Sunday Sevens #123 18.2.18

Hello there, I hope you are enjoying a chilled out Sunday. I’m making the most of the Little Postcards being engrossed in something to dash this out to you. Here’s this week’s installment of Sunday Sevens:

Farewell Queen Elizabeth

On Monday morning the Royal Navy’s brand new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth sailed past our home on her way to sea trials after making her first ever overseas port of call in Gibraltar. Here she is pictured passing the old naval defences of Parsons Lodge.

Dressmaking class

At my first dressmaking class for a fortnight I was able to get back to working on the dress I began designing before Christmas. It’s got an asymmetrical neckline complete with a frill, so in order to work out how it will all work out I have made a toile out of curtain lining fabric.

I am now trying to make the frill out of a jigsaw of scraps to figure out exactly what shape and size it needs to be before cutting any fabric for real. It’s been fun, but I am on a steep learning curve and have no idea how it will end up really!

Valentines Day sunshine

Valentine’s Day brought with it some glorious sunshine! I really enjoyed this lovely sunny time out and about while the boys were at school.

Watercolour class

No prizes for guessing the subject of my latest watercolour and ink creation! I enjoyed working on my irises last time that I decided to try another spring flower.

Rock fashion rocks!

On Friday, I managed to get to this fabulous exhibition of fashion. It featured work by Gibraltar designers over the past 40 years. The beautiful dresses above were created by my Dressmaking teacher, Dorcas Hammond. Hopefully there will be a blog post coming soon with a few more pictures of the gorgeous creations there.

Another project finished!

So this week, I finally managed to finish this crocheted shawl. It started life on the plane to Rome last summer and was worked on in a gîte in Carcassonne in southern France too before being forgotten about when we returned home. Over the past week and a bit I’ve been working away at it and I’m thrilled that it’s finished. I love how the colour of the Scheepjes Whirl yarn gradually changes. That’s my fourth WIP (work in progress) completed so far this year! 😊

By jingo Batman you’re in a fix!

I know I shouldn’t laugh, and no doubt this Batman balloon was meant for someone’s birthday party, but I had a bit of a chuckle when he caught my eye in the carpark yesterday. You would’ve thought that a superhero would be able to get down from up there wouldn’t you?!

I hope you have had a good week, I wonder what the next seven days will have in store for us?

I’m linking with Natalie from Threads & Bobbins for this weekly blog series.

Sunday Sevens #122 11.2.18

This week, Gibraltar was paid a visit by a very esteemed visitor; the new Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth. She called in at the Rock on her first overseas visit on her maiden voyage. Also this week, I’m very pleased to say that I’m well on the road to recovery after a nasty bout of bronchitis. I’m still coughing but slowly day by day I’m getting a bit more energy – hallelujah for that. Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens.

Storm damage

In last week’s Sunday Sevens I mentioned the stormy weather we experienced at the start of the week. On Sunday, while I was tucked up in bed Mr Postcard headed out for a walk and took this photo of some of the damage caused at Camp Bay. The force of the waves must have been immense to send those rocks and chunks of concrete so far!

Happy mail

My Instagram feed has been filled with beautiful rainbow crochet projects of late and luck would have it that a certain Little Postcard has requested a rainbow blanket after his brother received his green granny square one a few weeks ago. That gave me the perfect excuse to order some new brightly coloured yarn! It arrived on Monday – just right kind of pick me up after a weekend of feeling pretty rough. I just have to resist the temptation to rush headlong into another project without finishing some of my half done ones first!

Another project completed!

My New Year’s resolution to complete all of my on going craft projects is continuing apace. Work-in-progress number 3 is complete! This started life in the summer of 2016 when I had been planning to make a blanket to match the new colour of our bedroom walls (mint green in case you were wondering). Inspired by the colours of the beach huts at Southwold I started hooking up these solid circle in a square granny squares.

