Friday, 3 April 2020

A Postcard A Day - Friday 3 April 2020 - Friday Smiles

Hello lovely ladies, 

Is it Friday again? Oh I lose count of the days.

Another week has passed, another week in isolation (well, for most of us anyway). Things have not changed much for me as I'm retired and can please myself.  I do find that I am cooking and baking a lot more and yummy things. I think I will put on a lot of weight, which I am not aware of as I am living in track suits and comfy stuff.

OK, this is the last virus joke. It's not funny! I hope everyone is safe and healthy and not needing medical care 'cause the hospitals are full as it is. 

Let me show you my postcards. Here is one from Brasil. It is a replica of an old Italian postcard sent from Venice to a lady in Udine. 

 The stamps are so colourful, and if you look carefully, there is one specially for Annie!
 The second card is King Ludwig II of Bavaria (1864-1896). This painting is on his coronation day. He was only 20 years old. 
 From what I have read, Ludwig was more interested in music (Wagner) and art and architecture, than ruling the country. He spent his personal fortune on building castles, like the famous Neuschwanstein:
His enemies tried to get him declared insane because of this. He died very young, so say suicide by drowning. But it is thought that he was murdered.
After his death, from diaries and personal correspondence, it was discovered that he was homosexual. Perhaps that was another reason to kill him. An interesting character certainly.
The stamps are interesting, especially the yellow one about 500 years purity laws for German beer.

In keeping with the 1516 requirement, German beer is still a natural product. The basic principle of brewing has not changed to this day. To date, German breweries are not allowed to use artificial flavors, enzymes or preservatives. Brewing German beer is essentially limited to the use of the four natural ingredients water, hops, malt and yeast.

Now let me tell you what my week was like (perhaps a bit boring, but I'll tell you anyway).
I am enlarging these daily collages so my mum can see them too. Her eye sight is very bad and even with a special computer program that magnifies everything, she still has difficulty seeing these.
I discovered another Andre Rieu concert on YouTube that I hadn't seen yet (from New York), so I was playing that and singing/humming along with it. Definitely a highlight!

Last Friday we had a video conference with our friends, and we pretended to go out for a meal like we do every last Friday of the month. It was real fun and good to catch up with our friends. I made a pizza from scratch, and we 'dressed up'. Hubby wore a fun T-shirt:

Saturday we had a bit of sunshine and I was able to sit out on the terrace to read my book. 
Before the shutdown, my friend Dian had given me a pack of Lumaconi pasta (lumaconi means big snails). And I had fun cooking those with a sort of pesto. It should have been split peas, but I couldn't find them. So I used red lentils and the basil leaves that were still on a very sorry looking plant I had in the kitchen. (I did find the split peas a few days later)
Sunday was sunny too, so hubby took the opportunity to take down the chimney and cleaning it as we suspected (correctly) that there was quite a lot of soot clogging the pipe.
 Monday the rain was back, but I managed to dodge the showers and pop to the post office. Hubby went to our plot and harvested a lot of spinach! So I made a tortilla de patatas with some spinach.

 I have rigged up my Wii Fit and I do my routine every morning before breakfast (hubby makes the tea meanwhile). He went to our plot again and more spinach arrived. I spent most of the day washing and picking over the spinach.
 On Wednesday I made real Dutch pea soup. I found that packet of dried peas in the pantry and I bought a nice piece of pork and off I went. It was delicious! I made a small loaf of bread of the dough that was left in the fridge from the day before. 
But the rice pudding was a disappointment. I tried to make it in my Remoska (Electric pan) and I think I should have put more milk in. It was very dry. I used paella rice (no pudding rice here) but I will definitely try again.
Yesterday was another successful cooking and baking day. Our main meal was 'toad-in-the-hole' with chipolata sausages. There was a recipe in the Daily Mail (29 march), and it was perfect! 
There was this photo on Facebook of our village medical team saying thank you to the population for cooperating in these difficult times. The guy in green scrubs on the left is our GP Pedro. He speaks English and is ever so kind.

That is all from me today. As usual there will be some funnies at the end. (nothing virussy).
And then I will visit (and link in with) Annie at A Stitch in Time and with Virginia at Rocking your World Friday.

Take care everyone, 
stay safe,

Thursday, 2 April 2020

Second on the 2nd - An old blogpost from April 2015

This is an old blogpost from April 2015 for Elizabeth and Bluebeard's Second on the 2nd.:

Hi folks! It’s Wednesday yet again.

