A Postcard from London at a particular moment in history…

I found myself in London today as I took Eldest to begin his University adventure. Once he was settled in, I had the chance to soak up some of the atmosphere of a capital city preparing for the funeral of our Queen tomorrow.

Normally I wouldn’t be in a position to hop on a train specifically for an occasion like this, but today, I found myself in the right place at the right time.

The famous queue of people waiting to see the Queen lying-in-state was inescapable as we were based on the south bank of the Thames – right next to it. After settling my son into his new home, I was free to wander and experience the atmosphere.

As the sun set and the rain came, I followed the queue along the South Bank…

By the British Film Institute there was a huge screen showing footage from the Queen’s 70 year-long reign…

The atmosphere was remarkable, amicable chats amongst those in the queue. Not one raised voice. Just patient shuffling along the side of the Thames.

As 8 o’clock approached, I wanted to be somewhere significant for the National minute’s silence. I was hoping to make it to Buckingham Palace but was warned roads nearby were closed because of the reception for world leaders so I opted to stay close to the Palace of Westminster.

Road closures meant pedestrians could spill into the road over Westminster bridge. However, those same closures meant a diversion for pedestrians back along the Embankment and then on to Whitehall, where people were already camping – some with tents – to have front row seats for tomorrow’s events.

Parliament Square was a hive of activity as contractors removed all the traffic lights and many police officers and army personnel were involved in preparations.

I found a perfect vantage spot to wait for half an hour or so ready for the silence. I even spotted the Castle & Key of the Gibraltar flag hanging opposite the Houses of Parliament.

Tannoy announcements told the gathering crowds that the silence was imminent and slowly the noise levels fell. Work came to a halt. People stood still and you could hear a pin drop. The silence was impeccably marked and was really quite moving. Being so close to where the Queen was lying in state felt right.

I’m so glad I went. The silence was ended with a round of applause and a spontaneous rendition of the National Anthem.

Then it was time to head back across the river..

The queue continued to move slowly along the South Bank and nightfall meant a projection onto the front of the British Film Institute had appeared.

I stood for a while to watch black and white footage of the Queen at important moments in her life.

It was lovely to see all the different ways her passing had been commemorated at different locations.

Tate Modern

There was a beautiful and huge light & sound sculpture at Tate Modern – an unexpected surprise.

At the Globe Theatre there were wreaths of Rosemary for remembrance and photos of the Queen & Prince Philip from the official opening of the venue.

And then, unlike those hardy folk in the queue or camped out on the funeral procession route, I returned to my hotel by following the queue back to where I’d started. I am unlikely to be able to watch the Queen’s funeral tomorrow because of travel back up north but I’m glad I was able to spend some time in London at this particular moment in history.

Sending love to all those who need it.

Lindsay x

A postcard from April 2022

Quarry Bank Mill at Styal

Hello there and welcome to this latest Postcard from April – if a little late! It’s a teeny look back at what I got up to in April and as spring has sprung well and truly round here, it meant spending a lot of time out in my little garden.


Where we live we are surrounded by streets and roads filled with trees. I believe the local town planner back in the 1930s believed that there should be a tree planted for every person who lived in the district, so we have him to thank for all the lush greenery around here.

One of the side effects of having so many trees about is that they drop their seeds in autumn and as I discovered last spring (our first in this house) those seeds produce dozens and dozens of tiny seedlings in our pebble driveway. This is just one handful of seedlings picked during about 10 minutes one afternoon – there are approximately 124 seedlings there. I reckon in total I’ve pulled up at least 200 – which would have left me with a jungle or even a forest between our front door and the pavement! It’s no trouble really and rather therapeutic, although they can be hard to spot against the pebbles, and are easy to miss.

Fence panel painting before & after (left panel is painted, right panel isn’t)

Also in the garden, I decided that this year, it was time to give the fence panels a treat. Thankfully the previous owner had left a partially used pot of fence paint, so I was able to set to work straight away once the mood took me. Once I ran out of the original stuff, a quick trip to the local DIY shop had me back to work. One day over Easter weekend I managed to paint 15 fence panels. I was a little tired that evening!

