Sunday 27 September 2020

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 29 September 2020 - T for canals, abandoned houses and a tithe barn.


Good morning lovely ladies! 

Happy Tuesday! This post is going to be a short one as it is scheduled. We are away for a few days. We had booked a hotel for my birthday in March, but the hotel closed because of the Covid virus. We have re-booked and are now (hopefully) enjoying lovely walks and lots of fresh air.

I will be linking this with Elizabeth and Bluebeard's T-Party. My ticket to the party is the above cup of coffee.

First off is my postcard. This one comes from the UK, from a city in the middle of England called Birmingham. It is England's second largest city (after London), and it has more miles of canals than Venice.

Birmingham has 35 miles of canals, which is said to be more than Venice. They're enjoyed by walkers, cyclists, and narrowboat owners and they are a reminder of a unique industrial history.

During the Industrial Revolution the canals were busy waterways transporting coal, iron and other heavy goods. They played a crucial role in the development of Birmingham and the Black Country.

Most of the canals were built in the 1700s and 1800s and there were more than 170 miles of them. One of the first to be built was the Duke of Bridgewater's Canal. It carried the Duke's coal from inside the mines 15 miles to Manchester. It was finished in 1761 and most of the engineering work was planned and supervised by James Brindley. Brindley was a millwright by trade and one of the most notable engineers of the 18th century. He worked on six canal projects in the Midlands.

For 170 years the canal system was bustling with activity. Towards the end of the 19th century the tonnage of goods carried increased reaching 8 and a half million tonnes in 1898.

Although the canals were profitable, they were costly to build and maintain. In the 1820s Thomas Telford was employed to inspect Birmingham's canals, which had severe maintenance problems. He suggested an overhaul of the canal system, which included the straightening of many canals.

As canal industries declined and railways and roads took over the long distance transportation of goods, use of the canals decreased. By 1980 all commercial traffic had stopped. Over the years canals fell into disrepair. However, many have since been restored and their surroundings improved with parkland, housing and many stunning modern developments, creating vibrant areas with shops, restaurants, bars and entertainment. 

Here are some more photos of the canals in Birmingham (from the Internet):

The stamp is very English. It features the English flag with the red St George's cross, and Magdalen College. Magdalen College is a constituent college of the University of Oxford. It was founded in 1458 by William of Waynflete.

Here are some photos from the Internet (Wikipedia):
It reminds me so much of the TV series Morse. 
And look at that dining room! (Harry Potter?)

So, what have I been up to this past week? I bought another mask to match hubby's. Covid cases are on the up even here in rural Spain, and although we are not in lockdown as such, but still no groups allowed or events or anything. I'm getting very unfit and I was hoping that the gym might re-open but no chance of that just yet.
The swifts (I think they are swifts) have been gathering everywhere and have now headed south. I have been told that these are the youngsters, and that the parents have already left a couple of weeks before. I guess they had some more growing to do.

I found this image on the Internet somewhere and though it was lovely. 

This month's theme at the photo club is 'Abandoned Buildings', so I visited our friends who live in the next village. There are some abandoned houses near their house and we went inside one and took some photos. The house looks as if the residents have just left unexpectedly. This is a bedroom where the wall has collapsed and when we went in we saw that the bed was still made and below you can see a drawer with some knitting in it.
This room was not accessible of course.

In the end, below is my entry for this month. I will hear next month how it scored.

The above scene struck me as the bed was still made and the knitting is still in the drawer.

Also during the week I met a friend who has a bakery, which is on the other side of the village. When I walked back I took a different route home and came through streets I had never been. 

The photo below shows the so-called Posito, which in England would be a sort of tithe barn. I heard recently that subsidies have been granted to restore this building, so I thought I'd go and have a look.

The positos, which arose in the 15th century, were warehouses that acted as true cereal banks, used by the local farmers. They were built on the initiative of individuals, with charitable intentions, which are manifested as an example of “feudal charity”.

The purchase and sale prices of grain were regulated, and loans could be borrowed, thus freeing the farmers from usury.
The Pósito de Caniles was built in the second half of the 18th century, on the outskirts of town, by the builder Torcuato Ruiz Rodríguez. Its structure was made entirely of brick and masonry.

The Caniles Pósito is rectangular in shape, 31 meters long by 12.50 meters wide, and its height is greater than 11 meters. 

The photo below is just one of the little streets on my way home.
And this is my friend's bakery. (The front door has been changed into a till, so people need not come into the bakery to get their bread and cakes)

That is all from me this week. I will be scheduling this post, but I will have my iPad with me so I will be able to read all your posts but I won't be able to comment until I get home. (Blogger doesn't work on iPads.)

Have a lovely week, stay safe,
PS I have not been able to schedule, so just posted it early.

Friday 25 September 2020

A Postcard A Day - Friday 25 September 2020 - Friday Smiles


Hello lovely peeps,

How are you all? Let forget about the virus for a moment and concentrate on what made us smile this week.

My mailbox was happy several times this week and I would like to show you this postcard in black and white.

It was sent to me from the USA by someone who calls herself Fieryrogue. The photo is entitled 'Beauty Queens of the 40s and 50s'. One of them is wearing a bikini. Very daring in those days. I nearly started singing 'Itsy bitsy teeny weeny' when I saw there were no polka dots in sight. (Anyone remember that song?)

I have no idea what these ladies are advertising...

The stamps are pretty and colourful. Lots of hearts and I do like the left stamp as it depicts a multicultural, or should I say multiracial America.

So, what have i been up to this week?

