Sunday Sevens #39 10.7.16

The chaos of the last week of term grew to a crescendo last week. I spent most of the week chasing my tail and despite copious lists of things which I needed to do I still managed to miss a meeting and missed a deadline for some forms to be handed in, which were sitting patiently waiting on the sideboard in plenty of time. 

You know that feeling when you are so full you can’t eat any more? My brain’s been a bit like that – there’s no room for anything else! Add to that three young voices all speaking to me at the same time and I’m afraid I’ve almost gone into involuntary shut down!!!

So against the backdrop of all this busyness  (some of which is my own doing, although most has been foisted upon me) I have decided to look for the few calm positive moments which have happened to me this week. By next week, we will be in full school holiday mode and clock watching will be a thing of the past, not to be thought about again until September – how wonderful is that? 🙂

Teachers

What to do about teacher gifts? I really don’t remember giving teachers presents when I left school at the end of summer term. Maybe I’d produce a drawing on a spare piece of sugar paper from the scraps drawer, but we certainly didn’t go out and buy anything. It seems to be the done thing to buy gifts these days though. Last year I made book bags for the three form teachers in my boys lives, but this year, despite embarking on starting a similar project weeks ago, I failed to achieve finished gifts in time. I wimped out and bought sweets and had a go a making cards instead. 

Do you remember the frangipani flowers I featured in last week’s Sunday Sevens? I had a go at painting them and made it into a card for a special teacher who has taught not one but two little Postcards. Ms D is a very special lady who was my eldest’s first teacher when we arrived to live in Gibraltar and played a very important role in making both, our son’s and our job of settling in here, so much easier. This year she has been middle Postcard’s class teacher and has done a stirling job getting him ready for middle school. Thank you Ms D for all you have done xxx

More frangipanis 


Remember I mentioned the pink ones last week? Well they started blooming on a branch low enough to photograph this week. They’re gorgeous aren’t they? They’re so perfect looking that they almost don’t look real.

A lovely way to start the day

A few years ago, a group of mums from school used to regularly meet for coffee after the morning school run. It was such fun. We’d share news and help each other where we could. It was a great tonic at the end or the middle of a hectic school week. Slowly in the ensuing months and years, some of the mums got jobs, some moved away from Gibraltar and others saw their children move up to middle school so our coffee mornings became very occasional. 

I’ve missed my morning catch up with the girls (now when we do meet up it tends to be in the evening over a glass of wine – not an unattractive option granted). I’ve also missed my pan tumaca though too. I make it at home every now and then but it’s so much nicer eating it alongside a large cappuccino ;-). 

On Wednesday morning I had a little bit of time to kill in town before an appointment so took I myself out for breakfast. I sat and read Cider with Rosie on my own like Billy-no-mates and I didn’t care, it was delicious!

A last free morning for painting

On Thursday morning I had a whole hour to myself before an appointment to take littlest Postcard to look around his new school. I selfishly took that time to crack out my paints and have a go at a few little pictures which can be used to decorate the front of some more homemade cards. It was great fun and just what I needed.   🙂

The end of an era 


Friday was an emotional day for me as all three of the little postcards said goodbye to their lovely teachers and we said a final goodbye to the first school we have been attached to since our first arrival in Gibraltar. The two eldest are of an age to move onto their next schools and as we have since moved house from our original apartment and into a different catchment area, littlest Postcard moves this summer too. I underestimated how sad I would feel at the end of this chapter in our lives. We have enjoyed our time at the school so much.  

Summer holidays start here…


This weekend we have enjoyed the visit of an old friend of the family, a university friend of both Mr Postcard and myself. This is his fourth visit to Gibraltar to see us but until yesterday he’d never been out into the Bay to see the dolphins before. 

We all headed out on one of the dolphin trips which operate out of Marina Bay and had a great view of many dolphins. There was a huge pod of mothers and babies which came very close to the boat. Some of the babies were very small and just a few days old. It was a wonderful trip and the perfect way to start our long summer break.

If you would like to see more about the dolphins who visit the Bay and Straits of Gibraltar, you might like my post about our last dolphin trip.

