Friday 26 February 2021

A Postcard A Day - Friday 26 February 2021 - Friday Smiles


Hello lovely people, 

It's been a difficult week for us this week. Hubby has his operation this morning. But there is a silver lining: I allow myself to eat chocolate! (Why is it that we women reach for the chocolate when the chips are down?)

It's no surprise that my postcard for today features sweets. In fact they are old fashioned Dutch sweets. I can actually remember all of them, (which makes me feel ancient..) The little logs bottom left are cinnamon sweets as are those 'cushions' with red stripes. The yellow ones are 'buttery' and the pink ones are what we call boiled sweets. 

The stamp is typical Dutch, with a bicycle on it.

This week I have tried to get rid of my nervous energy through walking. I have tried to go out in the fresh air every day.
Last week you saw the huge parcel that had arrived in the post. Well, here is the new keyboard Hubby can't wait to play on it and with it. I have mounted it onto the other piano by means of a special frame.
Hubby had been in hospital for a week without food (only a drip). On Friday he was allowed to eat something. He was given fish. He doesn't like fish, but now he does!
On Saturday I was going to our allotment to water the plants and our neighbours said they'd walk with me. (I asked them to lower their masks for the photo).

On Sunday I stayed indoors as it was raining. I needn't have watered my plants!

On Monday I went to the post office to collect my mail and there was another parcel. It was a prayer journal. I look forward to using that.

On Wednesday I went walking again .

Yesterday some friends from Italy helped with the olive trees. Hubby had hard pruned them and now they needed fertilizer. The ground around the tree must be prepared and the boys (three of them) did a wonderful job. 

I also spent time with Roy, their dog. Such a sweetie. At a certain point, while the boys were working,  I was sat there feeling a bit sorry for myself. Roy, the dog, came and snuggled up to me to comfort me. We had a cuddle and I felt better after that. Dogs are very perceptive.

That is it from me today. At the end are some funnies as per usual. The one of the doormat is hilarious. 
Have a lovely weekend (including Friday),

Tuesday 23 February 2021

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 23 February 2021 - T for reading ladies, almond blossom and a partridge

 Hello lovely ladies, Here we are again on Tuesday to visit the T-Party. I hope our hostess Elizabeth is feeling better. (and warmer). It's wonderful to have some cats to cuddle up to when it is cold.

I have two postcards for your this morning. They are both from Germany and have the same stamp on them, and they have the same subject matter: they are both paintings of a lady that is reading.

This first colourful one is (you might have guessed it) by Vincent van Gogh. It is entitled 'The Novel Reader', 1888.

I found this little bit of interesting info about this painting and women reading books:
"Particularly noteworthy here is the book in the woman's hands. To a viewer of our time it seems innocuous, but a viewer of Vincent's day would instantly identify the book as a "modern" novel, typically published as yellow-covered paperbacks. Books are a recurring motif in van Gogh's work; often he depicts the novels that he enjoyed so much, by authors like Zola or the Goncourts. But such novels were acceptable reading for a man -- not for a woman. Vincent differed from most men of his time in believing women *should* read modern novels, so they themselves could be modern in thinking and worldview. As art historian Judy Sund* says it, for "this imagined female...[to be] reading a yellow book (i.e. a modern novel) with wide-eyed attention reflects the artist's conviction that everyone should read, and suggests anew that his conception of the ideal woman included a devotion to the modern fiction that was modelled on his own" ("Favoured Fictions," p. 260). Vincent's surviving letters to his sister Wil include many reading recommendations. In the letter mentioning "La Liseuse de Romans," he says, "It is a very good thing that you have at last started to read Au Bonheur des Dames" [a novel by Emile Zola about a girl working in a Parisian department store]. We can contrast Vincent's attitude with his brother Theo, who says in a letter to a female acquaintance (T1a), " many fine things are written that one can hardly discuss, at least with ladies. Zola, Guy de Maupassant and others will go on belonging to the forbidden fruits for a long time to come." One wonders what he thought of Vincent's encouraging Wil to read exactly those books!"

(Sherami Bundrick)

The second postcard is a painting by a Scottish painter Alexander Mann (1853-1908), called 'Portrait of Helen Gow'. 

I've not been able to find out much about this painter, just a few lines in Wikipedia:

His travels also covered Europe and the Americas. A visit to Venice in 1884 was Alexander's first artistic venture beyond Britain and the immediate environs of Paris; this was followed by a voyage to the Caribbean and the Southern States of America, perhaps inspired by American artist friend in Paris. From 1890 to 1892 he lived with his family in Tangiers. Later he travelled to Madrid through Southern Spain in 1892 accompanied by John Lavery, another alumnus of the Académie Julian.

