Friday 31 March 2023

A Postcard A Day - Friday 31 March 2023 - Friday Smiles


Hello lovely ladies,

Here I am again on Thursday evening, writing something for Friday Smiles. 

As per usual there is a postcard. This one comes from the Czech Republic but of course features Rome. The family that sent it (Ruda, Andrea, Victor and Roman) bought this card in the Vatican Museum. 

The statue is that of Augustus, the emperor. Augustus of Prima Porta is a full-length portrait statue of Augustus Caesar, the first emperor of the Roman Empire. The marble statue stands 2.08 metres tall and weighs 1,000 kilograms. Wikipedia.
The stamps are spectacular! There are four different flowers. 
(I'm sorry the photo is so bad.) I recognise the Lily of the Valley, a Chrysantemum, an Azalea and I can't remember the name of the last one.
The top right stamp is about scouting and the bottom right reads 'Slovak year in Kiev'.

So, what was my week like? I certainly had many smiles. This week has been a busy week. Friday I went to the gym and then straight into town to do admin stuff. I was back at 12 as some friends were visiting. In the afternoon I made a lovely strawberry cake :
Those of you who also read my Tuesday blog will have seen it. It is called a fraisier cake
(fraise being the French word for strawberry). I enjoyed making it and it wasn't difficult so I will make that one again.

On Saturday I had my birthday (lunch) party. The weather was warm and sunny so it was outside at my friend's pool area (no water in the pool yet). Please have a look at my Tuesday blog to see the photos if you like.

On Sunday I went to church and in the afternoon did some online window shopping. I have a lot of things to order online. Big things that I need to really look into like a new tv.

On Monday, after going to the gym, I went food shopping in town. Opposite the supermarket is a tv shop. I popped in to see a 65'' tv in real life.Just to see if I would like that sort of size. It is very (almost indecently) large, but I'm still considering it.
On the way back I did some more errands and in the afternoon I wanted to make a cake and I realized I had forgotten to buy whipping cream. So I spent time going through my cake cookbook looking for a cake without whipping cream. I never really need an excuse to browse through my cookbooks. How about you? In the end I made a cheese cake with rum soaked raisins and some tinned peaches:
In the evening I wanted to write my blog but my tablet as well as my phone stopped doing photos as I seem to have run out of memory. So I spent the whole evening looking for videos and 'burst' photos to delete. In the end I managed to delete half a Mb and I was able to move photos around. I managed to finish my blog around midnight. 

On Tuesday my friends Kim and Andy came to lunch and we had a lovely time. The cheese cake was a success and I will definitely do this one again too. Andy helped me decide what stuff to order with my new tv. I ordered a sound bar, some wall brackets and a digibox. He also helped me decide which phone to get as that is a minefield too. So I have now ordered another phone. Not a new one (they're too expensive) but a reconditioned one. Hopefully I will get it next week.
In the evening there was my church house group zoom meeting.

On Wednesday my cleaner came as soon as I get back from the gym. She also helped me move some furniture. I needed a tv cabinet to put the tv on until I arrange for the bracket to be put up. So we carried the one from the guest room down here. Then we moved the settee out of the way to make room for the new sofa arriving on Thursday.
When she had finished, I quickly popped to the bank as they close at two. Then dinner, then more admin. And moving things around. Finally I got fed up and went to bed early and watched tv for the first time this week. I watched Race across the World on the BBC. I really like this. 
So today is Thursday and an exciting day as I waited for my sofa to arrive. I promised photos so here you are. Two guys wheeled it in on a trolley and unpacked it:

And this is what it looks like now:

I'm very pleased. It didn't take that long at all. I had it made to my specification and the sales lady said four weeks. I didn't believe it but she was right. Big smile!

Now it's gone midnight so I will call it a day, but I will find you some funnies to put at the end.
Have a lovely weekend all,
Keep smiling!

Tuesday 28 March 2023

A Postcard a Day - Tuesday 28 March 2023 - T for cupcakes, strawberry cake and a party.

Hello lovely ladies,

Here we are again meeting up at the T-Party hosted by Elizabeth and Bleubeard. Before I show you a drink, I will show you a postcard that arrived last week:

It comes to me from Boston in the USA. Suzanne writes that is is sunny and 38 degrees. I was happy for her that she had warm weather, when I realized it was 38 Fahrenheit, which I think is not very warm.

I chose this card today as all those cupcakes remind me of a party. And I have had my birthday party last Saturday. (Not that I had cup cakes). More about that later.

