Postcard from Manchester

The Bay of Gibraltar on Thursday evening

Well here we are. We survived the move. We’re 2000 or so miles further north than we once were. We’ve replaced sea views for trees and greenery and I rather like that.

The sunset was our last one living while in Gibraltar back on Thursday evening. The photo of the green field and sky isn’t the view from our new windows but a short walk from our new home.

I just wanted to pop in and let you know we survived the move, and we are loving living close to family & very old friends again, but I will be having a little while off to get on with what needs to be done over here in England. I look forward to sharing our adventures with you again in a little while.

Lindsay x

Sunday Sevens #229 5.7.20

Alas, it’s been our final full week living here in Gibraltar. A week of goodbyes, packing boxes and parcel tape. Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens:

Beach day

Believe it or not, this summer we hadn’t been to the beach as a family until last Saturday. I’ve just been so busy packing boxes and dealing with admin that I couldn’t justify a day off. It was worth the wait though! Just what was needed.

Packing

I had been holding off packing my Pandemonium blanket and small bag of yarn until the last minute convinced I’d have the time to crochet in the evening. I was wrong…. I’ve been sitting down at about 11:15pm each night too exhausted to crochet for well over a week.

I gave up and packed my blanket as a consequence. I’m not sure what the removal men will think when they see the name on this box!

Back to the beach

You wait months for a trip to the beach and two beach days come along at once! We went back to the beach on Monday. It was great, and one Little Box of Crochet dodged the packing boxes for now!!

A chilly treat

Ever since Hotel Chocolat started selling ice cream in Gibraltar, I have promised Eldest that I would get him one. This week, that finally happened. It was lovely, but I managed to give myself brain freeze as I ate it too quickly!!

Bright summer days

It was so colourful at the southern end of Main Street when I popped into town to have a farewell coffee with a friend – I couldn’t resist taking a few photos.

Another goodbye…

I had a wonderful evening on Thursday after a day of admin (mainly to do with schools for the Little Postcards). It was my last book club meeting ‘in person’ for a while.

Book Club was started a few years ago by a friend who had been a member of a group in the UK (who I know sometimes reads this blog – thank you Jackie!) It’s been wonderful, a really lovely group of friends and given me enough impetus to get me reading properly again. Having studied a very literature heavy degree at university, I kind of fell out of love with reading as it became a chore.

My book club ladies helped me rekindle my romance with a good book from true crime to historic fantasy. I will miss my book club nights, but have been told I still have to read the books each time and take part remotely!!

Our last meal together was utterly scrumptious- fish & chips!

Nocturnal wanderings

I love the walk home from book club too – it’s so nice to walk the quiet streets of Gibraltar after dark. The views out to sea are equally stunning at night! And how about this for an intricate window?

Another sunset

Forgive me, but it has to be done. There won’t be views & sunsets like this where we are going. However I will be replacing the view with beautiful green trees which lose their leaves in autumn, instead of a balcony there will be a garden with grass and I’ll have close family & life-long friends close by so I think that’s a pretty decent trade, don’t you?

Ahoy there!

It was a humid, grey morning yesterday when Eldest exclaimed – “What’s that?!” What a peculiar looking cruise ship. I’m told it’s a Virgin cruise ship which is normally based on the opposite side of the Atlantic Ocean. It did look a bit unusual as it passed by our windows!

And that brings this week’s Sunday Sevens to a close. I’m not sure what state either Sunday Sevens or I will be in this time next week. One thing I can be sure of is it’ll be a few degrees cooler and far easier to unpack than it was to pack!! I’m off now to throw some more things into boxes … wish me luck!

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

Sunday Sevens #228 28.6.20

Hello there and welcome to another Sunday Sevens. If you read my post on Thursday, you will know that sadly we are preparing to leave Gibraltar after 11 very happy years here.

As a consequence of our impending move, it’s been a rather difficult week with lots of boring packing and sorting of belongings and paperwork, but thankfully good friends sprinkled some fun amongst the drudgery!

Here’s what we got up to this week…

Sunset

Seeing as our days here are numbered I’m reveling in the beautiful view from our apartment as much as I possibly can. I’m always popping out into the balcony to watch the ships or see what the squawking seagulls are up to. This was last Sunday’s sunset.

Packing up

One of the joys of packing is unearthing treasures at the bottom of drawers and the back of cupboards. This isn’t exactly a treasure but was my first and only attempt at cable knitting. I think perhaps I need to have another go at it.

