Monthly Meet-up January : Sparkle

Throughout 2017 I took part in the weekly photo challenges set by Nana Cathy and Wild Daffodil. This year, they have both decided to take a break from setting this particular challenge. Instead, Sandra at Wild Daffodil has started a monthly meet-up with a prompt for you to share photos or blog posts you may have which are appropriate for that prompt.

This is the first of the monthly meet-ups for 2018 and January’s word is Sparkle. What better way to start the year’s new blog series than with some sparkly fireworks from New Years Eve?

As I enjoyed taking part in Sandra and Cathy’s photo challenge last year so much, and I thought I would miss having a weekly photo post, I have decided to launch my very own photo challenge for 2018. Starting this Friday will be the 2018 Friday Photo Challenge. The first prompt is aptly ‘New Beginnings’ and if you would like to join in, just tag me in your post and I will share any entries each month as we go along.

Do join in if you fancy it, there’s no pressure to get involved each week if that’s too much of a commitment, just dip in and out if you like. The full list of prompts will be published with the first Friday Photo Challenge post this Friday.

Sunday Sevens #116 31.12.17

Well here we are on New Year’s Eve 2017. What a scary thought, another year older (not sure whether I’m much wiser though). A year when I was lucky enough to be offered new challenges and be able to take them. A year when my blog-friends have stuck with me despite not having much time for them in return. Thank you all.

I guess if you can get to the end of a year feeling thankful, it’s been a good one for you. I know it hasn’t been plain sailing for some of you, but I sincerely hope that 2018 brings better things your way.

Here’s my end of 2017 edition of Sunday Sevens:

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve afternoon was spent at the park at Europa Point, it was unusually quiet (unlike how it probably was on Christmas Day or Boxing Day with children testing out their new bikes and scooters). We spent over 2 hours playing football, swinging on swings and climbing (well I played the football – not sure the swings were built for my age group) in the hope that the fresh air would help aid excited Little Postcards doze off ahead of the arrival of Santa. We were there so long that the sun started to set. With tummies rumbling for dinner, we headed home…

Christmas Day

The fresh air worked – they did get to sleep eventually! I’m pleased to report that Santa came and everyone was pleased with their Christmas morning surprises. The best bit about Christmas for me, apart from being with loved ones has to be the food…

Boxing Day in Marbella

When I was a child we used to go for a Boxing Day walk in the north Cheshire countryside near to where I grew up. We’d have turkey butties and a thermos flask with coffee in (maybe with a tot of whiskey when I was old enough – to keep out the cold). We’d crunch through frozen puddles or squelch along muddy canal tow-paths. I fear we are raising Southern softies…. this is where we came to on Boxing Day, an hour or so’s drive from home.

Christmas crochet

I started this project just over a year ago as a Christmas present for last year, as you can see it’s still very much still in progress. Hopefully I’ll get it done by next Christmas!!

Blue skies

We had some mixed weather over the Christmas break, some rain and stormy winds (we tried and failed to fly kites it was too gusty), but we did get a couple of days with magnificent blue skies. There’s no filter on this photo – it really was that blue!

It’s begun…

My actual weight is a secret between me and my Fitbit, but crumbs I got an unpleasant surprise when I stood on the scales this week. Well perhaps it wasn’t that much of a surprise – you kind of know when you’ve over indulged and your profile is slightly more Michelin man than Olympic athlete.

So I have begun my new regime, I have to get fitter again – less than six months ago I climbed the Med Steps five times in less than 4 and a half hours, I feel like I would struggle to do it once, something’s got to give (and it’s not my waist band).

So here’s to 2018 and health and happiness and a slightly smaller waist! Happy New Year!

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

Review of 2017

Crumbs, it’s looking awfully like we are on the cusp of another New Year, it surely can’t be a whole year since the last one, it’s gone far too fast. I guess now’s as good a time as any to have a look back at some of my Postcard from Gibraltar highlights from the past 12 months….

January 2017

A new year meant a new challenge for me this year, a photo challenge. Last year I read Nana Cathy’s blog and was intrigued by her weekly photo challenge. When January came around I thought I’d join in myself. It’s been such fun and quite inspiring throughout the year to have weekly prompts to find pictures for. If you fancy joining in check out Wild Daffodil’s blog for more information.

Also in January I joined forces with my friend Kate of H and FlossieDoodle to start the Gibraltar Crochet Collective. We did meet weekly to crochet and chat over coffee although our meetings have got less and less frequent due to other commitments lately. Our mascots Gib and Rocksy went for a bit of an adventure.

Another new project for me this month was my podcast, you can find my blogposts and the related podcasts here.

February 2017

In February I ran my Creative Gibraltar series looking at some of the very talented craftspeople who live in Gibraltar. I began with my lovely watercolour teacher Deborah M Lawson and ended with local craftswoman and up-cycling guru Sue Orfila. February also brought us the 2017 installment of Gib Talks. I was also fortunate to be able to speak to Gib Talks organiser Julian Felice before the event for one of my podcasts.

