Tuesday 31 January 2017

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 31 Jan 2017 T for Rotterdam

Hello peeps,

Another post from me without a postcard. I am  in Holland visiting my elderly mother. Luckily she is computer savvy at the tender age of 92 and has a good desktop system in her living room. Here she is playing one of her games that she indulges in every now and then:

 As she is nearly blind, she has special software that magnifies everything on the screen.

My sister and I are staying for a week and other than enjoying mum's company,we are also catching up with old friends. Yesterday we went out to dinner with old childhood friends. They took us to a steakhouse in the centre of Rotterdam. This was my steak:
It was obviously a very popular place. (We had to book a table) although I thought is was very expensive. (Anybody can throw a steak on the grill or grill some veggies. No skill involved me thinks).
Here is a photo of the interior  of  the place:
The view from the window onto one of the central plazas of Rotterdam (it was raining, so there isn't a soul on the street):
The name of the restaurant is Cornelis, and the one of the desserts was 'a kiss from Cornelis':
We had a delicious meal and a lovely time with our friends (one of whom I hadn't seen for 40 years!)

I will be linking up with Elizabeth  for T For Tuesday, where anybody can link up their blog as long as it has a drink in it. My drink is on one of the above photos (a glass of rosé).

I almost forgot to tell you that I have a new camera. (Sony Cybershot, thank you Valerie for recommending it) and I was amazed that I never needed to use the flash in the dark(ish) restaurant. I'm sure there will be a 'night setting' or something on it but I had just got it out of the box that day and don't know yet what I can do with it, so the dial went on 'automatic'. Not bad.

That's it ladies,
Wishing you happy T-Day,
CU next week,

Friday 27 January 2017

A Postcard a day Friday 27 jan 2017 Friday Smiles

Hello peeps,
A quicky today as I am not at home but in Holland staying at my mum's. I traelled with my sister from Malaga. Here we are at the airport having a pre-flight drink:
 I'm the one on the left.  My sister and I don't get together vey often so that is a big mile for me.

 Smile number two is my mum (on the right) and her sister in law. Both are 93 this year.

Smile number three is that I have bought a new camera. A Sony Cybershot recommended to me by Valerie Jael.

After a bit of comparing and reading reviews I decided to order it here. This particular internet shop has collecting points in major cities, so later this morning I'm going to collect it! Whoohoo!
This is where I am at the moment, in my home town of Rotterdam. This city was bombed completely during WW2 so it is known for it modern architecture. Not everyone's cup of tea....

I'm going to link in with Annie at Friday Smiles, but I'll be out all day so I will be a bit late in commenting. (Better late than never)

Here are a few funnies:

Have a  great weekend everyone,
Greetings from Rotterdam,

Tuesday 24 January 2017

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 24 Jan 2017 T for cats, games and a journey

Hello Everyone!
Did you make any New Year's resolutions? I didn't really but the first few months of the new year we usually detox and go on a healthy eating diet. No coffee, no alcohol, no wheat, no sugar.. you get the idea. I have also discovered spiralizing. I have had one of those gadgets for several months now but only now does it come into its own. I'm spiralizing everything from sweet potato to beetroot to courgettes (zucchinis) and everything in between. Fortunately my hubby loves it as a spaghetti substitute.
This was yesterday's meal:
Courgette pasta with a shrimp sauce. Very nice. I should have photographed the glass of water with it as you would not believe me otherwise. As it is, it does not qualify for Elizabeth and Bleubeard's  T For Tuesday, so I will have to think of something else...

One of my little vices is that every night I allow myself time to play my favorite video game on my tablet. I am retired and we have no TV so I have given up feeling guilty about this. For the last 6 months my favorite game has been Cradle of Empires, a 'match 3' game with a story and as you progress through the game you build a whole city in ancient Egypt.
The game is free and although they encourage in-game purchases (usually to get things done quicker or to have more 'lives'), I have never spent any money on it. This game is slowly being taken over as favorite by The Room, a totally different sort of game. It has beautiful graphics, soft music and is slooow. There are puzzles but also hints if I don't 'get it'. I have it on tablet (android) but I have heard they have developed it for PC too.

(So there's my drink for T for Tuesday)

Now for my postcard:
It's one of the postcards I am sending. This one is going to Island Lake in Illenois, USA. It is called "Cats could be different" and the artist is Anastasia Kislyuk. (I might have told you that I buy most of my postcards from a Russian or a Polish website.)

Last week saw a week of festivities in our village for the festival of San Sebastian. The highlight was 'The stealing of San Sebastian':

The story has it that in times of the plague many people died, but in the parish of S. Sebastian they didn't, so men from another parish stole S.Sebastian. This story is being enacted every year on the 22nd of January. Last year's robbers take out a cross (I assume representing S. Sebastian) and other groups try to wrestle it from their hands. The group that wins has to pay for next year's festivities (with help from the council).
The winning parish group (called hermandad or brotherhood) then has a year to prepare and fundraise for the next Robo (robbing).
The inscription reads: the new robbers of S. Sebastian 2017.

So there you have it, a little folklore of our village here in southern Spain.

