Friday 29 April 2016

Celebration of Spring Bunting

In honour of the season – and in the hope that it might inspire the weather to play along – I’ve been working up some spring bunting in the lighter shades of pale. I’m using Costa Brava Knitting's 4 ply organic cotton range – colours Rose Blush and Honeysuckle, which are so very subtle together. I've knit on size 11 (3 mm) needles to a tension of 26 stitches x 36 rows on a 10 cm x 10 cm square. 

Friday 22 April 2016

Happy Earth Day 2016 !

They've been celebrating Earth Day, 22nd April, since 1970. It all kicked off in response to a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California in 1969. At first it was a bit of a fringe event, but by 1990 amidst rising concerns about global warming and the detrimental effect we were having on the environment, Earth Day went mainstream. Now about a billion of us do something on this date to mark our support for environmental protection.

It's co-ordinated globally by the not-for-profit organisation Earth Day Network, and has become the largest secular celebration on the planet. You can find out what's happening in your area on their website:

I know there are lots of climate-change doubters out there, and folk who challenge the science on all of this. I'm not really qualified to argue with them, but it seems to me to be an issue that's just too big for us to gamble on. The downside of getting it wrong, for the sake of our children and the world we leave behind, is just too terrible to think about.

So for Earth Day 2016 here's my own little collage of favourite moments from the last 12 months, by way of celebrating Mother Earth and her rich bounty.

All the best for now and Happy Earth Day!

Bonny x

Thursday 21 April 2016

Ode to the Costa Brava poppy ...

If there's one flower that really makes my heart sing it's the wild field poppy. Here on the Costa Brava there are millions of them, all over the shop, dancing in the breeze, and looking splendid in the warm spring sunshine. To me they represent pure joy.

Tuesday 19 April 2016

The Platja de la Fonollera i Mas Pinell ... a heavenly beach

The other day Emi and I were in Pals. We hadn't gone there for anything in particular. It had just occurred to us that it would be a good place to take the WonderDog for his afternoon stroll. As it happens Pals is the most amazing town you could ever hope to visit, but the thing is once you're there, inside the town, you tend not to look beyond its walls. Everything inside is stunning, so why would you? Well I was standing on the terrace by the 11th century Torre de les Horres waiting for Emi to finish buying a (toy!) sword in one of the tourist shops when my eye was drawn to these amazing islands, sitting on the horizon, just off the coast.

Medes Islands, Costa Brava

They were stunning in the afternoon sunshine. I was amazed as to how I'd manage to miss them before. I've been to Pals more times than I can count. I've wandered around with my camera clenched to my face taking photos of everything, but I've never actually looked outside of the wonderful little town I was visiting. And just look what I missed over there on the seaward horizon!

Emi and the WonderDog were amenable to going on a wild goose chase in search of the islands, so we all piled into the car and headed off in the direction of Platja de Pals, the official town beach, which is some little distance removed from the town itself.

Sunday 17 April 2016

Torroella de Montgrí ... now that's what I call a castle ...

Do you like to climb mountains?

I love, love, love the mountains. In an earlier pre-being-a-mum incarnation I used to do proper climbing with ropes and harnesses and all that jazz. Mr B, however, is not a mountain man. He's a city boy, hates heights and doesn't understand why anyone in their right mind would want to scale a mountain just to have to come down again. He doesn't get it. 

Ten year-old Emi, on the other hand, does get it. He loves the challenge of a good climb. At a recent family lunch, in the shadow of Montgrí, I casually suggested to Mr B and the in-laws that we should climb the mountain to work off some of the calories we'd just consumed. They all fell about laughing. What a crazy idea, but Emi was totally up for it. Like mother, like son.

And, here's the thing, just look what's up at the top of Montgrí. Now that's what I call a castle ...

Castello di Montgrí
Torroella de Montgrí Castle

Thursday 14 April 2016

The Octopus's Garden ...

Do you know the Beatles' song the Octopus's Garden ?

It's a real classic. Well here's the thing: I think I've found it. No, seriously, I know just the spot. It's hidden in the shallows in a rather splendid little cove, called Cala Pedrosa, where we like to go rock-pooling.

Cala Pedrosa, Costa Brava
Cala Pedrosa, Costa Brava

 Do you see how clear the water is? And it's full of life. There are countless types of seaweed, creating dark underwater forests where the Costa Brava sun can scarcely penetrate. It's the perfect place for any right-thinking Octopus to have his garden in the shade.

Wednesday 13 April 2016

Before and after ...