It soon became apparent that you need an awful lot of these to cover a king size bed, so I ran out of steam and enjoyment for the project. Recently I heard about a children’s hospital in Romania which a friend of mine regularly visits. She volunteers over there and cuddles babies who are in need of some love and affection. This blanket will be joining her on her next trip.

Sunset after a very grey day

Mid week was a rather grey affair. We did get a nice fleeting sunset on Wednesday evening though.

Watercolour class

I felt well enough to return to my watercolour class on Thursday. I finished the painting I started a couple of weeks ago. I’m pleased with the finished result and think I’d like to try this technique again.

Welcome to Gibraltar Queen Elizabeth!

On Friday morning HMS Queen Elizabeth, the Navy’s new aircraft carrier arrived in Gibraltar. It’s the first overseas visit on her maiden voyage. She’ll head off on more sea trials when she leaves here. It was quite a majestic sight to see as she cruised into the Bay.

I tweeted the photo in the bottom left hand corner (above) of the ship coming into view around the Rock . I may have gone viral (well viral for my usual standards) as I type, it’s been viewed over 12,000 times – crikey!

An early start to the weekend

We were up bright and early yesterday dropping someone off to catch an early coach to Malaga airport. Where we live, facing west we only get to see the sun setting. Yesterday we were lucky to be able to see this lovely sunrise. Even better, we went back home and got back into bed for a bit! 6:30 is too early to get up on a Saturday!!

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you have a good week.

I’m linking with Natalie from Threads & Bobbins for the Sunday Sevens weekly blog series.

Sunday Sevens #121 4.2.18

Hello there, I hope you have had a good week. Mine didn’t exactly go to plan, it started well, but ended with me under the weather with bronchitis :-(. Needless to say there are no glorious photos of the Med Steps this week, as much of it has been spent flat on my back in bed! Never mind, these things are sent to try us and I’m slowly getting better. Onwards and upwards….

Stormy Sunday

Last Sunday we saw the beginning of a period of stormy weather. We decided to head to the cinema in the afternoon as it certainly wasn’t a day for the park. By the time we had emerged tree branches were strewn across the road, at one point an entire tree was sitting chopped up  on the pavement after coming down in the gale force winds and closing a road for a time. We had managed to miss all the drama, oblivious in the cinema!

On Sunday night the winds came back with a vengeance. We were remarkably sheltered where we are positioned as the wind was coming from the east and we were protected by the Rock. In the North District, at Europa Point and in town, however, it was a totally different matter. A roof was rippped off an industrial building close to the foot of the Med Steps, a wall of scaffolding several stories high was blown down from a tower block which is under construction in Ocean Village and many trees and buildings sustained damage. It was quite a storm. Amazingly just one person was injured, and that wasn’t seriously. Just a few hours later and the roads and pavements would have been busy with school children and people heading to work, it could’ve been so much worse.

Cosy crochet

As it was too dangerous to attempt our usual Monday morning trip up the Med Steps I was able to complete the latest section of Eleonora from Coastal Crochet’s Crochet-Along. I’m really enjoying this project as it’s being drip fed to us twice weekly in small manageable chunks. On previous attempts at such things I have fallen by the way-side a few weeks in, unable to sustain the momentum to complete the 20 or so rows each week. You can find the details for this project in my last Sunday Sevens if you fancy joining in yourself.

Stormy skies

On Tuesday morning I wasn’t able to park in my usual car park of choice as it was already full at 8 minutes past 9! Presumably people had left their cars overnight as the traffic problems caused by Monday’s storms were rather bad. The commercial entry to Gibraltar from Spain was closed in order to try and ease some of the traffic problems. Several roads were closed because of the scaffolding collapse and that caused chaos.

I digress, anyway I ended up parking on the road surrounding the small boats marina as I couldn’t find anywhere else to park. I did so with a touch of trepidation as the day before had seen high seas and big waves crashing into buildings close to the sea. Would my car still be there when I returned at lunchtime from my sewing class?? Yes, thank goodness it was, it looked like it had had a bit of a drenching from a wave or two but it was otherwise intact.

It’s finished!!

