I joined another tile swap on the Facebook site – Zentangle Artist Trading Card Swap – And this time it’s all about hearts and Luuuurrrrve. You can choose one of two strings, 39 or 150, both of which involve hearts. We are then encouraged to use our imaginations – how about using patterns with a heart theme? So I set up some tiles with the abovementioned strings and took them away with us on our recent trip to Spain. I’ve scattered some of the finished ones down the page. (I’ll need about a dozen, I expect, hence the reference to setting up a conveyor belt for mass production. )
Speaking of the recent Spanish trip; we were aware that a couple of old friends were staying in the same resort for part of the time we were there and so we had arranged to meet them for a coffee. Coffee? Well, a drink anyway. The loved one and I always hire a car when we stay there, partly because the resort itself, although very convenient, is not somewhere we want to spend all our time and partly because the weather is unpredictable at this time of year, so getting out and about is easier with transport. Having met up for drinks, we decided to suggest a day out up the coast to Nerja, a regular trip for us, and possibly lunch at the paella restaurant right on the beach, where they cook the paella over an open firepit in the sand.
They were happy to come, especially since John doesn’t enjoy driving and was happy to let the loved one drive and me to navigate. Now, as I mentioned, this is a trip we have done several times before and holds no fears for us. It involves circling Malaga on a well marked ring road and then an hour up the coast on an equally well signed motorway. So you can imagine our faces when we found ourselves, not cruising serenely around the edges of the city, but stuck in traffic, slap bang in the city centre. And Malaga is a big place. And they assume you WANT to be in the city centre so there are very few signs indicating how you might possibly WANT to get out of it.
There were signs for the port, the cathedral – which is in a pretty much pedestrianised area so why they signpost it I do not know – the market, the local government buildings, and several hotels, all of which was very informative but not entirely helpful. Somewhat to John and Val’s surprise, this mishap did not lead to domestic violence on our part. We have been lost many times before and somehow found our way out of it and the loved one has a very civilised attitude, which is, and I quote, “You’re not lost while there is fuel in the tank.” And we WEREN’T lost; we knew where we were, just had difficulty being somewhere else.
There was, I admit, a hint of tension when I said “Into the right hand lane for Almeria, darling…” and the loved one promptly took the left hand lane, taking us onto the right road but, sadly, in the wrong direction. The tension increased a tad when I said, “Why didn’t you turn right when I told you to?” And the response was, “Well I wasn’t listening.” And yet I still love him; funny isn’t it?
Anyway, we went as far as the next junction, came off the motorway, did a circle round the roundabout and back down onto the motorway, this time in the CORRECT direction. Apparently John and Val would have spent the rest of the journey in frigid silence, probably with hissed references to divorce proceedings, had it been them driving and navigating and I did wonder of they were a little disappointed when we took it pretty much in our stride.
The rest of the day went much more according to plan, and we lunched, not on the beach, but on the Balcon de Europa, feasting on gambas a la plancha, whilst watching a pod of dolphins out to sea. Doesn’t get much better than that.
I believe I have mentioned in the past that I don’t like flying. Well, on the plane coming home I was sitting next to a young man aged, at a guess, about 19. His friends were in the row behind us and were laughing at him because he didn’t like flying either. They weren’t nasty or cruel and he was laughing at himself but… Like me, he spent most of the journey with headphones on and every slight jolt startled him. As we were coming in to land we had to stop the music and switch everything off, which makes you more aware of what is going on just when you like it least. He said, jokingly to his friends; “What I need now is someone to hold my hand.” and I, also jokingly, held out my hand to him. He took it, clung for dear life until we had landed and then thanked me politely and told his friends he had a new friend who understood. The joke, of course, being that he couldn’t have picked a worse person to reassure him, since I was as scared as he was. (Ignorance really is bliss sometimes.)
And then it was Diva Day and we were back home in the rain and wind and English winter. What a come down that was. So my first attempt at the Challenge was a reminder of sunshine and sea.The second? I filled the pattern with colour instead of patterns.
So that’s it for now, world, be good, or happy but preferably both.