Friday 30 September 2016

Postcards for the Weekend–Domesticated Animals

Ordinary domestic pets aren’t on my Postcrossing wishlist; but because of my interest in fairy tale and other illustrations, it happens that some less ordinary ones drop in…

160714 TW-1982363
From Taiwan (TW-1982363) (July, 2016)
Alice in Wonderland illustration by Sir John Tenniel
(from the Macmillan Alice series of postcards)

“If it had grown up,” she said to herself, “it would have made a dreadfully ugly child; but it makes rather a handsome pig, I think.”


160530 RU-4726470
From Russia (RU-4726470) (May, 2016)
Don Pigleone
”Great pigs are not born great. They grow great.”


160921 NL-3573631

From the Netherlands (NL-3573031) (September, 2016)
A fairy riding an Elephant Butterfly.


160517-160524 from John 177

From John in England (May, 2016)
”Little Dragon struggled to understand the human race.”
(Illustration by Jackie Morries)


160805-160811 from John 188

Also from John in England (August, 2016)
British Longhorns grazing at Attingham Park, Shropshire


Weekend Linky Party:

Sunday 25 September 2016

Sunbathing Pigeons




Usually on a fine day, there will be people sitting on these stairs leading down to the river… But on this occasion, a sunny Saturday morning in late September, the pigeons had the place to themselves!

Linking to Shadowshot Sunday & Weekend Reflections

Saturday 24 September 2016

Postcards for the Weekend – Autumn Colours

As I haven’t got my cards sorted according to seasons (or colour), I just randomly flickered through one of my postcard albums to see if anything caught my eye… 

RU-2004202 (2013)

Home of Leo Tolstoy
RU-2602689 (2014)

Both these cards are from the estate Yasnaya Polyana in Russia, about 200 km south of Moscow, where the Russian author Leo Tolstoy was born (in 1828). It was also here that he wrote his famous novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina. (Yes, I have read them both!) Tolstoy called the place his “literary stronghold”. His grave is also nearby (he died in 1910). The estate is now a museum – including his library of 22,000 volumes. (He can’t have read them all, can he??)

(The name Yasnaya Polyana means “Bright Glade”.)

Weekend Linky Party:

Thursday 22 September 2016

Booking Through Thursday – ‘Location’

btt button

In real estate, it’s all about location, location, location. But how about books? Does where a book is set affect your reading choices? Are you more or less likely to read books set in places you know or love?
Question from
Deb on September 22, 2016

I would say yes on both points. Where (and also when!) a book is set does affect my choice whether to read it; probably more often than I’m conscious of. 

For example, I usually do feel a lot more “at home” reading British books compared to American. (I’ve never been to the US, but travelled nearly all over Britain on family holidays back in my teens.) And, thinking about it, with Swedish books too I suspect I’m probably often drawn to the kind of settings (landscapes) that I feel I can easily visualize in my head. (On the other hand I sometimes feel that too detailed descriptions, depending too much on the exact location of real streets and buildings in big cities, can be rather tiresome, whether I’ve been there or not.)

But of course, sometimes it’s the other way round too, and I get interested in reading a book set in a foreign country precisely because I realize I know very little about it, and hope to learn more.

A memory pops up while I’m thinking about all this - from a holiday to Germany back in the 1980’s, while I was studying German at the university. It was my first trip to Germany at all, and it was in late August or even beginning of September, which means I missed the first week or so of the term (but I had asked permission). To somewhat make up for that absence, I had brought one of the study course novels with me: Goethe’s Die Leiden des jungen Werthers / The Sorrows of Young Werther. I remember it as a rather special experience to sit outdoors and read this particular book, and look up and find myself overlooking the very landscape where it was set - the valley of the river Lahn, which was where I happened to be staying. (Not the exact spot where Goethe sat, perhaps… But close enough!)

Sunday 18 September 2016

Some Anniversary

Bildresultat för some anniversary
(The very first image that came up when I typed “some anniversary” in the Google image search box”"!!!)

