Sunday Sevens #108 5.11.17

Good morning and hello from a very sunny Gibraltar! You join me as we calm down after a very pleasant mid term break in Spain and and prepare for a return to the usual routine. Here goes with this week’s Sunday Sevens…

And relax…..

We were so lucky last weekend to be able to return to our favourite nearby holiday destination. This resort is on the Costa del Sol, very close to Marbella. We often debate about trying somewhere else, but are drawn back to familiarity and love the fact that as soon as we arrive it feels like coming home and we totally relax. Ahhh, bliss 😊

Spooky shenanigans 

Tuesday of course was Halloween and we took a trip to Puerto Banus and had lunch in the very  spooky Hard Rock Cafe. We were served (or should that be severed) by a zombie. Not sure about the waiting staff recruitment but the food was good, even if it was devilishly loaded with calories….

Boo!

I finished Gloria the ghost, who came free with the Halloween edition of Simply Crochet Magazine from last year. As my copy always arrives too late to be totally relevant for the season, I was astonished that I managed to unearth the kit and correct magazine for instructions in time!

Midterm break sunshine

A new month, meant a new project using a new stitch. I can’t say any more about this as it’s a secret.

Nooo! Too soon!!


I don’t know about you but I’m not ready to be faced with Christmas merchandise in the shops yet!! This was one small section of a large Christmas shelf in a Spanish supermarket…

Thunderbolts & Lightning 


On Friday night we experienced a very long and dramatic thunderstorm. I didn’t manage to catch a photo of fork lightning this time but these two photos were taken about a second apart. An amazing amount of rain fell, just in time to remind us to dig out the waterproofs in time for this winter’s rain.

Homeward bound


The rains continued into yesterday morning but less heavy and there were glimpses of sunshine too, so we saw a couple of rainbows 🌈. Can you spot the faint one over the hill?

October mosaic

Here’s a few of my October highlights….

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

Sunday Sevens #105 15.10.17

Another week has flown by and it’s already Sunday afternoon – do you ever want a pause button just to stop the world for a moment or two? We’ve had such a busy week in our household this week and I could do with another weekend to catch my breath and take stock (you can probably appreciate the state of mild chaos I find myself in if you noticed that my previous post was published almost a month early by accident – so far, last week’s photo challenge photo is as yet untaken!).

Anyway without further ado, here’s this week’s edition of Sunday Sevens….

Another Sunday, another beachy crochet pic…

Last Sunday was another glorious autumnal day, perfect for heading down to the beach again, crochet hook in hand. I’m busy working on a Christmas gift, but time’s running away with me already and I’m really not as far along as I would’ve liked to be by this point….

Monday morning Med Steps

The lovely weather continued into the start of the week and I had a lovely trip up the Med Steps again on Monday. I glanced up at one point and saw the Europa Point Lighthouse framed beautifully by the branches of a tree.

Technicolor Tuesday sewing

In my Dressmaking class on Tuesday I started working on the sleeves of my blouse. The photo shows the slit at the cuff of my sleeve which is just waiting for a cuff to be added.

Misty Med Steps 

Wednesday began rather murky and misty. I really enjoyed my walk back down the Rock from the summit of the Med Steps. Looking out to sea from the road, there was nothing but mist and cloud, it was as if I was on the edge of an abyss. I love it when it’s like this, it’s so atmospheric and magical looking.

Light show

After the mist cleared on Wednesday, we had a scorching hot afternoon. Standing outside school waiting for the Little Postcards, I could feel the sun burning my back through my shirt. By dinner time however, the clouds had rolled in and we were treated to a fab lightning storm and then rain shower. Talk about four seasons in one day.

Sunset skies in watercolour 

I’ve been working on sunset skies at watercolour class… this is about the third attempt. Mixing that correct shade of orange has proved tricky…

Mini Olympiad 

Yesterday, hundreds of middle school children from across Gibraltar came together to participate in the annual Mini Olympiad. Organised by the Royal Gibraltar Police, the event is aimed at introducing young people to the joys of sport as a way of avoiding bad life choices later on (ie drugs).

The Olympiad began with a congregation in the Piazza with an address from the Head of Police, Mayor and a priest’s blessing before a parade through town to the Victoria Stadium. The Parade was led by the drums and bagpipes of the Sea Scout band and the members of the historical re-enactment society and their very loud cannon. 

After an opening ceremony and the firing of the cannon, the sports began. It was a great event and was enjoyed by us, although a certain young man was feeling rather achey and tired today after his exertions yesterday!

(Thank you to my friend Sarah for taking this photo for me – I managed to leave home without my phone, but she saved the day!)

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

Sunday Sevens #104 8.10.17

Good morning, I hope you are having a good weekend. This week has seen a return to my watercolour class after a very long summer haiatus. It was so nice to be back…

Sunday afternoon on the beach

Sandy Bay

Last Sunday we did something rather out of character — we went to the beach. We aren’t huge beach goers normally as we don’t enjoy the crowds or the heat at the height of summer. We do, though, rather like sneaking down there out of season.

