Monday, 31 August 2015

A Postcard a Day 31 August 2015 Belgium map and harvesting almonds

Good morning! Good Monday! 

It's Map Monday and I am showing you a postcard with a map. (I collect them).

Today I have a map of Belgium.
I grew up in Holland and as Belgium has a border with the Netherlands I have been to Belgium often. An hour on the train could see us shopping in Antwerp or eating waffles in Brussels. Belgium has beautiful cities all over and lovely hills and valleys in the east. I don't know why Belgium isn't better known than it is.

The card was sent to me by Lut quite some time ago now. She tells me she is a crafter like me and makes 3D cards. She put a special stamp on the card for me too.  
The stamp celebrates the Belgian presidency of the European Union.

Meanwhile here in Spain.... the almond harvest is in full swing. This weekend my neighbours were shelling sack load after sack load in their garage (which is next to ours)

The sacks of almonds get emptied in this (very noisy) machine. 

The machine spews out the shells on one side and the almonds on the other. The shells are used to fuel the stove (it does get very cold here in winter) and the almonds of course get eaten or sold on. I've been told the harvest is not so good this year because of the draught.

That's it for today folks. See you tomorrow when i will link in with T for Tuesday.



Sunday, 30 August 2015

A Postcard a Day 30 August 2015 Florence, fig chutney

Good morning! Good Sunday!
Are you having a good weekend? We have been super busy. Yesterday we picked figs (see yesterday's blog) and today I have made a fig and onion chutney. Graham found a recipe by Nigel Slater on the internet:Dark and sticky fig chutney.
I chopped up the figs (a kilo), a huge onion, found some nice juicy raisins and got out my favorite pan and off I went.
Added brown sugar and cider vinegar, plus spices like allspice, coriander seeds and peppercorns. Let it bubble away while we had lunch. I'd also sterilized some jars and voila three jars of yummy chutney.

 Now for my postcard of today: 
It is the Duomo in Firenze (Florence in English).
I've actually been to Florence and this cathedral is truly magnificent. The build was started in 1296 and finished in 1436. Several architects and master builders have worked on the building project. The construction was halted on several occasions. One of them was caused by the Black Death (the plague) which killed most of the builders. The dome was a real feat in those days. Not only is it clever but I believe the white marble panels on the exterior are really beautiful. If you ever have the opportunity to go to Florence, do go.

That's it from me for today,

So, thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed seeing what I've been up to. I hope you'll come back and visit again tomorrow.



Saturday, 29 August 2015

A Postcard a Day 29 August 2015 Cakes and figs

Good morning all!

It's weekend again! That comes round so quickly! 

In the UK it is a Bank Holiday weekend, which means people also have Monday off. Most go away and generally enjoy themselves. It also means road congestion and tail-backs. Most of the time it also means bad weather... 

We have no problem with tail backs here in our area, the roads are empty and the weather is still very hot.

Today we went to pick figs this morning. Below our house there are a couple of large figs trees by the road. You can see them here in the photo. (You can just see a little white corner of our house top right)

We drove the car down so we could stand on the tail gate to reach the higher fruit.

This is my hubby picking the figs. We are going to make fruit chutney (Nigel Slater recipe) tomorrow.
No, I haven't forgotten the postcard for today. Here it is. It arrived a few days ago from the UK.
Photographed by photographer John Gay in 1956 it is called "Through the window of Claire's cake shop in Padstow". What a lovely card. That could have been me! I was 5 years old in 1956, and I love cake!

The stamp is one I hadn't seen before with a lovely little primrose on it.

Thank you Elena for sending this card to me.

That is it from me today,

Have a lovely day and see you tomorrow,



Friday, 28 August 2015

Friday smiles - 28 August 2015 Kraft doodles and naughty ladies

Hello Friday friends,

I hope you have had a good week. My week has been full of blessings although we have not done anything special. It's been a routine week. Yes, us retired people also have a routine....

Our campervan has passed its ITV or MOT or whatever your country calls its annual roadworthy test. Hurray!

My husband has had dental work done (very successfully) so he is happy. (And the price was less than what we anticipated. That can't be bad)
I have been busy doing scrapbooking. I'm making a book for my grandson's 10th birthday in October. I finished two pages today so I am well chuffed as they say. 

One scrapbook website Kraft Plus challenged us to use doodling or zentangling on our scrapbook page. This is what I made:

I love doodling! No drawing skills needed.

To finish today's blogpost (and hopefully make you smile) I will leave you with a postcard from Finland. It's by designer Inge Look and features two ladies (I call them the naughty ladies) enjoying life to the full. They always make me smile!
They look like they are singing at the top of their voices. I imagine something like: 
"Row, row, row your boat, 
gently down the stream... 
merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, 
life is but a dream!"

That's it for this week,

See you all next Friday! (Or tomorrow on 'A Postcard a Day'.)


