Tuesday, 18 June 2019

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 18 June 2019 - T for secret garden and a 95 year old.

Good morning ladies,
Here we are again on T-Day. There is a blog T-party at Elizabeth and Bluebeard's which you can join bringing a drink (i.e. have a drink reference in your blog). I haven't quite decided which drink I shall bring to participate. We shall see later on. First off is this wonderful postcard from Portugal. It is written by Teresa, who lives in Braga in the north of Portugal.
She loves reading books and recently has read the famous children's book "The Secret Garden" by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

She writes: 'There is a paragraph about living forever which I truly love' and then she has managed to write the following quote in tiny letters on the back of the card:

 “One of the strange things about living in the world is that it is only now and then one is quite sure one is going to live forever and ever and ever. One knows it sometimes when one gets up at the tender solemn dawn-time and goes out and stands out and throws one's head far back and looks up and up and watches the pale sky slowly changing and flushing and marvelous unknown things happening until the East almost makes one cry out and one's heart stands still at the strange unchanging majesty of the rising of the sun--which has been happening every morning for thousands and thousands and thousands of years. One knows it then for a moment or so. And one knows it sometimes when one stands by oneself in a wood at sunset and the mysterious deep gold stillness slanting through and under the branches seems to be saying slowly again and again something one cannot quite hear, however much one tries. Then sometimes the immense quiet of the dark blue at night with the millions of stars waiting and watching makes one sure; and sometimes a sound of far-off music makes it true; and sometimes a look in someone's eyes.” 
The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett

I remember reading the book as a child, but perhaps I should read it again....

I am enjoying my mother's company at the mo. She is an amazing lady. We celebrated her 95th birthday.

We hung decorations in the little patio and invited some people. I made a cake  (sponge layer, cherry layer and whipped cream with yoghurt, chocolate sprinkles on top). Mum is holding a glass of red wine, so that is my beverage for today's T-Party, hosted by Elizabeth and Bleubeard.

The friends that i had invited all brought gifts (not at all necessary of course). There was a tray of eclairs, a pot of home made honey, a bag of home made short bread and also some jossticks. 

Blowing out the candles is part of the 'birthday ritual'.

I might as well show you these photos as well. Here am I on the patio tending to my flowers. The large white container you can see is one of the recycling bins that we have (from Ikea) which hubby had just swilled out.

 We had bought a new laminator and here I am unpacking it so that we could 'play' with it.

Mum and I are having a great time. I have no television, so I read from my online newspaper to her as she likes to be kept up to date with what is happening in the world. She also likes sport and at the moment we follow the world championships women's soccer. The Dutch team seems to be doing well. We do the crossword puzzles from the newspaper, I cook her nice meals and help her with her personal care (I do her hair too).

Thursday we are both flying to Rotterdam and I will stay a week there. (Hubby prefers to stay home) I will try to prepare a blog but it is always difficult to do when I'm away.

Happy T-Day to all!


Friday, 14 June 2019

A Postcard A Day - Friday 14 June 2019 - Friday Smiles

Wow! It's Friday already! How time flies! I am enjoying my time with my mother. I'm spending time with her and not doing much else really. At her age, any time we can be together is precious. We have many smiles.
We do the crossword together (I have a Daily Mail subscription which my sister gifted me), and we sit in the sun or eat an ice cream. Listen to BBC World Service podcasts or chat about old times.

I did get some cards. Something in my mailbox always makes me smile. This one arrived this week from the UK. It is a photograph by Ansel Adams: Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941
Ansel Easton Adams (February 20, 1902 – April 22, 1984) was a landscape photographer and environmentalist known for his black-and-white images of the American West. He helped found Group f/64, an association of photographers advocating "pure" photography which favored sharp focus and the use of the full tonal range of a photograph. He and Fred Archer developed an exacting system of image-making called the Zone System, a method of achieving a desired final print through a deeply technical understanding of how tonal range is recorded and developed in exposure, negative development, and printing. The resulting clarity and depth of such images characterized his photography.
Adams was a life-long advocate for environmental conservation, and his photographic practice was deeply entwined with this advocacy.

Then there was this card from Taiwan. It arrived last month but it was still lying about on my desk, so perhaps I have not featured it yet. 
Taiwan used to be called Insula Formosa (beautiful Island).
It is  by Caspar Schmalkalden, who was a German soldier and chronicler of the seventeenth century , who traveled with the Dutch West India Company serving South America and the East Indies . When he returned ten years later in 1652 , Schmalkalden wrote a travel report of almost 500 handwritten pages in which he recorded observations and geographical and ethnological descriptions of the flora and fauna of the countries visited.

The stamps are nice too. The flower on the stamp is the blossom of the bauhinia Variegata, a  tree known in south east Asia, and also known as the orchid tree.
Now for some more photos from Italy. 
There was a medieval festival in Guardiagrele, where we were staying. People dressed up. It was fun to see all the lovely costumes. 
 There were all sorts of demonstrations and performances.

I will now go and visit Annie at A Stitch In Time and Virginia at Rocking Your Week Friday. I hope you will all visit them too.

 Of course I will do some funnies at the end.