As you can see from the photo above, we weren’t alone, but there was loads of open space where we could sit, chat, splash and dig without upsetting anyone else. 

My neighbours may not agree with me but I really do try to keep a lid on the level of noise coming from our apartment (I don’t think I’ll ever get used to living so close to other people). Being somewhere where the Little Postcards can scream and shout without upsetting anyone is a very valuable space for me.

Oh, and I got a bit of crochet done too…

Monday Med Steps

Last week on one of my Med Steps trips I was surrounded by a pack (troop?) of apes, on Monday it was Barbary Partridge bingo! There were loads about. This pair were very tame and I got very close before they scarpered.

Dressmaking whoops

Don’t you just hate it when that happens? I was making great strides with attaching my collar to my blouse at Dressmaking class when I managed to accidentally sew my underarm seam to the collar by accident – whoops!

Med stepping into the Levanter 


These two photos were taken about 20 minutes apart. One below the cloud in bright (and rather hot) sunshine. The other at the top of the Rock and slap bang in the middle of the Levanter cloud.

I started Wednesday morning’s walk in hot sun but was relieved to hit the cool, damp Levanter near the top. I almost took an amazing photo at the top… as I gazed up at the misty summit, on that low bit of wall to the right of the fence was the silhouette of a mother ape with a baby on her back. By the time I’d got my phone camera on, they’d vanished into the mist. Never mind…

Watercolour refresher

Thursday morning saw my return to watercolour class.  I didn’t realise how much I’d missed it over the summer. Our teacher began the new term with a refresher lesson on washes. It came just in time for me to get back to a picture I was working on before summer which had a very dodgy wash for the sky. My new aim for this term is to be less wishy washy with my colours – I need to embrace BOLD!

Beautiful Botanic Gardens 

You may have noticed that my excercise levels have gone up in recent weeks. After a rather sedentary summer I have a good few kilos which I need to shed. On Friday I took a trip into town and on the way home I opted to walk rather than catching the bus. I was rewarded by with a walk through the beautiful Alameda Botanical Gardens.

Autumnal WIP-along

On Instagram recently I have noticed lots of  crafty people publishing photos of the WIPs (work in progress) they have completed as part of a WIP-along with Gosling & Plumb. Check out the blog post in the link above  to find out more about it.

When I finished my last crochet project (Jenny’s Mandala from Little Box of Crochet) I almost started something new but I could hear some of my many WIPs calling me from carrier bags hidden in my secret hidey hole. So far I have worked on three; circles in granny squares (see beach crochet photo), a green granny square blanket and a cute crochet cactus pin cushion from a Simply Crochet Magazine kit.

Thanks so much for stopping by for a read about my week. It’s been lovely to have your company.

I’m linking with Natalie of Threads & Bobbins for the Weekly Sunday Sevens series.

Sunday Sevens #101 17.9.17

Good morning! Welcome to this week’s edition of Sunday Sevens, a look at the past seven days with seven photos…

National Day 

Last Sunday was National Day here in Gibraltar. 10th September 1967 was a very special day in Gibraltar’s recent history as it was the day that the Gibraltarian people voted overwhelmingly to remain British in a sovereignty referendum. For that reason, National Day is celebrated on 10th September.

As usual, there was a political rally, concerts and lots of celebrations and partying while everyone is dressed in the national colours of red and white. We headed into town to soak up the atmosphere and then headed home to have a family barbecue. It was a lovely day.

More summery weather

Full days restarted at Gibraltar’s schools after National Day but the weather still thought it was the height of summer this week! It was the perfect opportunity to hit the beach and take the advantage of it being so quiet! Sadly I just had time to admire it from above before heading off.
Levanter

The Levanter was back this week too. Despite the cloud and wind it was pretty muggy and warm. It does cast a moody atmosphere over the Rock at times. 
Whoops!


You know those moments when you want the ground to open up?? One morning I was on my way into the multistory car park in town (if you have a Gibraltar ID card you can park there for free during the day time). So I was sitting at the carpark barrier waving my ID card in front of the card reader attempting to make he barrier lift and let me in. It wasn’t budging.

A very helpful young security guard made his way over to the car ‘what’s the problem madam?’ he asked. ‘The machine won’t let me in!’ I explained. ‘That’s your driving license madam!’ was his reply…. whoops! That’ll be why it wasn’t working. (Hangs head in embarrassment and hurrily digs out ID card) thank goodness there wasn’t a big queue behind me at the time!


Sunset on the East side 

One evening this week I was over on the east side of the Rock as the sun was going down behind me. The pretty colour of the sky behind the flowers from the aloes (I think) just looked so lovely.

Birthday party fun

We had a birthday party here yesterday. The birthday boy asked to decorate his own cake (using sweets and in the design of a Pokeball). I can’t tell you how pleased I was to hand over the cake decoration responsibility to him. No stress for me and he loved doing it – win, win!

