Friday 30 April 2021

A Postcard A Day - Friday 30 April 2021 = Friday Smiles

 Hello lovely ladies,

It's Friday again and it's always nice to look back upon the week and count your blessings and give thanks for all the good things in life. Life is good, and there is always a silver lining whatever your circumstances.

I would like to show you some postcards I received and then show you what i have been doing this week. At the end there will be some funnies I collected along the way (from the Internet).

As it was King's Day in the Netherlands this week (the King Willem-Alexander's birthday), I thought I'd show you something Dutch.

I received this card in February. All typical Dutch things and this card filled me with nostalgia. I will tell you what each thing is, but if that doesn't interest you, feel free (and I don't blame you) to skip this bit.

01: Souvenir from the island Texel (one of those things you attach to your walking stick). 02:Dutch flag. 03: Tulip. 04: Forget-me-not. 05: A roll of peppermints. 06: Game pawn. The Dutch like their board games. 07: A glass marble. I used to play marbles as a child but I guess it's gone out of fashion. 08: A joint (perfectly legal in the Netherlands). 09: Key to the bicycle lock. 10: Pewter teaspoon with windmill. (Every family has at least one). 11:Stroopwafel. (Famous thin waffles with syrup). 12:Bitterbal (croquette type snack). 13:medal. 14:Chocolate bar. 15:Grass from Dutch soil. 16: Phillips light bulb. (Traditionally made in Eindhoven). 17: Delftware. 18: Nijntje. (In English: Miffy. Miffy is a fictional rabbit appearing in a series of picture books drawn and written by Dutch artist Dick Bruna). 19: Broken pottery. 20: Dutch coins. 21:Split peas. (We make our famous pea soup with that). 22: Frietje (French fry). 23:Pepernoot (Small candy typical of Sinterklaas celebrations). 24: Stamp of Royal Wedding (King Willem-Alexander and queen Maxima). 25: Sinterklaas (Celebrated on the 5th of December, on the eve of St Nicholas). 26: Flipje (The mascot of a jam factory, and character of children's stories). 27: Clogs. 28: Saving stamp from the Van Nelle coffee. 29: Dog tax badge from Amsterdam. 30: Soccer ball. 31: Cow (Friesian). 32: Sand from the Delta project 'Neeltje Jans'. 33: Hagelslag (chocolate sprinkles, which the Dutch eat on bread.) 34: Muisjes (Eaten on a rusk to celebrate a child's birth. Can be pink or blue). 35: Oma (Grandma). 36: Cheese. 37: Fresh herring with onions. 38: Heineken beer bottle top. 39: Salty licorice.

The fun bit is that there is a stamp of this image as well.

Then here is a lovely postcard of the beautiful Audrey Hepburn. Audrey Hepburn (born Audrey Kathleen Ruston; 4 May 1929 – 20 January 1993) was a British actress and humanitarian. She was half Dutch.

Wikipedia : Hepburn's mother, Baroness Ella van Heemstra (12 June 1900 – 26 August 1984), was a Dutch noblewoman. Her father, Joseph Victor Anthony Ruston (21 November 1889 – 16 October 1980), was a British subject born in Auschitz, Bohemia, Austria-Hungary.  Hepburn's early childhood was sheltered and privileged. As a result of her multinational background and travelling with her family due to her father's job, she learned six languages: Dutch and English from her parents, and later varying degrees of French, German, Spanish, and Italian.

