Sunday Postcard #008 20.9.20

Hello and happy Sunday to you, I hope the sun’s shining with you today. Here’s this week’s Sunday Postcard:

Vitamin Tree

Last Sunday, much like today, we were enjoying some glorious sunshine here in the North West of England. We decided to make the most of what may well be our last few days of summer, packed a picnic and jumped into the car to head for Worden Park nearly Chorley in Lancashire.

We visited the park for the first time last summer after it was recommended by a family friend. It took about 45 mins to drive there from our home in Manchester along nice quiet motorways and we were rewarded with wide open spaces and beautiful trees. Long time readers of this blog will know I am a tree lover. You really need a bit of Vitamin Tree in your life every so often wouldn’t you agree?

Worden Park is basically the estate of a formerly grand house. The house is no longer standing but some of the outbuildings remain which are now artisan workshops and a lovely little tea room and some of the formal gardens have been retained too, including a rather stately yew tree which was planted by Queen Victoria (sadly I didn’t photograph that).

As we are in the market these days for outdoor walks where we won’t see too much of other people, Worden was perfect. Although many, many other people had been drawn out to enjoy the wide open spaces and fresh air, in the most part we were all well distanced away from them. It was a bit of a bottleneck in the formal garden (see above) although we quickly negotiated our way through there.

Although it felt warm enough to be a summer’s day, the first signs of autumn were in evidence as some of the leaves had started to turn. There will be an amazing show of colour here in the weeks to come I imagine.

I can never make up my mind how I feel about autumn. When I was away in Gibraltar for the past 11 years, where the seasons don’t have the same impact (mainly because the weather doesn’t change as dramatically and many trees there are evergreen), I really missed autumn. I had a real fondness for misty mornings, dew drops on cobwebs and crunching through fallen leaves.

Now that we are about to experience our first autumn back in England since our move, I’m looking forward to the colours which lie ahead (although sadly not the smells as my sense of smell is still to recover fully from Covid), but I’m also feeling a little sad that it marks the end of summer. I’m sure I’m not alone in that…

Perhaps the sense of uncertainty and unknown about the winter that we are heading into adds to that slight sense of unease about autumn too. Never mind, we will all go through it together, and all being well will be fine.

Sunny Monday morning

How about that for a sky? This is what I gazed up to after walking Littlest to school on Monday morning. What a belter. I can handle more of this kind of September weather thank you very much!

Mmmm delicious!

We had apple & bramble crumble for pudding one evening this week. It was very nice!

On the mend

Midweek I began to feel very tired, and then I succumbed to a rather nasty cold. The Little Postcards had it too in varying degrees but it hit me hardest. There was nothing for it other than to go to bed for a couple of days (well as much as you can do with young people to look after). I’m pleased to say I am now well and truly on the mend and even felt up to a bit of crochet . I really had better get a move on with this summery Little Box of Crochet wreath before winter!!

Birthday time

There was a Little Postcard birthday this week, there are now 2 teenagers in the house – wish me luck!!

Because of our current state of half unpacked/half packed-ness after our move from Gibraltar and our impending move to our ‘forever’ home, I have no idea where my cake tins are. So it was a shop bought birthday cake this time!

Podcast update

Making Stitches Podcast is back, my goodness I’ve missed making these episodes over the summer! This time I’ve decided to release an episode once a fortnight as weekly would be too much for me to manage at the moment bearing in mind we have another house move coming up in the next few months. This week I decided to revisit some of my guests from last series and get up to date with them.

You can find the podcast by searching for Making Stitches in your favourite podcast app or by clicking onto this link.

And that brings this week’s Sunday Postcard to an end. I hope this coming week is a good one for you!

Lindsay x

Sunday Postcard #007 13.09.20

Hello! Did you know it was International Crochet Day yesterday? It almost passed me by. I managed a tiny bit of work on my Trip to the Seaside wreath from Little Box of Crochet, so I just about fitted some hooky in!

