Friday, 9 December 2016

A Postcard A Day -Friday 9 Dec 2016 - Friday Smiles

Good morning folks!
It's Friday again (and it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....) Can you hear me singing? I have my Bublé collection playing on my iPod.  Here in the village it's not yet looking like Christmas at all. There are no decorations and lights up yet. (They will eventually). But I have received a Christmas card yesterday from someone who put it in with my husband's birthday card. (Hubby's birthday is Tuesday). And I have all my cards (14) ready for the post office later on. It's a bit late. I hope they get to the UK on time...

Here is my card for today. It was difficult to choose as I received 8 cards this week. 
 It is a water colour painting from China. I've been given no information as to the artist, but the sender tells me that the letters are a poem, which translated means: 'A trip in spring'. It seems to me that there is a bit more to it than that, but hey, I don't know Chinese...
These are the stamps:
Lots to smile about this week, but my biggest smile this week has been my Spanish driving licence. Yes, I finally got my photo licence:
The reason why I wanted a Spanish licence is that the British licence that I had, has no photo on it. I can't use it as an ID, so I always have to carry my passport in my handbag with me. With this little baby i can leave my passport at home. Of course it is also an incentive to start driving again. We are thinking of buying a little run-around for me to use. (My hubby has a large 4x4 pick-truck, and I can't reach the pedals!)

Smile number two is a poinsettia. I have treated myself:
Our neighbour brought us a bucket of plums again, so one evening this week, my hubby and I made a load of plum jam. We work very well together in the kitchen and we love cooking together, but in every day life this is not possible. But for the jam making, he joined me and we had great fun doing it (ahem, the jam making of course)
It turned out really well. (I like my jams less sweet, so I always put lemon juice in as well).

Now for some funnies. After all it is Friday Smiles! I'm linking up with Annie at AStitch in Time. Please join us with your smiles.
Everyone who has a cat will know they like bags and boxes.
But socks?....
Have you put the Christmas tree up yet? Then singalong to this song:
Sorry if this is a bit late but we have been without internet since last night. (As was the whole village). But it's all sorted now so,
Have a fab weekend,

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 6 Dec 2016 - T for Sinterklaas, German Postcrossers and Chinese food!

Good morning T-Gang!
It's nearly midnight on Monday night as I am writing this, and soon it will be Tuesday... That week flies by! 
Tonight in the Netherlands is St Nicolas eve. (Sinterklaas). That has made me a bit nostalgic.
Every year, on the 5th of December, the Netherlands celebrates the birthday of a very old man. His name is St Nicolas. He has a long white beard and he rides on a white horse over the rooftops. We kids call him also Sinterklaas. He is a nice man because he brings presents to kids who are good. Sounds familiar? Yes, Sinterklaas and Santaclause are related. However Sinterklaas was there first.
Sinterklaas always makes his entrance in the Netherlands by boat in Amsterdam. His arrival is televised nationally. He is supposed to come all the way from Spain (Don’t ask the Spanish about this, you will get some uncomprehending looks).  Sinterklaas is usually assisted by some black assistants. We call them Zwarte Piet (Black Peter). Zwarte Piet is usually an friendly clown who likes to make jokes with kids while Sinterklaas is usually a figure of authority. Sinterklaas has a book with all your good deeds and naughty stuff that you did during year (supplied by the parents of course), and decides whether to give you a present, a beating, or to throw you in the sack and send you to Spain. Aah well, that is to say. Those last punishments we don’t do any more. We are a bit more civilized nowadays.
When I was young we got together as a family (Here is my mum and my Omi in the photo) and waited for the sack (in which my mother had put all the presents), delivered by Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet of course. We sang songs about Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet. (I still know most of the songs) My sister and I were eager to see what Sinterklaas had brought. Silly poems were attached to every present and had to be read first before one could tear the paper open. 

As you become older, you understand of course that Sinterklaas does not exist. That you get rarely anything for free, but you keep those nice memories of the family celebration, the songs, the presents and the silly rhymes Most Dutch people have such memories and we cherish them with a certain fondness.

