Hi, I’ve been thinking about how I could find the words to write this post for months. Life has been incredibly difficult since New Year for us as a family. At times it’s felt like we’d slipped into a parallel universe thinking at some point I’d wake up and be back in my ‘old’ life.
I don’t want to go into details about what’s happened, suffice to say it’s been health related and we have lost a very special person in our lives. Grief is a tricky thing to navigate and I’m on that road now with my boys. Life will never be the same for us but we have to look to the future now.
I have always been a passionate advocate for creativity helping me in tough times, and it truly has in the past. This time though, perhaps my feelings were too big so my creativity and need to make just slipped away. I ‘had’ to make a few crochet items for a commission I was working on and that forced me to get lost (temporarily) in the mindless rhythm of crocheting, but I can honestly say that in the past six months I have probably crocheted for pleasure a couple of times – the most recent of which was last night, which got my thinking about my blog & podcast.
I had big plans for the podcast this year – which haven’t happened. In fact there is still an episode which was due to be published in early January just as our difficulties first arose. I have felt a bit guilty at times because I have a lovely audience out there (some of whom have contacted me directly to check on me – which is lovely) and I always prided myself on being reliable and regular in my podcast episodes. I don’t like to let people down.
In addition to what we’ve been dealing with emotionally, I have had to take on more paying work recently to support my family and that has eaten into my spare time which in the past would have been spent having lovely chats with fabulous creative people about their lives for the podcast. The impact this additional pressure would have on the podcast going forwards has worried me, as it’s a big part of who I am, but the podcast doesn’t bring any financial reward – only emotional and in fact, it actually costs me money to make.
With this in mind, I think the time has come to face up to the future of Making Stitches. The plain facts are that my time is a lot more limited nowadays and will be for the foreseeable future but I would like to continue with my podcast and blogging adventures albeit in a reduced manner. So hopefully, in the next few days, that outstanding episode of Making Stitches Podcast due out in January will make a late appearance and some more ‘stand alone’ episodes will follow later in the year.
If there is still anyone out there still following my blog who hasn’t disappeared since I hung up my blogging hat in January, thank you for hanging on. And to everyone who has been checking on me in my absence – thank you, it’s nice to know I wasn’t forgotten. Please bear with me, and I will pop back again from time to time, hopefully with happier news and some colorful crochet…
Way back in the summer of 2015, I set off on a blogging adventure. Inspired by the likes of Lucy at Attic24 and several other craft bloggers, I decided that I would have a go at sharing a few snap shots of my life on the Rock. At the time, I had a the unique selling point that I was based in Gibraltar, and at that time, there were no other craft bloggers active on the Rock. I thought that even if no one was interested in what I was making, at least I could share beautiful photos of my sunny surroundings way down in the south of Europe.
I felt compelled to share some of the quirks and beauty of where I was living at the time – a much misunderstood place from the outside. There is so much more to Gibraltar than the day trips from cruise ships and bus tours from along the Costa would have you believe. There’s much more than red phone boxes and fish & chips, British bobbies and Marks and Spencer in the sun. It’s home to a diverse group of people with origins from far and wide, the fortunate byproduct of it’s geographical location at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsular and just a short distance across the Strait of Gibraltar from Morocco and the African continent beyond.
Soon I began sharing a series of blog posts called ‘A stroll around Gibraltar’ as I took my camera and later my phone along on walks around the narrow streets and back alleys of Upper Town and into the Nature Reserve of the Upper Rock – in fact my post about the ‘facts and figures of the Med Steps’ remains my most read post to date. I posted more than 200 Sunday Sevens posts and hosted a Friday Photo Challenge on Instagram one year as well.
I also used Postcard from Gibraltar to share what I was making, from the dressmaking and watercolour classes which I was able to attend once all three Little Postcards (my three sons) were old enough to all go to school, as well as a number of community crochet projects I joined in with from Yarndale worldwide appeals for crocheted bunting and mandalas to Eleonora from Coastal Crochet‘s Seaside Stashbusting blanket and Changing Tides blanket crochet-alongs.
