Hello there, I hope you’re doing well! Sunday again already…. where are the weeks going? Here’s this week’s postcard…
On the edge of the city
Last Sunday, we popped out to stretch our legs in the lovely Longford Park on the edge of the city of Manchester. The main park and gardens were rather busy and it was obvious we couldn’t visit the swings and socially distance as well, so we had a walk away from the crowd to this meadow which framed the city skyscrapers beautifully in the distance.
Bunny road trip
Our pet bunny Diamond began his trip north to join us on Tuesday. This was him in his cage in his transport as he was picked up from the Gibraltar border. We were hoping he would be alright traveling with other animals because he’s a rather timid chap and not used to mixing with other creatures.
Moody clouds over the park
Our fascination with going to the park hasn’t waned during the month we have been in our new home. We end up there several times a week (weather permitting) although things have got a lot busier since schools broke up here and sometimes we have had to abort our trips to return later on after dinner to avoid over crowded swings.
A walk by the water
We had some warm and sunshiny weather on Friday and headed off for a picnic and walk in the open air. This is Pennington Flash in Lancashire where we ended up on our trip.
So this week, I bought a new car! My new wheels (she’s called Bluebell by the way) looked like she could do with a blanket… so I raided my packing boxes to find that stash of chunky yarn I bought many moons ago and have been saving for the right moment!
Sunset on a Friday
I sat out in our back garden on Friday night with my crochet, a glass of wine and this lovely sunset overhead. It’s not quite the view of sunsets across the Bay that I used to look out at, but it’ll do nicely.
He made it!
Look who arrived safe and in one piece yesterday?! Our little gang is complete again – Diamond is settled into his new home and we are all happy bunnies now that he’s back with us!
That’s all for this week, I hope it has been a good one for you inspite of all that has been happening in the world. Where ever you are reading this take care and have a good week ahead.
You may have spotted that this isn’t a Sunday Sevens post. I decided that after 230 weeks of Sunday Sevens, it was time for a change. The Sunday Sevens phenomenon was first created by sewing blogger Natalie, at Threads and Bobbins. Her idea was for bloggers to share seven photos from the previous seven days in a series of posts which were markedly different from their usual crafty or lifestyle posts.
Lately, because of the move back to the UK, I have had weeks without Sunday Sevens, Sunday Sevens with far more than seven photos and some with far fewer. Bearing in mind I have just moved countries with my family away from the Gibraltar named in my blog title, I thought that perhaps I should focus more on the ‘Postcard’ part instead.
So this will be my new weekly (when I can/when I remember) post. I can’t guarantee how long or picturesque they will be going forward, but I will try to share a bit of beauty each week.
So here is my first Sunday Postcard offering:
A postcard from Gibraltar
I have to admit it feels very strange writing blog posts from England without the feeling that we will soon be getting back on a plane and heading home to Gib. I’m sure in coming months, especially when the weather takes a turn for the worst, I will really miss Gibraltar, the mild (and sometimes very wet) winters, the fact I spent more time each year in flip flops than in boots, our beautiful views and of course our lovely friends. But, at the moment I’m really enjoying our new life here in Manchester. (The above photo is of a Gibraltar postcard I came across when I was packing up to move).
One of the overriding questions I’ve been asked since our move from Gibraltar is ‘Are you missing the sunshine?’ The answer is ‘no, not really’. We certainly don’t have blue skies everyday up here in the north west of England, but I’m really enjoying the wide open spaces, the greenery and having special people I’ve been far away from for almost 2 decades living round the corner.
Hob-nobbing with the stars
Earlier this week, before the new tighter Covid restrictions came into force, we had a visit from some very good friends. We took them to Media City to show them the Blue Peter Garden and where many of their favorite TV shows are filmed.
Although many people were wearing masks (including us), and there was a slightly subdued atmosphere there, you couldn’t get away from the fact it’s a rather exciting place. We even spotted a few familiar faces from the world of showbiz as we had our lunch out in the open air.
Can you spot those green houses and jazzy garden sheds in the photo above? Those could be booked out for lunch! You could have your own bubble in a glass bubble! What a fab idea.