Enough nostalgia! Here is my postcard:
 The international postcard club Postcrossing sometimes holds regional meetings. During those meetings members write cards to randomly selected addresses. I was the recipient of one such card from a German group meeting. It was signed by all 16 people that were there.
Here is the stamp:
Midnight has struck! It is now officially Tuesday. On Tuesdays I join up with Elizabeth and Bleubeard for T for Tuesday, where people share something with a drink in it. So now for something with a drink...

My hubby and I have recently been to the local Chinese restaurant.

A very uninspiring place if truth be told.
But the food was good. We stuck to things we knew and had spring rolls for starters. I was already tucking into mine when i remembered to take a photo.

And these were our coffees.
Sorry for the stained table cloth. I am a messy pup!

Wishing you all a happy T-Day,

Friday, 2 December 2016

A Postcard A Day - Friday 2 Dec 2016 - Friday Smiles.

Hello peeps! Here we are again. It's Friday! That week went so fast!
I have to start by saying that I am doing this blog on my old laptop because my computer developed a loud sound. I turned it off and called the chap that sold it to me. Fortunately for me, his mother lives next door, and he comes home for dinner, so he picked it up today. It is still under guarantee. I hope to have it back tomorrow. 
All the bits and pieces I had prepared for this blog is all on the that computer, so I have to improvise a bit.

My card for today comes from Australia. I like map cards, so I thought this one is quite interesting:
It shows how big Australia is. The whole of Europe fits in it.

I have no photos to share as they are on my other computer, so the only thing to share is from my phone (sorry for the bad quality photo). 
A friend of ours, Raquel, has opened a fruit and veg shop in our village. We were there to congratulate her and buy some stuff of course:

As I didn't have my computer today I thought I would do some repair jobs on the sewing machine. I patched up two of Graham's work trousers (Literally sewn patches on them) and the seam of a pillow case that had become undone and I shortened a pair of new trousers for Graham. Still to do: a pair of trousers (mine) that have very wide bottoms. They are no longer fashionable so I want to make them straight. But that needs the utmost concentration, so I am deferring that one to another day...

I will be linking in with Annie at A Stitch in Time for Friday Smiles. Here is a 'funny' from 1934!

And here is another one:
That's it from me today. 
Wishing you all a great Friday and a fab weekend full of smiles.


Second on the Second - December 2nd 2016

Elizabeth on her blog Altered Book Lover hosts something called Second on the Second, where on the second of the month we share a blog for the second time, an old blogpost that we want to show again. 
Two years ago in December we were visiting Valencia. And I would like to show you that blogpost again:


Last week the builders had a week off and we took the opportunity to go on holiday. We took the campervan and drove to Valencia (took us 6 hours in our ‘slow coach’).

I’d never been to Valencia and we were pleasantly surprised. The Camper Parque was outside the city but next to a Metro station, so we did not have to drive into Valencia.

One lovely feature of Valencia is the (dry) Turia river that runs through the town.
In place of 120 hectares of dry riverbed, the city centre has a lush green garden split into twelve parts and full of native and non-native plants and Spanish wildlife, ponds and a zen garden, all developed by the Catalan architect Ricardo Bofill. As a real park for the people, it is also home to an athletics track, artworks, climbing walls, football pitches, cafes, ponds and flowers. Traffic is diverted over the top of the 11km-long park via bridges at several intervals.

(Funny to see palm trees grow through a hole in the bridge!)
Children can explore the Gulliver Park; an adventure playground featuring a large fibre glass model of Gulliver tied to the ground with ropes. Children can climb on it. Gulliver’s clothes make a network of slides and ladders.(Adults not allowed...)

There are beautiful buildings in the old part. We liked the train station. Estation del Nort, a modernist building, built in the Arts and Crafts style.

And we liked the National Ceramics Museum, which is housed in a palace that dates from the 15th century and was refurbished in 1740 in rococo style with a magnificent alabaster entrance. Inside, we found 18th century carriages, the 19th century rooms, medieval ceramics and an important collection of tiles.

While window shopping in town, I really liked the shops that sold beautiful fabrics that are used for making traditional costumes. In the photo you can see shawls, hair combs, a fan, beautiful fabric, and cotton under garments.