As our family went on trips around the place I would blog about our travels in my ‘A Postcard from…’ posts which included Rome, The Algarve, Carcassonne, and skiing in the Dolomites, as well as UK destinations like Manchester, Cheshire, and Suffolk.
Postcard from Gibraltar also opened doors for me and I began writing for an online parenting magazine in Gibraltar which now no longer exists sadly, I also got articles published in print for the Calentita! Gibraltarian food festival magazine. In short, Postcard from Gibraltar gave me the confidence to venture back out of my domestic set-up after many years being a stay-at-home Mum.
In 2020, along with everything else which was happening in the world, close to home for us, change was afoot. We found ourselves moving back to the UK after 11 very happy years in Gibraltar. It was a big adjustment, which wasn’t made any easier by the pandemic, but we survived! At the time, I wondered whether I should continue with Postcard from Gibraltar as it would no longer be ‘from Gibraltar’. I had begun my new podcast project ‘Making Stitches Podcast’ by then, and whilst it brought me very welcome creative distraction – especially during lockdown, I felt I would miss Postcard too much if I just finished it, so I kept it going in a slightly less regular, less sunny and blue skies kind of a way!
More than 2 years on from our move though, I think the time is right to say goodbye to Postcard from Gibraltar. I won’t be saying goodbye to it completely though. This blog and all of the previous posts will still be available to read and if you should search for Postcard from Gibraltar online, it will still lead you here. Postcard from Gibraltar is evolving, just as I have, and from now on, will be known as Making Stitches.
It felt right to adapt what I’m already doing to compliment what I have been working on with Making Stitches Podcast. In the last two years, that has gone from strength to strength and is now in it’s 6th Series with more than 50 episodes featuring interviews with creative people from many different disciplines including crochet and knitting (including my old friend Eleonora Tully from Coastal Crochet), dressmaking, embroidery, textile art, weaving, yarn dying and more. In addition to this, I have made a foray into crochet design myself with the launch of my amigurumi crochet patterns. My life has changed quite a bit from what I was doing back in Gibraltar and it’s time this blog caught up with me.
I will still post my monthly Postcards (because I would miss writing them too much) although I can’t guarantee I’ll be any more prompt with posting them (!) and I’m pretty sure I will have another go at a Summer Craft Challenge again next year, so in a way nothing has changed, just the name.
Thank you to everyone who has read my posts, liked them or commented through the years and a special thank you to those of you who have become friends through this medium too. Your support, although virtual, has been very much appreciated over the years and it’s that which has kept me going. Who knows what lies ahead?
Sorry for the lack of postcard from June – it was a very hectic month with exams and school stuff in our house – very little of it photo worthy so I opted to tag a bit of June in with July’s postcard. So here goes…
One of the joys of having a postcard from two months is that I can share the progress of my garden in that time. Last month I set about planting up two new pots to live either side of my front door – they looked a little sparse to begin with but blimey look how they’re doing now!
Also I love agapanthus, I have tried many times over the years, both in the UK and Gibraltar, to grow them but with rather lack lustre results. This year though, I was given some established plants by my parents who were thinning out their substantial agapanthus patch. Just look at these beauties – I didn’t expect them to flower after being disturbed and moved to my garden!
Football, football, football…
June was super busy for us with football. Our local club hosted two weekends of tournaments, youngest played in one of the home tournaments then another elsewhere the next week. The money raised from staging the tournaments, to which teams from across the North West of England come, means that they are able to keep the joining fee for young players affordable – some teams I have heard of charging literally hundreds for kids to join!
I was on bacon butty duty for some of it. I could still smell the bacon days later 😂.
From grass roots to top of the tree! Earlier this month I was lucky enough to take number 2 and number 3 sons to Old Trafford to watch the opening game of the Womens Euros – England against Austria.
Wow! What an atmosphere and their first game at Old Trafford. I’m so pleased I was able to do this and now they can say they were there at the start of the Lionesses Euros journey!
And then down to earth with a bump!
Nothing like sitting in a puddle on a deckchair on a very wet Sunday afternoon watching your 11 year old play! Utterly saturated!! We dried out eventually!
