Sunday Sevens #41 24.7.16

Garden DIY


Sunday last week was a bit of a washout. Two members of the Postcard family were struck down with a nasty bug. Our planned afternoon at the beach didn’t happen as a result. Determined that the day wouldn’t be a total waste of time, once people were well enough to be left for 20 minutes, I popped out to our patio and did a long awaited job. Our climbers were badly in need of something to climb up, so I got the drill out and successfully attached a trellis to the garden wall…. almost one week on, it’s still there!

An evening stroll


A walk at dusk on Tuesday evening was very welcome as the bug struck another Little Postcard and it had been a long, housebound day. We’re so lucky to live in such a beautiful place. It’s great to be able to just stop, look up and appreciate our surroundings.

Beach day


On Tuesday we had a lovely day at the beach as thankfully everyone was well enough to leave the house!  I’m ashamed to say it was our first visit this summer holiday. We have been quite busy with other things and I have to admit that although I enjoy it when I’m there, the prospect of loading up the car, unloading it all and carrying it down to the beach, then packing up at the end and taking half of the beach back home with us puts me off.

We met up with friends and it was great. I really need to make the effort more often. One of the Little Postcards looked like a prune by the end of the day after all the time he’d spent in the sea. I spent quite a while in the sea too with Littlest Postcard dodging the big waves. 

Evening shadows


I snuck into Westside park just as it was shutting for the evening. It was so quiet and peaceful, the complete opposite of what it’s like during the day. It was just what I needed after a busy day getting packed up ready for our trip to England to visit family. 

I was on a last minute dash to the supermarket but thought I’d take a moment before doing the shopping. I’m glad I did 🙂

Bunny mugshot


I’ve not shared any photos of Bunny Postcard for a long time so thought I would this week. I think he’s been struggling a bit with the summer heat, it’s been so hot – even on overcast days. He’s got a fan blowing into his night time cage and a run in the cool shady hall but I do feel sorry for him under all that fluff. The Little Postcards and I will miss him while we are away on our summer holidays over the next few weeks.

I love the smell of ozone in the morning 

On Friday we woke to beautiful clear blue skies which was a change from the murky overcast Saharan dust filled skies of the previous few days. A fresh wind was blowing and as I opened the front door to take the laundry out I could actually smell the sea. It’s such a lovely smell!

Night flight


We arrived at the first stop of our summer holiday destination in the early hours of yesterday morning. I’ve brought the Little Postcards to visit my parents in Manchester. We left Mr Postcard at work with Bunny to keep him company.  It was hard work flying solo with three children, especially at night, as I had two sleepers to deal with by the time I reached baggage reclaim! Still, we survived and I can relax now with Grandma and Grandad’s help!  

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins. If you fancy joining in with your blog, check out Natalie’s for more details.

Convent Garden Party 2016

 

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Entrance to the Convent

A couple of Saturdays ago, on 25th June, the Governor of Gibraltar opened the doors to his official residence for the annual Convent Garden Party. The event, which has been running for several years now, gives mere mortals like ourselves the chance to enjoy a wander around the beautiful Convent Gardens.
Before heading out into the gardens this year, we took a walk upstairs to have a mooch around the state rooms. This stunning dining room is adorned with shields and crests which (according to Wikipedia) form the most extensive collection of heraldry in the Commonwealth of Nations.

State dining room

In the ballroom there has been an art show in previous years but this time there was an exhibition of weapons by the Gibraltar Museum. I have to admit that weapons aren’t really my thing, either old fashioned ones or modern machine guns.

The one weapon of note which caught my eye was number 42, which is a relic from the Battle of Trafalgar.

Heading back downstairs we cut across the tranquil courtyard with it’s charity stalls.

Cloistered courtyard
Out in the garden we were entertained by jazz musicians playing by the fountain. There were bouncy castles for the children as well as a rope walk between the trees put on by the Scouts. (The Governor is the Chief Scout of Gibraltar and allows scouts to camp in his back garden occasionally).

The ladies of the Convent Charity Committee had a lovely stall with home-made cakes and other refreshments. The people you can see in the gazebo were sitting in the shade enjoying the tasty treats. The Convent staff also had their regular stall selling plants which have been propagated and grown in the garden itself.


