English garden appreciation 

Row of cottage gardens, Greater Manchester

Now I know I’m incredibly lucky to be able to live where I do. The weather is mostly very good, we’re by the sea and surrounded by great friends and a wonderful community. But you know that old chestnut about the grass being greener… I really do wonder what life would be like to live in a house and not an apartment and have a real garden not a balcony & patio.

Echinops

I know, I know, I’m very spoiled but I really miss having a garden (a green one full of grass etc). I’ve been seven years without one now and it’s only when you don’t have something anymore that you really appreciate what you’re missing.

Terraced house front garden in Caversham, Berkshire

When I return to England each summertime I see the gardens in the town I grew up in at their absolute best. Hanging baskets galore, neat lawns, climbers, roses and huge leafy deciduous trees.

A row of hanging baskets in Greater Manchester

During my summer break I took quite a few photos of flowers and shrubs in other folk’s gardens – I hope they didn’t mind!! While speaking to a good friend of mine when I was over, she pointed out the fact that I probably notice nicely planted pots and beds of traditional British bedding plants because they are a novelty to me. Perhaps they are, but it doesn’t make them any less special.

No matter how much or how little your patch of earth is, it doesn’t matter. Just look how glorious these hollyhocks look outside this cottage we drove past:

Cottage in Sonning, Berkshire

I just LOVE these fuchsias which were in a hanging basket in my Mum & Dad’s back garden. They looked so voluptuous and alive – I doubt very much they are looking as glorious now that we’re in November!!

I appreciate that all of the beautiful gardens and plants I have included in this most probably don’t look like this anymore now that Autumn is well and truly underway in the British Isles, but let’s just revel in that glorious colour a little bit longer should we?

 

Cottage garden in Southwold, Suffolk
Thatched Cottage near Ludham on the Norfolk Broads

Clematis
Hydrangea

Ah, that feels better! I just love gardens…

My Mum’s Agapanthus

 

 … thank you for allowing me to indulge in that glorious English summer one more time! 🙂

 

 

 

Sunday Sevens #42 31.7.16

Hello there! Sunday Sevens this week is actually more like Sunday Elevens – I couldn’t decide which photos to choose! I put a few extra in, well it’s the summer holidays…

Operation : school uniform


Last Sunday morning saw us up and out early to get school uniform bought ready for September. I was determined to get the vast majority of it sorted early on in the holidays so I don’t need to think of it again until we’re back home and it’s time to sew all the name tags in. Off we headed to the Trafford Centre nice and early to beat the crowds, only to discover we were at least an hour early for some of the shops opening and nearly two hours early for others! I don’t think I’ve seen it so empty before…

Clothes tend to be a lot cheaper to buy in the UK because you either have to pay a lot for shipping on Internet purchases or the shops there charge a bit more because they’ve had to pay to ship the stuff out themselves. When I have to buy a lot of stuff in one go, like school shirts, jumpers & trousers it’s a lot cheaper to get the stuff in England. I just need to fit it all in the suitcases now!!

A trip to see friends


Monday morning meant a dash to the station to get the train down to Berkshire to visit some very good friends of ours. They used to live in Gibraltar but have relocated back to England because of work. It was so nice to be able to catch up with them and for the children of the two families to get back together again. They have remained great pals despite the distance and length of time between visits. We went out for an early evening stroll in a park near their home and we all enjoyed our first taste of an English woodland walk for this holiday.

A day trip


We had a fantastic spur of the moment trip to Legoland in Windsor on Tuesday. It was our first ever visit but our friends had been before and guided us around the place. It was brilliant, the models appealed to me more than the rides and the Star Wars section was just amazing. Big and little kids had a great day! 

I couldn’t decide which photos to choose for this part of Sunday Sevens this week, so I have included a few more Legoland photos…

Look at all the little Lego people enjoying the Queen’s 90th birthday party in the Mall!:

Having grown up in a household where both Lego and Star Wars featured prominently, this Lego Minellium Falcon (yes you read that right – that’s what my brother and I called it as children and a couple of the Little Postcards call it to this day) was fantastic – it even lifted off the ground!

