2017 Weekly photo challenge (week 23) Favourite

So this week’s prompt for the photo challenge is ‘favourite’. I couldn’t narrow it down to just one thing, so here are a selection of my favourite things…

Favourite thing:

If I could close my eyes and be anywhere right now, it would be on a leafy woodland walk in the English countryside on a spring or summer’s day. It’s something I miss a lot living where I do, and it’s always one of the highlights of my trips home to visit my family in the summer – we always have to have a woodland walk and a picnic!

Favourite place:

That said, I do live in a very beautiful part of the world and my very favourite place in Gibraltar has to be the Med Steps! I have a bit of a thing about greenery… did you notice? 

Favourite pastime:

I have been inclined towards crafty things since being a child, I remember attending my first craft fair at the age of about 8 or 9. It was at a National Trust venue near to where I grew up (Tatton Park I think) and was in a series of huge marquees. 

I was blown away by, first of all, being in these big tents, but also the sights and smells that greeted me and the wonderful array of crafts on offer. Suddenly my eyes were opened to the possibilities that I could one day make some of these wonderful things myself.

I left with a burgundy leather wristband to match my corduroy pinafore (child of the 70s/80s you see) which smelt divine and my heart had been lost to the world of crafting. My lovely Gran helped forge that love of craft. On my annual summer holidays up to her home in Scotland, she introduced me to embroidery, sewing, knitting, crochet and through her next door neighbours, smocking as well. 

My favourite make from my holidays spent with her has to be this duckling embroidery made from a kit. I made it on a visit up north of the border and gave it to her as a thank you for having me to stay one summer (when I was about 14). It now hangs in my parents’ house and it reminds me of Gran and our summers whenever I see it.

In more recent times my favourite make has got to be this rainbow granny square blanket I made for the Sixty Million Trebles project. I love the colours on it.

Favourite food:

It’s a tough one this, as eating is one of my favourite things of all time… would it be roast beef with Yorkshire puddings? Chocolate? Cream cakes? No, it has to be fish and chips eaten out of paper by the seaside! You just can’t beat it! 

I’m linking with Nana Cathy and Wild Daffodil for this weekly photo challenge throughout 2017.

2017 Photo challenge (Week 15) Lunch

It’s a very tasty photo challenge this week…

Fish and chips always tastes better when you are at the seaside doesn’t it? We enjoyed one or two cheeky portions of fish and chips when we had our recent trip to Southwold. They were so nice, we may have  had to have some more again the next day! Shhh, don’t tell anyone!

Here’s a couple of Gibraltar related ‘lunch’ photos from the Postcard from Gibraltar archives…

…a couple of apes enjoying a healthy lunch provided for them in the Upper Rock Nature Reserve.

I’m linking with Nana Cathy and Wild Daffodil for this weekly photo challenge throughout 2017. 

A postcard from Southwold Pier

We may be back at home in Gibraltar now, but a little bit of me has been left behind in Southwold, where we ended our lovely month in England. In fact there has been a little bit of me (and Mr Postcard) in Southwold for over a decade now, but more on that later.

Southwold is famous for many things, the pretty town centre, the beach huts, the brewery, the harbour, the fish and chips, the church etc etc but the place we always associate with our visits to the town is the pier.

In its (first) heyday, at the turn of the last century,steam liners used to moor at the end of the pier and allow holiday makers to alight and enjoy the delights the town had to offer before rejoining the ship and moving on to their next destination.

Over the years since then it’s been damaged by storms, shortened during the war, rebuilt and extended. It’s length has changed from 250m at it’s longest to just 18m at it’s shortest.

In the late 90s new investment was pumped into the pier and it was repaired and extended to the size it is now, the final T-shaped end being completed in 2002 so that the last seagoing paddle steamer, the PS Waverley could once again call at the town.

Fans, or should I say, parents of fans of the CBeebies programme Grandpa in my pocket may recognise the pier as one of the venues used to film the show. Miss Smiley’s café was on the pier.

When you first arrive on the planks of the pier, you can see beautiful mosaic tables all around you. They are for the restaurant which is situated at the start of the pier.

Most of the time that we were there during the last two weeks, all the tables were taken – I only managed to get photos of these two! Fish and chips seemed to be a popular choice on the menu when we were passing.

One feature which always has a small group admiring it is the water clock. Built by locally based inventor Tim Hunkin, it puts on a special performance every half hour.

Starting with a couple of bathers who squirt water out at you as the time approaches the hour or half hour, various parts of the clock move.

The actions move lower down the clock tower until a row of red tulips pop up and two boys drop their trousers to have a wee! (Those of an easily offended disposition; please look away now!)

There are many shocked giggles from the children and a few sharp intakes of breath from some of the adults, amazed that such shenanigans should be allowed!

Another of Tim Hunkin’s creations is the Under the Pier Show, an amusement arcade unlike any other you will see elsewhere. Full of home made machines including the Zimmer frame masterclass for crossing a road (below) to the motorised dog on a treadmill which gives players the opportunity to experience dog walking if they don’t own one themselves.

Along with eating establishments, there are also a couple of gift/souvenir shops selling beachy type things.

There’s even a micro bandstand!

Now to the plaques. Any visitor to the pier won’t fail to notice the hundreds and hundreds of plaques which run along the rails around the wooden promenade. Each one tells a different story. People can pay for a plaque to be mounted somewhere on the pier, the money is then invested in the fabric of the building to preserve it for future generations – a form of crowd funding, if you like.

Some are in memory of special people, some remember happy holidays spent in Southwold, others are for special birthdays. There was even a book compiled by a local writer who told the stories behind some of the many plaques on show.

Our most memorable wedding present was one of these plaques. It ws a great surprise for us when Mr Postcard’s Mum and Dad revealed that we were having our own plaque made. I can remember being led along the pier to see it for the first time.

Each of the Little Postcards, has been brought to the pier to be photographed in front of our plaque in their pram with the seaside town and lighthouse in the background. We have a lovely series of photos here as our family has grown and got bigger over the years.

So there you have it, that was my Postcard from Southwold Pier, a special place for us. I do hope you have enjoyed it 🙂