Friday photo challenge (week 23) Line

Hmmm line…. what was I thinking when I came up with that theme for the weekly photo challenge? Apologies to everyone who’s been taking part!

This was a tough one. First I thought about the old lines of defence around Gibraltar. The above road sign gives a nod to what once was.

Then I thought about the lines on the Gibraltar airport runway (but they are more arrows than lines).

And then I thought about the line of brightly painted beach huts at our favourite English seaside town, Southwold in Suffolk, and thought that might do the job.

That was until I took a walk through Catalan Bay yesterday and snapped this…

Lines on the boardwalk and lines in the shadows. That’ll do it!

Hopefully, next week’s photo challenge will be a little easier, the theme next week is ‘Tiny’.

A Postcard from springtime Suffolk

Two weeks ago, we all hopped on a plane, said goodbye to Gibraltar and headed off to England for a few days.

Our destination…. Suffolk. Southwold to be precise, but also Beccles too for the special day that was to be a Postcard family wedding. More on that later…

It’s eight months since we were last in Southwold. It’s a special place for us which we have visited many times over the years. Regular visitors to this blog may remember my posts from here last summer… A postcard from Southwold & A postcard from Southwold Pier

It was so nice to be back on the pier admiring the view into town and towards the beautifully painted beach huts.

There weren’t as many visitors in town as we’d experienced last August, but there were still some folk around doing the touristy things. Oh, and maybe eating a portion or two of fish & chips…

Southwold is such a pretty place.

There are cute little cottages around every corner.

Oh, and did I mention I have a thing about beach huts?! 

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside…

We went crazy and had a go at the two pence penny pushers in the pier amusement arcade.

We swerved the Punch & Judy show, although it did have a decent audience who persisted through the show while being blown by strong sea winds.

It may have been a bit grey at times, but that didn’t spoil our fun.

The roadside verges and people’s gardens were bursting forth with the most beautiful spring displays. Excuse me this indulgence please, I miss seeing spring flowers like this!

Oh the blossom!

And just look at this quaint architect’s office, complete with coordinating car!

I do like a colourfully painted front door…

One evening we set off across the fields behind the town and leaving the grand Victorian homes behind us, headed into the fenland towards the harbour.

Within a short walk we were by the river and tucking into a delicious pub meal. The gorse flowers glowed in the setting sunshine.


So, the reason for this jaunt to England during school termtime? We had a wedding to attend. 

Tucked away in the lush green countryside near Beccles is White Dove Barns. Surrounded by fields of crops and cattle and looking glorious was the venue for the nuptials.

The converted farm buildings were just so English and so, so picturesque.

As the registrar got everything ready for the ceremony I sneaked in to take a peak before the guests arrived.

And after the ceremony, this is the room where the reception took place.

The renovated old barn was so pretty, and the table settings, just gorgeous.

The beautiful flowers on the top table were stunning and so springlike. 

Even the wedding cake was covered in flowers. 

It was a really beautiful venue and the perfect backdrop for a very happy day.

With the happy couple successfully hitched, we had time for one more delicious breakfast at the Adnam’s brewery and another wander around Southwold before heading home.

There she is, our Rock. Thank you, Suffolk, it was lovely to see you again! Until next time…

Sunday Sevens #52 9.10.16

 

Despite the fact we are well into October now, it’s been very warm again here in Gibraltar. As I sit at the dining table writing this, I have steam coming out of my collar!!

This week has been a rather busy one for me, there’s been nothing in particular, just lots of different stuff going on, so there was no midweek post from me this week. I hope you’ve had a good week, whatever you’ve been up to. Without further ado, here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens:

Across the Strait

This photo kind of sums up the weather we’ve been having for about half of this last week. I took the photo on Sunday afternoon when we took the Little Postcards to Europa Point park to let off a bit of steam on their scooters. You know when they are bouncing off the walls that you need to get out and exercise them like dogs!! The sky was crystal clear overhead but in the distance across at Morrocco there was a hazy mist which looked like someone had taken an eraser to the bit where the mountains touch the sea!

So for most of this week, in the afternoons  it has been clear, bright and hot (especially when standing outside the school gates waiting for the bell to go!) but the mornings have been misty and town was sitting under a heavy Levanter cloud with gusty winds whipping up the dust.

Dressmaking class


Sewing continued on the sample top I’m working on in my dressmaking class. The photo doesn’t show it to advantage as the back is still unfinished and open. Part of the exercise for this sample is to make up the front, then remodel the arm holes and neckline. This is before the remodelling takes place.

In addition to working on my sample top, I have also been making a skirt for my Mum who has been over visiting at the moment. A straight skirt with a small slit at the back and in a colour to compliment her new winter coat is underway. After several fittings and alterations, I am now about to machine stitch the side seams and hand sew the hem. Hopefully it will be ready for her when she returns before Christmas.