Youngest’s school were able to put on their first school production in 3 years this year. Someone caught wind that I could sew so I was drafted in on the costume making. It was gorgeous fabric – rather like the type you would use for a wedding dress or bridesmaids dress which the school had been gifted. It was lovely to sew but not quite big enough for what they wanted… two cloaks with hoods. Sadly there wasn’t enough for the hoods and one sleeve was made of a patchwork of 5 different pieces but I got there in the end!
We have a few neighbourhood foxes and they are so cheeky! Since we moved here 2 years ago I have encountered one or more on my evening strolls but blimey this one was cheeky. I was walking home one evening and stopped in my tracks when I caught sight of this cheeky money stretched out at my neighbour’s driveway! He / she sat there quite happily looking straight at me as I took photos and then vanished!
There have been a couple of crochet pattern releases since my last monthly postcard. Daisy (above) is my most recent floral inspired pattern and the pattern has yet again been illustrated by my very talented childhood friend Emma Jackson. She was inspired by the daisies popping up on my lawn!
It’s been a busy couple of months for Making Stitches Podcast. There have been 5 episodes released in June & July. Clockwise from the top left of the photo above there was Joanne Scrace from The Crochet Project, Kitey aka The Yarn Whisperer, Sally Wilson from Caterpillar Cross Stitch, Emma Munn from Emma Knitty and finally Christine Perry aka Winwick Mum and Juey from Juey Jumbo Craft Tools.
You can listen back to any of the episodes by searching for Making Stitches on your favourite podcast app or via this link.
And that just about brings this latest postcard to a close. I hope June & July we’re kind to you and your August is going well too. The tension levels are rising in our house as the dreaded A-Level results day draws nearer…. Eek!
Well, here we are in November already. I really don’t know where the past month has gone. October has been such a busy month with day to day, nose to the grindstone kinds of things that I feel like I blinked and missed it. It’s only when I looked back at the photos on my phone that I realised what I had done and achieved – sadly I can’t share all of that with you, but before too much longer I will be able to – hurrah!
So here goes, here’s my postcard from October!
The beginning of the month began much as September ended, with children in school and me busily trying to get my ducks in a row for a deadline of the end of the month. As the calendar flipped into October the realisation dawned that by the end of the month, we would have been living in our ‘new’ home for exactly a year. It was Halloween last year that I hired a van, and with the help of two very strong friends, we moved from our rented temporary house into our very own home. That meant that twelve months had passed and there were still quite a lot of boxes sitting around the place hiding under crochet blankets….. they have many uses! I set myself the target of getting rid of the boxes by the end of the month. Did I manage it? Well, I’ll reveal all at the end!
There has been a definite autumnal chill in the air this month, and in case the changing colours and falling leaves didn’t give us a clue about the season, our neighbourhood squirrel (or maybe even squirrels) certainly let me know as they planted my newly cleared pots with all sorts of treats to sustain them through the winter!
Stepping far outside my comfort zone!
Early in the month, I was invited to do something utterly terrifying. I was asked to speak to a my local group of the WI about my podcast and crafts in general. Blimey it was a nerve wracking thing to do. I’m very happy to speak into a microphone in a room on my own but to speak to a room with about 100 pairs of eyes staring back at you – that’s quite another thing!! I debated long and hard about whether I should do it or not, but friends encouraged me to and I’m so glad I did. The ladies were lovely and didn’t bite! Not sure I’d do it again in a hurry but it was a bit of a high to know I’d managed it!
A lovely trip out
Back in September I interviewed the lovely Christine Perry from Winwick Mum for Making Stitches Podcast (You can hear the episode here). While we were chatting online we realised that we are actually not that far apart geographically so we arranged to meet at one of my favourite places for a chat and a brew – Black Sheep Wools. It was so lovely to speak to Christine and get to know her a bit better, and she has helped me get over my fear of knitting in the round. As the ‘Queen of Socks’ (I hope she doesn’t mind me giving her that title!) she has helped thousands of people learn how to successfully knit socks with her ‘sockalong’ which you can find on her blog. At the last count, over 15,000 pairs of socks have been knitted by people using her technique and that’s just the ones she knows about. Incidentally Christine has just completed a whole month of daily blogging – phew what a feat! The above photo features in one of her posts!
