Saturday, 18 February 2017

Google Doodle!

Have to say I don't often like Google's doodles. Half the time I don't know the people they're commemorating or the event and the other half I don't like the doodle. I suppose they're trying to cover people and events globally so if I took the time to look into them it would be very educational. Nowadays I'm trying to clutter my brain up with remembering only the essentials. Just wish you could defrag your brain like you can with a computer!

I haven't been posting much recently as I don't have a computer that's any use for blogging. I'm stuck with a tablet at the moment which is more difficult to use. Howeverfound a draft of a post about this doodle when I was checking the Blog. 

I saw this one before Christmas liked it but didn't finish my post about it. It's commemorating the 105th anniversary of Roald Amundsen's successful expedition to reach the South Pole. After that the base served as short respite for the crew of Captain Scott’s expedition to the South Pole – a journey that they would sadly all die on during their return. 

It's a very clever doodle with its igloo shape but for me it looks like a snow globe. Maybe they meant it to!

Why not take a look.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

I Need to Remember Summer!

Believe it or not this is a beach in Scotland!

Sometimes good things come from bad. On last summer's Scottish tour in May we were meant to visit the Cairngorm Mountains but our trip up on the mountain railway was cancelled. Our Aviemore driver suggested he take us to the Glenmore Visitor Centre as there was a forest for walks, a beach, reindeer centre & a decent cafe in case the weather changed.

I had never been to this lovely place and to be honest although I did enjoy my previous year's trip up the mountain railway even though we needed ski jackets, woolly hats & gloves at the top. This was a different & lovely experience being on a beach in Scotland surrounded by the Cairngorm Mountains.

The weather helped too as it was a very pleasant sunny day. Lovely!

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Never thought I'd like a frock with viscose!!

Have to say I have wondered for years why on earth so many clothes have been made in heavy cotton and linen which take an age to dry, are a nightmare to iron and crease so badly when you wear it. Cotton and linen are comfortable to wear in hot countries but can be such heavy fabrics when you go on holiday with the flight weight restrictions. 

My daughter doesn't understand why creases really naff me off but I'm pretty sure it's because I'm a child of the 'sixties when we wore clothes in fabrics that didn't crease much. Well I did!

I used to make a lot of my own clothes. Shift dresses were in fashion which were a doddle to make, took very little fabric (think mini) and the fabrics were so easy to care for. I always avoided what I called the "dreaded viscose", that was a horrible material which creased badly and I still avoid it today! The fabrics I often used were usually made of the wonder fabric "Crimplene"! If you don't know about Crimplene it was quite a thick polyester fabric made by ICI, easy to sew, was reasonably cheap, came in brilliant colours and textures, hardly ever creased, was comfortable as it stretched as you moved, never lost its shape, you could drip dry it and it was absolutely brilliant to take on holiday.

It went out of fashion as the lighter weight polyesters like Trevira came in and then gradually polyester cotton became fashionable and finally pure cotton took over.

Now that the price of cotton has rocketed polyester fabrics have certainly made a comeback. I noticed last year that it was very difficult to buy fine cotton or even polyester cotton blouses everything seemed to be produced with man made fabrics.

I used to love wearing dresses when I was young but as I put on more weight I've lived in skirts, trousers and tops. In a dress I looked like a sack of potatoes tied in the middle. However since I lost weight last year I thought I'd try to buy a couple of dresses as they are more fashionable now. Every single one that I've tried on recently has been produced with man made fibres, mostly polyester but some have been awful, thin and with fabric that creased badly. They've also been unlined and really expensive.

However I ordered one in an online sale which was polyester and the dreaded viscose but it also had elastane in it and the reviews were so good I thought I'd risk it.  

I love the fabric, gorgeous feel to it and not a crease in sight when I opened the tiny bag it had been posted in. It's so comfortable and so dressy. I know it will be brilliant to take on holiday as I'll be able to take it out of a case and put it straight on with no creases. It will wash, drip dry and not need ironing. Fabulous!!!!! Unfortunately no use for a hot climate but OK if there is air conditioning.

The only trouble is I keep wondering whether I look like a 'sixties throwback in it. Sadly that photo isn't me & I don't delude myself that I look anything like that in the frock.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

I Went to Mass in a Mosque!

I've been away for over 5 weeks visiting Singapore, Australia & New Zealand so am trying to catch up with blogging as I have had very little access to Wi fi.

