Tuesday 31 March 2020

A Postcar A Day - Tuesday 31 March 2020 - T for Taiwan, a bakery and spinach

Hello lovely girls! How are you all coping with the shutdown/self isolation etc? We have started the third week of our strict shutdown. I must admit it's no hardship for us. I have a loving husband and a big house to rattle around in. Bare a thought  for abusive relationships and families with lots of children (and a small house). 

I want to show you a photo of one of our bakers, Enriqueta. She has made a special window in stead of the door. Very clever!

I can easily cope and have started doing my exercises at home. I have an old Wii, and I do Wii fit in my craft room. I've taken the tables down as I won't be having crafty friends over, and now I have lots of room to jump about.

Of course Postcrossing is something I do. Karen at Creativeseconds asked me for the name of the community of  postcard senders/receivers. The site is called www.postcrossing.com. 
I received several postcards last week. This is one of them from Taiwan:
It features Mulan (1998) rough animation by Mark Henn.
The stamp is spectacular. I have not been able to find much info about it other than the fact that it is from a series about Yilan County.

My second card also comes from Taiwan, and is a totally different type of card. It is entitled "Educating the kid" (1963). The photographer is Chen-lung, who was born in 1933. The photo is part of the collection of the Taipei Fine Arts Museum. 
I am always in awe of the ability of non-European women to sit on their haunches like that!

The stamps are very pretty. I love those little tomatoes. 
Talking about veggies.... Sunday, was the first day in a long time that it didn't rain. Look how green everything is (very unusual here in Spain to see so much green. What a delight!)

This is what we saw through our bedroom window when we got up so hubby decided to go and check on his vegetable patch. It desperately needs weeding after all this rain!
It looks overgrown and untidy. He worked for an hour and than came home with an Ikea bag full of spinach! He says he will go out every day for an hour to tend to his plot.
So yesterday I spent most of the day cutting and washing the spinach. Most of it got cooked and then frozen. But I did cook a lovely tortilla de patatas with some of the spinach:
How silly of me not to photograph our drinks at the same time, then I could have used it as my ticket to the T-Party, hosted by Bleubeard and Elizabeth.

So I'm showing you my drink from Sunday when we had a full English breakfast. Bacon and eggs with baked beans and peeled tomatoes on toast (cooked by my dear hubby). No, we did not have it for breakfast, but as a brunch at about 2 pm. We had a cold beer as it was a nice day Sunday.

 That's it from me today. I hope you have all adjusted to this new life style and I dearly hope that you will all stay healthy and that the dreaded virus will not get you.

Have a wonderful week (don't forget to exercise),
Keep smiling,

Friday 27 March 2020

A Postcard A Day - Friday 27 March 2020 - Friday Smiles

Hello lovely ladies! 

No, I'm not in Stockholm, but this is a card I received from one of my Postcrossing friends. That is exactly what I want to convey today: Cheers! To us! Lets be positive and look at the good things in life instead of filling our being with negative newsfeed. Stay up to date by all means, but switch that rolling newsfeed off after you have heard the round-up of the news.

Let me show you some cards: This one comes from Poland and reminds me of summer, when we eat pomegranates. The name means 'apple of Granada'. (And our nearest city is Granada)

The stamps is very nice, seen here enlarged. It mentions Bialystok, which is the largest city in north-eastern Poland and the capital of Podlachia. It is the gateway to many natural attractions of Podlachia, known collectively as the Green Lungs of Poland, including Biebrza National Park and Białowieża National Park. Białystok is also the place of birth of Ludwik Zamenhof, the inventor of the artificial language, Esperanto. The city hosted an international Esperanto conference in 2009.(Wikivoyage)
The palace on the stamp is Branicki's Palace.   The Branickis' Palace is a former residence of a wealthy and influential noble family of Branicki, which used to own the whole city of Bialystok. The most famous member, Jan Klemens Branicki, the Great Crown Hetman of Poland with unsuccessful aspirations to the Polish throne, made the city prosperous and striving. The palace was given its current shape in early 18th century and since then has been called many names reflecting its grandeur, including "the Versaille of Podlasie". Although badly damaged by German bombs during the World War II, it was carefully rebuilt and now serves as the main building of the Medical University of Białystok. (Wikivoyage)

My next card comes from Sweden and shows the (young) queen Sylvia. She is wearing traditional costume I think. Very understated and beautiful.

The stamp is pretty. It is from a series of 2020 stamps. 

