Friday, 19 January 2018

A Postcard A Day - Friday 19 Jan 2018 - Friday Smiles

Hello lovely people,
How are you all today? I hope you have been spared the dreaded 'lurgy'. 
I have lots to smile about this week. First of all I'm feeling much better. Since Wednesday really, I am functioning normally. I've been ill since the beginning of December and was really getting a bit fed up. So praise God, I am much better.

Yesterday I spent the day in my craft room again and did another double page with photos of one of our trips last year. It's wonderful to potter about and craft. Smiles all day!

The name of the place/city is Cartagena.
A beautiful city. We liked it very much. I found out that there was a mining museum nearby and on the photo bottom left you can see us donning our hard hats before the tour through the mines.
We had to book a tour and on the day we joined a group of 15 people. Unfortunately there wasn't a guide that spoke English, and a year ago my Spanish was a lot more limited, so that was a shame. But as I'm a geologist, I did understand quite a bit just by looking at the rock and listening and then putting two and two together as they say.

Wednesday was an exciting day as my cooker arrived. That certainly made me smile! 
My hubby is building a ground floor flat under our house and we have got as far as the kitchen. The carpenter has built and put in the units and now the cooker has arrived:
It is a simple gas cooker with a gas oven too. Electricity is very expensive here and in winter very unrelyable. We try to use as little power as possible. Our hot water comes from solar panels. Luckily the sun shines every day, but for those few days a year that it doesn't there is an immersion heater built in.
We are now waiting for the granite work tops and then said kitchen will be operational.
This is what it looks like from a distance:
The floor is tiled but the tiles look like wood.
This is the front door:
The outside still needs a lot of work, but the door is in.
As it is Friday Smiles I will find some funnies and link up with Annie at A Stitch In Time.

Well, they are not really funny, but animal pictures that made me smile...

 This is a baby flamingo at its mother's feet.

Perhaps we could coin a new expression....'cool as a crow'.

That is it from me for today. Have a really nice weekend,

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 16 Jan 2018 - T for carrotcake, books and energy tea

Hello peeps, It's Tuesday again! Well, I am writing this on Monday evening late. It's nearly midnight. We are at our weekend home, where we always go on Monday. This time I completely forgot to bring any of my postcards to show you. I have had a fair few this week. It will keep until next week.

What have I been up to? Well, I have been to a workshop that our local photo club had organized. It was about photographing food (in a studio setting).

The 'teacher' had a tableau set up with a black back ground and explained about light settings and camera settings. It went a bit over my head. Too professional.

Here she has made a composition of bread that someone had got at our baker's, and this is the resulting photo:

At the back there was a platter of cookies/biscuits for us to eat, here on the right:

These are the local goodies. The round thing with the hole in the middle is called 'rosco', eaten the whole year through, but particularly popular around epiphany, 6th January, Los Reyes or Three Kings. The cake on the left is my carrot cake tray bake. 

And this is said cake on a little platter serving as a teaching aid on how to photograph with a white back ground.

I am still under the weather and feeling constantly exhausted. I have bought a new herbal tea:

I haven't tried it yet, but it smells nice. It's green tea with citrus and a thing called guaraná (no idea what that is). It is supposed to give me a bit more energy....

Now I have my drink, I can join the T-party at Elizabeth and Bleubeard's. Please join us with a blog post that has a drink in it.

While I was ill during the Christmas holidays, I read lots of books. I would like to share some that I really enjoyed. I will put them at the end for those who are interested. I get my books on Kindle from Amazon. I only buy books at 99 cents or free books even. I am critical, even though I don't pay much and I choose carefully. I get offers every day but i only buy one occasionally when i think I am going to like it. The following books are the ones I particularly enjoyed.

Wishing everyone a happy T-Day,


Jeremy Walsh’s parents assume he’s been abducted by the elderly man he met on a cross-country flight, but it’s the other way around. 

Two unlikely companions meet in midair: 13-year-old Jeremy, sent against his will by his career-absorbed father to spend the summer with his bipolar mother, and Harry, one-legged and afflicted with mid-stage Alzheimer’s, who escapes the confinement of home for what may be his last adventure. Their journey begins, trailed by Harry’s wife and Jeremy’s parents, who threaten to cut it short. It’s a race against time and circumstance.

"In Adrian Magnuson's Taking Flight a curmudgeon losing his memory and a snarky teen fleeing his parents find a common passion in bird watching. Endearing characters, delightful story and a poignant final scene give this book wings along with the beautifully depicted birds.” —Frances Wood, author of Brushed by Feathers: A Year of Birdwatching in the West

I can recommend this, even if (like me) you know nothing about bird watching. It is delightful and funny, and had me shedding a tear at some point. Harry reminded me of my dad, who also had Alzheimers. And I have a son, so I recognised Jeremy as a typical teenager.

