Friday 28 June 2019

A Postcard A Day - Friday 28 June 2019 - Friday Smiles

Hello lovely girls, 
It's Friday again, time to reflect on the past week and all our blessings. 
I'm back home again after staying in Holland with my mum for a week. We had a lovely week just pottering about. We chatted, I cooked nice meals (and I made lots of portions to put in the freezer), and went out sometimes.

It's a real privilege to have such a wonderful mum like mine. I am very proud of her, living on her own with limited mobility and almost no eyesight. It can't be easy. 

But it's always good to be home again with my lovely hubby and now that my suitcase is unpacked, i look forward to my own routine again.
I apologise for neglecting to comment on many of your blog posts. Now I'm home again, I promise 'to do better'.

If that weren't enough smiles, I also have a postcard. A happy mail box always makes me smile.

Here is my postcard for today. It comes from Finland and tries to picture the sauna culture. The bucket holds the water used to sprinkle on top of the hot stove and creates a bit of humidity. (and sometimes a nice smell)

The stamp features the Finnish flag.

That's it from me today: short and sweet.

Have a lovely weekend, and a good week ahead. 

Don't forget to visit Annie who hosts this Friday Smiles, and then you might also want to visit Virginia, who's blog is called Rocking Your Week Friday.

Bye for now,

Tuesday 25 June 2019

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 25 June 2019 - T for Tuesday

Hi folks,
I apologise, I completely forgot the T-party and i am joining you all a bit late in the day (it is 5:30 pm here).

I do have a card or you. It comes from the USA and features a travel poster (which I love)

The stamps are beautiful and I am sure I could tell you more if I had the time to research, but this is a 'quickie'.
I found some photos from Italy on my camera:
Just yards from my son's house there was a meeting of classic and vintage cars. I didn't expet them to have my favorite car ever, the Ford Thunderbird. There was a boy in my class at school (we're talking 1961) who's dad had one . It was similar to the one in the photo but it was silver coloured. I fel in love with it then. And I have never seen one since. (He probably had it imported into Holland as american cars were a rarity).
You can see it was with rain!
Does anyone remember the song by Marc Cohn 'Silver Thunderbird'? 
Of course I had to pose...
I am staying at my mum's in Rotterdam (Netherlands) enjoying some quality time with her. We were invited by one of her friends to dinner.
 This lady always produces the most gorgeous and delicious things. My qualifier for Elizabeth and Bluebeard's T-Party is our glass of Rosé.
I will be flying home tomorrow and will be travelling all day. So very few comments I'm afraid. I'm sure you will all forgive me, lol.

Happy T-Day,
Stay safe,

Friday 21 June 2019

A Postcard A Day - Friday 21 June 2019 - Friday smiles

Hello lovel.y people,
It’s Friday again! I’m still in bed, although the sun is shining. This is something I can do unpunished since I am retired. We have been traveling all day yesterday, and now I am in the Netherlands. I went to take my mum back. (She had been staying with me for a while to celebrate her 95th birthday.)
The trip was long. We got up early with a view to leave at 10, then there was a 3 hour car journey to the airport plus some toilet stops. People that are less mobile get assistance from the airport/airline, and I had booked this for mum. It is free which is fantastic. There is a large yellow desk in the middle of the departure hall where we had to report. But to get there was a bit of a logistical conundrum. With two suitcases and three passengers there was no room for the wheelchair in our little Fiat. So we stopped the car in front of departures and together we walked her to a bench outside the terminal. I then guarded mum and the suitcases while hubby parked the car. We then had to walk her to the yellow desk. Mum in between us, slowly, with a suitcase each on our free hand. But we got there and from then on the service was great. 

Wheelchair service with a smile. They take us to the check in/luggage drop-off where we got priority and where I was able to change our assigned seats in the back to a seat in the front. At security they were just as thorough as always, but we got help. And on the other side there was another yellow-clad person waiting to take us to our gate. 

When the time came to board I discovered we were 7 wheelchairs including one gentleman on a scootmobile.  It took a while to get us all safely aboard, but I was well impressed. Mum had always travelled with assistance but now I have experienced it first hand.

Now we are at my mum's appartment. The weather is dry and mild. This is the view:

Mum is nearly blind but with a special magnifying program on her PC she can just about do a few games and see our photos on Facebook:

Ok, enough of that. Let’s show you my postcards. It comes from Canada and has a lovely stamp with an iceberg on it. I have not been able to find out much about it yet.
The card is a colorful interpretation of the Canadian flag. 

I'm sorry I'm so late, but I will still try to link up with Annie at A Stitch In Time and with Virginis at Rocking Your World Friday.

