Friday, 28 May 2021

A Postcard A Day - Friday 28 May 2021 - Friday Smiles

Hello lovely girls! Here I am again on Friday. A bit later than usual as Blogger was playing up and I could not get anything written as it would not accept any photos for some reason. I've let it stew for a bit and re-booted this morning and now we are 'cooking on gas!'
We have had a good week and the heatwave has run its course and yesterday it was cooler and it even rained a bit. We need the rain so that is good news.

My postcard comes from Germany and it depicts Maria Sibylla Merian.
Illustration by Elisabetta Stoinich

This is what Wikipedia says about Maria Sibylla:

Maria Sibylla Merian (2 April 1647 – 13 January 1717) was a German-born naturalist and scientific illustrator, a descendant of the Frankfurt branch of the Swiss Merian family. Merian was one of the early European naturalists to observe insects directly.

Merian received her artistic training from her stepfather, Jacob Marrel, a student of the still life painter Georg Flegel. Merian published her first book of natural illustrations in 1675. She had started to collect insects as an adolescent. At age 13, she raised silkworms. In 1679, Merian published the first volume of a two-volume series on caterpillars; the second volume followed in 1683. Each volume contained 50 plates that she engraved and etched. Merian documented evidence on the process of metamorphosis and the plant hosts of 186 European insect species. Along with the illustrations Merian included descriptions of their life cycles.

In 1699, Merian traveled to Dutch Surinam to study and record the tropical insects native to the region. In 1705, she published Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium. Merian's Metamorphosis has been credited with influencing a range of naturalist illustrators. Because of her careful observations and documentation of the metamorphosis of the butterfly, Merian is considered to be among the more significant contributors to the field of entomology by David Attenborough. She discovered many new facts about insect life through her studies.

I always admire female scientists, especially from the days where girls were not allowed to study. 
An occupational portrait of Maria Sibylla Merian (c. 1700, copperplate by Jacobus Houbraken from a portrait by Georg Gsell). Her status as a scientist is emphasised by the pile of books next to her. The globe and the prints draw attention to her accomplishments. The pair of engraving needles and the emblem of her father emphasize her ancestry.

I also found out that when her marriage failed she moved to the Netherlands with her mother and daughter and joined a religious Labadist community in Friesland. The Labadists believe in equality of the sexes. (Among other things).

The illustration on the postcard was done by Elisabetta Stoinich, who is involved in a project called Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls, a children's book that reinvents fairy tales, inspiring girls with the stories of 100 great women from Elizabeth I to Serena Williams.
Each woman's story is written in the style of a fairy tale.
Great stuff!

The stamps are very colourful
We know from Iris that Die Maus is a children's program in Germany which has run for donkey's years. (50 to be precise).

Let me tell you what my week was like. After all this Friday blog is to highlight the smiles and silver linings of our day to day life.

Friday we had a busy 'potter' day. The weather was not so nice and all sort of chores inside the house got done. As hubby changed the bulb of the old lamp, I cleaned the glass lamp shade and the glass funnel (It used to be a gas lamp).

Saturday continued in the same vein. I had ordered curtains online and we hung them up.
On Sunday I made a lovely egg custard tart. It is my husband's favorite and it is very easy to make as I use shop-bought puff pastry.

The cream I used is 'cream for cooking', but in America they use half and half and that works too.
As you can see our gooseberry bush is bearing fruit!

Monday the weather was still dull, so I did some sewing. As you can see, my plants are doing very well and it is a joy to watch them. 
I cooked a Dutch dish called 'stamppot', which is potatoes and cabbage mashed together, with some gravy and a traditional Dutch smoked sausage. Simple but very nice.

In the evening we watched another episode of The Chosen, a (non religious) tv series about Jesus and his apostles. (Ignore the first 10 min intro by the director).

Tuesday is market day in Caniles and hubby wanted some nuts and dried cranberries and goodness what else. So we visited our favorite stall.
We also had a very beautiful visitor at breakfast:
On Wednesday we met with a Dutch family that lives nearby and I made another custard tart (the second this week). 

We were treated to the most gorgeous sunset. The photo in my collage and the photo below were taken by our neighbor Martin.

Of course it was so spectacular because of the blood moon.

Yesterday hubby had to go to the hospital for his Covid vaccination. People with medical problems have theirs in the hospital, just in case. In the photo you see hubby walking through the hospital car park and you see the hut where they do the drive-in vaccinations. We saw a few card go through, but there were no queues.

Next to the hospital is a field with cherry trees. I took that photo through the fence. There was a guy selling cherries over the fence to people coming out of the hospital. We also bought a kilo as they looked so delicious.

After the hospital we stopped at a local bar for a drink. They have that lovely darker beer which I like, and of course it is served with a free tapa. Mine was some fried little fish, lettuce and olives. Just right.

The story about the top left photo I will write on Tuesday as I have no more time now. It is already Friday lunchtime.

