Tuesday, 18 September 2018

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 18 Sept 2018 - T for...

Hello T-Partyers. I apologize for the messy post. I am trying to do this on my phone and am typing blind as I can’t scroll up or down. 
We are in rainy and cold England. Luckily I have free data roaming. 
The sea voyage was good and uneventful. We spent some quality time with our son #1 and his family. Now we are in our caravan so we can “put it to bed” for the winter. 
My postcard for today is one that my cousin sent me as she knows I love doors. (the photo of the door seems to have disappeared)

The stamp is from a series of bridges. This turning bridge dates from 1892 and can be found in the Dutch town of Dedemsvaart. It is still being used. 

I have taken lots of photos but I don’t know how to use them in this post. The postcard photos I put on a post as soon as I receive them. So I did that at home  
I will try and link up with Elizabeth and Bluebeard at Altered Book Lover. 
Happy T Day all,

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 11 Sept 2018 - T for ....

Hi everyone, hubby and I are traveling and at the moment we are in a hotel in the middle of Spain outside a beautiful little town called Cuenca. We are waiting to go out for dinner. Here people eat late so there is no restaurant open before 8:30pm. 
I am joining the T-party that Elizabeth and Bluebeard organises.

I am writing this on my iPhone and iPad but I don’t know how to do this. I’m really sorry that this is such a mess. I don’t seem to be able to change the font and I don’t know how to scroll down on this thing, so just to say I have got some photos of a festival that our friends went to, which is hugely popular. The photos were taken by our friend Andy Andrew Watson). 
I’ll say goodbye and happy T Day here as I don’t know how to get to the bottom of the page.

So here is A funny that I found:

last week, (thursday) was the festival of Cascamorras and the friends of our conversation group went to celebrate that in nearby Baza. We didnt join them as it involves getting very, and i mean very dirty. Read the following if you want to know what its all about:


The origins of the festival are impressive, with different versions of the legend, of which this is the most widely accepted. When a workman from Guadix nicknamed Cascamorras was building a church on the site of a mozarabe temple, he found a sacred image of the Virgen de la Piedad (Our Lady of Mercy) buried in the ground. Both Baza and Guadix claimed the find as their own. The tribunals decided that the image should remain in Baza, except one day a year when it could be taken to Guadix, but it seems that neither town trusted the practicalities of this decision.    
Either before or after the tribunal's decision, the workman and his fellows from Guadix attempted to take the virgin back to their town, but the people from Baza snatched it back. When Cascamorras returned to Guadix empty-handed, the deeply disappointed villagers castigated Cascomorras and continued to pray to 'their' Virgin who was located in the other town.
Baza declared that on the saint's day, if a nominated person from Guadix was able to reach the Virgin remaining clean, he could keep it for Guadix. Each year the Cascamorras tries to fulfil the pledge, but to this day has never succeeded due to being pelted with eggs and flour and olive oil.

525 years later the festival is more popular than ever with 15 to 25 thousand taking part. It has to be one of the most impressive least known festivals in Andalucia if not Spain. We do recommend it. Perhaps it the longevity that add a fervent interest, it certainly seems to have more at the core than an excuse for a drunken party as some others are heading. In fact there is no alcohol openly consumed at all. Cascamorras run marks the becomes the first day of the Baza feria.

The first traditionally takes place on 6 September in Baza, where hundreds of villagers and onlookers go to a place called Las Arrodeas on a nearby hill over looking the town and cover themselves with black oil (special mix of black paint mixed with ecological olive oil; prepared by the Town hall). At 18.00 hrs the third rocket indicates that Cascamorras has arrived on the hill. Protected by cohorts he begins the run 1,5 km down the hill into the town.   

The locals from Baza are now well prepared to 'dirty' the Cascamorras (by simply rubbing against him) and the first to do so is honoured. The Cascamorras has a porra (rubber ball tied to a wooden stick by a leather chord) to defend himself. His team of cohorts including a flag bearer and a drummer man, try in vain protect him on the hill and through the Baza streets.

There are 10 nominated Juras de Bandera (Flag waving) points along the 6km route which takes from 90 minutes to over two hours to complete. Each year is slightly different as the nominated Cascamorras dictates the pace and adds his character to the event.  

As a reward for his vallient attempt, the Cascamorras is permitted (if he cleans himself up) to enter the Iglesia de la Merced and pray to the Virgin de la Piedad. 

Friday, 7 September 2018

A Postcard A Day - Freiday 7 September 2018 - Friday Smiles

Hello lovely ladies,
This is going to be the last blogpost I write from home, as we are going travelling again. We will be catching a ferry from Bilbao in the north of Spain to Portsmouth on Wednesday. But as we like to see a bit more of the country we live in, we are going to take three days to get to Bilbao (while we could do it in two). We are stopping for the night in two different places and I'm very much looking forward to that.

