Tuesday, 29 June 2021

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 29 June 2021 - T for staircase, tart and jokes


Good morning lovely ladies,
It's Tuesday again and time to visit Elizabeth and Bleubeard for the T-Party. The idea is to bring a drink or drink related item. More about that later.
I'd like to start with my postcard as usual. This one comes from the Czech Republic. It is the famous spiral staircase at Lednice castle.
Lednice Castle is one of the most beautiful buildings in Czech Republic, famous for it’s history and gorgeous interior.

Lednice Chateau dates back to year 1222, when it was a Gothic water stronghold with a farmyard.

The Liechenstein family from Austria bought a part of the building, and between 1371 to 1945 they were the owners of the whole castle.

Lednice Castle has served as a summer residence for several ruling princes during the years, who have during time improved the property.

Between 1656 and 1723, the famous architect Bernard Fischer von Erlach rebuilt Lednice castle and added stables and a riding hall. Karl Eusebius of Liechtenstein is another man who made a big improvement and growth to the castle and its surroundings in 1611 to 1684.

In the beginning of 1800, the Viennese architect Josef Kornhäusel finished the garden and changed the facade of the building to Empire style. Between 1846-1858, the castle was rebuilt in English Neogothic style by George Wingelmüller, the architect.

In 1945 the Czechoslovak State took over the castle and opened it to the public. Since 1996, the Lednice castle has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The furniture inside Lednice castle was created in the workshop of Carl Leistler in Vienna, which some pieces still stand in the building today.

One of the most impressive pieces inside the castle is the spiral wooden staircase. It’s located inside the library of Lednice Castle, and is made from one single piece of wood.

On the areal photo of the castle you can see, at the top of the photo, a long straight greenhouse.
I wanted to know more about that and I googled that too.
Below is the end cupola.

Inside is really lush vegetation
I love the paving on the path.
I'd love to visit this castle, wouldn't you?

The stamp on the card has the image of a dandelion.

I've had a very quiet week, not much happening worth mentioning. Hubby has had his second vaccination as his platelets again were too low for the chemotherapy and the oncologist said the vaccination was important. So the chemo was postponed to Thursday.

I've been spoiling him with English goodies. I made crumpets:

And custard tart
and a Greggs copy cat cheese pastie
I have been looking at YouTube videos of a guy called Mr Paul and following his recipes. Very good they are too.

Now for my qualifier for the T-Party. I didn't have a photo of a drink but I have some drink related jokes/funnies:

That is my lot for today. Wishing you all a very happy T-Day,

Friday, 25 June 2021

A Postcard A Day - Friday 25 June 2021 - Friday Smiles

Good morning lovely ladies,
This week has been good and I would like to share some of our blessings and smiles. 
For me happy mail is always worth a smile or two.  I'm showing you two postcards each with a pretty face. 
The first one comes from Belarus. It was sent to me by Lena who is learning Spanish and she wrote a few lines in Spanish.
The card is a painting by Shahin Gholizadeh and most of you will recognize Nicole Kidman.

This is the stamp on the card. I have not been able to find any info about this stamp other than it represents Our Lady of Byalynichy.

The second card comes from.... Belarus again! And again it shows a pretty face. This time it is not a celebrity.

I like this card because it actually reads: Happy Postcrossing!
It was sent by Paval and Alena. Paval is a history teacher and vice -principal of a secondary school in Minsk.

The stamp is a baby wild boar. The Belarus post start the new year 2021 with their ongoing series "Philately for Children", this time with baby wild animals.

The whole series looks like this:

As I said, we have had a good week. This is a resume of the things that happened this week:

 On Friday we had actually double booked ourselves. We fancied fish and chips, and when I mentioned this to our Danish friends, they wanted to come along too. So we drove about an hour to a place called Albox, where there is a relatively large community of English ex-pats. There is a restaurant that serves fish and chips. It was delicious. In the evening we had arranged with other friends to eat pizza in town. 

