Tuesday, 29 December 2015

A Postcard a day - 29 Dec 2015 - T for Netherlands

Hi Folks!

Have you all had a lovely Christmas? Still bloated from all that rich food?

We are in the Netherlands at the moment, celebrating the season with my elderly mother. (92 and very with-it)

My DH cooked a Turkey (overnight) for us and our Dutch friends, with all the

trimmings   they do in the UK.

Yesterday (Monday), everything is going fairly normal again after all the festivities. Shops are open again etc. DH and I went to town (Rotterdam). It is my home town, but because I have been living abroad for so long, some of the newer sights I had never seen. We went to see the new market hall.
It's a modern structure. All the little windows you can see are appartments where people live. Residents have windows inside too so they can look at the market on the inside.

The walls have large photos of exotic fruit on them.

The market has deli type stalls, with lots of yummy stuff.
Here I am looking at all those wonderful olives.

Outside he Market Hall we saw the famous cube houses. They date from 1982, so I do remember them. I wanted to show my DH.
After all that traipsing around we were ready for some coffee, which qualifies me for Elizabeth's  T for Tuesday.
Do come and join us if you have anything drink related on your blog. This is the link: Altered Booklover.

I wish all of you a very happy New Year.

See you next week... perhaps... I don't know if I will be able to write my blog next week. We will be in Denmark and I have no idea if I can borrow someone's computer. (I have a tablet but it is sooo difficult to do it on there!).


Wednesday, 23 December 2015

WOYWW from Holland - 23 Dec 2015

Good morning folks! Happy WOYWW!

(If you don't know what I''m talking about, here is the link to Julia's blog, who hosts this snooping/bloghopping fest).

Yesterday we arrived in Rotterdam (Netherlands). The flight which is only two and a half hours should have been a doddle, but the flight was delayed by 5 or 6 hours. By which time the (regional) airport of Rotterdam

was closed and we had to divert to Amsterdam. We were looked after well, got meals and drink vouchers. Complimentary drinks on the plane etc. There were coaches waiting for us in Amsterdam to ferry us to Rotterdam. What a palaver. But we arrived at my mum's at 7 in the morning (in stead of 11 pm). I don't get stressed by delays. We have good books to read, but the I'm not as young as I was, and a night without sleep has really knocked me for six!

So this is the desk I am sitting at now:

It is my mother's computer. She is 92 years old and can't see very well, so she has a huge screen! The screen on the right is an electronic magnifier, so she can read important letters, documents and sales receipts. (she checks everythng!)

We have just come back from the market just outside mum's appartment. This is her view today (and every wednesday):
She only needs to cross the car park to get to the stalls.

This is me and my mum chatting at the table unaware that we were being photographed.

That's it from me. No craft at all, but I wanted to join you anyway.

Wishing all of you a very peaceful Christmas.
See you next week!


Tuesday, 22 December 2015

A Postcard a day - Tuesday 22 Dec 2015 T for paella and sunshine

Good morning dear friends! 
It's Tuesday again and we are going to enjoy a nice drink, hot or cold via Elizabeth and Bluebeard's website and join in with T for Tuesday.

I have my cup of hot coffee ith me a I speak and I'm ready to show you my first postcard:
It shows a young couple enjoying their time in Kiev, the capital city of the Ukraine. Olya, who sent me this card writes: "Kiev has its own temper and even smells special. Chocolate, coffee and tasty cuisine are its essentials. Almost ten years ago I went to Kiev with my friends for the first time and one memory 'til this day remains a city symbol for me.That morning we got up early to have more time for sightseeing. A nice coffee house near the catholic church was our first stop. The air was fresh, the coffee with milk tasted nutty and we were sitting at the table at the veranda and the church bells were singing to us a melody of hope, happiness and eternal love. So no surprise that i still love Kiev deeply."

We, here in Spain, have been making our own sweet memories. 

 One of our neighbours invited us to celebrate his birthday with him and we went to a place 10 minutes drive from where we live. A cave hotel complex with a spa and restaurant. The weather was lovely so we sat outside and enjoyed the sun and the view as well as each other's company. (I am the second from the right)

The meal was paella, a typical rice dish of the area. It is served (and also cooked) in a large flat pan, which you can see next to our dinner table.
Again i am second from the right, next to my DH. It was an unforgettable afternoon. We have this view from our house as we live quite near, but we never tire of it!

We are travelling to Holland so my next post will be from there.

Wishing everyone a very blessed Christmas and until next week. (Or tomorrow for WOYWW).