I have already put my Postcrossing account on non-active, but I received this postcard this week. It comes from China:

This is a beautiful wooden door to a house in the Xidi village. Apparently they are wooden panelling to close the courtyard inside.

Wikipedia gives me this: Xidi (Chinese西递) is a village in Xidi Town (西递), Yi CountyHuangshan City of the historical Huizhou region of Anhui province, China. It was declared a part of the "Ancient Villages in Southern Anhui" World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000, along with Hongcun 

The rise of the village was closely tied to the fortunes of the Hu family. By 1465 CE, during the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644), family members had started in business as merchants, leading to construction of major private buildings and a public infrastructure. By the middle of the 17th century, the influence wielded by members of the Hu family expanded from commerce into politics. The prosperity of Xidi peaked in the 18th and 19th centuries, at which time the village comprised about 600 residences.
Today, 124 well-preserved wooden residences from the Ming and Qing dynasties with beautiful carvings form the major attractions. Many of these residences are open to the public.

The stamps are large and very pretty. The one on the left is obviously about the 2011 Expo. The middle one reads: 'China, intangible cultural heritage' and the one on the right: 'China cultural heritage'.

My week has been hectic as we are preparing clothes (winter clothes, lol) and gifts, making lists, printing out bookings and tickets, planning a route, rigging up an irrigation system for the plants and  letting people know we will be away. (This is a small village and they will keep an eye on our house).
I am trying out last year's clothes to see what fits and what doesn't. I have a wardrobe I only wear when going to the UK. 

Yesterday I had a very pleasant surprise: My cactus has flowered for the second time this season!

 My dear hubby has been busy putting splash back tiles on the lower part of the outside wall of our house. It doesn't rain very often here, but when it does, oh boy, my white wall won't be white anymore!

They are brown tiles. We have been living in the lover part this summer (where the car is parked). Above that are two large terraces and my craft room that doubles as a guest suite as it has a toilet and bathroom. Above that, with the round window/doors, is our winter living quarters. It is a large kitchen/lounge with a bathroom on the same floor. Right on top (you can only see half of it) is our bedroom which we access by a metal staircase from the lounge. The main staircase runs along the side of the house and is very long as you can see by the roof. I think they are 56 steps!
I am really pleased with the splash back tiles.

I have probably told you that as very good friend of mine died in the storm in Rotterdam last month. (A tree fell on their car). I still hadn't written to all the family, so this is my last sympathy card. I did decoupage. Simple but effective:

Now for some assorted funnies that I had lying about:

That is it from me this Friday. I am going to link up with Annie at A Stitch In Time, and with Virginia at Rocking Your World Friday.
Have a fab weekend all,

I'll try to post next week from wherever I may be. But I'm not taking my computer, and from my tablet I can't post photos. I have found a way around that by first publishing on Facebook, as Blogger does accept photos from FB. (Strangely...). So Annie, you will have seen them first on FB.


Tuesday, 4 September 2018

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 4 September 2018 - T for cakes and music

Hello lovely girls,
Here we are again on Tuesday. Are you ready for the T-Party? Head to Elizabeth and Bluebeard's page with a blogpost that has a beverage in it and join the fun.
My blog is about postcards and our life in Spain, so lets start with the postcards:
I have a confession to make. I have been completely confused with the date (and consequently missed Second on the Second) and because I thought it was a day earlier, I also didn't realize we would be away tonight. So I'm writing this away from home. Not to worry, I have plenty of old postcards on my harddrive and photos from last weekend on my phone.

Here is a mapcard of the region we live in: Andalucia (southern Spain). The region is devided in provinces as it's quite big. The provinces are named after their capital cities.(Huelva, Sevilla, Cádiz, Córdoba, Jaén, Granada and Almería).  We live in the province of Granada

 We live in the province of Granada. We live just to the left of the black bull. It's called Caniles and is underlined. At the moment we are in Gor, just a bit southwest of Caniles. (46 km away).
The sea at the bottom of both maps is the Mediterranean.
A bit to the south of Gor on the map, (over the little mountain) you see an image of a bunch of grapes. Above the bunch of grapes is La Calahorra, a  lonely castle that a nobleman of times gone by built for his beloved, but she never had the chance to live there. Sad...

Enough sightseeing, let me lead  you (slowly)to my beverage. 
On Sunday we had a social get-together with our language group. We call it Intercambio (exchange) and is meant for Spanish people who want to practice their English and English speakers who want to practice Spanish. We have a session every Saturday. One of the Spanish lads volunteered to cook the paella:

One quarter was left 'fish-less' as two of us didn't like sea food.

I made my (by now famous) Tarte a tres chocolates (=three chocolate tart), which went down well. 

But there were other desserts. Here I am making up some plates with a little bit of everything.
There was lemon cake, cheese cake, ice cream and three chocolates tart.

