Sunday Postcard #13 15.11.20

Hello! Sorry for the absence, there’s been no Sunday Postcard for a few weeks. Nothing has been amiss but I have been incredibly busy sorting things at home after our house move a few weeks ago. Speaking of which, do you like this cool Lino printed card a lovely lifelong friend of mine dropped off to welcome us to our new abode? I think it’s super!

So, housewise, things are moving rather slowly. I’m rather impatient to get things sorted but because of Covid deliveries of furniture are being delayed and then postponed and pushed back a bit further because of supply issues caused by the pandemic. I completely understand why things are like this and there are many people dealing with awful situations but I would dearly love my new shelves to arrive so I can unpack all my crafty books!

On a positive note my new Ikea dining chairs arrived and are built and we are no longer sitting on my parents patio chairs to eat our meals! Thank you Mum and Dad for the loan of the chairs!

Two weeks ago there was still a fair few trees about looking splendid with their autumn leaves. Sadly since then, most of them have dropped. This gorgeous beech looked particularly lovely back then…

Bonfire night

Blimey, Bonfire Night feels like such a long time ago but it was less than two weeks ago. I got a right fright when I went to put the bins out that night for the refuse collection and I had fireworks illuminating my path briefly. By jingo they were loud though and made me jump out of my skin!

Back to the subject of autumn leaves, I was really rather fond of the back garden at our rented house, mainly because of the trees. However, lots of trees mean lots of leaves…

It took a long time and I filled two large garden wheelie bins in the process having to tidy this lot up before we hand the keys back. I guess that’s the price you have to pay for having so many trees in your garden.

We’ve had a real mixed bag of weather lately, it’s been a bit light on the sunshine and there’s been plenty of rain and wind but we made it out for a weekend walk last weekend across some fields close to our home and it was nice to get out and have some fresh air.

Late afternoon sun

I wish I could show you loads of photos of all the crafty stuff I’ve been up to over the past two weeks but there has been very little time for fun things like that and what I have done (a few rows of my Christmas blanket) didn’t seem photo worthy for now. Perhaps that will feature next week!

But I did enjoy a gorgeous morning walk on Friday with a very good friend of mine. She told me she had gone for a walk with her family last weekend and stumbled upon a fabulous coffee bar set up in a shipping container on the bank of the River Mersey.

When she suggested on Thursday night that we should head there for a wander and a coffee the following morning, I didn’t hesitate. It was super, the sun was out, and we had a fab walk and a chat, and a scrumptious coffee! And it’s all just a few miles from where we live!

Just look at that sky…

And that, I’m afraid is that for this week, although in Podcast News, a new episode of Making Stitches went out on Friday too…

Kerry Lord from Toft UK

It features a chat with the fabulously talented Kerry Lord from Toft. She has designed more than 200 crochet patterns for all manner of amigurumi creatures from Bridget the Elephant to Philippe the Gargoyle and has just released her Christmas collection which includes the cutest 3 Wise Men you could hope to see.

You can listen now by searching for Making Stitches on your favourite podcast app or following this link. I also heard this week that Making Stitches is in the top 10% of podcasts in the whole world!!! Isn’t that amazing?!!!

And that really is it for this week. I hope that wherever you are in the world, it’s been a decent one for you in spite of what we are all going through. Have a good week ahead and thank you for stopping by!

Lindsay x

Sunday Postcard #12 1.11.20

Greetings from a rather damp and dark Manchester!

It’s been a bit wet of late, and someone rather special (who I’ll speak more of later) told me “I’m enjoying your postcards but you haven’t mentioned the rain!”. Well no, I haven’t, I’ve been focusing on the positives of our first northern autumn in over a decade. I’ve been playing to its strengths, blue skies, colourful leaves on the trees etc. I’ve been glossing over the rain.

This week though, I have to mention it. It’s been a rather miserable mid term break for the Little Postcards what with the rain, it getting darker rediculously early thanks to the clocks changing and the impending lockdown.

It’s not all been doom and gloom though…

A whole new mushroom village appeared in the front garden of our rental home literally overnight. It came up so quickly next to the one which I featured last week, it actually lifted the stones!

Boxes, boxes everywhere

Well we’re in! On Wednesday we moved into our new ‘forever’ home. We managed to move over enough stuff with cars that we could move in. Blimey it’s been hard work, in some ways it’s been a loooong week and in other ways it’s zoomed by in a flash. We’ve been sooo sooo busy! We couldn’t have done it without the help of my parents. They are super stars.

