Crafty in the Med

I am here to enjoy meeting other bloggers and to share my love of craft ,mostly crochet, my thoughts and my daily happenings here in Alicante,Spain, my adopted country. I belong to a local choir because singing and music makes me happy. Flea markets and book shops are two of my favourite places to be. I read lots......sci´fi/fantasy,buried treasure, and off world adventures. I have a passion for history! I walk and walk and walk for about 10 months per year during the hot months I swim.

Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Where's the blue?

Last weekend

The  blue skies disappeared and for a change it was snowing practically everywhere in Spain except here in Alicante City. Plenty of rain though here, three days of it and counting, most unusual but no complaints as Alicante needs the rain.

Throughout the rest of the country Storm Filomena has been very harsh indeed especially in Madrid which was hit hard by the blizzard ! The airport was closed to all flights,there was no public transport,lorries stranded on the motorways and villages in the province snowbound.  Even snow ploughs have not been able to reach some of those villages. At present Red Cross & Emergency services skiers are trying to reach those villages and hopefully helicopters will be able to get to them soon.  

As the delivery lorries have not been able to get into the Madrid there is shortage of fresh food in the supermarkets and of course shortage of toilet rolls.   What is it with this bulk buying of toilet rolls??   I don't understand it!

 
short clip to show you the situation in Madrid

I know some of you bloggers out there live in countries where snow and snowstorms are perfectly normal and it is part of your everyday in winter.   It isn't here, except in some of the  mountains like the Pyrenees and northern Spain. The people in Madrid are not used to snow at all!  It was quite unexpected and they were not prepared for it.

On a positive note schools are closed and the children are having a whale of a time 😀

 

☃☃☃☃☃☃☃☃☃☃ 

Crochet .....the ever growing baby blanket :

I am still on the same baby blanket and it is growing, in fact I shall be starting the border very soon but from the start I have found it a tad tiresome! This could be of course due to me swapping from one pattern to another about three times(hence a good deal of frogging). I just don't like too holey shawls or blankets for new born babies. Their little fingers get caught up in the holes!!  I think it looks nice but it is slow going!      Hey ho!!   I tell myself not much longer now and it will be completed and I can go on to something new ...small new!   I also hope no more new babies in the family for awhile please! 

Not very good photo!!


 

Alexa and doubts:

 

Sr P is not at all computer friendly or very tech savvy at all! He absolutely refuses to have and use a mobile phone!   However, I'd like to know who he has been talking to him lately! He only comes out the other day with he had heard about Alexa and he likes the idea of having one and being able to talk to her and ask for  the music he likes or the latest news and so on and how could we get her!  It did take a little while for me to explain to Sr P that Alexa is an it and not a her nor is it a gadget but an app which you connect up to via an Echo dot speaker connected to the internet or similar. Once that was understood I told Sr P I would be quite happy to have an Alexa in my home as well but I did have to check it out that I could connect it to my iphone or my iMac before purchasing the speaker from Amazon.   Whenever I need to buy a new appliance whether domestic or other I don't like being too hasty and always check out the pros and cons online before spending my money.  As I browsed here and there on the web I began to learn more about what Alexa can do and I began to like Alexa more and more ....but then I came across the following information online :

   Here’s a quick recap of the safety precautions to always keep in mind:

  • Turn off voice input. Use Alexa voice remote instead.
  • Use PIN protection or disable voice purchases.
  • Turn on your device’s sound notification.
  • Disable your smartphone’s address book sharing feature.
  • Keep your Echo away from windows and doors. Really?
  • Designate “Alexa-free” rooms.
  • Review and delete your interactions with Alexa.
  • Opt out of Alexa recordings.
  • Turn your Echo’s camera off.
  • Read third-party terms and conditions.

Your Amazon Echo is here to ease the day-to-day thousands of ways. However, you still need to put in a little effort to ensure you’re safe and your information is secure. Use the privacy and security tips outlined above to help your hardworking assistant keep your personal information safe.

 and ...it seems also I have to give access to my contacts to be able to set up the Alexa app...excuse me???   I can't say I like the sound of that.

I have found the above information rather off putting and I don't feel so keen about Alexa at present after reading all this. If any of you use Alexa I would welcome your advice and opinion please.

 


Keep well

 

Amanda :-)

 




40 comments:

  1. Dear Amanda
    The blanket is looking lovely, despite it being a bit tiresome. I am a bit of a techno-dinosaur, so we won't be getting an Alexa (or equivalent). I am quite happy to choose my own CDs or turn on my own lights!
    Best wishes
    Ellie

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    1. Thanks Ellie for stopping by :-) I beginning to think we will continue likewise. I really am against handing over all my private contact information if that should be the case. A x

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  2. I don't really like the idea of Alexa, It just feels it little too intrusive for me and we definitely won't be getting one.

