Costa Brava Sunflowers ...

We've made it! We're finally here on the Costa Brava! And it's hot. Very hot!

Emi goes to sailing school down on the beach every morning. He's made stacks of new friends and totally L-O-V-E-S being on the water. He's only had a week of instruction so far, but has taken to having a critical opinion of the wind every time we venture out. His great grandfather was in the Spanish Merchant Navy, so Mr B has been encouraging him to believe that he comes from a long and illustrious line of seafaring folk. The big joke is that their home village down in Murcia, a place called Águilas, has a big sign just outside of town announcing that it was once home to a notorious band of Barbary pirates ... enough said, Mr B!

The other day on my travels I came across a field of glorious sunflowers. I simply had to stop. They were calling out and begging to be photographed. They had just started to open and they made my heart do a little happy dance. There's nothing, but nothing, but nothing that shouts summer quite so eloquently as a field full of these big dinner-plate flowers standing to attention in the morning sun.

Most of the cereal crops have been harvested over here, and the fields are full of big round bales of golden straw, but around the edges there are loads of beautiful blue cornflowers.

I've been trying to figure out how my mother-in-law's old sewing machine works. Everyone else is braising on the beach and I'm upstairs doubled over an old treadle machine. They think I'm nuts, but I'd be bored sunbathing on the beach all day. Anyway back to this machine of mine: it's a thing of beauty, but we've had a slightly fractious relationship. At the moment  I can only get it to sew backwards. In reverse it sews beautifully: lovely rows of neat stitches with perfect tension. Try to go forwards, however, and all the toys came out of the pram. The upper thread snaps. We have knots and loops going all the way down into the bobbin drawer. It's a disaster. If all else fails I may have to nip out and buy a new electric model, but that would feel like such a fail!

We've just had the Fiesta Major, our big summer festival. There's been music, lots of music, dancing and finally on Thursday night we had the best fireworks display ever. Our village is set in a horse-shoe bay with a long breakwater stretching more than half ways across to shelter the boats. They launch the fireworks from the very end of the harbour wall. The result is phenomenal. People come from miles around, and the streets fill up so that it becomes impossible to move. Personally I'm not mad about being in such a press of people, but luckily we get the best views from our upper terrace where there's plenty of elbow room. The WonderDog would much prefer it if the whole thing got cancelled, but we cuddle him and reassure him, and he manages to get through the evening without having a nervous doggie breakdown.

And yesterday we found a first class beach that welcomes well-behaved dogs. Yeah! I often stay at home rather than go swimming and leave the WonderDog on his own. He really, really doesn't like being left behind, and has a habit of howling like a coyote, which doesn't go down well with the neighbours. But all of that's behind us now that we've got this magical place under our belt where the whole family can take a cool dip on a hot day.

So we're sorted. All set for a sizzling August.

All the best for now,

Bonny x