Sunday Sevens #148 5.8.18

Well, this week we spent most of our time with family in the UK before heading back home to Gibraltar. I have to say that although the temperature at times in England was warmer than on the Rock, the humidity since getting back home has totally wiped me out. On the positive side, we had a wonderful fortnight in leafy Suffolk and Norfolk and we all made it safely back home. Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens (or Sunday Nines, as they should be this week!):

Stormy weather

Last Sunday we were treated to some rather inclement (though warm) weather in Suffolk. To look at that photo, you would think it was taken in January, not July! Can you believe that someone was actually kite surfing in those rough waves?! We could barely stand upright in the wind and horizontal rain!!

A shopping trip to Norwich

We made the most of the shops on Monday and hid in shopping centres from the monsoon rain we were experiencing. Thankfully by lunchtime the weather cleared up and we were free to wander at will in the sunshine. I just love the art nouveau architecture of the Royal Arcade. Everything about it is delightful right down to it’s resident hare!

Europa’s trip to the races

Do you remember Europa the Unicorn, who came with us on our summer adventures last year? Well she came with us on holiday again. This time though, she only made it to one day out… the horse racing at Great Yarmouth. We had a great day at the races, and she was my lucky charm, I won £46 from a £4 stake on the race going past her in this photo.

The winning horse was Final Rock, who’s father is Rock of Gibraltar, which is owned by Sir Alex Ferguson. I know nothing about racing, I just go off the name, and this one stood out to me with the Gibraltar connection, and it paid off! (I won’t mention the races I lost money on… let’s just say I broke even on the day after buying ice creams and juice!).

Burgh Castle

While we were in Norfolk one day, we took a trip to Burgh Castle. The ruins there were once a Roman castle and stand proud overlooking the Broads close to Great Yarmouth. We have visited many times over the years and this walk across the fields to see the ruins brought back many memories. After the walk, we met some family for a lovely dinner at a nearby pub as the sun went down…

An evening stroll on the dunes

On Wednesday evening we took a walk across town to have a lovely meal at another pub, this time, on the southern side of Southwold. The meal was lovely, and was followed by a fun walk back to our accommodation across the dunes. The Little Postcards scrambled about and played catch as we made our way back home following the light from the Southwold lighthouse.

Whenever I walk through dunes and marram grass I’m reminded of a story book I had as a child called Hannibal the Hamster, about a hamster who escaped from his home to run free in the marram grass! It’s funny how some small things can bring back such vivid memories of childhood…

Under the pier

So on Thursday we said our last goodbyes to Southwold, it was a marvelous host for us for two weeks as we travelled about the place visiting our relatives in this part of the world. So long Southwold, until next time…

Homeward bound

I usually try to take a photo out of the plane window as I head back to Gibraltar. Normally it’s of a patchwork of green fields, this time, though, I looked a tad more golden than green. This was just after take off from Stansted Airport, in normally green Essex. You can clearly see the toll the long spell of dry and hot weather has taken on the countryside.

So there you have it, Sunday Sevens done for another week, I doubt next week’s will be as varied as this one, sadly! Until next time, bye for now, and thanks for stopping by!

I’m linking with Natalie from Threads and Bobbins for this weekly blog series.

2017 Weekly photo challenge (Week 11) Spiral

For this week’s photo challenge I have found four ‘spirals’; two man made and two natural. 

The first one is the staircase inside the lovely lighthouse at Southwold in Suffolk which we visited last summer. I wish I had a photo of the interior of the Europa Point lighthouse here in Gibraltar but sadly that’s not open to the public. 

For more on our visit to the Southwold lighthouse, you can read a bit more about it in my Sunday Sevens #45 post

Another man made spiral, and slightly less dramatic is this one on the engine of a plane on the runway at Gibraltar airport (you can just about make out the Rock in the background).

Now for the natural ones…


I tried to find a spiral shell when we were on the beach this weekend but failed, so here are a couple of ammonite fossils we have in our house. The Little Postcards got interested in fossils during their dinosaur phase.