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    1. Hi Cherie. Yes intrusive is the word!!! I am giving it some thought...! A x

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  3. Chuckle - Sr P is correct - everyone I know who has one calls 'it' she. I'd not have one but those who do put up with her intrusion, often she butts into conversations, and treat 'her' as real.
    Your snows have been on our news - fortunately our blues are back after about 24 hours of miserable rain, all snow washed away! back to the mud (sigh) but the sun is out and that makes me smile :D

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    1. Yes...my daughter tells me its a her too :-) Anyhow Sr P continues to call it her :-) Blue skies are back...whoopee!! A x

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  4. I thought of you when I saw the snowstorms in Madrid. I wondered if you got caught in any of it. My thoughts are with all those affected. Your baby blanket is lovely, just be glad it isn't a king-size one! As for Alexa - no thanks. I don't fancy having something sat there quietly listening and possibly sharing what it hears.We don't even have smart phones, just bog-standard mobiles (which are rarely switched on) to make calls and texts. We're real Luddites! xx

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    1. Hi HH,Luckily there were no snow storms here in Alicante City..plenty in Valencia towns but it skipped us we had the rain storms instead. They are still fighting to clear all the ice and the roads. Alexa sounds very tempting but I don't like it acting the spy at all. A x

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  5. We have just got our 2nd Alexa for our bedroom, she is very handy, being able to turn on a lamp hands free from our bed will help if we are unwell, and like Mr P we love the music, without ads and DJ, perfect. Our friends near Valencia has missed the snow, teenage daughter are disappointed.

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    1. Thanks for calling in :-) Alexa even turns the lights /off & on...wow!! impressive. I can certainly see how useful this would be for you.There are a lot of things I could use Alexa for! So tempting! Many thanks for the information. A x

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  6. Yes I saw the snow on the news and wondered if you had been affected it's always difficult when it snows in places that are not used to it, perhaps a novelty at first but that soon wears out when you have to live through the difficulties it can cause. Your blanket is beautiful I love the pattern and the colours and like you I don't like holes in newborn babys blankets.
    I have had Alexa for years and use it mostly as a radio and for setting timers, I haven't burnt a pan once when boiling an egg since I got it. Because of my hearing problems I don't ask her much as I can't make out what she says, and yes she's a she to me. The only problem I did have was when she ordered a month of Amazon music for me but that was my fault I hadn't heard what she had said properly. I use her for lists as well I'll say Alexa add eggs to the shopping list then I open the app on my phone whilst shopping and my list is there to see. I think my phone spy's on me more than Alexa I can be talking about something and when I browse the internet there's all these adverts about what I was talking about spooky! It has to be the phone as I could be outside when it happens or Alexa is switched off. Anyway she's part of the family now.😊 X

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    1. Certainly sounds as if Alexa has settled well in your household and you have found her useful! I totally agree with you about our mobile phones in fact this was confirmed by my students in the video games company where I gave classes before Covid struck. They told me that THEY (the all seeing eyes) could track us through out mobiles easily. Thanks for those details Linda :-) A x

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  7. Hi Amanda - love the baby blanket. Can't believe you've had so much snow!

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    1. Thanks Liz :-) It is crazy and not just in Madrid but in Catalonia too. It has affected supermarket supplies all over the country. A x

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  8. My goodness so much snow. I, like yourself just don't understand the bulk buying of toilet roll. Sorry to read about the shortages, hope this doesn't last lone. Beautiful baby blanket, so pretty. We have Alexa which we use for music and as an audible google search, assistance with spelling and such. We don't find her (yes, she is a she) intrusive at all.

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    1. Thanks! :-) . Looks as if they are getting back on track now with the supermarket shortages. I have explained to Sr P what Alexa is and discussed with him all the info I have obtained from all these comments. He definitely does not like the possibility of Alexa having access to our private information and being able to listen in on our conversations. I think I shall have to teach him how to use my ipad so he can upload music there. A x

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  9. Good Morning Amanda. The blanket is gorgeous and I'm sure will be very cuddly for the baby. I hadn't heard about the snow in Spain. Our news is dominated by "you know what." I find the weather everywhere this year crazy. We have had very few snowstorms as yet, but lots and lots of rain which is really unusual. It's pouring down right now. I'm happy with no snow since I detest it, but still, it's strange.
    As for Alexa, I wouldn't have one in our house. One of our kids has one and it listens to their conversations and interrupts sometimes. You have to wonder who else is listening and if it's storing private info. that it hears. Intrusive for sure. I think I'm becoming cynical but I did just watch the "Social Dilemma", a documentary on Netflix and it just confirmed my fears.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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    1. This Crazy Weather! I really think Mother Nature is getting her own back for all the destruction and total lack of consideration where the care of our planet is concerned. I am inclined to think we wont be getting Alexa after all. I shall have to work out what I can give Sr P so he can listen to the music he likes throughout the house. A x

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  10. Your baby blanket is looking so beautiful Amanda. I am not sure of Alexa - I had not heard of this (her) before ... I am not tech savvy & nor is my husband though he (unfortunately) will never admit this & hence he is "a button pusher". He pushes buttons on things until it either seizes up completely or works. He assures me always "He knows what he is doing"!!! I am not so sure!

