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.
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.
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.
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.
And so it begins…. schools have broken up for summer here in Gibraltar and the eight week-long summer holiday is underway.
I will continue posting Sunday Sevens, the photo challenge and my summer craft challenge throughout the summer but as for any other more considered posts – well we will just have to wait and see. I see days filled with beach outings, picnics and other child friendly activities and hopefully a bit of adult relaxing too.
Here’s to summer fun!
A sunset walk
I’m pretty sure I have posted a photo like this once before after a similar evening stroll to the recycling bins – ah the glamour! Still the view makes the task a bit more appealing :-).
Casting my vote
This year’s Gibraltar National Day marks the 50th anniversary of the referendum when Gibraltarians voted overwhelmingly to remain British. For the past month or so, there has been a special exhibition of press cuttings and Pathé news reels of the time.
Part of the exhibition features a polling booth where you can cast your own vote in a mock second referendum. School parties have come down to see the exhibits and the children have also had the chance to vote in a childrens’ referendum. I cast my vote too!
We have figs!! Last year our little fig tree did bear fruit but something or someone snaffled them before we got the chance to harvest any for ourselves. This year we were rewarded for our patience and we have 2 ripe fruits. There are more still to come as well!
We have had two birthday celebrations in the Postcard household this week. One required a home made cake. It was rather tasty 😋
Nothing to see here…
Diamond the Postcard family pet rabbit has got a new party trick.. He loves jumping up onto the sofa during his evening romps around the lounge and making me jump out of my skin. I’ll be sitting there watching telly or crocheting and bam he’s suddenly up beside me! He’s such a cheeky monkey.
This week my Instagram account reached a bit of a milestone. It now has 500+ followers. Fancy that! Thank you to everyone who’s stopped by and said hello 😊
Beautiful Europa Point
Yesterday morning I took a little stroll to the lighthouse at Europa Point. It was a gorgeous morning without a cloud in the sky. Trinity Lighthouse was looking fab with her new lick of paint and the scaffolding taken down.
SundaySevens is a weekly blog series featuring seven photos from the past seven days and was created by Natalie from Threads & Bobbins.
Summer is here! Last year during the entirety of the school summer holiday I decided to set myself a challenge to do something creative every day (mainly for my own mental health during the 8 week-long summer holiday from school). I rose to the challenge and amazingly managed to do something creative every single day of that 8 weeks except for one, when we spent a rediculous amount of time traveling home from Suffolk to Gibraltar.
The idea was sparked on the very first day of last year’s school holiday and worked amazingly well – the previous year’s summer vacation had been a very long and stressful time (I put so much effort into trying to entertain the 3 Little Postcards that there was little time or energy left for me to do what I love; creating). The new focus on creativity last year worked wonders for my mood, I made sure I had a crochet or sewing project with me on our trips away whether to the beach or park close to home or on our holiday away in England.
Keen to repeat the success of last year I decided to do it again. Last Saturday was 1st July and although the school holidays hadn’t yet started I set off on my epic challenge a week early. Do you want to see how I got on? Here goes…
Day 1 : Saturday 1st July
What better way to start a summer craft challenge than by making a crochet unicorn? The kit and Ilaria Caliri pattern came with issue 54 of Simply Crochet magazine several months ago and has been in my to do list since.
Day 2 : Sunday 2nd July
Allow me to introduce Europa the unicorn. She’s going to be the mascot of the Postcard from Gibraltar summer craft challenge and joining me on my summer long crafty adventure. She’s named after the southern most tip of Gibraltar and will come along with us on our summer trips (all of which will be in Europe).
Day 3 : Monday 3rd July
Day 3 was a bit crazy busy. By the time I picked up my crochet hook it was late at night and I started work on part of a commission I was working on. (Didn’t do much as you can see and it turned out to be wrong too because I was tired – but at least I tried!)
Day 4 : Tuesday 4th July
A change of craft for day 4. A similarly hectic day but I had a window of opportunity to do come thing crafty while I had a cake baking in the oven. I am in the process of making a felted picture and am adding the final embroidered touches. More on that later…
Day 5 : Wednesday 5th July
Back to that commission, and Europa was overseeing the creation of another little creature.
Day 6 : Thursday 6th July
Does this little sheepy head remind you of anyone?
Maybe a little crochet Sheep who had lots of adventures around Gibraltar last summer??
Introducing Llanita the third… here she is hanging out with her new bestie Europa. I was asked back in September last year if I would make a Llanita for someone. Ten months later and I finally managed it!