In the meantime, have a great weekend and stay safe,

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 11 June 2019 - T for books in a t_cup, with my mother

 Good morning lovely people,
It's Monday night and I am preparing to join the T-Party hosted by Elizabeth and Bleubeard. For that I need a beverage reference. So I have added an image of a girl reading in a large tea or coffee cup with a book and a drink. That could be me. I love reading. I read loads. Some books are better than others. But today I would like to reccommend the four best books I have read for a long time.

But first some postcards. This is a card I bought a while ago and I think I gave it to my hubby at Valentine's day. (Must have been a few years back).

 And this card I found in a pile of old stuff. It's a postcard with Audrey hepburn. One of my favorite photos of her. It was sent from Austria about two years ago.

I'm very busy but very happy at the moment as my mother is staying with me at the moment. What a privilege it is to still have my mum in my retirement days. Mum has just celebrated her 95th birthday. Here she is with me outside our house (yesterday).
 She stayed with my sister in Marbella (also in Spain) for a few days and yesterday my sister drove her here. 
I love having her stay with us. She is good company, is mentally very alert and knows a lot about what is going on in the world (more than me). We do crosswords together  and sit chatting on our little patio. Lovely.

Here are the books I really liked. The Elephant Keeper's Daughter is a historical novel (translated from German) set in Kanda on Sri Lanka in the 19th century. Julia Drosten  brings to life this chapter in history when Kanda was finally captured and the whole Sri Lankan island taken over by the British. The plot is masterfully constructed with a young and aggressive female heroine; a kind-hearted British doctor as the protagonist; and his evil brother, the villain.  And the elephants play a major role in the whole story too. It appears well researched and there is a good love story flowing through it.

The Incredible Life of Jonathan Doe I enjoyed immensely:
Forced into completing his community service, Brendan meets Jonathan Doe, an
intriguing man living in a local homeless shelter whose amazing stories of a happy childhood in the Appalachian Mountains captivate him. Within weeks of his arrival in Dover, Brendan loses himself in the strange man’s incredible stories.

Fascinated by the fact that Jonathan Doe can no longer remember exactly where he is from, Brendan becomes obsessed with helping his new friend find his way back to the kind of home he himself has always dreamed of.

But is Jonathan’s past real or are his memories the product of a deeply troubled mind? The closer Brendan gets to the truth, the more he realises that all is not what it seems with Jonathan Doe.
 I liked it so much that I immediately went and bought another book by Carol Coffey:
 Broken Hill Nursing Home is a house laden down with secrets, its residents now settled in Australia but living out their troubled lives trapped in the past. Thirteen-year-old Christopher, whose parents run the home, is its self-appointed guardian. Deaf since childhood, his foot severed in a horrific accident, he notices what others miss. Isolated and ignored, he is obsessed with helping these damaged souls find the peace they crave. He befriends the beautiful young Maria whose strange sadness puzzles him, then gains an ally when a mysterious young man arrives to record the extraordinary lives of the aging immigrants. Christopher eagerly awaits the transformations he expects will result from these 'confessions'. But will delving into the past disturb the residents fragile mental state and open up a Pandora's box that was best left closed? 

The next book is a must for all cat lovers, but can also be enjoyed by people who have never had a cat.
Nana is on a road trip, but he is not sure where he is going. All that matters is that he can sit beside his beloved owner Satoru in the front seat of his silver van. Satoru is keen to visit three old friends from his youth, though Nana doesn’t know why and Satoru won’t say. 

Set against the backdrop of Japan’s changing seasons and narrated with a rare gentleness and humour, Nana’s story explores the wonder and thrill of life’s unexpected detours. It is about the value of friendship and solitude, and knowing when to give and when to take. TRAVELLING CAT has already demonstrated its power to move thousands of readers with a message of kindness and truth. It shows, above all, how acts of love, both great and small, can transform our lives.

That's it from me this morning. 
Happy T-Day,

Friday, 7 June 2019

A Postcard A Day - Friday 7 June 2019 - Friday Smiles

Good morning lovely peeps.
Friday has arrived (and for those who are working: It's nearly weekend!)
It's time to focus on what has made us smile, and what made our week 'rock'.

First off are two of my postcards: This one arrived from Poland.  It was written by Gosia (How did she know I love chili peppers?) who writes that she has a little dog who loves jumping. It's a dog that thinks it's a kangaroo!
The stamp is gorgeous. It is one of those famous painted Easter eggs.
This is a card of which I had several myself and I would sent it to cat lovers. Only people with cats can appreciate it.

Now for some more photos from Italy. My D-I-L had ordered her flowers to go in the window boxes on the terrace. My son and grandson are preparing the window boxes, i.e. getting rid of the old compost that was in them, ready to be planted

The van arrived with goodness how many pots of petunias (a van full) which we had to unload as quickly as possible because the street is narrow and the van was blocking the street. So it was all hands on deck to get them inside. In the hall, in the dining room, on the stairs, there were flowers everywhere!
 My son spent a pleasant evening potting them

They proudly show off the grubs that were in the old compost. 'Look mummy, I'm not afraid!' and mummy shrieking in horror!

