Sunday, January 18, 2009

Confucius say...

Confucius say...hungry man who stand on top of mountain waiting for roast duck to fly in mouth...will be waiting for very long time... ;-)

This is the Confucius Temple in Qufu, Shandong. It was built in his honour. The temple was first built in 478 B.C. and is another World Heritage site.

Forbidden fruit

This is the Forbidden City. Officially it's now known as the Palace Museum. This is one more place that Pink Lady has visited several times. The Forbidden City is the biggest cluser of wooden buildings in the world. It is included in the World Heritage list.

We are the hollow men

This is of course the terra-cotta army in Xian. Pink Lady's friends visited it while Pink Lady was in China and ol' Pink did not "feel like going" that day. She's still not been...but she will...

On Golden Pond

This is West Lake in Zhejiang, to the West of Hangzhou. This is one of the most famous scenic areas in China.

Still falling...

This is the Jiuzhaigou scenic area in Sichuan. According to the back of the postcard, the area has: "emerald lakes, multi-layered waterfalls, lush forests and snowcapped mountains with Tibetan culture and customs." Sounds great....yet another place to add on Pink Lady's list of places to visit.

We all fall down

This is the Huangguoshu Waterfall in Guizhou, China. It is the biggest waterfall in China at 70 meters high and 81 meters wide during the flood season. Pink Lady has not (yet!) seen these falls.

The Great Wall 24

The Great Wall at Jiankou.

Great Wall 23

Shanhaiguan Pass.

Great Wall 22

It's completely incredible the way it climbs up over the mountains. I can't imagine how they actually built it.

Great Wall 21

The Great Wall at Badaling. What a beautiful sunset!

Great Wall 20

Great Wall at Jiankou.

Great Wall 19

The Great Wall at Gubeikou.

Great Wall 18

The Great Wall at Huangyaguan Pass.

Great Wall 17

The Great Wall at Mutianyu.

Great Wall 16

Great Wall at Jinshanling.

Great Wall 15

Another amazingly gorgeous card! This is the Great Wall at Mutianyu.

Great Wall 14

Great Wall at Badaling. You can see some of the tourist action near the bottom.

Great Wall 13

This might be even more beautiful than the previous one - I love the colours! This is the Great Wall at Jiankou.

Great Wall 12

This is one of my favourites. I just love that mist. This is the Great Wall at Jinshanling.

Great Wall 11

The Great Wall at Simatai.

Great Wall 10

Great Wall at Wangjinglou.

Great Wall 9

Great Wall 8

The Great Wall at Simatai.

Great Wall 7

Great Wall at Jingshanling, Hebei.

Great Wall 6

Great Wall 5

Jiayuguan Pass

Great Wall 4

Great Wall at Jinshanling.

Great Wall 3

The great wall at Badaling. This is one of the most popular sites to visit the wall from Beijing. Pink Lady's hubby has also seen the wall here.

Great Wall 2

The Great Wall at Jinshangling

The Great Wall

This postcard is the first of many from China. Pink Lady spent two years there. Many of these postcards are of places that Pink Lady has not (yet!) been to.

But first we will start with a huge number of postcards of the Great Wall - and yes, Pink Lady has been there several times. By the way, it is an urban myth that it is visible from outer's big, huge, but not that big.

China Girls

China Girl 3

You can just make out the name of the artist - Li Xi Yong. All of these paintings may be by the same artist, but I'm not sure...

China Girl 2

Pink Lady loves ballet.

China Girl

Pink Lady has bought this post card in China. It looks almost like a photo but is actually a painting.

Home on the range

This card was bought by Pink Lady herself in the UK. It is a Farm in Southerland.
Pink Lady lived in the UK for about a year and a half (around 1995). She lived in a village called Hilton near Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire.

The world is your oyster

This lovely old map of Europe is also from Pink Lady's parents. Pink Lady's family has a tradition of giving a lot of cards...

Still all tied up

This is also by Marjorie Bastin. It was part of the previous card I believe.

All tied up

This card is from Croatia. Pink Lady's cousin is living there and her parents visited there recently. Apparently the tie is a Croatian invention. The French word "cravatte" is from the same root as the word "Croatia". Pink Lady and Hubby are planning a trip to Croatia in the near future. Pink Lady is just starting to wake up to the fact that Eastern Europe has a lot of amazing architecture so she is becoming more and more interested in visiting there.

Une baguette, s'il vous plaît!

Where is this card from? And for what occasion? Pink Lady is not sure. Probably from Pink Lady's Mom again.
There's nothing more wonderful than a French bakery - you can't get croissants like that anywhere else. Pink Lady spent a year studying in Paris - and she verily misses it. Paris est incroyable!

Birds of a feather

This is also a house warming card. It was from Pink Lady's parents. No idea when...but it is cute. It is by Marjolein Bastin. I love her stuff - it's all über-cute!

Love builds a happy home

This card was given to Pink Lady and then-boyfriend (now Hubby) by friends from work. The aforementioned couple had a house warming party in their first home together in the center of Espoo (Finland).

As a side note: Pink Lady's Facebook profile picture was taken at this house warming party - probably by Manna.

The apartment in question was Pink Lady's apartment during most of 2006 and her then-boyfriend moved in to Pink Lady's pad in July of 2006. Pink Lady and by-then-fiancé moved in to their current apartment (also in Espoo) in November of 2007.

