Friday photo challenge (Week 46) Storm

This week’s photo challenge is ‘storm’. Many times I have tried and failed to get a decent storm photo. This one (above) was taken on Southwold Common in Suffolk last summer during an amazing thunderstorm. It was after 10 o’clock at night, and between the lightning flashes it was pitch black apart from the neon lights on the circus big top in the distance. It was so cloudy though that the whole sky lit up rather than seeing the forks of lightning I was hoping for.

Living where we do, in Gibraltar, we often witness some great storms – especially across the Bay of Gibraltar. One day I watched this belting rain cloud roll in from the Strait of Gibraltar. It turned an otherwise bright day to instant nighttime.

And at last, after many years of trying to catch a ‘proper’ lightning shot, I got one. This was looking straight ahead outside our front door one stormy evening.

Next week’s Friday photo challenge is ‘climb’.

Sunday Sevens #162 11.11.18

Hello there, I hope you’ve had a good week. It’s been a busy one as usual – it rarely isn’t to be honest! But all is well I’m pleased to report.

Sunday Sevens is a bit depleted this week, I don’t know why, but I haven’t taken many snaps this week! Anyway here’s a slimmed down version…

Dressmaking class

Well it was a week of cutting this week…56 pieces to be exact. I’m starting my jacket for real, all my outer bits, pink lining and interfacing is cut ready to be sewn together… I’m looking forward to this! No zips!!

Moody skies

On Wednesday evening the grey clouds parted and these beautiful shafts of sunlight lit up the other side of the Bay. So pretty.

Watercolour class

There was no painting for me this week just sketching. I’m starting work on a new project, a painting of the ceiling in Gibraltar’s Sacred Heart Church. It’s going to be challenging but nothing ventured…

A wartime love story

I don’t know if you saw my post on Friday about Remembrance, but it featured a few pictures from the Gibraltar National Archives’ World War I Exhibition. One of the stories featured was of a Gibraltarian soldier who ended up marrying his nurse after the war after being injured in battle. It was so lovely to see a happy ending to a wartime story.

November sunshine

We’ve had a few days of glorious sunshine lately. This was the view of Ocean Village yesterday. It makes you forget we’re into November!

That’s all for this week. Once again, I’m linking with Natalie from Threads and Bobbins for this weekly blog series.

Thanks for stopping by, have a great week.

Friday photo challenge (week 45) Remembrance

As we prepare for Remembrance Sunday this weekend, Remembrance is a fitting theme for this week’s Friday photo challenge.

This year, our attention is drawn to World War One, as it’s 100 years ago this year that it came to an end on Armistice Day. To mark this, there’s a special exhibition on in Gibraltar at the moment to remember the Rock’s involvement in the conflict.

Since arriving in Gibraltar almost a decade ago, I’ve become aware of the role of the Rock in the Battle of Trafalgar, and of course, in the Second World War, but naively didn’t realise it’s involvement in WW1.

It was strategically important for fueling ships, treating injured servicemen and transporting supplies.

Hundreds of injured troops were transported from Gallipoli in Turkey to Gibraltar, to be treated in the military hospital.

Among the exhibition is the story of local Gibraltarian soldier Manuel Peralta, who fought, was injured and then fell in love with his nurse. They later went on to marry.

Royal Gibraltar Artillery 1914

This wonderful exhibition by the Gibraltar National Archives gives a much deeper understanding of the effect of WW1 on Gibraltar as well as its role in supporting the wider war effort across Europe.

Out and about, Gibraltar has its own war memorials, this one (above) was built following WW1, but now serves as a memorial for the fallen in both World Wars.

The American Steps memorial (above) was built by the United States to remember its servicemen who were lost when the US Navy ship USS Chauncey was hit in the Strait of Gibraltar.

Next week’s challenge is Storm.

A postcard from Lagos

We’ve just had the midterm holidays and last week, we packed up the car and headed off to Portugal, Lagos to be precise. We’ve been to this part of the world a couple of times before but stayed closer to Portimão, this time we fancied a change of scenery and headed further west to Lagos.

We stayed in a lovely apartment on the western edge of Lagos. Sadly it was too nippy to make use of the outdoor pool (well for the softy grown-ups at least!). Can you see the Atlantic Ocean in the distance? It was a lovely spot.

Lagos has a rather pretty old town which is surrounded by city walls.

The archetypal Portuguese tiles are in abundance here.