We had rain! It was a good few hours! Great for the land, but not nearly enough. All the swallows were congregating before disappearing to warmer climes.

On my walk we walked through the gypsy district and I came past this garden full of these beautiful flowers. 

They are Celosia Cristate, or Gypsy Queen. How appropriate.

On Saturday I got the good news that my cousin's surgery had gone well and that today she would be moved into a care hotel. Because she lives alone and she's not allowed to lift even a kettle, she has to convalesce in a care hotel (paid by the medical insurance of course). 
Remember this beetroot?

Well, I cooked it on Sunday, when I roasted it with potatoes in the oven. It was yummy. We had it with a large pie that hubby had bought at a market stall run by English people.

On Monday I went shopping in the village (post office and baker) and later in the day, we both went into town to the supermarket for our weekly groceries.
We had the sourdough pancakes for breakfast on Tuesday and they were horrible. Perhaps the starter has gone off. It smells awful. But then I have no idea how it is supposed to smell. I don't have much luck with sourdough starters.
Tuesday was one of those days where lots of things went wrong and i got frustrated, so I will skip over this day, as this blog is about smiles. I do want to mention that I was so frustrated, I resorted to eating chocolate. That might bring a smile to your face. (I very seldom reach for the chocolate)
On Wednesday I went to see a photoclub member who has a bakery, then I walked through a part of the village I don't normally walk through, so that was interesting.
The fruit in the photo is azarolus crataegus. It looks like a cross between an apple and a rosehip. When I looked it up, it indeed is part of the rose family. It is jam-packed with vitamin C.
Yesterday I started a new book called City of Bones, the first of a series of 9 books. But I only have the first in the series.
I did some cardmaking as I had to make a card for my sister's birthday, so once i got all my stuff out, I also did some other cards. I had a Gurjuss decoupage set and I made two cards:

I haven't put any sentiments on as I don't know who I'm going to send them to and for what occasion.

That is all from me today. Let's go join Annie at A Stitch In Time and Virginia at Rocking Your World Friday.

As usual, I have some funnies at the end. Again, they are pet funnies, which I'm sure you'll appreciate.

Have a lovely weekend,
Keep smiling!

Tuesday 22 September 2020

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 22 September 2020 - T for Beetroot, Volkswagen and lost in translation.


Good morning lovely ladies,
The above image is just something I found on the Internet. I thought it was a cute coffee cup. Actually it is a huge coffee cup. My mum has a plant pot exactly like this one. 

How are you all today? Ready to join Elizabeth and Bluebeard's T-Party? All you need is a beverage (or a reference to a drink). The above picture would qualify me, but there is more to come so keep on reading.

First off my postcard. This one comes to me from Germany. It was sent by a guy called Dirk. He lives in the Ruhr area of Germany, but sends me this great card of a Volkswagen campervan. A bit of nostalgia for some people. I personally think they were a bit cramped. We never had one.
Can you see the palm trees? I think that is especially for Elizabeth.

The stamps are beautiful. They are entitled: Dessau-Wörlitzer Gartenreich. 

Wikipedia writes:The Dessau-Wörlitz Garden Realm,   is a World Heritage Site in Germany, that lies between city of Dessau and the town of Wörlitz in Central Germany. It was designated world heritage in 2000. It is one of the first and largest English parks in Germany and continental Europe. It was created in the late 18th century under the regency of Duke Leopold III of Anhalt-Dessau (1740-1817), returning from a Grand Tour to Italy, the Netherlands, England, France and Switzerland he had undertaken together with his friend architect Friedrich Wilhelm von Erdmannsdorff. Strongly influenced by the ideals of The Enlightenment, they aimed to move on from the formal garden concept of the Baroque era in favour of a naturalistic landscape as they had seen at Stourhead Gardens and Ermenonville. Today the cultural landscape of Dessau-Wörlitz encompasses an area of 142 km2 (55 sq mi) within the Middle Elbe Biosphere Reserve in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt.Gartenreich Dessau Worlitz.

That is amazing. That must be such a beautiful garden! I personally know the above mentioned Stourhead quite well as it was near where we used to live  and we had season tickets.

What sort of week have I had? Well, we have had the first rain of the season. It was just one day.

But as it was on a Friday, I went walking with my friend. It was dull and overcast, and I had to wear a jacket (for the first time this season).

The temperatures plummeted. Even the swallows decided it was too cold and congregated on the power lines, ready to travel to warmer climes.

Hubby's vegetable plot continues to feed us with good stuff. This is what he brought the other day:

And what do you think of this whopper!
I have since cooked it, and this is what I did:

I roasted the beet with potatoes and onion. Delicious!

And we had a pie with it, which we shared as it was very big.

Yesterday I bought another mask. I saw it in the shop and thought it would match hubby's.

I was asking hubby to pose for a selfie when he was in the middle of baking pancakes. (in case you wondered why he is cooking with a mask indoors). The pancakes are made with the discarded sourdough starter. We'll have them for breakfast tomorrow.

You've already seen this beetroot and potato roast, but now my glass of wine is in it and that is my ticket to the T-Party.

I made another plum cake on Sunday for the boys of our house group.

And I made spaghetti this week in stead of tagliatelle. More than half of that went in the freezer as I have made far too much.

I'm leaving you with a smile: This week I also got some muslin cloths to cover my kombucha pots. This were the instructions on the packet:

I apologise that some photos are on the left and others in the middle and the sizes are not uniform either. The new Blogger seems to do its own thing and I don't seem to have much control over the situation.

That is it from me today. Have a good week everyone, and keep smiling!

Happy T-Day,