I hope it’s been a good week for you, for part of this week I had all 3 Little Postcards in school for the first time in 6 months. My word, what a difference it made!

Here’s this week’s Sunday Postcard…

Rain rain go away

So last Sunday was a bit wet (thankfully it cleared up later on though). It meant we had the perfect excuse to stay at home and just hang around. Two Little Postcards had begun their new schools the week before and youngest was due to begin his new school on Monday. A quiet day at home listening to the rain was rather pleasant and called for.

Unearthing treasures

During a much anticipated morning alone with all 3 in school I set about on the hunt for the elusive name tapes to sew into new uniforms. As we only found out what schools 2 of them were going to last week – it was all a bit last minute.

I failed to find the name tapes but I unearthed some crafty treasures. Embroidery patterns given to me by my Gran as a child (above). I had no idea they were in a bag with some yarn scraps and long forgotten WIPs. I will have to have a go at some of them! Plus…..

… what must’ve been my first attempts at granny squares, no doubt taught by my Gran! Not the neatest attempts granted, and those colours have a touch of of 1980s about them don’t you think?!

Diamond update

Our bunny, Diamond is doing very well and seems to have adjusted to life in his hutch in England well. He’s a happy chappy and seems to like stretching out listening to the birds in the garden and watching the neighbour’s cat as it parades past!

Happy post

I got a lovely parcel through the post this week, all the way from Gibraltar….

When we were over in Gib to collect Eldest’s GCSE results in August, I bought myself a lovely artisan silver and garnet ring.

I thought it looked a bit lonely on its own and decided to contact Frances, the lady who made it and asked if she would make me another, this time with a blue stone.

It arrived this week, along with a cute little stacking ring to sit in between the blue & red stones. I am so happy with them and will always have a bit of Gib with me now!

You can find Frances’ work on Instagram @silver_quirk and her Etsy shop can be found here.

Podcast preparation

The recorder is out, and that can only mean one thing… work has started on Series 2 of Making Stitches Podcast. I have a couple of interviews in the bag and I’m hoping the first episode will be with you very soon! Watch this space…

International Crochet Day

As I said before, yesterday was International Crochet Day… who knew that was a thing?! I only had time for a little bit but enjoyed making some swishy swashy grass for my Little Box of Crochet wreath.

Gibraltar National Day 🇬🇮

Gibraltar National Day 2019

On Thursday, it was 10th September- Gibraltar National Day. It was our first national day since leaving the Rock and the first one without any of the big community events which normally take place because of Covid. I did listen to the political rally on the radio though and enjoyed being with my Gibraltar friends in spirit.

And that brings this week’s Sunday Postcard to an end. I hope it’s been a good week for you. Until next time, thanks for popping by.

Lindsay x

Sunday Sevens #224 31.5.20

Hello there, how have you been getting on this week? It’s been a busy one as usual for me. How can life still feel so busy when so many aspects of it are restricted at the moment? I have no idea. Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens:

Cruise ship calling

In spite of the fact we are still in semi-lockdown here in Gibraltar, there still seems to be a lot of cruise ships calling in. Few of them have passengers though, they are coming in to change crews, fly passengers home or collect supplies. It must be rather strange cruising about the place with very few people on board.

A trip to the beach

At the start of the week Littlest went to the beach for a short while for a socially distanced meet up with a friend. It was lovely and quiet down there and did him the world of good to see someone from outside of our family unit for a change.

Home schooling

I’m so glad that I got the chance to spend one afternoon a week as a work experience helper in a primary school as an A-Level student. It made me realise that I wasn’t cut out to be a teacher and I turned my attention elsewhere. I have to admit I’m struggling with the home schooling during lockdown. My patience levels are at an all time low. I completely understand that the lockdown and school closures are necessary but I will certainly be doing a happy dance when my three all return to school (whenever that may be).