Below is the closest I can get to a photo of open water for you these days… it’s the Manchester Ship Canal!!
A woodland walk
On Thursday we had a really pleasant walk back to a favorite place of mine, Marbury Country Park in Cheshire. There’s a gorgeous woodland walk via Marbury Mere and the nearby canal as well as wide open spaces for picnics. Not to mention lots of gorgeous greenery.
An old friend
A long time ago, long before our move out to Gibraltar, I was given this rose called Wee Cracker. It lived in a pot and followed us on various house moves in the north of England until we headed off to Gib. Since then it has lived in my parents’ back garden where my Mum has lovingly nurtured it until the day I could have it back. It was waiting in the back garden of our rental home when we arrived three weeks ago, and here it is looking lovely – the first bud opened yesterday.
That’s all for this week, I’ll leave you with this collection of pictures from last month – a very busy one for us! Thanks for stopping by 🙂
I’ll be honest with you, it’s been a long three weeks since my last Sunday Sevens! It’s been exhausting and a tad emotional at times. But we survived it. I have come up for air briefly but am heading back into the realm of the packing boxes for a while…
In the meantime, here goes with a look back at our last 3 weeks in slightly more than seven photos from slightly more than the last seven days…
One last Saharan dust sunset on a Sunday
Our last Sunday in Gibraltar was a lovely day for so many reasons, we said goodbye to friends, and ended it with a lovely meal out by the sea. This gorgeous Calima (Saharan dust laden) sunset was the perfect ending.
Haircuts on Monday
In light of the very recent opening of hairdressers in the UK, I figured we might be waiting a long time for haircuts in England, so all three Little Postcards had one last Gibraltarian short back and sides. I love this spot by Southport Gates, I had to photograph it on the way back to the car.
Goodbye Diamond on Tuesday
Our last Gibraltar Tuesday was A DAY. From early morning until late at night it was full on packing. My Fitbit told me I did 18,000 steps. The Little Postcards were entertained with good friends and we said goodbye to Diamond our bunny. He’s gone off to Spain for a short break on the Costa before heading north by road. We hope to see him again in August, he might be glad of all that fluffy fur up in Manchester!
Removal day on Wednesday
Up at 6am for final bits of packing ahead of the removal men arriving just after 8. Once the trucks were loaded I had to cross into Spain to complete the paperwork and pay the duty on our stuff at customs. Off went our things to be stored until there was enough to fill a big lorry to travel up to the north of England.
Thursday by the sea
The Little Postcards had a final hurrah on the beach with their very good friends, while I ran round finishing off the last admin and cleaning up jobs in Gibraltar. When I arrived at Eastern Beach to pick them up we had tea and ice cream with our friends and it was lovely just to be still and enjoy the moment after all that rushing around.
On our last morning we packed up our final bits and bobs and drove from Gibraltar to Malaga. We had been due to fly from Gib on EasyJet but our flights were cancelled a couple of weeks before and we had to rebook via Malaga. We had to fly to Manchester because at the time of booking we were looking at 2 weeks in quarantine on our arrival and had we flown from Gib to London, we would not have been able to make the trip up north on public transport because of the regulations.
As it turned out, Friday 10th July, which is when we flew, became the first day that travelers didn’t have to quarantine. We were so fortunate.
A new view
This is my new view. Once I looked out on the Bay of Gibraltar one way and up the Rock to the summit of the Med Steps the other way, for now, I have this gorgeous leafy colour instead! We have moved into a rented home as a temporary measure until the sale of our place in Gib goes through. I’ll certainly happily take this view as I stand at the kitchen sink – it’s not too shabby!
Open space!! Something you don’t get much of in Gib. This gorgeous field used to signal torture in my childhood (think school cross country – I wasn’t built for speed) however now I can appreciate how beautiful it is. It’s just a few minutes’ walk from our new home and en route to the park – a place we have visited a lot recently in a bid to get over the loss of the beach!
One of the perks of being back in the UK is the fact we can get our milk delivered to our front door in glass bottles! No more mad dashes to the supermarket for milk to find out there is none, and no more plastic milk bottles going to the recycling.
