Tuesday 30 May 2023

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 30 May 2023 - T for tigers, ceilings

 Hello lovely ladies, How are you all? I'm super busy at the moment, preparing for my road trip. But I have made time to write my blog as I love meeting you all at the T-Party hosted by Elizabeth and Bluebeard. All I need is a drink or drink reference in my blog. Well, that's easy and you will see my drink later. First of all I would like to show you my postcard for today:

What a beauty! A beautiful tiger! It comes from Russia. Yes, they have tigers in Russia. It is the Siberian tiger and they can be found in the extreme east of Russia:

The pink indicates the range of tigers in 1800 and the red is the modern day range. Wikipedia writes:
An initial census held in 2015 indicated that the Siberian tiger population had increased to 480–540 individuals in the Russian Far East, including 100 cubs. This was followed up by a more detailed census which revealed there was a total population of 562 wild Siberian tigers in Russia.

I scanned the stamp in Google translate and this is what I got:

This type of card is called a Maxi card as the stamp, which usually has the same image or theme as the card, is on the front of the card. And usually that is enough to post it, but the sender obviously didn't think this was enough and stuck stamps on the back too:

The stamp bottom left is an image of the Astrakhan Kremlin

Top right is a 2022 stamp with Matryoshka dolls. It's a triangular stamp from the series 'Decorative art in Russia'.
The first Russian nested doll set was made in 1890 by wood turning craftsman and wood carver Vasily Zvyozdochkin from a design by Sergey Malyutin, who was a folk crafts painter at Abramtsevo. Traditionally the outer layer is a woman, dressed in a sarafan, a long and shapeless traditional Russian peasant jumper dress.

 The figures inside may be of any gender; the smallest, innermost doll is typically a baby turned from a single piece of wood. Much of the artistry is in the painting of each doll, which can be very elaborate. 

Continuing with the stamps:
Top left are white cloud apples. Also known as Beliy Naliv, the White Cloud Apple is an extremely hardy Siberian variety prized for its early ripening, flavorful and juicy fruit. This medium sized, almost white apple is easy to grow and great for fresh eating and also makes delicious apple sauce.

The bottom left is not a postage stamp but a cute sticker.

The girl that sent it to me is Elena. She is a 2nd year student in college playing the flute. She writes, she was going to learn to play a piece by Henri Busser called Andalusia. There was a music competition she was learning pieces for and that competition was in April, so it has already been. I hope it all went well Elena!

What's been happening here in Spain? Well, I've had visitors from  the UK. My friend Keren and her hubby stayed with me for a week. Unfortunately the long awaited rain decided to fall all in that week!

We chanced upon a private visit to the Palacio de los Enriquez in Baza. It is a  type of urban palace or stately residence. It was ordered to be built by Don Enrique Enríquez , uncle of Fernando el Católico and brother of Queen Juana de Aragón, and by his wife Doña María de Luna, beginning the works in 1506 and extending its construction until the middle of the 16th century .

This is a photo from the internet as it was raining too hard to take any outside pictures. 

They have recently started to restore the building and it is not open to the public yet. But we have been able to see the beautiful ceilings:

Every room was different. Here is more detail:

Incredible. it's such a shame that this building has been left to ruin all these years. Antonia's children remember playing in the ruins.

A little glance out of the window:

We also went to Almería on the coast. I like Almería very much. It has a boulevard with a park along it full of tropical plants and trees. Really beautiful. We saw jacaranda trees:

And large trumpet vines:
They were going over, but there were a few flowers left.

With a hand for comparison:

We had lunch at a Moroccan restaurant overlooking the boulevard:
My friend's hubby is already sitting down, while I faf around taking pictures.

My friend had worked in Marocco for a while and could still remember to speak a bit of Arab. We drank delicious mint tea:

Of course I had to take a picture to show you all:

This is my qualifier for the T-Party.

And I decided to have a beef tagine:

Lift up the lid and this is what i got:
Very nice it was. The meat was slow cooked and was falling apart. really delicious. (It is hidden under the veggies).

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


Friday 26 May 2023

A Postcard A Day - Friday 26 May 2023 - Friday Smiles

 Hello lovely ladies, How are you all. It's time to round up our smiles of the week and share them with Annie at A Stitch In Time and the other ladies.

My first smile is my postcard:

It shows different images of Amalfi, an Italian town on the Italian coast just south of Naples. The whole coastline is amazingly beautiful. I found out that it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997.

The postcard comes to me from...no, not Italy, but from California! The sender, Mary, who is 60 yrs old tells me that she had been on holiday to the Mediteranian and walked up those steps in the photo.

The stamps are fun. I see a woodpecker and grapes and pears. And the stamp on the right looks like a water lily (But I might be wrong).

This week was a busy week for me as I had visitors staying. My lovely friend Keren and her hubby.
They arrived on Saturday in the pouring rain! In England the sun was shining and here there was so much rain. We have waited so long for that rain but it wasn't nice that it came just as my visitors arrived.
But Sunday was easy as we went to church and then cooked something nice and we had a lovely day together. 
Monday I went to the gym in the morning. The buildings here are not really built to withstand rain and the roof of the gym leaks like a sieve:
The cleaners were mopping the floor and there were buckets everywhere.

After I had gotten home we had to do some shopping in Caniles and then to Baza as Keren has a gluten free diet  so I'd rather she come with me when I food shop. We found a bakery that did gluten free bread (oh joy of joys). We were so excited that we forgot to take any pictures.
But this is the bread (It looks like normal bread but seems a little whiter)

In the evening we were invited to visit the palace of Enriques in Baza. It was a private viewing as it's not open to the general public, but my friend Antonia's English class in the School for Adults was going and we were allowed to tag along.
Here a photo from the internet:

There was too much rain to photograph the outside:
But inside was amazing!
Beautiful ceilings:

Here is more detail:

I popped my head around the backdoor to the garden:
On Tuesday I will do more pictures.

On Tuesday My friends Kim and Andy came and we cooked salmon (again no photos, but a fun selfie outside):
At some point it was dry and we decided we'd go to Baza to buy ice creams. Of course we walked around a bit and in the Plaza Mayor (The main square) was a replica throne of the Dama de Baza. I just had to sit on it!

This is what the real one (Three thousand years old) looks like:
We're hoping to visit the museum on Friday (I.e. this morning, so that will be something for next week.)

On Wednesday we got up early to go to Almería on the south coast.We left at 9 and took the scenic mountain route (rather than the motorway), which nearly took two hours. In Almería it was dry and better weather than in Caniles.
Keren's hubby wanted to see the guitar museum:
The main exhibition  hall seen from the first floor balcony. The entrance is built like a guitar but you don't realize it when you walk through.
The main boulevard along the coast has a beautiful park running through it full of tropical plants. It is amazing. There are also sculptures:

This is a rower. I will send this to my grandson who is a rower.

I have many more photos of Almería but I'll post some more on Tuesday.

That was it from me today. Lots of smiles in spite of the rain. Keep an eye out for my blog on Tuesday as I will be posting more photos.
As per usual, I will be posting some funnies at the end.

Have a great weekend,