A Postcard from January & February

Sand dunes on Crosby beach yesterday

Hello there! I hope you’re doing ok. I kept meaning to post my postcard from January throughout the beginning of February but there seemed to be so many other things which needed my attention, so I was rubbish and let things slide. We are now on the cusp of another month though, and I’ve decided that it’s time to take the bull by the horns and stop procrastinating. So here you go, two for the price of one, a postcard from January AND February rolled into one.

I deliberated about whether I should even post at all, there is so much going on in the world at the moment that things like this seem very frivolous, but I think it’s important to keep going, as burying my head in the sand and veering between trying to block the outside world out and being glued to the news updates and fretting about the helplessness I feel about the plight of so many innocent people isn’t actually helping anyone. I thought it better to try to put some sunshine and positivity out into the world, so here goes, and if you have been affected by the terrible actions taken against Ukraine, please know that you are very much in my thoughts.

A New Year and a continued fitness quest…

A view from one of my January runs

Back in November I began my quest to get my weight down to a healthy number and get a bit fitter and began the Couch to 5K programme for the third time in the last couple of years. This time though, I managed to see it through. I am now over a stone lighter and I managed to complete the whole Couch to 5K programme. Not only that, I’ve kept going and am now running just over 5K in 35 minutes. I don’t want to sound like I’m blowing my own trumpet too much or that I’m building myself up for a fall, but I’m really rather proud of how far I have come.

I haven’t found the process too arduous and in fact have quite enjoyed getting out and pounding the streets and enjoying the beauty of sunshine and nature on my way around the neighbourhood. Who knows where it might lead me?

My couch to 5k graduation!

A New Year and a new hedge

The terrible plastic ‘hedge’

You might remember last year that I said goodbye to our old ‘fake’ plastic hedge which we inherited when we moved into our home the year before. Well, the intention was always to replace it with something else, of a more natural variety. It took me a while to decide what to do for the best, but in December I realised that winter was the perfect time to plant a hedge, so I did my research and ordered my new privet hedge which arrived early in January. Then came the hard work…

Our front garden is more of a carpark than a garden, we inherited an area covered in small stones which lie on top of black weed suppressing fabric. After a lot of scraping away of stones, and the lifting of not one, but two layers of fabric which had several inches of compacted dirt between them I was ready to dig the holes ready for the baby hedge plants.

It was quite a job. Fortunately the weather was favourable – it was cold, but the ground wasn’t frozen, and it stayed dry for most of the two days it took for me to plant these 22 specimens. Plus my very helpful neighbour offered me the use of this rather nifty device (on the right of the picture below) for digging holes.

They are in, and I’m really chuffed that I managed to do this – single-handedly! How many years it will be before it’s an actual hedge is anyone’s guess but it’s a vast improvement on what we had before! My next project is a flower bed out front, but I may wait a while before beginning that.

A lovely walk and coffee by the river

River Mersey

In the middle of January, the weather was being very kind to us indeed, so a really good friend and I decided to leave the jobs which needed doing one afternoon and put our muddy hiking boots on for a wander along the River Mersey and a coffee at the Riverside Café. It was such fun, and just what we both needed to have a chat and mull over stuff which was going on before heading back home in time for the school run.

Getting the garden kickstarted

Who needs a potting shed when you have a wheelie bin lid?!

I so enjoyed having sweet peas in my back garden last summer, so decided to have a go at planting them again. I had quite a few seeds left over from last year’s attempts so I went ahead and planted them up in loo rolls again like last year. Fingers crossed this year’s crop will be as successful!

Some of last year’s sweet peas

A Sunday walk

I don’t know if it’s because of memories of lockdown and being restricted on where we can go, but I often find that it’s suddenly Sunday afternoon and apart from going to Littlest’s football match and perhaps the shops, our weekends are passing without heading out of the house as a family. I decided to change that and am trying to get us out and about if the weather & teenagers allow!

Fortunately, the lovely National Trust property; Dunham Massey is a short drive from our home and once the youths are corralled into the car, we can be in amongst the deer within half an hour. As long as there’s the promise of ice cream or hot chocolate involved in the outing, it’s generally a goer!

Another WIP begun…

Back in September last year, you may remember that I made the trip across the Pennines to the Yarndale festival in Skipton – it was a truly amazing day which you can read about here. While I was there I bought some lovely hand dyed yarn from Michelle at Woolly Wumpkins. I’ve been debating what to make with it; another pair of hand-knitted socks? A bobble hat? I settled on a shawl/scarf as that is the item of woolly clothing I wear most of all.