A treat of a boat trip

Friends of ours have a boat moored in one of Gibraltar’s marinas and they invited us for a trip out to see the dolphins on Wednesday. It was a total delight. We saw a mother and baby and a pod of others hunting fish further off.

What a treat it was and a real boost to escape the never ending to-do list for a few hours. The Little Postcards had such fun with their friends jumping off the boat into the Bay, and trying to spy our home amongst the other buildings. It was just what the doctor ordered.

A blogging birthday

So this week, Postcard from Gibraltar turned 5. I am amazed that this milestone has been reached. When I first started writing it I had no idea if anyone would actually read it! Thankfully you have! 🙂

If you missed my blog birthday post on Thursday, you can find it here.

A trip to the beach

Normally by this point in the summer, we would be regularly popping down to the beach, but unfortunately jobs have prevented that until yesterday. We made our first trip to Sandy Bay and it was glorious. What a great time we had. We’ll really miss having this on our doorstep.

Glorious geraniums

The geraniums are looking super on the balcony at the moment. They look brilliant against the bright blue sky & sea.

I had a most wonderful evening last night with some special friends. I didn’t take any pictures as I was so busy eating and talking!! It was a bit of a going away dinner, and was a real treat. I know it’s sad to be leaving this beautiful place and good friends but it’s not goodbye, just farewell until next time.

Podcast update

This week saw episode 10 and the last part of the first series of Making Stitches Podcast go out. I’m taking a bit of a break over the summer and will be looking forward to recording some new podcast episodes for later in the year. This week, my guest was my wonderful sewing teacher, Dorcas Hammond, who spoke of a lifetime in dressmaking. Just search ‘Making Stitches Podcast’ on your favourite podcast app.

That’s all for this week. I’m not sure whether there will be much for me to write about over the coming seven days, I fear it will be boxes, boxes and more boxes, but I’ll do my best!

Until next time, bye for now and thank you for stopping by.

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

A big birthday – Postcard from Gibraltar is 5 today!

Hello! Postcard from Gibraltar is 5 years old today!

When I first launched this blog back in 2015, I had no idea where it would lead. It was an outlet for a slightly stir-crazy stay-at-home Mum with a desire to do more but unable at that time to go back to work, even on a part-time basis.

Little did I know the doors it would open or the confidence it would give me. It has brought me the opportunity to write for magazines; both online and in print. It gave me the confidence to return to the world of work after many years at home with children and now there is a new podcast ‘Making Stitches’.

It all started with this first blog post. Little did I know then, where it would lead and even if it would last as long as that first summer!

Catalan Bay

It has also brought me connections with many friends near and far. Friends I have never met and probably won’t ever meet, but friends nonetheless in ‘real life’ and living in my phone!

Our furry neighbours

Thank you to everyone who has read my posts and cheered me from the sidelines over the past five years. I am very grateful for your support.

It seems rather appropriate that this milestone should happen now while things are in a state of flux for us. Not just because of the issues going on on the world stage but also those a little closer to home.

Looking north from the Med Steps

Next month we will be leaving Gibraltar after 11 very happy years here. Life is leading us back to the UK and a new life in the north of England. We leave with mixed emotions; great affection for Gibraltar and it’s people who have made us feel very welcome and sadness to be saying goodbye to good friends and this beautiful place.

Gibraltar National Day 2019

However, looking forward we are thrilled to be heading back home to be close to family and friends (some of which I have known since primary school). Living so far from family has its limitations and that has been brought home more than ever during the past few months of lockdown.

Europa Point lighthouse (with Morocco in the background)

I have thought long and hard about what to do about Postcard from Gibraltar after the move. Can there even be a Postcard from Gibraltar if I’m not in Gibraltar anymore?

View from the Med Steps on a foggy day

But I would miss the community I have met online too much if I packed it all in. I also can’t quite face starting a new blog and going back to square one with it alongside the enormity of moving a family and all our belongings from one end of Europe to the other during a global pandemic, so Postcard from Gibraltar will continue after our move.

View from the Bay of Gibraltar

I can’t guarantee as many photos of blue skies or sea views. I’m not sure whether our sunsets will be quite as picturesque in the suburbs as they are across the Bay of Gibraltar but I will do my best.

The view from our front door

I understand that a good proportion of readers of this blog will be doing so because of the Gibraltar connection, and if it no longer interests you in the future (in its UK based form) I won’t be offended if you fall away. Many readers though, I believe, do so because we have a shared interest in crafty things and trying to find a little bit of beauty in everyday.

