Monday 30 November 2015

A Postcard a Day - Tuesday 1 Dec 2015 - T for Champagne

Good Morning Bloggers!

It's Tuesday again and I will link up with Elizabeth at T for Tuesday. Please join us. All you have to do is have something drink related in your post (I bet you have a mug on your desk and that will do).

My drink related things are postcards of champagne making. The following postcards are from my grandmother's collection. She traveled a lot in Europe after WW2 and her cards are all from the late nineteen forties to the early sixties. 
This card shows the pressing room at Moet & Chandon.
Moet & Chandon is one of the world's largest champagne producers and a prominent champagne house in Epernay, France.

After primary fermentation and bottling, a second alcoholic fermentation occurs in the bottle. This second fermentation is induced by adding yeast and sugar. During this time the champagne bottle is sealed with a bottle top like the ones used for beer bottles.
The bottles are then placed in racks called 'pulpitres' .
After ageing, the lees (dead yeast and residual particles) must be consolidated for removal. The bottles undergo a process known as 'riddling' (French: remuage). Every two days the bottles are given a slight shake and turn, alternatively on right then left, and dropped back into the pulpitres, with the angle slightly increased. The drop back into the rack causes a slight tap, pushing sediments towards the neck of the bottle. In 8 to 10 weeks the position of bottle is straight down, with the sediment settled in the neck.
Le Remueur (1889), engraving of a man engaged in the laborious daily task of turning each bottle a fraction.

The lees removal process is called 'disgorging'. Modern automated disgorgement is done by freezing a small amount of the liquid in the neck and removing this plug of ice containing the sediment.

I have seen photos on Trip Adviser of the cellars and they don't look any different to these.

On a personal note: our house is coming on fine. We now have a back door:
Since we took the photo we have made a threshold and covered the gap at the top.

This space, now occupied by building materials, will be the car port. The door opens up to a long staircase  down that connects all four floors.
This is what it looks like on the other side:
The back door is not visible on this photo as it's on the other side. We have a magnificent view from our house.

I finally have my Tangle it! Journal. It nearly took a month to arrive but i have it now!
I have started tangling on the first page. This book is going in my handbag when we travel (we're going to Holland on the 21st) as it is ideal to while away waiting time.
That's it from me for today. Have a great T-Day and see you tomorrow for WOYWW.



A Postcard a Day - Monday 30 Nov 2015 - Map Monday (Netherlands)

Good Morning! Happy Monday!

It's Map Monday and today I have a postcard from the Netherlands, which, as many of you know is my home country.
I was born in Rotterdam, which is middle left on the map. The three main cities (Amsterdam, Rotterdam and the Hague) have grown so much towards each other and Utrecht, that it has become a huge urban area they call Randstad, which means 'Edge city'.

Most towns on the map have a little picture depicting what they are famous for. Alkmaar is famous for its cheeses, and Volendam is a touris attraction with national costumes. In the North, under Leeuwarden you can see sail boats as this area (Friesland) has a lot of lakes and people sail a lot. East of Rotterdam you can see some windmills. That is called Kinderdijk (look it upon Google and marvel at the lovely windmills). West of Rotterdam are some fantastic beaches. Yes, the Netherlands is small, but a lovely country, well worth a visit (plug, plug, lol).

The stamps on this card are lovely. I had never seen them. The one on the right is the St Janskathedraal (Cathedral of St John) in 's-Hertogenbosch. A stamp from 2011. 

The cathedral church of St John is the height of gothic architecture in the Netherlands. It has an extensive and richly decorated interior, and serves as the cathedral for the bishopric of 's-Hertogenbosch. The cathedral has a total length of 115m (377ft), and a width of 62m (203ft).Its tower reaches 73m (240ft) high, the largest catholic church in the Netherlands.
St John Cathedral is a so-called 'kanjermonument' (whopper-monument, loosely translated) and as such receives financial support from the Dutch government.

The stamp on the left is depicting the city of Almere, which is a newly built city on newly claimed land. 

The Dutch put dykes around a stretch of water, then pump out the water and over the years let the ground dry and eventually build on it. 
Almere is the newest city in the Netherlands: the land on which Almere sits, the southern Flevopolder, was reclaimed from the IJselmeer 1959-1968. The first house was finished in 1976. Almere became a municipality in 1984. In 2014 it had 196,290 inhabitants.

That's it from me today. Enjoy your day,
See you tomorrow when I link up with T for Tuesday.