And that special person I mentioned before popped by to drop off this lovely handmade card for us. She & her husband are people I imagined we would be seeing quite a lot of when we came over here to live back in July but this week was the first time I’ve seen them since March thanks to Covid. It was so lovely to see them both at a distance on the driveway – especially as they came bearing shortbread!

White van girl

And yesterday was our final moving day. I found myself behind the wheel of this van (far out of my comfort zone) and thanks to super friends we got the last of our things moved over. It was a very successful day – apart from managing to smash my phone (but that was the only casualty thankfully!).

Podcast news

This week I was thrilled to be able to release another episode of Making Stitches. This one features my chat with the lovely Cathy from Dear Emma Designs, you can find it by searching for Making Stitches in your favourite podcast app.

That’s all for this week, and what a week it’s been. We’ll soon see what the next 7 days have in store for us, lockdown and all.

Thanks for stopping by, and until next time, take care.

Lindsay x

Sunday Postcard #11 25.10.20

Hello there, just popping in for a quick one this week. It’s been a bit of a non-event as far as nice pictures are concerned. Mix moving house with Tier 3 restrictions and it leaves you a bit stumped for interesting things going on!

I do hope you have had a good week wherever you are and however the latest restrictions are affecting you. It’s a funny old time we’re living through isn’t it?

Here’s a very brief Sunday Postcard….

A walk through the leaves 🍁

Last Sunday, before we went into Tier 3 and were still allowed to cross over into rural Cheshire from suburban Manchester, we headed out for an autumnal walk. As you can see, we didn’t come into contact with many people, and those we did see were from a distance! I do love this part of the world so much. I used to dream of living here once upon a time, but although I would love it, I’m not sure the Little Postcards would appreciate the lack of people and amenities!!

Autumn colour on the school run

There is a stunningly bright red Japanese Maple in a garden on our walking route to school. We have watched as the leaves have changed from dark red to crimson before falling to the pavement and mixing with the yellow leaves from a nearby tree out on the road. Every morning as we pass it, I think ‘I really should take a photo of that before it disappears’ but we always seem to be in a bit of a rush! I never seem to walk home along the same route so keep forgetting to snap a photo of it. On Friday, we managed to return along the same route that we head out in the morning and I took this photo.

It’s just as well we did that as schools here broke up for half term on Friday and as we are moving house next week we won’t automatically be passing that tree. I think I may need to make an occasional detour to see it next Autumn.

Fungi overload

There’s a lot of fungi at the moment in this neck of the woods. This clump is in our rental front garden, and they have cousins growing out of garden walls and pavements along our road too! No idea what they are mind. Possibly deadly poisonous… I won’t be going near them!

Flat-packtastic

This week, my lovely Dad and I have done away with the paint brushes and rollers of the last few weeks and switched our tool of choice to the Allen key & screwdriver! The house is taking shape slowly!

Crochet diversion

There’s not much spare time at the moment for fun things like crochet with our impending move. But I have managed to almost complete Part 1 of the Crochet Sanctuary Christmas Blanket CAL. It does require quite a bit of counting and concentration so there have been a few rows which have needed unraveling and starting again with more focus…

Check out the wonky bobble!

That’s all I have to offer this week. Next week is our big move so I can’t imagine next week’s photos will be up to much. If I escape the unpacking long enough, I’ll be back again next week!!

I hope you have a good week, until next time, bye for now!

Lindsay x

Sunday Postcard #10 18.10.20

Hello there, there wasn’t a postcard last week because there was nothing to report. Just lots of painting and box shuffling, so thought I’d leave it until today. I hope all is well in your world…..

Making progress

Last week, preparations for our move into our own place stepped up a gear with the arrival of paint & rollers! I had had three bedrooms to sort out, the above one was the first with a change from Manga cartoons to turquoise. Another had one glittery wall and a pink wall which required neutralizing for a young man and another which was a simple wallop over.

Sunshine on a rainy day…

We’ve had a very mixed bag of autumnal weather lately. Lots of grey skies and showers with bright sunny skies in between. We have had rainbows on a few occasions, one was in the morning (above) before from school. There’s something about a rainbow which just lifts my spirits.

Happy Post!