March 2017

March was a month for Lenten crochet (far easier than giving up chocolate) which helped support the Sixty Million Trebles effort, a beautiful Suffolk family wedding and a sad goodbye to our rescue bunny Snowflake.

April 2017

April began for us in Southwold in Suffolk, one of our favourite places and involved a lot of Med Steps training, which was very handy for burning off those seaside fish and chips! I was also able to finish another Sixty Million Trebles blanket – this one from the Gibraltar Crochet Collective.

May 2017

May meant Med Steps 5 Challenge again this year and I even managed to beat my time from last year! You can hear my podcast about it here. We also flew back to the UK for our second family wedding of the year.

June 2017

June started for us in Wigan in Lancashire, the location of our latest wedding and the perfect setting for a lovely walk. It was also the Calentita! food festival in Gibraltar. (For some reason the same aerial photo of Gibraltar appeared in May and June’s collages – not sure why that was. It is a good photo though don’t you think?).

July 2017

In July our big summer of travel began with a trip up to the North West of England and a flying visit to North Wales. We also drove to Portugal.

August 2017

This has got to be my most cosmopolitan of all months, featuring travel in Portugal, Rome, France and of course good old Gibraltar. Which reminds me, I have loads of holiday photos on my phone and camera SD card which are crying out to become blog posts – watch this space in the New Year.

September 2017

September is a big month on the Rock, this year more than most as Gibraltarians celebrated the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Referendum when they voted overwhelmingly to remain British. Gibraltar National Day on 10th September coincidentally happened to be the day of my 100th Sunday Sevens. We also had a fabulous music festival.

October 2017

October brought with it some interesting weather, beautiful sunshine, murky mists and exciting lightning storms.

November 2017

November was a good crochet month for me as I finally got around to making last year’s Little Box of Crochet autumn wreath. I also greatly enjoyed this year’s Gibraltar Literary Festival with talks by Nicholas Parsons, Patrick Gale and local photographers and naturalists Clive, Geraldine and Stewart Finlayson.

December 2017

December seems to have rushed by in a flurry of end of term carol concerts and panicked making of Christmas presents (some of which failed to get finished in time). There have been some opportunities for peace and quiet though, namely the last Saturday before Christmas when we avoided the shops and headed for the beach for peace and tranquility.

Summer craft challenge

For the second year running, during the long summer holiday we get in Gibraltar, I decided to set aside a little time each day to do something crafty and I documented this with my Summer Craft Challenge. Each day I featured a photo on Instagram and each week I wrote a blog post on my progress.

At the beginning of the challenge I made a little amigurumi unicorn which I got the kit for in an edition of Simply Crochet magazine. I christened her Europa and she became my Summer Craft Challenge mascot and came on our travels with us. There were several occasions when the Little Postcards thought Mummy had lost her marbles posing a crocheted unicorn in various European locations for photographs…

This year, I returned to work part-time after 13 years as a full-time, stay at home Mum. I have to admit that during the last few months I have found it hard to make time for Postcard from Gibraltar alongside my new commitments and at times I’ve wondered whether I can actually keep it up. I have had some really lovely comments and support from my online friends and that’s kept me going. Thank goodness I have Sunday Sevens and the weekly photo challenge to keep me ticking over during ‘dry’ spells.

I think I would really miss the community I have ‘met’ through Postcard from Gibraltar, and if I’m honest, it’s you and the support you’ve given me which gave me the confidence to apply for the job in the first place. Thank you very much to everyone who’s taken the time to read my posts over the past 2 and a half years, and for the virtual friendship you have given me too – it’s not taken for granted. Every comment and like is very much appreciated.

Here’s to 2018 and all the wonderful challenges it may bring!

Best wishes to you and yours for the New Year x

2017 Weekly photo challenge (Week 52) Pop

How do you was capture the word ‘pop’ in a photo? My take on this is bubbles…

From summertime fun in Grandma & Grandad’s garden to the festive grown-up variety…

Thanks so much for taking time to look at my photo challenge posts this year. This was my first year of doing them and as I started back in January I did wonder whether I’d be able to achieve all 52, amazingly I did. That may have something to do with the fact my poor phone grinds away slowly under the weight of 23,000+ photos – sorry phone! I really need to sort that out but don’t know where to start…

This 2017 photo challenge was set and run by Nana Cathy and Wild Daffodil – thank you ladies for the support, encouragement and lovely comments this year. If you would like to see other entries to this photo challenge, check out Wild Daffodil’s blog page where she gives a monthly round up of all the entries.

If you fancy joining in next year, check out Wild Daffodil’s blog for more information…

Sunday Sevens #115 24.12.17

Hello there and happy Christmas! We’ve finally reached Christmas Eve and whether you’re ready or not there’s no escaping the fact that the big day day’s tomorrow. I think I may finally be ready, but there’s always something I forget to do…. what will it be this year?!