Summer craft challenge


I have decided to set myself a challenge this summer holiday; to do something crafty every day. Often during the long 8-week-long summer break from school, my crafty pursuits are shelved in order to keep up with three children at home full time. That, I have learned from experience, has an impact on my mood and general ability to cope with the demands I face. For that reason I have decided to challenge myself to maintain my crafty endeavours throughout the summer, both for my benefit and the benefit of those around me.

Last night I started a new mini project while drinking fruit punch and waiting for Mr Postcard to cook a delicious barbecue for us all. I shall keep you posted on its progress. I will be posting daily photos on my Instagram account with the tag : #summercraftchallenge2016. Please tag me if you fancy joining in.

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog post created by Natalie from Threads & Bobbins. For more information, pop along to her blog. (Did you notice that this week it was Sunday eights? I couldn’t resist putting in two photos from our dolphin trip)

Until next Sunday, I hope you have a great week, thank you for stopping by 🙂

Sunday Sevens #38 3.7.16

Well it’s certainly summer here in Gibraltar, someone has turned the thermostat up on the heating and we’re cooking nicely. We have reached that delightful stage of the season where, in our non air conditioned apartment you stick to the chair if you stay in it for too long! Sorry for that image 😛 . Here’s a little look back at what I’ve been up to this week. It’s very floral; flowers and gardens seem to have been a theme this week.

Watercolour class

I got back to my watercolour class this week after a 4 week break and it looks like my time off has had an effect. Not too happy with this offering, it either needs more work or a bin! We were working from a painting which my art teacher found on a greetings card. The original was really lovely – you’ll have to use your imagination I’m afraid.

Frangipani

I love seeing these frangipani blooms when they open. As far as I am aware there is just one spot in Gibraltar where they grow. It’s on Queensway just next to Commonwealth Park. Sometimes I park my car in the carpark next door to Commonwealth Park and I get to walk past these beauties coming and going from the car. They really are stunning at the moment – so tropical looking. 

There are some gorgeous pink ones growing there too but the flowers are quite high up. I have stood on my tiptoes trying to get a decent photo but so far have failed, I’ll keep trying and will share it if I’m successful. If you see soon loony stretching to take a photo which is complete out of my reach – please resist the temptation to push me over 😉

Dressmaking class

I’m really making headway with my final skirt at my dressmaking class. As you can see from the photo the waistband is going on. Unfortunately, when I tried it on the front pleat sat right on top of my stomach, drawing rather a lot of attention to it (not a good look), so I have had to unpick the front to adjust the pleat. Hopefully I’ll get the skirt finished next week as it’s our last lesson of the academic year.

Oleander trees

We have had a few school friends round to play in the afternoons this week as all the government schools in Gibraltar are on half days (finishing at lunchtime). I have to admit that I’m struggling with it a bit this year. There is always a ratcheting up of stress levels as the school year comes to a climax with sports days, beach days, pyjama days, parties and concerts and all the associated outfits and rehearsals which go with that. Put that on top of the usual jobs you have to do but with only 3 hours each week day child free in order to do it, I have to admit I’m shattered. How parents who work for a living manage I have no idea.

This week was week 3 of 4 half day weeks so I’m almost on the home straight. Each little Postcard had a friend over this week to help make the afternoons run a little smoother (read sibling tension here). One day we went to the park for a while before heading home for lunch and I found myself gazing up into the beautiful pink blossom of the oleander trees above. Aren’t they just beautiful? They have frilly double blooms and remind me of the dresses the ballroom dancers used to wear on Come Dancing when I was little. It was such a delight to see them, a real moment of stopping and taking a deep breath in amongst the chaos of our current weekly routine.

Operation patio tidy

Summer time generally means spending more time outdoors and our poor patio has been neglected of late. There is major construction work going on in the building directly behind ours so there is noise and dust from about 7:30am until at least 6pm on week days. That and having an audience of builders in hard hats looking down on you kind of puts you off having a cup of tea in the yard during a quiet moment.