Unlike in my previous experience of winding a skein, this time it was a painless experience (perhaps because It hadn’t been sitting in my stash for years first) and I got to work on this pattern for a one skein crochet shawl which I bought from Annie Design on Etsy. I’m rather happy with the colours and look forward to enjoying wearing it when I eventually finish it. I have a feeling it will be something I dip in and out of while working on other things.

Llanita’s Travels continue…

Llanita in Catalan Bay in the summer of 2016

Long time readers of Postcard from Gibraltar may remember my little friend Llanita the Yarndale Sheep. I made her back in 2016 for that year’s Yarndale charity appeal. You can read all about Llanita’s adventures with me here.

Can you spot Llanita in Karen’s sewing room?

Well when Llanita arrived at Yarndale back in 2016, she was bought by Karen (aka WakeyMakes on Instagram). Karen’s sisters have recently been to Gibraltar on holiday and they took Llanita back to her homeland for a visit!

Llanita in Ocean Village

I had a lovely treat when I logged into Instagram one day to see that Llanita was back in the sun!!

Llanita on the Windsor Suspension Bridge

Stormy weather


We got off rather lightly when Storms Eunice and Franklin came to town. Just a couple of wobbly fence panels which are rather worse for wear and this one almost bit the dust. Thankfully my lovely Dad came round with his bag of tricks and some timber to patch it up until it can be replaced.

A sunny seaside walk

Crosby beach beckoned on Sunday when the sun came out and I found myself with an empty diary. The ironing and housework could wait, living back in Manchester makes you realise that you need to grab sunny days by the hand and make the most of them. I got the Little Postcards in the car and headed off west to Crosby on the Merseyside Coast.

We first visited Crosby last year after it was recommended to me by my lovely friend across the road. It’s pretty much the nearest beach to where we live and it takes under an hour to drive there. Plus the beach is home to a load of Antony Gormley statues so that makes it even more special. It’s a favourite with the Little Postcards – as is the ice cream reward at the end of the walk.

And that just about brings this postcard to an end. Thank you so much for stopping by. Where ever you are in the world and whatever you are facing, I hope that you can find some positivity in the days ahead.

Love,

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

A postcard from Another Place, Crosby

As yesterday was August Bank Holiday Monday and as we woke up to sunshine, we jumped into Bluebell (our car) and headed off to the seaside.

Look at that blue sky!

It took less than an hour to drive from our home in Manchester to Crosby on the Lancashire coast. A really good friend of mine who was brought up by the sea and subsequently moved to Manchester recommended it as a trip out if we were ever finding ourselves missing the seaside.

Eldest and I were in Gibraltar recently but the two youngest Postcards haven’t been near the sea since we moved here in July. As they have spent most of, if not all of their lives within sight of the sea, six weeks inland is the longest they have spent away from it for over a decade!

We parked up by the Crosby Marina and followed our noses towards the sand dunes, passed a busy adventure playground and some fairground attractions for small children. There were plenty of people out and about but it wasn’t overcrowded which was good news.

To the left of the footpath was a large boating lake and to the right, a smaller body of water teeming with birds. There were lots of swans looking rather elegant and aloof!

We crossed the sand dunes and spied…

… Sir Antony Gormley’s statues…

I have seen them before on tv and in photos, but I was glad to be able to see them for myself at last!

‘Another Place’ is the name of the installation of 100 life size figures which are set into the sand along the beach at various heights. The installations stretches 3km along the coast and up to 1km out to sea.

The cast iron figures were made from a cast of the sculptor’s own body, and left nothing to the imagination. The sight of his crown jewels caused much tittering (hence the tastefully positioned crown below).

All the statutes stand facing the sea and looking towards the horizon – they are meant to signify man’s relationship with nature and the ebb and flow of the tide.

Crosby beach is a non-bathing beach because of the tides and quick-sand, so visitors are asked not to attempt to reach those statues out in the water. This one (below) looked as though he was striding out towards the Snowdonian mountains in the distance.

I thought I would join him and paddle my toes. It was surprisingly warm to dip my toes in the Irish Sea compared to my swim in the Med just over a week ago. Not sure I would like to go the whole way in though!!

We walked a good distance along the beach…

… before tummies started rumbling and we succumbed to the ice cream van!