The modern part of Valencia is architecturally just as spectacular as the old part. The Opera House, 

the Science Museum, 

the Oceanografic and the Agora and the surrounding park are worth more than one visit. 

We spent a day in the Oceanografic, a huge aquarium with a dolphin show and whale and shark tanks.

There is a very interesting covered food market 

and of course I must mention that Valencia is where paella comes from. 

There are loads of lovely restaurants. Most have outside seating which in winter have heaters. The food is great and so are the people.

I heartily recommend Valencia as a city break if you ever have the chance.

That's it for tonight, thanks for visiting.


Tuesday, 29 November 2016

A Postcard a Day - Tuesday 29 Nov 2016 T for autumn weather, kaki fruit and sock heels

 Hi folks, It's Tuesday again. How are you all? 

Here in Spain, autumn has finally arrived. It is cold and it has rained a few times this week. We have lit the fire and it is so lovely and cosy indoors.

The large kettle on the stove is a 6 litre kettle. I use it to heat up water to do the washing up with. When the weather is bad we have no hot water as the solar panel heats up the tank. No sun, no hot water. The tank has an immersion heater which heats electrically. We switch it on in the evening so we have hot water to have a shower before going to bed. Fortunately there are very few days here that the sun doesn't shine for a few hours.

The trees have now got their autumn colours. Beautiful. (This is one of my friends' photos):
Our neighbours are very generous. They often bring us their produce. This week we received this:
Lots of walnuts, half a crate of tomatoes, a bowl of plums, and loads of persimmon. They are the orange fruit. In proper English they are called persimmon, but here they are known as kaki fruit. The variety that we have here has to ripen on the fruit bowl. Unripe fruit is awful to eat. I'm not particularly keen on them even when ripe, so I searched for recipes that I could use them in. I found a recipe of Persimmon Bread that uses walnuts and kaki's. Bingo!
It is delicious! Here is the link for the recipe in case you are interested.

I should have taken a picture of me having a slice of cake with butter and a cup of coffee.... but i forgot. As this is T for Tuesday where we all share a drink and link in with Elizabeth and Buebeard at Altered Book Lover, I'll look on my camera to see if there is a a photo with a drink. Yes, here we are:

I cooked pulled pork in the slowcooker for the first time (earlier in the week) and it was delicious. Accompanied by some roast potatoes and beetroot with bacon lardons and of course a glass of red wine (as we do in Spain). 
Gosh, you can really tell that I love my food!

I was hoping that I would be able to show you something crafty, as my craft room is now ready, but I haven't made anything yet. What I have done is found my knitting stuff among the boxes in my newly painted craft room. So now I have started to knit socks. I'm using a short circular needle, but for the heel I reverted back to the usual double pointed needles and managed the heel turn perfectly (for the first time I must admit, as I've never been able to get that quite right). So I proudly present..... my heel turn.... tada!

Enough waffle from me! Lets go and visit the rest of the T-Gang!

Have a schplendid T-Day,

Friday, 25 November 2016

A Postcard A Day - Friday 25 Nov 2016 - Friday Smiles

Hello peeps! How are you all? 

I have some more photos of our little trip to the Parque Natural Cabo de Gata in south east Spain.
The temperatures there are milder than where we are. More importantly, it doesn't snow or freeze, so the plants that grow there are different to what we are used to. 

 Of course the Bougainvillia is the most spectacular. I would love one, but it dies at the first frost, so I can't have one!
 These short palm trees/shrubs are typical of the area and grow (in this case) on the beach.
 I have no idea what these are. In England we would call them rock plants. 

