Friday, 26 February 2016

A Postcard A Day - 26 Feb 2016 - ice skating, battle of Waterloo, a crew cut and some funnies

Good Morning!

How has your week been? Lots of smiles? My week has been lovely. I'll tell you all about it. First off the postcard:
An ice skating scene from 1925! What fun! It comes to me from Belgium from someone called Filip. He uses a nice stamp too:
2015 was the 200 year anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. (Waterloo being in Belgium). The image is of the Duke of Wellington, Arthur Wellesley.
Here is some info (from Wikipedia) on that if you are interested. If not please fast-forward to the next paragraph.

The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday, 18 June 1815, near Waterloo in present-day Belgium, then part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. A French army under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated by two of the armies of the Seventh Coalition: an Anglo-allied army under the command of the Duke of Wellington, and a Prussian army under the command of Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher, Prince of Wahlstatt .
Upon Napoleon's return to power in March 1815, many states that had opposed him formed the Seventh Coalition and began to mobilize armies. Wellington and Blücher's armies were cantoned close to the north-eastern border of France. Napoleon chose to attack them in the hope of destroying them before they could join in a coordinated invasion of France with other members of the coalition. Waterloo was the decisive engagement of the Waterloo Campaign and Napoleon's last. According to Wellington, the battle was "the nearest-run thing you ever saw in your life". The defeat at Waterloo ended Napoleon's rule as Emperor of the French, and marked the end of his Hundred Days return from exile. Napoleon abdicated 4 days later, and on the 7 July coalition forces entered Paris.

 Our building work is progressing. The carpenter let me know that he will bring us the kitchen units on Monday or Tuesday. And the solar panel that my DH has erected is now working. Hurray! We have hot water in the bedroom toilet. The bathroom is not ready yet but will soon.

I have had my hair cut super short! 
I was fed up with having to blow dry my hair every time in a cold bathroom. 

The weather here is still very mild and sunny. (They say we are going to have snow this weekend... seeing is believing). But I spotted a few freesias that are flowering on my patio.

There are three: two red and a purple. Very nice surprise.

As usual I have collected a few funnies. I did quite like this one:
I am linking up with Annie at Friday Smiles and with Virginia at Rocking your World Friday. Please join us for the fun.

...One last one...
Have a great week, and keep smiling!



Wednesday, 24 February 2016

WOYWW 351 - new material and lots of baking

Good Morning deskers! How are you all? Ready for a nosey bloghop? This is the bloghop where we all look at each other's desks to see what we are up to. 
(Want to know more? Goto Stamping Ground where Julia will explain it all).

This is part of my desk today.
It is the other side of my desk where my sewing machine is. I have bought some material recently and I have spread it out a bit for you to see. It is traditional Andalucian  curtain material that is used in caves for curtains  between rooms . (not all caves have doors to the rooms). I am going to use it to make a bag for my lace making cushion to replace the one that had been nibbled by mice. I really like the bright colors. I have a little bit of orange colored material I bought a few weeks back. I'll use that for the lining.The material is 2 m wide so I have enough left to do a cover for my sewing machine which is much needed as you can see. 

I've also been doing my jigsaw, which is now finished:

I love baking and I can't wait for my new kitchen to be ready so that I can use my new large oven to bake lots of nice things. This weekend I made a cake with fruits of the forest and cream. I had some cream which was nearing its use-by date so I found this recipe of a cake made with cream. 
It was nice but it didn't taste much different to a cake without cream (perhaps a bit heavier).
While I was at it I also made loads of muffins, also with the fruits of the forest. I had a whole pack of fruit in the freezer which I defrosted, so I had to use them up. (Well, that's my excuse...)
Has anyone heard of 'Farinata'? No, I hadn't either despite my years of living in Italy. It's a pizza without topping, made with chick pea flour (garbanzo flour). As I have a wheat intolerance, I'm experimenting with different flours to bake nice things. (I don't get to eat any of the cakes I make. I allow myself one bite to find out what it tastes like. That's it).
Here is the farinata I made. It was gorgeous:
 Crispy on the outside and soft in the middle.