Christine guided me (and another lady who happened to be in the shop at the same time) on what yarn to buy and what needles were needed to get started. So using her blog and her brilliant book, I have set off on a sock-making adventure. My initial momentum has been dulled by some necessary work on some crochet related items, but I’m back on it, and about to begin decreasing on my first toe!
In crochet news, my Making Stitches wreath which I made from a pattern in issue 96 of Simply Crochet Magazine actually got featured in the magazine itself. What a total honour! Thank you Simply Crochet!
I’ve opened a shop!
Also this month, I launched my Etsy shop called the “Making Stitches Shop’. I decided to try and see if I could sell a few bits and bobs to help support my podcast activities. Whilst I would not want to put the podcast behind a pay wall, it does cost quite a bit to keep going with hosting fees and other things and I thought that if I could raise some money via the shop, it would help me keep going. In the summer I bought a custom made screen with my podcast logo on it, and began screen printing cotton tote bags. It took a lot of trial and error and advice from others, but in the end I successfully printed enough bags to open the shop.
The wonderful Amanda from Mrs G Makes also helped me with advice on running the shop and postage etc. Then, she became not only my first ever customer, she also gave me a glowing review and showed the world her new bag in an episode of her Vlogtober YouTube series. Thanks so much Amanda!
In that first month of being open, my shop completely sold out! Thank you to everyone who supported me! I had to get my screen back out and print a load more on a sunny day just before the Little Postcards finished school for half term!
Half term holidays
Half term was a bit of an odd one for us this year, Littlest had soccer school for most of the week and Eldest was away most of the time on work experience too, so it was just me and Middle Postcard for a lot of the time. Being a teenager, most of that time was spent in his bedroom and I made the most of the peace and quiet by beavering away on something special I’m working on for this month…. (I will reveal all very soon!).
In amongst the hard work, we had a trip to the Etihad campus in Manchester for a teenaged Covid jab. So that’s all bar Littlest done. I feel a lot happier about that now.
Anniversary of moving
As we were celebrating our first anniversary in our home, I decided to have a soirée to celebrate our first year on Saturday evening with the two families who helped us with our move a year ago. As it was Halloween weekend, we had to make the house look the part, so we had a go at pumpkin carving. I think we did pretty well.
I even had a go at carving a squash myself and crocheted one too for good measure!
The innards were used along with some Butternut Squash to make some spiced soup for our soirée and the pumpkins are now out in the garden so the birds and other creatures can enjoy them.
And that pretty much brings my October ramblings to a close. Apart from those boxes. Do you think I managed to get rid of them all?
Well no, but my excuse is that I need a new cupboard to store some of this stuff in, and I can’t find the right one, in the right colour and the right dimensions to fit in the space I want it to go in…. is that a good enough excuse?! I did get rid of about 12 others though – so it wasn’t a complete failure!
I hope October was good for you and that November is even better!
Hello there, I hope you’re enjoying your bank holiday! We’ve been enjoying the most glorious sunny and warm weather this weekend – it’s almost felt like being back in Gibraltar!
The wildlife has been enjoying the sun in the garden as much as I have!
Since I last wrote a postcard the fair came to town! Littlest was the only one who was interested so we had a trip on the dodgems and got wet bottoms from sitting in a puddle and then got whirled round on the twister. This though, was a step too far for us…..
In podcast news, Making Stitches is up for an award! If you have listened and think I deserve a vote, the voting is open until 19th June and you can vote for Making Stitches in the Specialist Interest category here.
The latest episode of Making Stitches featured the inspiring Heather Griffith from HG Designs Crochet. She told me all about her creative journey from a career in law to full time crochet designer. You can hear her episode here.
It’s finished – the vintage granny strip cardigan designed by Fran Morgan for Simply Crochet Magazine. My shortest creation (for me) from start to finish of about 6 weeks. I love it, and got it finished just in time for….
The Crochet Sanctuary!
