Monday, December 11, 2017

Snow

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Woke up to the sound of the snow plough this morning…

Went out for a little walk later on - to post some more Christmas cards for abroad, and to take some photos while the snow was still fresh and clinging to the trees. (Yes, well equipped with anti-slipping devices on my boots, and two walking poles to hold on to… The latter making it not all easy to also handle a camera! But I stopped here and there for photos.)

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Through My Lens

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Weekend Reflections

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From a walk along the river yesterday. A calm and sunny day in between storm and rain - and snow.

This morning, I was surprised to find a white world outside my windows again. Probably enough to make a snowman, had I felt so inclined!

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This guy, however, is inside a display window in town. He keeps lifting his hat to passers-by – but alas my camera failed to quite catch that.


Weekend Reflections


Thursday, December 7, 2017

An Indoors Thursday in December

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Stormy and rainy outside today… I’ve been mostly ignoring the weather, though - staying in, and making gingerbread biscuits/cookies…

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Back in my working years (in a previous life century) I often used to take a day off this time of year to bake for Christmas. Then followed a lot of years when, because of my neck/arm pains, I had to avoid all recipes involving manual kneading and tucking of dough, and lifting of heavy baking-plates.  I think it wasn’t until last year that I had a go at making my own gingerbread biscuits again. But then I managed to successfully adjust my recipe for a smaller batch; and so I decided to try it again this year. Feeling quite pleased with myself at the end of the day. There’s really nothing like the smell of freshly baked bread/cake/biscuits to cheer up a rainy winter day! ; )

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Through My Lens

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Postcards for the Weekend: Special Deliveries

Maria’s generous theme for this week is “Anything You Wish”, which suits me to a tee, as some cards landing on my doormat this week were reminders of holiday traditions in other countries – from American Thanksgiving, to Dutch “Sinterklaas”.

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A llama came trotting from Ginny in the U.S. with a ‘special delivery’ and note of thanks.

And from Jarina in the NL came a couple of cards to do with the Dutch tradition of celebrating the arrival of St Nicholas already in mid November (See Wikipedia article: Sinterklaas), leading up to gift-giving celebrations on 5th/6th December (St Nicholas Eve/Day) rather than on Christmas Eve (the 24th, as in Sweden) or Christmas Day (as in Britain or the U.S.).

Well –  I always did have a sneaking suspicion that it must be stressful for Santa/Tomten to make it all happen in just one night, all over the earth... So quite relieved, really (for his sake) to learn that evidently, he’s always been sensible enough to spread the traditions out a bit.

From what I now understand, he comes by steam boat from Spain to the Netherlands. Then he goes around that neighbourhood of Europe on horseback. I’m not sure how he then prefers to travel up to the North Pole to collect his flying reindeer… (Here in southern Sweden, he often comes on foot!) But I guess if he’s managed before, he’ll probably pull it off it this year as well.

Any information you may have on the topic may be given in comments below!

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In the Netherlands, they leave hay for Santa’s horse in a shoe by the fireplace.

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And here Sinterklaas is checking the famous Book, to see all you said and did over the past year. (Possibly, he now just uses Facebook instead. What do you think?)

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I also received the first Christmas card, from a penpal in England who is always early with hers. With all those other red traditional uniforms in London, I guess Santa would blend in rather discreetly if he needed to do some extra shopping on his way up north…


Now for the next couple of weeks I’ll be pretty busy writing my own cards to get them sent off in time… Hm!


Weekend Linky Party:

Postcards for the Weekend 63: Anything You Wish

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Book Review: Journey to Munich

(Maisie Dobbs #12)

Journey to Munich by Jacqueline Winspear (2016)
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A Journey to Munich (2016) is the 12th novel in Jacqueline Winspear’s series about private investigator Maisie Dobbs. The story in this novel is set in 1938, just before WWII. My review(s) of some of the previous book(s) in Jacqueline Winspear’s series about private investigator Maisie Dobbs can be found here. My opinion about the series has varied a bit from one book to another. Along the way, I have sometimes felt that the background story took over too much, and went off in directions that caused problems for the author as well for the reader. However, with this book, I felt that both Maise and the author seemed to be kind of “back on track” again. While we are still getting filled in on background details in Maisie’s life, the focus in this book is on her current mission, involving a journey to Nazi Germany as an agent for the British Secret Service, under assumed identity as the daughter of a British subject held prisoner in the concentration camp at Dachau near Munich. The German government has agreed to release the prisoner, but only if he is handed over to a family member. His real daughter is dead, though. But the Germans don’t know that… So the question is, can Maisie do a good enough job of pretending to be her? I found the story interesting and well told. For me perhaps also a bit extra interesting as I once visted the memorial site and museum at Dachau myself (on a tourist journey back in 1990).
(I read the book on Kindle in September 2017.)

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