Sunday Sevens #72 26.2.17

This post goes way over the usual seven photos for Sunday Sevens… mainly thanks to my epic journey back from Manchester to Gibraltar last Sunday. So here goes…

Last Sunday in eight photos…

I ended my flying visit home to visit my parents with a walk on Sunday morning. It was just around the streets by their home, the streets where I grew up. Up this path is a pond where numerous adventures were had while I was growing up, from exploring and hide and seek to pond-dipping (or fishing as we called it then) for frog spawn to bring home in a jam jar. I can’t imagine letting my boys wander off over the road to a pond and telling them to be back in time for tea…. times have changed, and not necessarily for the better.

I’m so glad I got the chance to see some snowdrops while I was over. I love them. Also making an appearance were other spring flowers which were enjoying the unseasonably mild weather. These lovely dwarf iris were poking through last autumn’s leaves.

Then it was time to say goodbye and head to the airport once more… bye bye Manchester, until next time!

I know it’s a cliché but these clouds really did look like cotton wool from above…

I’m not altogether in my comfort zone while flying. I’m quite happy cruising along but I’m not over happy with take off and landing. I took my crochet into the cabin with me. I had heard it was allowed, but I had also heard about a knitter who had her needles taken off her. I took one of my least favourite hooks just in case it was taken away.

Nobody batted an eye lid, so I was fine. I continued with the quintuple trebles of my Spun Gold shawl to take my mind off the descent in to Malaga… yes Malaga. Stormy weather in Gibraltar meant that two of the three previous Monarch flights to Gibraltar had been diverted to the Spanish airport because they couldn’t land in the strong winds. Our pilot didn’t even attempt to land in Gibraltar as the air traffic control tower there told him the winds were beyond safe limits. It was going to be a very long trip home…

As chance would have it I bumped into an old friend at the Malaga baggage reclaim. She told me her husband was driving up to Malaga to collect her rather than wait for her to get onto one of the coaches laid on by the airline to ferry the stranded passengers back to the Rock. I was offered a lift back and I didn’t need to think twice about the offer. The lift must have saved me at least an hour travelling time.

Please excuse the grainy image, but I wanted to show you the flags on the Gibraltarian side of the border with Spain as I arrived in Gibraltar late on Sunday night. I was nearly blown off my feet as I crossed into Gib, I am so glad the pilot didn’t attempt to land as it would have been a very bumpy ride! My return journey took 8 hours door to door, a considerable time longer than usual but at least I got back safely and I’m extremely grateful for that!

A murky Monday 

Monday morning was decidedly murky, the winds from the day before had dropped quite a bit but it was rather gloomy looking. Can you spot the mahoosive super yacht in the background? It’s called ‘Yacht A’ and cost a reported £83 million pounds. It was ginormous, the highest mast is 100 metres tall. It was arrested by the Gibraltar Police because of a debt and we were able to enjoy seeing it moored out in the Bay for a few days.

Dressmaking success


Apologies for the uninspiring picture, but it’s a plain black dress I’m making so can’t really jazz that up. What I can say is that on Tuesday I more than made up from my catastrophic boo boo at last week’s class by cutting out fresh pieces for the back of my dress and I completed all 4 of my princess-line seams. So my front and back pieces are ready for a zip and lining. Then there’s the small matter of sleeves….. hmmm not looking forward to that part.

A blustery day for the Med Steps 

I climbed the Med Steps on Wednesday with one of my Med Steps 5 pals. It was another blustery day as you can see from the sea. We did wonder whether we would get blown off the side of the Rock but fortunately it was really sheltered on the Med Steps.

Saharan Dust

Why oh why did I leave my washing out on Wednesday night? The Saharan dust came back, with a vengeance. Still at least I hadn’t washed the car!

Watercolour class 

Our watercolour teacher is still encouraging us to explore our inner abstract. I have to admit that I am having mixed results with this… I did like the rainbow splodgey effect of the bottom painting. It reminds me of tie-dyed T shirts.

More Med Steps 

Friday morning was much nicer weather wise, it was less grey and you could just about feel the warmth of the sunshine peaking through the clouds above. I set off on a solo trip up the Med Steps and took my time seeing as I was on my own. It was lovely to enjoy my beautiful surroundings, it felt very spring like up there.

Sunday Sevens has been rather a long one this week, I do hope you didn’t nod off in the middle! Thank you for stopping by and thanks for sticking with it to the end!!

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie from Threads & Bobbins.

Sunday Sevens #20 28.2.16

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie at the  Threads & Bobbins  blog. It features seven photos from the past seven days. If you would like to join in, pop over to her blog to find out more. 

Saharan dust  

You may remember that in last week’s Sunday Sevens I had a rather dramatic photo of the waves crashing onto the rocks at Europa Point. Well, that stormy weather whipped up a lot of Saharan dust and on Sunday we were treated to a rather murky and strangely atmospheric day. We decided to go to the cinema in the afternoon and walked across the grass at Commonwealth Park on our way home. All our shoes were coated in orange dust by the time we got to the car. The car was pretty orange too – so glad I washed it at the end of last week!

