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.

Summer Craft Challenge 2017 (Week 2)

Last week, I began my summer craft challenge for this year. Beginning on the first day of July seemed as good a time as any! So this is the second installment of my weekly craft challenge round up. It began in Gibraltar and ended in Manchester as the Little Postcards and I started our summer holidays.

Day 8 : Saturday 8th July

Our last chance to take a dip in the pool and my last chance for some Mediterranean alfresco crochet for a while. A simple granny square by the pool was as exciting as it got.

Day 9 : Sunday 9th July



On Sunday, we flew from Gibraltar to Manchester to visit my family. I was rather tired by the end of the day after wrangling three Little Postcards through the airport without Mr Postcard (we left him at home). I managed to begin a project using my new Caron Cake, but just a few rows as I was a bit jaded!

Day 10 : Monday 10th July

Monday saw a bit more progress on my Caron Cake project, although not a lot!

Day 11 : Tuesday 11th July

By Tuesday I was getting into the swing of it and really loving the colour changes in the yarn.

Day 12 : Wednesday 12th July

On Wednesday it was rather busy, so I didn’t have much time for crochet, just a lonely little granny square to add to a long standing WIP back at home.

Day 13 : Thursday 13th July

After a bit of a slow start to my week, craft wise Thursday was brim full of yarny goodness… First stop Black Sheep Wools in Culcheth, near Warrington to drop off three Sixty Million Trebles blankets which had been made in Gibraltar. One was made as a collaboration through the Gibraltar Crochet Collective, the other two by me. They will now be parceled up and sent off to child refugees.

Oh how I do like Black Sheep Wools… So many lovely balls of wool to squidge and gorgeous colours to feast your eyes upon. Europa felt rather at home there 😉.


Next stop, a nearby pub for a spot of lunch. Then, while the Little Postcards played nearby, I managed to get a bit of surreptitious under the picnic table hooky done!

Back at my parents’ home I finished it… I played yarn chicken (going in for another row) and won!

The finished article… Perfect for snuggling up in winter.



Day 14 : Friday 14th July


Time for another new project using birthday present wool (the Caron Cake used for my scarf this week was also a birthday gift). I got into a raspberry swirl with this lovely yarn as I began a string bag pattern.

So, there you have it, my second weekly round up. If you feel inspired, why not join in too, just tag your Instagram photos with #summercraftchallenge2017.

Thanks for stopping by!

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.

Sunday Sevens #86 4.6.17

Wowzers that’s been quite a week. A trip back home to England for my brother’s wedding and lots of other stuff too since we returned. In some ways it feels like longer than seven days…. (oh and there’s more than seven photos again this week!)

Flying back to Manchester

So on Sunday last week, we all boarded a plane to England. As we sat on the runway waiting to take off I had a clear view out of the plane window towards the Rock of Gibraltar. While we prepared to depart, I thought ‘I wonder if I could record the takeoff ok my phone?’ So I did. 

A couple of days later, I thought, ‘I wonder if I should upload this to Facebook?’ So I did.

It kind of went a bit crazy after that and so far the video has been watched over 8 and a half thousand times…. wow! 

Here’s a screen shot of our bird’s eye view of Gibraltar taken from the film. If you would like to see it yourself, you can find it on my Facebook page (just search Postcard from Gibraltar) and it’s also on Instagram (search Postcard from Gibraltar).

Manchester 

Manchester was still deeply affected by the terrible events of the week before when we arrived. On Sunday as we drove from the airport to my parents’ house I spotted a long queue snaking out of a shop. It was a tattoo parlour. The penny dropped after a moment or two. These were people queuing up to get tattoos of bees in memory of the people who died in the bombing and in return for a donation to the fund to support the survivors. 

I took this photo at the same shop 24 hours later, on bank holiday Monday- they were still coming. 

(Tragically as I publish this, we are seeing news pictures coming from London, where another terrorist incident has taken place. So sad. My thoughts are with all those affected and the wonderful emergency services who put their lives on the line for our benefit.)

We also went shopping to the Trafford Centre, which was unusually quiet and with several high profile armed police patrolling the place.

Nuptials 

On Tuesday there was a very special wedding. My lovely brother wed his long term girlfriend and all round superwoman in front of family and close friends. It was such a lovely day and a happy time which we will reminisce about for decades I’m sure.

(For those of you who have been reading Sunday Sevens for a while – I’m afraid I didn’t finish my skirt to wear for the wedding, my head was turned by a fabulous dress in a shop window so I wore that instead).

Homeward bound

All too quickly our time in England was over, it was mid term in England but not for us in Gibraltar and the Little Postcards had to miss a day or two of school to attend the wedding, so we headed home on Wednesday. The Cheshire countryside was like a luscious green patchwork quilt below us as we rose into the sky from Manchester.

As we flew along the southern Spanish coast, Gibraltar with its cloudy Levanter hat appeared into view…

We landed in the same direction as we had taken off and got a great view on our way in.

Lunch with a friend
On Thursday, once the Little Postcards were ensconced back in school I met up with a crafty friend. She’s a very talented lady who can turn her hand to crochet, watercolour and felting amongst other things. She showed me this, her lovely crochet blanket made up of oddments of leftover yarn. Isn’t it gorgeous?