Called Heartfelt Greetings, the seven stamps were designed by Sabina Wroblewski Gustrin and issued Jan. 9. 2020
Here is a close-up of some of them:
I find them uplifting and pretty to look at. 
At that brings me to my week. It has been a strange week. The end of week two of the shutdown for us. 
The weather has been very somber, but the mood has been of the 'we-will-get-through-this' kind.
 But I get lots of chores done and I enjoy baking and cooking. Hubby has been doing odd jobs too.
 Sunday was wonderful, in that we watched the streaming of two church services by churches that we used to attend in the UK.
 Monday was my birthday and I have been so blessed with many, many messages, and video calls etc. It was different than other years but very special. I shan't forget this birthday. We had booked to walk the Caminito del Rey and to stay in a lovely hotel in the mountains, but of course the hotels have all had to close.
 Wednesday was the first day without rain (after 14 or more dull rainy days), and I managed to dry some washing outside. The seeds we ordered from Premier Seeds Direct have arrived and hubby can't wait to be going out there to plant something.
People are following the rules of waiting outside the shops with a meter distance. We all have to wear a mask and gloves are recommended, because not all shops remember to keep the door open. (and it's cold of course).
All in all we are fine. And I am working my way through a list of things to do, one of which is to learn more about digital scrapbooking. I have Photoshop in Spanish and also Photoshop Elements 11 in English. If anyone can recommend a good tutorial (preferably for PSE as that is in English) I would be very grateful.

Usually, the last Friday night of the month, our friends D&P and us go out for a drink and a meal or a pizza. We catch up and put the world to rights. This is not possible now, so we have organized a virtual get-together tonight using Zoom, that everybody seems to be using now. I'm excited about it. It will be like we were spending time together. I'll let you know how it went. 

That is it from me today. I have some funnies for you at the end. 
So now I will head over to Annie at A Stitch In Time and to Virginia at Rocking Your Week Friday
Stay safe and 
keep smiling.

 The translation of the next one goes like this:
"China has released the names of the first three infected people:
Sum Ting Wong
Ho Lee Fuk
Yu Dai Soon"

Tuesday 24 March 2020

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 24 March 2020 - T for libraries and a strange birthday

Hello lovely ladies,
How are you all bearing up with the different safety restrictions?  We can't leave the house, but we can join together at the T-Party! Elizabeth and Bleubeard are our hosts. All we need to do is post something with a beverage.

I'm going to start with my postcards as usual. Both cards come from the USA and both cards feature a library. The first is the Library of Congress. It doesn't actually say where it is! But I immediately went  onto the internet to find out more. It looks quite impressive. Sure enough it is in Washington DC. This is what I found:
The Library of Congress (LOC) is the research library that officially serves the United States Congress and is the de facto national library of the United States. It is the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. The library is housed in three buildings on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C

I also tried to find out what it looks like on the outside:
This building is called the Thomas Jefferson building, and the building behind it is also part of the library and is called the John Adams building.
Here is an image of the great hall interior.
The collections of the Library of Congress include more than 32 million catalogued books and other print materials in 470 languages; more than 61 million manuscripts; the largest rare book collection in North America, including the rough draft of the Declaration of Independence, a Gutenberg Bible (originating from the Saint Blaise Abbey, Black Forest) (one of only three perfect vellum copies known to exist); over 1 million U.S. government publications; 1 million issues of world newspapers spanning the past three centuries; 33,000 bound newspaper volumes; 500,000 microfilm reels; over 6,000 titles in all, totaling more than 120,000 issues comic book titles; films; 5.3 million maps; 6 million works of sheet music; 3 million sound recordings; more than 14.7 million prints and photographic images including fine and popular art pieces and architectural drawings; the Betts Stradivarius; and the Cassavetti Stradivarius.

From a huge library to a small intimate one:

It is the library at the home of Franklin D. Roosevelt and it is a painting by Ruth Perkins Safford (American, 1897 - 1979).
This card has some nice stamps:
The forever stamp on the right is about Woodstock Music Festival and the one in the middle is from the Hotwheels series. You can't see it clearly as the other stamps are stuck on top of it. (shame really). But this is what it looks like:

 The U.S. Postal Service must have some car enthusiasts within its ranks, as it is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Hot Wheels by introducing a set of 10 commemorative 50-cent Forever stamps that pay homage to some of the most iconic Hot Wheels castings over the years.
Do you remember Hot wheels? I do.... The track was orange, remember?

