Friday 28 April 2017

A Postcard A Day - Friday 28 April - Friday Smiles

Hello lovely people, 
Wanne see a funny postcard? I received this one from Finland and it is by well known Finnish illustrator Inge Löök. 
Yes, it's the naughty aunties again. They always make me smile. And today is all about smiles. Please join us at Annie's A Stitch In Time to share your smiles, your silver lining and your glass that is half full (rather than half empty).
The stamp was nice too:

I'm also joining Virginia with Rocking Your World Friday and telling you all what sort of a week I've had.

Last Friday I made a mean fish pie as we had bought some smoked haddock in the English shop on the coast on our last campervan outing. (Can't get smoked fish in Spain, they don't seem to like it).
Also on Friday I booked a ferry from Portsmouth to Santander. 

We weren't going to book our return journey and just see how our trip to the UK would pan out. But I saw an offer of 249 pounds sterling for a car, two passengers and an outside cabin. That is a very good price for a 28 hour crossing. So I'm very pleased with myself.

I can't remember what I did Saturday. I think I did some scrapbooking, which I can't show you as it is a friend's wedding album.

Sunday was a fab day. I am a member of the local village photoclub, and it was our turn to host a gettogether of the clubs in the province. It was also the first time I participated in club activities and I was a bit apprehensive as I didn't know anyone. But I needn't have worried, everybody made me feel very welcome.

 We met outside the town hall and had the group photo taken. 
 We went on a walk through the village led by a historian and we visited the church first (before mass started). I had not been in that church before so it was interesting for me. Here are some photos:

 The ceiling:

Just a stroll through the village
And then a great meal at a local restaurant.
At the end of the day there was a photo exhibition.
That was a really lovely day. 

The rest of the week was quite mundane. I started a new jigsaw: El Rastro Madrid. El Rastro is a market and I'm sure I'm going to have fun doing this one.

 Yesterday I went to the hospital for my oncology check-up. I got the all clear for another year! Woohoo! That was definitely my biggest smile!

Now for some funnies:

That's it from me this time. Have a lovely weekend.
Keep smiling!

Tuesday 25 April 2017

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 25 April 2017 - T for Warnemunde, photoclub outing, and churros

Hello T-gang, 

Are you all sitting comfortably? (This catch phrase will only be understood by British people of a certain age...), then I will begin.

Let's start with my postcard. I received this card from Germany last week:
It is a map card, and I love map cards. Warnemünde is a German port town on the Baltic Sea, near Rostock, in what used to be Eastern Germany.. It's known for its long beachfront and marina,and a cruise-ship stop. Nearby, the Alter Strom canal is lined with shops and fishing boats. The Edvard Munch Haus, former home of the renowned expressionist painter, runs exhibitions and events. 

The card was sent to me by Edith, who writes that she enjoys reading, city trips, photography and tea time with friends. Well, she is (indirectly) joining this little tea party! Lol!

I'm joining Elizabeth at Altered Book Lover who hosts our t-party today. Please join us with a post with a drink in it.

I spent a lovely Sunday with lots of eating and drinking in it, so I will share some photos.

I am a member of the local photoclub and last Sunday we hosted a day visit for all the other clubs in the province. We met in the morning at the village town hall:
Where the flags are, is a little balcony. I was standing underneath and as I looked up, I noticed the tiles on the bottom of the balcony:
When everyone had arrived, (about 85 people), we went to a local restaurant for breakfast in the shape of 'churros and hot chocolate'. 

Churros are made of a sort of choux pastry that is extruded in long thin shapes. Then deep fried and cut up into 7" (ish) pieces and served hot:
Here is my portion. The chocolate is very thick. You could stand your spoon up in it. The idea is to dip the churro in the chocolate and enjoy!
Very yummy I do declare!

Here we are sitting waiting for the churros to be fried. The restaurant is unusual in that the roof slides open in the summer and the first floor is open like a balcony.
As we are a group of photograph enthusiasts, one chap went upstairs and started taking photos from the first floor.
Then we went on a guided tour of the village. A local historian explained historical buildings and the mayoress, who is also a member of the club could talk about certain other things. I will share photos of the village on Friday.
At 2:30 we had lunch (outside) at long tables as there were so many of us. We had ordered in advance what we wanted so the serving went quite smoothly in spite of the large number of people.
And here is a close-up of the jar for the tea-party. 
It contains Tinto de Verano, a mix of red wine and lemonade, with ice cubes. A typical summer drink.
Here I am ordering another drink.

At the end of the day, a photographic exhibition was inaugurated:
A great day was had by all. I met lots of interesting people, and got to put faces to names in our local club. I got talking to one girl about blogging and it turns out she is a scrapbooker too! Extraordinary! Scrapbooking never caught on in Spain and very few people do it. 

It did occur to me that I haven't done any scrapbooking for an awful long time. "Must do better!"

That's it from me today. 
Happy T-Day all.

Friday 21 April 2017

A Postcard A Day - Friday 21 April 2017 - Friday Smiles

Hello peeps, 
It's Friday! (For those who work) it's nearly weekend!
What have I d one this week that made me smile?

Friday (amongst other things) I planted the chilli pepper seeds that I had bought in Italy last autumn.
I bought three different types with twelve seeds in each. There are Jalapeño, Tabasco and Saltillo.
Some time before I had sewn basil as we can't find fresh basil very easily. I love to make my own pesto.
They have come up well:
Saturday was a busy day. I had ordered two legs of lamb. One for us and one to give to the church. All the shops had been closed for Holy Week, so Saturday would be very busy at the butcher. I got up early so I would be at the door at 9 when the butcher opens. There were already 7 people in front of me in the queue! The Spanish don't use the tickets. I just ask who was the last person to come in and then I just keep an eye on that person. It works very well.

I cooked this one in the oven with potatoes and the other one in the slowcooker with mint. I spent the whole day in the kitchen. Saturday is usually my baking day anyway. I made two chocolate cakes and a quiche.
Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the cakes...

On Easter Sunday we went to church. Our pastor did a great talk. After church we had agreed to have a communal meal (our church is very small) and everybody cooks something and shares it. It gets put onto a large table and then we all help ourselves to what we want. A 'bring-and-share'.
There were rice dished, pasta dishes, chicken, salad, and my quiche. All lovely stuff.The smaller table at the back holds the cakes and deserts, and the mugs for the coffee. (my choc cake is still in the container).

The pastor did a special little feature about the 'last supper' and explained about the Jewish Passover and how it might have been in Jesus' days. So we had a little table with the meat and the unleavened bread and the bitter herbs. And of course the wine.
That was what I needed the lamb for. I cut it up in smaller portions and we all had some. 
Here we are sat at the table:
 One of the girls brought her ukelele. We had fun singing popular songs. One lady called Loli wanted to sing the Elvis Presley song 'I can't help falling in love with you'. So hubby helped her work out the chords for that.
Soon we were all singing the song and hubby took Loli in a ballroom hold and did a little dance.

Then in the evening we had house church in our village and we repeated to them what we had learned that day and we ate some more lamb!
All in all it was a very blessed Easter celebration which I shall remember for a long time.

Monday is a normal working day in Spain (after all they have had most of Holy Week off). So I got up early to go to the local doctors practice to have my bloods done, then straight to the gym which is on the other side of the village, so I really walked my 10,000 steps today. That in itself made me smile!

Tuesday is always a busy day, but I don't mind because we always meet up with a friend for lunch. Always at the same restaurant. We have been doing that for several years now. We get home at 4:30 and then at 5 I go to my embroidery group, until 7. At 7:30 we have a prayer meeting and when we get back home at 9, I first phone my mum in Holland before we have our supper. I phone mum 3x a week and it is always nice to have a chat. 

Wednesday I spent time at the computer to try and book flights to Holland and the ferry to the UK this summer. For some reason it would always go wrong at the last minute and the payment would not go through. So frustrating. I had to phone Brittany Ferries to book the ferry. That is now done. Hurray, big smile!
Then for the flight to Holland I had to phone the booking office, but I use Skype to phone and I can't phone premium lines, so I had to find the landline of the company. It turned out to be a landline in Luxembourg! So my flight is now booked! And yesterday I phoned my mum again and told her I would come to see her on her birthday and stay a week! She was over the moon!

