Sunday Sevens #93 23.7.17

A jaunt to Wales


Last Sunday we took a drive to North Wales to visit family. Just over an hour’s drive from my parents’ home and we were in the beautiful rolling hills near Mold. It’s such a beautiful part of the world.  Our relatives also have a big garden so the Little Postcards had a whale of a time running about playing with their cousins and three lovely dogs…

…. including Seren. Isn’t she adorable? 🐾

More blue skies


If you saw last week’s post with grey skies over Manchester, you will understand why I needed to include this photo of gorgeous sunny blue skies this week 😉

Goodbye…


This used to be the view from our bedroom window. On Tuesday, we returned to our old home (which we have rented out for the past 8 years) and emptied the loft in readiness for selling the house. Mixed emotions about leaving this place, but it’s the right thing to do.

Obligatory fish and chips photo…

Now don’t get me wrong, we didn’t eat fish and chips all the time when we lived in England, maybe once a month? But we sure do miss fish and chip dinners in Gibraltar. There are several food establishments on the Rock who serve British style fish and chips, but it’s just not the same. So we have to indulge when we are back home.

Zero food miles 

We were lucky enough to enjoy some of my parents’ home grown strawberries on our trip over. This is the last one – and it’s mine!!!

Hello Reading


We took a train down south to Reading on Friday to visit some very dear friends who used to live in Gibraltar. We do miss them a lot so it’s fab to have an annual catch up.

Rainy Reading


Yesterday the weather wasn’t fantastic so we headed into Reading town Centre for a lovely lunch and cinema trip for the Little Postcards and their friends. Such a lovely day in spite of the weather!


Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series for bloggers which was created by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins. It features seven (or perhaps more) photos from the last seven days of your week. If you are a blogger and would like to join in with the Sunday Sevens community, then pop over to Natalie’s blog to find out how you can get involved.

Sunday Sevens #92 16.7.17

This week’s Sunday Sevens sees our summer break beginning in earnest…

So long Gibraltar 

Last Sunday, myself and the three Little Postcards boarded a plane bound for Manchester. The summer holidays got off to a flying start in every sense of the word. As we left, we got this great view of the Rock and the Spanish Mediterranean coast before taking an unusual flight path along the Strait of Gibraltar hugging the Moroccan coastline before heading north. I have never flown that way before and it was interesting to see the Moroccan mountains complete with lakes and winding roads so closely.

Looking for colour on a grey day


I am a great lover of Manchester, having been born and brought up there. Marrying a southerner, I had to put up with years of abuse about it raining constantly in Manchester (it doesn’t by the way). Anyway, just to prove me wrong we have had a bit of iffy weather at the start and end of the week. To divert my attention away from the grey skies, I found tons of beautiful colour in the front gardens close to my parents’ house.

Cinema time


Another sketchy weather day on Tuesday saw us head to the cinema in the Trafford Centre to see Despicable Me 3. We try to go to the multiplex most summers when we visit. Being used to just 2 small screens at the cinema in Gibraltar, it’s a rather grand affair here in comparison. 

A trip to the country


Wednesday, and we took a trip to a very familiar place for me, Dunham Massey. This National Trust property featured heavily on my childhood Sunday afternoons. It’s beautiful deer are always a treat to see.

Harvest time

Back in June, I made a quick trip home to visit my parents and we stopped for a pub lunch on the outskirts of Warrington. At the time, I posted a photo of the beautiful field next door in my Sunday Sevens. We revisited the pub with the Little Postcards on Thursday as it was a warm and dry day and the pub had a great kids play area and football nets too. As we ate our lunch, we spotted some activity in the next door field – it was harvest time. That’s something we don’t get to see in Gibraltar!



Old and new

On Friday I took the Little Postcards into town to visit the fantastic Museum of Science and  Industry. We have been before, but not for a few years and felt it was due at return visit. The boys loved all the hands-on experiments. After the museum, we took a walk into the centre of Manchester. It has changed so much in recent years, but amongst all the new modern developments there are still some reach architectural jewels.