The result is spectacular! 

So what happened this week? My new washing machine arrived that I ordered online. I did not take a photo because we all know what a washing machine looks like. But I am really pleased with it. It is a front loader (I had a top loader before), and hubby has installed it in the bathroom, as is the custom here in Spain.

My mum celebrated her 95th birthday yesterday at my sister's in Marbella. Sunday she will come to stay with me for 10 days and then we will have another celebration. Here she is on her birthday.

So I'm looking forward to having mum.

That was all for this Friday. Of course I have some funnies, they are at the end.

Have a lovely weekend, and a good week ahead. 
Don't forget to visit Annie who hosts this Friday Smiles, and then you might also want to visit Virginia, who's blog is called Rocking Your Week Friday.

Bye for now,

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 4 June 2019 - T for postcrossing, blooms and ice cream

 Hello lovely girls,

Here we are again on Tuesday, ready to join the T-Party hosted by Elisabeth and Bleubeard. All we need is a beverage somewhere in our blog.

I have a beverage, but first, let me show you my postcards. The first one is very special. It is a postcard of the Postcrossing meeting in Macleay Island, Queensland, Australia. Postcrossing (sending postcards to people all over the world) is done by 765765 people in 215 countries in the world. It is an online community, but sometimes it is nice to meet up. Local groups organise the meet-ups and this one was organized by Bridget Larsen, an online friend of mine who lives in Australia. I know Bridget through crafting blogs like WOYWW. 
She thought of me and sent me this card. It is signed by the people that attended the meeting and of course it has a beautiful stamp. 
 Thanks Bridget, for the lovely card and stamp. Your island looks idyllic. 

The next card comes from Germany. It was sent to me by Gisa, who has graduated in Social Work but is working as an au-pair this summer. 
The card is a quote by Hermann Scherer, who is a motivational speaker and runs seminars and lectures all over the world.

Substitute every heart with the letter E, you get: Lieben ist ein Verb! Und die Liebe ist das Ergebnis des Liebens des Tuns. This translates into something like:
To love is a verb! And love is the result of the love of doing.
The stamp is great. A little bit of history there. It features the cathedral of Worms and celebrates its 1000 year anniversary. Wikipedia writes about Worms: Is situated on the Upper Rhine about 60 kilometres (40 miles) south-southwest of Frankfurt-am-Main. It had approximately 82,000 inhabitants as of 2015.
A pre-Roman foundation, Worms was the capital of the Kingdom of the Burgundians in the early 5th century and hence the scene of the medieval legends referring to this period, notably the first part of the Nibelungenlied. Worms has been a Roman Catholic bishopric since at least 614, and was an important palatinate of CharlemagneWorms Cathedral is one of the Imperial Cathedrals and among the finest examples of Romanesque architecture in Germany. Worms prospered in the High Middle Ages as an Imperial Free City. Among more than a hundred Imperial Diets held at Worms, the Diet of 1521 (commonly known as the Diet of Worms) ended with the Edict of Worms in which Martin Luther was declared a heretic. Today, the city is an industrial centre and is famed as the origin of Liebfraumilch wine. Other industries include chemicals, metal goods and fodder.
I received another Pocket Letter. This time from Finland. The theme was 'In Bloom'.
 Isn't it beautiful? My swap partner was Aino in Finland. She has added some lovely stylish goodies in the back pockets and a hand written letter.
 The whole Pocket Letter was folded and wrapped in this gorgeous hand-made paper, which had dried flowers incorporated in it. 
Now a little bit about our trip to Italy. I told you last week that the weather was awful. It rained for two weeks. But one afternoon, it didn't rain so much, so my friend offered to take us to San Vito Chietino, on the Adriatic coast, not far from where we were staying. San Vito is famous for its Trabucco (plural: trabocchi).
This is the village seen from the pier:

Wikipedia says about San Vito:
The town is home to the "La Costa dei Trabocchi". Trabocchi are giant wooden platforms built since 1400, in the middle of the sea. They can be seen from the town of Ortona to Fossacesia. For local fishermen this was one of the methods to fish an abundant catch for the residents.

Here is a trabucco:

We walked along the pier to the old trabucco, which is now a restaurant. (Only fish, and only by appointment)

Here are hubby and I posing while we eat an ice cream.

The ice cream was bought in the coffee shop, but I'll come to that later. We walked back along the beach to the coffee shop. 
They were getting the beach ready for the season, but with this sort of weather there was nobody about.

We went to have coffee shop/Ice cream parlour called Copa de Dora. This was meant to be my beverage entry but I was so impressed with the pastries, that i forgot to take a picture of the coffee. Just look at this:

 As if that wasn't enough, hubby wanted to try the ice cream:
 It was locally made ice cream with only natural ingredients and real fruit, just like we like it.
I took pictures at the cafe especially for T for Tueday, but I forgot to photograph the coffee! Silly me! So I have dug up this (old)photo of me and hubby at a fish restaurant. Hubby doesn't like fish so he ordered a hamburger! He is drinking beer and I have a lovely dry white wine.

That is it my lovelies. A very happy T-Day.