Tuesday, 22 August 2017

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 22 Aufust 2017 - T for wine and travels

Good morning lovely ladies, (and the occasional gentleman)

No postcard today. We are travelling and I have no scanner available. I am glad that I found hotels with decent Wifi. Oh yes, they all say they have wifi, but often it is useless.

Here I am in France! We left home on Friday afternoon and travelled quite a way up through Spain. We ended up in the antique town of Teruel. Lots of Roman legacy:
This was round the corner from the hotel:
 One is a viaduct and the other an aquaduct, both dating from Roman times.

As you can see, there are several.

This church was also round the corner (I took these pictures while hubby was loading the cases into the car)

Then I walked back and saw this:

A bit of street art always makes me smile. Before I knew it, I had realized I had walked into a different street, and had lost my bearings. I walked around in  circle of little streets until I had found the hotel again. Phew!

This was the hostal where we stayed:

A beautifully restored old building, with lovely brick work.
Saturday we crossed the Pyrenees into France and that evening we looked in every town and village for hotels, but they were all fully booked! We found out there was a Confiture Festival (jam) and there was not a bed to be had. So we drove on, getting a bit desparate. We found this grotty looking place along the road and stopped. 
They had a room, and served an evening meal. The room was small but clean. And we were served by a delightful gay couple, one of which spoke English.
The dining room was in a sort of conservatory:

 The meal was excellent. After two first courses, we had a main course of duck breast and chips. Yumm!
When we asked about wifi, the chap admitted it wasn't very good. He asked if I had a computer or did we need it for our phones. I told him I had a computer. He gave me a direct input lead that plugged directly into my computer and we had the best connection we have had so far on our trip!

The next day, Sunday, we drove on and although I love map reading and choosing my route, we had the satnav on just to check distances and timings. Our Tomtom told us we could be in St Malo (Brittany) in the evening. Yippee! That would be a day too early, but who cares!

We made it to St Malo on Sunday evening and checked into the hotel that we had booked for the Monday night. Fortunately they had a room. We were delighted.
This is it. A functional budget hotel (a bit like a motel in the US). They give you a code to open the door. This was our room:
We hadn't had supper, and the hotel didn't do meals apart from a breakfast buffet. We wandered around looking for a place to eat and found this van selling crêpes. 
When I asked her if I could take pictures, she invited me inside her little van:
We chose cheese and ham, so here it is:
Here is hubby patiently waiting and 'chatting up' the lady's daughter who wrapped the parcels for us to take away.
They were very delicious, I must say. And filling too.

Have I shown you a drink yet? Today is Elizabeth and Bleubeard's T-Party and any blog post with a drink photo or even just a mention is invited to join.
This is in our room this afternoon. Lovely French bread and red wine and cheese, delicious salted butter and a small quiche. A meal fit for a king!

We spent the day in the old walled city of St Malo today, but I will leave the photos until another time.
I wish you all a happy T-Day,
Hugs from France,

Friday, 18 August 2017

A Postcard A Day - Friday 18 August 2017 - Friday Smiles

Hello lovely people,

I am writing this on Thursday evening as tomorrow morning (Friday morning) we shall be setting out on our road trip to the UK. I am apologising in advance that I won't be able to comment much for the next 5 weeks, but I will try to blog something (wifi permitting) along the way.

My postcard today comes from Taiwán:

It shows the beautiful Yangmingshan National Park. It was sent by someone calling herself Terre et Moi (French for 'the earth and me'). She writes: "Greetings from Taiwán. I am also a Geology-major and my husband is a geologist. Taiwán is a Young mountain belt. We do have some small volcanoes in Northern Taiwán in this National Park."

The stamps are also stunning:

This week has been a wonderful, fun filled week (see my Tuesday blog which is full of photos).

Thursday, in addition to the packing we had to do, we ordered our new kitchen at the carpenters. I'm having oak doors in a light stain.
We are building a Little 'garden flat', as in, ground floor appartment, so that if/when we are old and grey and can't manage the stairs anymore, we can live there. We have done the bathroom and the bedroom and our visitors have used it last month. We have discovered it is nice and cool, so perhaps we will make the flat our summer residence.....
This is the carpenter's workshop, just outside the village:
The man on the right is Antonio the carpenter.
Here is a display of doors. We chose the one on the left for our new flat.
He showed us upstairs too. Sorry this photo is slightly out of focus...

Now for a couple of funnies:

Well, that is it from me. We'll be off son travelling through Spain and through France to St Malo, where we catch the ferry to Portsmouth. From there we travel up to Cheshire. We're allowing ourselves 3 days to get to the ferry. (We don't like driving at night) Ferry on the 22nd, and travelling up the country on the 23rd. Phew! That is going to be a long journey.

Have a lovely weekend,
Keep smiling,

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 15 August 2017 - T for Coca cola and a silver wedding

Hello lovely people,

Happy Tuesday! Lots has been happening this week, so it's a rather photo heavy post today!

First of all Happy T-Day all. I'm joining Elizabeth and Bluebeard for their weekly T-fest. Please join us with a post with something drink related in it.

My week has been quite busy. There is the yearly fiesta in the village which lasts 5 days. Everyone with roots in this village has come back to mother 0r sister and people are seeing their school friends again and people that have moved away will come back for these 5 days to enjoy the fiesta. The village is full of 'tourists' I don't know.

The whole village had that 'buzz' about it.
We went to see a performance of singing called 'copla'.
It was held in the Little park just round the corner from our house. The older people came out in droves, as these are the songs of old that they all know and love.