I’m linking with Wild Daffodil and Nana Cathy for this weekly photo challenge. 

Sunday Sevens #45 21.8.16

An evening stroll up the pier

We were really blessed with perfect British Summer weather last week, even into the evenings. We enjoyed a lovely walk one evening and found ourselves back down at the beach and went for a wander along the lovely pier at Southwold. It’s a very interesting place – unlike any other pier I’ve visited elsewhere. Watch this space, there’ll be more coming up soon about this great venue.

Willow dragon

On Tuesday morning we drove to Potter Heigham and collected a day boat we’d hired to spend the day cruising the Norfolk Broads with four other Postcard family members. We have hired a small boat for a few hours before but this one was a bit bigger (to take 6 adults and 3 children) and we were able to explore a lot more. We moored up at St Benet’s Abbey and had a walk up to the ruins.

I had never heard of St Benet’s before this visit and it was a really beautiful surprise. It was  so peaceful and really picturesque. A local community project had produced this great willow dragon sculpture with yarn, ribbon and fabric woven into the willow body. There’s a local legend that a dragon lives in the tunnels below the Abbey and this was their representation of the mythical creature.

Rainbow cloud at sunset

Can you see the vertical rainbow in the cloud to the right of the biggest mast? I have never seen anything like this before. We had walked along to the harbour on the River Blyth from our little holiday home in Southwold one evening to get dinner at the Harbour Inn. As we sat outside on the picnic tables waiting for our food to arrive, I spotted the rainbow in the sky and thought it was just my sunglasses playing tricks on my eyes so paid it little attention until Mr Postcard spotted it and said he could see it too.

Unfortunately the photo doesn’t do the colours full justice but you can still just make it out. Have you ever seen such a thing before at sunset?

Now that’s a beach…

I’m afraid this section deserves two photos (Sunday Eights again this week…) This is the beautiful wide sandy beach at Gorleston-on-Sea. I know Gibraltar’s very proud of its beaches and rightly so, but come on… that is a BEACH! Also that’s a beach at peak season and there’s still loads of space. It’s even got a small paddling pool for young children and a boating lake (below).

A trip up the lighthouse


After two weeks admiring the lighthouse from below, both at night and during the day, we finally decided to climb it on our final day. It is a really elegant building and our tour guide was excellent, injecting humour into his extensive knowledge about the important role the lighthouse plays (thank you Brad).

I thought it would be a piece of cake to climb the 155 (I think) steps to the top, what with all my Med Steps training. What I hadn’t taken into account was the fact that the handrail on the stairs was a little lower than I would have liked and I had to walk up and down the staircase afraid to look down and pressed like a limpet to the wall! I’m such a wimp. I was very glad to be back on the ground at the end. The view from the top was worth it though.

All good things come to an end

It took 11 hours door-to-door, taxi, plane, taxi – one of the down sides of living so far away from family, but we finally made it home to Gibraltar from our summer holiday in England late on Friday evening. The day began with handing in the keys to our home for the past two weeks in Southwold, then our final Adnam’s breakfast (don’t tell anyone, but we’ve had a few Adnam’s breakfasts during our stay). We then got a taxi to drive us all the way from Southwold to Gatwick Airport.

As we set off the rain started, so I guess it was time for us to leave ;-). We had never seen Dartford Bridge before and the Little Postcards were all very impressed as we crossed the Thames and headed closer to the airport. Then as we flew south, a chance look out of the plane window gave me my last glimpse of the English south coast. So long England, we’ve had a wonderful month… I hope it won’t be too long until next time.

Post holiday blues

I know I’m spoiled, I’ve just had a fab month away in England, and I have returned to our lovely home in Gibraltar but I’m feeling a little blue. I have nothing at all to complain about but I do miss our family back in England and I miss lots of other things about living there. See I told you I was spoiled – how can I say that with this kind of view from our windows? I’m sure I’ll soon snap out of it once the reality of the huge pile of laundry has reduced and we get back into our routines!