In an enthralling new historical novel from national bestselling author Kate Quinn, two women—a female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947—are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption.
1947. In the chaotic aftermath of World War II, American college girl Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and on the verge of being thrown out of her very proper family. She's also nursing a desperate hope that her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, might still be alive. So when Charlie's parents banish her to Europe to have her "little problem" taken care of, Charlie breaks free and heads to London, determined to find out what happened to the cousin she loves like a sister.
1915. A year into the Great War, Eve Gardiner burns to join the fight against the Germans and unexpectedly gets her chance when she's recruited to work as a spy. Sent into enemy-occupied France, she's trained by the mesmerizing Lili, the "Queen of Spies", who manages a vast network of secret agents right under the enemy's nose.
Thirty years later, haunted by the betrayal that ultimately tore apart the Alice Network, Eve spends her days drunk and secluded in her crumbling London house. Until a young American barges in uttering a name Eve hasn't heard in decades, and launches them both on a mission to find the matter where it leads.
I liked this one for the historical detail, and it was entertaining at the same time. I looked it up and the spy in the story is based on a real woman spy

This next one is a thriller, which kept me on the edge of my seat (so to speak, as I was ill in bed).
A small town hides big secrets in The Dry, an atmospheric, page-turning debut mystery by award-winning author Jane Harper.
After getting a note demanding his presence, Federal Agent Aaron Falk arrives in his hometown for the first time in decades to attend the funeral of his best friend, Luke. Twenty years ago when Falk was accused of murder, Luke was his alibi. Falk and his father fled under a cloud of suspicion, saved from prosecution only because of Luke’s steadfast claim that the boys had been together at the time of the crime. But now more than one person knows they didn’t tell the truth back then, and Luke is dead.
Amid the worst drought in a century, Falk and the local detective question what really happened to Luke. As Falk reluctantly investigates to see if there’s more to Luke’s death than there seems to be, long-buried mysteries resurface, as do the lies that have haunted them. And Falk will find that small towns have always hidden big secrets.

This was a rather good thriller and I had no idea where this was going. The plot was really good and I could not have guessed the outcome. An exciting read.

Friday, 12 January 2018

A Postcard A Day - Friday 12 Jan 2018 - Friday Smiles

Well, hello my dear friends. Happy new Year to all of you . At long last I am feeling a bit better after having had the flu for what seems for ever. Today is Friday Smiles, and health is certainly something to smile about.

We've been to Holland (not much fun as i was in bed for two weeks with pneumonia!) and when we got back there were many nice postcards waiting for me. This first one comes from Germany and has some pretty windows and a delightful pussycat. I would have liked to see more of the chocolate shop though, wouldn't you? It can be found in Tulette in the Provence (France).

The German saying translates: Enjoyment is only a drop in the cocktail of happiness, but what a spice it gives!

Here is the stamp:

The letters 'Gaia Satellit' and the satellite itself are very shiny and really stand out, although that doesn't show on the scan.

The other card comes from Russia. It is The Golden Drawing Room, found in the Winter Palace (Hermitage) in St Petersburg. It is part of the private rooms of Empress Maria Alexandrovna, the consort of Emperor Alexander II. It was reconstructed in 1841 (after the fire of 1837) by Alexander Briullov. The ceiling is decorated with gilded mouldings. The décor is completed by a marble fireplace with jasper columns that is embellished by a bas-relief and a mosaic picture (by Etienne Moderni), gilded doors and a magnificent parquet floor.

Such opulence! No wonder the population rose up in revolution!

The stamp is from a series about uniforms. I can see a date: 1904, but I can't read what it says...

One of my big smiles this week was yesterday, when I felt well enough to start crafting again! My craft room is usable again after all the building work. So I asked my hubby to light the fire there in the morning. I have a delightful little 'parlour stove'.
It is a Wood burner and it made my room very cozy. I spent most of the day scrapbooking photos from 2017.
I made a double page lay-out of our visit to Cartagena in March:
I have since written the journaling on the brown mat in the middle.

Now I will finish with some internet funnies: A wrestler, a teacher and two kittens.

Have a lovely weekend and a good week ahead.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 9 January 2018 - T for Tuesday

Hello folks,
Happy New Year to all!
I'm back! I've been ill since the beginning of December. First a bad cold, then a tummy bug, then a full blown flu. After I recovered from that i felt well enough to travel to Holland to spend the Christmas holidays with my elderly mother. Well I had one good day and the rest of the two weeks I spent in bed. I felt so ill that I paid for a doctor to see me and he diagnosed pneumonia!
Here I am, back in Spain, after a good amount of antibiotics. I feel weak, but a lot better. Hopefully I will shake this bug now for good!

While I was away I received loads of postcards.  I will show you a couple:

 This one comes from Belarus, from a lady called Maria. She writes that the card shows a folk holiday called Kupala Night, celebrating the night of 6/7 July. That is in the Gregorian calendar. For us that would be 24/25 July. The celebration relates to the summer solstice and includes a number of Slavic rituals. Originally pagan fertility rites which were later accepted in the orthodox Christian church. This holiday combines "Ivan" (John the Baptist) and Kupala which is related to a word derived from the Slavic word for bathing. The latter is reinterpreted as John's baptizing people through full immersion in water (therefore his biblical title of the Baptist). However, the tradition of Kupula predates Christianity. Due to the popularity of the pagan celebration, with time it was simply accepted and reestablished as one of the native Christian traditions intertwined with local folklore.[
Tha stamp is magnificent:

The second card is from Japan:

It is a typical New Year's card that Japanese people send to friends and family as well as colleagues.
The stamps are even more beautiful than the Belarus one:
It's a shame I can't read what it says.