So this was the happy post I received last week, it’s the yarn pack for the latest CAL from the Crochet Sanctuary ladies; Lynda-Rose & Lisa. I chose the ‘Christmas Eve’ colourway for this special Christmas blanket CAL. It should go well in our new dining room, although seeing this photo near to the paint job above I might need to be careful it doesn’t disappear into a young man’s bedroom to match his new wall!!

I won’t be starting the CAL until I have finished at least one of my many ongoing WIPs….. so there has been a flurry of A Trip to the Seaside activity of late!

Nothing to see here… just a trio of dinky buckets & spades!!

Embracing autumn

When we lived in Gibraltar, I really missed autumn. The weather doesn’t change as much there and the trees don’t tend to drop their leaves the same way either. I did wonder whether I would find the end of summer and the nights drawing in a bit difficult, but thankfully, so far, it’s going ok. That might be down to some of the beautiful colours we’re being treated to.

Some mornings (when it’s dry) I meet up with a friend for a walk after the school drop off. Seeing as we can’t go to each other’s homes for a coffee because of the Covid restrictions, we walk the streets near our homes at a socially acceptable distance and have a good old chin wag. It sets us both up for the day and when we get home we’re raring to go with the jobs we have in store for us. These beautiful leaves form a very pretty backdrop to our chats.

Birds on the wing

While returning from one of those walks on Friday morning, as we stood saying our goodbyes at the garden gate, we were downed out by a load of very noisy geese above! They were fascinating to watch as they shuffled their positions in the v formations above us.

It’s finished!

Ta-dah! It’s finished, my Little Box of Crochet ‘A Trip to the Seaside’ wreath is finished – this was my summer project. It was delivered to my parents home when we were still living in Gibraltar so that I would have something to make while all my crafty bits and bobs were in transit from our old home to Manchester where we are now. I thought it would all be finished well before the end of the summer but I underestimated how little time I would have for crochet over the past 3 months. The last few bits were finished off last night.

I’m really pleased with it, and now need to find somewhere for it to go in our new home when we move there during the next few weeks. I can now begin the Crochet Sanctuary Christmas CAL with a clear conscience!

Podcast news

This week’s podcast episode was all about crochet and community and featured the lovely Jill from Gum Leaf Crochet who came to crochet after a period of ill health and injury. Jill has created an amazing online community of crocheters who offer support and inspiration to each other. You can listen to the episode by searching for Making Stitches on your favourite podcast app or here.

That’s it for this week, I hope you’ve had a good week and where ever you are and whatever you’re up to, it’s not being weighed down with Covid restrictions too much.

Thanks for stopping by, see you next week!

Lindsay x

Sunday Postcard #009 4.10.20

Hello there! How has your week been? The weather has turned a bit more autumnal of late where we are but I guess that’s to be expected given that it’s now October!

Here’s my Sunday Postcard for this week:

Buzzard overhead

Now I know that I’ve just said the weather had turned autumnal, but here’s a picture of the glorious sunny sky we enjoyed last Sunday. Can you spot the buzzard to the left of the sun? I was sitting out back when I spotted this large bird circling overhead. It’s not the first time I’ve seen a large bird of prey in the skies over Manchester, I thought the days of watching big birds pass by had ended with our move from Gibraltar- I was wrong. Admittedly I don’t think vultures and eagles are quite as common up here as down where we once were!!

Beginning the week on a high

On Monday something very exciting happened… we got the keys to our new ‘forever’ home! After a few months of living in our rented place surrounded by loads of moving boxes, we can now begin our process to settling in our new home. I have a few small decorating jobs to do before we move in a few weeks’ time (like turning a pink glittery bedroom slightly more masculine) but we are super giddy about our next move!

Misty morning

We had a rather misty school run one morning this week, Littlest was rather disappointed when he heard the answer to his question about whether school would be closed because it was misty. He’s going to find this first winter ‘up North’ interesting!

Isolation cookies

Squishing cookie dough with a glass

You may remember if you read last week’s Postcard that I have one offspring at home isolating as one of his school bubble tested positive for Covid. Thankfully he hasn’t developed any symptoms and all being well will return to school tomorrow. It’s been a tad intense few days cracking the whip with at home school work, so we had a break one day and made some rather tasty cookies. He researched the recipe online and found one which needed just 3 ingredients, flour, one egg and some chocolate spread. Seeing as there was no butter in the recipe I’m assuming they are fat free….

Podcast news

This week I released another episode of the Making Stitches Podcast – this time with bag maker extraordinaire Samantha Hussey (aka Mrs H) and Carole Rennison from Yarndale. You can listen here.