Kitty de Milo

This is an improvised card from Pink Lady's Mom. The picture is probably cut out from a magazine. This was a thank you card. Pink Lady had bought her Mom a gift certificate for a massage.
Pink Lady has seen the original Venus de Milo painting at the Uffici in Florence. However, it was not the best possible experience. Pink Lady was in Italy for a week with a good friend. The idea was to visit both Milan and Florence. We flew to Milan and spent some days shopping there.
Then we took the train to Florence and spent some days there. Florence is to die for - but there are way too many tourists - that fact alone makes it feel like Disneyworld. But back to the story. We were planning on visiting the Uffici on the day we would be flying back home - from Milan. When we saw the queues to the Uffici we nearly gave up right then and there...but decided to wait.
It took several hours to get in - so we only had something like a half hour to literally run through the Uffici gallery. But I did get a very good long look at the Venus de Milo - it was the one I was most interested in. Then I rushed to the train station and the train had been cancelled and I took the next one (my friend was on another flight I believe).
I made it back to Milan and to my flight by the skin of my teeth. But something good did come out of it....when I got to the check-in counter (and was sure I had missed the flight) I heard the two ladies behind the counter talking (in Italian) about first class....and sure enough: I had a coach ticket but there was only room in First. It's in fact the only time I've ever travelled in First. In this case, it was exactly like coach; the only difference was that the food was better and the service was more attentive. But a good experience anyway. Pink Lady will surely return to the Uffici to take a closer look. Pink Lady's travels and travails continue...and one day she plans to travel in First all the time...

Say Mouse!

This is a post card that Pink Lady has had for years. She probably bought it herself because it was so cute. This card has been on Pink Lady's bulleting board for years. This cat is Siamese. Pink Lady's parents used to have a Siamese cat called Chita de la Fayette (not sure about the spelling).

Dream the impossible dream

Pink Lady received this card from her Mom in 1979. She had taken a trip (to Iisalmi) and wrote about how it felt strange to be travelling alone.
This cat is a Himalayan - one of Pink Lady's fave cat breeds (yes, Pink Lady is indeed a cat person). A Himalayan is like a Persian cat but with the colouring of a Siamese. Soooo beautiful!
A cat a bit like this one (black-and-white and very flully - but not Himalayan) visited our home a couple of days ago. She literally followed Pink Lady's husband home. She was wearing a tag with the name and cell phone number of the owner. We called her and told her where her cat was - it's so much easier these days with cell phones....
Pink Lady's hubby really misses his old cats (he used to have 5!) and was asking if we could have a cat. Alas, Pink Lady is allergic. However, she has not given up hope. There are several alternatives:
  1. Perhaps medical science will develop enough so that there will be an injection that you can take to cure allergies.
  2. Perhaps Pink Lady's psychological state will improve so much that there will be no more need for disease (Pink Lady is a big believer in the mind-body connection). Pink Lady has recently all but given up dairy products. They apparently increase the production of mucus. Remains to be seen what the results of this experiment will be.
  3. Pink Lady and hubby's dream is to own an old farm house in Southern Europe (France, Italy or Spain - the debate continues). When this happens, it will at least be possible to have outdoor cats.

One way or the other, we will have cats again! :-)

Fancy a cuppa?

Pink Lady received this adorable card from a friend at school - in 1976.

What colour is your balloon?

This is the last of the graduation card series. This one is also from Pink Lady's parents. So this is probably for her university graduation (Pink Lady has a B.A. degree from Helsinki University in Finland). Pink Lady never did finish her M.A. degree...

It was a dream of Pink Lady's for a long time to go up in a hot air balloon - and a couple of years ago the dream came true. It was an amazing experience!! Dreams do come true - one at a time...

No more teachers, no more books...

This is also a card for Pink Lady's High School graduation. It is from Katrina, a friend of the family.
By the way, Pink Lady and Nicola (her best friend from High School) went to the park on graduation day - and ceremoniously burned all their loose leaf binder notes in the grill! They left a sign saying something along the lines: "We graduated today. Here lie our notes. RIP".
It was an amazing feeling to know that you never have to go to school again. Pink Lady excelled in academic subjects - and yet absolutely hated school with a passion. After school is finally over, we have much more choice in what to do with our lives. Pink Lady is now awaiting the next big liberation milestone of her life - the day when she and hubby will be financially independent and will know that they never have to go to work again (unless they want to). Pink Lady is currently reading the book "Rich Woman" (by Kim Kiyosaki) - highly recommended.

Travails and travels

And now for something, completely different...
A couple of old graduation greeting cards. This one is from Pink Lady's parents for her high-school graduation (from East York Collegiate Institute in Toronto, Ontaria, Canada). Inside the card it says "we know than in your future, there will be lots of books and lots of travel". That has certainly been true! Pink Lady has not yet done a full inventory of travels but in the Facebook application "Cities I've visited", Pink Lady has so far pinned 119 cities in 27 countries.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Tales from the Crypt

This is the Crypt of Glamis Castle. Aaaaaaaaaaa....what exactly is a crypt? I had to check. According to Wikipedia a crypt is "a stone chamber or vault beneath the floor of a church usually used as a chapel or burial vault possibly containing sarcophagi, coffins or relics." Actually that's what I thought - some kind of burial chamber. Well, this is a very nice that I wouldn't mind living in at all...

Madam, dinner is served!

This plush interior belongs to Glamis Castle - it is the dining room. Not bad...