Maxi, the WonderDog, has been sporting uncharacteristically long hair recently. Given his Easter trip up to the snowy mountains of Andorra I didn't have the heart to trim his furry pyjamas in case he caught a chill, so he's been looking like a bit of a hippy.

Sunday 10 April 2016

Love locks ...

I'm not sure where, or when, this craze started. The first I became aware of it was when the newspapers reported that the Pont des Arts in Paris was in danger of collapsing under the weight of love locks that had been attached to it by starstruck lovers. They'd come to the bridge - literally hundreds of thousands of them - bearing padlocks on which they'd had their first names engraved. They then attached these padlocks to the metal structure of the bridge and threw the key into the Seine in a grandiloquent gesture intended to symbolise their unbreakable bond/ never-ending love for one another. Parts of the bridge collapsed in 2014 under the weight of all this sentimental nonsense, and during 2015 it was estimated that over a million further padlocks were attached to the bridge adding an extra 45 tonnes to its load, and threatening to make it collapse into the Seine.

Friday 8 April 2016

In a roundabout sort of way ...

Our local airport, here on the sunny Costa Brava, is Girona-Costa Brava Airport. It opened in 1965, but only had modest numbers of passengers until a certain Tony Ryan decided to use it as one of his airline's major European hubs. Well, after that, it was boom time for the Aeropuerto de Girona-Costa Brava, and they've never looked back since.

It's still got a fairly rural feel to it as international airports go. The rush hour is often held back by the odd tractor or combine harvester, depending on the time of the year. Recently there's been a rush of civic pride in the local villages as they seek to announce their specialities to the visiting tourists. And they've taken a rather quaint and very unique way of doing this.

On the big roundabout, on the approach to the airport, at Cassà de la Selva they've got some rather large Cava corks, which seem to suggest that they've got a rather splendid drink to quench your thirst after all that travelling. Well in fact it's not so much the drink as the corks that they're wanting to tell us about. The village is surrounded by cork trees, and back in the day it was one of the major centres where they made corks for wine bottles. Nifty, eh?

Cassà de la Selva, Girona
Cassà de la Selva, Girona

Wednesday 6 April 2016

Feeling hungry in La Boqueria, Barcelona ...

The other day I had to go down to Barcelona for a meeting. As luck would have it the venue was just beside Barcelona's totally sensational La Boqueria market. Afterwards I needed somewhere to stop off for lunch with Emi and Mr B, who had driven me down. It would have seemed churlish not to pop into this wonderful foodie's paradise for sustenance, so this is where we ended up.

Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria,
Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria,

Monday 4 April 2016

Spring is springing ...

Here, on the sunny Costa Brava, Spring arrives a little earlier than it does back in London. And there are already lots of signs that things are heading in the right direction. In the evenings, after the day's work is done, there are more and more people taking a stroll across the sand on the village beach.

The South Wind, the Migjorn, has been blowing in from the sea bringing us foggy mornings and sunny afternoons, and carrying with it the promise of warmer summer days to come. Hurrah!

Friday 1 April 2016

April Fool ...

Happy April Fool's Day!

Has anyone caught you yet?

I played a joke on Emi and Mr B yesterday afternoon. The WonderDog and I had gone off on a little saunter over the cliff so that he could attend to his afternoon toilet business. Such jaunts are commonly referred to here in Talk-a-Lot-Towers as Pooh Patrol, and we've even got a ridiculous little song we sing about going on Po-o-o-oh Patrol. The WonderDog, who is clearly a connoisseur of fine music, always recognises the opening bars of the song (as distinct from all the other silly songs we've made up) and gets himself ready at the door for the off.

Anyway, I digress. After our jaunt over the cliffs I came in clutching one of the WonderDog's pooh bags, that was bursting, absolutely full to capacity. It looked as though I'd been picking up after a bull elephant who'd spent the last fortnight with an intestinal blockage that had only been released that very afternoon.

Look what Maxi did! I said, holding my trophy aloft.

They looked at me ashen-faced. How could such a small dog produce such a huge quantity of poop?

And then Emi asked me to show him the contents ...

Well, the game was up. I'd filled it full of pine cones for lighting the fire. When it gets cold of an evening we like to have a fire in the sitting room, and the dried pine cones from those lovely Costa Brava pine trees, are the prefect things to get the flames started. And then, once it's going, they give out a lovely fresh pine fragrance that's become the very smell of home.

Still, my ruse was good while it lasted.

All the best for now,

Bonny x