Day 7 : Friday 7th July
It was a blue sky kind of a day on Friday and I thought as school had officially closed for the summer it was a perfect opportunity to get my Little Box of Crochet WIP Blue Sky Hug scarf out of hibernation. After a short attempt to carry on with it, I was reminded that I had put it away because I need to concentrate when I work on it. The craziness of end of term means my attention span has been reduced to approximately 20 seconds so it was put back into hibernation and I looked for another WIP…
Ahh, that’s better! My Attic 24 designed mug cosy pattern is much easier on this tired brain… Roll on summer holidays!
I’m posting daily photos on my Instagram page throughout my summer craft challenge. Fancy joining in? Just post your photos with the tag #summercraftchallenge2017
Sunday Sevens number 90?? Crumbs have I really been doing it that long? I hope I’m not boring you! Thanks for coming along for the ride! 😊
So here’s this week’s installment of Sunday Sevens…
Another beautiful evening sky
I thought the clouds looked particularly pretty on Sunday evening last week. Unfortunately the camera on my phone didn’t quite do them justice. We are being really spoiled with gorgeous sunsets this summer.
End of term for dressmaking class
I can hardly believe that I have reached the end of my second year of dressmaking classes with the immensely clever Dorcas Hammond (you can read all about Dorcas in this post). It may seem a silly thing to do to end the year with the beginnings of a new project, but for various reasons I got a bit behind with my work this year.
I am now all ready to get cracking in September stitching this gorgeous Kafe Fassett fabric into a blouse.
Last watercolour lesson of the term
Similar to dressmaking I had my last watercolour lesson this week and again I spent my lesson working on a new project. I am attempting to paint a sunset I photographed a couple of weeks ago. I enjoyed playing with the colours to find the right tones for the sky and sea. I do fear that the trial run may turn out better than the real thing though!! You can also see my post about my hugely talented watercolour teacher Deborah M Lawson here.
Life seems to be very hectic at the moment, it shouldn’t surprise me but it always is at this time of year. As the school year draws to a close and we are inundated with notes and emails detailing special days and meetings and a flurry of birthday party invitations for children whose birthdays fall during the long summer break.
There have been days when I am sure I have had steam coming out of my ears and I’ve been contemplating running away and locking myself in a darkened room until September. However, I did make it to the weekend and next week is the last week of term for the Little Postcards. I did realise this week that I need to keep crafting to retain my sanity, so whenever I could, I grabbed a crochet hook and got busy on the border for this blanket.
Something which has gone in our favour this week is is the fact that the wind direction changed. Of late we have ‘enjoyed’ a Levante (easterly) wind which has brought with it hot and humid weather, this week we received a welcome break with Poniente (westerly) breezes bringing much cooler weather.
You could see the North Moroccan coast really clearly on Friday but blimey the water in the Strait was choppy. I don’t fancy being on that little boat!
Another blanket finished
TA-dah! The latest Sixty Million Trebles blanket is completed. This one is the result of a collaboration and was created by the Gibraltar Crochet Collective, I just joined it and added the border. This is a slightly smaller baby blanket and will go with two others to a drop off point in England when I am over visiting family this summer. For more on Sixty Million Trebles, you can see their website here.
Yesterday the organisation revealed the big news that they have reached the 3/4 point in their goal of reaching 60 million treble stitches. Hopefully they will hit 60 by the time the blankets are shipped to help Syrian refugee children in September.
Summer craft challenge 2017
Last year during the school summer holidays I challenged myself to do a little bit of craft every day in order to maintain my sanity. I amazed myself at managing to fulfill the challenge on all bar one day over the eight week long school break.
This year, I have decided to do the same thing. I began my challenge yesterday seeing as it was the first of July and it felt like the start of summer proper. I wonder whether I’ll be able to maintain my challenge again this year? Fancy joining in? If you do, you can follow my progress on Instagram, just use the tag #summercraftchallenge2017 with your creations.
Thanks for joining me this week. Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie from Threads & Bobbins
A couple of weeks ago I was very pleasantly surprised to be nominated for a Blue Sky Tag by Jane of the Candelo Blooms blog. Thank you Jane very much for thinking of me! The tag is a fun event which runs throughout June, and requires me to answer 11 questions about myself and Postcard from Gibraltar and then nominate 11 other bloggers for the same award.
It feels slightly self indulgent for me to spend all this time writing about me rather than talking about experiences or events I have visited which is my usual style of blog post, for that reason it’s taken me a while to complete this post. Here goes nothing…
1. What do you enjoy most about blogging?
I love that it gives me an excuse to take loads of photos and ask questions. I’m a naturally nosy person and before having children I worked as a journalist so this gives me the excuse to be more than just someone’s mum!