An astronomical trip


Yesterday we took a drive out to the Cheshire Plain to see the Jodrell Bank radio telescope and visitor centre. The venue for stargazing tv extravaganzas with the likes of Dr Brian Cox and Dara O’Brien, it’s certainly undergone a bit of a transformation since our last visit around 8 years ago. It was another hit with the Little Postcards for the hands-on exhibits. 


Thanks for joining me for this week’s Sunday Sevens. Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins blog.

Sunday Sevens #91 9.7.17

And so it begins…. schools have broken up for summer here in Gibraltar and the eight week-long summer holiday is underway.

I will continue posting Sunday Sevens, the photo challenge and my summer craft challenge throughout the summer but as for any other more considered posts – well we will just have to wait and see. I see days filled with beach outings, picnics and other child friendly activities and hopefully a bit of adult relaxing too.

Here’s to summer fun!

A sunset walk

I’m pretty sure I have posted a photo like this once before after a similar evening stroll to the recycling bins – ah the glamour!  Still the view makes the task a bit more appealing :-).


Casting my vote

This year’s Gibraltar National Day marks the 50th anniversary of the referendum when Gibraltarians voted overwhelmingly to remain British. For the past month or so, there has been a special exhibition of press cuttings and Pathé news reels of the time. 

Part of the exhibition features a polling booth where you can cast your own vote in a mock second referendum. School parties have come down to see the exhibits and the children have also had the chance to vote in a childrens’ referendum. I cast my vote too!

First figs 


We have figs!! Last year our little fig tree did bear fruit but something or someone snaffled them before we got the chance to harvest any for ourselves. This year we were rewarded for our patience and we have 2 ripe fruits. There are more still to come as well!

Cake!


We have had two birthday celebrations in the Postcard household this week. One required a home made cake. It was rather tasty 😋 

Nothing to see here…


Diamond the Postcard family pet rabbit has got a new party trick.. He loves jumping up onto the sofa during his evening romps around the lounge and making me jump out of my skin. I’ll be sitting there watching telly or crocheting and bam he’s suddenly up beside me! He’s such a cheeky monkey.

Instagram milestone


This week my Instagram account reached a bit of a milestone. It now has 500+ followers. Fancy that! Thank you to everyone who’s stopped by and said hello 😊

Beautiful Europa Point

Yesterday morning I took a little stroll to the lighthouse at Europa Point. It was a gorgeous morning without a cloud in the sky. Trinity Lighthouse was looking fab with her new lick of paint and the scaffolding taken down.

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series featuring seven photos from the past seven days and was created by Natalie from Threads & Bobbins

Sunday Sevens #90 2.7.17

Sunday Sevens number 90?? Crumbs have I really been doing it that long? I hope I’m not boring you! Thanks for coming along for the ride! 😊

So here’s this week’s installment of Sunday Sevens…

Another beautiful evening sky

I thought the clouds looked particularly pretty on Sunday evening last week. Unfortunately the camera on my phone didn’t quite do them justice. We are being really spoiled with gorgeous sunsets this summer.

End of term for dressmaking class

I can hardly believe that I have reached the end of my second year of dressmaking classes with the immensely clever Dorcas Hammond (you can read all about Dorcas in this post). It may seem a silly thing to do to end the year with the beginnings of a new project, but for various reasons I got a bit behind with my work this year.

I am now all ready to get cracking in September stitching this gorgeous Kafe Fassett fabric into a blouse.

Last watercolour lesson of the term

Similar to dressmaking I had my last watercolour lesson this week and again I spent my lesson working on a new project. I am attempting to paint a sunset I photographed a couple of weeks ago. I enjoyed playing with the colours to find the right tones for the sky and sea. I do fear that the trial run may turn out better than the real thing though!! You can also see my post about my hugely talented watercolour teacher Deborah M Lawson here.

Crochet therapy

Life seems to be very hectic at the moment, it shouldn’t surprise me but it always is at this time of year. As the school year draws to a close and we are inundated with notes and emails detailing special days and meetings and a flurry of birthday party invitations for children whose birthdays fall during the long summer break. 