Here is my desk as it looked last night. I’ve made little concertina booklets for the grandies and I’ve chosen the photos and the Bible verses. You can see the alphabet stamps ready to be used. Now all I have to do is put them together.

There is a little photo album of my mum’s with photos from 1932. (with my To-Do list on top of it) I’m in the process of scanning the photos into my computer.

The layout I was working on last week is now finished. This is the finished page. I've called it 'Cuel Valencia'. I know it is spelt 'cool', but my son always says cu-el). The journaling is hand written on a card and stuck behind the photo.

It reads: "Valencia: We are keen to visit places in our new homeland. In December 2014 we visited Valencia. We found a campervan park just outside the city within walking distance of the Metro. Brill!
We met up with Maria Chiara, my D-I-L Marianna’s cousin, who is studying there at the university. She showed us around and we went for a paella meal (of course).

But the highlight of our visit was the modern Science Museum. Amazing architecture! We visited the L’Oceanografic, a large aquarium, which we both enjoyed very much. To express it in student terms: “CUEL”!"

Now to our life in Spain: Last weekend was ‘Literary Weekend’ in our village. A stage was erected in the little park near our house and a lovely red classic lorry (1940) with a brass band on foot, paraded round the village advertising the theater company from Granada who would be performing. 

I just love that lorry and followed the band all along the high street like a little kid!

A group of girls were preparing the bar and were very keen to be photographed for my blog. Here they are (I know most of them from the gym). 

At two o’clock the paella was ready.  And my hubby and I (and some friends) went for the food and the drink. 

I didn’t think our  Spanish language skills would be sufficient to appreciate the theatre production, so we didn't go. But my friends said it was very well attended and it was very good. (It was free apart from the food and drink which was subsidised by the council and very cheap indeed).

Finally the sheep poo. It’s a postcard. (sorry it's not straight)

It reads: In the magical, mystical mountains of Wales, sheep droppings are sterilised and washed.... then turned into card. No trees were harmed in the making of this postcard. A sheep only digests 50% of everything it eats. The rest is usable fibre. We made this special postcard for you from.... sheep poo!

I don’t know if this sheep poo story is true or if it is just a joke, (The card doesn’t smell or anything) but I thought it was funny.

We’re off travelling again this Friday. We’re taking the campervan to England (via the Santander ferry) to visit children and grandies, then to Holland to visit my mum, and through Belgium and France back to Spain. 

We will be away for 6 weeks. I’m not very good at blogging from my (android) tablet but I’ll try, depending also on finding wifi.

Anyway, that’s it for this week,

I wish everyone a great week and hopefully we’ll ‘meet’ again next Wednesday.


Tuesday, 31 March 2020

A Postcar A Day - Tuesday 31 March 2020 - T for Taiwan, a bakery and spinach

Hello lovely girls! How are you all coping with the shutdown/self isolation etc? We have started the third week of our strict shutdown. I must admit it's no hardship for us. I have a loving husband and a big house to rattle around in. Bare a thought  for abusive relationships and families with lots of children (and a small house). 

I want to show you a photo of one of our bakers, Enriqueta. She has made a special window in stead of the door. Very clever!

I can easily cope and have started doing my exercises at home. I have an old Wii, and I do Wii fit in my craft room. I've taken the tables down as I won't be having crafty friends over, and now I have lots of room to jump about.

Of course Postcrossing is something I do. Karen at Creativeseconds asked me for the name of the community of  postcard senders/receivers. The site is called 
I received several postcards last week. This is one of them from Taiwan:
It features Mulan (1998) rough animation by Mark Henn.
The stamp is spectacular. I have not been able to find much info about it other than the fact that it is from a series about Yilan County.

My second card also comes from Taiwan, and is a totally different type of card. It is entitled "Educating the kid" (1963). The photographer is Chen-lung, who was born in 1933. The photo is part of the collection of the Taipei Fine Arts Museum. 
I am always in awe of the ability of non-European women to sit on their haunches like that!

The stamps are very pretty. I love those little tomatoes. 
Talking about veggies.... Sunday, was the first day in a long time that it didn't rain. Look how green everything is (very unusual here in Spain to see so much green. What a delight!)

This is what we saw through our bedroom window when we got up so hubby decided to go and check on his vegetable patch. It desperately needs weeding after all this rain!
It looks overgrown and untidy. He worked for an hour and than came home with an Ikea bag full of spinach! He says he will go out every day for an hour to tend to his plot.
So yesterday I spent most of the day cutting and washing the spinach. Most of it got cooked and then frozen. But I did cook a lovely tortilla de patatas with some of the spinach:
How silly of me not to photograph our drinks at the same time, then I could have used it as my ticket to the T-Party, hosted by Bleubeard and Elizabeth.