The stamps are spectacular:


The stamp on the left celebrates International Youth Year: 

The year 1985 was proclaimed by the United Nations as the International Youth Year. It was held to focus attention on issues of concern to and relating to youth. The proclamation was signed on 1 January 1985, by United Nations Secretary General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar. Wikipedia
The USA issued a set of stamps:

The middle stamps shows the colorful rabbit of the lunar New Year. We entered the Year of the Rabbit on January 22, 2023.
Art director Antonio Alcalá worked on the stamp design with artist Camille Chew to create imagery that is fresh, fun and celebratory. Calling to mind the elaborately decorated masks used in the dragon or lion dances often performed during Lunar New Year parades, Chew’s three-dimensional masks are a contemporary take on the long tradition of paper-cut folk-art crafts created during this auspicious time of year.

The right hand stamps shows a beautiful view of the Mississippi river in Minnesota.
It is part of a series:
As I mentioned before, I had a birthday last week and on Saturday I had my party. I had made a strawberry (Fraisier) cake:

I can't give you the recipe as I only have it in Dutch. But just Google Fraisier cake (Fraise is the French word for strawberry).

Here, in the above photo, are the drinks (or some of them as the rest was on the table).
And some photos from the party.

Me and my girlfriends:
Cutting the cake:
People sang Happy Birthday in four different languages (but the video didn't turn out, so you're having a screenshot):

A good time was had by all.
There was lots of food:

I've spent an hour and a half trying to delete stuff on my phone because it tells me it can't download photos onto my blog because I have run out of memory. Grrr!

That's all from me. I'm bushed! And also frustrated. Technology is wonderful as long as it works. The minute it fails, it causes such stress....
But I made it before midnight, so on time for the T-Party. Lots of drinks in the photos, so enjoy.
Happy T-Day!

Friday 24 March 2023

A Postcard a Day - Friday 24 March 2023 - Friday Smiles

 Hello lovely ladies,

I'm writing this on Thursday night and it's taking me ever so long because it is my birthday and I get phone calls, video calls and people popping in, so here I am late at night, and still nothing written. Of course I'm not complaining as it is lovely to have friends and family calling. This is Friday Smiles and I certainly have a lot to smile about.

My postcard today comes from Russia:

The postcard depicts Marya Morevna, a warrior queen from a Russian fairy tale. Read it here if you like. The artwork on the card is by Roman Papsuev 2015. He is a Russian  artist that turns Russian folk tales into modern fantasy. He is very popular in and out of Russia.

Here are the stamps:

The stamps are the traditional Russian ones. I never tire of them. They are really pretty.

This afternoon my friend Dian came by and brought me a bottle of bubbly (a Prosecco I think) and a tiramisu dessert. (which is not in the photo but i did enjoy it after my dinner). I ate out on the patio as the weather is lovely. What's not to smile about!

I had only come back from my travels the night before so I just got some home-made lasagna out of the freezer and that was my dinner. Very nice.
On Saturday I will celebrate with my friends . The weather is lovely so a friend is letting us use the pool house and the pool area which is ideal fo parties. (There is no water in the pool as yet as it's early in the season and the water is too cold to swim.)

Today I had to go into town to do admin things and I also needed a white t-shirt. They are difficult to find here as there are many lovely clothes shop but none of them have t-shirts.  I really need a department store but the nearest one is in Granada. Anyway, I came home with two pairs of shoes and a bag (as you do). Present to myself. (Big smile)

I had a lovely time with my mum. Here is a photo:
I think I have shared this one on Facebook so some of you might already have seen this.

On Tuesday I flew from Rotterdam to Malaga, then got a bus to Marbella, where my sister picked me up from the bus station.
I spent the night in Marbella, then in the morning caught a bus to Malaga, then a bus to Granada, then a bus to Baza, where a kind friend picked me up from the bus station to drive me home. The buses are very good and on time but the through bus gets here too late  at night so I have to do it in stages. 

I'm quite happy to travel by bus as I got a good book. Any Lucinda Riley fans out there? I'm reading her only murder mystery: The Murders At Fleat House.

I'm enjoying it. 

My new sofa, which I ordered before I left, is going to be delivered on Thursday! I'm very excited. I hope to be able to show you photos next week.

If you have had things to smile about this week, please share them with us at Annie's blog A Stitch In Time. That is where I am heading now. See you there!

That is all from me this week.
As per usual I have managed to find some funnies (not a lot this time) which will come at the end.
So I will wish you all a lovely weekend,
keep smiling,

Tuesday 21 March 2023

A Postcard a Day - Tuesday 21 March 2023 - T for

 Hello lovely ladies,

I'm still in the Netherlands as I am writing this on Monday evening. I'm having a lovely time with my mother. She will be 99 years old soon so I take every chance I get to visit her. We get on very well and I am enjoying my stay with her. More about what i have been up to a bit later, but first my postcard:

It is a lovely black and white photo of the Grossmünster door in Zürich.

