Friday, 22 October 2021

A Postcard A Day - Friday 22 October 2021

 Hello lovely ladies,

How are you all? Today is all about the silver lining in our lives. Our week has been good, mostly and today we went to the hospital and got some bad news. Hubby’s cancer has spread and he needs another operation. On the positive side: my long time bestie from Holland is visiting and that creates the necessary distraction.

I received this postcard from the Netherlands recently. It made me smile.

The stamps have hearts on them. Always a nice thing to see.

Let me show you what happened last week:

Thursday we were still being woken up by a digger in front of our house. 
We saw a guy who is going to make a plan for a friend’s estate. We are sort of looking after it as this friend lives abroad. It meant showing him around the estate. A lovely walk. The sun is till shining.

I’m having the same problems as some of you have, that Blogger puts photos in the wrong order. So Saturday saw me cook artichokes. Someone had given them to me. I remembered how to do it as I used to cook them in Italy. But because now I have an Instant Pot, I looked up how to do that using the I.P. They turned out really nice. We had the. For supper.
In the event we had our Intercambio meeting with Spanish and English speakers. We came across a brass band. It turned out that there was an open air mass in the park.

Jumping back to Friday, I went on a long walk with my friend. Good for the body ( the walk) and for the soul ( putting the world to rights with my friend).
We had bought a new laptop recently and we needed some bits and bobs and cables etc. so I have been up and down to the post office collecting parcels.

Sunday was wonderful. We ( a little fellowship group we belong to) had been invited to a meeting of the Romanian church. It was very different and really lovely. They made us very welcome and made an effort to do everything in Spanish as well as Romanian. At the end they treated us to pizza. They had ordered a table full of pizza!

In the evening we went to say hello to our Danish neighbors, who had arrived from Denmark. I took a picture of our house from their terrace.
On Monday there was another parcel. Rather bigger than the others. It was hubby’s keyboard stand. A proper job, as he calls it.
In the evening we had been invited to have supper with the Danes. We sat out on the terrace all evening. 

On Wednesday our friends Kim and Andy came. Andy is the computer whizz kid and he spent time sorting things out on our new laptop and Kim and I shared a bottle of white wine!
That is about it from me today. I think my computer knows we have bought a laptop and is having a tantrum. All my funnies are on my desktop computer and he won’t cooperate. Arghh!
So this is all I can come up with:

Short and sweet today. 
Have a lovely weekend,
Keep smiling!

Tuesday, 19 October 2021

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 19 October 2021 - T for Belarus, trick or treat and Romanian ladies

 Hello lovely ladies,

Are you all ready for the T-Party, hosted by Elizabeth and Bleubeard?

Come and join us with a post that has a drink or a drink reference in it. I have something to contribute, but this blog is about postcards so without further ado, here are my postcards.

The theme this time is Belarus.

Belarus,[a] officially the Republic of Belarus,[b] and historically Byelorussia, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe. It is bordered by Russia to the east and northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Covering an area of 207,600 square kilometres (80,200 sq mi) and with a population of 9.3 million, Belarus is the thirteenth-largest and the twentieth-most populous country in Europe. The country is administratively divided into seven regions. Minsk is the capital and largest city.

 Much of the borders of Belarus took their modern shape in 1939, when some lands of the Second Polish Republic were reintegrated into it after the Soviet invasion of Poland, and were finalized after World War II.[11][12][13] During World War II, military operations devastated Belarus, which lost about a quarter of its population and half of its economic resources.[14] The republic was redeveloped in the post-war years. In 1945, the Byelorussian SSR became a founding member of the United Nations, along with the Soviet Union.

The parliament of the republic proclaimed the sovereignty of Belarus on 27 July 1990, and during the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Belarus declared independence on 25 August 1991.[15] Following the adoption of a new constitution in 1994, Alexander Lukashenko was elected Belarus's first president in the country's first and only free election post-independence, serving as president ever since.[16] Lukashenko's government is authoritarian with a poor human rights record due to widespread human rights abuses.[17][18][19][20] Belarus is the only country in Europe officially using the death penalty. Lukashenko has continued a number of Soviet-era policies, such as state ownership of large sections of the economy. In 2000, Belarus and Russia signed a treaty for greater cooperation, forming the Union State.

Belarus is a developing country, ranking 53rd in the Human Development Index

Here is the card I received:

It is entitled Bielaviezhskaya Puscha. That is a National Park which has UNESCO World Heritage status.

It straddles the border between Poland and Belarus. (On the card the part on the right is Belarus and the left is Poland).

Białowieża Forest  is one of the last and largest remaining parts of the immense primeval forest that once stretched across the European Plain. The forest is home to 800 European bison, Europe's heaviest land animal.[2] UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme designated the Polish Biosphere Reserve Białowieża in 1976[3] and the Belarusian Biosphere Reserve Belovezhskaya Puschcha in 1993.