Town centre & Upper Town

And so, at the end of Postcard from Gibraltar’s first five years, I look back feeling proud of what it’s become and excited for the future and what it holds in store. Thank you for coming along on my journey with me, it’s been a pleasure to have your company on the ride!

Looking south to Gibraltar from Alcaidesa beach in Spain

Thank you,

Lindsay x

25th June 2020

Sunday Sevens #227 21.6.20

Hello and welcome to Sunday Sevens again! It’s been a glorious day here, truly midsummery in every way. I hope it’s been a good one for you too. Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens:

A Sunday jaunt up the Rock

Last Sunday I headed up the Rock for a trip to the Windsor Suspension bridge with the Little Postcards. It was beautiful but a little windy. I nearly lost my hat in a gust while crossing the bridge! There were so many butterflies out and about. I only managed to snap one though.

Noisy neighbours

We have 2 sparrow families nesting on our balcony at the moment. It’s the second lot of chicks in both nests so far this year. They are rather a noisy and raucous bunch. They may be small but they are loud! They get rather annoyed when they see me sitting on the balcony and chirp loudly at me as if to say I’m trespassing on their property!!

Pretty balconies

Speaking of balconies, this is one of the prettiest in Gibraltar. It was looking lovely as I walked past this week.

Last rays of sunshine

I spent all day at home on Wednesday doing jobs which had to be done. It was frustrating because I wanted to get out. I managed a short walk at sunset and it did the job. A beautiful pick me up at the end of the day.

Catching up on pandemonium

I managed to find a tiny bit of time one afternoon to dig out my Pandemonium CAL for a short while. It felt good to get back to it. I’m a good few weeks behind schedule but I’ll get there in the end!

It’s finished

Last Sunday night I managed to get this finished! My Entrelac Tunisian crochet purse from Little Box of Crochet. I’m really pleased with it, although I’m not sure I would do it again. I found it really quite tricky and couldn’t do it while watching telly!

Podcast update

This week episode 9 of Making Stitches went online and it featured my first international interview with Esther from Essie Birdies. Esther and I had a chat all about how crochet became a passion for her about 10 years ago. She designs the most beautiful shawls as well as amigurumi and other things. You can find the show notes for the episode here and listen by searching for ‘Making Stitches’ on your favourite podcast app.

That’s all for this week, I hope to be back with another blog post mid week this week (all being well). Until then, take care and thanks for stopping by.

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

Sunday Sevens #226 14.6.20

So it’s one of those weeks when Sunday Sevens appears on a Monday (a Bank Holiday Monday as a matter of fact – in honour of the Queen’s birthday), it’s a busy old time Chez Postcard at the moment behind the scenes and boring stuff has been getting in the way of blogging, so please excuse the delay! Without further ado, here’s this week’s edition:

Back to sewing class

As I am a little camera shy on the blog I never imagined that I’d be sharing a full-frontal top of the head to knees photo of myself. But there you go, complete with my slightly wonky home made face mask!

The reason for the photo is that last Monday I got back to my lovely sewing teacher; Dorcas Hammond’s workshop for my first sewing lesson post lockdown. It was a real treat and was a one off stand-alone workshop to make a fleecy hooded body warmer. This was actually scheduled to happen in March – fleecy body warmers are a little bit on the toasty side for Gibraltar in June!

Anyway, the three of us students were sitting spaced out with sanitized hands and face masks but it was great to be back in the saddle even if it was a brief one. Thank you Dorcas x

Clear skies across the Strait

Tuesday brought the delights of a trip to the tip / recycling dump. What joy! However on the return journey I stopped for a look at the view across to Morocco which seems so clear these days – one positive of the lockdown has been a reduction in pollution in these parts – let’s hope that continues.

Peony perfection

I have never seen peonies for sale as cut flowers in the supermarket before but these beauties caught my eye this week along with the deep pink stocks. They have been an absolute delight in a vase on the sideboard. They didn’t last long in the summer heat but they were a joy for a few days.

International Yarnbombing Day 2020

So Thursday was International Yarnbombing Day and this year instead of Yarnbombing public places, knitters and crocheters were encouraged to yarnbomb something closer to home. I chose my favourite crochet spot, a bench on our balcony and recycled my yarnbomb from the Alameda Gardens bicentenary year of 2016. A few Postcard from Gibraltar favourites made it out there too like Llanita the Yarndale Sheep from 2016 and Europa the Unicorn who came on our European adventure with us in the summer of 2017 and my first ever crochet blanket; the Granny Stripe designed by Lucy at Attic 24.