Every New Year's eve I make a Russian salad (potato salad). I include pulled beef, potatoes, eggs, onions , mayonnaise and beetroot. With one beetroot I carve the date and the others get incorporated in the salad, colouring it pink.

I had to instruct my hubby this time as I was ill in bed.
I managed to get up just before midnight so I could wish everyone a happy New Year, but I promptly knocked over some glasses! My mum assured me it meant good luck!
Here I am with my mum (93). I felt like death warmed up and went back to bed 5 minutes later.

I am going to join Elisabeth and Bluebeard again for T for Tuesday, and I'd like to wish them and all my blog friends a very happy and healthy 2018.

By the way, our drink is an Italian Prosecco, a dry White wine with some bubbles in it. Very nice.

Blessings to all,

Friday, 15 December 2017

A Postcard A Day - Friday 15 Dec 2017 - Friday Smiles

Hello smiley ladies,

I'm sorry I have been AWOL the last two Fridays. I have been ill and I suppose I didn't have much to smile about. I'm better now, taking it easy. Forcing myself to take it easy, that is easier said than done.

The glazier came yesterday to fit a last Little window in the new flat downstairs, and he also fitted a glass pane in the shower. We also asked him tomake a windbreak for the BBQ on the terrace. So when he had done that, hubby said he was going to take the windbreak down until the summer. I protested as i had already seen that it made a fantastic suntrap in Winter.
This is the first smile. There I am, sat in the sun, Reading a book. Hubby took the photo without me knowing through the window.

Yesterday also was hubby's birthday, so we had a lovely time opening cards and presents over a cup of coffee that morning.
Here he has just received a bag to put his shaving gear in. A present from some of his grandchildren. Looking Sharp it says. He didn't feel he looked that Sharp as he is in his work overalls.

We've had a bit of snow too, but just in the mountains. Here it fell as snow. But I always like the look of the hills with White on them.
Here you can see the snow. It's a badly focussed photo. Sorry.
Now for some postcards:
A famous face from the 1960s. Yes, it's Jacqueline and Caroline Kennedy photographed at Hyannis Port (Mass) in 1960.
The stamps are also very nice:
As you can see, the card is date-stamped 28 Nov, and I only got it this week. The stamp on the right is about the painter Andrew Wyeth. Do look him up as you will be pleasantly surprised. I like his work.

This card is from Germany:
The lady that sent it is called Ute and lives in a place called Velzen. This is a picture of their railway station building, which has been re-designed by an Austrian artist called Hundertwasser. It's quite unusual isn't it.
Here are the stamps:
A lovely sunset and a beautiful flower.
Now for a few funnies before I go:

 The caption reads: I will start studying at 11:00.
The caption on thislast one is: 'Mature? That's what fruit does.'

That is it from me this Friday. Have you some smiles to share. Please join me at Annie's A Stitch In Time.


Tuesday, 12 December 2017

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday12 Dec 2017 - T for Christmas cookies, card making, turtles and a tummy bug (Yuk)

Hello lovely people,
It's going to be a quickie today as I am still ill. I have had the mother of all tummy bugs for on and off two weeks. I'm not eating and I'm dehydrated and fed up! I have got pills which do help but I still can't eat much without feeling nauseous. Yuk.

I am sitting at my desk utterly exhausted but I will carry on and finish this post.
Here is my postcard which arrived this morning (I'm writing this late Monday night):
Yes, they are Christmas cookies. In German Weihnachtsplätzchen. Aren't they pretty? The sender of this card, called Lisa, writes that she has just spent the afternoon making a batch with her friend.
The stamp is beautiful too:
I love old trees. If only they could talk....

Ill though I was, I had to make some Christmas cards. I always send my sister one and for the first time I made a pop-up card. She doesn't usually read my blog so I can safely show you:

I had found some matching/coordinating papers and cards from an old Anna Griffin kit, but I had never done the pop-up bit. It turned out well I think:
There are three Christmas birthdays in our family, hence the birthday cards. People whos birthday falls on Christmas don't get many birthday cards, so I make a point of sending one:
Of course today is T-Day, so I will link up with Elizabeth and Bleubeard at Altered Book Lover. To do that I need something drink related. Lets see what i can find...

I love turtles and have a Pinterest turtle page. Here are a few images of turtle tea pots:
This one and the next are a bit similar:

This one has matching cups:
These majolica ones are nice too:
They are made by Minton if I am not mistaken.
And this is a cutie:
My favorite is the very first one. Which one do you like best?

That's it from me today.
Happy T-Day all of you,