An unexpected delight

I have to thank the ladies at The Crochet Sanctuary for bringing this to my attention – my new podcast, Making Stitches, got a write up in Crochet Now Magazine!! How marvelous is that?! I’m really rather chuffed about it 😊.

Crochet with concentration

I’ve been trying to finish some of my long-standing WiPs during lockdown and this is one of them. It’s an Entrelac Tunisian crochet purse from Little Box of Crochet. I started it and put it away. Upon rediscovering it, I realised the first row of turquoise blue diamonds wasn’t right so ended up unraveling the lot and starting again. This is how far I got yesterday – I’m not quite as far as I was before I ripped it apart.

It takes quite a bit of concentration – something I’m a bit short of at the moment – but as the rows grow it makes more sense and I think I’m back on track now. Hopefully I’ll be able to share a good bit of progress next week!

Also on my hook this week…

I’m still playing catch up on the Pandemonium CAL. It had been going so well but life & boring stuff interrupted my crochet! I think I might need another few rainbow rows…

Podcast update

Amanda Bloom & her daughter Jenny

This week’s podcast episode features Little Box of Crochet’s Amanda Bloom. We had a lovely chat all about her daughter a Jenny, who was instrumental in setting up their subscription box business as well as how the business has grown and the community it’s created. You can find it here, if you fancy a listen.

That’s all from me for this week, I hope the new week is a good one for you. Bye for now 😊.

Sunday Sevens was first created by Natalie from Threads and Bobbins.

Sunday Sevens #223 24.5.20

Hello there, is it just me or are the Sundays coming around faster than usual at the moment? It only seems like the day before yesterday I wrote my last Sunday Sevens. Quite remarkable really considering what quiet lives we are living at the moment.

Anyway, just one day late, here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens on Bank Holiday Monday (it’s a rather floral one seeing as it was Chelsea Flower Show week!):

Lockdown Crochet 🧶

I’ve not shared my Pandemonium CAL progress with you for a while. Here’s where I’m up to now, I’m a bit behind (a couple of weeks behind I think) but it’s been busy behind the scenes at Postcard Towers, so Crochet has been relegated. I’m pleased to say it’s made an appearance at last. I did the yellow and black v stitch on the 3rd anniversary of the Manchester Arena bombing. I thought the yellow and black bee 🐝 colours were appropriate for that day.

Rainbows 🌈

I had a couple of trips into town this week and both times I parked in Midtown carpark. As I waited for the lift I spied rainbows on the floor. The sunshine was coming at the right angle through the louvred glass windows. I love it when I see them.

A walk around the Rock

Midweek I found myself on my own for a few hours and took off on an adventure I haven’t ever done before, to walk all the way round the Rock. It was a beautiful day and a lovely walk which took about two hours. I hope to share a post about it soon when I get the chance!

Where flowers bloom, so does hope

In autumn / winter last year I saw an Instagram post by the lovely Nancy (@avocadofairy) about a maker (@thepaintedanthology) who paints nice words on slate, pots and other items. I decided to buy one myself. Little did I know when I bought it how pertinent those words would be this year for us all; “where flowers bloom, so does hope” ~ Ladybird Johnson

Agapanthus surprise

I was doing a spot of gardening in our patio this week and to my great surprise I spied a gorgeous agapanthus bloom poking out above the bougainvillea. I have had bad luck with agapanthus over the years. I tried to grow them in the UK without success. I have lost count of how many I have planted since we arrived in Gibraltar thinking that at last the climate would be on my side here.

I had forgotten about this one out back and given up hope after it put on a rather weedy show. But look at it now! What a joy and a perfect compliment to the pink bougainvillea.

Jacarandas

My word Gibraltar has some beautiful jacaranda trees in bloom at the moment. I don’t know whether it’s been a particularly good year for them or whether I’m just noticing them more but there are so many dotted about town and they look gorgeous at the moment.

Podcast latest

Marisa Alcock aka Mariwish

This week’s episode of Making Stitches features my friend Marisa talking about her childhood here in Gibraltar and her love of crochet. You can listen to it here.