And that brings this week’s postcard to an end, I hope it’s been a good one for you. The forecast for me for next week is looking a rather painterly one with lots of coats of emulsion and perhaps a few boxes to be unpacked! Have a great week!

Lindsay x

Monday Sunday Postcard #009 28.9.20

Last week felt a bit like these snails I spotted in the garden… going nowhere fast!

Hello everyone, apologies for not making an appearance yesterday, it was a bit of a ‘week’. There was a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes which resulted in not much to take nice photos of and not much time either.

One of the Little Postcards was sent home from school to self-isolate for a fortnight after someone in their school bubble tested positive for Covid-19. That led to a steep learning curve getting our heads round a new remote learning system which was completely different from the one used at his last school in Gibraltar. (I’m pleased to report he is perfectly fine at home and have no news at all about the person who’s infected).

There were also several issues with our temporary rented home which took a lot of time to sort out too, so there was very little postcard-worthy stuff happening.

Apart from a lovely socially distanced Monday morning walk across some fields nearby with a very good friend after the school run…

And despite it being officially autumn now, I began making progress on assembling my summer project – the A Trip to the Seaside wreath from Little Box of Crochet. This has proved some very welcome light relief within all the chaos.

I’ve got everything crossed that this week will be a much more positive one! Until next time, thanks for stopping by!

Lindsay x

Sunday Postcard #008 20.9.20

Hello and happy Sunday to you, I hope the sun’s shining with you today. Here’s this week’s Sunday Postcard:

Vitamin Tree

Last Sunday, much like today, we were enjoying some glorious sunshine here in the North West of England. We decided to make the most of what may well be our last few days of summer, packed a picnic and jumped into the car to head for Worden Park nearly Chorley in Lancashire.

We visited the park for the first time last summer after it was recommended by a family friend. It took about 45 mins to drive there from our home in Manchester along nice quiet motorways and we were rewarded with wide open spaces and beautiful trees. Long time readers of this blog will know I am a tree lover. You really need a bit of Vitamin Tree in your life every so often wouldn’t you agree?

Worden Park is basically the estate of a formerly grand house. The house is no longer standing but some of the outbuildings remain which are now artisan workshops and a lovely little tea room and some of the formal gardens have been retained too, including a rather stately yew tree which was planted by Queen Victoria (sadly I didn’t photograph that).

As we are in the market these days for outdoor walks where we won’t see too much of other people, Worden was perfect. Although many, many other people had been drawn out to enjoy the wide open spaces and fresh air, in the most part we were all well distanced away from them. It was a bit of a bottleneck in the formal garden (see above) although we quickly negotiated our way through there.

Although it felt warm enough to be a summer’s day, the first signs of autumn were in evidence as some of the leaves had started to turn. There will be an amazing show of colour here in the weeks to come I imagine.

I can never make up my mind how I feel about autumn. When I was away in Gibraltar for the past 11 years, where the seasons don’t have the same impact (mainly because the weather doesn’t change as dramatically and many trees there are evergreen), I really missed autumn. I had a real fondness for misty mornings, dew drops on cobwebs and crunching through fallen leaves.

Now that we are about to experience our first autumn back in England since our move, I’m looking forward to the colours which lie ahead (although sadly not the smells as my sense of smell is still to recover fully from Covid), but I’m also feeling a little sad that it marks the end of summer. I’m sure I’m not alone in that…

Perhaps the sense of uncertainty and unknown about the winter that we are heading into adds to that slight sense of unease about autumn too. Never mind, we will all go through it together, and all being well will be fine.

Sunny Monday morning

How about that for a sky? This is what I gazed up to after walking Littlest to school on Monday morning. What a belter. I can handle more of this kind of September weather thank you very much!

Mmmm delicious!

We had apple & bramble crumble for pudding one evening this week. It was very nice!

On the mend

Midweek I began to feel very tired, and then I succumbed to a rather nasty cold. The Little Postcards had it too in varying degrees but it hit me hardest. There was nothing for it other than to go to bed for a couple of days (well as much as you can do with young people to look after). I’m pleased to say I am now well and truly on the mend and even felt up to a bit of crochet . I really had better get a move on with this summery Little Box of Crochet wreath before winter!!

Birthday time

There was a Little Postcard birthday this week, there are now 2 teenagers in the house – wish me luck!!