Sorry to have gone a bit off topic with my baking.... Is your mouth watering?

I'll leave it at that. Wishing you all happy WOYWW a good week ahead.



Tuesday, 23 February 2016

A Postcard a Day - 23 Feb 2016 - T for coffee cups and almond blossom

Hi everyone! Happy Tuesday to you!

I've come to share a cuppa with you. And perhaps a cupcake or two....
(The Spanish translated: 'today is Tuesday and I'm passing by to say hi')

This was our breakfast this morning. We go and eat at a restaurant every Tuesday, so our Tuesday breakfasts are kept light. Yummy strawberries with quark.
My drink is a naughty Chai tea. Naughty because i am on a diet and I shouldn't have Chai  as this particular brand is sweetened.
I will be linking up with Elizabeth and Bluebeard for T for Tuesday. Please join us with a drink, any drink.

I just wanted to share the fact that the almond trees are in bloom. Always so beautiful and a herald to the spring. Every February I marvel at the sight of so many trees and blossom. Our whole area is full of almond trees. Spain is the world's largest producer of almonds with California a close second. 
I did not take this photo, but I wanted to show you what our country side looked like last week.

Now for my card:
This one comes from Latvia. (Near Estonia and Lithuania). The info on the card reads: "Set of dishes for coffee. Painted with motivs of Latvian national songs. Author: Tamara Meija (1913-?), 'M.S. Kuznecovs' Porcelain, Faience and Ceramic Factory".
Beautiful, isn't it.
It was sent to me by Zane, who is a fellow crafter. (female) and an amateur photographer.

Well, I'm going to have my shower now and get dressed. The restaurant is out of town, about half an hours drive. On the way we will pass a large supermarket and we'll do the shopping. Then we will pass at our holiday home to check the mail and see if the electricity is back on. (there was no power last week). After the meal out, we'll drive home again and it will be time for my embroidery class. I'm not going to get home until 7 pm tonight. (So sorry if I am late commenting...)

Happy T-day and have a great week,



Friday, 19 February 2016

A Postcard a Day - Friday 10 Feb 2016 Friday smile, postcard, blossom and ice

Good morning lovely people!

It's Friday again. Are you all feeling positive ? Are you all smiling? If you are not, please read on as I'm sure I can coax a little smile out of you.

My postcard today comes from Germany. It is a famous photo of the workmen with their lunch boxes apparently very high in the sky on a metal beam. 
 I get vertigo just looking at it!
The stamps are beautiful. I like it when people make an effort to find nice stamps.
The three flowers are from left to right: crocus, tagetes (marigold) and tulip. The other stamp is the city of Dresden, a view of the city and the river Elbe.

The weather has turned nasty here. All of a sudden it is cold. Last week we saw this:
Almond blossom.
Yesterday, after the frost we saw this:
It's not the same tree. This is an olive tree with ice on it. Luckily the harvest is over. I didn't take this picture, but it was taken not far from our house.

We have struggled to keep the two stoves going with the gales and we ended up buying new 'hats' for our chimney pipes, which did help. When there is a gale blowing we get a lot of smoke being driven into the house instead of out! Makes my eyes water. 

I have shared this already on Tuesday, but it is such positive news that I will mention it again: We have got compensation after our flight to Holland in December was delayed. A lot of money! After commission we got 569 Euros! So if anyone (in Europe) has had their flight delayed or has not been able to board due to overbooking, fill in the online form at They are very efficient and fast. Airlines have to compensate by law, and this company does the claim for you. All you have to do is fill out the details and wait. That is worth the commission I think. We are over the moon with the money. That paid for my new cooker, lol.