That’s it for this week on Sunday Sevens, I hope you have a good week.

Sunday Sevens #218 19.4.20

Hello!!! I hope this finds you safe and well. We’re doing fine now I’m pleased to report. Can it really be a week since Easter Sunday? I can hardly believe it. Although we have long days at home, the weeks seem to fly by. Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens…

Easter egg hunt

Last weekend we didn’t let the lockdown stop the Easter fun. We had an Easter egg hunt in the apartment. Eggs were secreted around the apartment, balcony and patio. It was good fun.

Spring migration

On Monday evening as we were eating our dinner I spied swirling black birthday streaming past our windows. I dashed out to get a proper look at them. I think they were black kites again.

Sunset

We haven’t had a sunset for a week or two in Sunday Sevens I don’t think, so here is Tuesday’s lovely sunset. We had some rather gloomy days this week, with grey skies and rain, so this burst of colour at the end of the day was very welcome.

Spooky storm

At 1:30 on Thursday morning as I was turning in for the night (I had been lost in a world of Netflix and crochet) I noticed the sky was flashing. I investigated by going out onto the balcony to see the most incredible silent and dry lightning storm. This photo was taken at 1:30am – it would normally be pitch black apart from the lights from the ships and across the Bay in Algeciras.

After watching it for a while I went to bed and couldn’t sleep for the noise of the rain which suddenly began hammering down on our roof. It was incredible – and still the lightning continued for a long while. It was very spooky to see the lights but no rumbling thunder.

Uno on lockdown

The inclusion of this photo is because I was asked to put it in. One of the Little Postcards’ attempt at a rainbow using Uno cards! 🌈 Incidentally out of 8 games, I lost every one!!

Evening walk

We have been good and taking our walks when it looks quiet out and about. One evening it was just before the 8 o’clock clap for key workers, and we had to hurry home to make sure that we were home in time!

On another walk we spied this lovely rainbow banner…

Pandemonium CAL

My Pandemonium blanket is growing by the week. I’m enjoying this so much as the pattern gets released twice a week 7 rows at a time. If you fancy joining in, you can find the pattern on the ‘All things Crochet Sanctuary’ Facebook page.

And that brings Sunday Sevens to an end for another week… almost. This week I launched a trailer for my brand new Podcast ‘Making Stitches Podcast’ you can find it on Spotify & Buzzsprout for now, hopefully it will appear on other podcast apps very soon. If you want to listen, you can also find it on my new website makingstitchespodcast.com

My thanks to Neil Warburton who has designed my fantastic new logo for the podcast – I think it’s lovely!

My first ‘proper’ episode will be coming out this week all being well. Thank you so much for stopping by. Stay safe and until next week, bye for now.

Sunday Sevens was first created by Natalie from Threads and Bobbins.

Review of 2017

Crumbs, it’s looking awfully like we are on the cusp of another New Year, it surely can’t be a whole year since the last one, it’s gone far too fast. I guess now’s as good a time as any to have a look back at some of my Postcard from Gibraltar highlights from the past 12 months….

January 2017

A new year meant a new challenge for me this year, a photo challenge. Last year I read Nana Cathy’s blog and was intrigued by her weekly photo challenge. When January came around I thought I’d join in myself. It’s been such fun and quite inspiring throughout the year to have weekly prompts to find pictures for. If you fancy joining in check out Wild Daffodil’s blog for more information.

Also in January I joined forces with my friend Kate of H and FlossieDoodle to start the Gibraltar Crochet Collective. We did meet weekly to crochet and chat over coffee although our meetings have got less and less frequent due to other commitments lately. Our mascots Gib and Rocksy went for a bit of an adventure.

Another new project for me this month was my podcast, you can find my blogposts and the related podcasts here.