Blue skies

How about that for a blue sky? What a belter. We’ve had some lovely weather this past week, a day and a half of blustery grey cloud and showers on Thursday/Friday but apart from that, some lovely sunshine! The pinks of the St Joseph’s school building showed off the blue to great effect I thought as I walked past.

Blocking time

Doesn’t everyone have their ironing board up on their balcony? I’m not sure what passers by might have thought when I was blocking my Entrelac purse on Saturday – but hey, what does it matter. It’s almost finished…

A stunning sunset

Saturday night’s sunset was an absolute stunner. The sky was on fire!

Podcast update

My guest this week on Making Stitches was Phil from The Twisted Yarn

This week episode 8 of Making Stitches went out and this week the theme was stranded knitting. The hugely talented Phil from The Twisted Yarn was my guest and spoke all about her passion for intricate knitted motifs, her famous crocheted chair and Robyn the Robin who visits her garden.

If you fancy a listen, just search for ‘Making Stitches Podcast’ on your favourite podcast app.

That’s all for this week, I’ll be back next Sunday, all being well. Have a good week!

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

Sunday Sevens #225 7.6.20

Hello there! I hope it’s been a good week for you. It’s been pretty warm here in Gibraltar lately, it certainly feels like summer!

Sunday evening stroll

Last Sunday when I realised we hadn’t left our home for a walk for a few days I bundled the Little Postcards out of the door for an evening stroll. It was a lovely (if short) wander. Although lockdown is easing here a lot (restaurants have reopened and many shops) it still feels a bit odd so we are staying close to home.

A lovely spot for a chat

On Monday I had the chance to meet up with a fellow creative, Victoria Peat. Victoria moved to Gibraltar last year with her husband’s job and is now based here. She is a real advocate for sewing and teaches dressmaking, patchwork and other subjects even leading classes on telly! We had a chat, which I recorded for Making Stitches Podcast whilst sitting (at an appropriate distance) in this rather lovely bandstand in the Alameda Gardens. (More on the podcast later…)

Rainbow crochet

I started this project from Little Box of Crochet last weekend. It’s going to be an Entrelac purse. It should have been finished by now, but erm it’s still a work in progress…

Blooming lovely

I had a walk through town on Wednesday after dropping the car in for a service. It was my first trip along Main Street for a long time. I was thrilled to see how colourful it was, the flowers were looking beautiful.

Lilies

Talking of flowers, I bought these lilies from the supermarket a few weeks ago and I’m thrilled with them, they are looking beautiful at the moment. I love the vibrant pink colour!

Saturday Sunset

As it’s been a busy but dull week, I ran out of photos to include for Sunday Sevens, so here’s last night’s sunset. For no other reason than that it was rather pretty!

Podcast update

As I mentioned earlier, this is Victoria Peat, my guest on Making Stitches this week. It was fun to chat to her about all manner of sewing from making World Book Day costumes to delightful patchwork quilts. You can listen to her here.

That’s all for this week. Take care and I hope the next 7 days are kind to you.

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

Sunday Sevens #222 17.5.20

Hello there! How are you this week? It’s been an extremely busy one for me. I was bitten by the cleaning / tidying bug – it’s a very rare occurrence. I did so much cleaning one day I walked 12,000 steps and hadn’t left the apartment!!

So much domestication has meant not much time for crafts but I hope to make up for that next week now I can sit back in a clean and tidy(ish) home! Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens:

Sunday family walk

Last Sunday we had a family walk up to the bottom of the Upper Rock Nature reserve. It was a lot busier than it has been of late. There were more cars to dodge and some people were stopping to chat too. It felt jarring to see after so many weeks of isolation and social distancing.

Med Steps escape

On Tuesday I escaped on my own for the first time since lockdown (apart from to walk to the recycling bins or go to the supermarket) and climbed the Med Steps. It was beautiful and full of wildflowers. I wrote a blog post all about it – you can find it here if you missed it.

Pandemonium CAL

I’ve hardly had time or energy for crochet this week. But here’s what I have managed… done rather big bobbles on my Pandemonium blanket!

Sunshine on a rainy day

We’ve had a few extremely wet days this week (think total stair rods /monsoon). Naturally as I was on a spring cleaning mission, I washed all the windows – big mistake! They were soon splattered with raindrops. But at least it meant I caught sight of this brief beauty.