I also thought the shed could do with a treat, despite painting it last year, it was looking a little tired. So that got a coat of paint too along with a new trellis and a new honeysuckle which I bought from the local allotment which was having a plant sale. It’s more than doubled in size since this picture was taken!

Birthdays

There were two birthdays in the household in April. One was a big one as Eldest turned 18 – eek! I have no idea how that happened. I’m just mentally preparing myself for the fact he’s going to be leaving home (all being well) in September to go off to University. Not sure how I’ll feel when the time comes….

Another birthday I celebrated last month was the 2nd birthday of Making Stitches Podcast – but more on that later….

Psyduck (minus his tuft of hair/feathers)

I was invited to a special 21st birthday party last month too. Special in that it was 2 years late. A very good friend of mine has a lovely son who turned 21 in April of 2020, at the time a party had been planned and of course lockdown happened so he had no celebration at all. In fact his parents only managed to deliver a cake to the driveway of where he was living and sang happy birthday from the car, before driving home.

Unlike certain other people, he didn’t have a party….. that was until this year, when, two years later than planned, family and friends were able to get together for a better-late-than-never celebration. Oh, and the amigurumi I’m holding above is Psyduck (a Pokémon character – in case you didn’t know). This young man was a huge fan of Psyduck when he was younger, so I made him one – albeit with out the tuft of hair he’s supposed to have because I left it to the last minute and forgot to in the rush! But the recipient was happy and the party was a great night.

Easter holiday trip out

We are very fortunate to have a few really great National Trust properties close to where we live. One of those is Styal Mill near Manchester Airport. Our great friends and neighbours across the road were going for the day, so I took youngest along with me (the other two were otherwise engaged) for an Easter treasure trail and picnic on a lovely warm and, at times, sunny day.

We hadn’t been for a few years – it’s so easy forget what’s down the road isn’t it? But I’m so glad we had the invitation to join our friends. The kids had fun and ran off some energy whilst learning about the industrial revolution and leeches (on the tour of the apprentice house). It had particular resonance for my young man because the mill was actually used as a location for the filming of the new CBBC drama Dodger, which he had very much enjoyed watching.

The grounds were looking gorgeous and the picture of spring with tulips galore and azaleas too – the rhododendrons were just about to explode into colour too.

A trip down to London

As mentioned before, Eldest has his sights set on University for later this year, and last month was invited for a look around one of the Unis on his list. I tagged along so I could see where he might be disappearing off to. Blimey, universities have moved on a lot since I was at one! The services and support are so much more sophisticated than I can remember, which certainly put my mind at rest as a slightly anxious parent. Another positive of the day trip was plenty of time for hooky on the train!

Podcast Update

In podcast news, as well as celebrating 2 years of Making Stitches Podcast, I released a couple of new episodes. Episode 42 was ‘Crochet-tastic’ and packed full of crochet chatter featuring a conversation I had with Hannah Cross of Hanjan Crochet and another with Amanda Bloom formerly of Little Box of Crochet and now from Cosy Life Boxes about her amazing fundraising efforts for Ukraine with her ‘Blanket of Hugs’ for Ukraine appeal. You can find a link to the episode here.

Hannah Cross of Hanjan Crochet (l) & Amanda Bloom (r)

Episode 43 was bright and colourful (if you can do that with sound) and featured the lovely Clare Albans from Hello Hooray Blog about her creative journey from music teacher to hand-embroidery designer and small business owner. Last year, Clare was able to open her own bricks and mortar studio and haberdashery shop thanks to a Kick-starter campaign. You can find a link to that episode here.

Clare Albans from Hello Hooray Blog

And that’s just about it from me for this month. I have been working on a few crochet projects behind the scenes but I hope to be able to share them with you very soon, and I’m still working on up-coming episodes of Making Stitches too.

I hope you have enjoyed this little look back at April in my world and that it hasn’t been too boring for you! I hope you’ve had a good month too.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and until next time, bye for now!

Lindsay x

Summer Craft Challenge 2021 (Week 3)

Hello there, I’m a bit late with this post – it should’ve been written on Saturday – but hey, it’s the school summer holidays so we’re just rolling with it…

Here’s what I got up to last week in my crafty challenge 😊

Day 15 : Saturday 7th August

More festive leaves on the hook for day 15.

