Tuesday, 13 April 2021

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 13 April 2021 - T for doors and windows


Hello lovely ladies! How are you all? Had a good week? We have and I will show you a little bit later, but first my postcards. I have so many that have arrived in the last month that I will show two cards each post. Today it is door and windows. Two totally different cards. 

The first one comes from the Czech Republic and I like it a lot. There is an old vine climbing across this old door. 

The sender has decorated the card with beautiful washi tape and a gorgeous stamp. I scanned this and covered my address with some UK stamps that were lying on my desk (in case you wondered).

The stamp is really beautiful and it features a post coach, (notice the cat traveling too).

The second card comes from the USA, from Mount Vernon in Iowa. (I seem to remember someone who comes to the T-Party lives in Mt Vernon). It was sent by Ashlyn, who writes: ''The building on the left is our geology museum. It used to be our library and was built with funds donated by Andrew Carnegie in 1904. Then after a brief stint as the home of the chemistry department, it became the geology center. It was named for the self taught William Norton, who founded one of the first geology programs in the Midwest. The museum is still free and open to the public.''

The stamps are beautiful! I love the owl and the horses in equal measures.

I have lots of photos this week, but most of them seem to be about food. So I hope you have had your dinner, lunch or supper because there is bound to be something that gets your taste buds salivating.

We eat in the middle of the day, between 2 and 3 pm. This is my cottage pie with cabbage and carrots.
On Fridays we have fish. This is spiralized butternut squash with green olives and onions, topped with some cod, cooked 'en papillote' (in oven parchment) in the oven. 

The other day they had lambs neck at the butcher. A cheap cut which is very taste when slow cooked.
Here I am searing it in the pan, then I put it in the slowcooker with a tin of tomatoes and some beef stock (from a cube). It made a delicious sauce which we had with pasta the next day. (Yes, I have to fish out all those little bones. But it's not problem when wearing gloves.

Yesterday I made a butternut squash risotto as I had half a squash left over from Friday. I cooked it in my Instant Pot. The recipe worked out very well. I added spinach and bacon bits.

I had been hoping for better weather, but alas, it has been cold. So the BBQ meat (ribs) that i had bought  got grilled on my contact grill and we had it Saturday with chips (made in the air fryer)

I think I mentioned last week that I had lost the blade of my food processor. I have since found it! I have finally organized my pantry:
I found the blade hiding behind some tins of fruit. (Don't ask!)

I did manage to make the short crust pastry without it, and it turned out well:

And this is the quiche. It has onions, bacon bits, sweetcorn, eggs and cream in it.

We went to see our friends who were going to make me a cabinet. So we went there with the trailer (to bring the cabinet back) two sacks of horse manure (for their vegetable garden), and the quiche and some drinks.
This is the cabinet (as yet unpainted).

I have a set of drawers, and because I don't want to bend down to get my undies out, I asked our friend if he could make me a cabinet that could fit under the set of drawers:

It fits beautifully as you can see. Now all I need to do is paint it.
We had a lovely lunch together with our friends. After hubby starts his chemo therapy we will have to limit our socializing.

We had a visitor the other day. I was sitting on the patio when I spotted our friend here on the broom stick:

Here is a close up . He has a lovely 'collar'. I think it's a grasshopper or locust. It is quite big, about as long as my hand is wide. I call him Jiminy cricket, but I don't think it's a cricket. Any experts out there?

 To finish I'd like to show you some trees we have come across. These trees with the white trunk are on the hospital car park.

As are these (I think) jacarandas. In reality the pink colour is much deeper.
This last one is for Elizabeth as it has some palm trees in it. I took the picture this morning. It was just a row of houses in town where we had parked to go to the cobbler.
Elizabeth hosts the T-Party to which everyone is invited. All you need to do is post a blog post and add a beverage or drink reference. You will have seen many drinks in my blog post today. I am happy to share, but please don't drink everything I have offered or we'd all be tipsy.