A not-so-little treat for me
When this special one-off rather large Little Box of Crochet was advertised, I decided to order it to my parent’s house knowing that when I arrived in Manchester, I wouldn’t have any crochet with me until my boxes of stash arrived. What a joy to open it and see all that squishy, yarny goodness.
I thought I’d be able to do a bit each day in my summer craft challenge style of years gone by, but sadly other things have taken precedence. I have dabbled a bit and will share any progress as I go along.
We celebrated a birthday too. A Little Postcard is a year older, this time he was able to share his birthday with grandparents (for our first hugs since arrival in the UK) and a socially distant aunt & uncle! (No home made cake this year – my mixer & cake tins were somewhere on the continent in the back of a truck!).
Our stuff arrived!
It all arrived at the back end of last week. Our spacious rental home is now looking a lot less spacious!!🤣
It’s good to know that all our things made it over ok. Now there’s the small matter of finding everything that we need! Wish me luck!
Thank you for stopping by, I’m not sure when my next post will be as I’m still battling my way through boxes and multiple lost items, not to mention still trying to sort schools and other admin bits and bobs. I’ll pop back when I can though. Until then, take care.
Well here we are. We survived the move. We’re 2000 or so miles further north than we once were. We’ve replaced sea views for trees and greenery and I rather like that.
The sunset was our last one while living in Gibraltar back on Thursday evening. The photo of the green field and sky isn’t the view from our new windows but a short walk from our new home.
I just wanted to pop in and let you know we survived the move, and we are loving living close to family & very old friends again, but I will be having a little while off to get on with what needs to be done over here in England. I look forward to sharing our adventures with you again in a little while.
Alas, it’s been our final full week living here in Gibraltar. A week of goodbyes, packing boxes and parcel tape. Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens:
Believe it or not, this summer we hadn’t been to the beach as a family until last Saturday. I’ve just been so busy packing boxes and dealing with admin that I couldn’t justify a day off. It was worth the wait though! Just what was needed.
I had been holding off packing my Pandemonium blanket and small bag of yarn until the last minute convinced I’d have the time to crochet in the evening. I was wrong…. I’ve been sitting down at about 11:15pm each night too exhausted to crochet for well over a week.
I gave up and packed my blanket as a consequence. I’m not sure what the removal men will think when they see the name on this box!
Back to the beach
You wait months for a trip to the beach and two beach days come along at once! We went back to the beach on Monday. It was great, and one Little Box of Crochet dodged the packing boxes for now!!
A chilly treat
Ever since Hotel Chocolat started selling ice cream in Gibraltar, I have promised Eldest that I would get him one. This week, that finally happened. It was lovely, but I managed to give myself brain freeze as I ate it too quickly!!
Bright summer days
It was so colourful at the southern end of Main Street when I popped into town to have a farewell coffee with a friend – I couldn’t resist taking a few photos.
I had a wonderful evening on Thursday after a day of admin (mainly to do with schools for the Little Postcards). It was my last book club meeting ‘in person’ for a while.
Book Club was started a few years ago by a friend who had been a member of a group in the UK (who I know sometimes reads this blog – thank you Jackie!) It’s been wonderful, a really lovely group of friends and given me enough impetus to get me reading properly again. Having studied a very literature heavy degree at university, I kind of fell out of love with reading as it became a chore.
My book club ladies helped me rekindle my romance with a good book from true crime to historic fantasy. I will miss my book club nights, but have been told I still have to read the books each time and take part remotely!!
Our last meal together was utterly scrumptious- fish & chips!
I love the walk home from book club too – it’s so nice to walk the quiet streets of Gibraltar after dark. The views out to sea are equally stunning at night! And how about this for an intricate window?
Forgive me, but it has to be done. There won’t be views & sunsets like this where we are going. However I will be replacing the view with beautiful green trees which lose their leaves in autumn, instead of a balcony there will be a garden with grass and I’ll have close family & life-long friends close by so I think that’s a pretty decent trade, don’t you?
It was a humid, grey morning yesterday when Eldest exclaimed – “What’s that?!” What a peculiar looking cruise ship. I’m told it’s a Virgin cruise ship which is normally based on the opposite side of the Atlantic Ocean. It did look a bit unusual as it passed by our windows!