And of course there will be a few funnies at the end.

Have a lovely weekend,
Stay safe,

Tuesday 18 June 2019

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 18 June 2019 - T for secret garden and a 95 year old.

Good morning ladies,
Here we are again on T-Day. There is a blog T-party at Elizabeth and Bluebeard's which you can join bringing a drink (i.e. have a drink reference in your blog). I haven't quite decided which drink I shall bring to participate. We shall see later on. First off is this wonderful postcard from Portugal. It is written by Teresa, who lives in Braga in the north of Portugal.
She loves reading books and recently has read the famous children's book "The Secret Garden" by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

She writes: 'There is a paragraph about living forever which I truly love' and then she has managed to write the following quote in tiny letters on the back of the card:

 “One of the strange things about living in the world is that it is only now and then one is quite sure one is going to live forever and ever and ever. One knows it sometimes when one gets up at the tender solemn dawn-time and goes out and stands out and throws one's head far back and looks up and up and watches the pale sky slowly changing and flushing and marvelous unknown things happening until the East almost makes one cry out and one's heart stands still at the strange unchanging majesty of the rising of the sun--which has been happening every morning for thousands and thousands and thousands of years. One knows it then for a moment or so. And one knows it sometimes when one stands by oneself in a wood at sunset and the mysterious deep gold stillness slanting through and under the branches seems to be saying slowly again and again something one cannot quite hear, however much one tries. Then sometimes the immense quiet of the dark blue at night with the millions of stars waiting and watching makes one sure; and sometimes a sound of far-off music makes it true; and sometimes a look in someone's eyes.” 
The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett

I remember reading the book as a child, but perhaps I should read it again....

I am enjoying my mother's company at the mo. She is an amazing lady. We celebrated her 95th birthday.

We hung decorations in the little patio and invited some people. I made a cake  (sponge layer, cherry layer and whipped cream with yoghurt, chocolate sprinkles on top). Mum is holding a glass of red wine, so that is my beverage for today's T-Party, hosted by Elizabeth and Bleubeard.

The friends that i had invited all brought gifts (not at all necessary of course). There was a tray of eclairs, a pot of home made honey, a bag of home made short bread and also some jossticks. 

Blowing out the candles is part of the 'birthday ritual'.

I might as well show you these photos as well. Here am I on the patio tending to my flowers. The large white container you can see is one of the recycling bins that we have (from Ikea) which hubby had just swilled out.

 We had bought a new laminator and here I am unpacking it so that we could 'play' with it.

Mum and I are having a great time. I have no television, so I read from my online newspaper to her as she likes to be kept up to date with what is happening in the world. She also likes sport and at the moment we follow the world championships women's soccer. The Dutch team seems to be doing well. We do the crossword puzzles from the newspaper, I cook her nice meals and help her with her personal care (I do her hair too).

Thursday we are both flying to Rotterdam and I will stay a week there. (Hubby prefers to stay home) I will try to prepare a blog but it is always difficult to do when I'm away.

Happy T-Day to all!


Friday 14 June 2019

A Postcard A Day - Friday 14 June 2019 - Friday Smiles

Wow! It's Friday already! How time flies! I am enjoying my time with my mother. I'm spending time with her and not doing much else really. At her age, any time we can be together is precious. We have many smiles.
We do the crossword together (I have a Daily Mail subscription which my sister gifted me), and we sit in the sun or eat an ice cream. Listen to BBC World Service podcasts or chat about old times.

I did get some cards. Something in my mailbox always makes me smile. This one arrived this week from the UK. It is a photograph by Ansel Adams: Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941
Ansel Easton Adams (February 20, 1902 – April 22, 1984) was a landscape photographer and environmentalist known for his black-and-white images of the American West. He helped found Group f/64, an association of photographers advocating "pure" photography which favored sharp focus and the use of the full tonal range of a photograph. He and Fred Archer developed an exacting system of image-making called the Zone System, a method of achieving a desired final print through a deeply technical understanding of how tonal range is recorded and developed in exposure, negative development, and printing. The resulting clarity and depth of such images characterized his photography.
Adams was a life-long advocate for environmental conservation, and his photographic practice was deeply entwined with this advocacy.

Then there was this card from Taiwan. It arrived last month but it was still lying about on my desk, so perhaps I have not featured it yet. 
Taiwan used to be called Insula Formosa (beautiful Island).
It is  by Caspar Schmalkalden, who was a German soldier and chronicler of the seventeenth century , who traveled with the Dutch West India Company serving South America and the East Indies . When he returned ten years later in 1652 , Schmalkalden wrote a travel report of almost 500 handwritten pages in which he recorded observations and geographical and ethnological descriptions of the flora and fauna of the countries visited.

