Tuesday, 22 January 2019

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 22 January 2019 - T for Russia

Translates: "A little coffee for you! So that you start the day with a lot of energy and a positive attitude. Good Morning"

Good morning lovely ladies,
Are you all ready for the T-party? Lets join Elisabeth and Bluebeard at Altered Book Lover with a beverage. My beverage you will see much later, but I think the cockerel has beaten me to it. (He obviously gets up much before me)
 My T-blog has a Russian theme today (totally by accident). 
To start with, both my postcards today are from Russia:

This one is a view of the Red Square in Moscow. I think the building on the left is the Kremlin. Has any of you been to Moscow? (I haven't).

The next card is an old image from 1960. The caption reads: 'The match will take place in any weather!' Dinamo Stadium. From the Russian Photo Museum. 

Bottom left is a commemorative coin of the World Championship soccer 2018:
The stamps are gorgeous. I think the large one faetures the Kremlin again, but I wasn't sure so I used my Google translate with the camera on my phone. The words on top say: "Happy New Year!"

On Tuesday we went to our usual restaurant to have a lovely lunch. There is a nice dining room, but we always sit in the bar to eat. The staff always reserve a table for us on Tuesdays. (There are only two tables in the bar area). 
While we are waiting for our drinks, here is hubby.
Here come our red wines. The waitress/co-owner is Mahri.
Erika did some book reviews the other day, so I thought I'd do that too as I have read two really good books lately. The first one, A Gentleman In Moscow by Amor Towles, I am about to finish but I can already say it is surprisingly good. The plot is that in 1922 a Russian  aristocrat gets sentenced by a Bolshevik tribunal (because he is unrepentent) to life long house arrest at the hotel where he is currently staying. All his properties and land are confiscated. He is lucky as most of the aristocracy was murdered. He gets offered a small attic room in the Hotel Metropole in Moscow in stead of his large suite where he used to live. Well I thought that it would be boring, but not at all! Count Rostov is a a delightful, educated, wise and resourceful man and you can't help but like him. Through him and the people he meets over the 30 years, the history of Russia comes through very subtly. The rise of communism, the second WW, etc. I love it and don't want it to end really. I comes highly recommended.

This is a photo of the hotel Metropole, which still exists today. It is near the Kremlin and at the back it overlooks the entrance of the Bolshoi theatre.
Another book I was totally blown away with is this one, All This I Will Give You by Dolores Redondo, a Spanish author.
It is a thriller, but a well written one. It is quite unusual, not only because it is set in Spain, but it is written as a literary novel, while it really is a murder mystery which turns into a nail biting thriller.  It's about Michael who is a writer and one night the police have to tell him that Alvaro, his husband of 10 years, has died in a car crash. The strange thing is that the accident happened in a totally different part of the country to where Alvaro said he was going. Michael travels to the scene and tries to find out what happened. It turns out Alvaro had a secret life he had not mentioned in all those 10 years. 
I won't say any more as I don't want to spoil it, but an awful lot happens. There are unexpected twists in the story nearly every chapter. It is well written and also well translated.
This is Dolores Redondo:
I hope someone can get hold of these as they are well worth reading. I read mine on my e-reader (Kindle). The Gentleman in Moscow was a special offer at 99pence and the Spanish one I paid full price for (but that's still not a lot).

That is it from me today. 
Happy T-Day everyone!
Have a good week!
Stay safe,

Friday, 18 January 2019

A Postcard A day - Friday 18 January 2019 - Friday Smiles

Hello lovely ladies,
Here we are again on Friday to share what has made us smile this week. I shall be linking up with Annie at A Stitch In Time and with Virginia at Rocking Your World Friday.

To get postcards in my mailbox always makes me smile. And one ofmy favorite cards are map cards. This week I received a map card from Malaysia:

The info on the card reads: Malaysia consists of 13 states and 3 federal territories. Two similarly sized regions, peninsular Malaysia and East malaysia are separated by the South China Sea.
The stamp is interesting too. It has the name Negaraku in the top right corner. So of course I had to look up who he is/was. Well... it is not a person, but the Malaysian national anthem!
Wikipedia says: Negaraku (English: My Country) is the national anthem of Malaysia The tune was originally used as the state anthem of Perak, which was adopted from a popular French melody titled "La Rosalie" composed by the lyricist Pierre-Jean de Béranger.

The card was sent on the 26th of November and has Merry Christmas stickers on it. But I only received it this week.

Then I also received this card from Germany. It is an image from the Burgh castle museum, and it shows the castle chapel. It's all very baroc and over-the-top  for our modern tastes, but I suppose it is very beautiful. The chapel features the Silbermann organ.  