I am excited as tomorrow morning (Wednesday)we will be travelling to Malaga airport, where I will catch a plane to Holland! Yippee! I am going to visit my mother together with my sister who is catching the same flight. The flight will arrive at 10pm so it will be a long day. It's only three hours drive to the airport but as we go to the coast so seldom, we want to go into a few stores on the way to the airport and buy  a few things for the house. I'm greatly looking forward to it.(the visit and the shopping)

I wish you all Happy T-Day, 
and a good week to come,

Friday 20 January 2017

A Postcard A Day - Friday 20 Jan 2017 Friday Smiles

Hello peeps,

Everywhere in Europe there seems to be a lot of snow and we have been spared, until Wednesday, when it started to snow here too. This is the view from my living room yesterday afternoon. And this morning it is still snowing:

As long as it doesn't snow on Wednesday when we will be driving to Malaga airport and we will have to go through a mountain pass. They close the motorway when there is too much snow. But the forecast is good. Fingers crossed.

So what have I been up to this week? Well, we found out it was someone's birthday at our home church meeting. I had already cut up the tray bake I had made:

Then we found out it was Paco's birthday! So we improvised with a few candles on his slice of cake.

Once a week my girlsfriends and I get together for prayer. We usually go to my friend Antonia. Now she has several cats. Here are a few of them on the table in the conservatory. I tried to photograph them but they wouldn't pose!

They're cute aren't they?

This week I did a lot of cooking and baking again. I've been given more kaki fruit so I made another Persimmon cake (or kaki fruit cake). You saw this photo last week. 
It needs walnuts, so I have to start by cracking the nuts:
One cup full takes me about 20 minutes.
I use a Pyrex glass mould and the cake always comes out perfectly. The magic ingredient being ...brandy!

My postcard for today is one of my English Heritage collection. It is a photo by Eric de Mare  (1910-2002). 

The caption reads: Fishermen's stores ('net shops') on the beach at Hastings 1956. The net shops are the traditional storage buildings of the Hastings fishing fleet. They were used in the past to stow gear made from natural materials – cotton nets, hemp ropes, canvas sails etc – which would rot if left in the open, especially when wet. If possible, the items would be dried on the beach first, and then kept dry inside these weather-tight stores.

This week we went to spend a couple of days at our weekend home 50 km down the road. This was a sunset from the kitchen window:

Now for a few funnies:

I can identify with this last one!

Wishing everyone a good week. I'm off to visit (and link up) with Annie at A Stitch in Time and Virginia at Rocking Your World Friday. 

Stay safe,

Tuesday 17 January 2017

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 17 Jan 2017 - T for Ecuadorians, Picasso and murals.

Good morning everyone! It's Tuesday again. It comes round so fast!

Lets start with my postcard. It's a postcard from Spain that I sent to someone last week:

Do you recognise this man? It's Pablo Picasso, the famous Spanish painter. He was born in Malaga in 1881 but spent most of his adult life in France. The card gives the date of the photo as 1953 but I happened to notice a book on the pile is Inky Darkling by Luis Grudin. Now that book wasn't published until 1954. Oh well, I'm just being a bit pernickety. It doesn't really matter.

So what's been happening? While most of Europe is covered in snow, we are relatively comfortable. No snow so far but some chance of snow tomorrow. Well we have a four wheel drive vehicle so we should be OK.
I hope electricity has returned to the house of Elizabeth at Altered Book Lover. The weather has been very bad there too. Are you OK Elizabeth? 

I'm linking up with Elizabeth at Altered Book Lover for T for Tuesday. Any post with a drink in it is welcome. So here is my contribution:
 When we were at church on Sunday, our Ecuadorian friends asked us if we would like to come home with them and share lunch with them. We did. There was chicken and rice and guacamole and a large sweetcorn dish  and lots of pork meat too. (not everything was visible on the photo).
Just as we were leaving, their youngest son offered to take a photo:
My hubby and I with our jackets on on the left.

Before I go I'd like to share some more street art with you. I have nearly 2000 images of street art on my Pinterest page, and when I am in a city, I look out for those things. 
When we were in Madrid recently I found this one:

I know nothing about it. We just walked past it. (For those who noticed it, sextienda means sex shop).

I love to see the sides of large buildings (where there are no windows) painted with something beautiful or eye catching. Here are a few examples:

This is by an artist called Aryz. He lives in Barcelona, Spain. In one biography I read he was born in Palo Alto, California. I don't know. He is a young man with spray cans and paint roller and he works all around the world.

The following murals are all by Aeyz. This is in Granollers, Catalunya, Spain.

Aalborg in Denmark.

This can be found in Venezuela, in Maracay.

This last one is in San Francisco.

I hope you liked this collection of murals/streetart/grafitti.

I'm going to love you and leave you as they say....
Happy T-Day,

Friday 13 January 2017

A Postcard A Day - Friday Jan 13th - Friday Smiles with gym and cakes and dogs, and the odd bull fighter

Good Morning Friday peeps,
Let me tell you that we are not superstitious and Friday the 13th holds no fears for us. So I am starting this day as optimistic as ever because it is a good day! (Remember the song?:'This is the day, this is the day, that the Lord has made, that the Lord has made' etc)

My week has been busy as my clubs have started. I go to the gym Mon-Wed-Fri at 9:00 (I am writing this late at night so I can post it before I go to the gym).