We headed back towards the car, this time walking amongst the dunes. The Little Postcards loved scrambling up them and sliding back down again!

What a beautiful place to visit, I’m so glad we had the recommendation to go. The perfect place to spend the last day of August!

Now we know the way, we will definitely be back…

Thanks for stopping by!

Lindsay x

Sunday Postcard #004 23.8.20

Hello there! My word it’s been a busy week this week as you will see. I hope it’s been a good one for you. Here’s this week’s Sunday Postcard…

Stormy skies

Last Sunday we headed out to our local field to play frisbee. It seemed like a great idea at the time – we had a brief frisbee session the day before and the Little Postcards loved it – so we headed back for a longer session on Sunday. It was fun, I’ll give you that, but blimey I didn’t half ache afterwards!! My neck, shoulders, arms, back legs…. I’m showing my age!

Rainy day

After a bright Monday morning, the afternoon was a rather damp affair in our part of the world. Despite that, I thought the rain drops on this spiders web looked rather pretty.

Leaving on a jet plane

Eldest and I had an early start on Wednesday morning…. we were Gibraltar bound for the small matter of picking up GCSE results.

And there she is…

A seat with a view

A postcard from Gibraltar

It had to be done… we left the two youngest Little Postcards behind under the care of grandparents, so we simply had to send a postcard back home on Wednesday when we arrived. I’m amazed to be able to tell you that it arrived in Manchester on Saturday just 4 days later!

Sunrise on results day

We were up early on Thursday so we could collect Eldest’s GCSE results (the reason for our visit). As we were staying on the East side of the Rock this time we were able to witness sunrise over the Mediterranean Sea. It was a lovely moment as we anticipated what might be coming that day.

I’m thrilled to be able to tell you the results were as sunny as the skies above us. I have been having a proud Mum moment ever since.

Friends reunited

Friday evening meant meeting up with some old friends who I only said goodbye to last month! It was great to see them, tell them all our news and hear theirs.

Making waves on the beach

Our trip back to Gibraltar hasn’t exactly been a holiday, there have been things which needed to be sorted following our move back to the UK. A few admin jobs which had slipped through the net before we left and such like. Yesterday though, in the afternoon, I found myself alone and my to-do list was complete so I took my crochet hook, yarn & deckchair down to the beach at Sandy Bay.

I had a few blissful hours crocheting, watching the world go by and also had a solo dip in the sea. I can’t remember if I have ever been to the beach alone before. I normally always have young people with me. I can highly recommend it! It may only have been a few hours but it felt like a holiday after months of planning, packing, unpacking and everything else that moving countries with a family entails. I feel very lucky to have had this time away.

And that brings this week’s postcard to an end. We are now back in Manchester after a very long day of travel – more on that next week!

Have a great week, and thanks for stopping by.

Lindsay x

Sunday Sevens #229 5.7.20

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:

Beach day

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.

Packing

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.

Another goodbye…

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!

Nocturnal wanderings

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?

Another sunset

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?

Ahoy there!

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.

Sunday Sevens #228 28.6.20

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…

Sunset

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.

Packing up

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.

Glorious geraniums

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.

Podcast update

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.

Sunday Sevens was first created by Natalie from Threads and Bobbins.

Sunday Sevens #197 21.7.19

Hello there! I hope you’ve had a good week! Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens, seven pictures from the last seven days….

Beautiful building

I had a meeting in this beautiful old building on Monday. I have walked past it countless times on my wanders around Gibraltar but never set foot inside before. Wow, what a stunning staircase!

Sunshine through the green!

I drove past this banana (I think) leaf on Tuesday and the sunlight shining through it caught my eye. When I walked past it later, I had to take a photo!

Marbella

We had a midweek trip to Marbella. The old town is just so pretty.

The breakfast of champions

We went out for breakfast on Thursday morning – what a treat! Never had new potatoes with my eggs Benedict before… it was delicious though!

Levanter galore!

It was a rather grey but humid day on Friday. We went to the beach… it was rather quiet! (I wonder why?!) The Little Postcards enjoyed themselves in spite of the weather.

Beautiful bougainvillea

I walk past this beautiful bougainvillea every so often and it almost all year round looks fab. We’ve had mixed results when we’ve tried to grow it – this one gets a gold star!

And that’s all from me for this week. I hope it’s been a good one for you.

Sunday Sevens was first created by Natalie from Threads and Bobbins.