Sunday 29 November 2015

A Postcard a Day - Sunday 29 Nov 2015 - InSPIREd Sunday

Good morning! I hope you are all having a blessed Sunday.

I have chosen a postcard from Germany today. From Potsdam in eastern Germany. According to Marco (who sent me the card) Potsdam is 1020 years old and has 13 castles and more than 100 famous places.
Marco says the church is called the Peter and Paul Church, but is generally known as the Friedenskirche (the Peace Church).

Wikipedia  says this:
This church is situated in the palace grounds of the Sanssouci park. The church was built according to the wishes (and with the close involvement) of the artistically gifted King Frederick William IV and designed by court architect Ludwig Persius. The church is located in the area covered by the UNESCO World Heritage Site Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin.

The cornerstone was laid on April 14, 1845. The building was dedicated on September 24, 1848, though construction continued until 1854. The structure resembles a High Medieval Italian monastery.

Frederick William himself made the original sketches on which the design was to be based. he gave his architect two main instructions: the church was to derive in form and size from the early Christian Basilica di San Clemente in Rome. And it had to accomodate the apse mosaic from the church in San Cipriano on the island of Murano in the Venetian lagoon, which Frederick William had purchased in 1834 when that church was scheduled for demolition. 
A popular etching of the early Christian version of the Basilica di San Clemente made by Gutensohn and Knapp probably inspired the design of the Potsdam church.

The king saw the design of early Christian sacred buildings, converted from market and court halls, as particularly appropriate. He was trying to establish a reconciliation between the Protestant majority of the original Prussian state and the Catholics of the more recently acquired lands, notably in the Rhineland Province. Since he associated Gothic architecture with the Catholic faith, he was looking for an alternative design vocabulary for the Prussian-Protestant church.. Skipping martin Luther, he went back to early Christianity as an inspiration. However, he did not distinguish too finely between early Christian and High Medieval architecture - as long as it was Romanesque.

That was my contribution for today,
Have a good day and see you tomorrow for Map Monday.


Friday 27 November 2015

A Postacard a day - Friday 27 Nov 2015 - Friday Smiles

Good Morning! It's Friday! 

Caption translates: " You don't it Friday already?"

And that means I can link up with Friday Smiles and 'Rocking Your World Friday'.

As my blog is primarily about postcards, here is my first postcard that i hope will make you smile:
 I recently bought '100 Postcards from our Past' in a box from English Heritage. This is one by John Gay from the late 1950s.
Although English Heritage is  best known for preserving England's historic sites and artifacts, English heritage is also custodian of an archive of more than twelve million documents and images that includes photographs of architecture and social history. 100 Postcards from our past from English heritage gathers together some of the archive's best black and white historic photographs from the late nineteenth century to the late 1960s.
Here is another one I like:
Again it is by John Gay and it is entitled: "A tractor being driven through the doorway at St Etheldreda's church in Hatfield', 1960.

So... what have I been doing this week? Last Sunday was our 23rd wedding anniversary (See previous blog for all the photos). My husband continues to build our apartment and has finished the bedroom which is going to be tiled tomorrow.

We are enjoying the company of our little (8 month old) kitten Precious and are teaching him to use the cat flap. Not much success so far. 

Wednesday the 25th of November was 'Stop violence against women' Day here in Spain (and perhaps internationally). In our village there was the annual demonstration through the village (with police escort).
We all carried a night light with the name written on it of a woman in Spain that had died through violence. In the park we all read out the name and placed our candle in the centre, after which we observed a minute's silence.That was very moving. 

We then gathered into one of the rooms of the town hall, where one lady read out two poems she had written as a victim of violence, and a painting by a local artist (my art teacher as it so happens) was revealed depicting a woman dying through violence. Not everybody's taste but it brought home the message.

The young lady that posed for the painting is here explaining why she accepted this posing job. Note all the night lights along the edge of the stage.

The talk (by a man) was about male domination and domestic violence through (recent) history reflected in popular songs (coplas). He had a very good voice and sung (a capella) all the examples he had collected. Brilliant!

Here in southern Spain this day is more about 'macho' violence than violence in general. Domestic violence is rife here and women are up in arms against it. I know domestic violence happens in other countries too, but here in Spain, finally the women have found their voice!

Finally a few funnies I have found on the internet:
 I'm sure there are quite a few knitters amongst you..

This one is quite cute don't you think?

Quickly, I'll tell you what I am reading: The Bees by Laline Paull. Has anyone read it? I am enjoying it immensely.

Gosh, I've gone on a bit. Lets call it a day.
have a great week



Tuesday 24 November 2015

A Postcard a Day - Tuesday 24 Nov 2014 - T for anniversary

Hello lovely people! How are you all?

I'm linking up with Elizabeth at T for Tuesday where anything drink related is being posted.

My drink related postcard is here:
It came from Russia, sent to me by Larissa Polyanskaya. The artist is Anna Silivonchik and the picture is called: "The clock-work birdie". I like Anna's work. As I buy a lot of my postcards in Russia (on the internet from Russian sites) I have quite a few by this artist. 
Of course the 'drink-link' is the bottle of Absinthe. Absinthe is a highly alcoholic spirit, usually green. It tastes of aniseed. Originally it comes from Switzerland. It is often sweetened with a sugar cube and diluted with a bit of water after which it goes cloudy. That's all I know about it. I don't really drink it.

It was our anniversary yesterday. My DH and I have been married for 23 wonderful years! It was love at first sight and we love each other just as much as in those first giddy days.
We went to a local eatery, just a few minutes walk from where we live. As usual we had a drink of wine with a (free) tapa, which is a little snack. In this case the tapa was a small portion of paella, a rice dish.

Then we treated ourselves to steak and chips, (a very expensive dish in these parts).
We had a different steak each. This was mine:
And of course we got a nice little salad with that too.
And for desert.... tiramisu, my favorite!
I really enjoyed myself, although the steak was a little too rare for my DH.
That's all from me today. Have a lovely T-day all of you.
We will certainly have a lovely day as we are driving to the vet later on today (a two and a half hour journey) to have two of the street cats neutered. We caught them last night ( in big cage traps) and fed them. This morning they are 'nil-by-mouth' so to speak. They are both females and that requires a little operation. The vet appointment is at half past 5 in the afternoon, so we won't be home until very late today, so please excuse me if I don't comment immediately.


Monday 23 November 2015

A Postcard a Day - Monday 23 Nov 2015 - Map Monday

Good Morning! It's Monday again! That weekend has flown by!
My husband and I have celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary yesterday with a lovely meal out. We had a really super day.

Today I am showing you two postcards. They are both maps of Taiwan and are a bit similar in style. Here is the first one:
I cannot find out from which era the map dates but it is written in Dutch. It reads (in Dutch) The Island of Formosa and the Islands of the Pescadoris. These last islands, now called the Penghu or Pescadores Islands, are a group of 64 islands in the Strait of Taiwan. 

The card was sent to me last year by Hsin-yu Chang, a high school student. I don't know whether Hsin-yu is a boy or a girl. I think she might be a girl as there are some 'girly' stickers on the card. She did a drawing of me (a very good likeness after my photograph) and a turtle, as she knew I love turtles.

The second card is an image of a Taiwan map from 1896:
It's very detailed, and the Pescadores Islands are on the left.

The stamps are magnificent:
I can't find any info on these stamps. The one on the left is a coral and the horse no doubt refers to the Year of the Horse (2014). The third stamp features cyclists. 

That were my postcards for today. See you again tomorrow when I link up with Elizabeth at T for Tuesday.



Sunday 22 November 2015

A Postcard a Day - 22 Nov 2015 Monastery

Good Morning! And Good Sunday!

Brrr! It's suddely cold here in Spain. Temperatures in single figures (C) for the first time this autumn! But the sun is shining so I'm not complaining.

As it is Sunday to day, I'm showing you a postcard of a religious building as usual and I'm also linking up with InSPIRED Sunday. This meme shares beautiful images of places of worship. Do have a look if you can.

My postcard today comes from Romania:
It is the Sacred Cross Church in Patrauti.
Built in 1487 and dedicated to the Holy Cross, the monastery at Patrauti is the oldest surviving religious site founded by Stephen the Great. Mural paintings, dating from around 1550, can still be admired on the west façade.  In 1775, soon after Bucovina was annexed to the Habsburg Empire, the monastery was turned into a parish church. Today, only the church and a wooden bell tower are still standing from the original monastic complex.

It was sent to me by Livia, who tells me that this site is part of UNESCO's World Heritage sites.

