Sunday Sevens #97 20.08.17

This is probably going to be my most cosmopolitan Sunday Sevens ever… featuring photos taken in Italy, Spain, Gibraltar and France! Are you ready to join me for a Sunday Sevens European tour?

The Pantheon

Last Sunday, after two days of tours around some of the amazing sights of Rome, we had a quiet day to potter about the city. There were a few more places we really wanted to visit before leaving and the Pantheon was top of the list.

It is such a beautiful building, and just mind blowing to think that the ceiling, the largest unsupported dome in the world, was made using cement by the Ancient Romans!! It’s now used as a church, so we waited until noon before being allowed in so that Sunday morning Mass could be celebrated before the crowds of tourists invaded.

Back home

Monday meant waving goodbye to Rome and catching a flight back to Malaga, then driving home to Gibraltar. It was so warm and sunny as we left Italy, but Gibraltar had  Levante winds and the heavy cloud that brings. 

You may be fooled for thinking it was cool when we got home but it wasn’t- it was sweltering and incredibly humid.

Sea mist

Another common weather phenomenon at this time of the year is sea mist. We had a couple of days this week when we could hear the boats in the Bay singing to each other with their fog horns.

Autumn already?


A walk into town and through the lovely Commonwealth Park took me by surprise when I spied leaves on the ground. It is one of the few places in Gibraltar with trees which actually lose their leaves. It looked like autumn is on it’s way even if the weather didn’t feel like it!!

Beach life


I am slightly ashamed to admit that we managed to get to mid August without a proper trip to the beach in Gibraltar this year. We have had walks along the sand but this was our first trip with deck chairs, buckets and spades and swims in the sea. Sandy Bay is such a lovely beach to spend time with children, calm and not too deep, and of course it’s great for sandcastles. 

We only stayed a couple of hours though as I needed to head home to pack…. again!

Bonjour Toulouse! 

We have been so lucky this summer to be able to do a lot of traveling, normally we have a couple of weeks in England visiting family, but this year we’ve been lucky enough to enjoy a mini European tour (while we are still allowed in before Brexit). Yesterday we headed back to Malaga airport and caught a flight up north to southern France.

Toulouse is such a beautiful city and our first visit to this part of France. We had a walk around some of the city centre and the architecture is so beautiful. I can’t wait to go back out again later on today with my camera to get snapping! This shot is the view from where we are staying. Isn’t it amazing?!

In the meantime, here’s a quick picture of a pretty fountain close to where we ate last night. It is dedicated to the victims of a flood many years ago.

Thanks so much for joining me this week for Sunday Sevens! I’m linking with Natalie from Threads & Bobbins who created the Sunday Sevens series of blog posts.

Summer Craft Challenge 2017 (week 7)

Throughout this summer I have set myself a craft challenge to help keep myself sane during the long school summer holidays we have in Gibraltar. Normally we have a couple of weeks visiting family in England and the rest of the 8-week-long vacation is spent trying to get myself and the 3 Little Postcards through to September alive and fairly well entertained. In previous years my sanity has been in tatters once the schools went back. 

This year though, we have been incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to travel a fair bit, to England, Wales, Spain, Portugal and, most recently Italy. Here’s what I got up to this week…

Day 43 : Saturday 12th August


So this crafty week began for us in Rome. Saturday saw us take a wonderful guided tour of the Colliseum and Pallatine Hill – what an amazing place… Europa came along for the ride too. 

Back at our holiday apartment, things were moving very slowly. My tired brain couldn’t cope too well with this relatively simple pattern after a day absorbing fascinating facts about Ancient Rome. By the way, please don’t expect me to be able to remember all these facts at a later date – these days information seems to go in and get lost!!



Day 44 : Sunday 13th August

I took a different approach today – I brought my hook, yarn and pattern out with me. As we were having a less busy day just wandering around seeing sights we wanted to visit, we had a bit more flexibility to sit down and enjoy the lovely surroundings a bit more. 

After breakfast and a trip up the Spanish Steps, we visited the beautiful Villa Borghese park. Wide avenues of shade giving trees were just the place to sit and enjoy some cooler conditions and get to grips with this pattern once and for all.


I was finally bitten by this pattern and eager to carry on once we were back at our holiday apartment. A bit of time for an aperitif (beer) and crochet meant progress was finally made!