Also yesterday I drove our new car for the first time on my own. I went to the hospital to have a mammogram. It was an easy drive of about 16 km. I parked in the (empty) overflow car park. No problem! Piece of cake! I only stalled it once! Lol!

That was my week. And it was a good week. Lots of smiles. Please tell us what made you smile this week and join us at Annie's A Stitch In Time or tell us how your week has been at Virginia's Rocking Your World Friday.

See you there!
Keep smiling!

Tuesday 18 April 2017

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 18 April 2017 - T for Bath and Easter

Hi folks, I hope you all had a lovely Easter holiday. Too much chocolate? Then you all have to go to the gym!

I'm joining Elizabeth and Bluebeard at Altered Book Lover in T for Tuesday, where we all share something with a drink in it (doesn't have to be tea though...)

But first I would like to share some postcards with you. My pile of postcards on my desk had become so tall that it fell over and I had to put them away somewhere. Now I always put off this moment as I love having my postcards on my desk and I love looking through them etc. (I have hundreds in boxes too). So these postcards were destined for the storage box. Then I found these. They are from Bath in England. We used to live not far from Bath. In fact we lived in a small town in between Bristol and Bath, but nearer to Bristol, which is where I worked. Bath is very beautiful and is always full of tourists. I suppose I would avoid Bath a bit for that reason, but it really is a lovely city with beautiful architecture, independent shops and a great atmosphere.

This is the façade of Bath Abbey. We used to just walk in but nowadays you have to pay to go into the abbey. In the summer they hold concerts etc and I have happy memories of Christmas midnight services.

This is the famous Royal Crescent. The houses, made with Bath stone (Limestone), are built in a semi-circle. There is a large lawn in front which has a ditch called a ha-ha, so the sheep (in the old days) wouldn't stray off the area.
Wikipedia doesn't mention the sheep, but that is what I have always been told by the locals.
"In front of the Royal Crescent is a ha-ha, a ditch on which the inner side is vertical and faced with stone, with the outer face sloped and turfed, making an effective but invisible partition between the lower and upper lawns. The ha-ha is designed so as not to interrupt the view from Royal Victoria Park, and to be invisible until seen from close by. It is not known whether it was contemporary with the building of the Royal Crescent, however it is known that when it was first created it was deeper than it is at present."

The Royal Crescent overlooks the park (Victoria Park).

Here's the last card of Bath. It shows the Circus from 
the air. Again, very spectacular. 
Wikipedia gives this information:
The Circus is seen as the pinnacle of Wood's work. It consists of three long, curved terraces designed by the elder John Wood to form a circular space or theatre intended for civic functions and games. The games give a clue to the design, the inspiration behind which was the Colosseum in Rome.
Like the Colosseum, the three façades have a different order of architecture on each floor: Doric on the ground level, then Ionic on the piano nobile and finishing with Corinthian on the upper floor, the style of the building thus becoming progressively more ornate as it rises.

We've had a hectic week. It has been Holy Week (Semana Santa), which is big is Spain. People have time off work, most of the week, and everything stops as businesses are closed. There are processions and religious activity all week, Family from far and near visit and the village is jam packed. Processions are the big thing. Even our small village has an impressive display:

The photo is not mine as I don't attend these things. I apologise to anybody who is Catholic.No disrespect intended. (just my opinion). I hate the pageantry and the people worshipping the statues instead of the Lord Jesus. They are there for the wrong reasons. Where you walk in the procession, reflects your social position in the village. It's all about see and be seen etc. Then there are those people dressed up in Ku Klux Klan outfits, which send shivers down my spine. I once asked one of them what the meaning was of those outfits, and they couldn't tell me. "Tradition" was the answer. 

The ladies normally wear black and put their hair up with those traditional combs (called peinetas) and then drape black lace (mantilla) over their heads. It looks very pretty I must say.

Our Easter was a quiet affair. We celebrated the resurrection of Christ in our little church. After the service we had a 'bring-and-share' meal together. Before we started our pastor explained about the Jewish Passover. I had cooked a leg of lamb and someone else provided the bitter herbs.