Because of our current state of half unpacked/half packed-ness after our move from Gibraltar and our impending move to our ‘forever’ home, I have no idea where my cake tins are. So it was a shop bought birthday cake this time!

Podcast update

Making Stitches Podcast is back, my goodness I’ve missed making these episodes over the summer! This time I’ve decided to release an episode once a fortnight as weekly would be too much for me to manage at the moment bearing in mind we have another house move coming up in the next few months. This week I decided to revisit some of my guests from last series and get up to date with them.

You can find the podcast by searching for Making Stitches in your favourite podcast app or by clicking onto this link.

And that brings this week’s Sunday Postcard to an end. I hope this coming week is a good one for you!

Lindsay x

Sunday Postcard #007 13.09.20

Hello! Did you know it was International Crochet Day yesterday? It almost passed me by. I managed a tiny bit of work on my Trip to the Seaside wreath from Little Box of Crochet, so I just about fitted some hooky in!

I hope it’s been a good week for you, for part of this week I had all 3 Little Postcards in school for the first time in 6 months. My word, what a difference it made!

Here’s this week’s Sunday Postcard…

Rain rain go away

So last Sunday was a bit wet (thankfully it cleared up later on though). It meant we had the perfect excuse to stay at home and just hang around. Two Little Postcards had begun their new schools the week before and youngest was due to begin his new school on Monday. A quiet day at home listening to the rain was rather pleasant and called for.

Unearthing treasures

During a much anticipated morning alone with all 3 in school I set about on the hunt for the elusive name tapes to sew into new uniforms. As we only found out what schools 2 of them were going to last week – it was all a bit last minute.

I failed to find the name tapes but I unearthed some crafty treasures. Embroidery patterns given to me by my Gran as a child (above). I had no idea they were in a bag with some yarn scraps and long forgotten WIPs. I will have to have a go at some of them! Plus…..

… what must’ve been my first attempts at granny squares, no doubt taught by my Gran! Not the neatest attempts granted, and those colours have a touch of of 1980s about them don’t you think?!

Diamond update

Our bunny, Diamond is doing very well and seems to have adjusted to life in his hutch in England well. He’s a happy chappy and seems to like stretching out listening to the birds in the garden and watching the neighbour’s cat as it parades past!

Happy post

I got a lovely parcel through the post this week, all the way from Gibraltar….

When we were over in Gib to collect Eldest’s GCSE results in August, I bought myself a lovely artisan silver and garnet ring.

I thought it looked a bit lonely on its own and decided to contact Frances, the lady who made it and asked if she would make me another, this time with a blue stone.

It arrived this week, along with a cute little stacking ring to sit in between the blue & red stones. I am so happy with them and will always have a bit of Gib with me now!

You can find Frances’ work on Instagram @silver_quirk and her Etsy shop can be found here.

Podcast preparation

The recorder is out, and that can only mean one thing… work has started on Series 2 of Making Stitches Podcast. I have a couple of interviews in the bag and I’m hoping the first episode will be with you very soon! Watch this space…

International Crochet Day

As I said before, yesterday was International Crochet Day… who knew that was a thing?! I only had time for a little bit but enjoyed making some swishy swashy grass for my Little Box of Crochet wreath.

Gibraltar National Day 🇬🇮

Gibraltar National Day 2019

On Thursday, it was 10th September- Gibraltar National Day. It was our first national day since leaving the Rock and the first one without any of the big community events which normally take place because of Covid. I did listen to the political rally on the radio though and enjoyed being with my Gibraltar friends in spirit.

And that brings this week’s Sunday Postcard to an end. I hope it’s been a good week for you. Until next time, thanks for popping by.

Lindsay x

A stroll around Gibraltar No. 26 : All the way around the Rock

Today is 10th September which is Gibraltar National Day and I wanted to mark the occasion with a special blog post. As our family moved back to the UK this summer after over a decade in Gib, it will be a strange National Day for us. It will also be a ‘different’ one for the people of Gibraltar as this year, the traditional rallies and gatherings have been cancelled due to Covid-19.

This is my tribute to Gibraltar on National Day 2020, a post which I hope, will show my deep affection for the Rock and it’s people. It’s a place which will be forever in my heart, and I dearly hope I will be able to return to frequently in the years to come.

Gibraltar National Day rally – Casemates Square 10th September 2019

Way back in May, before we made our epic move back to the UK, I got the chance to do something I’d never done before…. walk the whole way round the Rock. It’s not something I’d done before because it takes quite a while and strictly speaking you aren’t allowed to walk through one of the road tunnels to complete the route.

