Tuesday, 19 February 2019

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 19 February 2019 - T for guitar museum

Hi everybody! It's Tuesday, so off we go to join Elisabeth and Bluebeard at the T-Party. You can join in with a blogpost that has a beverage or a reference to a drink in it.

I usually start with showing you some postcards. (My hobby is Postcrossing, which is a worldwide postcard swap). This week I received two postcards from Finland, a country that has a lot of Postcrossers. 

This beautiful, cold looking card was sent to me by Pamela, who tells me it was -5 degrees C with 30 cm of snow. She is looking forward to spring as she is 'getting tired of the white stuff'.
The stamp is beautiful too. It features the northern lights or aurora borealis. A natural fenomena that I have yet to witness in person (But I'd love to)
The second card comes from Finland too. It features a yummy looking waffle with cream and jam! It really makes me hungry for the wrong things! I love waffles, but they are not good for my figure and that is the reason I have never bought a waffle maker. I might have to relent though, after seeing this....

The stamp has a very handsome dog on it. I assume it is a sleigh dog. It's not a Husky, and it's not a fox either as it is wearing a collar. It seems to have a very thick coat to keep it warm in the snow.
Last Sunday we went on a little trip to nearby Almería. It is on the coast and about an hour and a half drive from home. But we had never been there, so we decided to have a look what it has to offer.

We found a nice hotel in the centre of town (so we could leave the car and walk). Car parking space in Spanish cities is at a premium and not every hotel has parking facilities, but this one had. It was built underneath the hotel and was accessed by a car elevator. This was new to me. We'd never  used one of those before, so that was fun. I have put photos of the hotel on my previous blog (Friday).
We'd been to a party on Sunday afternoon, so we weren't hungry in the evening. All we wanted was drinks and tapas (snacks). In the Granada province (where we live) we get a free tapa with every (alcoholic) drink. Here in Almería they go a step further in that they let you choose your tapa. Wow, that is good. 

In the photo you see the tapa list on the table, Hubby had a beer and a burger, and I had red wine with a Russian salad. Very nice. Hubby then liked it so much, he ordered another one. The total bill 4.50 Euros! (beers 1.25 x 2 = 3.00 plus 1.50 for a glass of wine. The tapas are free).

The next morning we went sightseeing. We visited the Guitar Museum.

It was all about Almerían guitar builder Antonio de Torres. (some blurb from the leaflet further down in yellow).

The bottom floor featured a giant model of his famous guitar. I took this photo from the upper gallery. One can walk underneath the guitar model, where there is a lot of information about De Torres's guitar building. 

The maker's label that is inside the guitar, was stuck on the floor. We saw it as we walked underneath the huge structure. When you walk in, you don't realise you are walking inside a giant guitar. It doesn't become obvious until you go upstairs, from where i photographed the label.

The ground floor houses a replica of Torres's workshop, and described the tools and the method. It also showed all the different kinds of woods. Very interesting. There was a video explaining and showing how a guitar is built. In Baza (we live just outside Baza) there are still a couple of guitar builders and we have been in their workshops a few times when hubby, who is a guitarist, needed something. I am always fascinated by their art.
There was also a photo exhibition about what Almería looked like in Torres's days (19th century).

Going up the stairs to the first floor, there were famous guitar-themed works of art. Then we looked at the players gallery. A compilation  of great guitar players in history (including people like Hendrix and Clapton).

There was a space where acoustics were explained and one could 'have a go' at playing. So hubby had a little strum on one of the modern guitars lying about.

Then there was an exhibition on the history and development of the guitar from antique guitars to lutes and vihuelas. (see this short article from the Encyclopedia Brittanica). 
At the end there were headphones where every antique instrument could be heard.
Here is a copy of the leaflet about Antonio Torres:

I hope you enjoyed the visit to the guitar museum. We certainly did. I don't play the guitar but I have lived with a musician husband for many years and have been 'roady' to his gigs whenever I had a weekend off (he led a ten piece folk band). And now living in Andalucia where guitar playing (flamenco and classical) is in their blood, it was a very interesting experience.

Happy T-Day,
Stay safe,

Friday, 15 February 2019

A Postcard A Day - Friday 15 February 2019 - Friday Smiles

Hello lovely Friday ladies,
I can't believe it's Friday already, and the week has just flown by. 
I'm going to Join Annie at A Stitch In Time with some funnies at the end and I will also link up with Virginia at Rocking Your Week Friday.