He recorded his visits and ideas for studio compositions in sketchbooks, using photography as well to assist his memory of a subject. In 1895 Mann's work was exhibited in London at the Barbican and in Dublin at the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery of Modern Art. But he preferred to "live away from the haunts of other artists" because the relative prosperity which he owed to his family made it unnecessary to pay much attention to exhibition institutions, patrons and dealers.

He seemed well to do. Anyway, I like this painting a lot although I don't know how he can call it a portrait if her face is hardly visible....

Then there's the stamp:

It features the Rat Catcher of Hameln. I grew up with this story but for those of you who live outside Europe, here is the plot (from Wikipedia):
In 1284, while the town of Hamelin was suffering from a rat infestation, a piper dressed in multicolored ("pied") clothing appeared, claiming to be a rat-catcher. He promised the mayor a solution to their problem with the rats. The mayor, in turn, promised to pay him for the removal of the rats (according to some versions of the story, the promised sum was 1,000 guilders). The piper accepted and played his pipe to lure the rats into the Weser River, where they all drowned.[4]

Despite the piper's success, the mayor reneged on his promise and refused to pay him the full sum (reputedly reduced to a sum of 50 guilders) even going so far as to blame the piper for bringing the rats himself in an extortion attempt. Enraged, the piper stormed out of the town, vowing to return later to take revenge. On Saint John and Paul's day, while the adults were in church, the piper returned dressed in green like a hunter and playing his pipe. In so doing, he attracted the town's children. One hundred and thirty children followed him out of town and into a cave and were never seen again. Depending on the version, at most three children remained behind: one was lame and could not follow quickly enough, the second was deaf and therefore could not hear the music, and the last was blind and therefore unable to see where he was going. These three informed the villagers of what had happened when they came out from church.[4]

The earliest known record of this story is from the town of Hamelin itself, depicted in a stained glass window created for the church of Hamelin, which dates to around 1300. Although the church was destroyed in 1660, several written accounts of the tale have survived.

This window is generally considered to have been created in memory of a tragic historical event for the town. Also, Hamelin town records apparently start with this event. The earliest written record is from the town chronicles in an entry from 1384 which reportedly states: "It is 100 years since our children left."

Well, that was Hamelin. What has been happening here with me? I'm still home alone, as hubby is still in hospital. I miss him terribly, although I can manage fine on my own. I just miss him to be around. We chat several times a day on FaceTime, but he ran out of data over the weekend, so we were talking over the phone, old fashionedly. Since yesterday he has been able to buy another 35 Gb.

He told me he had gone (By ambulance) to Granada for a scan. 
Looking at the machine, it looks like an MRI scan. Hubby calls it a space portal (He's into science fiction).
We have now got a date for surgery: Friday 26th at 9 am. In the meantime he is not given much to eat. (As they will be taking away part of his colon). Some clear broth and Ensures (meal replacing drinks):

His room mate took pity on him and gave him his bread roll. (Not really allowed).

The next photo gives me much pleasure. My amaryllis has now finished flowering and is growing a second shoot! How wonderful is that!

I'm still knitting. I am on my second pair of socks for hubby. I ordered some bamboo circular needles as I saw ladies in many instruction videos use these bamboo needles:
But they were not a success. I was using the smaller/thinner ones as I am knitting socks. (2.5mm), but the plastic cord wouldn't move back inside the stitches as that cord was just as thick as the needle and it just didn't work. I am a bit disappointed. They are probably OK with thicker yarns. Has anyone have any experience with these type of needles?

I have done a lot of walking this week. A few times I have gone out with my friend. We walk and then sit down somewhere and pray.

What a privilege to have a praying friend!
The almond trees are in blossom and that is always spectacular. 

Did you spot the partridge in the above picture? 

Some trees have pink blossom and some white. These seem to be all white.

The older trees flower first I have been told.

The reservoir is very low. We have had a drought for many years now.

We saw this sign for a 'trail', and have made a mental note to do this one one day.

Close up of the blossom in all their glory.

As today is T for Tuesday, I want to add a qualifier. I do cook for myself and the other day I had some cooked chicken breast with a very spicy spice rub. I decided to make tortillas. I had some home made tortilla dough in the freezer, but it came out all crumbly when defrosted. I then had to go the the corner shop and buy some ready made. They are wheat tortillas, not corn, but they were nice nevertheless.