Friday photo challenge (week 25) Summer

Nothing says ‘summer’ more to me than alfresco crochet by the sea for my annual Summer Craft Challenge! Here are a few photos from last year when I made this crochet shawl from Little Box of Crochet which was designed by Eleonora from Coastal Crochet and was finished during our holiday in Suffolk.

I’ve already done a spot of alfresco crochet for this year….

… on Monday (which was a Bank Holiday here) – also another Coastal Crochet design; this year’s Coastal Crochet CAL.

Sunday Sevens #186 5.5.19

Here we are in May already. I’m not sure I’m ready for it! We’ve had a funny week this week with two bank holidays; Monday for workers’ Memorial Day and Wednesday for May Day, so our routine’s been a bit all over the place! Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens…

Bank holiday Monday

We started the week with a walk along the beach in Marbella. We made use of our time off on Monday to head across the border into Spain.

May Day

In Gibraltar May Day bank holiday happens on May 1st. There were a couple of events running. A Union rally in the Piazza and a pop concert in Casemates Square.

Upper Rock walk

I’ve not managed a trip up the Med Steps for a while, but I did manage a little jaunt to the Upper Rock this week. It’s so lovely to climb up out of the concrete jungle to nature again!

Crochet time

I have struggled to find time and inclination to pick up my crochet hook lately – there’s been too many other things to do. These extra bank holidays this week though afforded me some precious crochet time to crack on with the Changing Tides CAL from Eleonora at Coastal Crochet.

Sports…

I found myself at the Victoria Stadium twice this week for sports events for the Little Postcards. It never ceases to amaze me that they get to play matches, have school sports days and other events at Gibraltar’s national stadium with that amazing backdrop!

Grey afternoon

Things were a bit grey when I headed round the Eastside yesterday. It was very humid though… not sure I’m ready for the hot sweaty weather yet.

And that, I’m afraid is that. Sunday Sevens done for another week. I hope it’s been a good one for you, and that we week ahead is too. As always I’m linking with Natalie from Threads and Bobbins for this weekly blog series.

Sunday Sevens #149 12.8.18

We’ve had one full week back in Gibraltar after our trip to England, and blimey it’s hot here. The weather has been so humid that everything’s so exhausting and wearisome. I’m counting down the days to my next trip back to England!!! Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens:

Back home

It’s been a few weeks since a sunset view like this has appeared in Sunday Sevens… the humid weather has brought with it lots of murky misty days and this evening last Sunday was no different.

Street Art

A new Government initiative to have legally created street art is underway in Gibraltar at the moment. Apparently a number of different murals will be appearing over the coming weeks and months. This one is being painted by a local artist and is meant to signify her childhood memories growing up in Gibraltar. It certainly brightens up this gloomy underpass, I’ll include an ‘after’ shot once it’s completed.

Gecko watch

Nothing represents hot steamy Gibraltar summer nights to me more than geckos on our kitchen windows. We’re having these windows replaced soon, so I do hope they still visit us on the new ones!

Sandblasted

Fancy having the beach to yourself in August?? Well the secret is to go on the windiest day of the summer… we didn’t last long. We looked like sand monsters when we gave up and packed up our stuff to head home, every exposed piece of skin had sand stuck to the suncream…. delightful!

Fun in the sun

The sandy beach day was rounded off nicely though, we were invited to a barbecue at some friends’ villa in Spain. It was a lovely evening and the Little Postcards loved the use of the pool!

Summer nights

Every summer for a night or two each week, the Government in Gibraltar lays on free performances with bands, local dancers and so on. For the first time in the nine years I have lived on the Rock, I attended one of these ‘Summer Nights’. There’s no particular reason why we haven’t gone before, it just hasn’t happened.

The event was great. Entitled Magic Circus, it featured acrobats and magicians and was fab for the children and grownups alike.

Dinner with a view

Last night, we were very fortunate to be invited to our second barbecue of the week. This time it was in Gibraltar on a roof terrace with this fabulous view! How lucky are we?

So that’s it for this week’s Sunday Sevens. I hope it’s been a decent week for you. Thank you to everyone who has commented on my recent posts, I haven’t had the chance to respond to several of them, but I will as soon as I can. Things have been a bit hectic with the boys off school and windows of peace and quiet seem to be few and far between at the moment!

I’m linking with Natalie from Threads and Bobbins for this weekly blog series.