On Saturday morning I drove to Knutsford in Cheshire for the Crochet Samctuary. I had wanted to attend a sanctuary for ages, I interviewed Lisa and Lynda-Rose the organisers back in March last year for the first episode of Making Stitches Podcast and on Saturday I got to meet them in person for the first time.
It was a wonderful day, full of crochet, lovely people and just chilling! I loved every minute and can highly recommend it if you get the chance to go yourself. The theme was cherry blossom and we made a lovely tea-cosy, napkin rings and egg cosy. I opted for two napkin rings in place of the egg cosy and am very pleased with them.
That’s all I’ve got for you this time. I hope life’s treating you well and that the sun’s been shining where you are.
Hello there! It’s been a while. I hope you’re ok. I went missing in action for a while there, there was no big reason, just didn’t feel the need to check into blogland. But I’m back, I just thought I’d pop in and say hi!
So what have I been up to lately? Well lots of stuff and nothing too. There has been some progress on unpacking the house (6 months after our move) thanks to a couple of trips to Ikea. However, despite this, the house seems to be a bigger mess than it was before for some reason. I guess we will get there in the end. There just seems to be so many other things which need doing too and progress on everything is slow. Here’s a quick recap on what I’ve been up to over the last few weeks…
I’ve been jabbed!
Last month, round about the time I went missing in action, I had my first Covid jab. I have to admit I didn’t have a great reaction to it as I was pretty unwell for a day or so – it felt a lot like when I had Covid last year – but I guess that means it’s working so I’m not complaining. Fingers crossed my next dose won’t have the same effect.
Football seems to have taken over my life in recent weeks. Littlest used to play for a team when we lived in Gibraltar and recently he got involved with a team over here in Manchester. We now have training twice a week and the possibility of two matches a week too to try to make up for lost time during the most recent lockdown. That may have had some bearing on my lack of visibility on here!! He’s loving it though, and the prospect of away matches means we have the perfect opportunity to explore some new locations not too far from home! This was my view from the touchline yesterday morning for his first ever match.
I have been taking part in the Instagram challenge by the talented amigurumi designer Ilaria Caliri called AmiguruMay this month. It’s given me the perfect opportunity to look back through my old photos to find my amigurumi creations of old! Here are a couple of old friends Rocksy & Gib! You can read about their exploits up the Rock here.
Blimey, I’ve been away so long that I’ve actually published not one, but two episodes of Making Stitches since I last checked in. The first was with a fellow blogger and hugely talented crochet designer Rosina of Zeens and Roger. Rosina and I started blogging around a similar time and have followed each other over the years, although Rosina has done very good things and achieved such a lot in the meantime!!
My next episode, which was published on Friday this week, features my conversation with the inspirational Sarah Corbett from the Craftivist Collective. I found our chat so inspiring and utterly fascinating. Sarah’s method of ‘gentle protest’ has had amazing results and she is keen for lots more crafters to get involved in her new project ahead of Cop26 in Glasgow this year.
You can listen to both of these episodes via this link.
In other news… I’ve been published!
I have been a fan and a subscriber to Simply Crochet magazine for years, and recently was given the opportunity to write an article for them. It was a call to action for crocheters to support their local yarn shops after this dreadful year of lockdowns and restrictions. I spoke to some lovely shop owners who were so generous with their time, and I feel very proud to have been published in this super magazine. Thank you Simply Crochet!
And that’s just about it for this postcard. Sorry I was away so long, I will try to do better next time! I hope life has been treating you kindly, and that you have a good week.
Hello there, I hope you’ve had a good week. It’s been a gloriously sunny one for us which has been a delight. Here’s what we’ve been up to this week…
Back in February/March I started planting seeds ready for summer, I now have two sweet pea wigwams planted up, broad beans, kale, dahlias and sweet corn seedlings. Plus I added to my crop with some baby bedding plants which are all sheltering in the summer house until the frosts have passed. I’m hoping for a colourful and tasty garden ahead.
Last Sunday we simply had to get out to enjoy the beautiful blue skies. We popped out for a walk to our local nature reserve. Isn’t the sky glorious?!
