Tuesday, 30 January 2018

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 30 Jan 2018 - T for snow, churros and Precious

Good Morning Folks,
I'm back behind my desktop computer with its enormous screen, enjoying the images that I have just uploaded. I'm looking at the card I received not long ago from the Netherlands. It wasn't through Postcrossing this time but it was sent to us by some dear friends of ours with Christmas wishes.
It is one of my favorite cards. It pictures Holland as I remember it. The skating on the rivers and canals beside the ever-present wind mills. These were used in the old days to pump wáter in and out and keep wáter levels right. (Now they use huge diesel pump stations) .

Talking of snow.... we have had some snow this week. On Sunday morning we woke up to this:

The structure you see on the terrace is the table minus the glass top, which is safely in the living room tucked behind the sofa. 
Our house is built on the side of a mountain and from our back door to the village is a small but steep slope. But the snow prevented us to get our car up there. (When snow or ice is predicted, we leave our car at the top of the slope as a precaution, but this snow was a surprise).
We couldn't go to church, so we decided to walk to the nearest bar and treat ourselves to 'churros and chocolate'.

Most of the local bars are open on a Sunday morning to accomodate the hunters that go out early and have a coffee, a chat and get lunch bags made up. We had a coffee and ordered thick chocolate to dip the churros in.

The churros were freshly made there and then and were too hot to pick up (hence the serviette) But I couldn't wait!

I thought I'd show you a photo of our cat called Precious. He is lying on a cushion that I use for the lounge chair on the terrace. I often sit out in the afternoon sun and read a bit. But with all this cold weather, the cushion is lying on the back of the settee and Precious has taken posession of it. What does he look like!

Talking about cats: Look at these little spoons. Aren't they cute!

One last photo of what our view looks like now. It has stopped snowing and the sun has come out. Roll on spring! I can't wait.

Now I'm off to Elizabeth and Bleubeard to join the T-party. My glass of chocolate qualifies me for joining in with the fun. Please come along with a blogpost that has a drink or something drink related in it. See you there!

Bye for now,

Friday, 26 January 2018

A Postcard A Day - Friday 26 January 2018 - Friday Smiles

Good morning lovely girls (and guys),
It's Friday and I am going to tell you what made me smile this week.

Today, the 26th would have been my late dad's birthday. I have such sweet memories of my father. I was a real 'Daddy's Girl'. He died (also in January) eight years ago. He was very intelligent and very gentle. A really nice person and a great father to his daughters.
My father's name is Frans (short for Franciscus). The photo dates from a few months before he died in his late eighties.

Just thinking of him makes me smile, so I have included him in my smiles for this week.

Here is my postcard before I forget:
I really love this photo. I bought the card in France when we were there this summer. I sent it to someone who specifically asked for cards of lighthouses. Being an amateur photographer, I appreciate the actual photo. I have no idea how they photographed that. It is too good a photo to have been done by drone. I imagine someone hanging out of a helicopter! Oh no, lets not go there!

What have I been up to this week? Friday was a great day. Unexpectedly I got a request for a birthday cake for a four year old. Luckily I have large trays and decided to make a tray bake as there were going to be many people. It turned out very well: 

Chocolate cake with a soft icing of cream cheese with honey. Lots of jelly sweets on top.

In the evening we went out for a drink and snacks with our Mexican friends at a restaurant called the Venta del Sol.
We sat on the left hand side in the conservatory:
Even in Winter it is nice to sit there at night. I forgot to bring my camera, but it was a lovely evening.

On Saturday we had a cosy night by the fire. It was fiesta in our village and there were lots of people about in the main Street:

I have written about this festival on Tuesday.

Sunday morning we went to church, and after the service we celebrated the 1st birthday of one of the congregation. A gorgeous Little thing called Noelia. 

Big smiles. (I didn't make that cake BTW) 
After that little party we went to the bar for a coffee and Baileys, our regular Sunday treat.

Monday had me smiling because the weather was warm and balmy so I could do my washing. I did three washing machine loads and all three dried one after the other. The first load was dry when I was hanging the second lot out. If that doesn't make one smile!

We normally spend Monday night at our weekend house (cave) but hubby had a lot to do and wanted to stay home, so on Tuesday morning I could go to the market. It is every Tuesday in our village and I can never go as we are always 50 km away. I enjoyed the market and bought dried fruits (apricots and cranberries) and some spices.
At two o'clock we went for our weekly lunch out. So all in all a great day.

Through someone in the photoclub I have bought some second hand accessories, and an older SLR camera for learning purposes. 

The seller lived and worked in Granada and I agreed to meet him there on Wednesday outside his work. I don't drive, so I asked my friend of she could drive me (she did). It is a lovely one and a half hour drive through the mountains. And I could also catch up with my friend. More smiles.
While we were driving I got a phone call that a parcel had arrived and the Courier wanted to know where to take it. It was an order for craft supplies! I had ordered an EZ runner dispenser as a lot of my glues had dried up.
And I bought some kraft paper, which is difficult to find But I found some!

