Tuesday 31 January 2023

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 31 January 2023 - T for Turtles, hot chocolate

 Hello lovely ladies! How is life treating you?

Life is treating me very well because look what I received not long ago:

This is what people call a Maxi card. It has the stamp on the front and the stamp is usually the same or at least associated with the subject on the card.
Australia has a lot. Wikipedia tells me this:

In philately a maximum card (also known as a maxi-card, or maxicard) is a postcard with a postage stamp placed on the picture side of the card where the stamp and card match or are in maximum concordance (similarity). The cancellation or postmark is usually related to the image on the front of the card and the stamp.

Not every country issues maximum cards (e.g. USA did very few) and some who do (e.g.. Germany) have only a limited number of releases every year whereas others issue maximum cards for every stamp (e.g. Australia).

And of course I love turtles so this person called Peter really made me happy. Peter lives in Australia and writes that he is retired but works in aboriginal communities as a trainer. His hobby is a garden filled with wild parrots. Wow, that sounds interesting.

Now we are on the subject of turtles, I have received another turtle card:
Sea turtles hatching on Ogasawara Island (which is a UNESCO World Heritage site).

The Bonin or Ogasawara Islands  are a Japanese archipelago of over 30 subtropical and tropical islands located around 1,000 kilometers (620 mi) SSE of Tokyo and 1,600 kilometers (1,000 mi) northwest of Guam.The group as a whole has a total area of 84 square kilometers (32 sq mi) but only two of the islands are permanently inhabited, Chichijima and Hahajima. Together, their population was 2560 as of 2021. Administratively, Tokyo's Ogasawara Subprefecture includes the Volcano Islands and the Self-Defense Force post on Iwo Jima. The seat of government is Chichijima.

Because of the Bonins' isolation, many of their animals and plants have undergone unique evolutionary processes. It has been called "the Galápagos of the Orient" and was named a natural World Heritage Site in 2011. When first reached during the early modern period, the islands were entirely uninhabited, the source of the name "Bonin". Subsequent research has found evidence of some prehistoric habitation by Micronesians. Upon their repeated rediscoveries, the islands were largely ignored by the SpanishDutch, and isolationist Japanese until finally being claimed by a passing British captain in 1827. American, European, and Hawaiian colonists arrived from the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1830. Subsequently, Meiji Japan successfully colonized and reclaimed the islands in 1875 but the original multicultural community continued up to World War II, when most islanders were forcibly relocated to Honshu. Following Japan's defeat, the US Navy occupied the island, bulldozing existing Japanese homes and restricting resettlement until full control of the Bonins was returned to Japan in 1968. Ethnically, the island is now majority Japanese but remains unusually diverse, including a local creole known as Bonin English. Improved transportation has made agriculture more profitable and developed tourism, but the development required for an airport remains a contentious local issue.

The stamps are beautiful:

There are a variety of animals, although I think the first one on the left is a fun postman. The stamp in the middle reads 2021 International Letter Writing Week.
 International Letter Writing Week takes place every year during the second full week of January, and it encourages us all to pick up a pen and paper and write to someone. This year, it has taken place place from January 8 to 14. It’s perhaps no surprise that letter writing and handwriting are soon becoming lost talents in our increasingly high-tech society. Text, instant messages, and email are fantastic for their ease, convenience, and speed. But nothing beats the thrill of receiving a letter or a handwritten greeting card in the mail.

The above information comes from a fun website called NationalToday. Have a look, it's fun.
At National Today, our goal is to gather all the special holidays and moments from around the world — the occasions that bring people together — and help everyone celebrate with special events, helpful tips, discounts, deals, and plenty of fun.
What kind of days do we commemorate? All of them! We have classic American holidays, like the 4th of July and Halloween; important global holidays like Boxing Day and World Refugee Day; and can’t-be-missed quirky occasions, like Respect Your Cat Day and National Junk Food Day.

So today being T for Tuesday, and having read NationalToday,  I can tell you that today it is National Hot Chocolate Day:

And this is how the Spanish eat/drink their hot chocolate. The chocolate is much thicker and we dip churros in it. It is a wonderful breakfast on special days (in winter).

Which leads me to the T-Party hosted by Elizabeth and Bleubeard. The above photo qualifies me to join. But I myself have also been entertaining. The first time since the death of my husband, in fact the first time in a long time. We had a monthly gathering of English speaking Christians at my house this time (It's a social with a Bible study). So I had tidied the room, lit the fire:
I prepared the table and I had made a quiche and cheese and onion pasties (under the napkins in the photo):
I really enjoyed the company of friends:
If you look closely there is a can of tonic water and on the table above. And also a can of beer on another table.
The table looked like this once all the food was on it:

One of my friends had brought a chicken dish and my Mexican friend had made empanadas. A slither of my quiche can be seen  on the right and the pasties are at the top of the photo next to the bottle of wine. (Another qualifier for the T-Party).