Thursday, 27 August 2015

A Postcard a Day 27 August 2015 Books

Good Morning! 
We usually spend one night a week at our weekend home 40 km away. We went on Tuesday morning and had lunch (at 2pm) at our favorite restaurant, and spent the night in our little abode. It's very quiet, away from it all. No neighbours, no noise: total peace. We love it. On Wednesday I cooked an English meal: Bangers and Mash (for the uninitiated: sausages with mashed potatoes). Remember the song? (Peter Sellers and Sofia Loren)
We don't have English food very often but when we do I enjoy it with a nice glass of Spanish wine!

But you are here to see my postcards. I collected nine this week! 
This is one of them:
The photo does not have a date on it but it looks 1950s. That could be me in the photo. I love books! And did as a child. The card was sent to me by Marrku in Finland. He put a beautiful stamp on it:
The swan is designed by famous designer Klaus Haapaniemi. He lives in London and does fabrics for fashion and illustrations for books and all sorts of beautiful art work. Have a look on Google...

That's it for today. 

Tomorrow I'll link up with Friday Smiles.

See you then,



Wednesday, 26 August 2015

WOYWW 325 Envelopes, plasterer and a flown birdie

Hello fellow desk hoppers, 

Hope you are all in fine fettle and ready to do some snooping around each others desks. 
I'm linking in with 'Whats on your workdesk Wednesday'. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, visit our chief desker Julia at Stamping ground.

My desk is quite empty:
 I'm working on a lay out (seen on the right) and one of the embellishments was a little pink bird made of some foam type material. When I got to the point where I was going to glue it in place, I could not find it! I emptied my desk item by item carefully. Looked in the bin, lifted the carpet etc but the birdie has flown and I have not found it! So now I am left with a near empty and quite tidy desk.

This craft room is an improvised space in the new building, which is coming on nicely. Of course this craft room is nowhere near finished but as it is such a large and light space I am using it (even though it is not finished.)
The 'things' on the right are dining room chairs piled on top of each other as we had nowhere else to put them.

We hired a plasterer to do the ceilings as my hubby has a shoulder problem and can't do them.
He did a really good job. 

I've just remembered that i haven't shown you the other decorated envelopes of the July envelope exchange:

Two totally different envelopes, both pretty but both empty, the second one was anonymous so i couldn't even say thank you. Weird that. I'll stick to postcards... 

I think I'll go and have breakfast and later on I'll visit as many as i can, perhaps spread out over a few days like I did last week.

Wishing you all a good week,

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

T for coffe mugs and ice cream

Good morning, Happy Tuesday!

It's getting cooler here in Spain. For the first time the temperatures dropped below 20 degrees C during the night. 

Earlier this month I bought a small ice cream maker (at Lidl) but I hadn't tried it out yet. This one has two containers so that I can make small quantities of two different flavours.

I made one vanilla and the other blackberry. I find the pips in blackberries very annoying so I put them through a food mill. It was messy to say the least. Then it was quite messy to whip the small amount of cream. The kitchen was a right mess. But I did get ice cream. Two large beakers. Too much for the two of us really but we ate the lot!

Now to my T connection: We have a set of mugs for tea and coffee. 

It says 'tea' on three of them and 'coffe' on the other three. First we thought it was a language where coffee is spelt 'coffe', but I believe there is no such language (please tell me if I'm wrong). So I think it is a misprint! Don't you? I'm hoping one day they will become quite rare... And I'm hanging on to these as they might be worth a lot of money in the future! Lol!
So I'll put them away somewhere safe and pour myself a glass of wine!

Cheers! This is a card I received from Finland a while ago. I can't decifer her name but she is a nurse working on a surgery ward.

The stamp is quite nice. It is from the series Country Romance.
I'll leave you with that lovely old tractor.

Have a good day all of you,



Monday, 24 August 2015

A Postcard a day- 24 August 2015 Map-Monday Canada

Good Morning and Good Monday!

Have you had a good weekend? 

Here in Spain it is still very hot and we are enjoying the good weather and the lush produce. Our neighbor Serafino has a plot of land and he regularly brings us produce. These days it is cucumbers (the little short Spanish ones) and plums. I had so many plums at some stage that I didn't know what to do. I didn't want to make jam because we don't eat much jam, but I made plum sauce. 

I found a recipe for oriental plum sauce and stoned and chopped up all the plums. When it was all cooked and reduced I ended up with three jars of lovely sauce.
But most of you are here to see the postcards, so here is today's card from my collection:
It's Canada of course. Sent to me by Dale who lives in Toronto and is a retired letter carrier/postman. Having worked for the post office he knows where to get all the beautiful stamps. This card has 13 stamps on it!
The eleven small ones are all with images of beneficial insects on them with their Latin names. 
Here are their names in English:
1c Convergent lady beetle
2c Monarch caterpillar
3c Golden-eyed Lacewing
4c Paper wasp
5c Northern bumblebee
6c Assassin bug
7c Large milkweed bug
8c Margined leatherwing
9c Dogbane beetle
10c Canada darner (dragonfly)
25c Cecropia moth

The one with the snake is beautiful and is raised/embossed. It was issued in 2013 and celebrated the Chinese Year of the Snake.