After Britain declared war on Germany in September 1939, Hepburn's mother moved her daughter back to Arnhem in the hope that, as during the First World War, the Netherlands would remain neutral and be spared a German attack. While there, Hepburn attended the Arnhem Conservatory from 1939 to 1945. She had begun taking ballet lessons during her last years at boarding school, and continued training in Arnhem under the tutelage of Winja Marova, becoming her "star pupil" After the Germans invaded the Netherlands in 1940, Hepburn used the name Edda van Heemstra, because an "English-sounding" name was considered dangerous during the German occupation. Her family was profoundly affected by the occupation, with Hepburn later stating that "had we known that we were going to be occupied for five years, we might have all shot ourselves. We thought it might be over next week… six months… next year… that's how we got through". In 1942, her uncle, Otto van Limburg Stirum (husband of her mother's older sister, Miesje), was executed in retaliation for an act of sabotage by the resistance movement; while he had not been involved in the act, he was targeted due to his family's prominence in Dutch society. Hepburn's half-brother Ian was deported to Berlin to work in a German labour camp, and her other half-brother Alex went into hiding to avoid the same fate.

After her uncle's death, Hepburn, Ella and Miesje left Arnhem to live with her grandfather, Baron Aarnoud van Heemstra, in nearby Velp. Around that time Hepburn performed silent dance performances to raise money for the Dutch resistance effort.

Because this card arrived from Hungary, there are some beautiful Hungarian stamps on it.

Now let me tell you about my week:
We had taken all the recycling out a few days before, but they had moved the container for used oil. Today I found it! (I didn't have any oil, but it's good to know where it is).

On Saturday I made this amazing (and so easy) Jamie Oliver quiche. It's made with filo pastry, eggs and broccoli. You can find the recipe on YouTube. He calls it 'Speedy Quiche'.
I got my vaccination on Saturday evening at the Baza hospital car park drive-in. There weren't many people and they injected me through the open car window, after registering my citizen number. I was given the Janssen vaccine with a piece of paper listing the possible side effects. I had a bit of a head ache after 24 hours and I felt a bit tired on Sunday evening, but otherwise nothing.

Still bad weather. I wish it would rain in stead of just being somber and overcast.
Monday was another indoor day (Apart from going to the gym). I made a mung bean curry which ended up being too wet, so it became a soup.
Tuesday was a great day. It was King's Day in the Netherlands, so I watched the proceedings (they were indoors because of Corona). Then our friends popped by totally unexpected, so we had a great catch-up. I had two ripe bananas, and our friend said: I do such and such with bananas. So I did as he told me and the result was an amazingly soft and fluffy sponge cake.
Wednesday was another dark and grey day. Hubby's green house-poly tunnel is taking shape.
A blustery day on Thursday. I managed three washing machine loads as it all dries so quickly in the wind. That is a nice feeling and in the evening everything was folded and back in the cupboard. (And the curtain I washed and shortened is hanging up)

That was my contribution this week. Now let's hop over to Annie at A Stitch In Time and to Virginia at Rocking Your World Friday.
Have a lovely weekend,
Stay safe,

Translation: He: 'I've made you some coffee, my love.'
She: 'Here I am, you old fool!'

Tuesday 27 April 2021

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 27 April 2021 - T for supermodels, interior doors, vaccination and VW cars

 Hello lovely ladies,

How are you all? Today is Tuesday again. It has come around so fast! I'm going to visit Elizabeth and Bluebeard at the T-Party. Will you join us? All that is needed is a blog post with a beverage or reference to a beverage in it. You will see mine in a little while, but first I'd like to show you my postcard for today. 

This is Alek Wek, supermodel. On the back of the card it reads: 'With pouring rain and danger fast approaching, Alek had to flee her childhood home in South Sudan. In her new land she dazzled others with her radiant beauty on fashion runways and became the first African American woman on the cover of Elle magazine.' 
That piqued my interest. 
She was born on April 16th 1977 in Wau, south Sudan. Here is a photo of her:

This is what I found out about her:

She was born to Akuol, a housewife, and Athian, a teacher and was the seventh of nine children in her family. Her family grew up in extreme poverty, but Wek remembers being happy and peaceful.

She suffered from a skin condition known as psoriasis from birth until the age of 14. It cleared up because of the climate change once she moved to London with her family.

In 1985, a civil war broke out in Sudan, which caused the Wek family to flee their now dangerous home. Her father eventually died on the journey after an infection  in his hip.