The town we camped at is called Carboneras. We were there ten years ago, when we used it as a base for a geological field trip. Well, it has improved immensely and is now a pleasant seaside town. One of the squares is named after Picasso and there was a mural depicting his different art styles:
I believe this is a self portrait.
And this is called 'Two women running on the beach' from his blue period.
I love street art and grafitti. I have a pinterest page with hundreds of great street art (have a look if you like that sort of thing:
This mural was really stunning.
Made in December 2013, the artist is Nauni, with the help of El Super, Paratas and Zoen. 
Now, I mustn't forget my postcard:
This is bound to put a smile on your face! It is a card from Colombia and the stamps are spectacular:
And now for some funnies as it is Friday and I want to link up with Annie at A Stitch in Time.
 And I usually link up with Virginia too at Rocking Your World Friday.
I hope you all have a very good week, keep smiling!
Blessings and hugs,

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

A Postcard A Day - 22 Nov 2016 - T for convents, campervans and sunshine

Hello lovely T-Gang! How are you all? I am well. (Nowadays they say: "I'm good" but that makes me cringe as it is such bad English)

I have lots to share with you as we have been away for a few days. But first my postcard:
This postcard shows the Novodevichy Convent from the northeast. 1900s. Svetlana sent it me and she writes: 'In our day the Novodevichy Convent is one of the most remarkable examples of medieval architecture of Moscow and a part of Russian UNESCO World Heritage.'

The stamp is large and colourful:
It's about their national cuisine. The stamp website writes this: "World-famous Russian cuisine boasts diversity and abundance. Throughout its centuries-old history, cookery in Russia was enriched by a lot of recipes of delicious dishes.

Russian cuisine is distinguished by various sour, salted and retted vegetables, fruits and mushrooms, as well as a multitude of delicacies: sturgeon, salmon, salmon roe and caviar, cold boiled pork, etc. Profusion of soups is also a tradition, the best-known are okroshka, shchi, borsch, rassolnik, solyanka, kalya, ukha, botvinia.

The postage stamps depict a still life of the traditional Russian cuisine."

I have no idea what retted vegetables are... Do they mean roasted? I don't know.

Now for something else entirely. My DH and I have been away for a few days. Hubby looked at the weather forecast (which was good) and said he was ready for a break, so we got the campervan loaded up and off we went. We drove to the south east point of the Spanish peninsula, which is a two hours' drive (driving slowly)  from where we live. The area is called Cabo de Gata and it is a Natural Park.

It is my favorite destination when we go away. It is volcanic and has salt flats and flamingos and stunning desert landscapes.
There are many white villages (Pueblos blancos). A nightmare to drive in with a large vehicle. Fortunately there is usually some spot outside the village where we can park. Here we are by the sea, on the edge of the village. 
I love all the white houses and the Andalucian tiles.
While we live in Granada Province, this park is in the adjacent Almeria Province. Their symbol is the Indalo Man, which you can see everywhere.
We found a restaurant by the water and decided to have lunch.
It's the building with the blue awning.
We were soon joined by several cats that would lie at our feet patiently waiting for some tasty morsel to come their way.
I had a dish with three different types of fish on it and some calamaris rings. 
Dessert was called 'pan de calatrava', which is bread based soaked in caramel syrup, then baked. It is very yummy.

As I am going to link up with Elizabeth and Bleubeard at Altered Book Lover, I am showing you our drinks. Mine is a café cortado (an expresso coffee with the same amount of hot milk). 

That's it from me today. I will leave you a bit more info about the Cabo de Gata park at the end. 

Thank you for visiting. 

Happy T-Day,



Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park is characterised by volcanic rock formations - lava flows, volcanic domes, volcanic calderas. The park joined UNESCO's Global Geoparks Network in 2006, and is also a member of the European Geoparks Network[4]
Between the village of San Miguel and the Cabo de Gata point are salt flats (Las Salinas de Cabo de Gata) separated from the sea by a 400 m (1,300 ft) sand bar. The salt flats are a Ramsar site.
Its coasts have seagrass beds of the Posidonia genus and offshore coral reefs, both dramatically increasing the numbers of resident and transient marine species. A 120 km2 (46 sq mi) part of the total designated protected area is a marine reserve, extending underwater to a depth of 60 m (200 ft).
The area has an arid climate with an average temperature of about 18 °C (64 °F) and an average annual rainfall of 156 mm (6.1 in), recorded at the Faro del Cabo de Gata (36°43'18.8 N, 2°11'34.69" W) during the period 1961-1990.[5]
The characteristic vegetation in the terrestrial zone is drought-adapted flora: largely agave, prickly pear, dwarf fan palms and a number of xerophytes (some of which are endemic). There is Posidonia seagrass in the marine zone.