That is all for today. I will leave you with one last thing:

Stay safe, stay healthy and
Happy T-Day!

Friday, 9 April 2021

A Postcard A Day - Friday 8 April 2021 - Friday Smiles

 Hello lovely ladies,

Here we are on Friday. The week has really flown by! Friday Smiles is all about the positive things of our week. We have had a good week with many smiles. You will see more about my week later in my collages. 

But first lets look at my postcards. I have two postcards for you today. Both are about books (one of my favorite things).

The first one is a Ladybird book. Does anyone remember those from your childhood? I remember them well, although I did not have this particular one.

This card was sent to me by Alice in Crawley (UK). The stamps are great aren't they? I love the cat in the sink!

The second book is for adults. It's from the Pelican series.

'It is written in a popular manner, journalistically, to convey a sympathetic understanding of the subject of explosives to a reader who has no previous acquaintance with chemistry.' (Journal of chemical education)

Pelican Books is a non-fiction imprint of Penguin Books. Founded in 1937, Pelican Books combined important topics with clear prose to create inexpensive paperbacks for a broad audience. (Wikipedia).
I received this card from Finland and it has a bright 'happy' stamp on it.

Now for my week. I have made collages again for each day:
Good Friday is still part of the Holy Week here in Spain. Normally there would be important processions in the streets of every town and village, but of course for the second time, this had to be cancelled. We spent our day just relaxing and doing gardening things.
On Saturday the shops were open again after having been shut for a few days, so we spent the morning going to town and getting a few things we needed. Hubby bought a new car wash brush.
The cheese cake in the picture has a story. Read about it in my Tuesday blog.
On Easter morning we celebrated the resurrection with our friends playing and singing worship music. I had cooked a leg of lamb in the slow cooker and it had turned out succulent and falling apart. Lovely!

Monday was a normal working day, so I went to the gym in the morning and was surprised to see the weather quite foggy. It had been so nice up until then.
In one of my drawers I found a burger press that let you put a filling in a large burger. I thought I'd give that a try. I filled it with cheese. It was quite nice.

Tuesday morning hubby had another hospital appointment. He had to have a TAC - Computerized Axial Tomography ( also called CT  scan).
The hospital car park has lots of trees and some of them were flowering jacaranda trees, which are beautiful at this time of year.
Wednesday we had to go to the oncology hospital in Granada, which is an hour and 20 min drive. I fed my satnav with the address as we are not familiar with Granada city. We had breakfast along the way as we went straight after my gym, so i hadn't had breakfast. Everything went well at the hospital and we were done very quickly. On the way back we stopped at our local petrol station as they had let me know there was a parcel for me. It was a birthday present from my sister. She had sent one before, but that had been delivered according to the tracking, but we have never found out where. So the company kindly sent another one. And what was it? A jigsaw of the map of Spain with all its wines. 

In the evening we went to the olive press of our village to get some pips, which we use in our stove. It's a pellet burner which also uses olive pips or almond shells. Pellets are expensive and we would rather buy the pips here. We brought our own sacks. We can fill up a sack for two Euros. We got 5 large sacks.
In the evening I wanted to make shortcrust pastry. I usually make it in my food processor. I have a Magimix. But could I find the blade? Nowhere to be found! Making shortcrust pastry by hand is laborious, rubbing the cold butter between your fingers to make small crumbs. We spent the whole evening looking for the blasted blade. (We still haven't found it).

I managed to get the pastry done and rolled out and I made the quiche in the morning. 
I had commissioned our friend to make a cabinet to sit under a set of drawers I have in the bedroom. I wanted the drawers that I use every day, on waist height, so I don't have to bend down. The cabinet was ready and we went to collect it and we had lunch together catching up. So now I need to paint it of course. I'll see if I can get some duck egg colour paint. I like that. Watch this space.
The quiche was delicious. It cooked very well in my new oven. The base was well cooked, but not burned. Perfect.

You will understand now that my week has gone so quickly.