That was a bit about my week. I wish everyone a great T-Day! (There will be all sorts of drinks and drink references, so I'll have to be careful not to drink too much)
Stay safe,

Friday 19 February 2021

A Postcard A Day - Friday 19 February 2021 - Friday Smiles

Hello lovely ladies, How are you all? Today we gather all the positivenes we can squeeze out of this week and share all our smiles with each other at Annie's A Stitch In Time.
My first smile is always a postcard. I received many this week and I want to show you this one because it made me smile. Not just because it says: Happy new Year!, but also because it is such a lovely lass. It comes from Russia even though the background looks very Dutch.

It also has some fantastic stamps but my scanner is having a funny five minutes and i can't scan them.

So what has been happening here in our sleepy little Spanish village?

 The week has been a difficult one, but the positive of it all is that I am coping on my own and that the weather is gorgeous. I am able to light the fire and get the wood.  (Our wood burner is the only source of heat in our house and in the evening it gets cold). So I'm doing OK.
The highlights of each day are the FaceTime chats with my hubby in hospital. Another highlight was a visit to my friend to bring her the cake that I had made. She wasn't home, but her daughter was there with her baby daughter. What a delight! I was allowed to hold her! (My friend and her daughters are in my 'bubble'). 

I continue to cook nice things for myself. It is so easy to neglect oneself when one's husband is not home. And being Sunday, there were church things going on which is always  lovely.

On Monday I went to the gym, which I love, more chats with hubby and more sunny weather.
The broken glass is no disaster really. We have drums everywhere (Hubby is a drummer) and we have had glass cut to size to cover the larger drums so i can put a cup or glass on it. I knocked over the djembe, a rather large drum, and shattered the glass, which is loose.

I finished my socks! I'm already wearing them! Tuesday is market day, so I ventured out and bought an apron. As we don't have clothes stores where I live, I buy my clothes and even underwear, at the market.
A big smile for me today were the almond blossoms. Spring is coming.

I went to the gym for my aerobics class and a cherry picker entered the gym through the large door! A little bit of excitement on a bad day. We had bad news: Hubby has a tumor in his intestines, so I took a walk out to the plot with my friend to get it out of my system and I watered the little plants, then we sat down and prayed together. It is quite a blessing to have a good friend who prays with you.

Yesterday turned out to be a busy day. I went to the post office to check my postbox and there were three parcels for me. So I had to go home and get in the car to transport it all home. While I had the car out, ( I don't often get the car out) I went to the garage that had fitted the tow bar recently to collect some documents that they had for me. And then I went to the builder's merchant to pay the bill, then back to the village to do the shopping, and home to cook a meal.
Hubby had had a trip in the ambulance to Granada city for a scan. We are now waiting for the results of the biopsies to see what we're dealing with. 
As you can see I bought some bamboo knitting needles. I only got them yesterday and I haven't tried them out yet, but I will soon.

That was it from me today. As always, there are some funnies at the end. Forgive me if you have seen some of them already. I'm not very organized these days.
Have a lovely weekend,
Stay safe and
Keep smiling!


Take off clothing and place it in sectioned laundry hamper according to lights and darks. Walk to bathroom wearing long robe. If you see husband along the way, cover up any exposed areas. Look at your womanly physique in the mirror -- make mental note to do more sit-ups/leg-lifts, etc. Get in the shower. Use wash cloth, long loofah, wide loofah and pumice stone. Wash your hair once with cucumber and sage shampoo with 43 added vitamins. Wash your hair again to make sure it's clean. Condition your hair with grapefruit mint conditioner. Wash your face with crushed apricot facial scrub for 10 minutes until red. Wash entire rest of body with ginger nut and jaffa cake body wash. Rinse conditioner off hair. Shave armpits and legs. Rinse off. Turn off shower. Squeegee off all wet surfaces in shower. Spray mold spots with Tilex. Get out of shower. Dry with towel the size of a small country. Wrap hair in super absorbent towel. Return to bedroom wearing long robe and towel on head. If you see husband along the way, cover up any exposed areas.


Take off clothes while sitting on the edge of the bed and leave them in a pile. Walk naked to the bathroom. If you see wife along the way, shake tackle at her making the woo-woo sound. Look at your manly physique in the mirror. Admire the size of your wiener and scratch your butt. Get in the shower. Wash your face. Wash your armpits. Blow your nose in your hands and let the water rinse them off. Fart and laugh at how loud it sounds in the shower. Spend majority of time washing privates and surrounding area. Wash your butt, leaving those coarse butt hairs stuck on the soap. Wash your hair. Make a Shampoo Mohawk. Pee. Rinse off and get out of shower. Partially dry off. Fail to notice the water on floor because curtain was hanging out of tub the whole time. Admire wiener size in mirror again. Leave shower curtain open, wet mat on floor, and light and fan on. Return to bedroom with towel around waist. If you pass wife, pull off towel, shake tackle at her and make the woo-woo sound again. Throw wet towel on bed.