 I'm going to finish with a joke. Or did it really happen? Any woman who has been to the gynaecologist can imagine this situation. I wet myself when I read this:

I was due for an appointment with the gynaecologist later in the week. Early one morning, I received a call from the doctor’s office to tell me that I had been rescheduled for that morning at 9:30 am. I had only just packed everyone off to work and school, and it was already around 8:45 am. The trip to his office took about 35 minutes, so I didn’t have any time to spare. As most women do, I like to take a little extra effort over hygiene when making such visits, but this time I wasn’t going to be able to make the full effort.
So, I rushed upstairs, threw off my pyjamas, wet the washcloth that was sitting next to the sink, and gave myself a quick wash in that area to make sure I was at least presentable. I threw the washcloth in the clothes basket, donned some clothes, hopped in the car and raced to my appointment.
I was in the waiting room for only a few minutes when I was called in. Knowing the procedure, as I’m sure you do, I hopped up on the table, looked over at the other side of the room and pretended that I was in Paris or some other place a million miles away.
I was a little surprised when the doctor said, “My, we have made an extra effort this morning, haven’t we?” I didn’t respond.
After the appointment, I heaved a sigh of relief and went home. The rest of the day was normal .. Some shopping, cleaning, cooking. After school when my 6 year old daughter was playing, she called out from the bathroom, “Mommy, where’s my washcloth?”
I told her to get another one from the cupboard.
She replied, “No, I need the one that was here by the sink, it had all my glitter and sparkles saved inside it.”
Never going back to that doctor again……….. never..

(Linking up with Annie at A Stitch in Time for Friday Smiles)
Have a great week, you'all.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

WOYWW 350 - stickers, a postbox and an embroidered dress

Good morning! It's Wednesday again. The day when we get to have a peep at other people's desks to see what they are up to. Julia at Stamping Ground is our chief desker. Do check out her website. The link is there.

If the idea is to bare all (desk wise i mean), then I tremble, because again, the is nothing significant on my desk. Here, look for yourself:
There is some happy mail in the foreground from a lass called Paulina in Poland. Pauline wanted a particular postcard that I have in my collection. I offered to send it to her and as a thank you, she sent me a 3D sticker sheet. Note the gorgeous stamps, so very Valentine's Day. 
On the right is a box of gluten free biscuits that I have been occasionally snacking from. I'm on a diet to lose weight, so biscuits are out! They taste of saw dust, but I still like them.... 
Then there is a rough copy of a letter I have to send to the town hall, some English bobbins with their beads. Nothing to write home about.

The weather has been bad here the past few days. We have had gales all of last week, then a smuttering of snow, and today it was good ol' sunny again. This is the view from my window as i speak:
Guess what we bought.... a red letterbox!
My DH wanted a red one, and lo and behold we found a red one. I like it too. It looks very British somehow.

My postcard for today is this:
It comes from Christine in the USA. She lives in Burlington, VT (Vermont I think). The caption reads: 'The 2011 exhibit In Fashion: High Style 1690-2011 features gowns, menswear, and accessories from Shelburne Museum's costume collection.' The embroidery on this dress is stunning. What era do you reckon this dress is from then?

The stamps are gorgeous too. Thank you Christine.

I do like Katharine Hepburn, don't you?

I must leave it here. Happy WOYWW!

Have a great week all of you.



Tuesday, 16 February 2016

A Postcard a Day - Tuesday 16 Feb 2016 T for little disaster, a bit of snow and some money

Hi all of you at the Tuesday gang,
I'm just a little late! I will explain: We have a weekend cavehouse about 30 miles from here where we escape to every week for a couple of days as I don't want my DH to work himself to death. We went there last night and found there was no power. DH tried everything to no avail. Then by the light of the torch we found a little note shoved under the door, written in Spanish officialdom speak, saying there had been an electrical 'incident' and I should phone the number given. It was dated 5 days before and we have two freezers in the house which I had recently topped up with all sorts of goodies. Arghh!
So we spent last night cleaning the freezers, and dumped all the contents in large containers and went home. This morning, we disposed of most of the contents. The meat that wasn't smelly I cooked this morning and it will go to my neighbours three dogs. They will have a feast. Then a trip to the rubbish bin (we live on a cliff face, in the cave house neighbourhood and the big lorry of the refuse collectors can't come down our small streets, so we have to walk to the village and dispose of it in public containers. Not a problem. I take a small bag every time I go shopping.)
I have no photos of this whole affair and I am still waiting for the electrician to call me back.  I'll keep you posted.