So I will say goodbye now, and finally link up with Annie at A Stitch In Time and with Virginia at Rocking Your World Friday.
Of course there will be some funnies at the end. Probably not the best as I have no time to really pick and choose.

Have a lovely weekend and keep smiling!


Tuesday, 25 May 2021

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 25 Mat 2021 - T for monks, authors, photographers and plants

Hello lovely ladies,

Here we are again on Tuesday. The week really flies by! 

As per usual I have a postcard to share, and as it is T for Tuesday today, I have a drink to bring to the party. Please join us with a beverage at Elizabeth and Bluebeard's Altered Book Lover.

Then I would like to show you some of my plants.

 But first here is my postcard for today. It features a room in the Moni Karakalou monastery (on Mount Athos in Greece) by photographer Zbigniew Kosc. It comes to me from the Netherlands and has a beautiful stamp (see below) and some Van Gogh washi tape (also see below). 

The holy island Mount Athos is an island with 20 monasteries. It is open to pilgrims, but only males. No women allowed. This is the Karakalou monastery:

The photographer is Polish, living in Amsterdam.

On the photographer's website I read this:
The monks' republic on Mount Athos is regarded as the center of Eastern Orthodox spirituality.
The first monastery on the holy mountain (Aghio Oros) was established by Constantinople just before the year 1000, and the small community of servants of God survived the second thousand years of Christianity better than the Orthodox metropolis on the Bosporus. This is not merely a result of its relative seclusion and inaccessibility; the primary reason is the monks' unshakable belief in their mission: to create a center for the Christian faith far removed from the noise and bustle of the world. 
Today, 20 monasteries are represented in the Assembly at Karyai, 17 of them being Greek, and one each Bulgarian, Serbian, and Russian. Together with the non-voting monastic communities - the so-called Sketes, the smaller monastic communities or Kellia, and the hermits, they form a state dedicated to the service of God: a state loose in organization but strong in faith. For us today Athos is still synonymous with Eastern Orthodox art: icons, illuminated books, frescoes, and churches. In photographs of Zbigniew Kosc the other aspect of Athos is presented, that aspect which is of overriding importance to the monks and hermits: religion and spirituality.
The black and white photographs - taken in 1983, 1985, 1987, 1988 and 1989 - in themselves suggest this inward-looking life.

 Here are some more of his photos from Athos.

The postcard was sent to me by a lady called Marianne Witvliet from Holland. 

She tells me that she actually is the photographer of this beautiful stamp. It is the windmill in her little town of Nunspeet.
Marianne is an author and illustrator of children's books

 and writer of novels

And this is the jumbo washi tape she put on the card. All art by Vincent van Gogh. Beautiful. 

I must say this is one of my favorite cards. A fascinating black and white photo with a background story, an interesting person that sent me it, and the beautiful stamp that was actually photographed by the person that sent it! How cool is that!

What have I been doing this week? Not much, we've been home taking it easy. Well, not every day. We are now living downstairs, but we also have our living space upstairs. I had ordered so net curtains for the enormous windows. In summer the sun really blasts in the space as it is south facing.
A quick clean first:(Excuse my husband's attire: it was hot).
And then they are hanging. 

On Sunday we had a rainy day (that doesn't happen very often):

So a day indoors. I got the stepladder out and changed the bulb of the old lamp that hangs above the table. It was not strong enough and I wanted to change it.

I also took the opportunity (as you do) to clean the glass shade and the glass funnel (It used to be a gas lamp).

We did lots of little chores and at the end of the day I sat down with the first gin & tonic of the season.
We've been spending a lot of time on our little patio (we have all our meals there and often sit out there in the evening too). I have many plants and flowers in pots and hanging baskets. I would like to show you a few. 
This is a gooseberry bush and it is bearing fruit. Last year we had one berry. This year I have already counted 12.
Indoors I have mainly succulents. The plant that looks like dreadlocks is a rat tail cactus and it is doing really well. I water it once a week.
It's not a good picture as the lighting was all wrong. Here is a photo from the internet, just so you can see what it looks like:
Then outside I have this lovely Dipladenia. It is flowering and will flower for a long time.

I also have a fuchsia. It didn't do so well the first couple of years, but this year it has begun to flower:
I try to keep it out of the sun. It only gets sun in the morning. 
I have two jasmins (on either side of the window). They are 6 ft tall and flower one after the other. The smell is divine!

Every evening we get this loud buzzing visitor.  It's a Carpenter bee, and he/she is very friendly. I mean he doesn´t sting or act aggressive.
It has the most beautiful blue wings.
I have a large Cala, which is starting to flower again.

And there are some lilies in a pot. They are the type that you don't want to get too close to as the pollen stains your clothes. But they are beautiful.
I hope you enjoyed seeing my plants.
Last but not least, another photo from Sunday, when it rained. I did some sewing jobs. I am sewing some pockets in my house dresses, and repaired hubby's work clothes that always seem to split or tear somewhere.
That is all from me today. 
Wishing you all a very happy T-Day,
Stay safe,