A tale of two weekends

We’ve had quite a busy time of it lately. I thought that the transition from half to full school days would bring with it an element of routine. I was half right – it’s been routinely chaotic. Over the long summer holiday I forgot about the after school activities which go hand in hand will full days restarting. It’s been a merry-go-round of football training, cubs, piano lessons, football matches, scouts and school choir. Swimming lessons haven’t even started yet! I’ve been rushing around, chasing my tail to keep up with all of our commitments. 

For most of the past two weeks we have had visitors over from the UK (my husband’s parents) which has been a blessing, as they’ve been around to help and I didn’t have to drag all the children out with me to all the activities. It’s a real shame that our boys miss out on regular family time with their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousin. It is of course an unfortunate consequence of us upping sticks and moving to a different country. We have to make the most of the short time we do get to have together, so they were very much immersed in our busy and at times chaotic family life (I think they were glad to go home for a rest though!). It was a much needed chance for us to catch up on all the news from back home and also meant we had the perfect excuse to head over the border at the weekend and broaden our horizons a bit. 

Unfortunately a football training session and pre-season friendly match cut short the amount of time we could spend away from Gibraltar, so last Saturday we took a short walk across the border to our nearest neighbour La Linea. We had a short mooch around the market (which sells gorgeous olives and has the most amazing fresh fish stalls) and stopped for a lunch of bocadillos in Café Modelo. I’m afraid I forgot to take any pictures of La Linea to show you where we went, I’ll do that next time!
I can only offer you a view of Gibraltar from the Spanish side of the frontier for now….

A late afternoon pre-season friendly meant that we couldn’t stray too far on Sunday so we headed west to the picturesque town of Tarifa. Being mainland Europe’s most southerly point and what seems like the windiest place in the world it’s a haven for tourists and fans of wind dependent sports like kite-surfing. The outer town which comprises of concrete apartment blocks belies the fact that further into town is an exquisite gem of Moorish architecture. We approached it via the Puerta de Jerez, the old town’s traditional entrance.


 The old town is captivating – I always enjoy visiting and wandering it’s old cobbled streets.


Some are very narrow indeed!  
It pays to look upwards too, to appreciate the beautiful old architecture.

We stumbled across a very inviting bakery and bought a few goodies to sustain us on our walk around town – the croissants and cinnamon buns were delicious!

The town was decked out with what looked like Christmas lights but they were actually up for the festival of the Virgin of Light (Virgen de la Luz) which had taken place the day before. Apparently just 24 hours earlier the streets had been thronged with thousands of on-lookers. Instead we were greeted with tranquil almost empty streets. 

Close to the church of St Matthew (in the photo above) I stumbled across this gorgeous shop Babachic Beads. It was right up my street!


As you can see it was a riot of colour and the stock was comprised of artisan crafts brought in from abroad and produced by the proprietors.


I treated myself to this lovely necklace made with hand painted beads, made on the premises.


Our time in Tarifa was limited as a football match awaited, so we wandered just a little bit longer.


I loved the colour of the bougainvillea here against the white of the church and the blue of the sky. Before we knew it, it was time to head back to the car and make our way back to Gibraltar.

We arrived in plenty of time for kick-off. There can’t be many football pitches in the world so close to an international airport!


This weekend, by comparison, was a far quieter affair. The boys still had two birthday parties to attend and another pre-season friendly football match but Mr Postcard decided I needed a rest, so he did the lion’s share of the ferrying children about. I found myself alone with our youngest for a couple of hours yesterday (a rare weekend occurrence) so we decided to use a gift left with us by his grandparents last week: ninja bread men pastry cutters!


We had fun rolling out the dough and cutting them out! 


They were then very artfully decorated by my little helper.


They tasted really good – there aren’t many left!


Had the ants which were bothering us a week or so ago still been resident, they would have had a field day with all that icing sugar and sprinkles (see this post for more on that). Thankfully a friend recommended a man who came and rather successfully sorted out our problem.

Today has been an equally relaxing day, although I did head out for a bit of a walk. It was my first attempt at ‘exercise’ since my little fall a couple of weeks ago (see here for more). I’m pleased to say that apart from a slightly achey ankle it went well.  Europa Road was eerily quiet because this huge crane had caused it to be closed:

Unfortunately, the people who closed the road didn’t offer motorists any kind of diversion signs which caused some confusion. This massive truck-cum-campervan found itself stuck when it took a detour down a road far too narrow to accommodate it. There was much shouting and honking of horns as it was forced to reverse back up a hill and round a bend while avoiding the many cars parked in the vacinity.

So, there you have it, we’ve reached the end of another week and we’re in October already – how did that happen?! In a bid to be more organised and to make the midweek after school activities/ mealtimes/ homework/ mummy meltdown  slightly easier I have cooked and frozen several meals for the week ahead. If it works by easing the carnage of early evenings in our house, I’ll let you know! Have a good week and thank you for stopping by. Please feel free to leave any comments, it’s great to hear from you. I’ll leave you with a picture of my September highlights.


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