February 2017

In February I ran my Creative Gibraltar series looking at some of the very talented craftspeople who live in Gibraltar. I began with my lovely watercolour teacher Deborah M Lawson and ended with local craftswoman and up-cycling guru Sue Orfila. February also brought us the 2017 installment of Gib Talks. I was also fortunate to be able to speak to Gib Talks organiser Julian Felice before the event for one of my podcasts.

March 2017

March was a month for Lenten crochet (far easier than giving up chocolate) which helped support the Sixty Million Trebles effort, a beautiful Suffolk family wedding and a sad goodbye to our rescue bunny Snowflake.

April 2017

April began for us in Southwold in Suffolk, one of our favourite places and involved a lot of Med Steps training, which was very handy for burning off those seaside fish and chips! I was also able to finish another Sixty Million Trebles blanket – this one from the Gibraltar Crochet Collective.

May 2017

May meant Med Steps 5 Challenge again this year and I even managed to beat my time from last year! You can hear my podcast about it here. We also flew back to the UK for our second family wedding of the year.

June 2017

June started for us in Wigan in Lancashire, the location of our latest wedding and the perfect setting for a lovely walk. It was also the Calentita! food festival in Gibraltar. (For some reason the same aerial photo of Gibraltar appeared in May and June’s collages – not sure why that was. It is a good photo though don’t you think?).

July 2017

In July our big summer of travel began with a trip up to the North West of England and a flying visit to North Wales. We also drove to Portugal.

August 2017

This has got to be my most cosmopolitan of all months, featuring travel in Portugal, Rome, France and of course good old Gibraltar. Which reminds me, I have loads of holiday photos on my phone and camera SD card which are crying out to become blog posts – watch this space in the New Year.

September 2017

September is a big month on the Rock, this year more than most as Gibraltarians celebrated the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Referendum when they voted overwhelmingly to remain British. Gibraltar National Day on 10th September coincidentally happened to be the day of my 100th Sunday Sevens. We also had a fabulous music festival.

October 2017

October brought with it some interesting weather, beautiful sunshine, murky mists and exciting lightning storms.

November 2017

November was a good crochet month for me as I finally got around to making last year’s Little Box of Crochet autumn wreath. I also greatly enjoyed this year’s Gibraltar Literary Festival with talks by Nicholas Parsons, Patrick Gale and local photographers and naturalists Clive, Geraldine and Stewart Finlayson.

December 2017

December seems to have rushed by in a flurry of end of term carol concerts and panicked making of Christmas presents (some of which failed to get finished in time). There have been some opportunities for peace and quiet though, namely the last Saturday before Christmas when we avoided the shops and headed for the beach for peace and tranquility.

Summer craft challenge

For the second year running, during the long summer holiday we get in Gibraltar, I decided to set aside a little time each day to do something crafty and I documented this with my Summer Craft Challenge. Each day I featured a photo on Instagram and each week I wrote a blog post on my progress.

At the beginning of the challenge I made a little amigurumi unicorn which I got the kit for in an edition of Simply Crochet magazine. I christened her Europa and she became my Summer Craft Challenge mascot and came on our travels with us. There were several occasions when the Little Postcards thought Mummy had lost her marbles posing a crocheted unicorn in various European locations for photographs…

This year, I returned to work part-time after 13 years as a full-time, stay at home Mum. I have to admit that during the last few months I have found it hard to make time for Postcard from Gibraltar alongside my new commitments and at times I’ve wondered whether I can actually keep it up. I have had some really lovely comments and support from my online friends and that’s kept me going. Thank goodness I have Sunday Sevens and the weekly photo challenge to keep me ticking over during ‘dry’ spells.

I think I would really miss the community I have ‘met’ through Postcard from Gibraltar, and if I’m honest, it’s you and the support you’ve given me which gave me the confidence to apply for the job in the first place. Thank you very much to everyone who’s taken the time to read my posts over the past 2 and a half years, and for the virtual friendship you have given me too – it’s not taken for granted. Every comment and like is very much appreciated.

Here’s to 2018 and all the wonderful challenges it may bring!