Oh, there is wine on the table to qualify me for the T-party!

My hubby usually plays guitar and we sing our hearts out. This time one of the girls had brought her ukulele. That was great fun! I took some photos but they are on my phone. I'll show you in my Friday blog. We had a really good time.

I'll leave it at that I think. Please join us at the T-party with a drink of your choice.

Happy T-Day,
Have a good week,

Friday 14 April 2017

A Postcard A Day - Friday 14 April 2017 - Good Friday

 Hello lovely people,

Here we are again on Friday, to share the smiles and silver linings in our week. Why don't you join us at Annie's A Stitch In Time with something that made you smile.

Today, Good Friday, Christians remember Christ's death on the cross. But because I know He rose again, I am not sad. In fact I am smiling.

I always smile when the postman brings me some nice mail like a postcard from a faraway country. I am a Postcrosser, meaning that I send and receive postcards from all over the world from people and addresses randomly generated by the computer out of the more than half a million members of

 Here is a card from Japan. 

 It is a card from the series 'Greetings from...' They are very collectable as almost every country has one.The card also gives information about that country. The unusual thing about this card is that it was sent from Taiwan (Not Japan). The stamps are also from Taiwan, and very beautiful they are too.
On the left you see rhodomyrtus tomentosa, or in English, the downy rose myrtle, indiginous of Asia. Unfortunately this evergreen shrub has become a pest in some regions, especially in Florida where it is on the noxious weed list.
On the right is lantana camera, a flowering plant in the verbena family. In some countries known as Big sage or wild sage or red sage. Lantana is listed as a Category I invasive exotic species by the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council, which means that it is known to be "invading and disrupting native plant communities in Florida". 

So, what have I been up to this week...
Friday after I posted my blog, we got a phone call to say somebody wanted to buy our campervan. We said it was not for sale. But the sum offered was large and not to be sniffed at, so we agreed that they could come and have a look at it. So Friday was spent tidying the camper up and giving it a bit of a clean. 
The couple loved it so much they made us an offer we couldn't refuse and we agreed to sell it.

Saturday was spent taking all our belongings out and deep cleaning everything.

As you know we had picked up our new car a few days earlier
And Saturday I drove it for the first time. I have to get used to using a gear stick, but it is a lovely drive and I am feeling more confident already. Sunday I drove it to church. I promised myself I would try to drive it at least once a week to keep myself in practice. (I walk everywhere).

On Monday we took the campervan to its new owners. A very nice English couple. We are glad it is going to a good home. Once all the business was done it was gone 2pm, so we went to the local bar in our village and had a meal out as I hadn't cooked anything.
On Tuesday we just relaxed and I managed to finish my jigsaw:
I buy my jigsaws second hand in a thrift store (charity shop) in the UK as they are difficult to find here. I don't think the Spanish indulge in these things.
Do you recognise this?
My Fitbit had given up the ghost and I was tempted to stay in bed all week!

On wednesday I had happy mail again: my Fitbit replacement had arrived.

The Fitbit is one of those trackers that count your steps and encourages you to walk at least 10,000 a day. Well, as I said, after two months of use it packed up. I did all the things recommended in the forums and in the end I got in touch with the company and they sent me another one as it was still under garantee (without the armband as there is nothing wrong with that).

Thursday I spent quite a lot of time reading on the terrace, as the weather is gorgeous (not too hot) and my book was really good. I have now finished it.
It is called Invisible Threads by Lucy Beresford. About Sara, a psychotherapist who had always believed her husband was killed in Afghanistan. When she learns that he died in India, she travels to India to find out what happened. There she finds herself appalled by the treatment of women. She discovers temple prostitutes and becomes entangled in the dark side of Delhi. 
I can reccommend this as I really enjoyed it. I learned a lot about India I hadn't realised. And yes, she does find out about her husband in the end. 

Enough of my waffling. Lets have a few smiles:

I laughed out loud at this one, and again as my husband tried to read them out loud!
I like this one. I have to be reminded of this every now and then when I get really annoyed with people.

That was my week. I'm going to link with Virginia at Rocking Your World Friday as well as Annie. Hope to see you there.

Happy Easter,