Even the pavements are artistic…

And there are some gorgeous front doors too…

At the start of our visit to the city there was a craft fair going on in town. Housed in an old building which used to be a munitions store, it was the home for stalls selling needlework, jewelry, fused glass and cork items.

I was in my element and bought a few bits and bobs which will come in handy for Christmas presents.

Among the stalls was a marvelous collection of yarns and woven items.

The lady who runs this stall hand dyes all her yarns and weaves them into beautiful scarves and bags. She also sold balls of yarn…

She dyes the yarn using seeds, vegetables, bark (for the deep purple) and insects for the pink and red tones. I bought this gorgeous yarn which was coloured using tree roots.

If you would like to see more of her work, you can check out her Facebook page.

Another craft emporium had this fabulous window display;

It was run by a German couple who between them wrote books and poetry and whittled beautiful wooden jewelry. They had been living in Lagos for 20+ years and raised their children here. I bought some earrings made by the wife and a book of folk lore stories written and illustrated by the husband.

Zoo Lagos

One morning we took a drive out to Lagos Zoo. I’m uncomfortable with the whole ‘zoo’ thing but at this one, the animals seemed well cared for.

It was a perfect small zoo for young children. In some areas there were no fences at all, and some of the creatures just wandered around at will.

These pelicans caused quite a stir as they just ambled along the path amongst the visitors. We even got to see them being fed a little while later…

There were plenty of primates, many of whom lived on this primate island. The noise of the calls and booming cries could be heard a good distance away in the car park!

This bird had a really funky hairdo…

I’m told that this Pygmy hippo bore a more than passing resemblance to me…

I loved the flying foxes, they were fascinating to see up close.

My absolute favorites had to be the rainbow coloured parrots (macaws to be precise) and this angora nanny goat!

Lagos fort

At the western edge of Lagos seafront/riverfront stands an old fort-like building. Rectangular in shape, with lookout towers at each corner and with a drawbridge on the land side, it caught my eye the first time I saw it.

On our first trip into Lagos, we had tried to get in, but it was closed for lunch sadly. I made it my mission to be back in town one day while it was open to have a mosey inside.

Over the drawbridge and through the old wooden doors we went to buy our entrance tickets.

The Forte da Ponta da Bandeira is a restored 17th Century maritime fortress. On the ground floor are a series of small rooms which were being used as galleries displaying a photographic exhibition.

There was also a very small chapel, dedicated to Santa Barbara. It may be small, but there was such a calming, yet powerful atmosphere in there, and as you can see it was totally covered with traditional Portuguese tiles.

Up the ramp, to the upper floor…

… and the many wind sculptures…

They were so striking.

In each corner of the fort, as I mentioned, there is a little lookout turret, and we were able to go into three of them.

The narrow slit windows perfectly framed the views they looked out on…

…. both inland….

….and out to sea.

It was such a lovely spot.

Back downstairs, we found another small gallery featuring more work from the artist who had created the sculptures on the roof…

José Maria Silva Pereira is the artist who created these installations and the sculptures on the roof are called Caminhos do Vento (which I think translates of Paths of Wind). They were specially designed to be moved by the north wind which is common in Lagos during the summer months.

And that, is just about it for this postcard from the Algarve. We had a lovely few days, and mainly good weather, if you’re ever in this neck of the woods I’d definitely recommend a visit.

Sunday Sevens #161 4.11.18

Well it’s been a lovely half term week, we escaped to Portugal for a few days, and it was fab. Here’s this week’s Portuguese Sunday Sevens (well actually it’s Sunday Eights this week):

Hello Lagos

We woke up on Sunday morning to bright blue skies in Lagos, in the eastern Algarve. It’s a lovely seaside town which we visited for the day on our Portuguese holiday in summer 2017 and fancied seeing a bit more. There are a few pictures here in Sunday Sevens but a longer post will be coming your way soon…

And relax…

We did a few things while we were away, but it was overwhelmingly a holiday for doing nothing and it was delightful. I felt so relaxed and recharged, just what the doctor ordered!

Lagos Zoo

We took the Little Postcards to Lagos Zoo and were very surprised to see this pair of pelicans waddling towards us down the footpath! Where possible, there were no railings or fences, and it was great to see the animals up close.

Bad weather

While Gibraltar was being drenched with very heavy rainstorms midweek, we had bad weather too, but thankfully not quite as much rain as Gib.