And that brings this week’s Sunday Sevens to a close. I’m not sure what state either Sunday Sevens or I will be in this time next week. One thing I can be sure of is it’ll be a few degrees cooler and far easier to unpack than it was to pack!! I’m off now to throw some more things into boxes … wish me luck!
Sunday Sevens was first created by Natalie from Threads and Bobbins.
Hello there and welcome to another Sunday Sevens. If you read my post on Thursday, you will know that sadly we are preparing to leave Gibraltar after 11 very happy years here.
As a consequence of our impending move, it’s been a rather difficult week with lots of boring packing and sorting of belongings and paperwork, but thankfully good friends sprinkled some fun amongst the drudgery!
Here’s what we got up to this week…
Seeing as our days here are numbered I’m reveling in the beautiful view from our apartment as much as I possibly can. I’m always popping out into the balcony to watch the ships or see what the squawking seagulls are up to. This was last Sunday’s sunset.
One of the joys of packing is unearthing treasures at the bottom of drawers and the back of cupboards. This isn’t exactly a treasure but was my first and only attempt at cable knitting. I think perhaps I need to have another go at it.
A treat of a boat trip
Friends of ours have a boat moored in one of Gibraltar’s marinas and they invited us for a trip out to see the dolphins on Wednesday. It was a total delight. We saw a mother and baby and a pod of others hunting fish further off.
What a treat it was and a real boost to escape the never ending to-do list for a few hours. The Little Postcards had such fun with their friends jumping off the boat into the Bay, and trying to spy our home amongst the other buildings. It was just what the doctor ordered.
A blogging birthday
So this week, Postcard from Gibraltar turned 5. I am amazed that this milestone has been reached. When I first started writing it I had no idea if anyone would actually read it! Thankfully you have! 🙂
If you missed my blog birthday post on Thursday, you can find it here.
A trip to the beach
Normally by this point in the summer, we would be regularly popping down to the beach, but unfortunately jobs have prevented that until yesterday. We made our first trip to Sandy Bay and it was glorious. What a great time we had. We’ll really miss having this on our doorstep.
The geraniums are looking super on the balcony at the moment. They look brilliant against the bright blue sky & sea.
I had a most wonderful evening last night with some special friends. I didn’t take any pictures as I was so busy eating and talking!! It was a bit of a going away dinner, and was a real treat. I know it’s sad to be leaving this beautiful place and good friends but it’s not goodbye, just farewell until next time.
This week saw episode 10 and the last part of the first series of Making Stitches Podcast go out. I’m taking a bit of a break over the summer and will be looking forward to recording some new podcast episodes for later in the year. This week, my guest was my wonderful sewing teacher, Dorcas Hammond, who spoke of a lifetime in dressmaking. Just search ‘Making Stitches Podcast’ on your favourite podcast app.
That’s all for this week. I’m not sure whether there will be much for me to write about over the coming seven days, I fear it will be boxes, boxes and more boxes, but I’ll do my best!
Until next time, bye for now and thank you for stopping by.
Hello! Postcard from Gibraltar is 5 years old today!
When I first launched this blog back in 2015, I had no idea where it would lead. It was an outlet for a slightly stir-crazy stay-at-home Mum with a desire to do more but unable at that time to go back to work, even on a part-time basis.
Little did I know the doors it would open or the confidence it would give me. It has brought me the opportunity to write for magazines; both online and in print. It gave me the confidence to return to the world of work after many years at home with children and now there is a new podcast ‘Making Stitches’.
It all started with this first blog post. Little did I know then, where it would lead and even if it would last as long as that first summer!
It has also brought me connections with many friends near and far. Friends I have never met and probably won’t ever meet, but friends nonetheless in ‘real life’ and living in my phone!
Thank you to everyone who has read my posts and cheered me from the sidelines over the past five years. I am very grateful for your support.
It seems rather appropriate that this milestone should happen now while things are in a state of flux for us. Not just because of the issues going on on the world stage but also those a little closer to home.