Day 45 : Monday 14th August


Back home before sunset and my shawl is finally growing thanks to a couple of hours last night and a few a more rows on the flight back to Malaga. 

Day 46 : Tuesday 15th August


Returning home meant being reunited with this beauty! I did miss working on my Jenny’s Mandala by Little Box of Crochet while I was away. I have to admit that this row was the first I struggled with – turned out I’d misread the pattern and I was doing double trebles instead of triple trebles. So glad I got to the bottom of it before I gave up in despair! 

Day 47 : Wednesday 16th August


It’s taking a bit of brain power to do this mandala (i.e. I need to concentrate!!) but it is still so addictive!

Day 48 : Thursday 17th August 


Please excuse the lighting on this photo, I didn’t get the chance to crochet in daylight. I did eventually get the chance to add a couple of rows to this lovey mandala though – so it was worth the wait! 

Day 49 : Friday 18th August


We spent a few hours at the beach today and I took this almost completed project (started in England) with me. 

I have had enquiries as to the whereabouts of Europa the Unicorn, who hasn’t been seen on Instagram since Rome. She did indeed make the trip back to the Rock and didn’t elope in Rome. She even had a trip to the beach today…


It’s not too late to join in with your own summer craft challenge, just tag your crafty photos #summercraftchallenge2017 on Instagram.

Sunday Sevens #96 13.8.17

Hello there! I’m sending this Sunday Sevens from the beautiful city of Rome…

Gibraltar sunset


We haven’t had a Gibraltar sunset for a while in Sunday Sevens and as last Sunday I did nothing of note, due to being under the weather, that’s my photo of the day. 

A windy, Sandy Bay


At the start of the week we had some very breezy weather. We had planned to go down the beach at Sandy Bay for a few hours but the conditions were so windy we aborted the plan for fear of being sandblasted.

Clear view across the Strait


Wednesday was a beautiful evening and the view across the Strait to Morocco was really clear.

Another trip away!


Thursday saw us getting onto another plane, this one from Malaga airport and bound for the eternal city of Rome. We were so excited for this holiday, I have wanted to visit Italy for a long time (as a big fan of pizza, pasta, ice cream and coffee) aside from the gastronomic adventure, I couldn’t wait to immerse myself in the sights and sounds of the place.

Now that’s what I call a ceiling


Our first full day in Rome was dominated by a guided tour of the Vatican. We had an amazing guide and we all learned so much. I was amazed by how much Middle Postcard knew about the Sistine Chapel before hand. He answered so many questions posed by our guide. I guess he must be paying attention at school after all!

It’s the Collosseum!


I can’t do our Ancient Roman experience yesterday justice in a paragraph. Suffice to say it was utterly amazing to discover how sophisticated the Romans were, so long ago. What a day!

I have taken a few (ahem a lot) of photos of our holiday in Rome, look out for a future postcard from this amazing place!

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins. It features seven (or perhaps more) photos from the last seven days of your week. If you are a blogger and would like to join in with the Sunday Sevens community, then pop over to Natalie’s blog to find out how you can get involved.

Summer Craft Challenge 2017 (week 6)

Greetings from Rome! I can’t believe I am actually writing this! Rome is a place I have wanted to visit for so long and in fact Italy itself has been on my must visit list of countries for as long as I can remember.

Last year I set myself a challenge of doing something crafty every day during the 8 week long summer holiday from school in a bid to maintain my sanity. This year I decided to do the same, although I am actually doing it theoughout the whole of July and August. Here’s the sixth installment of my summer craft challenge for 2017.

Day 36 : Saturday 5th August

We arrived back at home in Gibraltar after our lovely holiday in Portugal today. After completing my Little Box of Crochet Blue Sky Hug scarf while away on holiday, I thought it appropriate to crack open another Little Box of Crochet and begin something new; Jenny’s Mandala, named after the daughter of Amanda Bloom (creator of Little Box of Crochet), who sadly passed away earlier this year. 

I have been itching to get started on this since it arrived!

Day 37 : Sunday 6th August


I’ve been laid low with a nasty bug overnight and I’m afraid that looking at crochet books in bed was as crafty as I could muster today!

Day 38 : Monday 7th August

I’m back in the land of the living again today thankfully and human enough to pick up my hook again. 