The lady that runs the local petrol station is a friend of mine so I had it delivered there and we picked it up on our way back from Granada.

Yesterday I spent most of the day crafting. I started doing two scrapbook pages, but didn't get very far as I needed an ink pad to stamp with and discovered that the pad had desintegrated. So I checked the others... most of them dried out or desintegrated! Except the Versacolor. They were still usable. So now you know what I will buy in future...

That is it from me for today. At the bottom I will put some funnies. It's all about squirrels this time. The last one is not a funny but just a lovely mama squirrel with her babies.

Have a lovely weekend and a great week ahead.
Keep smiling,

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 22 Jan 2018 - T for Baileys at the bar, birthday cake and a robber.

Hello everybody,
It's time for the T-Party hosted by Elizabeth and Bleubeard at Altered Book Lover. It's real simple: All you need to do is have a drink somewhere in your blog post.
I will start straight away with my drink:
Every Sunday after church we go to a local bar and have coffee and Baileys. Here I am with my coffee. I drink 'cafe cortado', which is an expresso type of coffee with a dash of milk in it. The owner's daughter was helping behind the bar and her 'dash' was rather generous. Here I'm saying to hubby that my coffee looked very much like his (coffee with milk).

We had a birthday in the church. One of our members had an unexpected pregnancy (her youngest is 17) and she gave birth to a gorgeous little girl, adored especially by her older brothers and daddy. On Sunday she was one year old and time to celebrate:
Here is the cake from the other side. It was very yummy! (No, I didn't make it).
Our patronal festival, San Sebastian, fell on a Saturday this year and our village was chockerblock with people. 

I stayed at home as I hate crowds. But most people love this festival as several groups of people (brotherhoods) try to steal the saint (in reality a cross representing the saint).In Spanish it is called the Robo del Santo.
Robo del Santo translates as 'the theft of the saint'. As the church bells chime 5 o'clock, the team that won last year come out of the church with the cross. Other groups literally fight, jostle and wrestle to get their hands on it.
Who has the cross in posession at the end of the procession, is the winner and he and his friends will pay for next year's festivities. That is quite a commitment. It costs thousands and they will be fundraising all through the year to get that covered. This is 2018's winner:
The photos were taken by photoclub members. This one is good too:
Now before I forget, let me show you a postcard. Here is one I am going to send tomorrow morning. It is going to Johor in Malaysia. This person wanted a map card. Fortunately I can oblige.

It is a map of Spain with Andalucia (The green bit at the bottom, where we live) clearly visible in the south. We live in the north East of Andalucia.

I'm going to call it a day.
Have a super T-Day,

Friday, 19 January 2018

A Postcard A Day - Friday 19 Jan 2018 - Friday Smiles

Hello lovely people,
How are you all today? I hope you have been spared the dreaded 'lurgy'. 
I have lots to smile about this week. First of all I'm feeling much better. Since Wednesday really, I am functioning normally. I've been ill since the beginning of December and was really getting a bit fed up. So praise God, I am much better.

Yesterday I spent the day in my craft room again and did another double page with photos of one of our trips last year. It's wonderful to potter about and craft. Smiles all day!

The name of the place/city is Cartagena.
A beautiful city. We liked it very much. I found out that there was a mining museum nearby and on the photo bottom left you can see us donning our hard hats before the tour through the mines.
We had to book a tour and on the day we joined a group of 15 people. Unfortunately there wasn't a guide that spoke English, and a year ago my Spanish was a lot more limited, so that was a shame. But as I'm a geologist, I did understand quite a bit just by looking at the rock and listening and then putting two and two together as they say.

Wednesday was an exciting day as my cooker arrived. That certainly made me smile! 
My hubby is building a ground floor flat under our house and we have got as far as the kitchen. The carpenter has built and put in the units and now the cooker has arrived:
It is a simple gas cooker with a gas oven too. Electricity is very expensive here and in winter very unrelyable. We try to use as little power as possible. Our hot water comes from solar panels. Luckily the sun shines every day, but for those few days a year that it doesn't there is an immersion heater built in.
We are now waiting for the granite work tops and then said kitchen will be operational.
This is what it looks like from a distance:
The floor is tiled but the tiles look like wood.
This is the front door:
The outside still needs a lot of work, but the door is in.
As it is Friday Smiles I will find some funnies and link up with Annie at A Stitch In Time.

Well, they are not really funny, but animal pictures that made me smile...

 This is a baby flamingo at its mother's feet.

Perhaps we could coin a new expression....'cool as a crow'.