This lovely lady has promised to teach me how to felt myself … I’ll keep you posted on that!

Out of the blue 


On Friday, out of the blue, I got a phone call as I was dashing out of the front door. Normally I would just leave it so I wasn’t late, but I felt compelled to pick it up. I’m glad I did. It was one of my neighbours from about 15 years ago when we lived in West Yorkshire, and she was in Gibraltar!

She and her husband had gone to the Costa del Sol on holiday on a bus (from Yorkshire), stopping 3 times on the way, and then took a day trip to Gibraltar. When she arrived on the Rock, she looked for a phone book to find my number and had just caught me in!

I dashed down to meet them as I had just an hour spare before needed to collect the children from school, and took them for a whistle stop tour of Gibraltar in our car. They did the full loop of the Rock, seeing our home, the boys’ schools and ending up at Europa Point. 

They had wanted to see Africa, but sadly, the sea mist didn’t play ball and they couldn’t see it at all. They did see the lighthouse resplendent in scaffolding, having a bit of a spruce up though! 

We then travelled along the eastern side of the Rock and saw the beaches before  dropping them back in town. It was such an  unexpected treat to see them, and made me so glad I still send real cards and letters at Christmas time or they wouldn’t have known my address.

Pomp and ceremony 


Yesterday I popped into town for a quick spot of shopping and found myself in the midst of a Ceremonial Guard Mount at the Convent. The Governor was there (on the left in white presenting the bunch of keys to the Royal Gibraltar Regiment) along with the mayor, representatives of the Gibraltar Government, along with other dignitaries. 

It was quite a sight to see and the tourists were lapping it up. It just goes to show that there’s never a dull moment here in Gibraltar! 

Thank you so much if you have made it all the way to the bitter end, it’s been a very lengthy edition of Sunday Sevens this week!  However you have spent this week I hope it has been a good one for you, and if you are one of my new followers on Facebook, thank you for joining me!

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

A postcard from Cheshire

Last Saturday, we made our now traditional annual trip to Marbury Park in Cheshire for a picnic and woodland walk. I’m a huge fan of the Cheshire countryside, having grown up nearby and enjoyed many trips into the lush green countryside as a child.

Now, every summer when I come over to visit my parents, we make the trip to Marbury on a dry and hopefully sunny day for a chance to wander through the woods, look at nature and for the Little Postcards to collect many sticks.

Marbury Park is part of the Northwich Woodlands so there are loads of beautiful trees to enjoy, from baby fruit trees planted near the ranger’s office to mature beech, oak and birches. It really is a fantastic place for a wander and even though we visited on a Saturday it wasn’t too busy.

The park path takes you through the woods to the edge of Budworth Mere, a home for much wildlife.

We stood and watched the ducks and coots paddling about and other birds further out diving down into the water for food.

This swan family with two cygnets were lovely to see.

Budworth Mere looking across to Great Budworth Church
The countryside here is just so different to what we are used to in Gibraltar. It’s so vibrant and green. I love it… 

Another tradition of ours is to try to stick coins into this tree stump on our walk. There have been quite a few Gibraltar coppers sunk into this over the years, yet there never seem to be many there…. 

The woodland walk eventually joins the banks of a canal before opening up into fields and then looping back to the starting point.

This lovely bright butterfly was enjoying the nettles as we past. Despite many warnings, two of the Little Postcards got stung and dock leaves needed to be found to deal with the casualties.


After a picnic lunch in a nice grassy area close to the car park (which we had to ourselves for most of the time) and several games of football, we got back into the car and headed homewards via the picturesque village of Great Budworth, who’s church we saw from afar across the Mere.

You see those stocks in front of the church? Sadly there was only room to put two of the Little Postcards in them and not all three! 😉

Throughout the village was a Scarecrow Trail. We had a go at finding some of them ourselves.

St Mary & All Saints Church, the beneficiary of funds raised by the scarecrow trail

Would you like to see some of the scarecrows? Clearly an awful lot of thought and effort had gone into making them all.

Scarecrow baker with a 90th birthday cake
The theme for many of the scarecrows was the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations.


Beefy, the beefeater
This scarecrow soldier had had a bit too much to drink!
 
Of course, you can’t have a birthday party without the guest of honour…

‘Lizzie’ with her corgi
Aside from the scarecrows, Great Budworth is a really beautiful place to visit. We have driven through many times on our way to Marbury Park, but this is the first time I have ever stopped to take a closer look.

This building is so lovely, it even has hearts built into the brickwork!


What a great use for a disused phone box: a book crossing point.


After the excitement of the scarecrow trail, it was time to head to our last destination, Great Budworth Ice Cream Farm…

There was such a great choice of flavours, but I had to go for my all time favourite; chocolate. 🙂


It tasted as good as it looks.

And here are the lovely ladies we need to thank for that fantastic ice cream… moo!

If you want to read about our trip to Marbury Park and the ice cream farm last summer, click on this link: Daisy chains, buttercups & damsel flies I promise that I took different photos this year even if a a few look very similar 😉

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.