Day 16 : Sunday 8th August

My pile of Daisy hexies is growing… perhaps not as quickly as I had envisioned. I don’t think this blanket will be finished this summer somehow!

Day 17 : Monday 9th August

Summer craft challenge Day 17 went on the road… or perhaps that should be the train! I began a project I’ve been keeping on the back burner for a special occasion – a Little Box of Crochet designed by the lovely ladies The Crochet Sanctuary @Lynda-Rose & Lisa. I got half way through my heart which was made between Manchester & London.

Then I got to visit a place I’ve wanted to go to for aaaaages….. Liberty of London! ahhhh! Those fabrics, all the beautiful things….

I may have accidentally made a teeny-weeny fabric purchase 🤪

Day 18 : Tuesday 10th August

Managed most of the second half of my heart on the train home but I was utterly pooped and ran out of steam. The miles we covered on foot and public transport was bonkers (40,000 steps in less than 48 hours), but it was a very informative trip looking at possible places for Eldest to study next year – eek.

Day 19 : Wednesday 11th August

I made a crown and a chubby squidgy heart!

Day 20 : Thursday 12th August

Thursday’s crochet was all about leaves again!

Day 21 : Friday 13th August

A second project finished! I’ve been waiting over a year to make this and it was well worth the wait – a beautiful heart pincushion designed by The Crochet Sanctuary ladies for Little Box of Crochet. I love it!

That’s all for this installment of my summer craft challenge. I hope I can keep it up – I seem to be powering through my projects which is great. Onwards….

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Lindsay x

Friday photo challenge (Week 47) Climb

My regular climb, apart from up the stairs to our apartment is the Med Steps. But another big climb which we made at Easter time this year, was to the top of St Paul’s Cathedral in London.

Up and up we climbed to the very top. It felt rather odd peering down through the little window in the floor of the upper room to the huge cathedral below. It was a wonderful day out with some very dear friends.

Next week’s Friday photo challenge is ‘wild’.

Friday photo challenge (week 15) Clock & March round-up

This week’s Friday photo challenge features two clocks I saw last week on our Easter trip to England. The first being the clock of St Paul’s Cathedral in London as seen from the stone gallery around the circumference of the dome.

The second being the clock on the steeple of St John the Evangelist church in Burgess Hill in Sussex. We visited this church on a family history quest and found the war grave of Mr Postcard’s great great uncle who died aged 18 in World War 1. It was a beautifully maintained church and graveyard and a very special place for us all to visit.

Next week’s photo challenge prompt is: transport.

Last week I should have included a monthly round up for March but didn’t manage it owing to being on holiday, so here it is, one week late:

Cosy

Over on Instagram there was a plethora of cosy crocheted and knitted items, blankets, socks to name but two. A very cute sleeping cat showed up too, but poor old Alison in Andalucia (@alisoninandalucia) was struggling with a cold at the time and was staying cosy under a blanket with a hot lemon drink.

Best Friend

Sandra at Wild Daffodil told us the story of Maggie who loved shopping with her best friend!

On Instagram chocolate featured more than once, I had to admit it’s a good friend of mine, although I do pay a price for this friendship! Also a very special rescue cat by the name of Zac who is Susan’s (@BlueJake235) best friend. Janet Bryden posted a photo of herself and her husband and best friend as they are celebrating 40 years of marriage this year – congratulations to you both 🙂

Communication

Snail mail was a popular choice for communication over on Instagram, and I have to agree. You just can’t beat a letter through the post can you? My favourite photo for Communication has to be Sandra’s (@capanosandra) it showed her holding someone’s hand along with some rosary beads, prayer being the form of communication she had in mind. It is a very powerful photo.

Spring

I love Sandra’s take on the Spring Equinox over at Wild Daffodil.

On Instagram, there were spring flowers a plenty. Daffodils, crocus, bluebells and cherry blossom all feature. It wasn’t looking too spring-like up in Yorkshire for Saffy (@bumblebluebee07) though, icicles featured on her feed! Susan (@bluejake235) stole the show though with her spring lambs – aaah!