Just one year late, I finished my wedding skirt at Dressmaking class. The hem is done (believe me there’s a lot of hem on the skirt and the lining – I was taking forever!). I’m really pleased with the finished article. It’s too late for last spring’s two family weddings, so it’s on standby for the next big occasion.

Super blue blood moon

Heavy cloud and rain overnight meant we didn’t get to see the super blue blood moon on Wednesday night. We did, however, see it over the Bay on Thursday morning. It didn’t have the orangey red tinge of the dramatic photos from elsewhere in the world but it did look a lot closer and very bright.

Plenty of time to read

So I mentioned before that I ended up in bed with bronchitis. I had been coughing since Saturday but by Tuesday afternoon (after dressmaking) I was feeling decidedly rough and it got worse from there. I spent an awful lot of time on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday asleep when I possibly could. And when not sleeping, I read. I’m not a huge reader these days as I often spend what free time I have doing crafty stuff, but I couldn’t really be bothered with that at all.

This week I managed to start and complete Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood which was really gripping and I’d recommend it. I will now seek out the Netflix series of the same name to see how it compares to the book. I also began a book which has been sitting on my Kindle waiting to be read for a while; Shadow of the Rock (Spike Sanguinetti) by Thomas Mogford. The story follows an investigation carried out by a Gibraltarian Lawyer (Spike Sanguinetti) and it’s quite refreshing to read about a place I now know so well, as the first part is set in Gibraltar itself.

Blue skies return!

I began the week with a photo of the Bay of Gibraltar and I will end the week with one too. This was taken late yesterday afternoon as the sun was setting on a beautiful warm day. I spent a bit of time sitting out on the balcony reading as I didn’t have the energy for much more than that, but it was lovely to feel the warmth of the sun after a week of pretty miserable and cold weather.

I hope the next seven days are good for you, and I hope to have a few more inspiring photos for you next week too. Hopefully I will have a mid-week post for you as well, I ran out of steam on that this week…. Thanks for stopping by!

I’m linking with Natalie at Thread & Bobbins for this weekly blog series.

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Sunday Sevens #120 28.1.18

Hello there and welcome to this edition of Sunday Sevens. I hope you have had a good week. Our lovely weather of late is changing sadly so perhaps this might be the last Sunday Sevens with clear blue skies for a while, so for that reason there are eight pictures not seven this week. I have a feeling next week’s Sunday Sevens will be on the grey side….. Anyway, here it is:

Finished at last!

Last Sunday I finished the last row of the border and weaved the million endy bits in, to complete this green blanket for a certain Little Postcard with a penchant for all things green. It was started as a Christmas gift for Christmas 2016 and actually was going to be based on Minecraft blocks (hence the solid squares). I’m not the best at sticking to a project however, so when it became apparent I wouldn’t hit the December 2016 deadline it was put away for another time. In the meantime, the fascination with Minecraft waned slightly so I opted for just green squares (with a bit of blue variegated yarn too) and a grey border to bring it all together. He’s very happy with his new blanket and snuggles under it on his bed at night time now – perhaps it was worth the wait!

Sunday evening by the water

On Sunday evening we went into Ocean Village for a spot of dinner and as we headed for home were greeted by this lovely view. The sunset was almost gone but the colours of the sky and the Sunborn boat hotel lights looked pretty reflected in the water.

Coastal Crochet CAL (Crochet-along)

As I mentioned in last week’s Sunday Sevens I’ve been cracking on with the Coastal Crochet CAL this week and thankfully Eleonora began this week’s pattern with a reminder to check the stitch count on the blanket so far. It turns out that watching Netflix while working on a foundation chain isn’t a good idea … my first week’s progress was based on 136 stitches and not the 180 it should have been – whoops! I had to start again, needless to say and I’m back on track now – phew!

Car Park Rainbows

I love the way the louvred windows in the new multi-storey carpark make rainbows. I decided to be healthy and take a trip down the stairs this week rather than using the lift and I was rewarded by this rainbow display.