In 1991, Wek’s family finally arrived in London where Alek had a hard time adjusting to the cold climate. Bullies at school picked on her dark skin and accent. She enrolled in ‘London’s College of Fashion’ and majored in fashion business and technology.

In 1995, Wek was discovered at the age of 19 by a ‘Model 1’ scout named Fiona Ellis.

Ralph Lauren chose her to walk in his runway show within the first year of moving to New York, an unprecedented achievement for a new model. This assignment propelled her modelling career and helped her establish a strong foothold in the white-dominated industry.

In 2007, she published an autobiographical book that detailed her journey from refugee to supermodel in order to spread awareness.

In 2002, she became an advisor to the US Committee for ‘Refugees Advisory Council’ where she helps raise awareness for the issues facing Sudan and refugees around the world.

In 2003, she entered into a relationship with an Italian real estate developer named Riccardo Sala. It was reported that the pair had split up after an affair of eleven years.

In July of 2012, she returned to her home country with the ‘UN Refugee Agency’ in an effort to spread awareness of how much work must be done to rebuild this country.

In 2014, Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o gave a speech in which she spoke about her negative self-esteem regarding her appearance growing up. However, when she saw Wek in the media, she realized she too could be beautiful. Nyong’o has since won several awards for her work, including an Oscar.

She is still working for many charitable organizations, including ‘World Vision’, ‘UNICEF’, and ‘Doctors Without Borders’ in Sudan.

What an amazing woman!

The stamps are interesting:


I particularly like the car. It is a VW Golf. It was my favorite car back in the days. When I lived in Italy, there was a black VW Golf at the second hand car dealer. We wanted to buy it but by the time we came up with the money, the car had already been sold to another. I was so disappointed! Later in the UK, in the early 90s, our eldest who was a student and living with us, bought an old Golf and painted it black. It did bring back memories...

This week has been a quiet week as it has been dull and sometimes rainy weather. So I have stayed in most days. Of course, I did what i like doing, which is baking! I made cinnamon rolls:

Hubby pinched one of them before I could take the picture!

And I found some filo pastry in the supermarket (Not easy to find around here) and I made a quiche:
It's a Jamie Oliver recipe from YouTube called 'Speedy Quiche'. It has broccoli and courgettes in it and lots of eggs. 

Absolutely delicious. 

We've had a bit of excitement: See my front door with it's little hallway? 
We're having doors put in.

Although they look like they are made of wood, they are metal and very sturdy.

This is what they look like when one opens the front door:
And on the inside it looks like this:

You can see my reflexion in the glass.

I couldn't resist adding this funny door I found on the Internet:

The other news this week is that I have had my vaccination. In the hospital car park, they have rigged up a drive-in facility. In the photo below you can see part of it. There was a young lady with a laptop asking my citizen number and name. Then another young lady explained I was going to be given the Janssen vaccin, and gave me the vaccin as I sat in the car. The she told us to drive on and wait 10 minutes  in the car park past the hut.

Here we are waiting to see if I have any immediate reaction (I didn't), and that was that. The next day I had a slight headache and felt a bit tired, which were side effects mentioned in the leaflet. That was all.
Hubby was told he will have his at the hospital as he is having chemo therapy. It can only be done on certain days. He is to wait for a telephone call.

No, I haven't forgotten my beverage. It is my coffee. It looks like coffee with milk but it is black with the lovely froth on top as it comes out of my Senseo machine. Here we are having a slice of my apple and walnut Herman cake.

Words to heal the soul:

I'm leaving you with Morgan Freeman.

Have a good week all of you. I'm looking forward to reading your posts and perhaps sip some of the beverages offered.

Happy T-Day!

Friday 23 April 2021

A Postcard A Day - Friday 23 April 2021 - Friday Smiles

 Hello my lovelies,

Friday has come round again and it is time to look at the positives from our week. 

Let me show you this card I received in February. It comes from Germany and it shows part of the Sperberheiner dam.