We didn't care for it much (also because we don't understand the words) and didn't stay long.

There was the usual fun fair with rides and stalls etc. For the children they held a foam fest outside the town hall:
There were loads of sports activities and races:
Then Sunday night there was the parade. We didn't go to that as we had something to celebrate ourselves (but more of that later)

Then in the evening there were Fireworks:
The reason we didn't go to the parade Sunday night is because we were celebrating our silver wedding anniversary.
I made a huge cake (normal récipe x6!) and invited all our friends.
Here we are cutting the cake.
The party started at 6 with drinks and nibbles:
I've put this one in as I think it is the only photo with a glass in it so it can qualify for T for Tuesday.
Then those who had brought instruments tuned uyp and we had a singing sessión with some great worship songs to which even our non churchy friends happily sang along to.
The at 8 we started the BBQ. Hubby of course is the chef. We had to feed about 30 people.
I had made salads and side dished etc, as you do.
We left the washing up for the next day. I don't like to do that on the night, after a lovely party. But the next morning there was no wáter! It doesn't happen very often in our village, but ok, that was sod's law.
You can tell by the clock that it was 20 past 10 and still no wáter... (We did get it done. By 2 pm it was all clear and clean).

We are preparing to go on a road trip through Spain and France and England. (Leaving this Friday. I don't mind saying this as we have a house sitter) My sister is getting married and we will be visiting our family. So we were on the lookout for Little gifts we could easily take along with us. Apart from the usual olive oil which is bulky and wine is also bulky. We found a man in the village who makes soap with olive oil (no glycerine). It is lovely and soft on the skin especially on my face. I love it and we commissioned him to make some small gift soaps. This is the box of soaps with rose petals on them:
And we also got a box with soaps with olive leaves:
They are now all individually wrapped, courtesy of the wife, whom we met yesterday. Here is her husband in front of a huge piece of household soap:
Yes, that blue/Green man-high thing is soap! It gets cut up of course:
And sold in squares. Women here handwash their clothes and undies with that sort of soap.

Finally a few potos from Saturday night, when we went to the folk festival in the nearby town of Baza. We try to go every year. It is fabulous.

These are local dancers and the orchestra at the back are all from the local conservatoire.
There are always several dance groups from abroad. These are from Croatie:
In the introduction they said that all the clothes were hand made. Beautiful embroidery!

OK let's not forget my postcard....

It comes from Belgium and has a timeless feel about it. Coca cola is still going strong and I remember drinking 7Up, but I'm not sure if it is still being made....

Well done if you made it this far! Lots of photos this time. It does mean that in the coming 5 weeks I will keep a low profile or be absent all together as I don't get on with my Tablet. I use my camera for taking pictures but cannot put them on my Tablet. Anyway...we'll see.

Perhaps until next week. I'll do my best.

Happy T-Day all of you

Friday, 11 August 2017

A Postcard A Day - Friday 11 August 2017 - Friday Smiles

Good  morning ladies (and gentlemen),

Here we are again going through the past week and remembering all the smiles.

This arrived in my letterbox yesterday:
It is in Dutch as it came from my mum, but the fact was that I went:"Flip!, It's our anniversary this weekend!" We both had completely forgotten as we are busy preparing for our  rip to the UK. So Now we have organized a party on Sunday and will celebrate it with our friends. I contacted my pastor and there will be a Little 'do' in church during the service too. Now the 'panic' is over we can laugh about it. It will be a great party.

The other thing that arrived in the post was a postcard from Germany:
Do you recognize her? It's rock diva Debbie Harry, Singer of the group Blondie. I remember her and her music well. I don't know how old she was in this photo but I have seen recent photos and I must say, she ages well.

So what is happening this week... Saturday hubby harvested the grapes. Not a huge haul this year, but what there was, was decent:

We washed the lot and took them along on Sunday to our housegroup. (Not in that container of course)

I made a lemon pie as well. There are lots of lemons here and I had a large kilo tin of sweetened condensed milk in the larder, so it didn't take long.

As usual in summer, short crust pastry is a no no in this hot weather. So I had to make a sort of cakie base. My piping skills are zilch . All in all, not the prettiest cake i made, but it tasted very nice.

Then on Tuesday we went out for lunch again. Our usual place is still shut for the holidays, so we went to this rural hotel not far from where we normally go. We had the lamb shank again and this was my hubby's desert:
 That was yummy and very chocolaty.
I ordered a tiramisú, but was a bit disappointed, as it didn't taste anything like tiramisú, although it was a nice desert.
I have my hand on my breast as a large squirt of lamb shank gravy had landed on my top and as my hubby took the camera, I quickly hid the stain!

There is lots of excitement in the village as the anual 'feria' started on Wednesday. We went to the plaza in front of the town hall where they had erected a stage. Every group in the village demonstrated their show pieces. We had come to see some friends of ours who are part of a dance group. No this is not them in the photo.
It is a different group, but I wanted to show you this as the ladies are all wearing those embroidered skirts that I showed you a while back of my embroidery group. Beautiful.

Yesterday there was more excitement as they had a 150m long wáter slide in the high Street:

It was really long:
And lots of fun!
Now a few funnies:

I suppose that first one with the lady on the bike is not really funny. Poor child!
The last one is: Poor cat!

That's it from me this week. I am going to link up with Annie for Friday Smiles and also with Virginia for Rocking your week Friday. See you there!

Have a good week,