Ok then, what's happening here with us in Spain. Well, yesterday was my birthday. It was the strangest birthday I ever had and I shall not forget it in a hurry. The things we had planned (going away for a few days) of course can't go ahead, and we can't go out for a meal or a drink. I'm not allowed visitors etc. But I have never had so many phone calls, video calls, messages and the like. It was wonderful! Of course I had birthday cards to open in the morning.
I couldn't buy any birthday candles, so we improvised with an emergency candle in the cake. (Hubby joked that it was better than 69 little ones!)
This is also my qualifier for the T-Party: our coffees on the table. Mine is the short one and hubby likes his milky.
Of course we had a glass of wine with our meal:
Finally, I want to show you a photo from this morning when I went out to buy some bread:
This is the entrance of the cave next door which hubby is working on.
That is all my friends. I hope you are all safe and not panicking. It is a serious situation, but we are all in it together, the whole world is affected, and we will get through it.

Happy T-Day all!

Friday 20 March 2020

A Postcard A Day - Friday 20 March 2020 - Friday Smiles

Hello lovely ladies! 
How are you all bearing up under the safety measures? We have been under house arrest since Monday. Nobody is allowed out, only to do food shopping, and even then you get stopped by the police. 

But I did receive some lovely postcards. Look at these little Native American cuties! It was sent to me from the USA by Paula, who tells me they hold yearly Native American Festivals where she lives.

 The stamps are gorgeous. Some red pears and the lunar New Year image.
The second card is one of those vintage travel posters, that I like so much.  This one is from the series Posters From The British Empire 1926-1933, Mautitius, Sugar, Rum. Designed by Keith Henderson. 
 I like it very much. 
The card was sent to me by Mike, who lives in northeastern Texas with his wife. They have been married for 39 years and Mike hopes to retire at the end of this month, but is not sure how he will occupy his time.
The stamps are fun. The Muppets figures are fun, and grapes can lead to fun (If you make wine).

How has my week been? Like most European countries we are in total lockdown. We have house arrest and are only allowed to go to a food shop. I sent hubby to get some bread at the baker the other day and he came back with lots of bread but also with some enormous donuts and some cream pastry!

So we had to eat them unfortunately, lol. They are not very nice when they're stale. (They go stale soon as the baker makes them without chemicals to keep them fresh)

I did some scrapbooking. This is one from earlier in the week. Did I show you that one already? I can't remember, but they are the almond blossoms.
This was my desk yesterday (Thursday).

The weather has not been good. Very overcast and a bit of rain too. (Hence the washing drying indoors, a very rare occurrence here)
 On Wednesday we went shopping together. The streets were deserted. Very eerie. Those people that we did see were all wearing masks.
 I popped into the post office to empty my postbox. Hubby waited outside, but got told off by a police man for loitering. You have to go home, he said. Luckily that was when I came out of the post office, so we could actually go home.

 Hubby is working on the ceiling of the cave house next door, which has had water damage (This happened years ago, but it takes that long to dry out). He is making arched ceilings, so that they won't collapse again. It does mean that I don't have to worry about a man with nothing to do. He loves the work he does and he can please himself as to how much (or how little) he does.
I made butternut squash risotto yesterday, and I bake cakes.I keep in contact with my friends via Whatsapp or Messenger. Staying indoors is not so much hardship for us really. 

Thank God for Internet is all I can say! The Met is streaming famous operas for free. (As is the Paris opera) A different one every day. On Wednesday I watched La Bohème. A lot of museums around the world are offering free virtual tours.  Amazing! Here is a link to 6 Italian museums, just to get you started. And here are some more museums with free virtual tours
Here is another website that has links to lots more free stuff and resources. I know the UK has no house arrest yet, but that will come soon.
My daughter-in-law, who has a food blog called GourmetMum, is preparing daily 'cooking-with-children' videos to keep children entertained and teach them that cooking is fun at the same time. 

That is it from me tonight. I will have some (very cheesy) Covid virus funnies, which you have probably have seen already. 

I will go and join Annie at A Stitch In Time and Virginia at Celtic House to share today's silver linings.

Before I go:

Have a lovely weekend whatever you are doing. Stay safe and stay healthy. Stay positive above all!


 Is this how the virus enters our country?

Working from home:

 After going round 6 supermarkets that were sold out of toilet rolls you finally found a large pack....