So it was double whammy, but very nice.
Saturday was stormy and wet so I spent the day painting the old bedroom furniture with chalk paint. I also ordered new knobs. The colour is very pale blue.
Sunday was Father's Day in the UK, but we didn't know that so it was a lovely surprise when the kids placed video calls.
I baked another Herman cake (I have to do this every 10 days). Don't worry, there are always people I can give some cake to. We don't eat it all.
Monday was another dull day as far as the weather was concerned. I read my book and assembled the bedroom cabinets.
On Tuesday I went to the post office to see if my door knobs had arrived (No), and then I went to see my friend, bringing her a large piece of Herman cake. As I left, her husband come home with some mushrooms!
Wednesday hubby went to the hospital to do his pre-oncology Covid test. I waited outside and when he came out we went to a nearby bar to have breakfast. Then as we were in town, we did the weekly grocery shopping.
On the way home from the shopping we stopped at the post office, and sure enough my new knobs had arrived! 
On Wednesday night hubby helped me putting them on. (A few holes needed to be drilled and I prefer him to do that)
On Thursday morning we went to oncology for hubby's chemo, but his platelets were low again. He also had an appoint ment for his second vaccination (Moderna). The doctor said it was important that he have it, so we went  up to the second floor (Vaccination under medical supervision) and he has now had his second jab. All is well on that front. As for the chemo, he will have to wait another week.
He spent the rest of the day working on his chicken run and I cooked some crumpets (Which the Americans call muffins I think). I had never made them before but I had watched a YouTube video by Mr Paul's kitchen, and they turned out perfect!

I think that wraps up my week. Of course as usual, I will put some funnies at the end, but for now, I'm going to link up with Annie at A Stitch In Time and with Virginia at Rocking your world Friday.
Take care, stay safe,
Keep smiling!

Tuesday, 22 June 2021

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 22 June 2021 - T for Royalty, giraffes and Bletchley Park

 Good morning lovely ladies,

Here I am again with a (hopefully) interesting blog post. Today it is about postcards from the Netherlands and the two books I read this month. Of course I will visit the T-Party hosted by Elizabeth and Bleubeard, so you will find one or more beverages in this post.

First off are my postcards:

This is a postcard with HM king Willem Alexander and HM queen Maxima of the Netherlands. The photo was taken some years ago as they are both somewhat older now and the king wears a beard. Queen Maxima comes from Argentina and when (the then prince) Willem Alexander got engaged to her there was some controversy about her father. 

During the National Reorganization Process, Argentina's most recent dictatorship, Jorge Zorreguieta, Máxima's father, served as Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries. During this regime, an estimated 10,000–30,000 people were kidnapped and murdered during this and subsequent military regimes before democracy was restored to Argentina in 1983. Zorreguieta claimed he was unaware of the Dirty War while he was a cabinet minister.

At the request of the States General, Michiel Baud, a Dutch professor in Latin American studies, carried out an inquiry into the involvement of Zorreguieta in the Dirty War. Baud determined that Máxima's father had not been directly involved in any of the numerous atrocities that took place during that period. However, Baud also concluded that Zorreguieta was almost certainly aware of them; in Baud's view, it was highly unlikely that a cabinet minister would not have known about them.

Jorge Zorreguieta's presence at the wedding was debated for months. It was eventually concluded he would not attend. In solidarity, her mother chose not to attend.

They eventualñy got married on the second of February 2002.

The stamp is the standard international stamp with the tulip.

My second postcard also comes from the Netherlands. It features queen Beatrix (the mother of king Willem Alexander).

It features a first day postcard with the real 75 cent stamp stuck on it and stamped on the First Day of issue 14 March 1991. Unfortunately the machine recognized that stamp rather than the stamps on the back of the card and it stamped  2021 as well.

But Queen Maxima was far from the first Dutch consort to have a complicated background — fifty years ago today, a Dutch royal wedding took place that had almost been derailed because of the groom’s controversial early life. 

Beatrix (king Willem Alexander's mother) in is the eldest of the four daughters of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands . At the time of her wedding, Beatrix was the heir to the Dutch throne. Klaus was a commoner, born in northern Germany, who had a career with the German foreign service. His parents had noble roots; his father was an untitled noble, and his mother was born a baroness.

The press caught on to Beatrix’s romance when she was photographed with Klaus. When the engagement was announced in July of 1965, however, the match was almost immediately met with public disapproval. Only twenty years had elapsed since the end of World War II, and Beatrix’s prospective bridegroom had been both a member of the Hitler Youth and a German soldier in the final months of the war, serving in Italy with an armored division. Klaus met these facts directly, noting that his membership in the youth organization had basically been compulsory, and that “he did not like it.” The New York Times noted that Klaus explained during the couple’s engagement interviews “that he did not think it right to condemn a man simply because he had worn the German uniform.”

