Tuesday, 24 January 2017

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 24 Jan 2017 T for cats, games and a journey

Hello Everyone!
Did you make any New Year's resolutions? I didn't really but the first few months of the new year we usually detox and go on a healthy eating diet. No coffee, no alcohol, no wheat, no sugar.. you get the idea. I have also discovered spiralizing. I have had one of those gadgets for several months now but only now does it come into its own. I'm spiralizing everything from sweet potato to beetroot to courgettes (zucchinis) and everything in between. Fortunately my hubby loves it as a spaghetti substitute.
This was yesterday's meal:
Courgette pasta with a shrimp sauce. Very nice. I should have photographed the glass of water with it as you would not believe me otherwise. As it is, it does not qualify for Elizabeth and Bleubeard's  T For Tuesday, so I will have to think of something else...

One of my little vices is that every night I allow myself time to play my favorite video game on my tablet. I am retired and we have no TV so I have given up feeling guilty about this. For the last 6 months my favorite game has been Cradle of Empires, a 'match 3' game with a story and as you progress through the game you build a whole city in ancient Egypt.
The game is free and although they encourage in-game purchases (usually to get things done quicker or to have more 'lives'), I have never spent any money on it. This game is slowly being taken over as favorite by The Room, a totally different sort of game. It has beautiful graphics, soft music and is slooow. There are puzzles but also hints if I don't 'get it'. I have it on tablet (android) but I have heard they have developed it for PC too.

(So there's my drink for T for Tuesday)

Now for my postcard:
It's one of the postcards I am sending. This one is going to Island Lake in Illenois, USA. It is called "Cats could be different" and the artist is Anastasia Kislyuk. (I might have told you that I buy most of my postcards from a Russian or a Polish website.)

Last week saw a week of festivities in our village for the festival of San Sebastian. The highlight was 'The stealing of San Sebastian':

The story has it that in times of the plague many people died, but in the parish of S. Sebastian they didn't, so men from another parish stole S.Sebastian. This story is being enacted every year on the 22nd of January. Last year's robbers take out a cross (I assume representing S. Sebastian) and other groups try to wrestle it from their hands. The group that wins has to pay for next year's festivities (with help from the council).
The winning parish group (called hermandad or brotherhood) then has a year to prepare and fundraise for the next Robo (robbing).
The inscription reads: the new robbers of S. Sebastian 2017.

So there you have it, a little folklore of our village here in southern Spain.

I am excited as tomorrow morning (Wednesday)we will be travelling to Malaga airport, where I will catch a plane to Holland! Yippee! I am going to visit my mother together with my sister who is catching the same flight. The flight will arrive at 10pm so it will be a long day. It's only three hours drive to the airport but as we go to the coast so seldom, we want to go into a few stores on the way to the airport and buy  a few things for the house. I'm greatly looking forward to it.(the visit and the shopping)

I wish you all Happy T-Day, 
and a good week to come,

Friday, 20 January 2017

A Postcard A Day - Friday 20 Jan 2017 Friday Smiles

Hello peeps,

Everywhere in Europe there seems to be a lot of snow and we have been spared, until Wednesday, when it started to snow here too. This is the view from my living room yesterday afternoon. And this morning it is still snowing:

As long as it doesn't snow on Wednesday when we will be driving to Malaga airport and we will have to go through a mountain pass. They close the motorway when there is too much snow. But the forecast is good. Fingers crossed.

So what have I been up to this week? Well, we found out it was someone's birthday at our home church meeting. I had already cut up the tray bake I had made:

Then we found out it was Paco's birthday! So we improvised with a few candles on his slice of cake.

Once a week my girlsfriends and I get together for prayer. We usually go to my friend Antonia. Now she has several cats. Here are a few of them on the table in the conservatory. I tried to photograph them but they wouldn't pose!

They're cute aren't they?

This week I did a lot of cooking and baking again. I've been given more kaki fruit so I made another Persimmon cake (or kaki fruit cake). You saw this photo last week. 
It needs walnuts, so I have to start by cracking the nuts:
One cup full takes me about 20 minutes.
I use a Pyrex glass mould and the cake always comes out perfectly. The magic ingredient being ...brandy!