There have been days when I am sure I have had steam coming out of my ears and I’ve been contemplating running away and locking myself in a darkened room until September. However, I did make it to the weekend and next week is the last week of term for the Little Postcards. I did realise this week that I need to keep crafting to retain my sanity, so whenever I could, I grabbed a crochet hook and got busy on the border for this blanket. 

Poniente breezes

Something which has gone in our favour this week is is the fact that the wind direction changed. Of late we have ‘enjoyed’ a Levante (easterly) wind which has brought with it hot and humid weather, this week we received a welcome break with Poniente (westerly) breezes bringing much cooler weather. 

You could see the North Moroccan coast really clearly on Friday but blimey the water in the Strait was choppy. I don’t fancy being on that little boat! 

Another blanket finished

TA-dah! The latest Sixty Million Trebles blanket is completed. This one is the result of a collaboration and was created by the Gibraltar Crochet Collective, I just joined it and added the border. This is a slightly smaller baby blanket and will go with two others to a drop off point in England when I am over visiting family this summer. For more on Sixty Million Trebles, you can see their website here

Yesterday the organisation revealed the big news that they have reached the 3/4 point in their goal of reaching 60 million treble stitches. Hopefully they will hit 60 by the time the blankets are shipped to help Syrian refugee children in September.

Summer craft challenge 2017

Last year during the school summer holidays I challenged myself to do a little bit of craft every day in order to maintain my sanity. I amazed myself at managing to fulfill the challenge on all bar one day over the eight week long school break. 

This year, I have decided to do the same thing. I began my challenge yesterday seeing as it was the first of July and it felt like the start of summer proper. I wonder whether I’ll be able to maintain my challenge again this year?  Fancy joining in? If you do, you can follow my progress on Instagram, just use the tag #summercraftchallenge2017 with your creations.

Thanks for joining me this week. Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie from Threads & Bobbins

Sunday Sevens #89 25.6.17

Hello there, I hope this week’s Sunday Sevens finds you well and happy. If you saw my last post, you will know that Postcard from Gibraltar is now the ripe old age of two years old! In some ways it feels like I have been writing these posts for ever, but in many other ways it feels like only recently I plucked up the confidence to start typing out my first blog post. Thank you to all of you for the positivity you have showed me over this last two years.

Now you see it… Now you don’t 


Well, Gib didn’t quite totally disappear, but you get the drift! Last Sunday we had talked about taking a trip into Spain, but we ended up staying a lot closer to home and heading down to Europa Point. We had visitors this week in the form of Mr Postcard’s parents and we went for a walk at Europa Point, the Little Postcards had a play at the park and I took my father-in-law for a walk down to the Europa Foreshore. 

While we sat chatting at the park I was watching the Levanter cloud coming and going over the peak of the Rock of Gibraltar. I kept taking pictures in the hope I would catch it completely obscured but this is as close as I got.

Dressmaking class 

In this week’s dressmaking class i actually managed to get some sewing done! I have lots track of the number of weeks I have spent drawing my new pattern. I am currently working on a blouse and boy, oh boy, it’s been a long drawn out affair. Well, the pattern is finished and this week I got the chance to actually sew. I made a sample collar ahead of the real thing. It was a relatively painless process, let’s see how the real thing turns out….

Chocolate cake and watercolours

We had a real treat at our watercolour class this week when one of my fellow students arrived bearing cake. She was weighed down with homemade flapjack and chocolate birthday cake from her daughter’s birthday party the day before. I was ‘forced’ to have a tiny sliver of flapjack and then was presented with this gorgeous piece of cake. It only slightly distracted me from finishing off my mussel shell…

Sports Day

I know I have featured a photo just like this one before in Sunday Sevens, but it never fails to amaze me when I take a seat at the Victoria Stadium for one of the Little Postcards’ Sports Days and see them running their races at the National Stadium with the Rock of Gibraltar as a back drop. It’s such a far cry from the school field behind a row of terraced houses that I competed on when I was trying to balance a clay egg on a table spoon!