Beside the sea
In August last year, we made our first trip to Crosby on the coast just north of Liverpool. It’s just an hour’s drive from our home in Manchester. On Monday, we went back – our first trip out of the local area since well before Christmas. As you can see, we were so lucky with the weather.
We took a picnic with us and found a bench amongst the dunes. We had the place very nearly to ourselves. It was perfect!
I even managed some alfresco crochet for the first time this year!!
Littlest returned to school after his Easter holidays on Wednesday, so that gave us the perfect opportunity for a teenaged clothes shopping trip to the Trafford Centre (everyone had grown so much during lockdown!). The crowds of Monday shoppers had passed and we were in and out before midday. That was enough for us!!
We also managed to get three young men’s hair cut as well… it was a successful week. I can’t wait until my own appointment next week!
Matthew Downham, a textile artist from Wales was my guest on the latest episode of Making Stitches. Matthew, who spoke openly about the struggles he has had with anxiety told me how when he discovered sewing, he was able to channel his creativity. If you would like to listen to our chat, you can hear it by searching for Making Stitches on your favourite podcast app or via this link.
And that’s just about it for this week. I have one more day with two young men at home before everyone heads back to school. Time to get on with boring household jobs and less fun trips out. I fear the next Sunday Postcard won’t be quite as picturesque!
Whatever you’re up to, I hope you have a good week. Thanks for stopping by!
Hello there, thanks for stopping by. Before I begin this Postcard, I just want to say that I know this coming few days is going to be difficult for many people this year more than ever. Following the announcement yesterday of even tougher restrictions in parts of the UK, many people’s plans have been left in tatters.
I’m really sorry if you have seen your Christmas plans reduced or even cancelled, or if your work situation has been rocked even further after this turbulent year. I don’t know what I can say or do at this point other than say you are not alone, even if you are physically isolated. Do reach out if you need someone to talk to.
Now to the usual tripe! Apologies that this year I’m not sharing uplifting photos of the blue skies and seascapes of Decembers gone by in Gibraltar… my location has changed this year to a rather greyer but no less friendly and happy Manchester in spite of everything that’s going on. Here goes…
Final flat pack delivery
Finally after almost 2 months of living in our new home, our final furniture delivery of 2020 arrived a couple of weeks ago. Eldest now has a desk for his homework and I have a bookshelf for my crafty books – hurrah! That means several more boxes have been unpacked. They are getting less and less!
Keep on running!
My Couch to 5k training is continuing. I’m pleased to say I have now passed the point at which I stopped last time. Having a training buddy with me is a huge boon and makes us deliberately schedule in our runs, plus now we can hold a conversation most of the time too, so it feels like less of a chore! I snapped a brief bit of sunshine on one of the morning training sessions last week.
A Postcard birthday
We had a family birthday earlier in December – it gave me the chance to bake an old fashioned Victoria sponge with buttercream & jam filling. Yummy!
There are some super examples of Christmas decorations in the streets near where we live now. I am planning on taking the Little Postcards on a nocturnal walk to see them as soon as we get a dry night! I love Santa in the camper van and this house (below) has Santa projected onto an upstairs window complete with “Ho ho ho!” sound effects!
It’s just as well I’m running at the moment – there’s been a lot of cake-age going on Chez Postcard lately. Middle Postcard has been having to do his Food Tech lessons at home so last week was Swiss roll. The last time I made a Swiss roll I was at school!! It turned out alright. Although I would have preferred jam as a filling to chocolate spread – the chef had the final choice naturally.
In addition to baking there’s been model making on the go too. This is a waterfall which had to be produced for an end of term geography lesson. Hours of work went into it, I’m still finding paint splatters in the kitchen!!
I had to make a trip to the Trafford centre last week for a couple of Christmas bits. The joy of living close by means I can be there when it opens and before the hoards arrive. It was a successful trip and I was able to leave just as it was getting busy.
I got some very unexpected happy post this week… this pack of Scheepjes yarn and a super case of Knit Pro crochet hooks. I recently renewed my subscription to Simply Crochet magazine which had elapsed this year while we were moving about from house to house. I had received the magazine for several years while living in Gibraltar but as an overseas subscriber I never received a subscription gift. This time I did! Woo hoo! What a treat – thank you Simply Crochet!