So I'm showing you my drink from Sunday when we had a full English breakfast. Bacon and eggs with baked beans and peeled tomatoes on toast (cooked by my dear hubby). No, we did not have it for breakfast, but as a brunch at about 2 pm. We had a cold beer as it was a nice day Sunday.

 That's it from me today. I hope you have all adjusted to this new life style and I dearly hope that you will all stay healthy and that the dreaded virus will not get you.

Have a wonderful week (don't forget to exercise),
Keep smiling,

Friday, 27 March 2020

A Postcard A Day - Friday 27 March 2020 - Friday Smiles

Hello lovely ladies! 

No, I'm not in Stockholm, but this is a card I received from one of my Postcrossing friends. That is exactly what I want to convey today: Cheers! To us! Lets be positive and look at the good things in life instead of filling our being with negative newsfeed. Stay up to date by all means, but switch that rolling newsfeed off after you have heard the round-up of the news.

Let me show you some cards: This one comes from Poland and reminds me of summer, when we eat pomegranates. The name means 'apple of Granada'. (And our nearest city is Granada)

The stamps is very nice, seen here enlarged. It mentions Bialystok, which is the largest city in north-eastern Poland and the capital of Podlachia. It is the gateway to many natural attractions of Podlachia, known collectively as the Green Lungs of Poland, including Biebrza National Park and Białowieża National Park. Białystok is also the place of birth of Ludwik Zamenhof, the inventor of the artificial language, Esperanto. The city hosted an international Esperanto conference in 2009.(Wikivoyage)
The palace on the stamp is Branicki's Palace.   The Branickis' Palace is a former residence of a wealthy and influential noble family of Branicki, which used to own the whole city of Bialystok. The most famous member, Jan Klemens Branicki, the Great Crown Hetman of Poland with unsuccessful aspirations to the Polish throne, made the city prosperous and striving. The palace was given its current shape in early 18th century and since then has been called many names reflecting its grandeur, including "the Versaille of Podlasie". Although badly damaged by German bombs during the World War II, it was carefully rebuilt and now serves as the main building of the Medical University of Białystok. (Wikivoyage)

My next card comes from Sweden and shows the (young) queen Sylvia. She is wearing traditional costume I think. Very understated and beautiful.

The stamp is pretty. It is from a series of 2020 stamps. 

Called Heartfelt Greetings, the seven stamps were designed by Sabina Wroblewski Gustrin and issued Jan. 9. 2020
Here is a close-up of some of them:
I find them uplifting and pretty to look at. 
At that brings me to my week. It has been a strange week. The end of week two of the shutdown for us. 
The weather has been very somber, but the mood has been of the 'we-will-get-through-this' kind.
 But I get lots of chores done and I enjoy baking and cooking. Hubby has been doing odd jobs too.
 Sunday was wonderful, in that we watched the streaming of two church services by churches that we used to attend in the UK.
 Monday was my birthday and I have been so blessed with many, many messages, and video calls etc. It was different than other years but very special. I shan't forget this birthday. We had booked to walk the Caminito del Rey and to stay in a lovely hotel in the mountains, but of course the hotels have all had to close.
 Wednesday was the first day without rain (after 14 or more dull rainy days), and I managed to dry some washing outside. The seeds we ordered from Premier Seeds Direct have arrived and hubby can't wait to be going out there to plant something.
People are following the rules of waiting outside the shops with a meter distance. We all have to wear a mask and gloves are recommended, because not all shops remember to keep the door open. (and it's cold of course).
All in all we are fine. And I am working my way through a list of things to do, one of which is to learn more about digital scrapbooking. I have Photoshop in Spanish and also Photoshop Elements 11 in English. If anyone can recommend a good tutorial (preferably for PSE as that is in English) I would be very grateful.

Usually, the last Friday night of the month, our friends D&P and us go out for a drink and a meal or a pizza. We catch up and put the world to rights. This is not possible now, so we have organized a virtual get-together tonight using Zoom, that everybody seems to be using now. I'm excited about it. It will be like we were spending time together. I'll let you know how it went. 

That is it from me today. I have some funnies for you at the end. 
So now I will head over to Annie at A Stitch In Time and to Virginia at Rocking Your Week Friday
Stay safe and 
keep smiling.

 The translation of the next one goes like this:
"China has released the names of the first three infected people:
Sum Ting Wong
Ho Lee Fuk
Yu Dai Soon"