Tuesday 27 February 2024

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 27 February 2024 - T for Siesta, a courtyard and mint tea

 Hello lovely ladies,

Gosh is it Tuesday already? Well I'd better get ready for the T-Party hosted by Bluebeard and Elisabeth. But first let me show you a postcard I received last week:

It's a painting by Vincent van Gogh I think, although it's not stated on the back of the card. Actually on the back of the card it says: 'Lost in the starry night'. Looking at the shadows, it looks more like a hot summer's  afternoon.
So of course, when in doubt..... look in Wikipedia, and this is what I found:

The Siesta (in French, La méridienne or La sieste) is an oil on canvas painting by Vincent van Gogh painted between December 1889 and January 1890 while he was interned in a mental asylum in the French town of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. It is part of the permanent collection of the Musée d'Orsay, in Paris.

Van Gogh chooses as his theme the siesta, while referring directly to the painting by the same name by French painter Jean Millet

Even despite the peaceful nature of the subject, the paintings radiates Van Gogh's renowned artistic intensity. Also known in French as La méridienne, Van Gogh's The Siesta has been considered one of his masterpieces.

The card comes to me from China and he (or she) has used some very pretty stamps:

You can see from the cancellation stamp that the card was posted on the 4th of December. So it has taken a long time to get to Spain. 

They are beautiful flowers. I managed to translate the Chinese (Thank you Mr Google Translate) and the left stamp flower is simply called 'Double White', and the middle one is 'Hibiscus', but the right hand stamp is called only by its Chinese name: Jin Quihong. When I Googled that name, I found out it's the name of the Seoul National University. Well, not what I was looking for. Never mind, it's a petty flower.

From the Spanish front there isn't much to report. My friend Tam is working very hard to make the patio of the cave next door a pretty place. All the rubbish has gone in a skip:

Here it is being delivered. And then Tam has plastered the walls white and has made a housing for the washing machine and tiled that. That little courtyard is really starting to look nice:
On Sunday after church I was meeting some people who didn't know the area in Gor, 40 km away so I suggested we meet at the restaurant. I thought this would be an ideal opportunity to take some 'drink' photos for the T-Party. This is the restaurant:
And then in the end I totally forgot to take pictures. 
So I will take a picture of my cup of tea that I'm drinking now:
Lovely spearmint infusion bags with sweet blackberry leaves, sweetleaf, honey granules and flavouring.
And this was my dinner:
Butterbeans and pasta and spinach. Very nice.

That is it from me. I'm going to be busy with my guests but I will do my best to find some time to visit you all.
Happy T-Day,
Take care,

Friday 23 February 2024

A Postcard A Day - Friday 23 February 2024 - Friday Smiles

 Hello lovely ladies, 

Have you had a good week? Have you had many smiles? I've had a quiet but lovely week. It's been sunny and warm and I've had to take it easy because of my back, so I've had a really nice week, relaxing in the sun with a drink and a good book. Smileworthy.

But first let me show you a postcard:

It's a painting by Edward Hopper who was born in Nyack, NY in 1882. He died in New York city in 1967. The painting is called "People In The Sun" (1960). It currently lives in the Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC.

Self portrait:

The info on the back of the postcard reads:
"Fully clothed, silent and motionless, sun-worshippers sit in precisely staggered chairs, each person isolated from the next. The stillness of the scene, with its contrasting light and shadow, is cold and uninviting. Hopper's obsession with sunlight is the major theme in this work, as it was in all his later paintings, and he uses it to create jagged outlines and an oppressive atmosphere. Always pursuing the oddness of the mundane, Hopper's style was unaffected by contemporary European art movements or by American abstraction. His figures are anonymous and withdrawn, as if Hopper wanted to stress their sepateness from each other, rather than what has brought them together. One of North America's most popular artists, Hopper's work reveals the loneliness, the ugliness, the banality and also the unexpected beauty of the everyday world."

I quite like this painting, although I had not heard of this painter. Here are a few more of his works:

The stamps are pretty:
The large one is quite interesting:

In the summer of 2022, Deutsche Post called on young people between the ages of 14 and 18 to design a stamp on the theme of “Democracy”.