Sunday, 20 December 2015

A Postcard a Day - Sunday 20 Dec 2015 - St John's Church, Keynsham

Good morning. It's Sunday today and I'd like to show you the church in the UK that my husband and I attended for 22 years while we lived there. It is the church of St John the Baptist.

The Church of St John the Baptist, is an Anglican parish church in Keynsham , Somerset, England. It was built around 1250 and has been designated as a Grade II listed building.
The benefice of Keynsham falls within the archdeaconry of Bath

Begun in 1292, the Anglican parish church of St John the Baptist gradually evolved until taking its present general form during the reign of Charles II, after the tower collapsed into the building during a storm in 1632. The tower, built over the north-east corner of the nave, now rises in three stages over the Western entrance and is surmounted by a pierced parapet and short croketted pinnacles and is said to have been built from the ruins of the abbey church. The south aisle and south porch date from 1390. The chancel, then the responsibility of Keynsham Abbey, was rebuilt in 1470 and further restoration was carried out in 1634–1655, following the collapse of the tower. 

There is a pulpit dating from 1634 and is also a screen of the same age which shuts off the choir vestry. 

A former organ is said to have stood in the church, but "had tones so mellow" that Handel bargained for it, offering a peal of bells in exchange. The offer was accepted. The musician went off with the organ and the bells were delivered. 

There are eight bells in total, some made by the Bilbie family of Chew Stoke, the smallest bears these lines:
"I value not who doth me see
For Thomas Bilbie casted me;
Althow my sound it is but small
I can be heard amongst you all."

The last ten years that we were in that church, my husband had taken early retirement and was able to be more involved. He became verger and full time caretaker. Because he was there every day, the church could stay open in the day (most churches in the UK have to stay locked during the week) and people can wander in from the High Street. My husband used to say, he became a good listener with a waterproof shoulder for people to cry on.

The church hall is next to the church. It is a 1960 building, that was completely renovated while we were there. Here we are in the renovated kitchen, preparing for a communal meal.
This is a photo of the Christingle service last Sunday that a friend sent us.
Last but not least, a fossil (ammonite) in the ancient wall of the church.

I hope you enjoyed these images. Some are postcards, some are my own photos and one is a photo sent by a friend.

Have a blessed Sunday,

Friday, 18 December 2015

A Postcard a Day - Friday 18 Dec 2015 - Friday Smiles

Good Morning! 

It is Friday. Only three more sleeps before we fly to Holland! The suitcase is on the spare bed and every time I remember something I want/need to take, I fling it in the suitcase. Sunday night we will be packing and weighing seriously. I have made two Christmas cakes and they are flippin' heavy (full of brandy).

I'm joining in with Annie at A Stitch in Time for Friday Smiles, where we focus on the good and the positive.

Today I will (hopefully) make you smile with this postcard I received this week.

What a sweet kiss! It was sent to me by Irina from Tyumen City, Western Siberia. She writes that she has 'charged' it with "good luck and only positive emotions and happiness".
The stamps are really beautiful:
There is a bee, some gladioli and a 'pandion haliaetus' which in English is an osprey or a sea hawk. It is a fish eating bird of prey.

Now for a couple of Christmas funnies:
I'm making this into a Christmas card for a scrabble playing friend. 

Our little cat is doing fine and growing. He's still very playful. It's just as well that we are going away this Christmas, so we haven't erected a tree. I don't know how we could have put up a tree with so many shiny and dangly things that cats love. I found the solution on the internet:

I came across a lovely story, that really gets the positive message of Christmas across. It moved me to tears. It's a bit long so I'll put it right at the end. 

So if you haven't got time, you can stop right here and accept my best wishes for a peaceful Christmas and a very happy and healthy New Year.



Here is the (anonymous) story: (It's in the vein of Papa Panov by Leo Tolstoy. Don't know that one? Google it, and read it with your tissue ready.)