I hope you have all had a positive week. And to give you some more to smile about, I have put some funnies at the end.
Keep smiling,
Stay safe,
and have a lovely weekend,

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

A Postcard a Day - Tuesday 5 April 2021 - T for

Hello lovely ladies, here another blogpost from sunny Spain. Yes, the days do not always start sunny and morning and evenings are still chilly, but usually around 6 pm it is balmy and sunny, and I sit by my front door in the sun. (Photo further down)

My postcards today are about childhood. I love black and white photographs and people often send me postcards like that. I received one from Japan:
 This child doesn't look very Japanese, but I like the photo very much. The photographer is Chieri Iwatsu. I've not been able to find out anything about this photographer.

The sender is called Ayano, who wishes me Happy new Year. (The card was sent on the 2 of January, but I didn't get it until March).

The stamps are gorgeous. I assume the mountain is Mt Fuji, but then, there must be more beautiful mountains in japan, so who knows...

The second card is this one with children diving into the water. Very clever composition.

The photograph is entitled 'Bridge jumping' and the photographer is Frank Eydner. Frank Eydner (born in 1968 in Munich ), known as "Franky" is a German-born photographer , philosopher and street sweeper .

The stamp is the metro station of Marienplatz in Munich.

Have you had a good Easter weekend? Here in Spain Easter lasts a week, the whole of Holy Week, which is the week preceding Easter Sunday. From Thursday people have  days off and everything is closed. But there is no such thing as Easter Monday. People go back to work on Monday.
It is the most important festival in the Christian calendar, so I pull out the stops and prepare something special. Usually lamb, which is symbolic for the sacrificial lamb. I ordered a leg of lamb and cooked it in the slow cooker (with onions and stock) the night before.

It was delicious with roast potatoes and a glas of Prosecco (a dry white bubbly)

Last week we walked to the surgery to have hubby's urinary catheter removed (all is well) and we walked past this house. I rather liked it. The window balcony is typical of this area (although I have seen them in Turkey, but don't tell the locals that!)

Hubby felt so well that he cooked me lunch! 

Yesterday we went into town to get cat food. This store sells all sorts of animal food, seeds and agricultural implements.

Many kinds of animal feed, but our cat (who lives outside) only eats a particular brand. Luckily it is not the most expensive.
Then we went to the Chinese hypermarket that sells everything. Hubby got a brush to was the car and i got some plant pots to hang on the wall in the patio.
Then we stopped for coffee. Hubby wanted some cake as he was peckish. We spotted a nice looking piece of cheese cake and told the waitress that was what we wanted. She brought our coffees but no cake. She served a few other customers and we thought she'd forgotten and reminded her. OK it's coming she said. And we waited some more. 
Then we saw the chef come out of the kitchen with a large glass plate in his hand. He proceeded to decorate the plate with chocolate powder and a sauce and some nuts. He placed the cheesecake in the middle and then squirted whipped cream all around it! This is what it looked like:
Well worth waiting for. You probably noticed it had two spoons. yes, we shared.

Now as promised a photo of yours truly by the front door. That side of the house has the evening sun. (Our patio is at the back and gets the sun in the morning).
I love sitting behind my little gate and watch the sun go down. The street is not a thoroughfare, only people on foot come by occasionally. I read or knit and I chat with my mum on the phone. In the photo the sun has already gone and I was just going back in when my hubby came home and I asked him to take the picture.

I will leave you with a bit of Tara Shannon. 

'Where can I find hope?' asked Rabbit.
'It's always there,' said Bear,
'waiting to be found. But a good time to find it is at night.'
'Really?' asked Rabbit.
'Yes.' said bear,
'It is there, nestled amongst the stars, in the form of a promise.' 
'A promise of what?' asked Rabbit.
'A new day.' replied bear.

I'm going to visit Elizabeth and Bleubeard for the T-Party. Please join me. All that is required is a beverage.

Bye for now,
Happy T-Day,