Friday 28 July 2023

A Postcard A Day - Friday 28 July 2023 - Friday Smiles

 Hello lovely ladies,

Here we are again on a Friday to think back on all those smiles of the past week. And there have been many. Although I have to live without my soul mate and best friend, and I still miss my husband terribly, life is good and I am healthy (Praise the Lord). I'm enjoying life and have much to smile about.

But most of you know that my first smile is always for my postcard. I received it this week from my friend Maggie who was on holiday in Italy. Yes, we were there at the same time, but it's a big country and we didn't meet.

She was on the Amalfi coast. On the map you can just about see Naples in the top left corner. The town is called Paestum.

Paestum (or the Archaeological Park of Paestum) has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1998. It is in CampaniaItaly, and is a once thriving ancient Greek (then Lucanian, later Roman) settlement, with the best preserved Greek doric temples worldwide. It is surrounded by a Roman city wall, and is 40 km south of the city of Salerno. It was originally named after the sea god Poseidon, it came under roman rule in 273 BC. 
As the Roman Empire began to crumble, Paestum slowly fell from history being hit by Malaria, pillaging and savage raids. Paestum lay abandoned.
The ruins of Paestum are famous for their three ancient Greek temples in the Doric order, dating from about 550 to 450 BC, which are in an excellent state of preservation. Wikipedia

Some of the temples are visible on the card. You also see images of the walls of the tomb of the diver. (Tomba del Tuffatore).

The Tomb of the Diver, located in Paestum, is known for the mysterious subject matter of the frescos adorning the walls. 

The origin of this tomb is somewhat mysterious as well. There has been scholarly debate about whether the tomb was built by a Greek settlement occupying 
Poseidonia or by an ancient Italic tribe from a more southern region of Italy. The tomb was built with five large stone slabs, each hosting a fresco attributed one of two artists. The four walls are decorated with scenery of a symposium which is uncommon for a funerary context. 

The ceiling is a true mystery and the namesake of the tomb: a lone diver leaping into a pool of water. This figure is unique to this tomb, no other ancient Mediterranean artworks have imagery comparable to the diver.(Wikipedia)

There are some interesting articles, of which this is one of them. Have a look if you like to know more.

The stamp is simple and celebrated Padova being proclaimed as Capital of Volunteers.

On December 5th 2018, in the city of Aahrus, Denmark, Padua was officially proclaimed the European Volunteering Capital for 2020.
The challenge is to transform Padua into a laboratory-city, to attract ideas, to activate projects, and to initiate activities aimed at stimulating collaborative actions among all the local social components.

There will be positive effects for the city of Padua, the Veneto region, Italy and Europe. The previous European Volunteering capitals were: Barcelona (2014), Lisbon (2015), London (2016), Sligo, Ireland (2017), Arhus, Denmark (2018) and Kosice, Slovakia (2019).

So..... what have I been doing? I have joined a Pilates class in Baza, the nearby town. I do Pilates two mornings and one morning I do Yoga. 

I have now done one week and I'm loving it. I used to do Pilates when I lived in the UK. It makes me feel so much better. It's difficult to explain.

Because they have a parquet floor, I sometimes slip with my feet. It's hot and I probably sweat a bit. So I have bought some non-slip yoga socks which have silicon dots on the bottom.

It has toes! We had a bit of a giggle with me 

trying to put them on:

But they work very well, so I'm glad I got them.

And yes, I managed to get a haircut (very much needed).

I've also been out for dinner with my friends David and Patricia.

The text on the wall translates: Cooking with love feeds your soul.

That is all from me today. I'm going to join Annie at A Stitch In Time.

Of course I have funnies for you at the end.
Enjoy your weekend and don't forget to smile!


In case you can't read it: It reads: In case of 

accident Bring cheese & crackers. Lots and lots of 

cheese and crackers.

