Friday, February 17, 2017

Postcards for the Weekend - Gratitude

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A yet unsent Swedish card of thanks:
“Thanks – from the bottom of my heart”

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Postcrossing card from Russia, Sakha (Yakutia) Republic
(December 2016)

Text printed on the back:
Diamonds are, quite literally, the main treasure of Yakutia. The republic’s export accounts for almost a quarter of all the diamonds produced in the world. Yakut diamonds are considered to be some of the best out there, valued for their outstanding quality and purity.

The woman is wearing the national costume of the Sakha people.

I thought of this card for the Gratitude theme because she looks like she’s holding those precious diamonds like a gift… And of course it also made me happy to receive such a beautiful card!

 

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Yesterday I was having a look in a box of old postcards (sent to me in the past), and found this – which I have to confess I did not remember at all.  It’s a card of thanks from the Royal Court to graciously acknowledge that the card I sent to His Majesty King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden for his 90th birthday (in 1972) had been received by him. He did not sign the card of thanks personally, though… But I guess on one’s 90th birthday a king may be excused for just having a secretary type the address!Winking smile

Gustaf VI Adolf (11 November 1882 – 15 September 1973) was King of Sweden from 29 October 1950 until his death (which occurred less than a year after his 90th birthday). He was succeeded on the throne by his grandson, Carl XVI Gustaf (born 30 April 1946), who is still our king.

I have absolutely no idea what may have been on the card that I sent 45 years ago. I wonder if it’s still kept in the Royal Archives somewhere…

 

Weekend Linky Party:

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Swans

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I spy with my little eye…
Some whooper swans swimming in among the reeds in the river.
From Wikipedia I learn that whooper swans pair for life, and that their cygnets stay with them all winter. So I assume the grey one here is the offspring of the two white ones, from last year.

“Spring in the air” here today – even if spring in mid February is never to be trusted…

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Photos taken with my phone.

Outdoor Wednesday

Monday, February 13, 2017

Here Comes The Sun

We’ve been having a rather “dull” winter here this year. Of course there have been subtle varieties: Sometimes frosty and icy grey; sometimes grey wet and windy; and sometimes just plain grey… But not really tempting my camera.

Today, finally, the sky looked a bit more cheerful!

So I went for a walk into town; and took these photos with my phone on the way back.

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Thin, thin ice on parts of the river after a week or two of temperatures below freezing point.

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More new buildings rising close to the river near the city center. It’s been a few weeks since I last walked that way, so a few more floors had been added to the ones under construction (those in the middle, furthest away from the camera).

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I turned my back to the apartment blocks and looked down at the reflection of the sun in the water instead… And a little bit of white snowy ice just along the shore near the jetty.

And some ducks came flying in and landed with a big splash in the water, singing…  

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun,
And I say it's all right

Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it's all right

Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it's all right

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun,…

Listen: YouTube (George Harrison – Here Comes the Sun)

Linking to Mersad’s

Through My Lens

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Woman on the Orient Express (Book Review)

The Woman on the Orient Express Audiobook

The Woman on the Orient Express

  • Written by: Lindsay Jayne Ashford
  • Narrated by: Justine Eyre
  • Length: 9 hrs and 42 mins
  • Audible + Kindle

 

This novel is a mix of fact and fiction, with the famous mystery writer Agatha Christie as the main character. The author Lyndsay Jayne Ashford has found inspiration for the story in Christie’s autobiography as well as in some of her novels – like The Murder on the Orient Express, and Murder in Mesopotamia.

I have not read Agatha Christie’s autobiography, and have to admit I felt a bit itchy along the way in this novel, wondering what was pure fiction vs (closer to) the truth in this story. But I also noticed that along the way, this grew less important to me, while the story itself took over and kept my interest up. I did recognize the general atmosphere of the train journey and the archaeological site from Christie’s books (which I read many years ago). 

In short: Wanting a fresh start after a broken marriage, Agatha Christie boards the Orient Express in disguise and under an assumed name. On the journey she meets two other women, Katharine and Nancy, who both turn out to have their own secrets to hide. On the train, and and at the archaeological site at Ur where their journey takes them, the three women gradually get to know each other and share secrets and experiences that make them rely and depend on each other’s help and discretion.

In an afterword, the author says that Agatha did travel on the Orient Express in 1928. She also did visit a dig at Ur; and her divorce from her husband Archie came through shortly after that. Katharine is based on a real character she met at the dig (and Agatha in turn based a character in one of her books on her). Nancy on the other hand is only very loosely based on Agatha’s husband’s lover (by name and looks, but not when it comes to events).

The author, Lindsay Jayne Ashford, is a former BBC journalist and the first woman to graduate from Queens’ College Cambridge with a master’s degree in criminology. She has written other crime novels before (none of which I’ve read).

I’m feeling a bit tempted to read Agatha’s own autobiography now… But just putting it on my “wishlist” for now, as I already have so many other books waiting.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Love … (Postcards for the Weekend)

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BY-2025760 – Postcrossing card from Belarus (December 2016)
”March” by Irina Zeniuk

170205-170209 from Jarina_0010

From Jarina in the Netherlands (February 2017)
”Wat een vrijheid!” – What a freedom!
Oil on canvas by Ilya Repin (1903)
Ilya Repin (1844-1930): Russian realist painter
, who played a major role in bringing Russian art into the mainstream of European culture.

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone who’ll be celebrating

Weekend Linky Party:

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