We first have warm-up, then stretching and then aerobic exercises. After which we go upstairs to do the 'machines' for 25 minutes, then back downstairs for some more stretching and cool-down.
I'm also busy cooking, more than usual as we have started our healthy eating regime. I'm cooking three meals a day and prepring snacks in between. It's sugar free, alcohol and coffee free, no wheat and sort of paleo. We do this every year and I feel so much better on it, we eat really nice meals, and don't go hungry. I'm organized as I have the meals planned, one week in a transparent folder together with all the recipes. I have four weeks prepared. After that we start again at week one. Of course it also makes me lose weight, which is great as I am six kilos overweight. The first week i lost a kilo, so I am happy.

Some of you know that I love jigsaws. This week I have started another one:

I apologise for the bad quality of the photos. My phone takes really bad photos. I don't know why this should be. Most phone cameras are decent. Not mine!

And of course I do a lot of baking. Usually on a Saturday, but this week I also made a cake on Thursday evening. This is Persimmon Bread, or caki cake as we call it. It is made with caki fruit. As the cakis were ripe I had to make the cake. It couldn't wait until Saturday. 

I'm going to freeze it and I will take it with me to Holland when I go later this month. My mother will love it.

Now for my postcard:
This is a card I sent a few days ago. It is a tiled image of a bull fighter and it sits on the wall of a Madrid restaurant called Los Timbales:
I remember walking past it late one afternoon when we were in Spain in December, and thinking what a shame it wasn't dinner time. (This last photo is off the internet). It's in Calle Alcalá, which is a long street full of restaurants.

Now for some funnies with dogs:

Aren't the sub woofers cute!

I hope this made you smile as it did me. I'm going to link up with Annie at A Stitch in Time for Friday Smiles. Please join us with you good news, happy photos and smiles and giggles.

Have a lovely weekend and a good week ahead,



Tuesday 10 January 2017

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 10 Jan 2017 T for orzo coffee and Belarus

Good Morning T-Gang!

Everything has gone back to normal here. We have celebrated Three Kings on the 6th (see my previous blog post) and now all the children have gone back to school since yesterday and my clubs have all started up again after the Christmas break. 

Any new year's resolutions? I don't usually make any, but we did start a healthy eating regime. A bit like Paleo but we do eat beans. Anybody doing the Whole30 thing? It's similar to that. Although I'm doing this to feel better, I normally lose weight on this diet. Probably because I cut out sugar and sweet things and alcohol, which makes a lot of difference of course. I have already lost a kilo since the beginning of the year!

My postcard of today arrived yesterday from Belarus.
It shows some sort of memorial park and I was going to look up some info about it on the internet, but now I seem to have lost the card. Can't find it anywhere... Sorry.
The stamp is lovely, with the mushrooms. The date stamps shows it was posted on the 24th but I only received it yesterday.

Some of you might know that Saturday is my baking day. I love baking. I get a lot of my ideas from Fatto in casa da Benedetta, which is an Italian girl who bakes at home and she shows through videos how to do it. Just images, no talking, so very easy to follow. I made this cake, called ciambellone all'orzo. It turned out perfectly. Hurray for Benedetta.

I used caffe d'orzo (orzo coffee) to make this cake. Orzo coffee  is a type of hot drink, originating in Italy. This is what Wikipedia says about it (Just skip this bit if you're not interested): Orzo is a caffeine-free roasted grain beverage made from ground barley (orzo in Italian, from Latin hordeum). It is an espresso-style drink, and when prepared from the roasted barley directly, it can easily be made in typical espresso machines and coffeemakers. In Italy it is widely available in coffee vending machines. Although traditionally considered a coffee substitute for children, it is an increasingly common choice in Italy and other places for those who choose to eschew caffeine for health reasons.
In Italy caffè d'orzo is made in the traditional Italian espresso machines in the cafes. Italian families tend, instead, to make it using an orziera, a special moka pot adapted to barley.
During the II World War and post war times, caffè d'orzo and chicory became the most popular drink in Europe. They were both used as substitutes for coffee, which was expensive and hard to find. In European countries with a very long post war period, like for instance Spain, this image of barley as a cheap surrogate of coffee still remains in the memory of the population. Thus, from having dozens of Spanish producers in the 1950s and being a widely popular drink in the Spanish Mediterranean coast, now Spain only has two roasters of barley. In Italy, instead, there are dozens of roasters making caffè d'orzo and it is a very popular drink. Out of Italy caffè d'orzo is also increasing slowly its consumption as a healthy drink, especially in Germany.
Why didn't I put the orzo in the photograph? I drink it all the time. (I lived in Italy for many years and kept the habit) Hmm I forgot. Now I have to really look for something drink related to be able to join the T-gang today. Elizabeth and Bleubeard host this tea party at Altered Book Lover.
Oh well, I have to improvise:
Sorry I'm not very organized. (I'm writing this in the middle of the night. Perhaps I should just go to bed...)

Happy T-Day everyone,

Have a good week,