My postcard for today is one of my English Heritage collection. It is a photo by Eric de Mare  (1910-2002). 

The caption reads: Fishermen's stores ('net shops') on the beach at Hastings 1956. The net shops are the traditional storage buildings of the Hastings fishing fleet. They were used in the past to stow gear made from natural materials – cotton nets, hemp ropes, canvas sails etc – which would rot if left in the open, especially when wet. If possible, the items would be dried on the beach first, and then kept dry inside these weather-tight stores.

This week we went to spend a couple of days at our weekend home 50 km down the road. This was a sunset from the kitchen window:

Now for a few funnies:

I can identify with this last one!

Wishing everyone a good week. I'm off to visit (and link up) with Annie at A Stitch in Time and Virginia at Rocking Your World Friday. 

Stay safe,

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 17 Jan 2017 - T for Ecuadorians, Picasso and murals.

Good morning everyone! It's Tuesday again. It comes round so fast!

Lets start with my postcard. It's a postcard from Spain that I sent to someone last week:

Do you recognise this man? It's Pablo Picasso, the famous Spanish painter. He was born in Malaga in 1881 but spent most of his adult life in France. The card gives the date of the photo as 1953 but I happened to notice a book on the pile is Inky Darkling by Luis Grudin. Now that book wasn't published until 1954. Oh well, I'm just being a bit pernickety. It doesn't really matter.

So what's been happening? While most of Europe is covered in snow, we are relatively comfortable. No snow so far but some chance of snow tomorrow. Well we have a four wheel drive vehicle so we should be OK.
I hope electricity has returned to the house of Elizabeth at Altered Book Lover. The weather has been very bad there too. Are you OK Elizabeth? 

I'm linking up with Elizabeth at Altered Book Lover for T for Tuesday. Any post with a drink in it is welcome. So here is my contribution:
 When we were at church on Sunday, our Ecuadorian friends asked us if we would like to come home with them and share lunch with them. We did. There was chicken and rice and guacamole and a large sweetcorn dish  and lots of pork meat too. (not everything was visible on the photo).
Just as we were leaving, their youngest son offered to take a photo:
My hubby and I with our jackets on on the left.

Before I go I'd like to share some more street art with you. I have nearly 2000 images of street art on my Pinterest page, and when I am in a city, I look out for those things. 
When we were in Madrid recently I found this one:

I know nothing about it. We just walked past it. (For those who noticed it, sextienda means sex shop).

I love to see the sides of large buildings (where there are no windows) painted with something beautiful or eye catching. Here are a few examples:

This is by an artist called Aryz. He lives in Barcelona, Spain. In one biography I read he was born in Palo Alto, California. I don't know. He is a young man with spray cans and paint roller and he works all around the world.

The following murals are all by Aeyz. This is in Granollers, Catalunya, Spain.

Aalborg in Denmark.

This can be found in Venezuela, in Maracay.

This last one is in San Francisco.

I hope you liked this collection of murals/streetart/grafitti.

I'm going to love you and leave you as they say....
Happy T-Day,

Friday, 13 January 2017

A Postcard A Day - Friday Jan 13th - Friday Smiles with gym and cakes and dogs, and the odd bull fighter

Good Morning Friday peeps,
Let me tell you that we are not superstitious and Friday the 13th holds no fears for us. So I am starting this day as optimistic as ever because it is a good day! (Remember the song?:'This is the day, this is the day, that the Lord has made, that the Lord has made' etc)

My week has been busy as my clubs have started. I go to the gym Mon-Wed-Fri at 9:00 (I am writing this late at night so I can post it before I go to the gym).

We first have warm-up, then stretching and then aerobic exercises. After which we go upstairs to do the 'machines' for 25 minutes, then back downstairs for some more stretching and cool-down.
I'm also busy cooking, more than usual as we have started our healthy eating regime. I'm cooking three meals a day and prepring snacks in between. It's sugar free, alcohol and coffee free, no wheat and sort of paleo. We do this every year and I feel so much better on it, we eat really nice meals, and don't go hungry. I'm organized as I have the meals planned, one week in a transparent folder together with all the recipes. I have four weeks prepared. After that we start again at week one. Of course it also makes me lose weight, which is great as I am six kilos overweight. The first week i lost a kilo, so I am happy.