16-year-old Leonie Hansen's self-designed stamp shows a happily laughing globe in rainbow colors and a dove of peace
Winner of the stamp design competition for young people with the call “Set an example for democracy!”
900 young people took part in the competition and 21,000 people cast their votes in Deutsche Post's public online voting
Postal boss Tobias Meyer presents the first printed stamp and symbolic check to Leonie.

Now, what have I been up to? Because I have a bit of a back problem (muscular) I decided to not go to yoga, gym or Pilates this week, so I had a bit of a 'holiday'. The weather has been warm and sunny, so I have been enjoying the sun. I have also done a lot of reading. I have read three books in about ten days.

I read The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley.
The Paris Apartment is a thriller about a journalist who mysteriously disappeared while living in an odd apartment building in Paris. Jess, fleeing her life in England, makes her way to Paris to crash with her charming brother, Ben. Upon her arrival in Paris, Jess receives a mysterious voice message from Ben.

I enjoyed this mystery as it built up slowly and I kept guessing different scenarios and culprits. The end was quite unexpected.

I also read The Silent Girl by  Tess Gerritsen:
This one was another really good Tess Gerritsen thriller. (I've almost read them all) I like this author because she is a surgeon and she writes medically correct stuff. Also the author is Asian-American, so it was rather special that this story was set in Chinatown where Tess uses stories and legends that her grandparents used to tell her as a child.
The 'blurb' reads as follows:
“In Gerritsen’s gripping ninth Rizzoli & Isles novel (after Ice Cold), a severed hand found on a Chinatown street leads Det. Jane Rizzoli, Boston PD, to a rooftop, where she discovers a female body with a slit throat and without a hand. About the only clues to the Jane Doe’s identity are silvery hairs on the victim’s clothes that may not be human. Rizzoli and her team uncover a link to a 19-year-old murder/suicide case, in which an illegal immigrant cook, Wu Weimin, allegedly shot a waiter, three customers, and himself inside the Red Phoenix restaurant late one night. Some people in Chinatown still believe Wu was innocent. Meanwhile, in a strange coincidence, two missing girls turnout to be related to victims of the Red Phoenix massacre. Medical examiner Maura Isles plays a supporting role, though both women deal with personal and family issues that reveal their humanity and lend credibility to this deft thriller.”

The third book is Taken for Dead by Graham Masterton
This is the forth book in the series about Irish detective Katie Maguire. It's as gruesome as the previous ones, a very good thriller. Amazon writes:
In a secluded cove just outside the reaches of the city of Cork, a woman wakes up into a nightmare. She is buried in the sand, unable to escape. The gulls wheel silently overhead. Nobody could imagine the cruelty of her fate...

Katie Maguire of the Cork Garda is soon on the trail of a terrifying gang of torturers calling themselves the High Kings of Erin. She'll do anything to stop them before they can claim their next victim – but somehow they are always one step ahead.

Is Detective Katie Maguire losing her touch? Or is somebody close to her less trustworthy than they seem?

On Tuesday my friend Kim and I had our nails done and her husband Andy joined us for lunch/dinner. I had cooked a Thai green curry with king prawns:
And the dish was a success.
That's it from me today. Of course I will find a few funnies for you to have a smile about. I'm now off to Annie at A Stitch In Time.

Have a great weekend,
Keep smiling,


Tuesday 20 February 2024

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 20 February 2024 - T for doors, coffee and work being done.

 Hello lovely girls, Hoe are you all?

I have an unusual postcard for you today. Unusual in the sense that it was not a card sent to me, but to my friend Keren by her brother when he was in New York, and I'm sharing it with you today:

The info on the back of the card is this:
I realise it's not easy to read: 

Chelsea Hotel, 222 West 23rd Street, Chelsea.The Hotel Chelsea - also called the Chelsea Hotel - is a twelve storey 250-room hotel that opened in 1884. It was the tallest building in New York until 1902 and has been the home of numerous writers, musicians, artists and actors including Mark Twain, Dylan Thomas, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, William Burroughs, Arthur Clarke, who wrote ´2001: A Space Odyssey' there. Jasper Johns, Arthur Miller, Gore Vidal, Sid Vicious, Tennessee Williams, Willem de Kooning, Jack Kerouac, who wrote 'On The Road' there. Dennis Hopper, Madonna, Tom Waits, Edie Sedgwick, Edith Piaf, Iggy Pop, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, and Leonard Cohen who penned Chelsea Hotel2, about fellow Chelsea Hotel resident Janis Joplin: "I remember you well, in the Chelsea Hotel, You were famous, your heart was a legend. You told me again, you preferred handsome men but for me you would make an exception".

