Postcard from Gibraltar Review of 2018

Well here we are at the end of another year, it’s been a year of crafty and photo challenges, and on the whole a good one for the Postcard clan. It’s only now I’ve taken a look back at what we’ve done that I realised that we’ve packed a lot in! Here are some of my highlights from 2018…

January

I started the year off with a lovely walk up the Rock, those paperwhite narcissi were photographed on New Year’s Day. After enjoying participating in a photo challenge in 2017 under the stewardship of Sandra at Wild Daffodil, I decided to have a go at running one in 2018, so #postcardfromgibfridayphoto was born on Instagram and in Blogland. I also embarked on the Seaside Stash Busting Blanket CAL in January too. Little did I know what fun it would become.

February

February saw plenty more crochet and a fair bit of watercolour painting, along with the arrival of HMS Queen Elizabeth to Gibraltar. The huge Royal Naval aircraft carrier was quite a sight to behold.

March

March, very fortunately for us was a month for travel, first to attempt skiing for the very first time in the Italian Dolomites – it was amazing, and second to take the Little Postcards on an Easter trip to the South of England.

April

We began April on Easter Sunday on the Jurassic Coast in Devon, then headed to London for a few days before heading home. It was a fun trip.

May

May meant Med Steps 5 Challenge, Gibraltar’s Comic Con and some lovely spring weather.

June

June brought with it the Calentita! food festival and my very first printed article in the Calentita! magazine. We celebrated World Environment Day and I had a go at Yarnbombing the Alameda Gardens!

July

Summer holidays we the order of the day in July (along with my now traditional annual Summer Craft Challenge). We headed off to Suffolk to help celebrate a big birthday for a member of the Postcard family. We traveled by plane, old trains and kayak! Which reminds me, we went to a fabulous country fair at Worstead, I really should get a post written about that…

August

August was spent in Suffolk, Gibraltar and visiting my family in Manchester. We watched acrobats and magicians in Gib and followed the Bee trail around Manchester.

September

Back to Gibraltar in time for school starting and the end of the Gibraltar Fair. We had National Day celebrations and the MTV Presents Gibraltar Calling Music Festival.

October

At midterm in October we headed off for a short break in Portugal. We’re so lucky to be able to drive to so many lovely places from where we live. This was also the month that I finished my Sandy Bay blanket.

November

November began for us in Portugal and ended with the Christmas light switch on with the fabulous Gibraltar Literary Festival in between. It’s a truly wonderful festival which happens right on our doorstep.

December

December saw the end of the Friday photo challenge I curated as well as a rather pleasant pre Christmas trip up the Med Steps

Thank you to everyone who has followed and read my posts this year, it’s been lovely to know that there’s someone out there actually reading them! I hope that 2018 has been a good year for you and that 2019 is too!

Sunday Sevens #160 28.10.18

Hello, this Sunday Sevens comes to you courtesy of the mid term holidays – hooray! Schools broke up on Friday for a week, and we all heaved a collective sigh of relief – no early alarms for a week! Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens:

Making rainbows on a rainy day

Last Sunday afternoon, we had a terrific rain storm. It had been forecast but it was dry and bright-ish so I packed the Little Postcards into the car and headed to Kings Bastion Leisure Centre. Between us parking the car in the multi-story car park and walking to the exit the heavens had opened. We had about 4 hours of monsoon-type deluge. It was a real shocker after our long, hot and dry summer.

The rain came with such force that man hole covers were lifted by the floods and roads were awash with water. People were urged later on by the authorities to stay indoors. We piled back into the car and headed home. It was the perfect afternoon for a cuddle on the sofa in front of a family movie and a bit of crochet. Littlest’s rainbow ripple is now finished (all bar sewing in the endy bits).

Dressmaking class

So my practice run at making a jacket has come to an end. The pattern measurements fit ok and I learned how not to make a bound pocket! (🙈) Now it’s time to go for the real thing, and get it right!

A new project

Now the blanket is finished, I can get cracking on my next project – a jumper for me from a pattern in Simply Crochet magazine. Will I get it finished before the end of winter??!

Goodbye to our old windows

After five years in our home, we finally got round to replacing our old, rattling windows this week. It was a decision I had put off making until last winter, which was really grim and cold. I didn’t want to lose the character of our old apartment. I loved how the window panes had air bubbles in them which cast lovely patterns on the wall at sunset, but I didn’t like being woken on stormy nights by the noise of the sashes rattling in their frames, or feeling the wind on the back of my neck through the closed window and lounge curtains while watching TV of an evening. On some days last winter the temperature fell to below 10 degrees in our lounge – even with the heater on. Coats and a blanket were obligatory for an evening’s tv viewing.

The time had come for them to go. We have replaced them with double glazed wooden framed windows, there are no air bubbles but by Jove they are lovely. They stay shut or open as you leave them, there are no cracked panes and the noise of the traffic from the road outside is stopped too. It was definitely the right decision. They met all the planning requirements for a historic building too.

Football practice crochet

Football training is back into full swing as the season has restarted for the junior leagues, so that gave me time to make some progress on my new jumper!

Moody sunset

Friday night’s sunset was a lovely golden affair. I managed to catch a quick glimpse between dinner and washing up!

Road trip

We headed across the border into Spain for a drive yesterday. There were so many big birds about. There were loads of black and white cranes flying around and I saw a red kite as well as these huge birds too, I’m not sure if they are vultures or not. They were very impressive as they swirled about on the thermals.

That’s it for this week’s edition of Sunday Sevens, seven photos from the last seven days. As always I’m linking with Natalie from Threads and Bobbins for this weekly blog series. Until next time, thanks for stopping by and have a great week.

Sunday Sevens #156 30.9.18

Sunday again, I was supposed to post midweek all about the Music Festival last weekend but unfortunately time got the better of me, perhaps I’ll manage it this week…. here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens:

And relax…

It’s been quite a week for me this week, we have had visitors over – which has been lovely (and I couldn’t have managed without their help), I’ve been doing a bit of extra work too this week and it’s been a bit non-stop at times. It has made realise that there’s no way I could work full-time. I take my hat off to all those parents out there who hold down a full-time job as well has looking after children.

Pattern making

There wasn’t a lot of sewing going on at my dressmaking class this week but my jacket pattern is moving on apace.

Under a cloud…

The hot and sweaty Levanter weather conditions have continued for most of this week. As you can see, up above the thick cloud (which sits above Gibraltar at the minute) there’s some lovely blue sky. Everyone’s complaining about the humidity at the moment, I hope it comes to an end soon.

A lovely lunch

As I alluded to before, we have special visitors over at the minute, my parents are here for a visit. That gave us the perfect excuse to go out to lunch while the Little Postcards are at school. It’s amazing being able to hold uninterrupted conversations!!

Whoops!

I’m on the final push for my Coastal Crochet CAL. The Seaside Stash Busting Blanket has seen a bit of action this week, but as you can see, I got it a bit wrong…. it took me 4 rows to realise that I’d made a mistake – whoops! Thankfully it’s sorted now!

The end of summer…

It looks like summer beach season is over… I was at Sandy Bay on Friday and although there were quite a few people on the beach and in the sea, work was underway removing the net from the family end of the beach. It doesn’t feel like autumn yet, that’s for sure!

A new arrival in Gibraltar

There’s much excitement in our household about the arrival of a new eatery in Gibraltar. When we visited Sidmouth and Lyme Regis on our Easter trip to the south coast of England, we first encountered the delights of the Cornish Bakery. Then, on our trip to Southwold in Suffolk, we discovered a branch had just opened there too. Imagine our surprise when this signage appeared in Casemates Square… is this an anti-diet conspiracy??!! Is the Cornish Bakery stalking the Postcard family? Methinks a few pasties may be consumed…

Thanks for stopping by to visit this week, that’s all for this Sunday Sevens. As always, I’m linking with Natalie from Threads and Bobbins for this weekly blog series.

Friday photo challenge (week 38) Autumn

We may not have autumn in the same way as in the UK with falling leaves and all the beautiful colour that goes with that, but we are experiencing autumnal mists at the minute.

Yesterday’s trip up the Med Steps was very atmospheric. Don’t think it was cool though, I was really hoping for a bit of cool weather because it’s been so very humid since the height of the summer. It was warm and humid all the way up until the ninth set of steps towards the summit and all of a sudden I walked into a cool blast of breeze coming up from the sea – it was so welcome!

It’s this cool air which causes the Levanter cloud to form on the top of the Rock, and that cloud is what seals the hot humid air in for those underneath, yuck!

Many of the plants on the side of the rock are dead and burnt to a crisp after a long hot summer, but this clump of purple flowers took me by surprise. Not everything has gone to sleep!

Sunday Sevens #153 9.9.18

Hello and welcome to another Sunday Sevens, this one comes to you on the eve of Gibraltar National Day. The place is looking very festive decked out in red and white bunting…

Cloudy skies

Last Sunday it was really rather humid. We set out for a walk on the last day of the (rather long) School summer holidays. The cloudy Levanter conditions made for a rather sweaty walk.

Blue skies at lunch

On Monday, after the Little Postcards’ finished their first half day at school (in Gibraltar schools operate under ‘summer hours’ until National Day), we all went for lunch in Queensway Quay. It was a lovely afternoon.

A little friend

On Tuesday I got the shock of my life when I was cleaning. I lifted the dustpan to sweep the floor, and this little chap appeared to be hiding underneath. He was dinky, and I think he was in the process of growing a new tail. He was frozen to the spot, poor thing, so I put the coke can next to him to show his size. I left the room and he scarpered!

Butterflies for Yarndale

I finished my Yarndale butterflies (I had to make a red & white one for Gibraltar abc posted them off on their way to Skipton – I hope they arrive in time for Friday’s deadline…. then I went for a walk, to post them and spotted these beauties feeding off a special butterfly table in the Alameda Gardens.

More street art

While our and about this week, I spotted another mural underway. That’s the third I’ve seen so far in Gibraltar – such a treat in a dingy underpass.

Getting ready for National Day

On Friday, the sun came out and the flags are out too all set for National Day tomorrow. Gibraltar really knows how to throw a party!

Here comes the rain….

So, Gibraltar has had a bit of a drought since April. Yesterday, the rain came. We got off rather lightly though, I believe there were floods further along the coast. It has brought with it the most blissful cool temperatures….

That’s this week’s Sunday Sevens done and dusted, I hope you’ve had a good week. As always, I’m linking with Natalie from Threads and 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

Sunday Sevens #111 26.11.17

Hello there, I hope you have had a good week. It’s been as busy as always Chez Postcard and I’m staring down the barrel of a frantic few weeks with all the pre-Christmas antics there are are for the Little Postcards. There’s actually one day next week where I need to be in 4 different places at the same time…. I may be calling on the services of Dr Who and his Tardis to get everything done!

Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens…

A sunny start to the week

There was an in-service day for some of the Little Postcards on Monday. I haven’t been feeling too great for the last couple of weeks and they behaved so well for me letting me have an easy day, that we did a late afternoon trip to the park at Europa Point for ice cream as a reward. (My fluey cold from the other week turned into bronchitis 😕). The weather was glorious, as you can see, with just the hint of a Levanter cloud forming on the top of the Rock.

It’s finished #1><

Ta-dah! It’s finished at last! I have actually completed a blouse in my Dressmaking class, with a collar, cuffs and buttons (although I was tempted with velcro when the button holes weren’t behaving as I wanted them to). It’s a bit ‘loud’ colourwise so I’m not sure when I’ll wear it… perhaps under a cardigan!

Cloud free skies!><

We had more beautiful cloud-free skies mid-week. We have been so lucky to have a warm, dry autumn here in Gibraltar so far. I’m dreading having to dig the waterproofs out when the rains come….

It’s finished #2><

It’s been quite the week for finishing things, I managed to finish my autumn crochet wreath – before the end of autumn (a miracle!). I’m thrilled with how it turned out, it looked great in the autumnal sunshine on our front door. The kit came in a Little Box of Crochet and the designer was Kate Eastwood of Just Pootling.

Not much watercolour progress…><

I guess I can’t finish everything at once, so I’m still working on my watercolour painting of town. I’m getting there slowly but surely.

A new project><<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Yesterday I treated myself to starting a new crochet project. I was very disciplined and waited until I’d finished my wreath before cracking open another little box of crochet…

Christmas is coming>

<<

The Gibraltar Christmas lights were turned on on Friday night and yesterday we took a trip into town to visit Gibraltar’s first ever Christmas market. There are artisan stalls set up in little wooden huts, you can even get mulled wine – it smelled lovely (I shall have to go back once I finish my antibiotics!).

I’m linking with Natalie (the proud Mummy of a beautiful new baby girl) from Threads & Bobbins for this weekly Sunday Sevens blog series.