Here’s this week’s edition of Sunday Sevens:

It’s Christmas!!!!

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Gibraltar is looking as festive as ever, the town centre looks lovely all lit up. I haven’t taken too many photos of the lights this year, but you can see last year’s light show here.

If in doubt stick a sunset picture in!

We had a lot of cloudy evenings of late and although we have had a few glimpses of the sun going down between the clouds, a proper sunset as it were has been pretty rare lately. This lovely one was last Sunday night.

Favourite church ceiling

Oh how I love the interior of Sacred Hearth Church here in Gibraltar. It has got to be one of the prettiest church ceilings around. I was lucky enough to be able to attend a service here this week and had loads of time to admire the stars and stained glass windows as beautiful Christmas carols were sung.

Wintery watercolour

At my last watercolour lesson of 2017, we painted some suitably wintery pictures. I love how the snow just ‘appeared’ after sprinkling some salt onto the wet painting – just magic!

Southwold comes to Gibraltar

As I walked along Main Street this week with Eldest, he spotted something I’d walked past several times without noticing (in fact it could have been there for months). Our favourite place for holidays (Southwold, in Suffolk) is featured on the side of Marks and Spencer in Gibraltar! The pictures in the photo shoot must have been taken on Southwold Pier and on the beach near by. You can read all about Southwold Pier here.

Star Wars

We had a trip to the cinema this week as schools closed for Christmas, to see the new Star Wars film. I really enjoyed it, not as much as Force Awakens, but it was still really good in my opinion and a great start to our Christmas holiday as a family.

Beautiful day at Catalan Bay

Yesterday, the last Saturday before Christmas, we decided to avoid the shops at all costs. We figured that if we didn’t have all we need by now, it was probably too late anyway (time will tell if I did forget anything after all). We headed round to the eastern side of the Rock and had a wander about in Catalan Bay. It was beautiful there – not a queue or harassed shopper in sight.

I have decide to include a couple of extra Catalan Bay pictures as it was just so beautiful there and there may be some people reading this who are in need of a dose of blue sky…

That’s all from me for Sunday Sevens this week. Where ever you are reading this, I hope you have a lovely Christmas with plenty to eat and surrounded by your loved ones. To those of you who find this time of year difficult, I hope you find peace and know that you are in my thoughts.

Happy Christmas! x

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

2017 Weekly photo challenge (Week 51) Window

I was a bit spoiled for choice for this week’s challenge. We had an amazing summer this year and were lucky enough to do some traveling. The above photograph was taken as we took off from Gibraltar at the start of our summer adventures.

The following window pictures were taken in the beautiful Saint-Nazaire Basilica in Carcassonne in Southern France. They were the most beautiful stained glass windows I have ever seen and the photographs sadly don’t do them justice.

Seeing all these reminds me that I still have a trillion photos on my camera which are crying out to be featured in blog posts about our summer trips. They will follow at some point – I promise!

I’m linking with Nana Cathy and Wild Daffodil for this weekly photo challenge throughout 2017.

Sunday Sevens #114 17.12.17

Hello there, can it really be true that we are only one week away from Christmas Eve? I’m not ready!!! It’s been quite a long week with loads going on and I’ve been on my own with the Little Postcards as Mr Postcard was traveling with work.

I feel as though I have been running about a lot and achieved very little, but hey-ho we all have weeks like that sometimes. The result of all this rushing about has left me with few interesting photos for this week’s Sunday Sevens – it won’t win any awards I’m afraid. Here goes…

Christmas carol service

Last Sunday night I was lucky enough to attend the annual Christmas carol service at St Andrew’s Church of Scotland. The Royal Gibraltar Regiment band played the accompaniment to the carols and it was just beautiful. There’s something about carol services which transport me right back to being little again with that sense of expectation that something exciting’s about to happen.

Here comes the rain

Sunday night also brought with it a storm with winds of 100 km per hour at Europa Point. We have been spoiled recently with some lovely (if cold) weather. That was all about to change.

Wet Monday morning

And so the rain came… it was wet.

Happy mail

In a brief moment of calm and tranquility I was lucky enough to crack open this delightful box of loveliness from Little Box of Crochet. I only had time to look at it mind you, it’s been put away for a quiet moment!

A crafty Christmas card

A very talented crafty friend of ours made this beautiful felted poinsettia card. Isn’t it beautiful?

Friday frenzy

So the last day for posting Christmassy things to the UK was Friday. Naturally I left all the wrapping to the last minute… it wasn’t much fun but I got it all done -eventually.

Sunny Saturday morning

The stormy start to the week gave way to a lovely sunny end to the week. This was the scene at our last kids’ football match before Christmas, yesterday morning. It was a bit nippy but a Costa coffee took the edge off and warmed my hands nicely :-).

That’s all from me this week, I hope it’s been a good one for you and you aren’t drowning under Christmas to-do lists!!

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