Season of sea mists

We have had some belting sea mists this week. I know it is the season for it, and perhaps with the very hot weather we have been ‘enjoying’ of late, it has added to the phenomenon. Some days it has come all of a sudden and taken me by surprise, other days I have been able to watch it slowly creep up the Bay from the Strait and towards land. I love listening to the huge tankers almost singing to each other with their fog horns.

Dolphins!

As we had our special visitors this week, we decided to go out on a dolphin boat trip one afternoon when the Little Postcards had finished their half day at school. We were not disappointed as you can see. We saw literally hundreds of them. I took lots of photos on our trip and I will share some more of them in the next few weeks.

Against all odds…

You wouldn’t think that a pavement at the side of the beach would be the most fertile place for a flowering plant to thrive would you? One evening this week we took a trip to Catalan Bay to have dinner on a balmy summer evening and as we walked to the restaurant I spotted this plant growing up in a crack between the paving blocks. I am not completely sure what it is, but it does look a bit like the Hawaiian Busy Lizzies my Mum used to grow on her her kitchen windowsill and a woodier version of the Busy Lizzies I used to have in a hanging basket by my front door back in England  (I may be way off the mark with this). Anyway, whatever it is, it made me smile.

 

I hope that this has been a good week for you, whatever you have been up to. Thank you for stopping by, and thank you to everyone who has taken the time to post comments on my blog and who have responded to my Tweets this week too, that has made me smile as well.

 

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins.

Sunday Sevens #88 18.6.17

Hello from a very warm Gibraltar. Blimey summer has definitely arrived. The temperature has risen considerably and I don’t mind admitting I’m wilting a little! It’s ok in this temperature when you are on holiday and doing nothing in particular but it’s hard work when you still have to cook and clean and rush around doing things. 

Anyway, enough moaning – we are never happy with the weather are we?! Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens…

Sixty Million Trebles corner to corner complete 

This blanket was started during Lent when I was crocheting a granny square each day. On days when I was super keen and wanted to do more crochet I did a bit of this. Once Lent was over I put it aside to do a few other bits and pieces and only revisited this last week when I headed back to Manchester to visit my parents. 

It was completed on Sunday and I took it to the pool for an arty photo shoot 😉 it’s comprised of 10,608 treble stitches and brings my total Sixty Million Trebles tally up to 33,864 for my three blankets to date. 

For those of you who haven’t heard of Sixty Million Trebles before it’s a charity and awareness raising appeal to make crochet blankets totalling sixty million treble stitches (one treble stitch represents one refugee in the world – figures from the UN in 2016). The blankets will be sent to Syrian child refugees. For more information see: the Sixty Million Trebles Facebook page.

Walking 

I abandoned the car for most of this week and decided to walk whenever I could. It meant that I wasn’t able to fit quite as much into my child free hours while the Little Postcards were in school, but I did enjoy being able to appreciate my surroundings a lot more. There are so many interesting buildings and nooks and crannies here in Gibraltar which you can drive past in a blur so easily. 

I won’t have a body fit for a bikini, but I have walked a good few miles this week!

Watercolour seashells 

I put the finishing touches to some of my seashells this week at my watercolour class. I have really enjoyed painting them and have come to the conclusion that perhaps I’m better at small focused pieces than larger landscapes and compositions. 

Trumpet flowers

I have to confess that I don’t know what these flowers are called but I have seen quite a few about of late. In fact there are a lot of gorgeous plants in bloom around Gibraltar at the moment. They seem to be at their peak before getting frazzled in the hot summer sun. 

A new hobby?


“Not another one?” I hear you say. Well there is blogging, taking loads of photos (although I am not a photographer by any means), sewing, painting, crochet, reading… I really don’t need another one but I may have found a new way to dodge doing housework! 

A friend of mine is a rather accomplished ‘felter’ – is that a word? (Well someone who makes delightful pictures with felted yarn). This week she very kindly showed me how to do it too over the course of two lovely lunches and afternoons. 