I loved this tunnel with the X-wing fighters flying along the ceiling…

And finally – that’s the Mona Lisa made of Lego bricks… I’ll just leave that with you 🙂



Blue skies over Manchester 


We got the train back up to Manchester on Wednesday and were greeted by this beautiful sky. We had left rain and cloudy skies down south. 

I seem to spend a lot of time defending Manchester’s weather to friends and family (who live elsewhere). I know it has a tendency to rain occasionally but it doesn’t rain ALL THE TIME, despite what some folk may say – here’s the proof!!

Parking…


I had a chuckle to myself when I saw this. Those of you who are familiar with Gibraltar will know that the sight of an empty motorcycle parking area is never ever seen! My Gibraltar friends with motorbikes can only dream of an empty parking space like this!!

Holiday games


The old scrabble set’s been dusted off this week and games have been played in the evening. I happened to pull these four letters out of the bag after putting down a particularly good few words (or so I thought). I came last…

Blue

On a walk out in the countryside of north Cheshire yesterday I spotted this stunningly blue hydrangea bush. Blue is my favourite colour and I thought this was just stunning!!!


Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie at the Threads & Bobbins blog. It should feature seven photos from the last seven days – although that wasn’t the case for me this week! If you want more details about it, pop over to Natalie’s blog to find out more. 

Review of 2015 … well half of it!

 

2015 was the year I took the plunge and decided to have a go at blogging. For several years I have followed blogs including Attic24, The Patchwork Heart, Bunny Mummy and  Just Pootling and I have admired the beautiful photography, their ways with words and their beautiful crafts. A couple of years ago I decided I had a long way to go before attempting my own blog but set myself the challenge of taking a photo each day and writing a bit about it. Obviously on some days (like holidays, trips out & special occasions) it’s incredibly easy to snap away and you’re spoiled for choice, on others you are forced to think hard and be a bit creative about what the daily photo might be. This turned out to be good practice for  my blog posts, especially Sunday Sevens.

  Convent Garden, Gibraltar June 2015

Since I gave up (paid) work on the arrival of my first child, I have struggled to find something to entertain my brain, I’ve dabbled in crafts & craft fairs, done a bit of voluntary work and tried and failed to get a job which can work around my main job as a Mum.   

July 2015 (Manchester, Cheshire, Berkshire)

Recently, I guess my friends have picked up on my need to stimulate my brain and a few have independently suggested I try blogging (I hadn’t told them that I had previously considered and discounted it). I guess the planets came into alignment as when the most recent suggestion was made, I thought ‘why not?’ and set off on my Postcard from Gibraltar journey. In order to protect my boys from future ridicule, I decided to keep my blog anonymous for now.

August 2015 (Algarve & Gibraltar)

And so my Postcard from Gibraltar adventure began in June, hence the review of only half a year! We are very fortunate to live in a vibrant and interesting place, so there is never a shortage of things for me to write about, I also now have an outlet to talk about my various crafty fascinations of crochet, watercolour and sewing (friends and family heave a huge sigh of relief).

  September 2015 (Gibraltar)

I have thoroughly enjoyed it so far, I am thrilled when I look back at my old posts and see photos of things we have done and seen as a family, it’s almost like an online journal or photo album (both are things I have started many times but failed to complete).

  October 2015 (Gibraltar)

I have met some really supportive and kind people through the magic of the blogosphere and found inspiration for future projects and positive criticism for my own crafty endeavours. I used to think I was just a frustrated crafter who never had the time to create the things I want. While I admit I still get a bit frustrated at times as there are so many ideas in my head of what I want to do, but looking back at the makes I have documented I can see that I do churn out quite a bit as it is!

  November 2015 (crafts) 

Away from the world of the internet, blogging has also helped me build some networks in real life here in Gibraltar. There are some very talented people residing on this great Rock and I am pleased to have met some more of them during the past six months.

  November 2015 (Gibraltar & Marbella)

I won’t ramble on any more, but will leave you with my thanks for taking the time to stop by and read my blog, I’ve had a great time with it so far and very much look forward to what 2016 holds. Happy New Year!

  December 2015 (Gibraltar)