However, during the waning weeks of lockdown while there was very little traffic on the roads many people were walking through and the authorities were turning a blind eye. Being someone who doesn’t like to bend the rules very often, I saw this new development as my opportunity and took it. (FYI it’s very busy on the roads again now, so I really wouldn’t recommend doing it now. PLEASE BE SENSIBLE AND DON’T WALK THROUGH).

Here goes…

Europa Road

I began my walk in South District not far from where we used to live on the (normally busy) Europa Road.

Past the beautiful blooms of bougainvillea and nasturtiums.

Rather than going the long way around via Queensway or Main Street, I walked above the Trafalgar Cemetery and popped through Prince Edward’s Gate and into Gibraltar’s old town that way.

Trafalgar Cemetery
Prince Edward’s Gate

And into town…

Town Range
Looking from St Mary’s School towards St Andrew’s Church

I walked along pavements I have walked countless times before over the years. It was strange to think that just a few weeks later, we would be saying goodbye to Gibraltar after 11 very happy years. During that time these streets, which once felt so alien and unlike where we had come from, became our home.

St Andrew’s Church of Scotland

I passed below the beautiful and historic Garrison Library.

Gibraltar Garrison Library

…and further on into town along the narrow Governor’s Street north towards Casemates Square.

Governor’s Street
Casemates Square

As you can probably tell from the bright blue skies in the photos – it was a rather warm day!

Casemates Tunnel

In the north east corner of Casemates is a tunnel which leads to…

Landport Tunnel

… Landport Tunnel which was, once upon a time, the only way to access Gibraltar by land. All the area beyond the city walls was once sea before a series of land reclamation projects were undertaken. At curfew each evening those big wooden doors would be closed and the drawbridge on the other side would be lifted sealing inhabitants of the Rock inside for the night.

The tunnel is steeped in history – walking through it you can imagine some of the people who must have come through here over the centuries. There is a bend in the middle for defence purposes I believe.

Northern Defences

As you come out of Landport Tunnel Gibraltar’s military heritage is in evidence on your right and above your head lies the Northern Defences – a place I would have loved to explore before we left.

Onwards and northwards I headed towards the airport and the sundial roundabout.

Sundial roundabout with the airport runway and air traffic control tower beyond

My path turned to the East at this point along Devil’s Tower Road.

This road (which is normally very busy but thanks to lockdown was extremely quiet) has a mix of older housing blocks, flashy new developments and industry. The Rock looms above it all.

At Eastern beach you pass the local vehicle licensing and MOT test centre, behind this military pill box.

As I passed by this spot I was rather taken by this little chap!

Gnome created by Gibraltar street artist Jupp
Can you spot the spy holes in a line on the Rock in the bottom third of the photo?

There are plenty of reminders on the East side of Gibraltar’s military past as well, apart from the spy holes in the Rock above your head is this cairn constructed in memory of the members of the Black Watch who worked here to create some of Gibraltar’s Defences. I wonder what they thought about the heat of the Med after traveling down from the Highlands of Scotland?!

Heading south towards Catalan Bay

The sun was rather intense at this spot beating down on my head (I’m glad I wore a hat!) and the crickets were chirping in the grass by my side.

Catalan Bay

All of a sudden after the industrial buildings the developments give way to a huge land reclamation project and on the other side – beautiful Catalan Bay. When we first arrived in Gib, this was our beach of choice in the summer. It’s small-ish and is less easy to lose children when you take your eyes off them for a millisecond! Plus there is ample parking if you arrive early enough in the day. Lately though, we moved to Sandy Bay which is a lot less densely populated and gives you much more space.

Beach protocol in Gib is something which you quickly learn as a newcomer to the Rock. Local families have their traditional pitches where they always set up camp on the beach and it can be quite easy to ruffle feathers if you plonk yourself down in a seemingly empty spot. At the height of summer beach umbrellas, deck chairs and tables appear on the beach at first light many hours before their owners appear to take up residence. It is quite a sight to behold.

Catalan Bay
Looking down over Catalan Bay village

Rather than dashing down to the beach to feel the sand and waves on my toes I kept on going along Sir Herbert Miles Road which hugs the back of Catalan Bay village (Sir Herbert Miles was Governor of Gibraltar from 1913-1918).

