Friday 11 April 2014

Random Friday: 5 random facts for the weekend ...

This week we have enjoyed the most glorious spring weather with brilliant, blue skies and tonnes of sunshine. It's been perfect: not too hot, and not too cold. And we've spent as much time as possible outdoors ... yippee... which has made us all very happy. I hope you've had a good one too, wherever you've been.

Views from sunny Sant Feliu de Guixols, Costa Brava, Spain

So here are my five random things for Friday.

1. Beach-combing rocks! We don't get many sea shells along this part of the Costa Brava, but what we do have in abundance is sea glass: little crystal gems created by the careless dumping of glass bottles into the Mediterranean. They go through the spin cycle of the churning seas and come out, broken down, smoothed off and totally desirable. Emi and I have spent many happy hours ferreting our little bits of discarded sea glass in a competition to find the prettiest piece.

Here's what we've collected so far:

Now for a serious question: what do you think we should do with them?

At the moment I have them in a little dish in my bathroom, where I can admire them when I'm soaking in the tub. I've thought of putting them in the bottom of a glass vase when I've got some flowers to display, or I've thought of trying to drill them, and attach them to one of those chain curtains that we use in summer to let the sea breezes in and keep the sand flies out.

If you've got any good ideas, please let me know.

2. We've had a whale of a time looking for sea creatures in our favourite rock pools. And we've found some pretty amazing little beasties.

This is our favourite cove for rock pooling:

And we pretty much always have it to ourselves, which is something that baffles me. How can anyone walk past something so beautiful without sitting down for a moment to soak up the total gorgeousness of it all?

And here is Emi, hard at work:

Now how'd you like our toad? He's a bit of handsome dude, isn't he?

Emi liked him so much he wanted to take him home. But we have a strict rule when we go rock-pooling: all the little critters have to go safely back into the water when we've had a look at them. And Mr Toad was strictly off limits: not to be touched at all. We did, however, meet a few of his tadpoles, swimming around in the brackish water, who spent some quality family time in Emi's bucket aquarium.

There were loads of little hermit crabs, wandering around like aquatic cuckoos in borrowed shells. Emi persuaded a proper crab with dangerous-looking pinchers up a pen, and into his bucket; a feat that was accompanied by a fair amount of nervous oohing and aahing on my part. We saw loads of prickly sea urchins, but decided to leave them where they were. We scooped up a couple of tiny, little skinny fish that were almost transparent, and a couple of shrimp. Next we added a few sea snails to complete our aquarium. Then we sat back and admired what we'd found.

3. Did you know that in Spanish and in Catalan they have individual names for each of the winds? It seems downright poetic to me that the North Wind should be called the Tramuntana, rather than just the dull, old North Wind. How boring are we, us unimaginative English speakers, who can only manage an iteration of the cardinal points from which the wind blows by way of a name for it? BORING with a capital snore!

Here they are, the lovely names of the winds in Catalan.

4. Meanwhile Maxi, the wonder dog, has been learning some new tricks. He's mastered the spiral staircase that leads up to our attic, which is no meant feat for a pooch as the gradient and the twist are not very quadruped-friendly. The only slight snag is that he simply can't manage the descent, so he has to sit up there and howl until someone comes to his rescue. Who knows, maybe next week he'll master the principles of aerodynamics and learn how to hang-glide his way back down again ... .

It's show time!
5. There are loads of little lizards here. We've always admired them in previous years, but this year it's feeling like an epidemic. Luckily they're harmless little fellows, who hide out in places like the harbour wall and come out to sun themselves when they think the coast is clear. Emi is very keen on them, and adopted one, called Bean, as his pet a few years' ago. The other boys he was playing with had wanted to kill it, but Emi, to his credit, intervened and carried the little guy home in his cupped hands. We let Bean live on our terrace, where he had a very happy life running up and down the walls and rewarded our hospitality by eating lots of sandflies.

They're beautifully camouflaged for the local granite stone aren't they? A high-flying bird would be hard-pressed to spot them.

So that's all from me for now.

All the very best for a lovely weekend,

Bonny x

PS this article was shared on Random Five


  1. Wow, what a feast of photos!! I just love beachcombing - the shells, the glass, the driftwood...
    Happy Friday xx

  2. Thanks, Claire. Have a super weekend, Bonny xx

  3. I can imagine that Emi wanted to take the little critters home ! Seems you have a nice time in Spain !

    1. Thank you, Gattina. We do. It's so lovely to have good weather and be able to do be outdoors.

  4. My daughter loves collecting sea glass. She keeps it in pretty jars in her room.

    1. I can see that jars with lids on might be the way to go ... less dusting to do,! I'll hold onto that idea. Thank you, Sarah.

  5. Isn't it wonderful to be outside?!! What an adventure at your favorite pool. You can learn so much. I giggled at the story about your dog and his adventure. Happy Friday!

    1. Thanks, Snap. It's so lovely to get outside after all the miserable, grey winter weather. Freedom at last! Have a lovely weekend, Bonny

  6. I agree with Sarah -- pretty blue Ball jars with lids!

  7. Gorgeous beaches and scenery. I love sea glass!

  8. Thanks, Karen. Have a lovely weekend. Bonny

  9. Oh my goodness what a fantastic post. I would love to soak in that scenery. What fun to gather sea glass (very pretty) and look for sea creatures. I love toads and could see why your little one would want to bring them home.
    Got a chuckle about the dog waiting for someone to help him back down the stairs.
    Also enjoyed seeing the lizards, I think they are cool critters.

  10. Thank you, Ida. Hope you have a great weekend! Bonny

  11. I LOVE sea glass! I'm an avid collector, mostly off the shores of Cape Cod in Massachusetts in the USA. I was so excited to see your collection!

    Some of mine resides inside hollow lamps that are meant to be filled with shells or something. And I've got several big containers filled with it.

    Seeing your post has made my day!


    1. Thanks Linda. The hollow lamps sound awesome. With the light reflecting on the glass they must look incredible. Have a great weekend, Bonny

  12. Love love the glass, drilling and making pendants sounds a great idea. I used to stamp flat pieces with a script type rubber stamp, sprinkle embossing powered and blast with a heat gun then attached them to greeting cards..

  13. Whaow! What a great idea! Thanks for sharing it, Viv. All the best, Bonny

  14. yay, you made it to spain! love the photos and that private spot of your, how lucky!! i've always wanted to find see glass, but haven't been so lucky...i do find some, and pottery in the creek that i pick up and save. you could glue some to a frame and stick one of your favorite spain photos in it...or you could make a mosaic piece, or just keep it all in a jar on the windowsill to catch the sun!

  15. Thank you, Tanya. Those are lovely ideas. I'd like to try my hand at a mosaic one day. Have a lovely weekend, Bonny