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    1. Hi Julie,Thanks for stopping by :-) My husband always passes tech things to see to over to me...not quite sure how I got assigned this role! Admittedly I do like my computer and having certain gadgets. I am very hesitant about Alexa (a virtual assistant) even if it is something Sr P has his eye on! A x

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  11. Your blanket is gorgeous, but yes, blankets can take so long. But take heart, you'e almost done! I am real techie computer person and have laptops, iPads, iPhones and all, but I have drawn the line at Alexa type items. I don't want the government listening and seeing absolutely everything I say or do. That being said, your husband seems keen on it, so you'll have to make your decision on it. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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    1. Thank you Teresa. Spying...no I don't like that at all. I think I'll have to explain this to Sr P because I know he wont like the idea of someone "listening in"! Thanks for your advice. A x

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  12. So sorry about your snow storm-those can be very dangerous when they occur in places not used to it I can totally relate years and years ago probably early 70s I was living down in a southern state north carolina where they are not used to major snow storms. we got a huge one-they didn't even sell snow shovels anywhere-never needed them-the area was stranded for days.
    your baby blanket is lovely looks nice and warm too.
    We are not connected to smart phones at all-never wanted to be that dependant on a device like that. I personally would never own something like alexa. tech stuff is "dumbing" up the people to not think for themselves any more. scary stuff and those things alike alexa can be hacked to know what you are doing. those smart tvs if you hook them up to your computers can do the same thing just my own personal opinion hope it warms up to melt all the snow

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    1. Thanks for calling in Kathy. Still plenty of snow around but now it is turning to ice. The Town Halls have been distributing shovels to people so they can clear their driveways themselves. What seems to be causing several accidents is the snow and icicles falling off the roofs! The fire brigades are who have the equipment to deal with it. Trouble is though they are inundated with calls and there are not enough units to be able to cover the demand. At least it is a bit warmer today and hopefully it will melt soon. A x

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  13. What a lot of snow there with you, it would be fun here too, especially for the kids now that we're in the lockdown.
    I love your baby blanket, luckily it's not big to make.
    Stay strong!

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    1. Hi Loes,I have just finished the blanket and I'll be posting photos on my next post. That would be the 10th baby blanket I have made for the babes in the family. I think that also may be the reason I am finding blankets a little tiresome to make. A x

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  14. Snow isn't something I would ever link with Spain. No wonder the kids (and adults) are so excited about it. A once in a lifetime experience, maybe?
    The blanket is lovely.
    xx

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    1. Thank you Joy :-) They still have problems on the roads in Spain and for the children to go back to school. Some parents have had to get together to clear access to the school themselves because the town hall in Madrid is slow to react. A x

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  15. Oh I love our snow. But understand if you aren't used to it, it can be crippling.
    I have to read your echo thoughts to fireman! We have to make some changes!

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    1. Thanks for dropping by Kathy. I don't think we will be getting Alexa now although I am tempted! A x

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  16. I'm a Google girl and it find it super useful, trouble is my Amazon Prime TV Stick is Alexa!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by Clicky :-) I have been looking at the Amazon Fire stick as well. Can you turn off Alexa on your TV stick? A x

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  17. I love your baby blanket and it was thoughtful to use a pattern that was suitable for tiny fingers even if you had to undo some of it. Making something for friends, family or those in need is satisfying and I know will be appreciated. Your makes are inspiring. One of our daughters was given Alexa for Christmas. I think it'll keep her company and amused although I wouldn't want one myself. Best wishes, Linda.

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    1. The baby blanket is finished and I am hoping that I won't have to do another one for awhile. I am impatient with large makes that is why I never crochet large covers or blankets. Alexa does sound fun but the intrusion of it all would be an extra worry. A x

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  18. We do have an Alexa devise and I love it. I am sure it is listening into whatever we are saying, pretty boring if you ask me. I am sure it hears a lot of, Please get off your Ipad now, I have asked you already three times. And of course what is the weather? ALexa has never butted in on my conversation and frankly if she or the government is listening they won't find much amiss at this house. We are not planning on storming the Capitol or anything else illegal. I love your blanket and think a bit of snow fun is good for everyone, well minus the toilet paper shortage.

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    1. Terribly tempted to get an Alexa Mere but I really don't like the idea of someone being able to hack all our contact details at all! We are going to give it more thought! A x

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  19. Those are good tips for using Alexa. I know a lot of people that love them for music! I wear an Apple watch and can ask questions any time. It's pretty amazing! I even answer my phone and talk on my watch. Seems normal to me now after having it for over a year. Enjoy your weekend!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by :-) Alexa does indeed sound very utempting to get but we have decided to wait a while. The thought of giving access to all our contact details is off putting. A x

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  20. Lovely blanket, keep going, I too am knitting a baby blanket, cot size and it seems like it's taking ages, but they do make a lovely gift. All that rain was rather heavy, but it did the garden good and has enabled us to do a little burning, glad the blue skies are back even though it's rather chilly here. Our computer and phones are good enough for me so I don't fancy an Alexa . Xcx

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    1. Thanks for dropping by Chrissie. I have finished the blanket and it is bigger than what I planned so perhaps that is why I felt it was beginning to get tiresome!The new park we have in front of the complex is still looking dry so a bit more rain would be great! A x

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Thank you for your comments. I do read them and try to reply to all as well.Please keep them coming. Amanda :-)