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: https://es.pinterest.com/liscameijer/street-art-grafitti/).
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.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 15 Nov 2016 - T for cheese and crocusses

Good morning T-Gang!
Here I am a gain with a few little tings to share with you. As always on Monday night (I write this late Monday night) we are at our weekend home 40km away from where we live. Saturdays and Sundays are super busy as is Monday morning, so we escape Monday lunch time, (do the grocery shopping as it's on the way) and come here. 

We enjoy a relaxing time. I managed to sit outside in the sun for an hour to read and now we are sitting by a log fire as it gets cold as soon as the sun disappears behind the mountains. 

Guess what I found behind a stone in front of our house?

 They are a cluster of crocusses!
I think I held my finger a bit close to the lens, but you get the idea. Isn't it amazing to see flowers blooming so late in the season!

This Postcrossing postcard today arrived Friday from Lithuania.
Yummy Italian cheeses! I lived in Italy many years and I know (and like) most of them. 
These type of cards are published by Nouvelles Images and I have collected quite a few with subjects ranging from foods to antique cork screws.
The card was sent by Vilune who tells me she lives in a small town and is a dentist. She has used a nice stamp too:
From what I can glean from Wikipedia (in Lithuanian and badly translated) he was a philantropic duke who lived from 1765-1833. He is mainly known as a composer and has a modern day music festival named after him.

We found a bottle of cider at the back of the fridge and have decided to open it as the fire has made us hot and we could do with a cool drink.
And we had a light supper (On Tuesdays we always eat at a restaurant and 'pig out', so we have a modest supper on Monday. (But not so modest that we cannot have cider!)
See the cat sitting in the window sill on the outside?

I think I'll leave it at that. I am reading a good book, well, not high literature, but a so-called 'cozy mystery' that I got really cheap for my Kindle (e-book). I read number one in the series and got hooked. They are called Rose Gardner Mysteries by Denise Grover Swank. I've just finished this one:
It is the first in the series. It is fast moving, believable and witty. A light read. (I've just finished reading a book about Winston Churchill by Boris Johnson and wanted a change).

Before I go off to read my book, I want to tell you that I'm going to link up with Elizabeth and Bleubeard for T for Tuesday. See you at the tea party!

Happy T-Day,

Friday, 11 November 2016

A Postcard A Day - Friday 11 Nov 2016 - Friday Smiles (photo heavy)

Good Morning! 

It's Friday and I have loads to share (photo heavy I warn you).

First of all my postcard. It is a postcard sent to me from Germany but it features beach huts in Vlissingen, in my home country The Netherlands. I am posting this card as it makes me happy just to look at the colours and think of beaches... ahhh....
The stamps are nice too:
The large stamp shows Corvey Abbey, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Westphalia.

What has been happening here? What have I been up to? What made me smile this week?
Well this weekend there was lots going on in our village. One of the things was the annual horse fair. 

There are stalls and demonstrations as well as the usual horse dealing. There was a display that I would have loved to see but it was at a time that we were at church. But a friend called Jose Ramon took some photos that I share here:

Dressage is the thing they are good at here in Andalucia:
That Sunday was also my grandson's second birthday. He lives in Italy so I couldn't join in the celebrations. They did send me lots of photos though. Here are a few:

He had an adult party as they do in Italy, when the whole family comes together.

The drum set must have been one of his presents. I hope mummy has ear plugs!

On Tuesday morning we woke up to a white world! Yes, snow! In our neck of the woods there is very little autumn. The weather sometimes changes from summer to winter in a week.
The fig tree in front of the house had snow on its leaves. Very unusual:

So I got my winter clothes out, long sleeved things and a jacket etc. And my hubby lit the fire. Oh I love it when the fire is on. We have a dual burner that burns wood (in the main bit), or almond shells (in the hopper thing on the side) which we mix with crushed olive pips. 

The top of the stove has a little oven, just big enough for one dish. I cooked in there for the last two days.

Yesterday I cooked sausage, leek and potato casserole. It was very nice indeed. 

Everything washed down with a drop of red wine of course!

Phew! That was a marathon of photographs! If you made it this far I really appreciate it.

I'm not going to let you go yet! I plan to link up with Virginia at Rocking your world Friday to share my week, and as I will be linking up with Annie at Friday Smiles, I will share something funny:
I'm sure some of us can identify with this next scenario....
Have a very happy and smiley Friday!