This is what was printed on the back of the card:

Being Dutch I am used to all sorts of dykes and earth works to channel water, so I was pleasantly surprised that in Germany they have also been doing this for many centuries.
here is another photo of a different part of the dyke (from Wikipedia):

The stamps are beautiful. They show Gartenreich Dessau-Wörlitz. I have already featured this in one of my blogs.

The Park at Wörlitz is the high point of a unique landscape beautification project implemented by Prince Franz in the course of his almost 60-year reign.

Its designs were true to his maxim of combining “the useful with the pleasant.” Thus, the gardens were also used for innovative forms of fruit cultivation, arable farming, and livestock farming. 

Yesterday, the 22 of April, was Earth Day.  Earth Day (officially International Earth Day ) is a day celebrated in many countries on April 22. Its promoter, US Senator Gaylord Nelson , established this day to create a common awareness of the problems of overpopulation , the production of pollution , the conservation of biodiversity and other environmental concerns to protect the Earth . It is a day to pay tribute to our planet and recognize the Earth as our home and our mother, as different cultures have expressed throughout history, demonstrating the interdependence between its many ecosystems and the living beings that inhabit it. It is very well celebrated in the USA, although in our corner of Spain it passes us by completely. (I had never heard of it until Elizabeth mentioned it in her blog Altered Book Lover.) 

Then when I googled Earth Day Spain, I found a Dutch school girl, Nikki Wegloop and her mother have a charity on the Costa del Sol called MiM'oana (my beach in Hawaiian) and they organize beach clean ups every month, and also this Earth Day! Fantastic! I read in the article that this 17 yr old also speaks at schools together with her scooba diving friend to promote the environment. A type of Greta Thunberg in Spain. Great!

Now for the highlights of my week:

I don't think much happened on Friday. At least I didn't make a collage of that day, But Saturday I had fun making dough and baking a pizza. I have an instant pot and I use it to prove the dough  (on the yoghurt setting).

In the evening I like to sit in the evening sun by the front door. My friend was walking the dog (and her grand daughter). She knew she would find me there. Because of hubby's chemo (compromised immune system) we are not having visitors, but a chat by the door is fun. She brought me a plant and a little tortoise as a belated birthday present, and hubby made a 30 second appearance for the photo.
On Sunday we watch two different church services and generally just relax. I watched the Downton Abbey film on Amazon Prime Spain. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

On Monday we managed to get an appointment with the director of the hospital because we wanted to personally thank him for the care and compliment him on a well run hospital. We had brought a letter and a gift.

I had seen that they were putting in new lights in the streetlights in our neighborhood. On Tuesday morning they did the lamp in front of our house.
I went to the market and bought some veg. I don't know what it is called in English. I think it might be chard. I use it in my minestrone. Ah and I also bought a nice top for 5 Euros. Nice with black trousers.

Hubby was feeling well on Wednesday and I joined him for an hour at our little plot. Our plants are doing fine.
In the evening Juan the window man came to fit the new doors that we had ordered. As you can see in the photo top right, there is this space between the front door and the rest of the house that is just crying out for a door.

I am very pleased with the result (and the quality). In winter it will be a place where we can hang our coats.

Thursday it rained and we didn't go out at all. Hubby did all sorts of little jobs and I indulged in my favorite activity: I baked. I made a cinnamon-raisin bread at hubby's request. And later I realized it was day 10 in my Herman (sweet) sourdough feeding regime and that means I bake something. I found a recipe for Herman cinnamon rolls and decided I'd give it a try. They turned out beautifully!
Finally, I have had my call to be vaccinated. I'm going on Saturday evening at 5 past 8. As far as I know we are getting the Pfizer vaccin. But I'll let you know once I've had it.
That was my week. How was yours? Come and join us at Annies at A Stitch In Time or at Virginia's at Rocking Your World Friday.

As usual, I will add some funnies at the end, but for now, Have a lovely weekend.
Stay safe,
Keep smiling!