But i do have a photo of my daily postcard: here it is
I received it recently from Turkey. It shows Safranbolu in the snow. My Turkish fellow Postcrosser writes:"These buildings built and painted with traditional ways, and because of that, they're inUNESCO World Heritage list". Safranbolu is two and a half hours drive north of Ankara, and has an altitude similar to ours. Like us, they also get cold winters. The houses traditionally are made of wood. I have seen them myself as I traveled all over Turkey in 1971. It is a most beautiful country with the kindest people I have met in all my travels. 

Yes we have had a bit of snow too. It has melted now but the hills and mountains are still covered. This is the view from my studio where i am sitting now:
I love my craft room. It has huge windows and at the moment the sun is shining in. I still have the stove lit of course as outside temperatures are around freezing point. 

To be able to link in with Elizabeth and her T for Tuesday  I have taken a picture of my teapot on the stove. It has Magic Moments in it (a apple, cinnamon and rooibos infusion). Vely nice...
What's with the money you say? Well, when we flew to the Netherlands in December our flight was delayed. I applied for compensation through Flightright (or the Spanish site) and got compensation. They take commission, but after commission I had 560 Eur in my hands! Here it is, I've just been to the bank to get it! For those who live or travel in Europe, I can highly recommend this company. It was as easy as filling in a few details online, the whole process took a few weeks. They are very efficient.

That is it for this week. 

Wishing you all a great T-day,



Friday, 12 February 2016

A Postcard a Day - Friday 12 Feb 2016 - Friday Smiles

Good morning friends, It's Friday again. Nearly weekend (for those who work 9-5). 

I must say I am really enjoying my retirement and this week I have started another jigsaw puzzle.
 It is called 'Kings and Queens of England', a present from our S-i-L. I have started with the outline and then I will put together all the coats of arms and take it from there. 
When finished I will hang it on the wall in the stairway, which is very long and will become a sort of gallery where I can hang my puzzles.

I'll tell you more of what i have been doing this week further on. I will be linking up with Virginia for Rocking your World Friday.

But first my postcard:
 Another Inge Look creation. Those two 'naughty' old ladies always make me smile. 
There were some interesting stamps on it:
The top one is about  Sir Constantijn Huygens, was a Dutch Golden Age (17th century) poet and composer. He was secretary to two Princes of Orange: Frederick Henry and William II, and the father of the scientist Christiaan Huygens.
The bottom stamp is about the Salvation Army (in Dutch: Leger des Heils)

We always go for coffee somewhere after church on Sundays. This time we went to this place that we liked the look of. I really like those stairs.

It specializes in ham, as in Serrano type ham. We only came in for a coffee, but it's nice to see all the hams hanging up.

Sorry for the bad quality of the photo. I think I had the camera on a wrong setting.
Here are the hams hanging in the dining area. Here they are all covered (new law).

Friday Smiles is all about being positive and counting your blessings. Do have a look at Annie's blog at a Stitch in Time.

My biggest  smile this week was when we got the news that we were succesful in claiming compensation after our flights were delayed for several hours in December. 568Eur is making its way to our bank account as I speak! We went through a company called Flightright I can thoroughly recommend or They are fast and efficient. Fill in flight details online... job done. Of course they take a hefty commission somewhere along the line, but the amount above is what I get. As far as I'm concerned they deserve their commission. 

Finally a couple of funnies. They made me smile and i hope you will too.
I do love a good glass of wine.

Here is another one:

That's it from me this Friday. Have a restful weekend and a good week,



Wednesday, 10 February 2016

WOYWW 349 - a postcard, a jigsaw and lacemaking

Good morning deskhoppers,

I am really reluctant to show you my desk this morning. It is an almighty mess. But this is what Whats On Your Workdesk Wednesday is all about. If you want to know more, Julia at Stamping Ground will explain all.
There are my head phones, a diary/journal, a water bottle, my Bible, my lacemaking cushion, some loose bobbins, and some tiny boxes I have made out of left over Christmas cards.

I have started a new lace project. I want to make some small stars to hang in my Christmas tree next Christmas. Lacemaking takes ages to do, so I am starting now.