Wikipedia writes:
Gottfried Silbermann 1683-1753 The organs that Gottfried and his brother Andreas Silbermann built show a clear and distinctive style, both in architecture and in their music qualities. Silbermann never deviated from this style. His organs are characterised by the use of strong reeds, a broad range of stops, and pipes with a high tin content, which adds a distinctive brightness to the tone. Silbermann died in Dresden in 1753, probably as the result of a tin-lead poisoning.

I like the stamps. They feature Saxon Switzerland (German: Sächsische Schweiz) which is a hilly climbing area and national park around the Elbe valley south-east of Dresden in Saxony, Germany.

So, what was my week like? On Friday evening we went out with our friends to celebrate her birthday:

 And Saturday was the inauguration of the photo exhibition in our village. All the photo clubs from the province of Granada were represented. (I'm not in the photo)

Sunday we went to church and we had a nice dinner. On Monday we went into town to do some shopping. I wanted some baskets to use in my new cabinet. So we went to the Chinese (sort of poundshop or dollar store) and bought ten little baskets.
You cannot imagine how pleased I am. I now have all the batteries in one basket, all packs of pencils and pens in one basket, all the sticky stuff in one basket etc. It's wonderful to be more organized!
I designed the cabinet myself and I purposely created a space for our two coffee machines (near a socket). Hubby has the 'grind and brew' and I have the Senseo with the pads on the left. I like Cappuccino Choco, which I bring back from Holland. I have three packs. When they finish I will go back to normal coffee.

Monday night is usually spent at our weekend cave house. There is a TV and a DVD player and a cupboard full of DVDs, many of which we haven't watched yet. We decided to watch La Vie En Rose about the life of Edith Piaf. I enjoy her singing, so it was interesting to learn of her (hard) life. It was very well acted.
On Tuesday we went and had lunch at our regular restaurant. (photos on my Tuesday blog) and in the evening we had a prayer meeting.
I can't remember what I did on Wednesday, but Thursday is my 'play-day'. Hubby lights the fire in the craft room and I spend the whole day there (apart from meal times). I did my jigsaw and did some scrapbooking. 

This is an old photo from 1976. I'm on the left in this four generations photo.
This St Ives page was one I had done before but I wasn't happy with it. So I took it apart, and rearranged it and gave it a different background paper. I've hidden the journaling behind the main bit. Much neater now.
The last one is hubby on his birthday party in the tropical bird park in the UK, two years ago. He wanted to make his 70th birthday special and we went to this bird park with all the children and grandchildren. The weather was awful but it was fun.
I'm not happy with this page either as the letters are too big, but once I'd started writing, of course I had to continue.

That's it folks. 
Wishing all of you a fab weekend with lots of smiles.

Here is a bit of street art to make you smile and after that some funnies as usual.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

A Postcard A day - Tuesday 15 January 2019 - T for floorball, floor mess, and photos

Hello lovely people,
It's Tuesday again! The weeks fly by, don't they.

Here are some postcards I received last week. The first one comes from Latvia. It was sent by Una, a 51 year old designer from Riga, the capital.

 It is a black and white photo of a pretty girl. The stamp is interesting too.It features the 2016 Men's World Floorball Championships were the 11th World Championships in men's floorball. The tournament took place in Latvia in December 2016. 
 Ever heard of floorball? Me neither:   'Floorball is a type of floor hockey with five players and a goalkeeper in each team. Men and women play indoors with 96–115.5 cm-long sticks and a 22–23 cm-circumference plastic ball with holes. Matches are played in three twenty-minute periods.' 
I got thi off the internet, but the ball on the photo doe n't look like cm at all!

The second card is a vintage travel poster from the US. There is some info on the back of the card:
Wrangell-St. Elias National Park was established in 1980, the 48th park among America's 59 National Parks. Located in southeastern Alaska, it looms over the Canadian-Yukon border. Wrangell-St. Elias is the largest National Park with 13 million acres, the size of Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks and Switzerland combined! Mount St. Elias, at 18,008 feet, is the second highest peak in the U.S. Mt. Wrangell, at14,163 feet, is one of the largest active volcanoes in North America.
 The card was sent to me by Seema, who lives in Minnesota (Land of 10,00 lakes). As you can see the stamps are lovely. One of them features a vintage poster and the other is of course Katherine Hepburn, a very beautiful actress whom I remember well.
Yesterday I went to the gym as usual and this is what we found:

The treadmills were all moved away and there was an unholy mess on the floor! Here is our teacher looking a bit like: what are we going to do...

 It turns out that the floor needed cleaning. The cleaners are having a cleaning machine for the day and had asked some strong men to move the machines on Friday night as they were going to clean on Monday morning. (But we had arrived before them). The mess on the floor is what was underneath the machines. Just as well it is getting cleaned.