Sacred Heart in the Golden Hour

A late afternoon trip to Upper Town gave me this fab view of Sacred Heart Church during the ‘golden hour’ as the sun was about to set. I have featured the beautiful ceiling inside this church a couple of times before in my posts, but I thought you might like to see it from the outside if you aren’t familiar with Gibraltar.

Watercolour class

In my watercolour class this week, I tried something totally different. I’m using ink to outline my sketch before filling in the colour with watercolours later. I’ve never done something like this before and it was good fun, it even turned out looking like I wanted it to (I’m not the world’s best at drawing – I prefer to attempt to use the paint to make my pictures). Time will tell whether I completely make a mess of it with the paint or not… watch this space!

Dockyard sunshine

I found myself in the industrial estate beside the Dockyard at the end of this week. I don’t often show the more industrial side of Gibraltar as most of the time I get bowled over with views of the beaches and the Med Steps. I thought the view through this big arched shed was pretty with the sun shining on Spain in the distance.

Med Steps training

I know I have already reached seven photos and this one will take me up to Sunday Eights, but I had to include it. I heard that our lovely sunny weather won’t last, so yesterday I made the most of the last of the sun and headed up the Med Steps as I might not get the chance to go again for a few days. It was beautiful up there. This photo was taken looking south west across the Strait towards Morocco at the start of the walk before you get onto the Eastern side of the Rock. In the foreground you can just about make out the building site where diggers are excavating the foundations of the new sports facilities which are being built in time for Gibraltar to host the Island Games in 2019.

Unfortunately the sunshine hasn’t lasted, as forecast a few days ago, the storms have come. As I type the wind is rattling our old wooden sash windows and shutters and when we were out this afternoon we saw that several trees have been damaged by the gusty winds already. Apparently gales are coming this evening along with thunder storms, so it could make for an interesting night. Where ever you are tonight, I hope you are safely tucked up indoors safe and well. Have a great week!

I’m linking with Natalie at Threads and Bobbins for this weekly blog series.

Sunday Sevens #119 21.1.18

After last week’s sad demise of my trusty iPhone after 3 years of loyal service, I was very fortunate to have Mr Postcard buy me a new one (hooray!). As a result, normal Sunday Sevens service is restored and I have lots of photos to celebrate. Here’s this week’s edition of Sunday Sevens…

Sunshine after the rain

Last Sunday was a rather damp, grey and dull affair but we were treated to a rather lovely sunset. It’s amazing how a little bit of sunshine, even if it’s fleeting, can lift the spirits.

Joining squares

One of my many New Years resolutions was to finish some of the many on-going WiPs (works in progress) I have going on. This blanket was begun back in the summer of 2016, when I undertook my first Summer Craft Challenge.

The plan had initially been to create a blanket for our bed, but it soon became apparent that that would require a gazillion squares and I kind of ran out of oomph. Recently, I became aware of a place which is in need of small blankets for needy children, so I decided to pick up where I left off and get cracking with this again. When it’s complete I’ll show you how it ends up.

Dressmaking class

Over Christmas I was supposed to go shopping for some new fabric for my next dressmaking project in class. Unfortunately I failed in that matter. The local fabric shop in Gibraltar is up for sale and their stock is quickly dwindling. I had hoped to pop over to Spain to buy some fabric from a shop in La Linea, but unfortunately didn’t reckon on the whole 3 Kings holidays so that rather scuppered my purchase too. So, when it came to my dressmaking class this week, I decided to take one of my WiPs out of storage and use my time fruitfully pushing that towards the final straight.

Those of you who have been following my Sunday Sevens for a while may remember this skirt which was supposed to be made for me to wear to two special family weddings last year. I ended up falling in love with a dress in a shop window and that ended up being my wedding outfit, while this skirt was rather, well, forgotten about. Now it’s back out of its bag and ironed, I think I rather like it again, so I got busy on the hems. We’re not finished yet, but I’m heading in the right direction.

