another beautiful sunset

He is obviously a much better photographer than me with a really good camera! 

I can’t wait to go back to Spain at Easter. I will leave you with a more seasonal pic from England – not one of mine – this was off one of the Yahoo news sites but is a very pretty snow picture. 

snow
Pretty snowy England

I hope that you are all coping ok with the bad weather – we are fine as I live within walking distance of the shops and one of the advantages of not owning a car is that I don’t have to worry about getting it out and stopping it sliding down the road! 

I also have lovely neighbours who have been very helpful in taking all our rubbish to the tip as the bin men have not been able to collect for 3 weeks now! 

I hope you are all keeping warm and taking advantage of the weather to stay in and stitch. 

Thank you for visiting.

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