This will have to be it. I have gone on long enough. I hope you didn't get bored.
Happy T-Day,
Keep smiling,

Friday 27 January 2023

A Postcard A Day - Friday 27 January 2023 - Friday Smiles

 Hello lovely ladies, 

How are you? Here the sun is shining and although it is cold, the weather is beautiful. I have hung out my washing and it is nearly dry. So, all in all, life is good and I have plenty to smile about.

Lets start with a postcard. Always worth a smile:
I thought that in the cold of winter, the idea of a cruise in the sun would be very appealing. This is a vintage travel poster advertising Canadian Pacific (after the work of Tom Purvis, circa 1937).

In 1884, Canadian Pacific Railways began purchasing sailing ships as part of a railway supply service on the Great Lakes. Over time, CPR became a railroad company with widely organized water transportation auxiliaries including the CPR Upper Lake Service, the trans-Pacific service, the British Columbia Coast Steamships, the British Columbia Lake and River Service, the trans-Atlantic service, and the Ferry service. In the 20th century, the company evolved into a transcontinental railroad which operated two transoceanic services which connected Canada with Europe and with Asia. 

The Canadian Pacific Railway Upper Lake Service, also known as the Canadian Pacific Railway Upper Lake Steamships, was a division of Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), which began operating passenger and cargo shipping routes in the Great Lakes during the late 19th century.

One of the ships of the Upper Lake fleet was the SS Keewatin, now a museum ship in its former home port of Port McNicoll.

The postcard has a stamp on it which has the same image as the front of the card:

So what have I been doing this week, apart from paperwork? I'm going to the gym three times a week. 

The cave house next door which Graham was renovating, is now being completed by Juan, a friend from church, who needed a job. 
This is the entrance hall:
The half wall hides the kitchenette:

The door you see in the back ground is the door to the bathroom, which is finished.
I'm very pleased with the progress.

Saturday we had an Intercambio meeting, where English speakers can practice their Spanish while the Spanish speakers can practice their English. We have been given access to a classroom in the middle of the village, but it is not heated (like all public buildings) so I bring an electric heater and an electric kettle so we can make some hot drinks. Below you can see me just as we were leaving. The other girl is a Spanish lady.

But I think my biggest smile this week is  my new TV that arrived on Tuesday:

My lodger helped me carry it down the stairs and together we unpacked it and put it in my bedroom.
He plugged it in and fiddled with the remote. The tv (very smartly) detected the wifi signal, I typed in the password and hey presto, I had Netflix and Amazon Prime! No wonder they call it a Smart TV.
Next week, my friend Andy will hopefully be able to get me some proper tv channels. In the meantime I have so far enjoyed watching The Crown, and Inspector Montalbano (an Italian tv series). It saves on fuel as I now go to bed an hour earlier to watch tv.

I have come back from a knitting and crochet 'circle' of local women. We all bring our work and chat and people give each other advice on how to proceed through difficult bits of knitting. Most people are crocheting garments (Jumpers or cardigans). I'm knitting socks. 

And as I am knitting in the round, which they are not familiar with, and from the toe up, I am an anomaly. On top of that I do a fish lips kiss heel ( yes, go on, Google it!). So next week I have to teach the teacher!
Here is a photo of our group earlier tonight (Thursday):

We are usually about 10 women.

That is it from me tonight.
Have a lovely weekend,
Keep smiling,


Tuesday 24 January 2023

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday - 23 January 2023 - T for books, admirals and oat cookies

 Hello lovely ladies,

The weather is awful, cold and miserable, so lets talk books. It's the sort of weather to curl up by the stove and read (or even stay in bed and read!). Carola Bartz wrote about her books and it inspired me to tell you how I record the books I read and what I have been reading lately.

But first let me show you a postcard:

It is a cute postcard from Russia which reads: "Happy New Year". But the reason I chose this card today is the stamps. (And the pretty Christmas envelope).

A closer look:

The stamp on the right is part of the envelope. The middle stamp celebrates 125 years of radio.
Radio is a form of information wireless transmission where information carrier is radio waves freely distributed in space. In May 7, 1895, at a meeting of the Russian Physicochemical Society in St. Petersburg, Russian scientist and inventor, physicist and electrical engineer Alexander S. Popov delivered a comprehensive report and demonstrated the operation of the world's first radio receiver.

The stamp provides an image of a radio set of 1895 from the collection of the A.S. Popov Central Museum of Communications.