Day 39 : Tuesday 8th August

Ooh this is a fun project, considering how long I’ve spent doing it, it’s very small, but that doesn’t matter! 

Day 40 : Wednesday 9th August


I am totally addicted to this pattern, I just can’t put it down as I want to see what the next row brings. Sadly I have to as the Little Postcards need feeding and housework has to be done!

Day 41 : Thursday 10th August


No Mandala today I’m afraid, but Europa the Unicorn has come with me and my crochet hook on another flight…. to Rome! It’s a place I’ve wanted to visit for so long and I’m thrilled to be here 😊.

Day 42 : Friday 11th August


My Fitbit tells me I have walked over 20,000 steps around the streets of Rome and the Vatican City today. My word I’m worn out! Could only muster a solitary row of Crochet this evening on my Scheepjes Whirl shawl. Poor show, but I’m off to bed, night night! 

Do you fancy joining in with your own summer craft challenge? Just tag your photos #summercraftchallenge2017 on Instagram and we can all craft together!

Sunday Sevens #95 6.8.17

Hello there, please excuse the brevity of this week’s Sunday Sevens. I had loads to tell you about our trip to Portugal but the slowest wifi known to man meant I couldn’t write it on holiday (think 12 hours to upload a single photo) and sadly, since we returned yesterday, I have been rather poorly with a very unpleasant bug. I’m starting to feel a little more human this evening so here goes…

Holidays start here!

Last Saturday we arrived on the beautiful Algarve coast near to Alvor. After a five and a half hour drive from Gibraltar it was great to be back in the same place where we holidayed two years ago. It’s still as picturesque as I remembered.

Lovely Lagos

Just a 20 minute drive from our resort is the town of Lagos, we didn’t visit it last time, so paid it a visit to see what was there. With heaps of character and narrow streets, along with moorish architecture it reminded me a lot of Tarifa, which is close to Gibraltar on the Atlantic coast.

Cheers!


Dinner at a beachside restaurant, or chiringuito as they are known close to us in Spain, meant a chance to sample some beautiful food and a gorgeous Algarvian rosé as the sun went down.

Back to Alvor

Our favourite destination on our last visit to this part of the world is the fishing village of Alvor. So quaint and characterful, and home to lots of lovely places to eat!

Taberna 

Talking of eating… While we were in Portugal, we timed our visit to coincide with friends who were visiting from England. One of our friends is Portuguese and has been visiting this part of the world for her family summer holidays for 40+ years. She took us back to her favourite restaurant, ‘Taberna’ in Portimão for a beautiful meal in a truly atmospheric place.

Beach life

I have never visited tropical beaches, but I can’t imagine they are any more beautiful than the beaches of the Algarve, with dramatic cliffs, clean sand and crystal clear turquoise water. We spent many happy hours jumping Atlantic waves and building sand castles.

Heading home

If you have seen the news lately about the heatwave in Central Europe, you will know things have been pretty warm in these parts of late. We set off at 8:15am in an attempt to beat some of the heat, but it wasn’t early enough. The sun was beating down on us just over an hour later as we crossed the bridge from Portugal back into Spain. The highest temperature I read on the car dashboard thermometer was 41.5 C as we crossed the hills south of Jerez. It isn’t a patch on the record highs elsewhere in Europe, but it was rather toasty.

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series for bloggers which was created by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins. It features seven (or perhaps more) photos from the last seven days of your week. If you are a blogger and would like to join in with the Sunday Sevens community, then pop over to Natalie’s blog to find out how you can get involved.

Sunday Sevens #94 30.7.17

This week’s Sunday Sevens features several locations in 4 different countries believe it or not! Here goes…

Sunny English summer skies


This time last week we were in Reading enjoying the last full day with our old friends who once lived in Gibraltar. They have a lovely big back garden and the weather conspired to allow the Little Postcards and their friends to play outdoors for ages on the trampoline and running about on the grass. Meanwhile my friend and I looked on, coffee, and then gin in hand, and enjoyed a jolly good catch up. We had such a lovely time, thank you so much x

Ride a cock horse… our Banbury detour


So our return trip up North managed to coincide with some rather annoying (for us) railway engineering works. We ended up killing an hour in Banbury between connections. My only prior knowledge of the place was a bloke at University called ‘Pete from Banbury’ and the nursery rhyme. I can now add to that extensive catalogue of knowledge by contributing the fact that Banbury Debenhams do a damn fine chocolate brownie.

