Friday 30 December 2016

A Postcard >A Day - Friday 30 Dec 2016 - Friday Smiles

Hi peeps! It's nearly the end of the year and I'm sure everyone comments on how fast the years go by and how it seemed like yesterday that is was New Year's Day 2016.

I like to link up with Annie at A Stitch In Time to share a smile:
 This is my 2 yr old grandson (in Italy) trying to make the photographer's life difficult by not posing.
But the result were some spontaneous photos.

I also like to link up with Virginia at Rocking Your World Friday where we look back on the past week. But I must say that we haven't been anywhere, haven't done anything (how boring that must sound) but:
I have been sitting by the fire with a good book, or knitting my socks or I have been baking some yummy stuff. (25% of the time.... it seems the other 75% I have spent at the computer! lol!)

My postcard for today comes from Russia and has beautiful stamps on it:
The stamp on the left represents the bridge over the Irtysh river in a series of architecture stamps. The other two are hats from the series Headdresses of the Russian North. The one on the right is called a 'povoy' and the one on the left is simply 'winter hat'.

The card was sent to me by Alice from Molotov, which she says is now called Perm City.

It is a painting of a door on a wall. I call it 'street art'. I love doors and windows, and although this one is not the prettiest door, it is fun. The sender didn't know that I am a fan of street art. My biggest Pinterest page is on street art. 

One of my favorite street artists is David Zinn. He paints tiny animals/creatures .

Here are a few. I hope they make you smile:

That is all from me today. I wish everyone a very 
happy and healthy 2017!

Keep Smiling,
PS some more David Zinn.

Tuesday 27 December 2016

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 27 Dec 2016 - T for Xmas

Hello T-Gang! 

Looks like we have all survived what for most people are happy days, but for some people a very difficult time of the year.... I sincerely hope you have all had a lovely Christmas period. I certainly have. I spent it together with my husband. Our children all live far away and we did have invitations from friends of course, but we wanted to be just the two of us. No chaos, no stress, no hassle, no travelling, no presents, no parties... just us. Am I being selfish?

After a leisurely breakfast we spent the morning making preparations for our Christmas dinner. We roasted the chestnuts to go with the sprouts (Brussels sprouts are a British Christmas tradition and I like mine with chestnuts)
We roasted them in the little top oven of the stove in the lounge.
I had cooked pork in the slowcooker overnight and we had pulled pork:
The weather has been lovely all week. Ideal to eat outside. So we had our Christmas dinner out on the terrace:
The other foods on the table are roast potatoes and parsnips. And balls of stuffing. Graham makes his own with local sage, fresh breadcrumbs and some chestnuts added for good measure.

I also have a tree (see my previous blog) and I wanted to show you the lace bell that I made. I haven't done much lacemaking this past year. (Must do better...)
 Sorry for the bad photo. Somehow it focused on the background...

As it's Tuesday, I will link up with Elizabeth and Bleubeard at Altered Book Lover with something drink related. The above picture with the wine should qualify but I also have a postcard to share with you:
It comes from Japan and the girl is called a Maiko girl. That is an apprentice geisha in Kyoto. Their jobs consist of performing songs, dances, and playing traditional Japanese instruments for visitors during feasts.

A girl called Nabuko sent it to me and she writes that 2017 is the year of the rooster in the Chinese zodiac. She also writes that in Kyoto the leaves are turning colourful and that it is raining there (4th Dec).

The stamps are very nice too:

I end by contemplating how many rock stars and famous people have died this year 2016.... I heard that George Michael died yesterday, aged 53. On Christmas day it was Rick Parfitt of Status Quo (still very popular in the UK). What is it about these people? It seems the rock star life style really isn't good for your health. My mother has always been right, lol!

That's it for today. Happy T-Day, and a good week too.
We'll meet again in the new year, so Happy New year!

Friday 23 December 2016

A Postcard A Day - Friday 23 Dec 2016 - Friday Smiles (photo heavy)

Good Morning peeps!

Are you ready to sing? One, two, three:

"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!" (Don't you just loooove the Bublé version!) 

I hope you are all happy and relaxed. Please don't get stressed. I'm more or less ready for Christmas. It's just going to be me and hubby. Bliss!