That is it from me for today. Have a really nice weekend,

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 16 Jan 2018 - T for carrotcake, books and energy tea

Hello peeps, It's Tuesday again! Well, I am writing this on Monday evening late. It's nearly midnight. We are at our weekend home, where we always go on Monday. This time I completely forgot to bring any of my postcards to show you. I have had a fair few this week. It will keep until next week.

What have I been up to? Well, I have been to a workshop that our local photo club had organized. It was about photographing food (in a studio setting).

The 'teacher' had a tableau set up with a black back ground and explained about light settings and camera settings. It went a bit over my head. Too professional.

Here she has made a composition of bread that someone had got at our baker's, and this is the resulting photo:

At the back there was a platter of cookies/biscuits for us to eat, here on the right:

These are the local goodies. The round thing with the hole in the middle is called 'rosco', eaten the whole year through, but particularly popular around epiphany, 6th January, Los Reyes or Three Kings. The cake on the left is my carrot cake tray bake. 

And this is said cake on a little platter serving as a teaching aid on how to photograph with a white back ground.

I am still under the weather and feeling constantly exhausted. I have bought a new herbal tea:

I haven't tried it yet, but it smells nice. It's green tea with citrus and a thing called guaraná (no idea what that is). It is supposed to give me a bit more energy....

Now I have my drink, I can join the T-party at Elizabeth and Bleubeard's. Please join us with a blog post that has a drink in it.

While I was ill during the Christmas holidays, I read lots of books. I would like to share some that I really enjoyed. I will put them at the end for those who are interested. I get my books on Kindle from Amazon. I only buy books at 99 cents or free books even. I am critical, even though I don't pay much and I choose carefully. I get offers every day but i only buy one occasionally when i think I am going to like it. The following books are the ones I particularly enjoyed.

Wishing everyone a happy T-Day,


Jeremy Walsh’s parents assume he’s been abducted by the elderly man he met on a cross-country flight, but it’s the other way around. 

Two unlikely companions meet in midair: 13-year-old Jeremy, sent against his will by his career-absorbed father to spend the summer with his bipolar mother, and Harry, one-legged and afflicted with mid-stage Alzheimer’s, who escapes the confinement of home for what may be his last adventure. Their journey begins, trailed by Harry’s wife and Jeremy’s parents, who threaten to cut it short. It’s a race against time and circumstance.

"In Adrian Magnuson's Taking Flight a curmudgeon losing his memory and a snarky teen fleeing his parents find a common passion in bird watching. Endearing characters, delightful story and a poignant final scene give this book wings along with the beautifully depicted birds.” —Frances Wood, author of Brushed by Feathers: A Year of Birdwatching in the West

I can recommend this, even if (like me) you know nothing about bird watching. It is delightful and funny, and had me shedding a tear at some point. Harry reminded me of my dad, who also had Alzheimers. And I have a son, so I recognised Jeremy as a typical teenager.

In an enthralling new historical novel from national bestselling author Kate Quinn, two women—a female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947—are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption.
1947. In the chaotic aftermath of World War II, American college girl Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and on the verge of being thrown out of her very proper family. She's also nursing a desperate hope that her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, might still be alive. So when Charlie's parents banish her to Europe to have her "little problem" taken care of, Charlie breaks free and heads to London, determined to find out what happened to the cousin she loves like a sister.
1915. A year into the Great War, Eve Gardiner burns to join the fight against the Germans and unexpectedly gets her chance when she's recruited to work as a spy. Sent into enemy-occupied France, she's trained by the mesmerizing Lili, the "Queen of Spies", who manages a vast network of secret agents right under the enemy's nose.
Thirty years later, haunted by the betrayal that ultimately tore apart the Alice Network, Eve spends her days drunk and secluded in her crumbling London house. Until a young American barges in uttering a name Eve hasn't heard in decades, and launches them both on a mission to find the truth...no matter where it leads.
I liked this one for the historical detail, and it was entertaining at the same time. I looked it up and the spy in the story is based on a real woman spy

This next one is a thriller, which kept me on the edge of my seat (so to speak, as I was ill in bed).
A small town hides big secrets in The Dry, an atmospheric, page-turning debut mystery by award-winning author Jane Harper.
After getting a note demanding his presence, Federal Agent Aaron Falk arrives in his hometown for the first time in decades to attend the funeral of his best friend, Luke. Twenty years ago when Falk was accused of murder, Luke was his alibi. Falk and his father fled under a cloud of suspicion, saved from prosecution only because of Luke’s steadfast claim that the boys had been together at the time of the crime. But now more than one person knows they didn’t tell the truth back then, and Luke is dead.
Amid the worst drought in a century, Falk and the local detective question what really happened to Luke. As Falk reluctantly investigates to see if there’s more to Luke’s death than there seems to be, long-buried mysteries resurface, as do the lies that have haunted them. And Falk will find that small towns have always hidden big secrets.

This was a rather good thriller and I had no idea where this was going. The plot was really good and I could not have guessed the outcome. An exciting read.