Tuesday 25 July 2023

T for Tuesday - Tuesday 25 July 2023 - T for veils, Pluto and castagnets

Hello lovely ladies, Tuesday comes round so fast! Here we are again. 

I have a postcard of beautiful work of art which my friend Maggie sent me. She sent it in an envelope because she was afraid it would get damaged. The sculpture is called Cristo Velato (Veiled Christ) by Giuseppe Sanmarino (1753) and it can be found in the Museo Cappella Sansevero, Napels.

It is amazing how the artist can hew what looks like a thin veil out of marble.

Wikipedia says: 
Veiled Christ is a carved marble sculpture by the Neapolitan artist Giuseppe Sanmartino completed in 1753. The sculpture is formed fro
m a single block of white marble, and was commissioned by Raimondo di Sangro, a prince of Sansevero, as the centerpiece of the Cappella Sansevero, in Naples, Italy. Wikipedia

It reminds me of an assignment I did in art classes a few years ago here in Caniles. I was asked to draw the Veiled Virgin:
That is a much later work but it's the same idea. I think it is a test of skill for the artist. 
The Veiled Virgin is a Carrara marble statue carved in Rome by Italian sculptor Giovanni Strazza, depicting the bust of a veiled Virgin Mary. The exact date of the statue's completion is unknown, but it was probably in the early 1850s. Wikipedia.

Of course I didn't really do such a good job of drawing as I am no artist, but it was an interesting exersise.

Last week I said that one particular stamp, the Pluto stamp, had a bit of a story.
This is a stamp in question from  Carola's envelope.  It's entitled Pluto Explored! I left it for this week as it has quite a story to it.  It features Pluto, a far-away planet:

Originally in 1991 the US postal service issued a stamp about Pluto:

It was part of a series of stamps about planets:

In 1991 Pluto was indeed not explored, but in 2015 it was!

The stamp’s designation was not missed by the New Horizons mission team, which placed the stamp on the New Horizons spacecraft. Launched Jan. 19, 2006, on one of the fastest rockets ever built, New Horizons’ speed varied on its 3.26 billion mile trip to Pluto, but it reached 36,000 mph on the July 14, 2015, flyby. To place the rocket’s power in perspective, it took three days for Apollo 11 to reach the moon. New Horizons passed the moon in nine hours.

The 'Pluto not yet explored' stamp got into the Guinness Book of Records:
WASHINGTON — A 1991 Pluto: Not Yet Explored stamp traveled more than 3 billion miles on a spacecraft to the dwarf planet has earned the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS achievement for the farthest distance traveled by a postage stamp. The stamp also served as NASA’s rallying cry to set the record straight for exploring Pluto.
“In 2006, NASA placed a 29-cent “Pluto: Not Yet Explored” stamp on board the New Horizons spacecraft on its way to Pluto and beyond,” said U.S. Postal Service Chief Marketing and Sales Officer and Executive Vice President Jim Cochrane. “That historic flyby with Pluto took place last summer — July 14, 2015, to be precise — after New Horizons travelled more than three billion miles in its nine and a half year journey.” 

So, what have I been doing? I have been to Granada to accompany a friend to a medical appointment. It was very hot.

The funny reads: I'm not going to Granada again at 4 in the afternoon.

The other day I went to pick up something at the women's association and I found myself in the middle of a castanets lesson. I don't know what they are called in English.
These are what I mean.  They are a percussion instruments played by clacking the two parts together.

They are very popular with the Spanish ladies. Here is a short video of some of my acquaintances learning to play the castanets:

I'm sorry but I can't get the video to work.

This week I went out to lunch again. Again I was invited. This time by my friend Dian. We went to the roadside restaurant that my husband and I used to frequent. We used to go there every Tuesday for many years. So the family that run the restaurant know me very well and there were hugs and kisses from all of them

As this is T for Tuesday, I need to show you a drink. Well here it is, a bottle of water on the table and a glass (with a slice of lemon in it).