I took a bit of time while the builders had downed tools to have a potter this week. I painted a wall – it looks lovely and bright in the sunshine now – especially against the bougainvillea. We have had mixed results with our trees this year. Our lemon and orange trees have blossomed twice and had baby fruits on them but they shrivelled up and fell off. Our new almond tree looks dead too so that’s not so good either, but Mr Postcard pointed out that we have baby figs growing on our little fig tree so we’re happy about that. The stephanotis is looking good too with it’s white blossom, the leaves are a tad dirty in this photo due to the thunder storm we had this week which brought loads of Saharan dust with it.

And relax…..

On Friday evening I took the little Postcards to Queensway Quay to meet Mr Postcard for an after work drink and dinner. That pint of San Miguel really hit the spot after such a busy week!

Reliving my childhood

We made our usual Saturday trip into town yesterday, we had a few bits we needed to buy for the week ahead. On the way back to the car we all had Slush Puppies and went to sit in Commonwealth Park. The park was almost empty (as you can see) I reckon most of Gibraltar had gone to the beach. We sat in the sun slurping happily and watched the little Postcards doing roly-polies down the hill.

That’s all from me this week, I hope your week has been good for you. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series featuring seven photos from the last seven days. The series was the brainchild of Natalie at Threads & Bobbins, if you fancy joining in check out Natalie’s blog for more details.

Sunday Sevens #3

Hello there, I hope you have had a great week. It’s been a fab one for me as I have had all my nearest and dearest close by. My parents flew over at the start of the week followed by my brother and his lovely fiancée. It’s been wonderful. So here goes, here’s my Sunday Sevens for this week:

1 The wet stuff


Blimey, we haven’t half seen some rain here in Gibraltar this week. The start of the week brought with it autumnal deluges. I rather stupidly stopped to take this photo of a normally busy Main Street on Monday morning en-route to my art class, I thought it quite entertaining that the gardener who’d been giving the trees a haircut had just downed tools and scarpered as soon as the rain came. I should have done the same, as moments later, it got really heavy and I ended up looking like I’d been for a swim fully clothed! The raincoat which stands up to English & Scottish rain was no good – full plastic wet weather gear is the only option I’m afraid!

2 Watercolour class

 

I’m rather pleased with this one. It was kind of copied from an illustration in one of my teacher’s art books but I’m pretty sure it’s not an anatomically correct poppy. I don’t think the leaves are quite right but I like it none the less.

3 Collecting visitors

  

I can’t tell you how much I look forward to my parents arriving for a visit. When we lived in the UK, although we were living in different counties, we saw each other most weeks. The biggest draw back about living here in Gibraltar is being so far away from family. It was so exciting to watch their plane land and meet them at the airport this week. 

4 Tropical blooms

  

I always smile when these gorgeous frangipani flowers appear each year on Queensway, here in Gibraltar. They remind me of a trip we took to Thailand a few years ago. It was a great trip and I remember seeing these ‘in the flesh’ back then and thinking they looked so perfect. I’ve seen many artificial versions since then, but you can’t beat the real thing.

5 Grab the chance when you can!

I’ve been frantically busy this week and have been working towards a deadline for what I’ve been knitting. It’s going to be a gift and needed to be ready by today. That meant that in any spare moments between appointments and commitments, I had to shoehorn in a bit of knitting time. I succeeded in getting a few rows in during a football training session this week. I got a few odd looks from a couple of the Dads there along the lines of “who’s the weirdo with the knitting?” but I don’t care!

6 Super sunset

If you follow me on Twitter (@postcardfromgib) or Instagram (@postcardfromgibraltar), you might be aware of my fixation of taking photos of sunsets. We experienced an absolutely stunning sunset on Thursday evening and just wanted to share it with you, even though it’s a bit grainy.

7 Saturday night out 

 
Having visitors gave me the perfect excuse to have a lovely evening out. I had a great meal in Queensway Quay with my Mum & Dad last night. Mr Postcard stayed home with the boys which meant we were able to have a good chat without interruptions! Lovely food and lovely company, a perfect Saturday night out!