On the Belarusian side, the forest is protected as the Belavezhskaya Pushcha National Park with an area of 1,771 km2 (684 sq mi). The core, strictly protected, area covers 38%, the zone of regulated use 26,1%, and the touristic zone and economic zone combined 36%; the National Park and World Heritage Site comprises 876 km2 (338 sq mi).The Belovezhskaya pushcha headquarters at Kamieniuki include laboratory facilities and a zoo where European bison (reintroduced into the park in 1929), konik (a semi-wild horse), wild boarEurasian elk and other indigenous animals may be viewed in enclosures of their natural habitat. A new attraction there is a New Year's museum with Ded Moroz (the East Slavic counterpart of Father Christmas).

The stamp is interesting:

I think it celebrates 60 years UNESCO World Heritage sites. The bison are obviously the National park mentioned above.

The second card is also from Belarus:
It is a photo of Lilya Bric.

Lilya Yuryevna Brik; née Kagan; November 11 1891 – August 4, 1978) was a Russian author and socialite, connected to many leading figures in the Russian avant-garde between 1914 and 1930. She was known as the beloved (muse) of Vladimir Mayakovsky. Lilya Brik was married for a long time to the poet, editor and literary critic Osip Brik (1888–1945), and she was the older sister of the French-Russian writer Elsa Triolet (1896–1970). Pablo Neruda called Lilya "muse of Russian avant-garde". Her name was frequently abbreviated by her contemporaries as "Л.Ю." or "Л.Ю.Б." which are the first letters of the Russian word "любовь" lyubov, "love".
The daughter of a prosperous Jewish jurist, the handsome, erotically obsessed, highly cultivated Lili grew up with an overwhelming ambition prevalent among women of the Russian intelligentsia: to be perpetuated in human memory by being the muse of a famous poet. ... The two made a pact to love each other "in the Chernyshevsky manner" – a reference to one of nineteenth-century Russia's most famous radical thinkers, who was an early advocate of "open marriages." Living at the heart of an artistic bohemia and receiving the intelligentsia in the salon of his delectable wife, Osip Brik, true to his promise, calmly accepted his wife's infidelities from the start. In fact, upon hearing his wife confess that she had gone to bed with the famous young poet Vladimir Mayakovsky, Brik exclaimed "How could you refuse anything to that man?" ... In 1918, when Mayakovsky and the Briks became inseparable, he simply moved in with them. Throughout the rest of his life, he made his home at a succession of flats that the Briks occupied.

The stamp is celebrating Postcrossing! That is fun!

I had a surprise the other day when I went to collect my mail from the post office:
It was a card all the way from the USA. Kathy (in Ozark) sent it to me. Thank you so much Kathy. What a lovely surprise! 
It's a beautifully executed stamp featuring 'Trick or treat'  characters. What a cute stamp! Kathy asks if we do trick or treat here. No, we don't. Halloween is a typically American celebration. The children here have seen things about Halloween in the media and the big stores are cashing in on anything orange and pumpkinny. But I have never seen children trick or treating. As we certainly don't send Halloween related cards, so this one is very special Kathy. Thank you very much. 

Here is my qualifier for the T-Party: I made meatballs in tomato sauce and we had spaghetti with that. 
The drink you see is hubby's non alcoholic beer Mahou 0%.
We have a large chess set in our village. The chess pieces are knee high. It's nice to now, the set is still complete.

We have started to go back to doing Intercambio again. This is where English speakers and Spanish speakers get together to practice speaking with each other. We now have a small class room, in a tiny building right in the middle of the park.

On Sunday we (our little house group church) were invited to the Romanian church, a group of Romanian Christians that meet in a hall in Baza.

After the service (which was in Spanish and in Romanian) they had ordered pizza for everyone!

The women were very sweet and welcoming and at the end I wanted to have my photo taken with the women. It was a very special time.

Our Danish neighbors are back. We went out to see them a few times and this photo is taken at night (Yes, we still sit out at night) from their terrace. Our house is visible on the right. The white four story building built on the slope.

Baza (our nearest town) is visible on the horizon.

That is it from me today.
Take care everyone!
Happy T-Day,

Friday, 15 October 2021

A Postcard A Day - Friday 15 October 2021 - Friday Smiles

Warning: Contains one horrible picture of torture 

Hello lovely ladies, the week is coming to an end and it's time to review and pick out the good moments, the smiles and the silver linings.

I also have a postcard to show you and I would like to do that first (as per usual).

My postcard comes from Belgium and was sent by someone called Katelijne:

It is an illustration from the well known story of Tijl Uylenspiegel. The original legend comes from Germany, in fact it is believed it comes from Braunsweig! (Iris!)