Watercolour class

After two weeks of pencil sketches, I finally got around to mixing some paint colours and worked my current project at my watercolour class this week. I just love the brightly coloured beach huts at Southwold, and wanted to work on a painting to reflect that. I’m working from a photograph taken by Mr Postcard of a stretch of predominantly blue and white ones, but have used a little artistic licence and injected more colour based on photos I took on our visit in the summer. I’m really enjoying painting this one. 🙂

Sea mist


We had everything crossed on Friday evening. After dropping my parents off at the airport to fly home, we returned to find our home had been engulfed by a real pea-souper of a sea mist. Just as their plane was due to land it got thicker and thicker.

Miraculously the plane landed. The two photos above were taken 30 minutes apart. The first one is of a tree about 100 metres from our apartment – there was no point taking one of the sea, it would have just been grey!

I’m very pleased to say that Mum and Dad made it back home safely and we look forward to seeing them again just before Christmas.

Autumn leaves


It’s October, and of course that means autumn. I do love autumn in the UK in a kind of bitter sweet way. It’s such a beautiful season with the colours of the leaves on woodland walks but it also spells the end of summer and all the fun which that season promises. Back when we lived in England, I kind of dreaded winter with the grey damp urgh kind of weather it could spell for weeks between the odd beautiful crispy frosty day.

One benefit of living here in Gibraltar is that although we do have seasons, they aren’t quite as noticeable as in England. Summer is undboubtedly hot and sunny and winter is often damp and grey but not quite as cold and depressing as I remember English winter days to be. That does mean though that spring and autumn aren’t quite as obvious as what’s experienced in the UK.

I remember feeling a bit homesick that first autumn after we moved to Gibraltar and I just couldn’t put my finger on what the problem was. Suddenly it hit me, the vast majority of the trees here on the Rock are evergreen and that meant there are very few leaves to crunch through and collect with little people. Autumn always used to mean Sunday afternoons spent at one of our nearest National Trust sites or parks collecting sticks, conkers and brown, red and golden leaves of all shapes and sizes to bring home. That just isn’t an option here.

In recent years though, a few new trees have been planted here and some of the ones in Commonwealth Park (which was built a couple of years ago) are deciduous. It was so nice to sit under the browning leaves on a bench for a while yesterday as the Little Postcards played football. We were all in T-shirts and shorts so it’s not really like autumn, but it was nice to pretend.

A new crochet project


After finishing my sixty million trebles blanket last week, I was free to crack open some of the lovely new yarn I bought at Yarndale a fortnight ago with a clear conscience. The gorgeous mohair and bamboo Louisa Harding Yarn I bought from Esgair Fibres had been calling me from my stash and really needed to be worked on as soon as possible! I’m using it to make a shawl/scarf for when the weather here turns a little bit fresher. It’s so lovely to use, the constantly changing colours which change even within just one treble stitch are gorgeous and it feels so nice between my fingers as I hook up another row.

 
PS : just one more thing…

A couple of people asked to see the finished picture that I posted two weeks ago from my watercolour class, here it is, mounted and ready to go to its new home in England.

 

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

(Natalie, if you’re reading this I hope you’re ok! You’ve been very quiet lately.)

Sunday Sevens #51 2.10.16

Let the sewing begin!

Three weeks into our dressmaking course and we have finished with the pattern drawing and cutting and we are now in the process of constructing a sample top. Because it’s a sample, we are just using curtain lining material to make it, hence the rather boring photo. I’m eager to get this finished and move onto the next ‘real’ project.

Bunny bombshell

Bunny Postcard had a trip to the vets this week. We had been meaning to take him for months so that he could have some vaccinations to allow him to play out in our back patio. Now the weather is beginning to cool a little bit, we thought he might like to have a hop about outside. The first thing the vet said when she saw Bunny was ‘Oh what a lovely girl’. I thought nothing of it, thinking clearly she’s made a mistake…

Once the full medical was done, including checking his heart, ears, eyes and teeth, the vet cottoned onto the fact that we had never actually officially been told Bunny’s gender. Well the big news this week is that Bunny is officially a girl! It’s taken a bit of time for that news to sink in in certain quarters, but I’m thrilled to know that at last I am no longer the only female in the Postcard household!

Suspension 

When I flew back from Yarndale last weekend, not only did I bring with me a suitcase full of yarn and wonderful memories, I also brought my Mum and Dad with me too. They hadn’t been to see the Windsor suspension bridge yet so one afternoon this week, while the Little Postcards were still at school, we took a walk up the Rock and along the bridge. I have to say, since my last visit, a discernible creak has developed as you walk from one side of the gorge to the other which did put me slightly on edge. The view is still as stunning as ever from there though.