Wikipedia writes this:

The Grossmünster  "great minster" is a Romanesque-style Protestant church in ZürichSwitzerland. It is one of the four major churches in the city  Its congregation forms part of the Evangelical Reformed Church of the Canton of Zürich. The core of the present building near the banks of the Limmat was constructed on the site of a Carolingian church, which was, according to legend, originally commissioned by Charlemagne. Construction of the present structure commenced around 1100 and it was inaugurated around 1220.

The Grossmünster was a monastery church, vying for precedence with the Fraumünster across the Limmat throughout the Middle Ages. According to legend, the Grossmünster was founded by Charlemagne, whose horse fell to its knees over the tombs of Felix, Regula and Exuperantius, Zürich's patron saints. The legend helps support a claim of seniority over the Fraumünster, which was founded by Louis the German, Charlemagne's grandson. Recent archaeological evidence confirms the presence of a Roman burial ground at the site.

Huldrych Zwingli initiated the Swiss-German Reformation in Switzerland from his pastoral office at the Grossmünster, starting in 1520. 

Zwingli won a series of debates presided over by the magistrate in 1523 which ultimately led local civil authorities to sanction the severance of the church from the papacy. The reforms initiated by Zwingli and continued by his successor, Heinrich Bullinger, account for the plain interior of the church. 
Below: Zwingli preaching.

The iconoclastic reformers removed the organ and religious statuary in 1524. These changes, accompanied by abandonment of Lent, replacement of the Mass, disavowal of celibacy, eating meat on fast days, replacement of the lectionary with a seven-year New Testament cycle, a ban on church music, and other significant reforms make this church one of the most important sites in the history of the reformation and the birthplace of the Swiss-German reformation.

The postcard shows one of the beautiful doors of the minster.There are two bronze doors with 42 panels showing Biblical scenes and texts. The door on the postcard was added in 1950.

There is an explanation of each square on this website if you want to know more. It would be too much to write it all here. 
But I will show you the bottom row in more detail as it features four women from the Bible:

  1. Text: und das | wort ward | fleisch und | wohnte | unter uns - The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us (John 1,14)
  2. RAHAB - Rahab the harlot, who believed and was saved (Joshua 2)
  3. RUTH - The pious Ruth, who was born a pagan (Ruth)

  1. BATHSEBA - Bathsheba the adulteress (2 Samuel 11)
  2. MARIA - Mary, the Mother of the Lord (Matthew 1,18-25)
  3. Text: Ja Ich kom | me bald | amen | komm Herr Jesus - Yes, I am coming soon. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus (Revelation 22,20)
The sculptor is Otto Münch (Meißen 1885 - Zürich 1985) Otto Munch added the bronze doors in the north and south portals in 1935 and 1950.
The stamp is a digital stamp from France as that is where the card comes from. The sender lives 30 km from Lyon but has grandparents near Zürich.

So what have I been up to? I am in Rotterdam as mentioned before. 
I had spent a few days with my sister in Marbella before flying to Rotterdam airport.
I always cook nice things for my mum because she is blind and cannot cook for herself. Here is a cottage pie I made (Her favorite):
Not a very flattering photo of my mum, but hey...

I try to go for a walk every day so I'm not indoors all day. Spring is arriving in Holland too and there were bulbs everywhere along the walking paths:
Daffodils just starting to show their little faces.
Some crocusses already flowering.

Lots of daffodils.

I love daffodils.

My friend Ineke came by and we talked about our holiday to Italy this June. We are planning to travel from Holland to Italy in her small campervan (I think it's a VW).

On Sunday afternoon she invited me out to  lunch in a nice restaurant on the harbour front. Two other friends joined us.
This is the restaurant (It's called Twenty7):
We sat inside as it was really cold.
This is on the other side of the restaurant (where the yachtclub is):

We looked out onto the famous 'Swan' bridge and it happened to be open to let a barge through:
You can see the road bit completely vertical.
And here there were daffodils too:

As a starter we had oysters!!

I love oysters but they are not always in my budget...
And because today is T for Tuesday, I am glad that there were several glasses of 'bubbly' in sight.
That is all I have to tell you tonight. Tomorrow (Tuesday) I will be traveling to Spain and will be spending the night in Marbella. Then on Wednesday morning I will tackle the long bus journey back home. I'm not sure if I will have time to visit. I will probably visit quite late if at all. We'll see. I'll do my best.

Wishing you all a very happy T-Day!
Keep smiling,