Well the month began in Spain, so that seems like a good place to start. I wrote about the Ebro Delta in a previous post. This is a very small part of the coast of Catalonia or Catalunya to give it its Catalan name. I won’t repeat the content from there but Spain is a very large and very diverse country with vast acres of wilderness. Many, British people see or experience Spain as visitors to the various ‘Costas’.
There is a big difference between a busy and vibrant package holiday destination and some less commercialised and dare I say, Spanish parts of the coast. In addition the inland regions have some spectacular mountains and natural parks. Our visit to Els Port Natural Park was a real highlight of our week for me and I hope to be able to visit and perhaps explore the region more. The light and air in the mountains is uplifting and the sun on the limestone mountains just exquisite. Visiting Catalunya does have a disadvantage in that no matter how much homework you’ve done to improve your meagre ability to speak Spanish – everyone speaks Catalan, schoolgirl error. We did thoroughly enjoy watching Shrek in Catalan though!
I have many many favourites on Instagram. The Daily James follows the daily happenings in a yard/garden in Los Angeles. James is a stunningly beautiful Raven who along with his ‘wife’ Margaret visit the habitat in Southern California. There is a wonderful cast of characters who appear at different intervals. In addition to James and Margaret, my personal favourites include. Carl the jumping spider, Ms Bonita and Darlene, two Californian ground squirrels and the wonderful Mildred and Mumford, the turkey vultures. Mildred the Maginificent offers free hugs from the top of the utility pole! No matter what the post, it always brightens my day and have often sent an image of Mildred as a virtual hug to distant friends.
I have a few favourite podcasts and despite the main theme of this blog/site none of them are about knitting. A favourite writer of mine, as well as twitterer and general funny woman is Marian Keyes. If you haven’t read her unashamedly feminine and very well written and insightful books, I can recommend them. She has recently been taking part in a series of discussions on BBC Radio 4 with Tara Flynn. Between ourselves is a vehicle for Marian to read out some of her non-fiction writing about Ireland, Irish life and culture. It will make you laugh out loud and spoiler alert, the last one will make you cry. You can get it from BBC Sounds.
I have lots of knitting themed favourites so I have to include one of them each month. Mason Dixon Knitting is a source of delight, information and joy to me. The site has just celebrated its third birthday. They provide both yarn, patterns, regular ‘field guides’ based on one specific topic as well as some non knitting delights. As this is an October favourites post, I have to mention that every post by Franklin Habit is just a delight. His latest is around Charles Elmé Francatelli who was Maitre d’hotel and chief cook for Queen Victoria. He even makes and samples a favourite soup of hers. I prefer pearl barley as risotto as befitting my status as humble oik. They have a huge cast of contributors that provide a broad menu of topics from detailed knitting techniques, how yarn ‘works’, field guides focusing on specific techniques or themes and regular suggestions for ‘things to knit to’. I frenquently refer to posts on there for my test knitters. Ann Shayne and Kay Gardiner manage to do this from New York and Nashville – a true internet sensation.