The Netherlands had been occupied by Germany during the war, and the royal family had gone into exile.  Memories of the harsh treatment that the Dutch people, especially the country’s Jewish population, had received at the hands of their German occupiers were still extremely strong in 1965. For some, the prospect of a German soldier as a consort to their future queen was unthinkable.

But the wedding went ahead on March 10th 1966. However, over time, Claus became accepted by the public, so much so that during the last part of his life he was considered by some to be the most popular member of the Royal Family.

The 54 cent stamp is from a series about the circus:

The stamp on the right is about the art movement De Ploeg:
De Ploeg (English: The Plough or The Group) is an artist collective from the city of Groningen in the Netherlands. The collective was established in 1918 by a group of young artists. Their goal was to create new opportunities for exhibitions and to educate the general public about developments in artarchitecture, and literature. The name was suggested by one of the founding members Jan Altink, because he felt like a lot of ground still had to be broken for modern art in Groningen. Several art styles were prominent within "De Ploeg", including expressionismconstructivism and impressionism. This artist collective still exists, but its most important time lay in the 1920s.

So much for the postcards and royal controversy. Lets show you the two books I have read this month.
By the way, neither of these books have photographs in them. But when I learn that a book is based on as true story, and/or the characters are inspired by real people, I have to  find out about them. That's why I have added the photos.

The first book is called  West with Giraffes by Lynda Rutledge. 
I thoroughly enjoyed this. It is a historical novel based on a true story. The description on the back of the book reads:
Woodrow Wilton Nickel, age 105, feels his life ebbing away, but when he learns giraffes are going extinct, he finds himself recalling the unforgettable experience he cannot take to his grave.

In 1938, The Great Depression lingers. Hitler is threatening Europe and world-weary Americans long for wonder. They find it in two giraffes, who miraculously survive a hurricane while crossing the Atlantic. 

What follows is a twelve-day road trip in a custom truck to deliver Southern California's first giraffes to the San Diego zoo.

Behind the wheel is the young Dust Bowl rowdy Woodrow. Inspired by true events, the tale weaves real life figures with fictional ones, including the world's first female zoo director, (Belle Benchley)

a crusty old man with a past, a young female photographer with a secret,

and assorted reprobates as spotty as the giraffes.

Part adventure, part historical saga, and part coming-of-age love story, West with Giraffes explores what it means to be changed by the grace of animals, the kindness of strangers, the passing of time, and a story told before it's too late.

My second book is also a historical novel. It's called The Rose Code by Kate Quinn.

I had already read other books by her and this one is definitely the best.

1940. As England prepares to fight the Nazis, three very different women answer the call to mysterious country estate Bletchley Park, where the best minds in Britain train to break German military codes.

 Vivacious debutante Osla is the girl who has everything—beauty, wealth, and the dashing Prince Philip of Greece sending her roses—but she turns to prove herself as more than a society girl, (Osla Benning in real life)

 and puts her fluent German to use as a translator of decoded enemy secrets. Imperious self-made Mab, product of east-end London poverty, works the legendary codebreaking machines as she conceals old wounds and looks for a socially advantageous husband. 

Both Osla and Mab are quick to see the potential in local village spinster Beth, whose shyness conceals a brilliant facility with puzzles, and soon Beth spreads her wings as one of the Park’s few female cryptanalysts. But war, loss, and the impossible pressure of secrecy will tear the three apart.

1947. As the royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip whips post-war Britain into a fever, three friends-turned-enemies are reunited by a mysterious encrypted letter--the key to which lies buried in the long-ago betrayal that destroyed their friendship and left one of them confined to an asylum. A mysterious traitor has emerged from the shadows of their Bletchley Park past, and now Osla, Mab, and Beth must resurrect their old alliance and crack one last code together. But each petal they remove from the rose code brings danger--and their true enemy--closer...

I can recommend this book. I found it 'unputdownable'.

Now for a drink to join Elizabeth's T-Party:
We went to Albox last Friday. Albox is a little town about an hour's drive from here. For some reason a lot of English have settled there. So there is a restaurant that serve fish & chips, a typical British dish.
They also serve cider, which is difficult to find here. So I had a pint of cider (I think it was Strongbow) in a Carlsberg glass.

Here I am giggling with our friends. No I did not get drunk, but I believe cider has more alcohol than beer, so I only had that one glass. 

And the fish and chips were delicious!

That is it from me today.

Happy T-Day everyone!
Take care,