The stamps are nice too. The flower on the stamp is the blossom of the bauhinia Variegata, a  tree known in south east Asia, and also known as the orchid tree.
Now for some more photos from Italy. 
There was a medieval festival in Guardiagrele, where we were staying. People dressed up. It was fun to see all the lovely costumes. 
 There were all sorts of demonstrations and performances.

I will now go and visit Annie at A Stitch In Time and Virginia at Rocking Your Week Friday. I hope you will all visit them too.

 Of course I will do some funnies at the end.

In the meantime, have a great weekend and stay safe,

Tuesday 11 June 2019

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 11 June 2019 - T for books in a t_cup, with my mother

 Good morning lovely people,
It's Monday night and I am preparing to join the T-Party hosted by Elizabeth and Bleubeard. For that I need a beverage reference. So I have added an image of a girl reading in a large tea or coffee cup with a book and a drink. That could be me. I love reading. I read loads. Some books are better than others. But today I would like to reccommend the four best books I have read for a long time.

But first some postcards. This is a card I bought a while ago and I think I gave it to my hubby at Valentine's day. (Must have been a few years back).

 And this card I found in a pile of old stuff. It's a postcard with Audrey hepburn. One of my favorite photos of her. It was sent from Austria about two years ago.

I'm very busy but very happy at the moment as my mother is staying with me at the moment. What a privilege it is to still have my mum in my retirement days. Mum has just celebrated her 95th birthday. Here she is with me outside our house (yesterday).
 She stayed with my sister in Marbella (also in Spain) for a few days and yesterday my sister drove her here. 
I love having her stay with us. She is good company, is mentally very alert and knows a lot about what is going on in the world (more than me). We do crosswords together  and sit chatting on our little patio. Lovely.

Here are the books I really liked. The Elephant Keeper's Daughter is a historical novel (translated from German) set in Kanda on Sri Lanka in the 19th century. Julia Drosten  brings to life this chapter in history when Kanda was finally captured and the whole Sri Lankan island taken over by the British. The plot is masterfully constructed with a young and aggressive female heroine; a kind-hearted British doctor as the protagonist; and his evil brother, the villain.  And the elephants play a major role in the whole story too. It appears well researched and there is a good love story flowing through it.

The Incredible Life of Jonathan Doe I enjoyed immensely:
Forced into completing his community service, Brendan meets Jonathan Doe, an
intriguing man living in a local homeless shelter whose amazing stories of a happy childhood in the Appalachian Mountains captivate him. Within weeks of his arrival in Dover, Brendan loses himself in the strange man’s incredible stories.

Fascinated by the fact that Jonathan Doe can no longer remember exactly where he is from, Brendan becomes obsessed with helping his new friend find his way back to the kind of home he himself has always dreamed of.

But is Jonathan’s past real or are his memories the product of a deeply troubled mind? The closer Brendan gets to the truth, the more he realises that all is not what it seems with Jonathan Doe.
 I liked it so much that I immediately went and bought another book by Carol Coffey:
 Broken Hill Nursing Home is a house laden down with secrets, its residents now settled in Australia but living out their troubled lives trapped in the past. Thirteen-year-old Christopher, whose parents run the home, is its self-appointed guardian. Deaf since childhood, his foot severed in a horrific accident, he notices what others miss. Isolated and ignored, he is obsessed with helping these damaged souls find the peace they crave. He befriends the beautiful young Maria whose strange sadness puzzles him, then gains an ally when a mysterious young man arrives to record the extraordinary lives of the aging immigrants. Christopher eagerly awaits the transformations he expects will result from these 'confessions'. But will delving into the past disturb the residents fragile mental state and open up a Pandora's box that was best left closed? 

The next book is a must for all cat lovers, but can also be enjoyed by people who have never had a cat.
Nana is on a road trip, but he is not sure where he is going. All that matters is that he can sit beside his beloved owner Satoru in the front seat of his silver van. Satoru is keen to visit three old friends from his youth, though Nana doesn’t know why and Satoru won’t say. 

Set against the backdrop of Japan’s changing seasons and narrated with a rare gentleness and humour, Nana’s story explores the wonder and thrill of life’s unexpected detours. It is about the value of friendship and solitude, and knowing when to give and when to take. TRAVELLING CAT has already demonstrated its power to move thousands of readers with a message of kindness and truth. It shows, above all, how acts of love, both great and small, can transform our lives.

That's it from me this morning. 
Happy T-Day,