Sunday Sevens #17 7.2.16

Back to class 

  As all the little postcards returned to school this week fit and well, I was able to return to my sewing and watercolour classes. Home furnishings and dressmaking didn’t yield any inspiring photos this week so I only have watercolour represented here today. Inspired by the photos I’ve been taking for my Stroll around Gibraltar posts I have decided to have a go at painting some of the things I’ve been snapping. In this photo I was trying out different techniques including cling film, wax, bubble wrap and salt to get watercolour effects for my current painting. So far it’s going well but I want to wait until it’s finished to show you. 😉

A big noisy plane  At football training this week we were entertained by watching this huge RAF plane take off. It was enormous, the photo doesn’t do it justice. The noise was pretty awesome too. How on earth it got off the ground – I have no idea!!

 Fairies at the bottom of our patio? 

On a trip to hang out the washing this week I spied a couple of cheeky toadstools which had popped up in one of the flowerbeds on our patio. As they are associated with cool damp weather, winter/spring is a good time for them here as the autumns tend to be pretty dry.

Hot pink!

The bougainvillea on our patio’s doing well too at the moment.   

Blossom’s out
And just look – the orange and lemon trees are blossoming! We have just 3 or 4 flowers open so far but the smell… Ahh it’s divine! 

Europa Point in the sunshine
Saturday was a beautiful day again and we took the scooters out for a trip to the park at Europa Point. Our eldest opted out of the trip so that meant I was able to use his scooter and joined in the fun!!We scooted round the park, past the lighthouse and along the promenade above the crashing waves below. It was great fun and of course ended with ….

 Ice cream! 

It would have been very rude not to, don’t you think?? I can personally vouch for the chocolate variety – it was delicious! 

I hope you have had a good week. Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie at Threads & bobbins.

  

Sunday Sevens #9 13.12.15

 Knitted nativity

  

This gorgeous knitted nativity scene greeted us when we arrived at church on Sunday morning. The entire church (St Andrews Church of Scotland) had been decked out in it’s Christmas finery ahead of the annual Carols by Candlelight service on Sunday night. Sadly we couldn’t attend the atmospheric evening service this year due to several in the family becoming under the weather with coughs and sniffles. It’s a real highlight in the church’s year and brings a bumper congregation with many standing at the back when the pews fill up. The service was recorded by GBC to be broadcast in the Christmas schedules on Radio Gibraltar and our local TV channel GBC.  The knitted nativity appears each year and just looks so lovely – so much work must have gone into creating it.

Please allow me a little grumble…

 
Not the most inspiring photo I know (apologies for that) but it highlights a grumble I have about food shopping in Gibraltar. Mr Postcard went supermarket shopping on Sunday (5th December) and came home with this packet of Corn on the Cob. Can you spot what I’m about to grumble about? The date has partially been cut out of the packaging so that it could still be sold at full price. It’s a common occurrence in the fruit and veg section as swedes often have their labels ripped off and new ones attached when they have passed their sell by dates. Other veg get the same treatment too. 

Yes I know it’s our own fault for buying it in the first place, but if you really want an ingredient for your dinner and the only one available is out of date you have to take it, there isn’t a huge amount of choice when it comes to food shopping here. I agree with selling food which is out of date, but still edible, rather than dumping it in landfill but I think it’s extremely cheeky to try and hoodwink the customer with such tactics and charge full price for items when you wouldn’t be allowed to do this in the UK. Rant over, thank you!

Race against time  

So many gifts to make, such little time! Will this one be finished in time for Christmas or will it just get put to the end of the list for a birthday present instead?! Why do I set myself such unrealistic goals? I guess it’s the lot of so many crafters. At what stage do you give up on your Christmas gift to – make list and hit the shops instead? Perhaps if I spent less time online, that would help ;-D.

Buttons… Buttons… Buttons… 

Well another milestone was reached at my dressing class this week: button holes! It may have taken 18, yes 18 attempts at practicing them before I was allowed to go near cutting them or sewing actual buttons on a sample, but my persistence paid off and I did it! Next challenge: a centred zip (rather than one under a flap, which I’ve already done), then work properly begins on skirt no 2 🙂
Christmas cards 
On this issue, I wasn’t so successful. I’m sorry to say that I quit. I must have printed over 20 in various states of disarray with upside down wording and white borders in the wrong place, so I’ve decided to paint a few small cards for the ‘special’ people and have bought the usual ones for everyone else. I shall, however, get some cards printed PROPERLY in time for Christmas next year. On a positive note, I’m really pleased with how my holly turned out, and at least I still have that, so it’s not been a complete waste of time. 