Catalan Bay rooftops

Catalan Bay was once solely populated by ex-pat Genoese fishermen and their families. Until about 100 years ago the village was cut off at high tide and the only access was via the beach when the tide was low. Genoese was the language spoken here and Caletaños (Catalan Bay villagers) are responsible for a lot of the Genoese words which have become a fixture in the Llanito dialect in Gibraltar.

Traditional wooden fishing boats at Catalan Bay (Photo: Postcard from Gibraltar archives)

Traditional wooden boat building is still a skill which is passed down through the generations in this village. The beautiful handcrafted rowing fishing boats are used daily by village fishermen to catch fish, they are also used for a traditional annual boat race in the Bay.

Brightly coloured Little Genoa

Along Sir Herbert Miles Road is the pretty and colourful development of Little Genoa (can you see what they did there?).

All the while the huge Rock is there above you!

After Catalan Bay is Black Strap Cove, a small stretch of undeveloped land between Catalan Bay and Sandy Bay. As with much of the Gibraltar coastline you can see now abandoned military installations amongst the rocky cliff side. It is a haven for wild flowers in spring and I’ve seen Barbary Partridges here at times too. A lovely spot.

Next stop Sandy Bay…

When we first arrived in Gibraltar 11 years ago, there was a tiny pebble beach here at Sandy Bay. The winter before we arrived brought tremendous storms and sea swells and washed the beach away (as well as running a huge tanker aground by Europa Point and causing damage elsewhere in Gibraltar). Maybe 5 years ago (my memory may be wrong here) the Government completed the project to build a couple of groynes to protect the beach and shipped in tones of sand to replace what had been lost in the storms.

Sandy Bay is now a large beautifully sandy stretch of beach and thanks to the rocky arms stretching out to hug the beach, the water here can be calm where the conditions are choppy elsewhere for swimming. The perfect spot to spend a day with the family! It’s now our beach of choice.

The housing development of Both Worlds which forms a barrier between the main road and the beach was built just over 50 years ago and opened just around the time the border between Gibraltar and Spain was closed by General Franco. Overnight Gibraltarians couldn’t cross over for holidays and trips into Spain, and Both Worlds became a holiday destination for many local people.

When it opened there were shops here, food delivery services (much like what many of us rely on these days) and even a mini buggy taxi service which would give residents a lift along the length of the resort. I happened upon a fabulous newspaper supplement advertising the new Both Worlds development in a 50 year old Gibraltar Chronicle at the National Archives a while ago. It made for fascinating reading!

It is now a residential block, half of which is for over 50s and the rest is sold on the open market. Some of the apartments can be rented as holiday lets.

Old military buildings south of Sandy Bay
Looking north towards Sandy Bay
Dudley Ward Tunnel

A short way south of Sandy Bay is Dudley Ward Tunnel. This is the tunnel which isn’t supposed to be used by pedestrians but during lockdown became a regular pedestrian route around the Rock because of the greatly reduced traffic on the roads.

Goodbye sunshine… into the cool darkness. I had my fluorescent gear on so I could be seen clearly walking along the side of the road (fortunately just two cars passed me by). I didn’t hang about for long, it felt very naughty to be in there. I don’t mind telling you that was a bit relieved when I popped out into daylight at the other end!

The coastline here is different to the other end of the tunnel, the cliffs are steeper and go right down to the sea below.

Cliffs covered in wildflowers (can you spot the nesting gull?)

You get a clear view of the clay pigeon shooting range which was built for the Island Games last year.

2019 Island Games Clay Pigeon shooting range

This section of the Rock is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the photo below you get a true sense of the magesty of the cliffs looking northwards. Down at just above sea-level is the Gorham’s Cave complex which is full of important archaeological research.

It truly is a beautiful spot.

Looking south towards Europa Point and the Moroccan coast beyond

When I could see the lighthouse at Europa Point, I felt like I was on the final leg of my journey. Not long now before I could have a cold drink and a sit down!

Out at sea, as I was walking, I spotted a bit of argy-bargy between a Guardia Civil boat and a Royal Navy rhib. That’s a common sight round these parts as there is an ongoing dispute about who the British Gibraltar Territorial Waters actually belong to. Sometimes skirmishes make the British news, one day I saw a flare being fired by the British after a Spanish vessel continued on a collision course towards a submarine. That was quite a sight I can tell you!