 Curtain valance  

In my home furnishings class this week we began to make a curtain valance which  will be attached to a small pair of matching curtains. I love this cute boat fabric – I got it in a sale (even better). I’ve been working on my curtains as homework but they are proving to be problematic- I measured them and cut them accurately. Then I measured my seam allowance exactly and pinned the seams. Then when I remeasured them before machining them they were wonky and the measurements were way out. They have been put away in disgust…

And so it begins… 

 

In my dressmaking class I cut out the fabric for my full circle skirt. I love it so much – it has flowers embroidered on it in coordinating thread which you can’t see in the above picture. I have done my back seam and inserted my zip already. Just need to finish the waistband and hem and it’s sorted. I had a lot more success in this class than with my curtains!

Lemon curd 

 

We are lucky enough to be able to grow lemons on our back patio. Last year with our homegrown ones and a few gifted to us by friends & neighbours I ended up with a bit of a glut so made some lemon curd. I had never tasted it before that first time making it – it was delicious. So, as I found myself with rather a lot of lemons in the fruit bowl this week I thought I’d have another go. This photo doesn’t do it justice, believe me when I say it’s glorious.

Med steps, the revenge! 

 

Due to poorly children and wild weather conditions I haven’t made it up the Med Steps for a whole month. This week, though, accompanied by two crazy friends, we restarted our training for the Med Steps Challenge (which involves climbing them 5 times in the one day – yes I know, utter madness). Anyway, we set off and it was rather hard work after 4 weeks without training. It was a foregone conclusion that we would do it twice and at the end of the second circuit we were feeling pretty energized so decided to have a go at a third trip up – BIG MISTAKE. Cor blimey it was tough. If I hadn’t have been with my training buddies I truly would have laid down part way up and finished it on my hands and knees. It was utterly exhausting. I got home and only had the energy to kick off my shoes before flopping on the bed and falling asleep for over an hour!! I’ve been feeling like a very old woman ever since. Any pleasure at having completed the 3 circuits in 2 hours 50 minutes has been overshadowed with the terror of wondering how awful number 4 & number 5 will be… Anyway the above photos were taken one on each trip up the steps. I took loads of photos on the third trip just for an excuse to stop!!

Watercolour daffs 

 This week at my watercolour class I was planning to begin my next architectural painting. However, when I arrived for my lesson, my teacher had a beautiful vase of  daffodils in the middle of the table and I decided to put the ‘window’ picture off until next week and have a stab at the daffs. I’ve had some successes with painting flowers so I somewhat arrogantly thought ‘how hard can this be?’. How wrong I was – they are flipping hard in spite of their relatively simple shape. Perhaps their apparent simplicity is the hard part as they can very easily look out of proportion. They are gorgeous ‘spring-y’ colours though :-).

 Sunny skies 

Yesterday we enjoyed beautiful skies after the morning’s showers had cleared away. I think fluffy clouds like this against the blue are so beautiful. 
I’ve had a great week, although looking back through this post I realise I sound a bit moany as a few things were harder than expected – I don’t mean to be! I do hope the week has been good for you too. Thank you for stopping by and for those of you who take the time to leave a comment – thank you, it’s lovely to hear from you. 🙂 

Levanter, craftiness & Saharan Dust!

   
By jingo, it’s been hot since we arrived back in Gibraltar. Now accustomed to the welcome cool of an English summer, the muggy heat here has been a shock to the system. I do appreciate that while we were in Blighty, Gibraltar residents were experiencing hotter than normal temperatures thanks to a heat wave, but it’s still a bit hot for my liking. The reason for the ‘closeness’ (if there is such a word) is the Levanter. The dictionary definition of ‘Levanter’ is an easterly wind in the Mediterranean. The Levanter in Gibraltar is a large plume of cloud which forms on the top of the Rock, caused by the aforementioned easterly wind. The cloud, as shown in the photo above (taken at Europa Point on Sunday afternoon), acts as a sort of duvet sealing in all the hot, sweaty air beneath. Today, there’s no sign of blue up above, just cloud, and it’s so muggy!

   
This photo was taken at 2pm on Thursday 6th August not the middle of winter! It may look cold and dismal – it’s not, it’s hot and dismal! Sorry for such an uninspiring picture, perhaps the next one will help lift the spirits!

  

 I took this one last night as the sun was disappearing behind the hills above Algeciras. The hazy quality was caused by Saharan dust which is being blown across the Straits of Gibraltar and along the Costa Del Sol area at the moment.
Aside from weather watching, it’s been great to be back home surrounded by all my crafty bits and bobs. I’ve not had the time or inclination recently to pick up my crochet hook but this great  Flower tutorial from Mollie Makes inspired me.  I’m rather pleased with the results, I think I’ll be making a few more of these.

  
It felt good to be back in the saddle again! I’ve also revisited a current cross stitch WIP, a birth sampler for (she mutters embarrassingly) my 4 year old. Well, the other two have them and I can’t be seen to be unfair! #betterlatethannever 

 I’ve challenged myself to finish it by the end of the school holidays … time will tell whether I’m up to the challenge or not.

Yesterday I rolled back the years and tried teaching my eldest two how to make old skool friendship bracelets (with mixed success). One jumped ship after the first demo!

   
    
 The blue and yellow one was made by my eldest and is rather good for a first attempt don’t you think?
  
That’s all from me for now, thanks for stopping by. See you soon!