Grandma and Santa Clause....
I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma. I was just a kid.
I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb: "There is no Santa Claus," she jeered. "Even dummies know that!"
My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her "world-famous" cinnamon buns. I knew they were world-famous, because Grandma said so. It had to be true.
Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me. "No Santa Claus?" she snorted...."Ridiculous! Don't believe it. That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad!! Now, put on your coat, and let's go."
"Go? Go where, Grandma?" I asked. I hadn't even finished my second world-famous cinnamon bun. "Where" turned out to be Kerby's General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything. As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days. "Take this money," she said, "and buy something for someone who needs it. I'll wait for you in the car." Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's.
I was only eight years old. I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping.
For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for.
I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, the people who went to my church.
I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock's grade-two class. Bobby Decker didn't have a coat. I knew that because he never went out to recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn't have a cough; he didn't have a good coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat!
I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that.
"Is this a Christmas present for someone?" the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down. "Yes, ma'am," I replied shyly. "It's for Bobby."
The nice lady smiled at me, as I told her about how Bobby really needed a good winter coat. I didn't get any change, but she put the coat in a bag, smiled again, and wished me a Merry Christmas.
That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat (a little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible) in Christmas paper and ribbons and wrote, "To Bobby, From Santa Claus" on it.
Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker's house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially, one of Santa's helpers.
Grandma parked down the street from Bobby's house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma gave me a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered, "get going."
I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his door and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma.
Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobby.
Fifty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker's bushes. That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were -- ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team.
I still have the Bible, with the coat tag tucked inside: $19.95.

May you always have LOVE to share,

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

WOYWW 341: desk, workshop and kitty

Hello folks! 

Here we are again at WOYWW (which stands for Whats On Your Work desk Wednesday) where we have fun blog hopping and looking at each other's desks. Come and join the party. Here is the link for Julia who leads us in the fun: Stamping Ground.

The photo of my desk was taken yesterday afternoon, when it was warm and sunny.

I have received a few Christmas cards, two robins (what is it about Christmas and robins? I don't see the connection....), but the middle one is from Kate. She made this with her die cutting machine in vynil. It's very intricate and very beautiful.

The booklet in the fore ground is a 'Traveling Notebook'. It gets sent to different people from all over the world (who have signed up). The idea is to write something about yourself, your city, your country, your job or whatever you want to write about. (Some of these TNs are about recipes, but not this one. This one is a general one). I have written in two before so I still have the photos on my computer from the last one. The page that i am working on is about Caniles (where I live).

Apart from a Sudoku book and a doodle/tangle book, there isn't much on my desk.

Earlier this week I did a workshop for some ladies in the village and we made some Christmas decorations:
In this photo it is really evident that I live in a building site and that it is a work in progress....
Anyway, I did the white star for the absolute beginners as it is the easiest thing to do. And we also did the red star and the bauble (made out of die-cut shapes). One of the ladies is English and the others are Spanish speaking. The Spanish speaking ladies are desperate to learn English, so we decided we would speak only English! That was a laugh!

I'll leave you with our little kitty called Precious:
He's gorgeous and has beautiful coloring and stripes. Here he is playing with a piece of rope that hubby was hanging  up (or trying to) to exhibit the Christmas decorations we made at the workshop.

Monday we will be flying to Holland, so my next post will be from the Netherlands.
Have a good week you'all and remember the Reason for the Season!

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

A Postcard a Day - Tuesday 15 Dec 2015 - T for snow, sledges and a lovely lunch

Good Morning! Hello Tuesday people! I'm linking in with Elizabeth for T for Tuesday. Please join in with anything you want to share as long as it has something drink related in it.

My postcard for today is a replica old postcard:
I got it from the Netherlands some time ago. I like those old black and white cards. I'm trying to guess from which era this card is.... 1920s? (I'm looking at the boots).. Any suggestions? It certainly is from a time when girls did not wear trousers. For that reason I think that this card in its time was quite saucy.

The stamps are brilliant! Have a look at these:
The picture is from a famous children's book called Ot en Sien. The above rhyme is also from the book. The stamp reads: 39 + 19 euro cent. The 39 is the price of the stamp and the 19 goes to a children's charity. The cups on the stamps I reckon qualify me for T for Tuesday!

The run up to Christmas is always a busy time with lots of things on the social calendar. A few days ago we had to take our campervan to be serviced an hour and a half drive down the road. I knew that one of my blog friends lives near there, so I suggested we meet up. I'm sure many bloggers meet up, but I live in the middle of no-where in rural Spain, so the chances are not good. So it was a very special occasion to meet Kate (mamapez) and her husband. They took us for a tour around the area and we had a lovely lunch together. Here is a photo:
I'm the lady in pink! 

Here is a close-up of the first course (prawn cocktail) on the table:
I forgot to take pictures of the rest of the meal, but you can believe me when I say the meal was excellent!

That's it from me this Tuesday. Have a good Tuesday and a good week,



Monday, 14 December 2015

A Postcard a Day - 14 Dec 2015 - Map Monday Ireland

Good Morning folks! Happy Monday! I hope your weekend was good and restful.