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you have had a good week.

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series featuring seven photos from the past seven days. It was created by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins, pop along to her blog to find out more.


A postcard from Southwold 

Unless you are completely new to this blog, it won’t have gone unnoticed that we are currently on our summer holidays at Southwold in Suffolk. It’s a beautiful English seaside town which has loads of charm and character. 

It’s famous for its beach huts, lighthouse, beach and pier as well as the Adnams beer which is brewed locally. Mr Postcard grew up quite nearby, so Southwold has been a regular venue for day trips for us many times over the years while in Norfolk and Suffolk visiting his family. This time, however, is the first time we’ve actually stayed in the town. 

I thought we had probably seen all that it has to offer in the 20+ years we’ve been coming but I was wrong, one and a half weeks into our stay we are still finding quaint alleyways and new places we have never seen before. 


Would you like to join me for a look around? 

Southwold Museum

The little museum seems like as good a place as any to start… Manned by volunteers and open for just two hours a day it holds all sorts of relics from the towns past.

From figureheads from boats to fossils and mammoth teeth.

It has all sorts of bits and bobs relating to the town’s past, this little display was connected to the town’s tailor which is still operating as a clothes shop known as Denny’s. Whether they’ll make you a three piece suit out of tweed in this day and age, I’m not sure.

There were also lots of items relating to the religious life of the town with fragments of stained glass windows from the church of St Edmund’s which was close to a direct hit by German bombs during World War II.

Church of St Edmund’s

The church is home to Southwold Jack, a figure who strikes a bell with his sword. He was once part of a clock and chimed the time. He is an emblem for Southwold and even appears on the bottles of beer produced in the town.

It’s a beautiful big church…

There’s a fair amount of needlework on display here; in the choir stalls…

And in all the pews.

Riverside & harbour

Beside Southwold lies the River Blyth which offers the town a natural harbour. Here you can catch a ferry (rowing boat) across to the picturesque village of Walberswick on the other side.

It’s a really beautiful spot. We took a walk along the riverside on evening on a quest to find somewhere to have dinner. We were lucky enough to see a seal swimming in the harbour.

Along the riverside lie many black huts belonging to the fishermen who work these waters.


After a very pleasant walk we found ourselves at the Harbour Inn and enjoyed a lovely meal outside with the Little Postcards as the sun went down.


The Sailors’ Reading Room 

The Southwold Sailors’ Reading Room is a really special place. It’s a kind of club for sailors but it’s open to the public to visit for free. It’s filled with photographs of sailors from years gone by and photos, paintings and models of their boats too. Cameras are not permitted inside, so I can’t show you the interior but it really is worth a visit. 



Lighthouse

The town is dominated by the Trinity Lighthouse. Nestled in amongst the terraced cottages and next to a pub, it’s open for visitors to climb the many steps to the top to look out across the sea and coastline.

RNLI

The RNLI has a strong presence in Southwold. In summertime there’s a lifeguard station and all year round there’s a lifeboat station, manned as always by brave volunteers. There’s even a museum dedicated to the great work these amazing people do and have done over the many years they’ve been on duty here. 

On our first day here, we were lucky enough to see a display by the local lifeboat and the larger lifeboat (below) from nearby Lowestoft. As you can see, hundreds of people turned out to see the event from the cliffs and the beach as the lifeboat crews staged rescues of surfers, a fishing boat crew and swimmers.

The town 

The town of Southwold itself is beautiful. It’s filled with many independent shops including great food shops, a big favourite of ours was the Two Magpies Bakery (my waistline will testify to that fact!)


Behind the town lies the common complete with it’s two striking water towers, and also currently, the circus.


There are so many beautiful buildings lying up alleyways and tucked away off the beaten track.

Oh, and there’s a brewery here too… I think I may have found a new favourite tipple 😉

If you should happen to be in this neck of the woods, I would really recommend a trip to Southwold. We just can’t help keep coming back for more…