It's the famous Chelsea Hotel. Numerous famous authors, painters and musicians lived there. There are many stories told about this hotel and it's residents but my favourite story is the doors....
The old doors were auctioned recently

When the hotel was refurbished, some of the doors were rescued by Jim Georgiou, a former resident who lived for a decade in room 225 - Bob Dylan's room. 

Hit on hard times, Georgiou found himself homeless in 2007. So enamoured by the Chelsea, after his eviction, he slept in the hotel lobby for a month, and eventually began sleeping outside of it. In 2012, when the new owners began to renovate, Georgiou saw workmen carrying out the doors and leaving them on the curbside for the garbage truck.... He managed to rescue 52 doors eventually and  stored them in a nearby storage facility owned by a friend. 

They were sold at auction and raised 400,000 $! Someone paid 100,000 $ for Bob Dylan's door alone! Though Georgiou was homeless, he wanted  half of his earnings to go to City Harvest, a food rescue and distribution non-profit organisation in New York.

What a story! The stamp was the Christmas season poinsettia:

Other than this postcard, I haven't got much to share with you. I have a workman working to get the cavehouse finished:
He lives a few houses down from me and him and his wife are friends of mine. He started at the beginning of this month. At the moment he is tackling the patio, which is a mess. He's making a housing for the washing machine and the gas boiler.

I have been out for a drink with friends on Saturday evening, but can't find the photos. I do want to join the lovely ladies of the T-Party hosted by Elizabeth and Bluebeard. For that I need a drink, so here is a coffee:

To finish off I would like to show you the photo that Maaike, my Dutch friend, sent me recently:

She took this photo of Graham and me about 3 years ago when I took them to a local beauty spot to watch the sunset. Sweet memories....

That is all from me this week. 

Happy T-Day all!

Take care and keep smiling.


Friday 16 February 2024

A Postcard a Day - Friday 16 February 2024 - Friday Smiles

 Hello lovely peeps,

It's Friday again! And what a week it's been! Very busy for me, and for you?

Let me show you a postcard:

It's not a postcard I received, but one that I sent recently. The recipient wrote in their profile that they like pictures of hearts, so I found this one which is one of those postcards that used to be a calendar. Every month has a different postcard and after the year has passed I tore off the calendar bit and was left with 12 postcards. The text is a Bible verse, but the card went to Taiwan, where they wouldn't understand it and wouldn't be offended.
I'm just remembering that it was St Valentine's Day earlier this week, so it is appropriate in a way.

OK, what have I been up to then? What made me smile this week? 
On Sunday I joined a group of friends from the photo club in a place called Olula del Rio, half an hour's drive from where I live. There was a museum/art gallery with an awesome photo exhibition.
(I'm wearing the light blue jacket) More about this visit in my Tuesday blog. And on this website

On Monday I went to have my hair done together with my friend Kim. Her husband came to pick us up and then we went out for lunch as it wasn't worth driving back home as he had a hospital appointment at 4 pm.

It was not our first choice in restaurants but most are closed on a Monday. 

Then we went for this hospital visit (Many doctors don't speak English). 

In the evening I went to a local bar to celebrate another friend's birthday. There were 5 of us and the birthday boy had brought some sweet treats:
Very sweet baclava with honey. Very nice indeed.

Tuesday I went to the gym (very gently in the old people's group), then for a massage at 13:00. For lunch I made myself a few pancakes:
The first one is always a bit misshapen, but they were very nice. I cook them in butter and eat them with real maple syrup! What a treat!

In the afternoon I went on a  walk with my friend Antonia, but didn't take any pictures.
And in the early evening I drove into town to the funeral parlour to pay my respects, and give my condolences to a friend from church who has just lost his mother.

We've had some bad weather here. A few days of rain (It's not enough though). But on Wednesday it was dry and the council are tidying up the village:
Zebra crossings are being painted,
trees trimmed and party lights removed.
There is snow on the mountains:
That is it from me today. I'll go and link up with Annie at A Stitch In Time and as per usual, I will give you a few extra smiles at the end. 

In the meantime wishing you a lovely weekend and,

Keep Smiling!