Too much of my time lately seems to be taken up by technology trouble. If not one thing, it’s another.

Have you been hit by the Windows 10 Anniversary Update yet? Until this morning, I had not even heard about it… However, when I started my computer today (intending to reply to a few blog comments before lunch) this happened:

Okay… I guess I’ll have my lunch while that goes on then…?

1 hour later: 32% done.

2 hours: Just a wheel of dots spinning on black screen...
(…on and on and on, and nothing else happening…)

3 hours: Still spinning. No idea what's going on.
Phoned my brother for moral support before taking the bold decision to turn the computer off and on again.
Looked promising at first; but soon back to what I later learned also goes by the ominous name of SWOD (spinning wheel of death)… I took my chances though and just left it spinning while I went out for a walk.

4½ hours (or so): Back home. Cup of tea. Wheel still spinning, no change. New decision: Turn off. Let computer rest and cool off for a while. Do the same myself… Read up on things in manual.

5½ hours: Deep breath, pressing the start button again. Missed hitting F8 at the right moment (as the manual advised) – darn… Okay, let’s see what happens… oh? Smart computer… It understood my intention anyway…


Another half hour or so, and bingo:


So it seems I’m now back to the version of Windows 10 that I had before the attempt at “anniversary” update. (If I’ve lost anything else in the process I’ve not discovered that yet.)

The question remains: What happens next time I have to turn the computer off  and on again? – as no doubt at some point I shall have to.

For tonight I’m contemplating the alternative to perhaps just try and put it to “sleep” rather than turn it off properly, though… We’ll see how that goes!

Bildresultat för zzz

Friday 16 September 2016

Flower Fairies from Around the World

160323 BE-434112 
A Flower Fairy of the Spring (1923)
Sent from Belgium, March 2016

The Rose Hip Fairy
(Flower Fairies of the Autumn, 1926)
Sent from Taiwan, April 2015

Flower Fairies of the Wayside
Agrimony Fairies
(Flower Fairies of the Wayside, 1948)

Sent from Canada, August 2015

Sent from Japan, September 2014

140409-1 UK John
~This one printed on wood!~
Sent from England, April 2014

Cicely Mary Barker (1895 – 1973) was an English illustrator best known for a series of fantasy illustrations depicting fairies and flowers. Her first book, Flower Fairies of the Spring, was published in 1923. Similar books were published in the following decades. And postcards of her illustrations are now very popular in Postcrossing – all over the world!

Linking to:
Postcards for the Weekend – Flowers

Penguin Reflections


For Weekend Reflections:
Another photo from my last visit to the zoo, a couple of weeks ago.

The penguins at the zoo (Borås, Sweden) are Humboldt penguins (Spheniscus humboldti), named after the cold water current along the west coast of South America where they come from. The current in turn is named after the Prussian explorer Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859). The penguin species is listed as vulnerable or threatened for a long list of reasons (including guano over-exploitation, over-fishing, climate changes and ocean acidification).

Saturday 10 September 2016

Postcards for the Weekend

Last week, John drew my attention to Postcards for the Weekend, a new linky hosted by Maria at Connections through the World. I thought I might join in too sometimes and show some of the cards I receive both through postcrossing and from friends.

This weekend the theme is bright colours.

160907 DE-5515423

This is an illustration by Swedish children’s books author and illustrator Sven Nordqvist. (The cat’s name is Findus!) I have sent cards by this artist across the world myself – so when this one dropped in through my door, I was surprised to turn it over and find that it had arrived to me from Germany! (DE-5515423)

160909 PH-103854

I also received a (photo) postcard this week with lots of colourful stamps from the Philippines. (PH-103854)

160908-160909 from John 192

And from John in England I got this intriguing vintage postcard of “Welsh women” in red cloaks enjoying a tea party. He suggests with regard to their uniform outfits that they may have been inhabitants of an almshouse.