I am joining the T-Party organised by Elisabeth and Bluebeard. For that I need to have a beverage in my blog. Well I have two (accidentally).
Saturday evening was the inauguration of a photographic exhibition in our village. It shows the best photos of 2018 from the several photoclubs in the province of Granada (I think there are nine). The lady with the hat (called Encarna) had made the cakes and brought home made liquors and there were soft drinks too. I hadn't realised the drinks were in the photo so now I have two beverages in this blog.

 My 'official,' drinks reference is this box of tea which we bought in Holland when we were there recently. We have tasted it already and it is very nice. It has oolong tea in it (a bit smoky) and white mint, lemon myrtle leaves, marigold leaves, oil of orange, oil of green mint and yuzu flavouring.
That is it from me today,
Happy T-Day,

Friday, 11 January 2019

A Postcard A Day - Friday 10 January 2019 - Friday Smiles (And very rude funnies)

Hello lovely Friday friends,

Here I am again, at my computer, with a few postcards to show you and to tell you how my week has gone.

Of course I will be linking up with Annie at A Stitch in Time and with Virginia at Rocking your Week Friday.
Usually I would start by showing you some postcards, but today I'm going to show you two Christmas cards I received. 

As we left the country so early, I didn't see most of my christmas cards until after we got home last week. 
Here is the one Annie sent me. Thank you so much Annie! It is beautiful. The image in the middle is fabric and the cross stitches are hand embroidered. The theme of course is 'bears' (What else!)

 The next card is  from Shaz and Doug. The baubles are embossed (I think) in a glittery golden which is not so visible on the scanned image. But believe me, it is absolutely gorgeous. Thanks Shaz!

These cards will be sitting on my workdesk for a good while, after which they go in a box where I keep all my hand-made cards. I look through them periodically when I need some inspiration.

The week has pàst very quickly. We arrived back in Spain very late on Friday night and Saturday we slept late, unpacked and generally relaxed.
Then in the evening we went out for dinner with some of our Danish friends who own the house next door. I thought that was a good idea as we had little food in the house and no enthusiasm to cook.

On Sunday I baked my own bread, so when we came home from church, there was a lovely loaf plus the house smelling of freshly baked bread. (One of the best smells ever)

Sunday was Epiphany, or as they call it here Los Reyes. A very popular festival that remembers the visit of the three kings to the baby Jesus. The children receive their presents  (in stead of Christmas) on this day. 
It is a bit of folklore. The Bible does mention Magi visiting the Christchild.  The term magi originally referred to a caste of Persian priests, astrologers who looked to the stars as guides. Nowhere in the Bible do we find how many. The Eastern Orthodox church believes there were 12, and in western folklore they became three kings, probably because they gave three gifts.
There are usually parades therough the town and the 'kings' and their entourage throw sweets into the crowds. 

Because Sunday was Epiphany, Monday was a Bank Holiday. Another day that the shops were closed.
We raided the freezer where I always keep home made meals as I habitually cook double portions.

Monday night saw us driving to our weekend home where we relaxed by the fire and watched this DVD which was one of our Christmas presents.

It follows Todd White (amongst others) in Rome. Todd is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player, who is now a street preacher:
He is a bit mad cap but we like him.

On Tuesday we had a meal out again so I was glad when the gym opened again on Wednesday.

One of the items in my suitcase from Holland were these dried peas. 

I went to the butcher to get some meat with lots of bone

And I made a traditional Dutch 'erwtensoep' (thick pea soup) on Wednesday.
Yesterday I spent the day in my craft room. I had a list of things I wanted to do, but I didn't do much creating. I went through my supplies, tidied, organized and sorted some photos. Then eventually I did do two scrapbook pages. 
I played with my Gelatos (Tropical) which have the colours in this photo (below), but I don't seem to be able to use them any other way than as crayons. They don't turn into watercolours, which I was hoping. In the end I used some of my millions of scrapbook papers, and now my photo (of mum and me) can go in the album.

The second page I made is a photo of my dad when he was young. I played with my die cuts to make cogs to match the paper. The clock wheels on the page are shiny, and the little envelope is meant to house some journaling. I will have to phone mum to ask her some details. I should have phoned her last night but I was busy preparing my blog and in the end I forgot.

That is it from me today. As usual, I will add some funnies. They come with a health warning this time. A disclaimer, warning, or whatever you want to call it. 

They are particularly UN-politically correct and rude. If you are easily offended, don't read on. If you are a vegan, sorry, I have nothing against vegans. I just thought it was funny.

Have a lovely weekend and,
Keep smiling,

Translation: Last selfie before they put us back in the box!