Next month we will be leaving Gibraltar after 11 very happy years here. Life is leading us back to the UK and a new life in the north of England. We leave with mixed emotions; great affection for Gibraltar and it’s people who have made us feel very welcome and sadness to be saying goodbye to good friends and this beautiful place.
However, looking forward we are thrilled to be heading back home to be close to family and friends (some of which I have known since primary school). Living so far from family has its limitations and that has been brought home more than ever during the past few months of lockdown.
I have thought long and hard about what to do about Postcard from Gibraltar after the move. Can there even be a Postcard from Gibraltar if I’m not in Gibraltar anymore?
But I would miss the community I have met online too much if I packed it all in. I also can’t quite face starting a new blog and going back to square one with it alongside the enormity of moving a family and all our belongings from one end of Europe to the other during a global pandemic, so Postcard from Gibraltar will continue after our move.
I can’t guarantee as many photos of blue skies or sea views. I’m not sure whether our sunsets will be quite as picturesque in the suburbs as they are across the Bay of Gibraltar but I will do my best.
I understand that a good proportion of readers of this blog will be doing so because of the Gibraltar connection, and if it no longer interests you in the future (in its UK based form) I won’t be offended if you fall away. Many readers though, I believe, do so because we have a shared interest in crafty things and trying to find a little bit of beauty in everyday.
And so, at the end of Postcard from Gibraltar’s first five years, I look back feeling proud of what it’s become and excited for the future and what it holds in store. Thank you for coming along on my journey with me, it’s been a pleasure to have your company on the ride!
Hello and welcome to Sunday Sevens again! It’s been a glorious day here, truly midsummery in every way. I hope it’s been a good one for you too. Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens:
A Sunday jaunt up the Rock
Last Sunday I headed up the Rock for a trip to the Windsor Suspension bridge with the Little Postcards. It was beautiful but a little windy. I nearly lost my hat in a gust while crossing the bridge! There were so many butterflies out and about. I only managed to snap one though.
We have 2 sparrow families nesting on our balcony at the moment. It’s the second lot of chicks in both nests so far this year. They are rather a noisy and raucous bunch. They may be small but they are loud! They get rather annoyed when they see me sitting on the balcony and chirp loudly at me as if to say I’m trespassing on their property!!
Speaking of balconies, this is one of the prettiest in Gibraltar. It was looking lovely as I walked past this week.
Last rays of sunshine
I spent all day at home on Wednesday doing jobs which had to be done. It was frustrating because I wanted to get out. I managed a short walk at sunset and it did the job. A beautiful pick me up at the end of the day.
Catching up on pandemonium
I managed to find a tiny bit of time one afternoon to dig out my Pandemonium CAL for a short while. It felt good to get back to it. I’m a good few weeks behind schedule but I’ll get there in the end!
Last Sunday night I managed to get this finished! My Entrelac Tunisian crochet purse from Little Box of Crochet. I’m really pleased with it, although I’m not sure I would do it again. I found it really quite tricky and couldn’t do it while watching telly!
This week episode 9 of Making Stitches went online and it featured my first international interview with Esther from Essie Birdies. Esther and I had a chat all about how crochet became a passion for her about 10 years ago. She designs the most beautiful shawls as well as amigurumi and other things. You can find the show notes for the episode here and listen by searching for ‘Making Stitches’ on your favourite podcast app.
That’s all for this week, I hope to be back with another blog post mid week this week (all being well). Until then, take care and thanks for stopping by.
So it’s one of those weeks when Sunday Sevens appears on a Monday (a Bank Holiday Monday as a matter of fact – in honour of the Queen’s birthday), it’s a busy old time Chez Postcard at the moment behind the scenes and boring stuff has been getting in the way of blogging, so please excuse the delay! Without further ado, here’s this week’s edition:
Back to sewing class
As I am a little camera shy on the blog I never imagined that I’d be sharing a full-frontal top of the head to knees photo of myself. But there you go, complete with my slightly wonky home made face mask!
The reason for the photo is that last Monday I got back to my lovely sewing teacher; Dorcas Hammond’s workshop for my first sewing lesson post lockdown. It was a real treat and was a one off stand-alone workshop to make a fleecy hooded body warmer. This was actually scheduled to happen in March – fleecy body warmers are a little bit on the toasty side for Gibraltar in June!