The stamp on the left celebrates the life of F.F. Ushakov:

 Admiral Fyodor F. Ushakov, 275th Birth Anniversary

Fyodor Fyodorovich Ushakov (24 February  1745 – 14 October 1817) was an 18th century Russian naval commander and admiral. He is notable for winning every engagement he participated in as the Admiral of the Russian fleet.

He was born in Burnakovo not far from Rybinsk in the Yaroslav province (about 120 km north of Moscow).
There are many monuments of him. At the bust of this admiral, a commemoration was held in Rybinsk.
In Rybinsk, on February 24, 2020, the 275th anniversary of the birth of the outstanding Navy operator,  Admiral F.F. Ushakov, was celebrated.
At the monument of the admiral there was a solemn event: the performance of officials, laying of flowers to the monument of F.F. Ushakov.

Now, as promised, something about books. Carola Bartz wrote about some of the books she read and she asked if anyone keeps a record of what they read. Yes, I do! I have a little book called Book Journal.

It's a little book that I have been using since 2004, where I write what I have been reading. There is an alphabetical index, like in the telephone ledgers of old. 
The pages allocated to each letter have long been filled so I have put stickers on the pages where I have continued. On the page I write the author, the title and the year I read it. And then I write a little bit about the plot, so I will recognize it in the future. I also give it stars out of five. I give it points on how much I enjoyed the book. Not necessarily on how well it is written. 
Next week I hope to write about a few really good books I have read recently.

But now, as it is the T-Party hosted by Elizabeth and Bleubeard, I have a drink for you.
It is my coffee and two oat cookies made by my friend Patricia. I was invited there on Friday evening to eat pizza, and she gave me some cookies to take home. Here is a rather unclear photo (sorry) of me and Patricia that evening. 

I am holding a glass of wine. So that is two drinks for the T-Party!

That is all from me today.
Happy T-Day
Keep smiling!

PS I'm having problems commenting on certain blogs. Kate Yetter, Sharon and Jo to mention a few.I'm really sorry. They tell me to sign into Google or Wordpress.

Friday 20 January 2023

A Postcard A Day - Friday 19 January 2023 - Friday Smiles

Hello lovely ladies,

Happy Friday to you all! 

Here in Spain the cold has arrived! And the card I have chosen reflects this cold weather:

This gorgeous card comes to me from Minsk in Belarus. The title of the card is ´Little Joy´ and in brackets: ´To feel warmly supported by a friend...´ Very sweet.

The stamp is impressive. 

You can see the latin name of the animal is Ovis Musimon. I looked it up and Wikipedia says this:
The European mouflon (Ovis aries musimon) is a feral subspecies of the primitive domestic sheep. It was originally found only on the Mediterranean islands of Corsica and Sardinia, but has since been introduced into many other regions of Europe. It is not to be confused with Ovis gmelini, also called the mouflon, which is found in Western Asia and is also ancestral to modern domestic sheep.

So, what has been happening with me? I have been inundated with paperwork, but I'm doing something every day and slowly, with the help of others, I'm getting there. (Big smile)
My friends came to visit earlier in the week, (Another bis smile but sorry, I forgot to take any pictures) and, amongst other things, we talked about televisions, as I want to buy a tv set. Our friend Andy has done a bit of homework and I have a few to choose from, so watch this space as they say.

Here in our village it's our patronal festival this weekend starting Friday and it will be very busy. I'm writing this on Thursday night but I can tell you what is going to happen:

One of the most celebrated saints in our area is San Sebastián, the young Roman military man who was riddled with arrows by his executioners until he became a kind of hedgehog. 

Such popularity is, without a doubt, a consequence of the fervor that Don Juan de Austria expressed for him during the campaign against the Moorish uprising of Aben-Humeya. But although there are many towns that celebrate it, there is none that surpasses Caniles in originality.

Caniles maintains, as the main attraction of its festivities, the tradition of the Robo del Santo during the procession. Several groups try to seize the raised cross that leads the parade, carried by one of the 'thieves' from the previous year. When someone manages to get hold of the cross, it is said that he has stolen the saint, making his group the winner of the contest. Those who win, in addition to taking charge of the cross until the end of the procession, must also bear the expenses of the following year's festivities.

Yesterday (Wednesday) I woke up to snowy mountains and it was very cold at 8 in the morning.

Then just before I went to the gym the sun shone in between the heavy clouds:

Here are the mountains again through the window at the gym:

I'll leave it at that. I'm going to link up with Annie at A Stitch In Time and share my smiles.
As per usual, I will put some funnies at the end.

Wishing everyone a lovely weekend,
Keep smiling,