Rainbow

You really can’t beat a rainbow to lift the spirits! A couple of Instagrammers opted for woolly rainbows like me, there was variegated rainbow yarn knitted into a pair of jazzy cosy socks and an extremely cute crocheted rainbow bookmark by @hookstitchsew and as for ‘real’ rainbows – @bluejake235 took the biscuit with a beautiful rainbow snapped next to a waterfall in Iceland.

If you want to join in with the Friday photo challenge, it’s not too late. You can dip in and out as you wish. Just leave a link to your blog in the comments below or use the hashtag #postcardfromgibfridayphoto and then we can all see your pictures.

Sunday Sevens #130 8.4.18

Hello there from Gibraltar on the last day of the Easter school holidays. Life will hopefully fall back into some sort of routine from tomorrow. We’ve had a lovely week and a bit of family time with travel to the south of England, which we all enjoyed, but it will be nice to get back to normal again… here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens:

Down on the farm

On Easter Sunday we piled into car and drove from our holiday home in Sidmouth in Devon to a fabulous farm shop and café for breakfast. Greendale Farm Shop, just outside Exeter, has won awards and I can see why, it was fabulous. We had great breakfasts ranging from a mini full English to bacon butties, omelette to waffles and ice cream?! The shop was excellent, as was the farm itself.

The Little Postcards were mesmerized by the free range chickens who followed us wherever we went. As for Oscar the ostrich, the jury’s out. Just for the record I was informed that there was a more than passing resemblance between myself and the pot bellied pigs (see what I have to put up with!).

Train travels

We were on the move again on Monday, we travelled from Devon to London Paddington. The train was terribly overcrowded, we stood all the way from Exeter to London 🙁 it was so overcrowded even the toilet door handle was shocked:

I stood next to it all the way :-/

Being tourists

On Tuesday we met up with some old friends who used to live in Gibraltar and did a spot of sightseeing. (It was lovely to see them again.) First stop was St Paul’s Cathedral. I had never been inside before and was mesmerized by this place which, when I was a little girl in 1981, hosted the fairytale royal wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Di.

I had a Ladybird book of the royal wedding which I knew off by heart cover-to-cover preparing myself for my own wedding to a Prince…. I did indeed meet my prince, Mr Postcard, our wedding was a rather more low key affair but no less special 😉

Flying high

On Wednesday we took a bit of a tour around the capital for the benefit of a Little Postcard who has a thing for public transport, we rode the Tube, the Docklands Light Railway, a regular train which ran on part of the soon to be opened Cross-Rail project and hitched a ride on the Emirates Airline cable car. It gave us a great view across the O2 towards the City, and despite the rainy weather was lots of fun.

A perfect spring morning

On our last morning in London, we woke to blue skies and set off for a bit of a walk to make the most of the good weather. We headed to Kensington Gardens and as you can see it was glorious. What a charming park, despite being busy with people it didn’t feel overcrowded and it was great to get a fix of green in the Big Smoke. Many of the trees were starting to show signs of spring and it was so good to see.

Heading home

On Friday we headed home to Gibraltar. Before setting off from Blighty we had an overnight stay with more friends in Sussex and we headed out for a walk near to where we were staying. On that walk I spied these pretty primroses. I do love visiting England in the spring. The sprouting trees and hedges and spring flowers hold such promise of the beauty which is yet to come. Thank you England, we had a lovely trip!

Back down to business

Too much time has passed without Med Steps training, so once my washing airers were full of clean wet washing and I could wash no more, it was time to hit the steps again yesterday.

I have to admit feeling a little disillusioned and unmotivated about my training of late as life and bad weather have rather got in the way. However, as I stepped I plugged in my headphones to listen to an amazing podcast. It was the latest in the Blogtacular Podcast series and featured Lauren Mahon, the author of the blog Girl vs Cancer.

It was incredibly powerful as she spoke of the importance of support services to help people undergoing cancer treatment. It reminded me why I was training for the Med Steps 5 next month, which raises funds for the Cancer Relief Centre here in Gibraltar so it can offer a whole range of much needed support services to those undergoing treatment as well as their nearest and dearest. I’m back on track now!

Thank you for stopping by and reading this Sunday Sevens. I’m linking with Natalie from Threads & Bobbins.