I looked it up on the internet and found an image of the frescoes inside the tower:
The site ( gives the following information:
The Monastery has wholly preserved its original murals. Some paintings inside the church were realized immediately after the church’s construction, while others were painted later in Byzantine style. These were not restored and are very dark and covered with dust and soot from candles, but what is visible is dominated by golden light. They are the work of an accomplished artist, many of the saintly faces seem actual portraits. It is believed that some artists came from the Byzantine Empire which had been conquered by the Turks only a few decades before, or had been trained in the Byzantine style of painting.

Livia decorated her card with tulips and stickers. She calligraphed my name too. The washi tape in the middle is about Paris, which i thought was appropriate now when we are all thinking of Paris and what happened there.

The stamp is french as Livia now lives in France. 
I found it interesting reading about the cows on the stamp. They are called Lourdaise and come from the Pyrenees. They are renowned for their rich milk which is ideal for butter making. In 1979 there were only 12 cows and one bull left. This has increased steadily over the years and now there are more than 200 bulls!

Very interesting.

That's it for today. See you tomorrow with a map card on Map Monday.



Saturday 21 November 2015

A Postcard a Day - Saturday 21 Nov 2015 - Belarus

Good Morning! 
It's weekend! Whoopee!
Are you going to do something exciting? Or is it a normal workday for you? (I used to be a nurse, so weekends didn't mean anything to me. And if i were working I knew that I'd be working with a skeleton staff.i.e. we'd be much busier).

Here is one of the cards I received this week from Belarus:
I like it very much. It is a map of the country with the relevant national costumes. 

I already had another card from the same series:
Beautiful, aren't they?

The stamp on the first card is very colourful:
In reality the red is bright red. This photo doesn't do it justice. The ladybird on the stamp is also embossed. 
The ladybird is called the Psyllobora vigintiduopunctata.  This 22-spot ladybird is different to other ladybirds because it eats mildew, unlike all other ladybirds who eat aphids. 

The other card I got this week from Belarus is this one:

Grain pudding. I have no idea what grain berries are so it will be difficult to make this at home. 

Again I already had a card from the same series with a potato pancakes recipe on it (which I shared with you a while ago).  

The stamp is very special. I can't read Belarussian but I reckon it is a painting by Marc Chagall.
OK, I've just looked it up and it is from a series of stamps about artists of the Paris school that were born in Belarus. They are Ossip Zadkine (the lake), Ossip Lubich (landscape with red roof), Chaim Soutine (Eva) and Marc Chagall (two lovers):
In case you wondered what the letters N and M stand for,  N is for surface mail abroad, and M is for air mail abroad.

That's it from me today.

Have a lovely weekend,



Friday 20 November 2015

A Postcard a Day - Friday 20 Nov 2015 Friday Smiles

Good Morning! 

It's Friday today and I hope life has given you plenty to smile about. If you are going through a bad time, Think of the little blessings and acts of kindness that have come your way.

Life is good for me (for us) at the moment. the building work is coming on and I have some photos to share, but first my postcard. I got it this week:
 It was sent to me by Joni in Finland. He apologised that it was not a subject from my wish list. Actually, it is very timely as my husband and I will celebrate our 23rd wedding anniversary on Sunday. It was love at first sight and we still love each other as much now as in the beginning.

The stamp is another example of Finnish design. I love Finnish design. The artist is Birger Kaipiainen, who specializes in ceramics. The plate on the stamp is from 1970 and is from the 'Arabia' range:
I found it for sale in this Etsy shop for 61.84 Euros.

My husband has been working on our funny shaped bedroom and little en-suite toilet. We found some tiles left over from the main bathroom in the other house so He used them for the little loo.

The pattern is a modern version of the Andalusian/Islamic art of the Moors. (I live in Granada, so in the middle of it).
The bedroom is getting its last coat of paint.
 This is what I mean by funny shaped.... triangular! This little corner is going to be a wardrobe.
 Here is a photo of our little Precious. She has turned out to be a 'he', but we still call him Precious. I've posted this already on Tuesday, but not everybody joins in with T for Tuesday.
 And finally, this is my 'funny' for this week. It's a bit disgusting really, but it did make me smile at the same time....
 As I said before, my husband and I will be celebrating our 23rd wedding anniversary this Sunday and we will probably go out for lunch somewhere. It doesn't matter really what we do. As long as we're together.
We married each other later in life, but these have been the happiest years of my life. (My husband will be 69 next week).
This says it all....

I wish you a Friday full of smiles and a good week ahead,