Family times


On Tuesday we went out for a lovely meal with my parents, brother and sister-in-law. My brother gave us a lift in his van and opened the sunroof, much to the delight of the Little Postcards! Check out that blue sky!

Oh, and there was an octopus at the table too…


Heading home – very slowly!


Wednesday meant time to leave England and a long wait for our plane home. A medical emergency on the plane we should have caught made our departure time 2 hours later than it should be. I hope the patient is ok.

We took off in the end though… good bye for now England!



Blue skies above


Back in Gibraltar, and boy it’s been very warm! Not a cloud in the sky…



Hot, hot, hot!


I know I’ve just spent 2 and a half weeks in England and I’m out of practice, but it really has been hot – 32.4 degrees on Friday.

Off on holiday again


I’ve had a very quick turnaround this week, unpacking our suitcases, washing and refilling them in time for our road trip to Portugal. We are staying in the same place as we did on our last visit two years ago, not far from Alvor. This is the Queen Sofia Bridge in Seville, it’s a huge structure which sea-going tankers can travel beneath. You get a great view of the city from it too. Oh, and it was 38.5 degrees there – phew!

After a five hour drive from Gibraltar and a welcome drop in temperature by a couple of degrees, we arrived at our destination. We’ve been hanging out with the locals…

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series for bloggers which was created by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins. It features seven (or perhaps more) photos from the last seven days of your week. If you are a blogger and would like to join in with the Sunday Sevens community, then pop over to Natalie’s blog to find out how you can get involved.

Summer Craft Challenge 2017 (week 4)

This week’s crafting took place in three different locations, beginning at our friends’ home in Reading, Berkshire, then returning to my parents’ home in Manchester and finally heading home to Gibraltar! 

I set myself a summer craft challenge to do something crafty throughout July and August in order to save my sanity throughout the long school summer holidays. Here’s week four’s installment:

Day 22 : Saturday 22nd July

There wasn’t much time for crafting today – a trip to Reading town centre to have a meal out and take the Little Postcards to the cinema and later a chance for my friend and I to pop out to the pub for a while on our own, meant this Crochet photo was taken at ten to midnight! Only just made it!

Day 23 : Sunday 23rd July 


Coffee and crochet in the garden, what could be better? Well a crochet lesson perhaps? I had a go at teaching my friend and her daughter some crochet…


The green chain belongs to my friend’s daughter, the pink to my friend and the grey on the red hook was mine…


Tadaaaah! That pink granny square is my friend’s first ever attempt at crochet, not at all bad I don’t think! However I did get theimpression that she was mightily pleased when she got to the end!! 

Day 24 : Monday 24th July


Back in Manchester this evening at my parents’ house and time for a little crochet before collapsing into bed… it was a long day of travelling back up thanks to rail engineering works!

Day 25 : Tuesday 25th July

You’ve got to love a municipal floral border haven’t you?! A trip to the park with the two youngest Postcards to make the most of a sunny spell in the afternoon – crochet and Europa the Unicorn came too…

Day 26 : Wednesday 26th July


Airport delays and a very late arrival meant that crochet was done in the hours of darkness again on Wednesday- I couldn’t face it while travelling this time. Back at home in Gibraltar after a wonderful, interesting and very enjoyable two and a half weeks in England (and briefly Wales). But blimey it’s very hot!!!

Day 27 : Thursday 27th July


I bought myself a present when we were in England – a yarn winder. My stash of left overs has been getting a bit unruly of late so fancied having a go at winding some nice neat balls… I need a bit of practice for that – my first attempt was a little loose!

I also returned home to two cards to collect goodies from the parcel post – my June edition of Little Box of Crochet and my latest subscription to Simply Crochet Magazine. Now I have loads of fab ideas to work on over the coming weeks!

Day 28 : Friday 28th July

Coffee and crochet, the perfect way to start the day. Don’t you agree? A moment of calm before the chaos of the day!

Do you fancy joining in with your own summer craft challenge? Just tag your photos #summercraftchallenge2017 on Instagram and we can all craft together!