I also love that it has brought me opportunities which otherwise wouldn’t have happened. I now contribute to an online publication and have become part of a craft group all brought about by my blogging.
2. What other hobbies and pastimes do you enjoy?
Oh my word I have so many hobbies! Regular readers to my blog will know that I love to crochet. I also attend weekly watercolour classes and dressmaking classes. I love taking phtotos, which is probably obvious if you read my blog regularly, and I have recently tried wet felting for the first time (a blog post will be appearing on that soon!) I know, I know, I really don’t need another hobby! 🤣
3. Given your time over, without any restrictions, what would be your ideal job? Why?
Well I did have a pretty perfect job for me, I was a journalist which meant I got to visit special places where the public wasn’t allowed and I got to meet so many interesting people and was able to tell their stories. Aside from the (at times) long working hours and unpredictable shifts it was a dream job.
If I could do anything at all though, I would love to be a craftsperson with a talent great enough to make a living from it. I’d love my own workshop (ideally in the countryside or at the end of a large garden) and be surrounded by my crafty things whatever they might be. As it is, I live in an apartment in the fifth most densely populated place in the world (or so I’m told) so it’s not likely – I’m very happy as I am though.
4. Which new country would you like to visit?
I have had a bit of a fascination with Australia since the magical day I was off sick from school and Neighbours came on the TV in the U.K. for the first time! Back then (when I was around 11 yrs old I think) I started saving 50p of my pocket money each week towards my dream holiday to Ramsay Street and the rest of Australia. I had a page cut out from a holiday brochure I’d snaffled from a travel agents with a 3 week tour of Oz including a trip to Melbourne and was saving up for that (it cost over £2000 back in the late 80s) needless to say I never saved enough!
5. What is your favourite quotation?
I have to confess that I didn’t have a favourite quotation in my back pocket ready for this occasion, it took a bit of googling. This is the one which I think best sums up my view on life: “I choose to make the rest of my life the best of my life” by Louise Hay. I have been lucky enough to have had a great life so far, a happy childhood, a great career until I had a much wanted family, however onwards and upwards…. who knows what lies ahead?
6. If you were an animal, what would you like to be and why?
This is a tricky question to answer, to be honest I am not a great animal lover. I abhor cruelty to animals but I’m just not a huge animal fan. Just the other evening as Mr Postcard and I were sitting on the balcony at dusk, enjoying the golden moment between the cool dusk breeze arriving and the mosquitos arriving we were watching the seagulls swirling around over our heads calling out to each other. Now I’m not saying I fancy being a seagull eating rubbish out of people’s bins and pooping on the people down below, but it would be fab to be able glide on the thermals and take in the views.
7. What is your favourite time of year and why?
Ooh, another tricky one. It rather depends on where I am. In Gibraltar it has to be spring, the days are often warm and sunny, very much like an English summer’s day but it’s not too hot and you can get stuff done without needing several showers to cool down.
In Britain, I love all the seasons and I miss them dreadfully living here in Gibraltar. I love winter for its cosiness, crunchy frost underfoot and Christmas. Spring is so full of promise with bulbs breaking through the soil and the bright acid green of the newly opened leaves on the trees.
Summer is just wonderful when it’s sunny and dry. I love woodland walks and picnics. And Autumn is magical for it’s colourful leaves, conkers and misty cobwebs. Sorry, that doesn’t really answer the question does it?
8. What is your favourite film?
I don’t really have a favourite film as such, I have had a few favourites over the years, The Sound of Music and Dirty Dancing featured heavily in my formative years. As an adult I have to admit to a James Bond addiction….
9. What are the 3 most important character attributes to you?
Honesty, I can’t be doing with having to second guess what people are really thinking. Kindness, there is no need to be mean and a little kindness helps the world go round, don’t you agree? Creativity, nothing fires my own creativity than having creative people to inspire me.
10. What is your favourite book and why?
My favourite book tends to be the one I am reading at the moment. I am a member of a book club and I love that it introduces me to different genres I wouldn’t normally choose for myself. I am slowly working my way through George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series at the moment, in-between my book club books. I am currently on Book 4, A Feast for Crows. I have watched the TV series up to the point where I am reading, but want to read the books before seeing the series.
11. What is your favourite garden and why?
I love pretty much all gardens. My favourite one here in Gibraltar has got to be the Governor’s gardens at his official residence, the Convent. It’s open to the public once a year for the annual Convent garden party and it’s lovely to take a stroll along the shady agapanthus lined paths and enjoy the beautiful trees. It’s a real oasis in a rather built up environment.
Now to my Blue Sky nominees….
I would like to nominate the following people for this Blue Sky Tag: