Med Steps 5 Challenge 2017

So, the time has almost come, it’s nearly time to lace up those trainers, slap on the suncream and hope for the best… it’s Med Steps 5 Challenge time!


The beautiful rugged pathway which leads walkers (and very fit runners) from Jews Gate to the top of the Rock of Gibraltar will become purgatory for those of us who, for some strange reason, thought it would be a good idea to do it 5 times!

Last year I completed the climb 5 times with a couple of friends (after agreeing it would be fun) over a slightly boozy Christmas meal. Well, I’m not sure ‘fun’ is the word I’d use. It was flipping hard work, it was hot too, but the atmosphere of the event was amazing and the sense of achievement was something else. 

It was by far toughest physical challenge I’ve ever faced (aside from childbirth). I am not a sporty or athletic person by any shade of the imagination, but after 4 and a half months of training I was thrilled to be able to cross the finish line in 4 hours and 40 minutes along side my training buddies.

We managed to raise a considerable amount of money too for the wonderful Cancer Relief Centre here in Gibraltar. The Centre supports people undergoing cancer treatment with all sorts of complimentary care and services, it has a children’s playground and a new after school club for children affected by cancer, as well as advice for patients and listening ear. 


I think I remember saying after it was all over that I was pleased I’d done it, but never again… so why am I preparing to turn up at the starting line again this time? I’m not sure to be honest! We did begin our training in January as a trio again but other commitments and life got in the way for my training partners from last year, so they will be cheering me on from the sidelines.


In fact, life has kind of got in the way for me too this year, I have only achieved 3 times round in my training schedule this year a couple of times and we managed 4 times in preparation for the last one. So I’m now going into this year’s event feeling a little bit of trepidation knowing exactly what’s in store for me.

I know I can do 5 times round with the right training behind me, but I’m a little underprepared this time. I also know that if it takes me over 5 hours it doesn’t matter, the most important thing is to try my best and show support to this incredibly worthy cause. Wish me luck!

If you would like to hear about the Med Steps 5 Challenge from one of the organisers, why not give my latest podcast a listen? 

2017 Weekly photo challenge (week 19) bird

Ornithologists actually pay to travel to Gibraltar from the UK in order to volunteer to monitor the birds here, and more specifically to record the birds which stop off in Gibraltar on their migratory path, so there are plenty of birds to be found here. Sadly, the impressive eagles, vultures and other such exciting birds do not feature in this post, as I failed to photograph them!

We do have seagulls (yellow legged gulls to be precise) in abundance though!



One day last spring, I took a walk up the Med Steps and found myself walking through a blanket of cloud and fog and emerging above it. This poor seagull had lost his lovely sea view!

It normally looks like this…

We also have our own native species of bird here in Gibraltar; the Barbary Partridge. Here’s one I spotted a couple of weeks ago.

 

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

Sunday Sevens #82 7.5.17


Hello there, I hope you’ve had a good week. All these bank holidays of late have confused me no end, I keep losing track of what day we’re on! 

I know this is definitely Sunday, so here goes for this week’s Sunday Sevens…

Med Steps training : three times round!

We are now just six days away from the Med Steps 5 Challenge. If you listened to my latest podcast, published on Monday, you will know that I managed 3 times round on Sunday last week for the first time this year. 

I’m a bit behind on my training this year, so hopefully adrenaline will give me energy and determination to get round 5 times again next Saturday!

May Day


May Day was beautiful. We had a truly gorgeous day of sunshine, which was very welcome after two days of very heavy rain at the start of the long weekend. As we drove down towards Europa Point the view across to Morocco was so clear I had to stop and take a few pictures.

King of all he surveys 


Mr Postcard went for a midweek walk up the Rock and took this fab picture of an ape perched on the end of a cannon. You can’t blame him really it was a top vantage point. I believe it was International Macaque week or something similar this week, so here’s your topical Barbary Macaque picture!

Watercolour poppies


My current watercolour project at my watercolour class is a painting of the Med Steps. I want to include some of the beautiful spring flowers you can see in the Upper Rock so I’ve been practicing my poppies. The trial runs worked out rather better than the real thing sadly, so I’m going to have to do a bit of fixing at my next lesson.

Touch line Crochet


I’m still working on a corner to corner blanket for the Sixty Million Trebles project. It’s a great one to have in a bag when you are out and about as it’s easy to pick up and do just a bit during a quiet moment. I had a bit of time at football training for the Little Postcards this week so got a couple of rows added.

A quick escape 


I don’t normally go into Spain on a weekday but on Friday I bit the bullet and headed across the border to do a bit of shopping with Mr Postcard. We have been meaning to pop across for ages to get boring stuff for the house and we took the opportunity to go while the Little Postcards were at school. 

It felt a bit adventurous to leave the country while your kids are at school but we didn’t stray far and were back in plenty of time for school pick up! It was a bit wet by the time we were crossing the runway back into town.

Another lovely Saturday sunset


Last Saturday evening we had a lovely sunset, and last night we had another. I’ve noticed, since we moved to this west facing apartment, that we get lots of lovely sunsets in Spring and Autumn, I wonder why that is?

Also this week my crochet buddy Marisa Boselli aka Mariwish on Instagram has launched her first blog. Marisa is a crochet and music teacher, originally from Gibraltar, she now lives with her family in London. Why not pop over and check it out, if you get the chance?

What ever you get up to this week, I hope it’s a good one for you!

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

2017 Weekly photo challenge (week 18) Modern


How about this for ‘modern’?


Yacht ‘A’ which is one of the world’s biggest and most expensive yachts was back in Gibraltar last weekend. Costing squillions of pounds to build and designed by Phillipe Starck, it reportedly has 8 floors and a helipad amongst it’s features.

The masts are taller than the tower of the Palace of Westminster which houses Big Ben. To give you an idea of scale, you see that jet of what looks like steam coming from the mast?

It was caused by a man on a harness using a jet washer to clean it! I’m not sure I could do his job, a bit high up for my liking.

Sadly, because of the boat’s position, when I photographed it, I wasn’t able to get it in full view. Here’s slightly grainy image of it when it was moored in Gibraltar earlier this year.

Modern? It certainly is, not sure it’s my cup of tea though… 

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

Postcard from Gibraltar Podcast Episode 011 : Med Steps 5 Challenge preview with Steven Belilo

The third annual Med Steps 5 Challenge is due to take place this month. The Challenge which sees teams and individuals climb the Med Steps 5 times to raise much needed funds for the Cancer Relief Centre here in Gibraltar is a wonderful event.

Last year over £7,000 was raised from the event and every single penny went to help people undergoing treatment for cancer as well as supporting their families.

It may be hard work but I can’t think of a more beautiful place to hold a fundraising effort!

In this episode of the Postcard from Gibraltar Podcast I met Steven Belilo, who’s one of the organizers behind the event. He told me all about how you can get involved yourself – so there’s no excuse! 

**Click here to listen to the podcast**

Here’s on of the huge birds which I mentioned in the podcast being seen off by the resident seagulls:

If you want to sponsor one of the walkers taking part in this year’s Med Steps 5 Challenge, please have a look at Sandra Capano’s Just Giving Page. Sandra is a good friend of Postcard from Gibraltar who has supported my blog for a long time.

For more information on the Med Steps 5 Challenge, check out their Facebook Page or Twitter account (@MedSteps5). You can pick up entry forms for the event at Trafalgar Pharmacy or pop along to Cathedral Square on Wednesday May 3rd where you can meet the team. 

This podcast was recorded and edited by Postcard from Gibraltar. You can subscribe to the podcast feed on iTunes and PodOmatic.

Theme Music : Happy Me by Twisterium

Sunday Sevens #81 30.04.17

Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of Sunday Sevens. My Med Steps training is going well and hopefully I’ll be ready in time for the Med Steps 5 Challenge next month…

Med Steps – twice

I managed twice round again in my Med Steps training last Sunday, it was a gorgeous sunny day for it and not too busy. If there are lots of other people around I find it quite hard to regulate my speed, I either end up going too slow so I don’t tailgate other walkers or attempt and overtake and go faster than I should and wear myself out!

On my second trip up the steps, my eyes were drawn by the colours of the sea. I am in the middle (well, start) of the latest Little Box of Crochet project and the sea & stone of reminded me so much of the yarn I’m using at the minute.

A tight squeeze 

On my trip up the Steps on Monday my legs were very tired, so I just had the one trip round. On the way back down I spotted this passenger ship being carefully parked in the dry dock. It looked a tight squeeze even for a relatively small boat. It’s not just car drivers who need to hot parking skills in Gibraltar then…

Dressmaking 

My sleeves are set in! It’s taken 2 weeks of jiggery pokery but they are in. Just got to sort the sleeve linings and the hem… hmm I wonder how long that will take??

Down in the Dell

On Wednesday I got the chance to go behind the scenes at the Alameda Gardens. I went to record the interview I used for my most recent podcast on the children’s gardening club there and their attempts to crowd fund a bio dome classroom. I was able to sit in the Dell under the Codali Bridge to record the interview – I felt very privileged to go there as it’s not open to the public.

Med Steps in watercolour


The Med Steps are on my mind a lot at the moment, this time last year I diverted my fixation into crochet and made my Med Steps wreath. This year I’m trying to paint them in my watercolour class. We’ll see how this turns out…

Rainy afternoon fun…


You can’t beat a jigsaw on a wet bank holiday afternoon… and Friday was just that. It was Worker’s Memorial Day so schools and many places of work were closed, just in time for the heavens to open. A month’s worth of rain fell in six hours apparently. 

From this…


….to this…


Crikey, it’s been so very wet. Yesterday wasn’t much better than Friday. We headed into Spain to do a spot of shopping and have lunch and the top picture was taken as we crossed the runway towards the frontier. By evening though, the clouds parted to produce this beautiful sunset.

The last day of April 2017


April began for me with fish and chips by the North Sea while on holiday visiting family and has drawn to an end with a gorgeous sunset over the Bay of Gibraltar. There’s been lots of crochet, Med Steps trips and perhaps a chocolate egg or two eaten in between too!

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

Postcard from Gibraltar Podcast Episode 010 : Alameda Gardening Club with Lucy Hart

The lush green Alameda Botanical Gardens are the green lungs of Gibraltar, lying at the heart of the community at the southern end of Main Street and below the iconic Rock Hotel. 


It’s home to plants and trees from all over the world, as well as an open air theatre, a children’s playground and a wildlife park. In recent years a scheme has been rolled out to encourage school children to get their hands dirty, many of whom don’t have access to a garden of their own. 



The Alameda Gardening Club which operates on two days a week helps children learn about the origins of the food they eat as well as forging a respect for the natural world around them.


In this podcast I met up with one of the education volunteers, Lucy Hart to find out more about the scheme they run here and heard exciting plans for the future.

Artists impression of the proposed BioDome
In a first for Gibraltar, the education team at the Alameda Gardens have launched a crowd funding project in order to build a BioDome outdoor classroom for the children of the Gardening Club.

***To hear the podcast click here!***

For more information on the crowdfunding BioDome project, please email the Alameda Gardning Club on: BioDome@gibraltargardens.gi

Alternatively search for Alameda Gardening Club on Facebook.