Anyway, the three of us students were sitting spaced out with sanitized hands and face masks but it was great to be back in the saddle even if it was a brief one. Thank you Dorcas x
Clear skies across the Strait
Tuesday brought the delights of a trip to the tip / recycling dump. What joy! However on the return journey I stopped for a look at the view across to Morocco which seems so clear these days – one positive of the lockdown has been a reduction in pollution in these parts – let’s hope that continues.
I have never seen peonies for sale as cut flowers in the supermarket before but these beauties caught my eye this week along with the deep pink stocks. They have been an absolute delight in a vase on the sideboard. They didn’t last long in the summer heat but they were a joy for a few days.
International Yarnbombing Day 2020
So Thursday was International Yarnbombing Day and this year instead of Yarnbombing public places, knitters and crocheters were encouraged to yarnbomb something closer to home. I chose my favourite crochet spot, a bench on our balcony and recycled my yarnbomb from the Alameda Gardens bicentenary year of 2016. A few Postcard from Gibraltar favourites made it out there too like Llanita the Yarndale Sheep from 2016 and Europa the Unicorn who came on our European adventure with us in the summer of 2017 and my first ever crochet blanket; the Granny Stripe designed by Lucy at Attic 24.
How about that for a blue sky? What a belter. We’ve had some lovely weather this past week, a day and a half of blustery grey cloud and showers on Thursday/Friday but apart from that, some lovely sunshine! The pinks of the St Joseph’s school building showed off the blue to great effect I thought as I walked past.
Doesn’t everyone have their ironing board up on their balcony? I’m not sure what passers by might have thought when I was blocking my Entrelac purse on Saturday – but hey, what does it matter. It’s almost finished…
A stunning sunset
Saturday night’s sunset was an absolute stunner. The sky was on fire!
This week episode 8 of Making Stitches went out and this week the theme was stranded knitting. The hugely talented Phil from The Twisted Yarn was my guest and spoke all about her passion for intricate knitted motifs, her famous crocheted chair and Robyn the Robin who visits her garden.
If you fancy a listen, just search for ‘Making Stitches Podcast’ on your favourite podcast app.
That’s all for this week, I’ll be back next Sunday, all being well. Have a good week!
Hello there! I hope it’s been a good week for you. It’s been pretty warm here in Gibraltar lately, it certainly feels like summer!
Sunday evening stroll
Last Sunday when I realised we hadn’t left our home for a walk for a few days I bundled the Little Postcards out of the door for an evening stroll. It was a lovely (if short) wander. Although lockdown is easing here a lot (restaurants have reopened and many shops) it still feels a bit odd so we are staying close to home.
A lovely spot for a chat
On Monday I had the chance to meet up with a fellow creative, Victoria Peat. Victoria moved to Gibraltar last year with her husband’s job and is now based here. She is a real advocate for sewing and teaches dressmaking, patchwork and other subjects even leading classes on telly! We had a chat, which I recorded for Making Stitches Podcast whilst sitting (at an appropriate distance) in this rather lovely bandstand in the Alameda Gardens. (More on the podcast later…)
I started this project from Little Box of Crochet last weekend. It’s going to be an Entrelac purse. It should have been finished by now, but erm it’s still a work in progress…
I had a walk through town on Wednesday after dropping the car in for a service. It was my first trip along Main Street for a long time. I was thrilled to see how colourful it was, the flowers were looking beautiful.
Talking of flowers, I bought these lilies from the supermarket a few weeks ago and I’m thrilled with them, they are looking beautiful at the moment. I love the vibrant pink colour!
As it’s been a busy but dull week, I ran out of photos to include for Sunday Sevens, so here’s last night’s sunset. For no other reason than that it was rather pretty!
As I mentioned earlier, this is Victoria Peat, my guest on Making Stitches this week. It was fun to chat to her about all manner of sewing from making World Book Day costumes to delightful patchwork quilts. You can listen to her here.
That’s all for this week. Take care and I hope the next 7 days are kind to you.