I have the menu sorted and the meat bought. I have ordered brussels' sprouts at the local veggie place (sprouts are difficult to find here) and she will have some in on Saturday. Hurray! (I suppose the Spanish don't eat sprouts).
I have put a little tree up for the first time in years (as we have been living in a building site for so long) and have hung our cards on the stairs. The cat has tried to play with the baubles, but he did it only once and then got bored. Luckily, otherwise we would have to do this:

I would like to share a few more photos from Madrid today as this blog is about smiles. I will be linking up with Annie at A Stitch in Time where we share the silver lining of the past week.
One of the highlights was a visit to the Lindt shop (Lindt is a famous European brand of quality chocolate). Here is the hubby holding his haul (It was his birthday after all!).

This photo was taken out the window of a first floor Thai restaurant. It is the name of the street. In this case Embroiderer's street. Looks like the professional embroiderers in olden days were men!

The visit to the railway museum was great. Here is one of the antique carriages:
There was a raised walkway so we could look inside. This was a bathroom (apologies for the bad photo):

And this is the dining room, reminiscent of Orient Express. I'm expecting Poirot to turn up any minute!

Now, I mustn't forget my postcard. It's the naughty aunties again, designed by Finnish Inge Löök. This one I received last week from Germany.
How about some funnies?

Here are a few funnies I lifted from Denthe's blog. (Have you seen her 2017 calender yet? Mine arrived last week!)
Here are the funnies:

 Honestly, who would want a vacuum cleaner for Christmas.....

That's it from me. Here is last nights' sunset out of our window.

May your holidays be filled with love and good company and memorable moments.

Happy Christmas!

Tuesday 20 December 2016

A Postcard A Day - T for Tuesday - T for Madrid (photo heavy)

Hi T-gang! How are you all? 

We have just come back from a week in Madrid, the capital city of Spain. Neither of us had ever visited the capital, but I had to go to the embassy to renew my passport, so  we thought we would book a hotel and stay a bit longer to see the sights.
I'm happy to share photos with you so this is going to be photo heavy...

The thing that struck me was the lack of Christmas decorations or festive lighting. Not a Christmas tree in sight. 
But there was a Christmas market in the Plaza Mayor (the main square):
OK, so I was underwhelmed... The stalls of the market were cute:
 There were about a hundred of these booths and most of them sold the same thing:
Figurines to make nativity scenes. In Spain these are called 'belén', which means Bethlehem. They make whole villages rather than a crib in a stable etc.

The thing I love about Spain is the café culture. Even in December (it's cold in Madrid) people sit outside:
And here is one of those little bars:
One day we had lunch on one of the outside terraces. They had windscreens and patio heaters to keep us warm and the food was very good. We noticed that the little sparrows had a good thing going as they would appear on the table when the customer had got up to go but before the waiter wipped away the dirty dishes. Clever!
The embassy was on the 36th floor of the right-hand tall building in the business part of Madrid.
I was looking forward to seeing the view from there. But on the day of our appointment, this is what it looked like:
The 36th floor was completely in the mist! Tight security meant our elevator pass only took us to the floor we were meant to be on. Oh well...

Our hotel was lovely. It was literally built on top of the train station. In fact we couldn't find it when we arrived. (We should have looked UP! lol!) In many countries in Europe there is a kettle in the hotel room so that you can make yourself a hot drink. Not so in Spain. We knew that and brought our little caravan kettle. So here is a scene from our room:
This photo will qualify me for T for Tuesday, organized by Elizabeth and Bleubeard at Altered Booklover, where we share anything interesting as long as it has a drink in it. The tea on the right is called Winter Spice, and the box on the left contains sachets of cup-a-soups. The box in the back ground is brown sugar, which hubby likes in his coffee and the orange tube contains effervescent vitamine C tablets, which make a refreshing drink. (And before you ask... the fluffy things in the top right corner are the pompoms of my woolly hat that was lying on the shelf!)

Now for my postcards. Needless to say, there were many postcards waiting for me in the mailbox when I got home. 
The one I want to share with you is this one from Canada:

It's a vintage looking card, and it has glitter on it which doesn't come across on the scan.

So be it 'merry' or be it 'blessed', I wish you all a wonderful Christmas!