Not much painting going on…

Inspired by our summer holiday in Southwold back in August, I decided that my next paining project should include some of the beautiful beach huts you see along the seafront. Last week I spent the entire lesson trying to sketch out the huts freehand, and not using a ruler. Unfortunately due to the composition of the photo I’m using and it’s perspective, even when just one line was out of place, it made the whole thing look wonky and a bit rubbish.

This week after a quick refresher lesson on perspective, horizons and eyelines, my teacher very kindly gave me some tracing paper to get the skeleton of the picture down onto the paper so that at least next week I can start painting. Shhh, don’t tell anyone I cheated 😉

Interesting keyhole



I went exploring over the border in La Linea on Friday morning looking for yarn shops (not that I need to buy any more after Yarndale last weekend mind you). I had heard there were some and that they sold nice stuff. Thinking ahead to Christmas presents and such like I thought it was worth following it up.

Almost next door to a really lovely yarn shop, this most unusual keyhole caught my eye on the front door of an old building. There’s some really lovely architecture amongst all the late twentieth century and more modern apartments and shop fronts if you keep your eyes open. Next time, I need to take my camera with me….

Cake anyone? 

Yesterday, if you were in Gibraltar town centre there’s a good chance you were  ‘encouraged’ to part with your cash for raffle tickets and cakes for the Scouts. As two of the Little Postcards are in Scouts, there was a bit of baking going on this week for the annual cake stall fundraiser. My fairy cakes aren’t in this picture, they were hidden down at the other end of the stall… I photographed the pretty cakes instead 😉

Rainbow hope blanket completed


Begun on the last day of August (the very last day of the school summer holidays) and completed on the last day of September – it’s taken me a month to complete my contribution to the Sixty Million Trebles project. The blanket I made will join hundreds of others and be joined to make the worlds biggest ever blanket. It will be used to yarn bomb a site in London before being unpicked to make ‘normal-sized’ blankets which will go to charities in the UK and Syria.

The project is being run to raise awareness about the plight of the sixty million refugees who are displaced from their homes around the world at the moment. It will also raise funds for the cause too. It’s hoped that sixty million treble stitches will be crocheted to represent all the people who have been driven from their homes. Where ever my Rainbow Hope Blanket ends up, I hope it brings some hope to whoever receives it. This 36″ square blanket adds 10,656 trebles to the current count of almost five million.

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Nat at Threads & Bobbins. For more information about it, and if you would like to join in, why not  pop over to her blog.

 


A postcard from Southwold 

Unless you are completely new to this blog, it won’t have gone unnoticed that we are currently on our summer holidays at Southwold in Suffolk. It’s a beautiful English seaside town which has loads of charm and character. 

It’s famous for its beach huts, lighthouse, beach and pier as well as the Adnams beer which is brewed locally. Mr Postcard grew up quite nearby, so Southwold has been a regular venue for day trips for us many times over the years while in Norfolk and Suffolk visiting his family. This time, however, is the first time we’ve actually stayed in the town. 

I thought we had probably seen all that it has to offer in the 20+ years we’ve been coming but I was wrong, one and a half weeks into our stay we are still finding quaint alleyways and new places we have never seen before. 


Would you like to join me for a look around? 

Southwold Museum

The little museum seems like as good a place as any to start… Manned by volunteers and open for just two hours a day it holds all sorts of relics from the towns past.

From figureheads from boats to fossils and mammoth teeth.

It has all sorts of bits and bobs relating to the town’s past, this little display was connected to the town’s tailor which is still operating as a clothes shop known as Denny’s. Whether they’ll make you a three piece suit out of tweed in this day and age, I’m not sure.

There were also lots of items relating to the religious life of the town with fragments of stained glass windows from the church of St Edmund’s which was close to a direct hit by German bombs during World War II.

Church of St Edmund’s

The church is home to Southwold Jack, a figure who strikes a bell with his sword. He was once part of a clock and chimed the time. He is an emblem for Southwold and even appears on the bottles of beer produced in the town.

It’s a beautiful big church…

There’s a fair amount of needlework on display here; in the choir stalls…

And in all the pews.

Riverside & harbour

Beside Southwold lies the River Blyth which offers the town a natural harbour. Here you can catch a ferry (rowing boat) across to the picturesque village of Walberswick on the other side.

It’s a really beautiful spot. We took a walk along the riverside on evening on a quest to find somewhere to have dinner. We were lucky enough to see a seal swimming in the harbour.

Along the riverside lie many black huts belonging to the fishermen who work these waters.