Coo-eee! I can see you!

When I climb to the top of the Upper Rock I like to take a moment to look down and spot places of interest. From certain angles you can see the roof of the building we live in, the schools the Little Postcards have been to etc. When you’re up there, it’s easy to forget that there might be someone down below looking up at you. One afternoon this week, that was me. I was in my kitchen and looked up through the window to see three people up there looking down. It looks rather precarious from below though…

Winning at the weekly shop!

Now when you get up and out early to do the weekly shop and are braced to join the end of a long queue to get into the supermarket, there’s no greater sight than this….

Eurovision night sunset

Last night as we watched Eurovision (the not really Eurovision version) and as the sun was setting on what should have been the venue of the grand final, I looked out of the window and spotted our own sunset too.

Podcast update

This week’s Making Stitches episode features a chat with Carole Rennison from Yarndale about this year’s charity appeal. Pop over to Making Stitches to hear all about it.

That’s all for this week, I hope you have a good one. Sunday Sevens was first created by Natalie from Threads and Bobbins.

Sunday Sevens #221 10.5.20

Hello and how are you? I hope you are safe and well wherever you are reading this. We’ve just completed week 7 of lockdown here in Gibraltar but things are slowly relaxing in terms of restrictions and that feels good.

It’s been a week of crochet, walks and a fun podcast about quilting! Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens:

Gibraltar plumbing…

So last Sunday afternoon our walk was cut short by a phone call from a neighbour to say one of our pipes had sprung a leak. Can you see the jet of water spray shooting upwards? Well that was our salt water pipe which fills the cistern to flush our loo.

The pipe’s only a couple of years old but because it gets direct sunlight in the mornings it’s perished the plastic. Plumbers are a bit thin on the ground in Gib at the moment as many trades people who work in Gibraltar come in from Spain. I found one eventually, but it took him 4 days to source a ladder tall enough to reach the pipe.

I know we speak a lot these days about the things we once took for granted before lockdown began, but there’s nothing like constantly filling your cistern with a bucket in order to flush that makes you reckon you’ll never take a flushing toilet for granted again!!

Thank heavens it was fixed on Thursday…

Sunset

I spied this lovely sunset one evening as I walked past the open front door. It’s nice just to take a moment to appreciate them when they come along.

Hat making workshop

I’ve been missing my weekly dressmaking lessons with my sewing teacher Dorcas lately. She hasn’t been idle during lockdown though, she’s been uploading video tutorials and selling patterns online. On Tuesday I took part in one of her online classes – and made a hat! It was upcycled from an old pair of trousers and turned out rather well.

If you fancy taking one of Dorcas’ classes online just visit Dorcas Fashion Academy on YouTube.

Paint job

While clearing out the shed, I found some paint, so decided to give our gate a facelift. One day for undercoating and another for gloss. I’m pleased with my work. FYI the paint splatters were on cardboard I put down – not the floor (I’m a messy decorator).

Lily in bloom

This beautiful lily, which lives beside our front door, came into bloom this week. I love it when it comes to life like this.

5K walk

There’s an appeal underway in Gibraltar to raise money for the Covid fund for the local health service. They are asking people to walk, run or cycle 5 km and donate £5. We did our 5k on Friday, the VE Day bank holiday.

It was a super, sunny afternoon and even Littlest did very well, in spite of his legs being a lot shorter than the rest of ours!

#finishedforfriday

A few weeks ago, Black Sheep Wools issued a call to action to help us work through our WIP piles (work-in-progress) I have one or two (ish) projects on the go including this jumper which has been in my WIP pile for about 18 months.

I didn’t manage to get it finished for that Friday but I got it finished for this Friday instead! I’m really pleased with it – it’s the first item of clothing (which I’d be happy to be seen in public wearing) that I have crocheted.

It was made from a Simply Crochet Magazine pattern using Stylecraft Linen Drape in Cranberry. I love it! Shame it’s not really jumper weather in Gibraltar at the moment!

It has the nice heart detail in filet on the sleeves too

Making Stitches Podcast

Also on Friday I published the latest episode of Making Stitches Podcast. This one is about a community quilt being made in lockdown inspired by a quilt made by female prisoners of war in Changi in Singapore during WWII. You can find it on podcast apps by searching for ‘Making Stitches’ or here.

That’s Sunday Sevens done for another week, I hope you are ok and managing with whatever restrictions you have had imposed upon you. I hope the week to come is a good one for you…

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

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.