Happy T-Day,

Tuesday 13 December 2016

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 13 Dec 2016 - T for embassy and Madrid

Hi Peeps! Happy Tuesday to you all. 

I'm very excited as I have just woken up in a hotel in Madrid! Madrid is the capital of Spain, obviously a scarily big city. It is the first time we visit Madrid and the reason being that I need a new passport and the Dutch embassy is here. In a couple of hours I will attending my appointment at the embassy. I'll probably be out all day so won't be able to comment until tonight. Sorry.

My postcard today is from Latvia:
As you might know, I love windows and doors, and this girl Alisa was kind enough to find me a card with doors on it. Aren't they beautiful. Riga is the capital of Latvia. No, I have never been there. 
The stamp is about the ice hockey championships:
So, yesterday morning, we got up early, a friend drove us to the station (55km away) and we caught the 8:48 train to Madrid. I love train journeys and the prospect of having to sit and let myself be driven for more than 5 hours appeals to me. I have my knitting with me. I'm knitting socks on circular needles so it is small and fits in my handbag. Also in my bag is a book of Killer Sudokus which I love. We both have our Kindles (e-books) with us so no time to get bored.
I have just finished reading The Churchill Factor by Boris Johnson. It is non-fiction (obviously) as it is about the influence that Churchill had on the course of history. I loved it. Boris is a journalist (who went into politics) who writes in an easy and entertaining style. I can recommend it. (It's not stuffy).
I'm going to try to link up with Elizabeth and Bluebeard at Altered BookLover for T for Tuesday. I say 'try' as I am on a tablet that doesn't readily do what I want it to do. It is one learning curve too steep for this grandma. I'll do my best. If you are reading this then I have obviously succeeded.....

To qualify for T for Tuesday I need a photo with a drink in it:
I have taken a photo in our hotel room where we have a travel kettle and a few plastic mugs, a few different herbal tea bags and several packets of Cup-a-Soup. The photo won't upload! I don't know why... sorry.
I'm throwing in the towel! And am going to link up with Elizabeth. Elizabeth, I can't copy and paste so I won't be able to give you the direct link. Again apologies.
I'm going to stop now as I am r3ally getting frustrated!
Happy T-Day everyone,

Friday 9 December 2016

A Postcard A Day -Friday 9 Dec 2016 - Friday Smiles

Good morning folks!
It's Friday again (and it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....) Can you hear me singing? I have my Bublé collection playing on my iPod.  Here in the village it's not yet looking like Christmas at all. There are no decorations and lights up yet. (They will eventually). But I have received a Christmas card yesterday from someone who put it in with my husband's birthday card. (Hubby's birthday is Tuesday). And I have all my cards (14) ready for the post office later on. It's a bit late. I hope they get to the UK on time...

Here is my card for today. It was difficult to choose as I received 8 cards this week. 
 It is a water colour painting from China. I've been given no information as to the artist, but the sender tells me that the letters are a poem, which translated means: 'A trip in spring'. It seems to me that there is a bit more to it than that, but hey, I don't know Chinese...
These are the stamps:
Lots to smile about this week, but my biggest smile this week has been my Spanish driving licence. Yes, I finally got my photo licence:
The reason why I wanted a Spanish licence is that the British licence that I had, has no photo on it. I can't use it as an ID, so I always have to carry my passport in my handbag with me. With this little baby i can leave my passport at home. Of course it is also an incentive to start driving again. We are thinking of buying a little run-around for me to use. (My hubby has a large 4x4 pick-truck, and I can't reach the pedals!)

Smile number two is a poinsettia. I have treated myself:
Our neighbour brought us a bucket of plums again, so one evening this week, my hubby and I made a load of plum jam. We work very well together in the kitchen and we love cooking together, but in every day life this is not possible. But for the jam making, he joined me and we had great fun doing it (ahem, the jam making of course)
It turned out really well. (I like my jams less sweet, so I always put lemon juice in as well).

Now for some funnies. After all it is Friday Smiles! I'm linking up with Annie at AStitch in Time. Please join us with your smiles.
Everyone who has a cat will know they like bags and boxes.
But socks?....
Have you put the Christmas tree up yet? Then singalong to this song:
Sorry if this is a bit late but we have been without internet since last night. (As was the whole village). But it's all sorted now so,
Have a fab weekend,