Here is a better picture of the cushion:
Speaking of lacemaking.... Through Postcrossing I received a lovely postcard recently from Russia.
I think this Russian lace is really beautiful, don't you?

The other thing I have been doing is... starting another jigsaw puzzle! Yes, I love doing jigsaws. Dear son-in-law gave me this one. It shows all the kings and queens of England. 
This is as far as I got so far.

That's it from me today. My Wednesdays are always very busy but I will do my best and visit as many as I can. 

Have a good week,



Tuesday, 9 February 2016

A Postcard a Day - 9 Feb 2016 T for cave houses and drinking tea from a saucer

Hi folks! Happy Tuesday! Hello Tuesday gang! 
(Yes, I am linking up with Elizabeth at T for Tuesday. Here is the link: Do stop by and you might also get a glimpse of Bluebeard.)

My postcard for today comes from Russia. Sent to me by Marina, who lives in Nizhny Novgorod.

Marina writes:"The painting depicts a rich merchant's wife drinking tea. Only in the 20th century tea became available not only to the richest, so it seems that she enjoys her drink (and drinks from the saucer)."

The painter is Konstantin Makovsky (1839-1915). He painted this canvas, called 'Drinking Tea', in 1914. Oil on canvas. It is now in the Ulyanovsk Regional Art museum.

The flat we are building next to our cave house is nearing its completion. We will then move out of the cave, into the flat next door and start renovating our cave house. We have spoken to our builder and a few days ago he took us to his current project of cave houses so we could get some inspiration as to how we wanted our cave house renovated.
These are the two caves we visited (seen from the swimming pool). My photos are concentrated on details that i wanted to remember. One of them was the shower. I really liked that idea.
The toilet is behind the right hand wall and the shower behind the left wall.

Here is a detail of the floor. They cement the floor and then somehow make it shiny. Some little pebbles and some bricks in the cement give a really nice effect.
And these steps are lovely, simple but effective.

The pool was not in use (and very dirty) as they are still building. It is an infinity pool with a beautiful view. When switched on,  the water will run over the edge (which is not in the picture) onto a lower level and the pumped up again. 
We have no room for a pool, but it's nice to drool and dribble over all these nice things.

That's it from me today. Have a good week, and see you all next Tuesday,

Friday, 5 February 2016

A Postcard a Day - Friday 5 Feb 2016 Friday Smiles

Good Morning! It's Friday again. 

For those of you who have read my Wednesday blog, I want to tell you that I am feeling much better. (I knew it wouldn't last long).

Today I will show a postcard, as usual. Then I'd like to tell you how my week has been, concentrating on the positive things, and then I hope i can make you smile with a little 'funny'.

But first my postcard:

 As you might have guessed it comes from India. Kamran, who sent it to me, says it is a village girl in the Kutch District. Isn't she colorful! The Kutch district is a district of Gujarat state in western India. Covering an area of 45,652 km², it is the largest district of India.

The stamp is very interesting. It features JRD Tata, whom I'd never heard of. Apparently he founded Air India and Tata Motors. Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata was a French-born Indian aviator and business tycoon. He was the Chairman of Tata Sons. He became India's first licensed pilot in 1929. 

My week has been good. The weather is still warm and sunny. The almond trees are in blossom (see Wednesday's blog)

The weekend was full of socializing as usual and during the week my DH is working hard at our new living quarters, which are nearing completion. I've ordered my kitchen yesterday. I'm having it made by a local carpenter. And my cooker has arrived:
 It has 5 burners and is meant to look a bit rustic. There is not much choice in cookers for bottled gas.
I have always dreamt of a large oven as I use the oven a lot and like baking too This one even has a spit to grill a chicken. How cool is that!

Wednesday my DH drove me to the nearest town so I could meet a fellow lace maker. I had found (and I have now met) two ladies in our nearby town that do lace making. I'm really thrilled. 
We then also walked through the market as it was market day.
I bought nuts and seeds and dried fruit.

Now for something funny:

I'm linking this with Annie's Friday Smile and later on with Virginia at Celtic House to 'rock our Friday'.

That's it for today,
Have a good week and... keep smiling!