Today is my husband Graham's birthday. So he started the day by opening birthday cards that have come in the post but which I have hidden until today.
He is 69 today and we give thanks to the Lord for another year in health and happiness. We will be having lunch at our favorite restaurant today at 2pm, where we will be joined by several of our friends. I'm looking forward to that.

The map postcard I want to show you today comes from Ireland.

Ireland is the third-largest island in Europe and the 20th largest island in the world. It lies to the northwest of continental Europe and is surrounded by hundreds of islands and islets. 

Politically the island is divided in the Republic of Ireland (Eire), which covers five sixth of the island, and Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom, which covers the remaining area and is located in the northeast of the island.

In 2011 the population of Ireland was approximately 6.4 million people, ranking it the second most populous island in Europe after Great Britain. Just under 4.6 million people live in the Republic of Ireland, and just under 1.8 million live in Northern Ireland.
This is the stamp that is on the postcard. It has a bird on it: a black-legged Kittiwake. The kittiwake is a sea gull and is called black-legged to distinguish it from a red-legged variety in North America.

I'll leave it at that. I have a busy day ahead of me. See you tomorrow at T for Tuesday.

Be blessed,


Friday, 11 December 2015

A Postcard a Day - Friday 11 Dec 2015 - Friday Smiles

Good Morning! It's Friday! (For those of you who work Mon to Fri, it's nearly weekend!)

Hello Friday Smile people! (I'll link up with Annie at A Stitch in Time. and with Virginia at Rocking Your World Friday)

How did my week go? Schplendidly! I'll tell you all about it.

 At the beginning of this week I received some happy mail from Russia. One of my Postcrossing friends sent me a fat beautifully decorated envelope. 
In it were 21 postcards and a handwritten letter. Isn't that kind! 
One of the cards was this one:
Cute Siberian girl.

We have a campervan which needed some maintenance. The place we usually take it to is on the coast, an hour and a half drive from here. We booked it in on Wednesday.

I was very excited about this little trip. Not because of the campervan, but because it is near where Kate Perry (mamapez) lives and we had arranged to meet up. She and her husband kindly came to the campervan place to meet us. We had coffee in a nearby cafe and chatted and got to know each other a bit. After coffee they took us for a drive along the coast and showed us around the area. Then we had lunch at a (very nice) restaurant. This was the first course:

I forgot to take pictures of the other courses but Kate and I did have our photo taken together. Here we are: 

After lunch Kate had to go home to get changed for the choir. So I had the opportunity to see her craft room, and all the beautiful Christmas decorations that she has made.  Thank you Kate, we had a really lovely day.

The other good thing that happened this week is that we have moved into our new bedroom
It's wonderful sleeping in a clean light room and having a toilet within (sleep) walking distance.

I'll leave you with this 'funny':

Have a good week everyone.... and don't forget to smile!


Wednesday, 9 December 2015

A Postcard a Day - Wednesday 9 Dec 2015 - WOYWW 340

Good Morning! 

It's Wednesday! Today is desk-hopping day! Come and join us at Julia's blog Stamping Ground and show what you have been working on (or not).

My desk this week is in the 'craft-mobile', aka our campervan (RV). We have traveled to the coast to have some maintenance work done on the vehicle. As we need to be there early, we are spending the night on a nearby camp site and I have been doing some crafting last night. Here is a quick photo before i have to clear the table to have breakfast.

It's not just Christmas cards, I also made a birthday card for my cousin (Dec 27th), and I still have two more Christmas birthday cards to do.

I'm very excited as today I will be meeting up with a blog friend who lives and hour and a half from here, Kate Perry (aka Mamapez). She and her husband are coming to us at the garage (bless them), as we have no transport while our vehicle is being serviced. (Photos next week)

Our new house is coming on nicely. It's horrible having to live in a house that is in the process of being built, but we are making the most of it. The bedroom is now usable (although the wardrobes are not finished yet). We have slept there for the last two night and it is wonderful to sleep in a clean area.

Sorry I left a pair of socks on the bed. 

 The unfinished wardrobe area.
And a tiny en-suite toilet, as yet without a door but that's not a priority.
We have now been able to make the studio a little bit more livable:
 On the left is my desk where i would normally sit at my computer and do craft stuff. Notice the Ikea trolley? We had bought two and the second one (in the same colour) is now in the bedroom as it matches my 'colour scheme'.

Now we don't need to sleep on the sofabed anymore, we can use it as a sofa. Whoahey!
That's it from me. Sorry for the boring house photos, but many people have asked me for an update, so there.

Have a great week all,