Wasn’t the Strictly Come Dancing final glorious last night?! In the words of the great Craig Revel-Horwood, it was “Fab-u-lous”. The only problem was I had to keep stopping my crochet to give the dances my full attention! I love that Bill & Oti won – they were my favourites after Caroline & Johannes left.
So what was I working on whilst watching Strictly? My Crochet Sanctuary Christmas blanket CAL. Will it be finished by Christmas this year? Who knows? I’m trying though… I’m over half way…
Don’t look too closely at the unorthodox bobbles near the top… I did one bobble row 4 times because I kept miscounting it and getting it wrong, so when I discovered later on that I’d missed 3 bobbles a few rows back I couldn’t face unraveling and added them afterwards. Shhh! Don’t tell anyone!
Last Friday I released another episode of Making Stitches Podcast featuring a weaver called Agnis Smallwood. She spoke to me about how she first got into weaving, her enjoyment of passing the skills of weaving and other crafts onto her students and how she found colour inspiration in her lockdown veg patch. You can listen by searching for Making Stitches on your favourite podcast app.
And that brings this Sunday Postcard to a close. It’s been a funny old run up to Christmas, and my mind keeps being taken back to the many Christmases we enjoyed in Gibraltar. We may not be there right now, but it will forever stay with us, just as our Christmas tree is reminding us.
Wherever you are in the world, I hope you have a peaceful Christmas and are able to find joy in these coming days.
Hello! Happy Sunday. It’s a bit of a grey murky end of autumn kind of a Sunday for us here in Manchester. Not that it really matters to be honest seeing as we’re not supposed to be going out anywhere!
It’s been another busy two weeks of being busy but not actually achieving a whole lot of progress, so sorry I didn’t pop in last week. By the time my week was finished last week I was a bit tired so thought I’d make this week’s Postcard a longer one instead.
We’re all ok thankfully, although I have one teenager at home who has almost reached the end of his 2 week isolation after someone he sits close to at school tested positive for Covid. He hasn’t succumbed thankfully but is going spare because he loves to be out and about. (Others in the Postcard household would revel in the excuse to stay home). He, on the other hand, cannot wait to get back to school. It’s been hard for him poor thing.
So, what’s been going on lately Chez Postcard? Let’s see shall we?
Do you remember my trip to the Riverbank Café by the River Mersey with my friend in the last Postcard? Well before we were stuck with an isolating teen we all headed out for an afternoon stroll two weeks ago today. The sun was just about still in the sky and we enjoyed the golden light filtering through the leaves.
There was a lot of moaning and groaning about having a walk, but the hot chocolate was definitely worth the effort by the Little Postcards!
There’s a man outside my window!
Imagine my surprise when I looked out of my bedroom window to spy a man outside!! You don’t see that every day! He was giving the lovely mature tree outside our home a bit of a hair cut. I’m so glad they hadn’t come to cut it down!
What’s in the box?
We are slowing filling our new home with furniture (we left most of it behind in Gib to keep the removal costs down). Two weeks ago something I’ve been really looking forward to coming turned up. I was rather perturbed when I saw the box though! It didn’t look very ‘sofa-shaped’. I should have expected that really from IKEA!
This will now form my corner of the dining room where I can sit quietly and crochet while looking out at my new garden!
While Eldest has been at home and frustrated at being trapped indoors, he decided to have a go at cooking. I present to you vegetarian enchiladas and lemon drizzle cake. Both were a delight! I do hope he keeps this new hobby up once he’s allowed back outdoors!
Making plans for next spring…
I’ve been itching to do some gardening in my new garden but I’ve decided it’s better to just wait and see what appears in spring. I have been planting up some bulbs though. I have a few pots around the place filled with daffs, alliums, anemones and other bits and bobs so there should be some guaranteed spring colour next year.
I know I should really be thinking about gifts for Christmas but I went wild a few weeks ago and bought myself so bits & pieces. It’s such a treat when fun stuff comes through the door! I now have a needle punching set and a couple of new books to digest – not sure when I’ll have the time will come for me to read them or even make anything, but you never know!!