My friend Antonia's daughter makes her own rye bread. She buys organic grains, then mills them herself and then bakes the bread. She insists it not difficult. She game me a loaf:
It's delicious and she's going to teach me how to make it.

Talking about bread....This is for Bluebeard:

And this is for Elizabeth:

I hope that made you smile. The kitten is cut out of a watermelon!

That is it ladies.
Wishing you a happy T-Day,

Friday 21 July 2023

A Postcard A Day - Friday 21 July 2023 - Friday Smiles

 Hello lovely ladies,

How are you all? I have nearly melted! My outdoor thermometer (in the shade) has just registered 42 degrees! But I'm indoors, under the fan, typing away.

Let me show you my postcard for today:

People know that I like postcards from UNESCO World Heritage Sites as they are always worth looking into. This card is from Wismar, with its proper title Hansestadt. 
A Hansestadt is a town that is part of the Hanseatic league. In the Middle Ages the Hanse (Hanseatic League) was a powerful alliance of independent trading centres on the Baltic and North Sea coasts. Its aim was to represent and protect the common commercial interests of its members.  

It has about 45000 inhabitants. Wismar retains much of its charm and many reminders of its days as a member of the Hanseatic League and over more than 250 years of Swedish control (1648-1903). It sustained limited bombing during WWII which preserved many of its brick buildings with gabled store fronts and half-timbered buildings.

Wismar was part of East Germany under Soviet Control until the Wall fell in 1989. Many of the buildings in the Old City (Altstadt) have been preserved.

The large white building top left is a ship wharf. Wismar city is one of three cruise ship-producing locations of MV Werften (along with Rostock and Stralsund), and the shipyard with its tall white-blue hall is one of the city's largest employers.

The card was sent by Postcrosser Gabriele and she tells me she and her husband had been to Wismar and stayed  in the red building on the left. 
The stamps are very interesting, especially the large one. It features Johann Hinrich Wichern (1808-1881).
He was a founder of the Home Mission movement in Germany. 
Wikipedia writes: Wichern was born in Hamburg into a family of poverty, together with seven siblings. He became headteacher of a Sunday school in St. Georg, Hamburg which proved very successful, and in 1833 opened his Rauhes Haus at Horn, Hamburg. Wichern became especially known for recruiting and training a corps of "brothers" who helped educate and discipline wayward boys and men and tend to the needs of the poor. He founded hostels across Germany that were supposed to provide a refuge, free of alcohol and gambling, to journeymen and other travellers. In his writings and speeches, Wichern promoted the ideal of Christian voluntarism to assist the poor, criminals, and disabled[1] and heal the class and political divides in Germany surrounding the Revolution of 1848 (which he loathed).[2][3] He is also credited with inventing the (now traditional) Advent wreath in 1839.

So, what have I been up to then? My highlights are always the times I spend with friends. Living alone, socialising is very important. Quite soon after I'd come home from my travels, there was the annual 'do' with the gym ladies. The only man in the group is the teacher!

I'm on the right, sitting next to the teacher.
The custom here is to bring dishes to the table which we then share. Below is one of the dishes:
The Spanish eat a lot of seafood and fish. Luckily I love that too. The above dish is squid.

Another highlight was when Kim and Andy treated me to lunch. We stayed local and went to the same restaurant as the above photo.

We had a lovely meal and of course it's great to spend time together. We never seem to run out of things to talk about.

In spite of the heat, I have managed to tidy up and clean my patio. It looks quite liveable now (although it's too hot to sit there in the day time).

I have a lemon tree. It has survived my absence.

And if you look closely, you'll see a single baby lemon on the right hand side.

I have since cut away the 'suckers' at the bottom.

As you can see, I have an orange sun shade, so it has tinged the photos with orange. 

That is all from me today. I'm going to visit Annie at A Stitch In Time for some more smiles.

And of course there are some funnies for you at the end.

Have a lovely weekend,