Some of you know that I love jigsaws. This week I have started another one:

I apologise for the bad quality of the photos. My phone takes really bad photos. I don't know why this should be. Most phone cameras are decent. Not mine!

And of course I do a lot of baking. Usually on a Saturday, but this week I also made a cake on Thursday evening. This is Persimmon Bread, or caki cake as we call it. It is made with caki fruit. As the cakis were ripe I had to make the cake. It couldn't wait until Saturday. 

I'm going to freeze it and I will take it with me to Holland when I go later this month. My mother will love it.

Now for my postcard:
This is a card I sent a few days ago. It is a tiled image of a bull fighter and it sits on the wall of a Madrid restaurant called Los Timbales:
I remember walking past it late one afternoon when we were in Spain in December, and thinking what a shame it wasn't dinner time. (This last photo is off the internet). It's in Calle Alcalá, which is a long street full of restaurants.

Now for some funnies with dogs:

Aren't the sub woofers cute!

I hope this made you smile as it did me. I'm going to link up with Annie at A Stitch in Time for Friday Smiles. Please join us with you good news, happy photos and smiles and giggles.

Have a lovely weekend and a good week ahead,



Tuesday, 10 January 2017

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 10 Jan 2017 T for orzo coffee and Belarus

Good Morning T-Gang!

Everything has gone back to normal here. We have celebrated Three Kings on the 6th (see my previous blog post) and now all the children have gone back to school since yesterday and my clubs have all started up again after the Christmas break. 

Any new year's resolutions? I don't usually make any, but we did start a healthy eating regime. A bit like Paleo but we do eat beans. Anybody doing the Whole30 thing? It's similar to that. Although I'm doing this to feel better, I normally lose weight on this diet. Probably because I cut out sugar and sweet things and alcohol, which makes a lot of difference of course. I have already lost a kilo since the beginning of the year!

My postcard of today arrived yesterday from Belarus.
It shows some sort of memorial park and I was going to look up some info about it on the internet, but now I seem to have lost the card. Can't find it anywhere... Sorry.
The stamp is lovely, with the mushrooms. The date stamps shows it was posted on the 24th but I only received it yesterday.

Some of you might know that Saturday is my baking day. I love baking. I get a lot of my ideas from Fatto in casa da Benedetta, which is an Italian girl who bakes at home and she shows through videos how to do it. Just images, no talking, so very easy to follow. I made this cake, called ciambellone all'orzo. It turned out perfectly. Hurray for Benedetta.

I used caffe d'orzo (orzo coffee) to make this cake. Orzo coffee  is a type of hot drink, originating in Italy. This is what Wikipedia says about it (Just skip this bit if you're not interested): Orzo is a caffeine-free roasted grain beverage made from ground barley (orzo in Italian, from Latin hordeum). It is an espresso-style drink, and when prepared from the roasted barley directly, it can easily be made in typical espresso machines and coffeemakers. In Italy it is widely available in coffee vending machines. Although traditionally considered a coffee substitute for children, it is an increasingly common choice in Italy and other places for those who choose to eschew caffeine for health reasons.
In Italy caffè d'orzo is made in the traditional Italian espresso machines in the cafes. Italian families tend, instead, to make it using an orziera, a special moka pot adapted to barley.
During the II World War and post war times, caffè d'orzo and chicory became the most popular drink in Europe. They were both used as substitutes for coffee, which was expensive and hard to find. In European countries with a very long post war period, like for instance Spain, this image of barley as a cheap surrogate of coffee still remains in the memory of the population. Thus, from having dozens of Spanish producers in the 1950s and being a widely popular drink in the Spanish Mediterranean coast, now Spain only has two roasters of barley. In Italy, instead, there are dozens of roasters making caffè d'orzo and it is a very popular drink. Out of Italy caffè d'orzo is also increasing slowly its consumption as a healthy drink, especially in Germany.
Why didn't I put the orzo in the photograph? I drink it all the time. (I lived in Italy for many years and kept the habit) Hmm I forgot. Now I have to really look for something drink related to be able to join the T-gang today. Elizabeth and Bleubeard host this tea party at Altered Book Lover.
Oh well, I have to improvise:
Sorry I'm not very organized. (I'm writing this in the middle of the night. Perhaps I should just go to bed...)