The largest stamp features binoculars and is a tribute to the Canadian Rangers. 

The Canadian Rangers are a sub-component of the Canadian Armed Forces reserve that provide a  military presence in Canada's sparsely settled northern, coastal and isolated areas. A primary role of this part-time force is to conduct surveillance or sovereignty patrols as required.
(Photo Wikipedia)

Someone has scribbled penmarks over the stamps. (It wasn't me!)
That is a shame.
Dale, the Postcrosser who sent this card to me, has a birthday soon on the 1st of September. So Happy Birthday Dale and thank you again for sending this great card with stunning stamps.(Even though it was a while ago)

Have a good Monday all of you and CU tmorrow.


Sunday, 23 August 2015

A Postcard a Day-23 August 2015 a partially submerged church

Good Morning! Good Sunday!

As it is Sunday today, I will show you a postcard of a church. This one was not sent to me, but it is my own as I bought it during my visit to this unusual church. It's St Matthew's church in the village of Normanton in Rutland, UK.

St Matthew's Church is most unusual as it located on a tiny peninsular of rocks on the edge of Rutland Water - a major reservoir in the tiny county of Rutland. Parts of the church are actually below the waterline which were filled with rock and rubble when the lake was built in order to save the building. It has been a museum for a while. The skeleton of an Anglo Saxon man as well as dinosaur fossils were on show. Now it is being used as a wedding venue.

During the early 1970's it became obvious that a new reservoir was needed to provide drinking water for the expanding population of South East Britain. Surveyors and government finally decided that best location would be the Gwash valley in the County of Rutland. Unfortunately this meant that a substantial part of the parish of Empingham would be submerged underwater. Both the villages of Middle Hambleton and Nether Hambleton were cleared. As the valley was flooded it became obvious that the high-water level would partially submerge St Matthews Church, a private chapel that had once been part of the Normanton Estate. The church had narrowly avoided being demolished as part of the valley clearance but now faced the prospect of destruction again as the rising waters would slowly erode its foundations and lower walls. A trust was quickly formed to save it for the future. Various proposals were evaluated but in the end it was decided to fill the lower level with a mixture of concrete and stone to secure its base. 

This would reach as high as the window ledges and be approximately 60 cm above the high-water mark. As the church would become a mini-island a causeway was constructed from a nearby slope. This was then extended to become a bank of clay that completely surrounded the building. Once in place a defensive layer of boulders were positioned to provide a breakwater.

The project was successful and has created an unusual landmark that has become a fascinating destination for anyone interested in the more curious aspects of the British countryside. When the reservoir is full St. Matthews appears to float serenely on the surface of the lake and when the water is lower it confuses the eye as it becomes clear that half of the church appears to have sunk into the ground.

That's it from me today,
Have a good Sunday,
Be blessed,


Saturday, 22 August 2015

A Postcard a Day - 22 August 2015 a recipe for borscht

Good Morning! It's weekend! (important for those people that have to work)

Fancy doing some cooking this weekend? We are going to have bacon, eggs and baked beans and fried tomatoes on toast for lunch. The English call it a Full English Breakfast. But we have it for lunch.

If that is not what you fancy, how about some soup? Here is a recipe from Russia of their traditional soup called borscht. It is printed on a postcard I received from Moscow.

(Aubergine is egg plant for those in America.)

It sounds really nice. Here is what you do:
I haven't made it yet so if any of you make this soup, please let me know what it's like.

The stamps are really nice:
The one on the right celebrates the 350th anniversary of Irkutsk. That was in 2011.
The one on the left with the train is from 2013 and commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Kolomna Locomotive Works. 

Thank you Daria from Moscow for sending me this card.

Have a great weekend all of you,

See you tomorrow,


Friday, 21 August 2015

A Postcard a Day 21 August 2015 linked with Friday Smiles

Good Morning!

It's Friday and I'm joining Annie at This Week's Smiles. Hopefully I can make you smile! 

This first 'notice' I picked up this week is for all of you who can't resist a nice piece of material. Yes, I mean You!

(Libby WoodlandsQuilting For You)

But I normally show you a postcard... Here is one from my collection of  postcards designed by Inge Look. Even the 'naughty old ladies' are enjoying their holiday. One of them has her bum in a tub of water! 
It was sent to me by Sakari in Finland. He lives in Turku, the oldest city in Finland. He told me he was a retired hospital chaplain. 

He did put a special I Love Postcrossing stamp on  it! How cool is that!
In case you don't know what postcrossing is.... here is the link

If the above images have not made you smile then the next one will and I'll end on that note.
Have a good weekend everyone and remember: "Every cloud has a silver lining".

God bless,