Cooking with small people

  

My 7 year old came home from school recently saying he wanted us to cook a recipe he’d tried at school – this week we managed to gather all the (out of season) fruit for the ‘stew’ he took great delight in washing and stirring the fruit and it was delicious!

Parties galore  

It’s been parties galore for us lately, umpteen Christmas parties with various groups and clubs as well as a superhero birthday party for a friend’s 5 year old. The party bag yielded an old favourite I remember playing with with my brother many moons ago. Sadly this Spitfire didn’t last long in the hands of a 4 year old but it was fun while it lasted!
Sunday sevens in a weekly blog series linking up with Natalie at Threads and Bobbins.

Operation Ant : this is war!

   
We’ve got squatters, small six legged brown and black squatters and they’re starting to get on my nerves. I have declared war on the ants who think it perfectly acceptable to crawl into our apartment uninvited and have a party. We’ve had minor skirmishes before and managed to send them packing but this time they’ve come back, and they’ve got reinforcements. 

Every time I carefully go around the place collecting up any discarded juice cups, wrappers or crumbs and think I’ve successfully thwarted their attempts to take hold, I discover they’ve found a new source of nourishment and they’re back again! It just takes one stray crumb of bread missed by the dustpan and brush, a quarter of an oven chip dropped at the dining table, half a biscuit down the back of the sofa or a half drunk tumbler of juice and the little blighters have called all their mates round for a rave. I don’t leave food out to tempt them, the kitchen bin gets emptied regularly – I just don’t know why they’ve targeted us with their shenanigans. I guess it’s a price I have to pay for living in a warm climate, but I’m not happy about it!

We’ve had a few insect related encounters during our time here in Gibraltar – by far the worst being cockroaches. In our first rental apartment, we saw them on a few odd occasions. The most revolting encounter was so traumatic that it actually cured me of morning sickness! I arrived home from the school run one morning very green and in need of a bacon butty (the only thing which would keep the symptoms at bay). As I lifted the glass lid over the stove, I found a big shiny cockroach sheltering underneath on the hot plates. All feelings of nausea evaporated to be replaced by utter disgust and anger that it had had the nerve to take up residence in my house. It must have flown in through the open kitchen window – it was soon flying back out again! My morning was then spent scrubbing and disinfecting everything.

In our next apartment, it was moths that we took issue with. Not the kind which eat holes in clothes, the kind that can chew through plastic packaging and lay their eggs in pasta, rice, biscuits, cereal, yuck, yuck, yuck. We lost well over £100 worth of food in a store cupboard infestation and had to buy loads of new plastic storage boxes to keep all our food safe from them returning!

I guess in comparison to our previous experiences, ants are pretty tame but I still don’t want them in my home! We’ve got history, me and the ants. We found them coming in through a loose tile on the balcony so I bought some time grout and Mr Postcard reattached the tile rendering their point of entry blocked. We went to bed that night feeling triumphant. What did we find the next morning? The little so-and-sos hadn’t just broken through the new grouting, they’d actually picked up the tile and moved it along so they could fit through again!!

I’ve seen them come in from under the bath, above the bathroom door and through the window frames. I’m finding it hard to seal up all their entry points. I’ve used ant killing spray cans, bait traps, ant powder and Japanese oil of peppermint (as they don’t like the smell). All of them work to some degree but it’s an ongoing battle and I’m really not happy about using nasty chemicals so use them sparingly. 

I’ve done my research though this time and there’s a whole host of non-toxic items I can try out from flour to chalk, cayenne pepper to cinnamon, lemons, talc and white vinegar. I will not be beaten, I’m on the warpath and I will win my home  back from these little menaces, just watch me! 

If you have any tried and tested methods of dealing with these little pests, please do share them. Thank you for all the kind messages I’ve received since my last post on Sunday regarding my little accident. I’m feeling much better now, my hobbling has improved and my bruises are developing a rather fetching green hue.