In October I was in Andalucía taking a tour to Antequera, Seville, Córdoba and Granada. I hadn't visited any of these places apart from a brief trip to the Alhambra in Granada about twenty years ago so was looking forward to new sights. 

When you're working trying to keep an eye on passenger making sure they don't slip behind & get lost, it's hard to take enough notice of your surroundings. You also can't hear everything the guide says & take decent photos so it's yet another place I need to visit again.

Our trip to Córdoba was on a Sunday so it was quite busy and it was also very hot. We had a guided tour of the Jewish quarter of Córdoba which was very interesting. Quaint little streets & not so crowded as a lot of the old towns you visit.

There are no Jews left in Córdoba now which is sad but the old synagogue has been beautifully restored & it is a lovely little place.

Córdoba was founded by the Romans between 169 and 152BC and during the period of the Roman Empire, Cordoba was one its most important capitals. Seneca the famous Roman stoic philosopher, statesman, orator and poet was born here. 

The Roman Empire began to decline in the 4th Century and in 711 the Muslims arrived and the city became part of the province of the Domasco Caliphate.

Muhammad Al-Ghafiqi was a renowned Muslim eye surgeon in the 12th century would you believe. He performed cataract surgery all those years ago, successfully!!!!

On 29 June the keys of the city were handed over to Ferdinand 111, the Castillian king and so began the Christian era of Córdoba.

Even though it was late in the season the place was fairly crowded probably due to the unusually warm weather for early October and as I said it was a Sunday.

I loved the entrance to this restaurant.

This was a quieter cafe.

This is the Street of Flowers because it's normally full of gorgeous geraniums  but the flowers had all died off in the hanging baskets sadly.

This house in the little plaza the street led to still had some lovely bougainvillea in flower.

The Mosque of Cordoba known as the Mezquita, was begun in 785 and according to Islamic tradition it is made up of three parts: the Minaret or Tower, the Saha or Patio of Ablutions and the Praying Room.

It remained in use until 1236 when the city was reconquered and in 1239 it became the Cathedral of the city. Sadly some of the original part of the Mosque was destroyed but thankfully much of it remains and the Mezquita is unique in being a Mosque Cathedral. In fact it is the only mosque kept in Spain and is one of the biggest in the world. It is around 22,400 sq metres, 175 north to south and 128 metres east to west.

The following are photos of the courtyard or patio to the Mezquita which was surprisingly cool despite the strong sunshine and the heat outside in the streets. Those architects knew a thing or two about design!

In the photograph below in the courtyard you can see the channels running from the circles where the orange trees are planted. There would have been water running down these channels which would have been extracted from a well now missing. These would have been the places that the Muslims performed their purifications. 

The Belltower

The photographs below are of the roofed galleries surrounding the courtyard.

As it was Sunday the interior of the Mezquita was closed to tourist visitors for the Masses to take place inside in the cathedral. I went to Mass and afterwards you are not supposed to use cameras on the way out. However I saw quite a few people taking photos so I grabbed my phone and clicked as I walked so they are not brilliant.

As the mosque was closed to the public it wasn't lit and I didn't have time to get out the camera so the photographs are poor and are limited to the mosque not the cathedral. Apologies! Next time I visit I'll go when it's open to the public and you are allowed to take photos then.

These columns and arches were built in the 10th Century and are just the ones you pass on the way to the cathedral. There was so much I didn't get to see so I have to go back!

It's an amazing building just a pity I didn't manage to use my camera. I'll have to go back again (good excuse) to get better photos. Luckily there were no people around to block the view which will happen when it's open to the public.

I didn't get a decent photo of the cathedral part after Mass sadly, I should have been a bit bolder and just got the camera out. It was lovely but a great contrast to the Mosque being of late Gothic design.

Entrance to the Mezquita and cathedral from the courtyard

View from outside the Mezquita looking into the courtyard

Outside the Mosque the tourist photographers were out in force.

This photograph is blurred because I was in such a rush to take it in case the police didn't want you taking photos of them. They were well armed but not in such great numbers as I saw in Paris. I suppose this is one place that could be at great risk being a cathedral inside a mosque.

More views of the exterior of the Mosque. 

Next time I go back I'll make sure I visit when the Mezquita is open so I can get some better pictures.

It's a lovely little city and I only saw a small part of it so I bought myself a book with beautiful photos. I don't usually do that nowadays as I have quite a few that I never look at. However I have been reading up on the city so I'll know what to look at when I go back.

Sunday, 25 December 2016