Happy T-Day everyone,

Have a good week,



Friday, 6 January 2017

A Postcard A Day - Friday 6th Jan 2017 - Anne Geddes, 3 kings and River of Time

Well hello ladies! Happy New Year!

Shall I show you my postcard first? Here's a card that arrived yesterday from my friend in Italy. It is a cute card by Anne Geddes and she knows I like those:
Anne Geddes is famous for her baby photography. She is Australian but lives currently in New York (according to Wikipedia). Isn't this a cute pupa!

I hope it made you smile, because today is Friday Smiles. (Hosted by Annie).

I have just finished a book called River Of Time: Waterfall. The first of three books that I bought (in e-book form) recently. I only 'buy' books that are free or max 99 pence. I got this one from Bookhub for 1.98 pounds sterling for the three.
It's officially a teen and young adult book (which I don't mind), in a similar vein as The Hunger Games. In this case Gabriella and her sister Lia spend a bored summer in Italy on their mother's archeological dig, when they trespass in an Etruscan grave and get time travelled back to Medieval times. Gabi meets handsome prince who helps her look for her sister from whom she had gotten separated somehow. Lots of swashbuckling adventures with a bit of romance. A good yarn. I am looking forward to the next one.
What else has been happening this week? Well today is Epiphany or in Spanish: Los Reyes (the kings). This is when Spanish children get their presents and they have all been looking forward to this day. Yesterday afternoon the three kings made their entrance with a great parade. I didn't go yesterday to watch, so I have some photos of previous local parades.
 The children on the floats throw sweets and candies into the crowds.
Here is a Three King joke:

And to finish off, a funny of a different kind:

I hope you are not having a bad day. In fact I wish you a great day, and a fantastic weekend to follow.

Keep smiling,



Tuesday, 3 January 2017

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 3-1-2017 - T for street art, potato salad and crystal

Happy New Year everyone! It is now 2017! I remember when I was young(er) I used to look forward to the year 2000. That seemed so far away then. As a nurse we would have to check the use-by dates on medicine boxes regularly and I remember being so excited when the first 2000 appeared on the use-by date! Now I'm not looking forward to any date. I'm just grateful for every year.

I'm sorry I forgot 2nd on the 2nd. I had prepared it last week (a photo from each month) but we went away yesterday, and of course that stuff is on my desktop computer. We will be home later today, but that's too late. As I said...sorry, sorry sorry.

Now for my postcard. Again, because we are not home, it is an old one:
Maybe you know I love all sorts of doors, well this is the card that got me interested in windows too. These are Russian traditional windows. Aren't they beautiful?

That out of the way, I can show you the photos for the T-Gang. Every Tuesday I link up with Elizabeth at Altered Book Lover to share something with a drink in it. This time it is definitely an alcoholic drink: The bottle of bubbly on New Year's Eve. 

I had bought a bottle oc Cava Brut, as real Champagne is expensive (and wasted on me if truth be told). I got my posh crystal glasses out. They only make an appearance once a year as I am afraid I'll break them. They are very fine crystal, hand blown (or should that be mouth blown) and hand decorated.  And of course they have that tinkling sound when you touch them. I love them.
I wanted to show you one of my decorations in the tree. I have three of those glass mushroom ornaments. They were my grandmothers. My mum handed them down to me. They sit on a metal clip (bottom right). I treasure those.

Then there's the New Year's Eve potato salad:
I make one every year, as my mother did before me. I add beetroot to the potatoes, hence the pink colour. And with some left over beetroot I cut out the numbers to form the year. It also has hard boiled eggs in it and ghurkins and pulled pork left over from Christmas. I season it and bind it all together with mayonnaise. It's so nice, I really should make it more often....

I don't know about you, but I love Pinterest. I have many pages. My largest collection is 'Street art and Graffitti'. On Friday I shared some street art by chalk artist David Zinn. He creates cute creatures on the pavement. Today I will share a few more:

Don't you wish you could do that in your yard... just sweep the leaves under the cement!

That's it from me today.

I wish everyone a very happy and above all healthy New Year!

Happy T-Day,