After a very pleasant walk we found ourselves at the Harbour Inn and enjoyed a lovely meal outside with the Little Postcards as the sun went down.


The Sailors’ Reading Room 

The Southwold Sailors’ Reading Room is a really special place. It’s a kind of club for sailors but it’s open to the public to visit for free. It’s filled with photographs of sailors from years gone by and photos, paintings and models of their boats too. Cameras are not permitted inside, so I can’t show you the interior but it really is worth a visit. 



Lighthouse

The town is dominated by the Trinity Lighthouse. Nestled in amongst the terraced cottages and next to a pub, it’s open for visitors to climb the many steps to the top to look out across the sea and coastline.

RNLI

The RNLI has a strong presence in Southwold. In summertime there’s a lifeguard station and all year round there’s a lifeboat station, manned as always by brave volunteers. There’s even a museum dedicated to the great work these amazing people do and have done over the many years they’ve been on duty here. 

On our first day here, we were lucky enough to see a display by the local lifeboat and the larger lifeboat (below) from nearby Lowestoft. As you can see, hundreds of people turned out to see the event from the cliffs and the beach as the lifeboat crews staged rescues of surfers, a fishing boat crew and swimmers.

The town 

The town of Southwold itself is beautiful. It’s filled with many independent shops including great food shops, a big favourite of ours was the Two Magpies Bakery (my waistline will testify to that fact!)


Behind the town lies the common complete with it’s two striking water towers, and also currently, the circus.


There are so many beautiful buildings lying up alleyways and tucked away off the beaten track.

Oh, and there’s a brewery here too… I think I may have found a new favourite tipple 😉

If you should happen to be in this neck of the woods, I would really recommend a trip to Southwold. We just can’t help keep coming back for more…

Sunday Sevens #44 14.8.16

We’re still on our summer holidays in Suffolk and have had a really lovely week. The weather has been kind to us most of the time and we’ve been able to get out and about a lot, here’s a few of the things we’ve been up to:

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside…


I had the prom to myself on my Monday morning run. It meant I could ogle the gorgeous beach huts without feeling too self conscious. I have long been an admirer of these little wooden huts in all their gorgeous rainbow colours…

We’re going to the zoo, zoo, zoo


We had a lovely day out at Kessingland Africa Alive Zoo near Lowestoft. The sun shone (most of the time) and we saw loads of lovely animals. Two of the bravest little Postcards got to hold millipedes at the minibeast presentation. Apparently they tickled… Needless to say I was too squeamish to attempt such a thing 😉

Paddling


We got up bright and early one morning and almost had the beach to ourselves. We had a few hours there before heading off to do other things. One of the joys of staying close to the beach has meant we can have several shorter beach trips rather than committing to a whole day there. 

Transport Museum


As one of the Little Postcards is an avid fan of all things public transport related, we often pay a visit to the East Anglia Transport Museum at Lowestoft when we’re in this part of the world. There are trams, trolley buses, a steam train, buses galore and a steam powered road roller. 

Manned by enthusiastic volunteers the museum is an interesting day out for young and old alike (even those of us who don’t get over excited by such things 😉 ).  It’s really well maintained and the collection is constantly being added to and restored. A great favourite for us was the ‘Half-decker bus’ which was designed to hold more passengers than a single decker but still be able to fit under low bridges:


The staggered seating areas were like small train compartments and really cosy. The central corridor led to both upper level and lower level seating. It was a really ingenious use of space – shame this is the only example of this kind of bus still remaining today.

The Cathedral of the Marshes


The church of the Holy Trinity at Blythburgh is striking as it rises above the marshes of the Blyth estuary. Known as the Cathedral of the Marshes, a church has stood on this site for 1400 years. It has a stunning carved wooden ceiling with angels running the length of the roof. The cemetery is a wildlife sanctuary which is maintained in such a way as to promote both the plants and creatures which live there. We always stop and pay the church a visit on the way past, it’s really tranquil spot. 

Rendlesham


We headed to Rendlesham Forest for a lovely woodland walk on a very sunny morning last week. It is such a beautiful place, one we have never visited before. It was the site of a series of famous UFO sightings in 1980 and there’s a specially marked out UFO Trail you can follow to see where the sightings were. Aside from the extra terrestrial side of things it’s a really lovely spot.

For the love of lemon bonbons 


There’s a lovely old-fashioned sweet shop here in Southwold and we have found ourselves drawn to it a couple of times. I have reaquainted myself with the delights of the bonbon on this holiday, rhubarb and custard flavour were very nice but my all time favourite has to be lemon… Yum!

I hope the last seven days have been kind to you. Thank you very much for stopping by!

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series featuring seven (whoops eight again this week 😉 ) photos from the past seven days. It was created by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins blog, check her blog out if you want to find out more.