Best wishes to you and yours for the New Year x

Postcard from Gibraltar Podcast Episode 008: Superhero artist Aaron Seruya

In this episode, I meet Aaron Seruya, a barrister who put his legal career on hold to follow his dream of creating an exhibition of paintings featuring comic book heroes.

Iron Man and Wolverine painted by Aaron A Seruya
In his Superhero Experience Exhibition, Aaron marries two of his life long passions; art and superheroes. But what made him put his career on hold to follow his passion? A real life meeting with Superman here in Gibraltar.

You can see Aaron’s 71 paintings at his exhibition at the Fine Arts Gallery in Casemates Square from 3rd to 16th May.

***To hear the podcast with Aaron, please click here***

Why not subscribe to the Postcard from Gibraltar Podcast on iTunes or PodOmatic? That way you won’t miss the next episode.

The theme music for the Postcard from Gibraltar Podcast is Happy Me by Twisterium.

This podcast is recorded and edited by Postcard from Gibraltar.

Postcard from Gibraltar Podcast Episode 007: YGTV with Giordano Durante


People are turning to their phones and tablets more and more these days to keep abreast of the news and find out what’s happening in the world. In this episode of the Postcard from Gibraltar Podcast, I caught up with Giordano Durante, editor of the online news service; Your Gibraltar TV, to talk about this new age of news at our fingertips.

On returning to his native Gibraltar after studying Philosophy at University in London, Giordano worked at the Gibraltar Chronicle and as a prison warden at the newly opened Windmill Hill Prison before joining YGTV. Now the news service’s Editor, he told me how in this age of Facebook and Twitter, Your Gibraltar TV is often the first port of call for many people when they want to read the news.

***TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST PLEASE CLICK HERE***

You can find the Your Gibraltar TV website here. YGTV can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

If you missed the last episode of the Postcard from Gibraltar Podcast, you can hear it here, it’s also available on iTunes and PodOmatic.

The theme music for the Postcard from Gibraltar Podcast is Happy Me by Twisterium

The Postcard from Gibraltar Podcast Episode 004: Rebecca Faller 

Gibraltar may be small, but it is such a creative place. This month on Postcard from Gibraltar, I’m casting the spotlight onto some of the very talented people who call the Rock their home. Throughout February, in my ‘Creative Gibraltar’ series I’ll be talking to people from all sorts of creative backgrounds.

Rebecca Faller

In this episode of the Postcard from Gibraltar Podcast, I hear from  writer and poet, Rebecca Faller about her latest book Renault Five. The story is an autobiographical account of a road trip across Europe with her two closest friends which brought her to Gibraltar for the first time.

To hear the podcast, please click here.

Rebecca’s book; Renault Five is available for sale in Gibraltar’s bookshops it is also available on Amazon & Kindle.

Also in the Creative Gibraltar series : Creative Gibraltar : Watercolour painting with Deborah M Lawson

Postcard from Gibraltar Podcast Episode 003: Baby Stepps Postnatal Depression Support


Are you, or is someone you know finding things hard after having a baby? A support group to help new mothers deal with trauma and post natal depression is looking for new members in Gibraltar.


Run by the parent support charity, ‘Baby STEPPS’, the group hopes to give new mothers confidence in their abilities and help them through a difficult period.

In this episode of the Postcard from Gibraltar Podcast, the group leader and psychotherapist Elaine Caetano told me all about the service the charity offers.

Baby STEPPS psychotherapist Elaine Caetano
 

Click on this link to hear the Podcast : Episode 003: Post Natal Depression Support

If you would like to know more about the support group, you can contact Elaine in confidence via Facebook or call her on 54001138. You can also find out more information from the Baby STEPPS charity.

You can subscribe to this Podcast on iTunes and on the PodOmatic App for iOS and Android.

You can also find this blog on Facebook as Postcard from Gibraltar. On Instagram and Twitter I’m @postcardfromgib

Theme music: Happy Me by Twisterium