I took loads of photos and at some point in the next few weeks I hope to be able to share my foray into felting with you too. Ooh it’s such fun! 

Summer hours

The time has finally come, that time of the year where you no longer have to make school packed lunches, but you do have to come up with afternoon entertainment for the kiddiwinks. Friday saw the end of full days for school children in Gibraltar. With just three weeks left until the end of the summer term, it’s half days from here on in. 9am to 12 noon for first schools and 9am to 12:45 for the older children. 

Hmmm, I will be so happy not to have to figure our what tasty delights to put in the lunch boxes of an evening until mid September, but crikey, what am I going to do with them for all that extra time? I don’t remember constantly asking my Mum what her plans for the day were as far as entertaining me and my brother were concerned, but that seems be the norm for me and the mums I’ve spoken to. We may be exploring boredom and room tidying in the coming weeks… I cannot face the beach everyday! 

A roof with a view

I shall round up this week’s Sunday Sevens with a photo of last night’s Saharan Dust sunset. It was lovely and completely different from the rainbow sunsets we’ve had in recent weeks. I grabbed my camera as I spotted some seagulls sitting on a nearby roof enjoying the view as much as me!

We are enjoying a Bank Holiday weekend this weekend, schools and many workplaces are closed tomorrow in honour of the Queen’s birthday. That means that many Dads who are able to enjoy Father’s Day today, can get a second lie in tomorrow too! However you spend your day, I hope it’s a good one for you.

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins.

Sunday Sevens #87 11.6.17

Hello there, you may be forgiven for thinking that this week’s Sunday Sevens is rather reminiscent of last week’s. For the second week in a row I climbed aboard a plane and flew out of Gibraltar to visit family in England. I normally go at least 6 months between such trips but happy circumstances meant I was able to make a quick return visit to the North West of England.

Summer’s here!


Last Sunday was a bit of a scorcher – summer has definitely arrived here in Gibraltar. We went for our first dip of the season in the pool. My latest Sixty Million Trebles blanket came with me too.

World Environment Day

Monday was World Environment Day, and Gibraltar put on a series of stalls in Commonwealth Park to highlight the work being done by the various environmental organisations, governmental and charity. The TV cameras were down there filming while we were passing through.

 
Here we go again!

Tuesday evening saw me heading back onto the tarmac to catch a plane to Manchester. A long awaited solo trip back to see my parents without children…. bliss (although I did miss them a little bit 😉).

Cheshire & crochet

Wednesday was beautifully sunny and we headed off into Cheshire, which is pretty close to where I was brought up. I just love the wide open green spaces – so different to what we are used to seeing each day in Gibraltar.

We called into my new favourite wool shop: Black Sheep Wools. My goodness the yarn, the colours, the inspiration… I could spend all day and a fortune in here! I love it. 

I added to my stash and even convinced my Mum into dusting off her knitting needles and buying a pattern to make herself something. I don’t think she has knitted since my eldest (now a teenager) was very little, I do hope she enjoys her new project.

So here’s my stash, which includes a very nice surprise of a belated birthday gift (pink & white Sugar n’ Cream yarn and my first ever Caron Cake) and my missing April edition of Little Box of Crochet which I was able to collect thanks to the lovely Emma at Little Box of Crochet.

Homeward bound

All too soon it was time for me to board another plane to take me back to Gibraltar and my boys. Bye bye Cheshire countryside!

It was only the next day that I discovered I had had a very close call. The plane I was travelling on and the next departure to Malaga were the last two allowed to takeoff from Manchester before the airport was evacuated because of a suspect package. It was two hours before planes took off again. As far as I’m aware no one was harmed thankfully, just a lot of waiting around for passengers and staff.

En route to Gibraltar I carried on working on my Sixty Million Trebles blanket, it’s working up really fast. Very quickly I could spy the Rock out of my window!

Calentita!


Yesterday the 11th annual Calentita Food Festival came to Casemates Square. It’s got to be 6 years since we last attended due to small children. We had a nice evening and ate some interesting food. I will share some more photos very soon…

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie from the  Threads and Bobbins blog.