The Legend of Thyl Ulenspiegel and Lamme Goedzak  is an 1867 novel by Belgian author Charles De Coster. Based on the 14th-century Low German figure Till Eulenspiegel, Coster's novel recounts the allegorical adventures as those of a Flemish prankster, Thyl Ulenspiegel, directly before and during the Dutch Revolt against Spanish rule in the Netherlands.

De Coster was one of many 19th-century nationalist writers who made use of – and considerably adapted and changed – pre-existing folk tales. (Prominent others of this kind include the German Grimm Brothers and the Finnish Elias Lönnrot). In this case, Thyl Ulenspiegel - originally a German folk character dating to Medieval times - is moved westwards in space and forward in time, and made into a Protestant hero of the time of the Dutch War of Independence.

De Coster incorporated in his book many of the original amusing Ulenspiegel tales, side by side with far from funny material - for example, graphic depictions of tortures by the inquisition and auto de fe

As depicted by De Coster, Ulenspiegel carries in a locket around his neck the ashes of his father, burned at the stake outside of the walls of the city on charges of heresy – a feature never hinted at in any of the original folk tales. This experience begins Ulenspiegel's transformation from idle prankster to hero of the Dutch Revolt.

The story can be found here.

The illustration on the card pictures Tijl's baptism. In fact he was baptized five times: 

1- the Christian baptism

2- He got a pot of beer thrown over him

3- a shower of rain

4- he wanted to join the midwife in the river

5- he had to be washed with warm water.

My week has been a bit non descript. I have tried to do collages, but there isn't anything really exciting going on.

Last week I missed Thursday, so here it is:

We went shopping in Baza as we needed some more chicken feed.
The banner refers to the Dama (lady) de Baza. It reads 'Three millennia, two cultures, one lady'.

On July 20, 1971, an archeologist named Francisco Presedo made a discovery that brought him world fame. During digs at a necropolis on a hill named Cerro del Santuario, in the city of Baza in Spain’s southern Granada province, he opened up a cavity that was 2.60 meters wide and 1.80 meters deep. Inside, he found a painted sculpture of a seated woman together with a rich array of burial goods including weapons, all of which had lain there for around 2,400 years.

Presedo had just found what would become known as the Lady of Baza (la Dama de Baza), a spectacular sculpture made by an artist belonging to the Bastetani, a pre-Roman people who lived in the Iberian peninsula’s southeastern region between the 4th and 2nd centuries BC.

We are celebrating 50 years since the discovery.

On Friday hubby had a TAC scan and he had to be nil-by-mouth, so afterwards we went out and had breakfast at a nearby restaurant.

I did some baking on Saturday. I made biscuits for the first time. In the evening we went to our Intercambio Spanish/English conversation group, which is now meeting in a small classroom. I had brought some bubbly to celebrate this fact (that we were no longer out in the open)

Sunday was fun as the mountain bike race was being held again. It passes by our front door below, then passes by our front door at the top of the house (we have two entrances as the house is built on a mountain side).

On Monday (Housework and food shopping, boring!) we had a bit of excitement as my mum didn't answer the phone. She is 96 and lives on her own in the Netherlands. I phone her every evening to make sure she is OK, and she has one of those alarm buttons around her neck, which I know she never takes off. I phoned my cousin, who lives 20 min away, and she hopped in the car to make sure everything was ok. Sure enough, she is fine and she must have replaced the set wrongly or something. Phew!

We are getting an egg every day from our lovely ladies. Hubby decided to cook us an English breakfast for lunch. Yum, lovely eggs (but very small). As a thank you we fed the chickens their favorite treat: water melon! they fight over it! They also like grapes. So hubby hangs some grapes on a string and they have fun getting them down and pecking them and again running around. It's so funny to watch them.
Hubby also cleaned the patio area (good man!)
Then on Wednesday, our friends come to practice a bit of Spanish and he helps us with our computer. As we have just bought a Macbook, this friend is helping us get the best use out of it and downloading the programs we need. I then cook a meal and we eat together. What's not to like.
Yesterday I made shortbread, then made a layer of caramel to go on top. On Wednesday, I melted some chocolate to give it the last layer. And hey presto, we have Millionaire's Shortbread! And very tasty it is too!
I am messing around with my desktop, transferring programs etc. I have just noticed that the file I keep all the funnies in, has disappeared! So I'm giving you some funnies at the end that I found, but I might have already shown you those. In which case i apologize. This is all I could find.

Anyway, this is it from me today. I'm going to link to Annie's A Stitch In Time, and at the end there will be some funnies for you to chuckle at.
Have a great weekend,
Keep smiling,