First off are some postcards I received this week. 
This card comes from The Netherlands and the cute blond boy is in fact the king of the Netherlands, king Willem Alexander, when he was a boy
There were some interesting stamps. The stamp on the left has the king's face on it and the stamp on the right celebrates 100 year since the foundation of De Ploeg (The Plough).

The Groningen artists’ collective De Ploeg was founded on 5 June 1918 in response to an exhibition of local work at the Pictura art lovers’ society that excluded a large number of young artists. Painters including Jan Wiegers, Jan Altink and Johan Dijkstra decided it was high time to abandon 19th-century ideals. Reacting against the work of artists like Jozef Israëls, Otto Eerelman and H.W. Mesdag, they let go of old traditions to seek new paths in painting. Vincent van Gogh, a forerunner of expressionism, served as a major source of inspiration; the artists of De Ploeg held his penetrating work in high esteem. 

"Since there wasn’t that much to do in Groningen when it came to art, I thought of breaking ground, digging up the earth, and I thought of ploughing. That’s where the name De Ploeg [‘The Plough’] came from." – Jan Altink, 1918
The second card comes from Germany, namely from Stuttgard. It is a map card, and I love map cards, so I am very pleased with this card.

The card had this picture printed on the back (as a thumbnail) .
This stamp has the cute-factor.  It features baby raccoons.

So, what has my week been like? Saturday, I had a baking session and had my first attempt at cinnamon rolls. I must have used old yeast as they didn't rise, but we ate them anyway and they were still good (but not as they were supposed to be). On Sunday, after church, we were invited to dinner at friends from church and we had a lovely time. There were about 10 of us round the table. These sort of gatherings do wonders for my Spanish, as one of the ladies is a teacher and speaks English. She actively corrects me and that is very helpful.
After the meal we left for Almeria (we had the suitcases in the car). Almeria is about an hour and a half drive from where we live. It is on the coast and therefore a bit warmer than here. Our hotel was in the centre and it had parking, so we could do everything on foot. The car parking is underground and the hotel has a car lift. Very strange:
 As most older buildings in Andalucia, this hotel was built around an inner courtyard, the patio. All the rooms are either on the street side or overlooking the patio. Here am I looking into the patio.

 We went out on Monday morning, full of enthusiasm only to find that all public buildings (such as museums) are closed on Mondays. Bummer! So we walked along the boulevard:
 And could only look at the Alcazaba (Moorish palace/castle). There was a footpath that went quite high around it, though we couldn't go in. It is an impressive building.
 And the views are fantastic. 
 There was a ferry in the harbour, that we watched leaving. They are the ferries that go to Marocco and there is also one that goes to Algeria.
 Some more views of the Alcazaba. We actually visited it the next day, but the photos of that will be for another blog. (Possibly on Tuesday)

We came back on Wednesday, Thursday I did some scrapbooking. I'm still working through my pile of photos from 2016. 
Here is hubby eating a pastie in Bath.

 My best friend Ineke, who came to visit me that year.
 Just a photo of me. I have used another of my collage clusters that i made last week.

I think I'll leave it at that. This is becoming rather a long post. Well done if you are still with me!

Have a lovely weekend,
Stay safe,

Here are some funnies:

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 12 February 2019 - T for Tuesday

Good morning boys and girls, It's T-Day again! We are all invited at Elizabeth and Bluebeard's with a blogpost that has a beverage or beverage reference in it.

I'm going to start with this postcard that dropped into my mailbox this week:

It came from Germany  and was sent by Mia, who lives in Aachen (near the Dutch border) but had been to York on holiday. She had tried to visit the Betty's Tea Rooms but it was always full. I can imagine. It looks very nice. 
This is the stamp, celebrating the centenary of the Möhnetal dam. It (the dam) has an interesting history. Wikipedia writes this:

In 1904 calculations about the future demand for water for people and industry in the growing Ruhr-area determined that the existing storage volume of 32.4  million m³ in dams of the Ruhr river system needed tripling. Thus, on November 28, 1904, the general assembly of the Ruhrtalsperreverein decided to construct additional dams. During 1908 to 1913 they built the Möhnetalsperre at a cost of 23.5  million marks. When opened, the dam was the largest dam in Europe. 140  homesteads with 700  people had to move. It was built to help control floods, regulate water levels on the Ruhr river downstream, and generate hydropower. Today, the lake is also a tourist attraction.