Med Steps training

I have managed to get up the Med Steps a couple of times this week. The first trip was on Wednesday, when it was gloriously sunny. Although we did have a water feature to get our socks wet in. A fresh water pipe which was coming out of the Rock high up above our heads had burst and for part of the route, the path had effectively become a stream. It made conditions a bit slippy underfoot. We reported it to the wardens but they were waiting for the appropriate authorities to come out and fix it. As it was high up on the Rock, it wasn’t a straight forward job.

The next day, Thursday, we went back up and what a difference a day makes! The two photos below were taken 24 hours apart. It was very blustery and grey but on a positive note, the water leak had been fixed, so we didn’t get wet feet this time!

Fabric shopping

On Wednesday, after my trip up the Steps I happened upon a good idea. I had been racking my brains on when I would get the chance to get into Spain to buy my dressmaking fabric whilst the Little Postcards were at school, and in between all my other commitments, when I suddenly realised it was Wednesday and that’s market day in La Linea. The market stands just on the other side of the border between Gibraltar and Spain, and is easily walkable from Gib in just a few minutes.

I keep meaning to visit the market but there always seems to be something which I need to do on a Wednesday morning, and I always forget until it’s too late. This week, though, I remembered. I’m ashamed to say that after eight and a half years of living in Gibraltar, this week was only my second visit to the market. Thankfully, my memory served me well and they did have fabric stalls. After much mooching I found some black stretchy satin and black crepey fabric for my next project. Here’s hoping I bought the right thing or I’ll be going back again next week!

My Year of Colour

Over on Instagram this week, there has been a mini trend of creating your year of colour. I thought I would have a go myself and was rather pleased with this rainbow of bright dots. The idea is, that the year of colour website sifts through all your photographs from the past year and picks out the predominant colours and weighs up how popular certain photos were before generating your year of colour. It’s just a bit of fun, but I enjoyed playing with the site.

Watercolour production line

I was on a bit of a roll at my watercolour class this week, working on three paintings at once! I finished last week’s jam jar posy, did some cyclamen in a pot and had a go at some purple foliage in another jam jar.

Another crochet project

I know, I know I didn’t need another new crochet project when I have others on the go (2 x blankets, 2 Little Box of Crochet projects, 2 shawls & 2 unicorns waiting in the wings) but I just couldn’t resist. I’m joining along with Eleonora of Coastal Crochet and her Seaside Stash-busting blanket CAL (crochet-along) well, it is stash-busting so it’s got to be a good thing right? Each week Eleonora will publish four rows of her pattern for you to crochet along with. I think I can manage 4 rows a week… maybe. Check out her blog or Instagram (@coastalcrochet) for all the details.

So there you have it, a rather longer than usual Sunday Sevens, but then I did have a new camera phone to play with. I hope you have had a good week this week and that the next seven days are kind to you. Thanks for stopping by!

I’m linking with Natalie from Threads and Bobbins for the Sunday Sevens weekly blog series.

Sunday Sevens #118 14.1.18

Hello there, I hope you’ve had a good week. This week my trusty iPhone gave up the ghost and packed in after 3 years of loyal service. I managed to limp it through most of the week with a battery pack but it conked out for good (I think) on Thursday. As a consequence, I haven’t taken too many photos, so that’s why there are clusters rather than pictures of more events.

Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens…

Med Steps training

On Sunday I went for a gentle climb up the Med Steps accompanied by Eldest. It was nice to wander up leisurely and stop for more breathers than I do usually. It gave us the chance to admire the interesting clouds which were about as well as some of the wildlife.

Weird weather

This pink sky, complete with a rather strangely coloured rainbow is the sight that greeted us first thing on Monday morning. The first school run of 2018 was a rather soggy affair as the heavens opened just in time for us leaving home! I guess we have been very lucky over the Christmas break to be blessed with some fabulously sunny days so I can’t complain too much.

As the day wore on the skies cleared and school pick up just about stayed dry for us. In the afternoon we were faced with a sky of two halves!