The main attraction for me though, as always, is the plants. I’ll let them speak for themselves.

At the far end of the gardens this year there was a display of birds of prey – I don’t remember seeing this on our previous visits.

I really love coming to have a look around this garden – we have been going for about six  years now. Last year I wrote one of my first blog posts on the event A stroll up the garden path….

It’s a great fundraiser for the local community and it’s so nice to have the chance to have a look around. When I’m feeling homesick for the British Isles it reminds me a little of a National Trust garden (if you ignore the heat and the Mediterranean planting), in times of uncertainty (as we were feeling two weekends ago immediately after the EU Referendum result) it’s a constant which doesn’t really change. Whatever way you look at it, it’s a really beautiful colourful oasis in a very busy and hectic place.

Home sweet home!

  
Well, I’m pleased to say we made it home to Gibraltar. We had a brilliant few weeks in England and were sad to say goodbye. It’s good to be home though.

The hot weather has had a curious effect on the plants while we’ve been gone. Some have gone crazy like this bougainvillea, others, sadly have been burnt to a crisp. There’s a bit of work to do in the patio!

   
It’s hot hot hot, but check out that stunning sky! 

 
That’s all for now, I’ll be back again soon!

Birthday cakes, bubbles & baby birds

  
A special young man had a birthday recently, and as we are on holiday, I took the easy option and ordered some special cupcakes rather than baking myself. Aren’t they wonderful? On seeing them for the first time as we sang ‘Happy birthday to you’, his first word was ‘Wow!’

  
They tasted as good as they looked, with vanilla sponge and buttercream underneath the superhero icing toppers. They were made by a very talented lady who runs the Yummy Mummy Cake Company in Manchester. Check out the Yummy Mummy Cake Co webpage to see more of her amazing creations.

The weather hasn’t been quite as glorious this week, but that has not stopped us getting out into the garden. No matter what your age, you can’t beat blowing bubbles!

  
Another family making use of my parents’ back garden at the moment is a new family of wrens. We’ve been catching glimpses of Mummy and Daddy wren shooting in and out of the nesting box at great speed feeding the chicks over the last couple of weeks. We were lucky enough to get a brief look at the busy new parents at quite close quarters one evening. Please excuse the grainy pictures, but it was the best I could manage, as they don’t hang about for long!

  
  
I’ll leave you with a few photos of my Mum’s stunning hydrangeas, the colours just looked fantastic in the evening light.

   
   
Thanks for stopping by.

A stroll up the garden path…

 
Today we’ve had the pleasure of visiting the Convent Garden. The Convent is the official residence of the Governor of Gibraltar, Sir James Dutton and his wife Lady Liz. Normally, the Convent and it’s grounds are off-limits to the general public, however twice a year the doors are thrown open for the Convent Garden Open Day (June) and the Convent Christmas Fair (November). Both are fundraising events supporting local charities and are very much highlights of the Gibraltar Social Calendar.

   

The walled private gardens are an utter delight offering peace and much needed shade. It’s an oasis in such a densely populated place – you almost can forget you are still in Gibraltar. The building itself is a former convent (as the name suggests) dating back to the sixteenth century, it’s been home to Gibraltar’s Governors since 1728.

As well as the gardens, a number of formal rooms were open to the public as well. Indoors there was an art exhibition featuring a number of locally based artists and choral and musical performances.

   

The grand banqueting hall and lounge. 

  

  The busy courtyard featured craft stalls.
 
Enough of indoors … let’s get back outside to that gorgeous garden! 

  
Dotted around the garden are trees which have been planted by various dignitaries and members of the royal family including the Queen and most recently the Earl & Countess of Wessex. The colours of the blooms are beautiful and in spite of the number of other visitors, the place still felt like a sanctuary away from the bustle of Main Street, just metres away.

  
If you visit early enough in the day you can actually buy a little bit of the garden to take back home with you from the plant stall. For the younger visitors there was an elevated rope walk run by the Scout Association, a bouncy castle and face painting.  There were refreshments served on the lawn including home baked good and the most delicious homemade ice cream. 

  
I think this is our third visit to the a garden open day and I can’t recommend it highly enough if you ever have the chance to see it for yourself. I’ll leave you with a few more flower pictures, thanks for reading!