The dam was breached by RAF Lancaster Bombers (“The Dambusters”) during Operation Chastise on the night of 16–17 May 1943, together with the Edersee dam in northern HesseBouncing bombs had been constructed which were able to skip over the protective nets that hung in the water. A huge hole of 77 m by 22 m was blown into the dam. The resulting huge floodwave killed at least 1,579 people, 1,026 of them foreign forced labourers held in camps downriver. The small city of Neheim-Hüsten was particularly hard-hit with over 800 victims, among them at least 526 victims in a camp for Russian women held for forced labour.

Though the Organisation Todt quickly repaired the dams with 7,000 men from the construction of the Atlantic Wall, the impact of the raid on German industry in the Ruhr valley and indeed on the civil population was significant. According to Albert Speer, "the power plant at the foot of the shattered dam looked as if it had been erased, along with its heavy turbines." "Industry was brought to a standstill", due to the "electrical installations being soaked and muddied." Three other reservoirs were still intact, though the largest, the Sorpe Dam, did have a hole, but it was above the water line. Another destroyed dam, the Edersee Dam, "had nothing to do with the supply of water to the Ruhr." The Mohne Dam was repaired by 23 September 1943, in time to collect water for needs the following summer, when the British failed to follow up with additional raids to hamper reconstruction.

The other postcard is unusual and also comes from Germany. It is the front of a book by Friedrich Wessel and the title translates: 'Sometimes also in underpants'. 

The book is collection of stories about the life of people along the Rhein-Herne canal in the Ruhr area of Germany.
The stamp has a beautiful yellow flower. I think we call it St John's Wort and in herbal medicin it is used for depression and low mood.
The weather has been glorious this week. We have eaten out on the terrace every day. I have a beautiful dining table on the terrace (you can see the shadow of it in the bottom left hand corner) but it has a glass top, which we have taken off because of the frost at night. So we eat at the little old rickety table in the corner... Here I am last Friday with a slimming version of fish and chips (both chips and fish cooked in the air fryer). I think the drinks on the table qualify me for the T-Party.

The almond trees are starting to blossom and they are so beautiful. Most are pink, but there are also white blossoms. This is a photo taken by one of my mates at the photoclub, Maria Gallardo Lopez.

Remember I mentioned shampoo in a bar?  
Well, I have started using it and it is absolutely fabulous! As soon as the bar touches wet hair, it starts to lather. I have asked my hubby to take a picture. I can recommend it .

And I have been scrapbooking. These two lay-outs I did on Thursday (which is my 'play day').

I have used cluster collages on both of them (I had made those collages after Halle inspired me to do them.)
The above photo is hubby with our cat two years ago. Yes, I'm a bit behind with my photos.
The next lay out is hubby on his 70th birthday (14th December) two years ago. We were in Madrid to sort out my passport, when we chanced upon a Lindt chocolate shop. There were rows and rows of these 'bins' full of individually wrapped chocolate balls. Those famous Lindt ones. Hubby loves those and I could not have given him a better birthday present!
That is it from me today. We are actually away from home at the moment, enjoying a short vacation in Almeria on the Mediterranean coast. It is only an hour and a half drive from where we live but we had never visited the city. We should be home later tonight, so i won't be able to do much commenting until Wednesday.

Happy T-Day all,

Friday, 8 February 2019

A Postcard A Day - Friday 8 February 2019 - Friday Smiles

Hello lovely ladies,
Happy Friday! For those of you that work: It's nearly weekend! 
There is lots to smile about for all of us. We can all find the silver lining even if the week has not been so good.

Well my week has been good. But not very spectacular. I still go to the gym three times a week and cook lovely meals. I have visited one of my neighbours who has broken a leg and has to stay at home with her leg in a cast. We had coffee and a natter but I forgot to take pictures. So there really is not a lot to report this week.

Let me show you some cards. This one I sent to an animal lover in Belarus:

And this card was sent to a ballerina in Germany :

Yesterday I did some scrapbooking and made two lay-outs with photos of dear hubby. But I haven't photographed them yet so I will post them on my blog on Tuesday. The other thing I did yesterday was have my hair cut. I didn't want it too short as it is still winter, but the girl cut the back nicely, exactly the way I wanted.

And I made a cake last weekend as we had our Intercambio Spanish/English group at our house. A pineapple up-side-down cake. An all time favorite!

That was my week: short but sweet. I'm going to link up with Virginia at Rocking Your Week Friday to see what her week has been like, and with Annie at A Stitch In Time for Friday Smiles.

I will add some funnies at the end. Have a lovely weekend and a good week ahead,