MedSteps training

Wednesday was a beautiful day and in the morning I headed up the Med Steps for the third time in this Sunday Sevens week (I also did Tuesday). This was the beautiful view which me and my training buddy enjoyed near to the top.

Early on in the climb we were overtaken by a team of military men, some running up the route, naturally we stood to the side and let them past. When we reached the top, they were waiting there and congratulated us for completing the steep walk. It turned out they were waiting for a few of their party which had yet to finish. I’ll take that as a win!

Watercolour class

It was so nice to get back to my watercolour painting class this week. It had stopped over the Christmas break and it was great to get back to it again. I thought I’d have a go at painting a glass jar and was quite pleased with how it turned out. I still need to finish the flowers next week.

Car fire drama

We had a bit of drama on Thursday lunchtime. A car caught fire right next to my friend’s apartment. The flames came up to the height of her first floor windows so we had to hide behind the wall for fear that the car engine might explode. The fire brigade arrived pretty quickly and had the fire under control within minutes. Thankfully no one was hurt, but it was rather scary.

That’s all there is for Sunday Sevens this week. What ever you are up to in the next seven days I hope they are good ones for you.

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins.

Sunday Sevens #117 7.1.18

Hello and welcome to the first Sunday Sevens of 2018. After all that build up, the festivities seem to have passed in a flash and we’re one week into the New Year already. Schools in Gibraltar go back tomorrow (hooray!) and life is returning back to normal. Let’s rewind a bit though and look back at New Year’s Eve…

Happy New Year!

We brought in the New Year in Spain. We ran away for a few days and did things like play Cluedo, table tennis, swimming and chilling out. It was a really lovely break. The hotel next to our resort laid on the most impressive fireworks display. We have stayed in the same place a couple of times before and in the past the only fireworks locally were a few rockets set off by families living nearby. This time it was something else.

Starting as I mean to go on!

Within half an hour of us arriving home in Gibraltar on Monday morning, I had my trainers on and I headed up the Med Steps for my first of many climbs (I hope) this year. It’s been a few months since my last visit and the first signs of spring were in evidence with these beautiful narcissi dotted along the pathway.

The view from the top was so clear, Africa looked so close!

Morning moonlight

I believe it’s a ‘wolf moon’ that we had on New Year’s Day and into the 2nd. Here it is just as it was about to disappear behind the hills above Algeciras on Tuesday morning. This beautiful image was captured by Mr Postcard on his way to work. Just as well he took it – I was fast asleep!!

Child cruelty

As the schools in Gibraltar haven’t started back yet after the Christmas break, I have had three Little Postcards at home this week. We had beautiful weather for much of it and it felt criminal to stay indoors, so I dragged them out with me and took them for a steep walk up the Rock.

We started from the centre of town and walked up to Princess Caroline’s Battery from where we could spy on the city below and watch the comings and goings at the airport. I was an awful mother, taking them away from their devices, making them walk miles and miles up a ‘vertical hill’ (their words not mine). But I did get them ice cream at the top and in hindsight they said they enjoyed it ;-).

Being tourists

Last month, Gibraltar’s newest tourist attraction opened – a viewing platform to see the entrance to Gorham’s Cave and Vanguard Cave. They are part of the UNESCO World Heritage site we have here in Gibraltar and the site of significant archaeological discoveries relating to the Rocks earliest inhabitants. We decided to pay it a visit this week and enjoyed a really informative talk by our guide. It’s well worth a visit.

Three Kings Cavalcade

Friday was 5th January and that meant it was time for the annual Three Kings Cavalcade in Gibraltar. After a decline in the number of floats in recent years, there was a lot more out in time for the 61st Cavalcade. Local businesses, community groups and even families put on elaborate floats to delight the crowds. This marvelous fish was on a float made entirely of recycled materials – what a fabulous idea!

That’s all for Sunday Sevens this week, a week in which I launched my Friday Photo Challenge and was overwhelmed by the response. Thanks very much to everyone who’s taken part so far!

I’m linking with Natalie from Threads and Bobbins for this weekly blog series.