Hello and welcome to this Bank Holiday edition of Sunday Sevens. We are enjoying a 4-day weekend here in Gibraltar with Workers Memorial Day tomorrow and May Day on Tuesday. Fortunately, we enjoyed some rather nice sunshine yesterday, although we have had heavy rain and thunder storms overnight, so it’s turning out to be your usual British bank holiday! However you are spending this weekend, I hope you’re having a good time 🙂
Last Sunday I took a walk around the eastern side of the Rock and was mesmerized by the waves. They were crashing on the rocks below like billy-o and were quite hypnotic to watch.
Poppies & partridges
Poppies and Barbary partridges were the order of the day for my Monday trip up the Med Steps. These were the first poppies of spring this year and are always such a treat to see.
Just killing time with a crochet rainbow
One afternoon I found myself with some time to kill in the car while waiting to pick up Little Postcards. Fortunately, I came prepared with my crochet. A lovely way to while away a few moments.
Another painting finished…
At my art class this week, I finished off my freesia painting. That’s four now that I have done in this style and I’ve really enjoyed painting & drawing them (all four are below). The first one (the purple iris) was a copy of a greetings card, which my watercolour teacher had by an artist called Judy Ball. The original was a lino print rather than a ink and watercolour picture.
I then copied that style to do my own compositions of daffodils, tulips and freesias.
The Postcard from Gibraltar ‘Gib Rock’ has been set free in the beautiful Alameda Botanical Gardens. It was left in a particularly tranquil spot, one that’s special to me, because it reminds me of my lovely Gran. She sat in this area for a while on her only trip out to Gibraltar to visit us. If you should happen to see my rock, I’d love to hear from you 😊.
Out of my window
I love that whenever I look out of my window here, my view is always changing. I glanced up while on the phone one lunchtime this week and spied this old fashioned ship picking it’s way amongst the bunkering tankers and cargo ships. I have a great app on my iPad called Marine Traffic (a bit geeky I know) which lets you see the name, country of origin and destination of many of the ships out in the Bay. Sadly, I was too busy to take the time to find out about this one. It does look rather magestic don’t you think?
And finally, time for something different…
I spotted this little chap in the middle of the lawn behind the Gibraltar Register Office this week. I hadn’t walked that way for quite some time and had never seen him before. I think he’s rather sweet, and I think Gibraltar needs more garden gnomes!
We may be back at home in Gibraltar now, but a little bit of me has been left behind in Southwold, where we ended our lovely month in England. In fact there has been a little bit of me (and Mr Postcard) in Southwold for over a decade now, but more on that later.
Southwold is famous for many things, the pretty town centre, the beach huts, the brewery, the harbour, the fish and chips, the church etc etc but the place we always associate with our visits to the town is the pier.
In its (first) heyday, at the turn of the last century,steam liners used to moor at the end of the pier and allow holiday makers to alight and enjoy the delights the town had to offer before rejoining the ship and moving on to their next destination.
Over the years since then it’s been damaged by storms, shortened during the war, rebuilt and extended. It’s length has changed from 250m at it’s longest to just 18m at it’s shortest.
In the late 90s new investment was pumped into the pier and it was repaired and extended to the size it is now, the final T-shaped end being completed in 2002 so that the last seagoing paddle steamer, the PS Waverley could once again call at the town.
Fans, or should I say, parents of fans of the CBeebies programme Grandpa in my pocket may recognise the pier as one of the venues used to film the show. Miss Smiley’s café was on the pier.
When you first arrive on the planks of the pier, you can see beautiful mosaic tables all around you. They are for the restaurant which is situated at the start of the pier.
Most of the time that we were there during the last two weeks, all the tables were taken – I only managed to get photos of these two! Fish and chips seemed to be a popular choice on the menu when we were passing.
One feature which always has a small group admiring it is the water clock. Built by locally based inventor Tim Hunkin, it puts on a special performance every half hour.
Starting with a couple of bathers who squirt water out at you as the time approaches the hour or half hour, various parts of the clock move.
The actions move lower down the clock tower until a row of red tulips pop up and two boys drop their trousers to have a wee! (Those of an easily offended disposition; please look away now!)
There are many shocked giggles from the children and a few sharp intakes of breath from some of the adults, amazed that such shenanigans should be allowed!
Another of Tim Hunkin’s creations is the Under the Pier Show, an amusement arcade unlike any other you will see elsewhere. Full of home made machines including the Zimmer frame masterclass for crossing a road (below) to the motorised dog on a treadmill which gives players the opportunity to experience dog walking if they don’t own one themselves.
Along with eating establishments, there are also a couple of gift/souvenir shops selling beachy type things.
There’s even a micro bandstand!
Now to the plaques. Any visitor to the pier won’t fail to notice the hundreds and hundreds of plaques which run along the rails around the wooden promenade. Each one tells a different story. People can pay for a plaque to be mounted somewhere on the pier, the money is then invested in the fabric of the building to preserve it for future generations – a form of crowd funding, if you like.
Some are in memory of special people, some remember happy holidays spent in Southwold, others are for special birthdays. There was even a book compiled by a local writer who told the stories behind some of the many plaques on show.
Our most memorable wedding present was one of these plaques. It ws a great surprise for us when Mr Postcard’s Mum and Dad revealed that we were having our own plaque made. I can remember being led along the pier to see it for the first time.
Each of the Little Postcards, has been brought to the pier to be photographed in front of our plaque in their pram with the seaside town and lighthouse in the background. We have a lovely series of photos here as our family has grown and got bigger over the years.
So there you have it, that was my Postcard from Southwold Pier, a special place for us. I do hope you have enjoyed it 🙂
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.
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.
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 🙂
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!
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.