Europa Advance Road

Onwards in the full heat of the sun heading south…

Trinity Lighthouse

… there she is – Trinity Lighthouse. Doesn’t she look magestic?

The lay-by which offers this stunning view also has a touching memorial for a young soldier.

As you round the bend in the road, in front of you is the dramatic sight of the Mosque.

Ibrahim-al-Ibrahim Mosque

Between the mosque and the lighthouse, Europa Point is a rather iconic part of the Rock. It’s also home to a fabulous play park for young children, a heritage information centre, Gibraltar University, the Shrine of Our Lady of Europe and the recently built Europa Point stadium which is home to Gibraltar Rugby & Gibraltar Cricket and was used to house the Nightingale facility to cope with Covid-19 patients (although, so far, thankfully, it hasn’t needed to be used).

Looking towards the lighthouse, park & stadium between the mosque and university accommodation.

The road swings round to the north again after Europa Point offering great views of the Rock.

Europa Road looking north
View from Europa Road down to Little Bay, the Nuffield Pool and Camp Bay beyond

Looking westwards out to see you see both the Moroccan coast (on the left of the photo below) and the Spanish coast (on the right) the strip of water between them is the famous Strait of Gibraltar and the gateway to the Mediterranean.

Europa Road here gets quite narrow as it was once crossed by an archway and policed by an army sentry.

It was a defence point to stop invaders approaching from the south getting access to the town.

And finally I had reached my destination… almost home, I was back in South District!

Two hours on from when I’d set off, I had completed my circuit of the Rock. I am so pleased I managed to tick this walk off on my to-do list in Gibraltar. Despite living there for over a decade, there are still some things I didn’t manage to achieve, like visiting the Lower St Michaels Cave and exploring the Jungle and the Northern Defences. I hope one day I will be able to do those things.

In the meantime, when I’m in my new home in the UK I have some truly wonderful memories of our time in Gib, and feel truly blessed that we had our time there, and that the Little Postcards could enjoy some of their childhood there too.

Thank you Gibraltar and happy National Day 2020! 🇬🇮

Lindsay x

Sunday Postcard #006 6.9.20

Wow, what a week it has been for us. It’s been super busy but not much in the way of photos. But here goes with this week’s Sunday postcard…

Bank holiday trip to the seaside

Crosby beach

In case you missed my post on Tuesday (A postcard from Another Place, Crosby), we went to the seaside on Monday. Just under and hour’s drive for our new home in Manchester is Crosby on the Lancashire coast (close to Liverpool). It’s stunning – and we had lovely weather too!

Queue the whirlwind of chaos

Moody night sky in the early hours of Tuesday morning

So, since Monday it’s been rather hectic round here. We have completed on the sale of our home in Gibraltar, Eldest began his new sixth form, there was a school appeal hearing and two offers of school places for the other two Little Postcards. All super fabulous news after a summer of uncertainty and waiting for news.

Cue the frantic mad panic of uniform buying in a matter of hours rather than the usual weeks/months. All the main uniform suppliers (ie department stores) looked like a plague of locusts had come through and cleared the shelves and racks of uniform in the size & colour required and the specialist uniform shops were buckling under the strain of last minute purchases and COVID restrictions.

I did get more than one pitying/smug look and comment from shop assistants reminding me that had I not left it to the last minute, I would have stood a better chance of getting what I wanted….. Thank goodness for the kindness of friends and school for lending and gifting us pieces of uniform to get us through until our own supplies arrive!

Batman’s pal

In a rare moment of calm, I took a chair out to the garden and had a few moments to myself (I haven’t been in the mood or had the time to pick up a crochet hook this week) and this little chap hopped out from beneath a conifer to say hello. It was so tame and came very close before turning round and hopping away again. Such a treat!

A special delivery

This week the postman brought this rather special book to Postcard Towers. It’s written by the lovely Nancy (@avocadofairy on Instagram) and illustrated by her daughter Freya.

Nancy is currently undergoing treatment for a brain tumour and during lockdown, isolation and chemo decided to put pen to paper and write this very special book. All the proceeds from the sale are going to the Brain Tumour Charity. Do pop over to Nancy’s Instagram feed if you are interested in getting your hands on a copy – it’s delightful. 🍄

And that, I’m afraid is all I have to offer this week … it’s been quite a week. Tomorrow, for the first time in six months all three Little Postcards will be in school… what will I do with myself?!

Until next time, thanks for stopping by. I hope you have had a good week yourself.

Lindsay x