Homeward bound

Our lovely time away came to an end and we hit the highway to head home. It’s always lovely to see the Rock come into view, so we know we’re nearly there.

Med steps and blue skies

It was gloriously beautiful day yesterday, I simply had to make the most of it and head up the Med Steps. It was like spring, and there were even narcissi out in bloom..

Instead of heading straight home as I usually do, I took a detour towards the Skywalk as it was such a beautiful day. I happened across a levitating ape!

That’s it for this week’s Sunday Sevens, back to normal from tomorrow as school restarts and we get back into a routine again. As always I’m linking with Natalie from Threads and Bobbins for this weekly blog series.

Friday Photo Challenge (Week 44) Tunnel

Holy Land Tunnel, Gibraltar

Hmm tunnels, you would think the person who came up with this challenge lives in a place with tunnels! Well if you believe Wikipedia, Gibraltar has 34 miles (55 km) of tunnels, which is quite remarkable considering how small the Rock is (2.6 square miles/ 6.7 square km).

Keightley Way Tunnel, Gibraltar

We have tunnels you can visit as a tourist (top) and ones you back walk or drive through to get about (Keightley Way).

Dudley Ward Tunnel, Gibraltar

There are tunnels you really shouldn’t drive a bus through! And some just for pedestrians (Med Steps).

Tunnel on the Med Steps, Gibraltar

Next week’s Friday photo challenge is ‘Remembrance’.

Sunday Sevens #160 28.10.18

Hello, this Sunday Sevens comes to you courtesy of the mid term holidays – hooray! Schools broke up on Friday for a week, and we all heaved a collective sigh of relief – no early alarms for a week! Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens:

Making rainbows on a rainy day

Last Sunday afternoon, we had a terrific rain storm. It had been forecast but it was dry and bright-ish so I packed the Little Postcards into the car and headed to Kings Bastion Leisure Centre. Between us parking the car in the multi-story car park and walking to the exit the heavens had opened. We had about 4 hours of monsoon-type deluge. It was a real shocker after our long, hot and dry summer.

The rain came with such force that man hole covers were lifted by the floods and roads were awash with water. People were urged later on by the authorities to stay indoors. We piled back into the car and headed home. It was the perfect afternoon for a cuddle on the sofa in front of a family movie and a bit of crochet. Littlest’s rainbow ripple is now finished (all bar sewing in the endy bits).

Dressmaking class

So my practice run at making a jacket has come to an end. The pattern measurements fit ok and I learned how not to make a bound pocket! (🙈) Now it’s time to go for the real thing, and get it right!

A new project

Now the blanket is finished, I can get cracking on my next project – a jumper for me from a pattern in Simply Crochet magazine. Will I get it finished before the end of winter??!

Goodbye to our old windows

After five years in our home, we finally got round to replacing our old, rattling windows this week. It was a decision I had put off making until last winter, which was really grim and cold. I didn’t want to lose the character of our old apartment. I loved how the window panes had air bubbles in them which cast lovely patterns on the wall at sunset, but I didn’t like being woken on stormy nights by the noise of the sashes rattling in their frames, or feeling the wind on the back of my neck through the closed window and lounge curtains while watching TV of an evening. On some days last winter the temperature fell to below 10 degrees in our lounge – even with the heater on. Coats and a blanket were obligatory for an evening’s tv viewing.

The time had come for them to go. We have replaced them with double glazed wooden framed windows, there are no air bubbles but by Jove they are lovely. They stay shut or open as you leave them, there are no cracked panes and the noise of the traffic from the road outside is stopped too. It was definitely the right decision. They met all the planning requirements for a historic building too.

Football practice crochet

Football training is back into full swing as the season has restarted for the junior leagues, so that gave me time to make some progress on my new jumper!

Moody sunset

Friday night’s sunset was a lovely golden affair. I managed to catch a quick glimpse between dinner and washing up!

Road trip

We headed across the border into Spain for a drive yesterday. There were so many big birds about. There were loads of black and white cranes flying around and I saw a red kite as well as these huge birds too, I’m not sure if they are vultures or not. They were very impressive as they swirled about on the thermals.

That’s it for this week’s edition of Sunday Sevens, seven photos from the last seven days. As always I’m linking with Natalie from Threads and Bobbins for this weekly blog series. Until next time, thanks for stopping by and have a great week.