 Here is the only photo with drinks in it. They are on the table and my drink is beside me (I'm on the left)

on the floor, red wine (in a plastic tumbler as we were in the pool house)
 We made some music and sang some songs, trying to find songs that Spanish as well as English people knew

 Hubby had made some song sheets and one of our friends is playing the cajon.

The best bit of the evening? The hot tub!!

That's enough partying for a while. We will be travelling from monday morning onwards so I will do the best I can in my hotel room from my phone.

Happy T-Day all!

Friday, 31 August 2018

A Postcard A Day - Friday 31 August 2018 - Friday Smiles

Hello lovely ladies,
Here I am again to share a few smiles. It's been a good week and like always, full of smiles.

Let me show you a few cards that I received this week:
 This one comes from the Czech Republic and reads: "Planting potatoes at school of Agriculture in Tábor. 1913-1919".  It made me smile as the students are working the land in a suit and hat. Not a boot or an overall in sight!

The stamp is gorgeous. It features the the Palais Stoclet, the house Josef Hoffmann designed in 1905 for the Belgian Banker Adolphe Stoclet in Brussels.
 I found some photos of it on an architect's website:
It is made of white marble, outside and in. Here is the dining room:

 The walls are decorated by Gustav Klimt
One of my favorite artists. The whole set-up reminds me a bit of Charles Rennie Mackintosh who was a Scottish architect and designer. Take a look at that living room:
A feast for the eye! Unfortunately it is still a family home and as such not open to the public.

My second card is a playful pin-up type card from Russia.
 Again with an interesting stamp.
Those of you in the know will recognise the logo of the world championships soccer in Russia held not long ago.

One of the smiles this week is about the carpenter that came to our house so that I could order a cupboard/wall units for the flat upstairs. We will be going to the UK soon and the cabinet will be ready when we come back in October.

 I need a space to put my glasses in and on the right is a tallboy space to put mops etc in. They (the mops) were always 'parked' at the top of the stairs but that is not a very nice welcome as you come into the flat. In future they will be hidden.

And I've done some card making. The recipient of this card has had his birthday, so I can show the card now.
I've had lots to smile about and I would like you to smile too, so I will include a few funnies. This time they have a baby/kids boozy theme:

That's it ladies! I'm off to Anne at A Stitch In Time and then I'll stop at Virginia's Rocking Your World Friday.

Does anyone like puns? Here are a few to keep you out of mischief...

Have a lovely weekend,
Keep smiling,

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 28 August 2018 - T for cakes and cards

Good morning lovely peeps,
Are you ready for the T-Party? Head over to Elizabeth and Bluebeard's Altered Book Lover with a blogpost that has a beverage in it. 
I will come to my beverage later, but first a few postcards:

This one is on its way to Canada. She wanted a card that reflected the culture of my country, so this is an image of the tiled facade of a restaurant in madrid that we visited. It features a (rather miserable looking) bull fighter.
I looked on Google to see if I could find a photo of the restaurant:
 Two very bad ones (sorry).
The second card is also about culture, Andalusian culture. Flamenco is still very much in the heart of the people. I hear nothing else from morning till evening. (It's awful when badly done).
The dancers are beautiful in their pretty dresses and magnificent posture. Every fiesta time the girls walk dressed like this, even little ones and I love seeing it. 

This next card was handed to me by friends of ours who had just been on holiday with their two boys to the beach. They had remembered that I love postcards and had bought me one of the place they were staying. Bless them. 
San Juan de los Terreros is on the coast, an hour and a half drive from here. It looks lovely, doesn't it.

Now for my culinary shinanigans: August is a busy month. Lots of parties and dinners out. Our Danish neighbours are back (they are here only part-time). They invited us to dinner. As it's still very hot here, I made a cheese cake. I even found some cherries in syrup in the pantry for decoration.
 This is the result. It was very yummy. And here is my drink (red wine this time).
The other day our elderly neighbour Serafín, brought me a pile of plums. 
I didn't want to make jam, as we still had loads. So I made cakes. I must have made 4 large ones. This is the last one. I have taken one to a party and the rest is in the freezer as this particular cake freezes well.
 Then the other day I remembered I had spare ribs in the fridge, so this weekend we cooked this on our little travel BBQ. I was really looking forward to it and had marinaded it since the night before in my favorite smoky sauce.
But it was such a disappointment when it came to eating it! It was the wrong cut! There was a bone along the side attached to the ribs and there was hardly any meat on it! Look at my plate. I have finished but all that is left is bones and I am still hungry.  I had not made many side dishes, just a bit of salad. But I had opened a nice bottle of rosé....
We consoled ourselves with a large piece of plum cake!

OK, enough now. I will stop.

Have a good week, 
Happy T-Day,