On the subject of crafty things…
At long last I have completed part 2 of the Crochet Sanctuary Christmas CAL – just 4 weeks behind! I’m loving how the dinky Christmas trees have appeared! Now on to part 3…
This week on Making Stitches I spoke to Emma Jones from the Vintage Sewing Box about her love of patchwork and the importance of craft for mental health. I also spoke to Lydia Wonham from The Apex Singers, a vocal group based in Manchester about their upcoming Christmas performance. They are a super group of young singers who make music which it magical. Please do give the episode a listen if you haven’t heard it yet.
Hello and happy Sunday to you, I hope the sun’s shining with you today. Here’s this week’s Sunday Postcard:
Last Sunday, much like today, we were enjoying some glorious sunshine here in the North West of England. We decided to make the most of what may well be our last few days of summer, packed a picnic and jumped into the car to head for Worden Park nearly Chorley in Lancashire.
We visited the park for the first time last summer after it was recommended by a family friend. It took about 45 mins to drive there from our home in Manchester along nice quiet motorways and we were rewarded with wide open spaces and beautiful trees. Long time readers of this blog will know I am a tree lover. You really need a bit of Vitamin Tree in your life every so often wouldn’t you agree?
Worden Park is basically the estate of a formerly grand house. The house is no longer standing but some of the outbuildings remain which are now artisan workshops and a lovely little tea room and some of the formal gardens have been retained too, including a rather stately yew tree which was planted by Queen Victoria (sadly I didn’t photograph that).
As we are in the market these days for outdoor walks where we won’t see too much of other people, Worden was perfect. Although many, many other people had been drawn out to enjoy the wide open spaces and fresh air, in the most part we were all well distanced away from them. It was a bit of a bottleneck in the formal garden (see above) although we quickly negotiated our way through there.
Although it felt warm enough to be a summer’s day, the first signs of autumn were in evidence as some of the leaves had started to turn. There will be an amazing show of colour here in the weeks to come I imagine.
I can never make up my mind how I feel about autumn. When I was away in Gibraltar for the past 11 years, where the seasons don’t have the same impact (mainly because the weather doesn’t change as dramatically and many trees there are evergreen), I really missed autumn. I had a real fondness for misty mornings, dew drops on cobwebs and crunching through fallen leaves.
Now that we are about to experience our first autumn back in England since our move, I’m looking forward to the colours which lie ahead (although sadly not the smells as my sense of smell is still to recover fully from Covid), but I’m also feeling a little sad that it marks the end of summer. I’m sure I’m not alone in that…
Perhaps the sense of uncertainty and unknown about the winter that we are heading into adds to that slight sense of unease about autumn too. Never mind, we will all go through it together, and all being well will be fine.
Sunny Monday morning
How about that for a sky? This is what I gazed up to after walking Littlest to school on Monday morning. What a belter. I can handle more of this kind of September weather thank you very much!
We had apple & bramble crumble for pudding one evening this week. It was very nice!
On the mend
Midweek I began to feel very tired, and then I succumbed to a rather nasty cold. The Little Postcards had it too in varying degrees but it hit me hardest. There was nothing for it other than to go to bed for a couple of days (well as much as you can do with young people to look after). I’m pleased to say I am now well and truly on the mend and even felt up to a bit of crochet . I really had better get a move on with this summery Little Box of Crochet wreath before winter!!
There was a Little Postcard birthday this week, there are now 2 teenagers in the house – wish me luck!!
Because of our current state of half unpacked/half packed-ness after our move from Gibraltar and our impending move to our ‘forever’ home, I have no idea where my cake tins are. So it was a shop bought birthday cake this time!
Making Stitches Podcast is back, my goodness I’ve missed making these episodes over the summer! This time I’ve decided to release an episode once a fortnight as weekly would be too much for me to manage at the moment bearing in mind we have another house move coming up in the next few months. This week I decided to revisit some of my guests from last series and get up to date with them.
You can find the podcast by searching for Making Stitches in your favourite podcast app or by clicking onto this link.
And that brings this week’s Sunday Postcard to an end. I hope this coming week is a good one for you!