The hats had (still have) me a bit confused as I associate those with the fashion of  an earlier period (when tea parties probably would not yet have been as common). But a bit of research also led me to this piece of info about red capes:

In the 18th century, it was custom for well-bred women to wear bright red capes, also known as scarlet capes. Scarlet capes became a hallmark of high fashion during the Victorian Era, and any woman with breeding and good societal standing was rarely seen in public without one. Scarlet capes signaled to the rest of society that the woman wearing it was neat, clean, and going about her usual business, like visiting neighbors or going to church. These capes were so important to women that many wore their capes as part of their wedding ensembles. Capes in those days also were made from a variety of materials. The most basic of capes were made from broadcloth. However, more elaborate and expensive styles were made from velvet or satin.

Weekend Linky Party:

Friday 9 September 2016

Elephant Reflections


Tests have shown elephants to exhibit mirror self-recognition.
I can’t claim that these photos confirm it, as the elephants weren’t so close to the water as to actually look down at their own reflections…

But my camera caught them! Winking smile 




Elephants are also among the species known to use tools.

I’m not sure what this one was trying to do with this tree, though… Just some trunk-to-trunk stretching exercises, perhaps…?


The elephant’s trunk, containing over 40,000 muscles, is undeniably a rather handy tool in itself - used for breathing, smelling, touching, grasping, and producing sound, all-in-one.



Sharing with Weekend Reflections 

Monday 5 September 2016

Sunny Day at the Zoo

Today was a wonderful sunny late summer / early autumn day. Wanting to spend the afternoon outdoors, I decided after lunch to make use one more time of the season pass to the zoo that I bought back in June. This was actually my 4th visit this summer – a personal record, I think! (I’m pretty sure I’ve never been to the zoo more than twice in one year before.)

Each time I’ve had my camera with me, of course – so by now I have lots of zoo pictures.

In this post, I’m choosing a selection from today to confirm that the animals too seemed to be really enjoying the sun:

Bongo antelope




Tiger (yes, they like to swim!)




Linking to:
Through My Lens



Saturday 3 September 2016

How Many Channels…

… and remote controls can one person handle? …

Fjärrkontroll, Val Av, Elektronik, Skrot
(free image from Pixabay)

That question pretty much sums up what’s been keeping me busy this past week. The building (or rather the whole estate) where I live is changing cable TV system. It’s been a couple of years since we got the fiber cable installed (for broadband); and one year has passed since I bought my own new “smart” TV. But until now, the TV has still been on another, older cable. They’ve been making the switch to fiber district by district; but now finally it’s our turn.

So last Thursday I went to collect the special TV box needed for the purpose (it belongs to the apartment rather than to me personally); and since then I’ve been pretty busy reading manuals and figuring things out again - connections and settings and options and remote control buttons etc... (Last year when I got the new TV + receiver and speakers etc, my brother set it all up for me. This time I had to figure it out for myself!)

… and then browsing the 130 channels I currently have on free trial for a month; to decide what I want to keep (and pay for)…

On the old cable I had around 16 channels – out of which I usually only watched half a dozen. Having browsed through what’s on offer now, I think I’ll probably end up with just about the same package as before. (Because  the only possibility to get the ones I most want is to get them in a package with some others that I could just as well do without!) And I’ll still have to pay quite a bit more than I used to. But, admittedly, with better visual quality + the possibility to watch online on my tablet or phone as well.

Your options will of course differ depending on where you live; but I’m curious to know: How many channels do you have? And how many of those do you normally actually watch/keep a check on?? (Considering the offers I have to choose from, I really can’t see how I could possibly ever find the time to make use of, for example, 60 different channels!)

As for remote controls, I’m now back to five... (I was down to four for a while!) So I also wonder: How much time do you think the average person usually wastes every week on pressing the wrong buttons (either on the right or on the wrong control) and then having to figure out why it didn’t give the desired result? (Sorry – I don’t have a right answer!)

… Ah well. At least now you know why I haven’t found much time for blogging this week …

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...