Sunday morning 


This Sunday Sevens I only had six suitable photos to include, so here’s my view just now. I love Sunday mornings like this, there’s no rush to get people ready for school, it’s bright and sunny and I have the time to sit for longer than necessary to digest my toast! I opened the window and there is just that distant hint of autumn on the breeze, that clean, damp smell. 

Regular readers to the blog and those of you familiar with Gibraltar will know that the seasons we enjoy here are not at all like those you get in Britain. I really miss that. So these fleeting moments when you get a hint of a season (other than pouring rain and lashing wind in winter and hot, hot sun in summer) are very precious. 

When I caught scent of it this morning I was immediately transported to the National Trust properties I visited in my childhood and with my boys before coming to Gib. Brown damp leaves, conker and acorn hunting and raindrops on cobwebs. Ahhh….

I’m linking with Natalie from Threads and Bobbins for Sunday Sevens.

2017 Weekly photo challenge (week 36) Found

While we were on holiday in France a couple of weeks ago, we found some treasure… conkers!

The first one was spotted next to the Aeroscopia museum outside Toulouse (above), but we hit the jackpot in Carcassonne…

They are now drying out on our window ledge ready to be drilled, stringed up and for battle to commence. 

For those of you reading this in the UK, conkers (or horse chestnuts) won’t seem a big deal, but they don’t grow in Gibraltar, so the Littlest two Postcards have missed out on such autumnal delights. Roll on sore fingers and cries of ‘cheat’!

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

Sunday Sevens #57 13.11.16

Hello again, wow, it’s been quite a week with everything that’s been going on on the global political scene. I can’t help but feel uneasy about what the future may hold for us all, but I’m staying away from politics and looking at the smaller, positives that have happened this week for us. Here goes….

Med Steps in the November Sunshine

View across the Strait of Gibraltar from the start of the Med Steps
On Sunday afternoon after we had returned from our mid-term break up the coast, and after I had finished unpacking and got the first load in the washing machine, I headed off on my own for a lovely walk up the Med Steps. It was such a stunningly beautiful November day and it was a crime to stay indoors. The younger Postcards were more content to stay at home and reacquaint themselves with all their stuff after a week away so I made the most of the peace and quiet.

It was the first time I’d attempted the Med Steps for ages and it took me a while longer than on previous occasions because I kept stopping to look at everything. Unlike back in the spring, when everything looked so luscious and green, a lot of the vegetation was crisp and brown after the long, hot Mediterranean summer days but here and there there were little shoots of fresh green sprouting through and even some dwarf narcissi.

As I reached the midway point, I was greeted with this stunning view back towards the north.

 

Crochet-on-the-go

Monday meant one of the Little Postcards returned to school but the two other had an in-service day. The lovely sunny weather continued on from Sunday and after the joys of ironing and putting away of clean laundry, we headed down to Europa Point for a bit of fresh air. After a scoot around the park, they found a new friend to play football with. While they were happy having a kick around on what could be the most southerly football court in Europe, I enjoyed a spot of crochet in the sunshine. (I can’t call it a pitch because it’s made of concrete and surrounded by chain link fencing…. so surely it’s a court?)

Dressmaking class

Tuesday morning and all three of the Little Postcards were in school for the first time in two weeks (thanks to  a virus and then mid-term) and I headed back to my dressmaking class. At last, after weeks of planning, pattern cutting, fabric cutting, pinning and tacking, I got the sewing machine out! I completed the princess-line seams on the lining and then promptly ironed the bust seam flat and reduced it from a 3D piece of fabric to a 2D one…. whoops.

The morning after the night before.

So, on Wednesday morning, we awoke to the news the America had nearly elected a new President. By the time we were on the school run, the result was pretty much sealed. In tumultuous times, I find it’s sometimes good to just stop and take a deep breath and realise that life goes on. The world kept turning and the boats were still out in the Bay.

Watercolour class

It’s been three weeks since my last watercolour class and I’ve missed it a lot. Us students often joke that our teacher should charge us more for the therapy we get from her classes. Work continued on my interpretation of the beach huts in Southwold. Slowly but surely I’m getting there…

Blue skies

We really have been blessed with the weather this week. You can’t help but feel positive when the sky is as blue as this can you?

Stunning sunsets


The lovely clear weather has resulted in some lovely sunsets for us too. This one was last night. Although the sun’s been shining away, you can’t help but notice it’s November as there’s a distinct chill in the air once you are out of the sunshine. 

We often joke that you can very rarely sit out on our balcony because it’s either too hot or too cold. In the summer time it’s like sitting on a spit roast when the sun’s shining on the front of the building, in autumn and winter, once the sun drops it’s suddenly really chilly. I know, I know, I’ve turned into a softy… you wouldn’t think I’d been brought up and spent the first 30-odd years of my life in the north of England would you?

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins blog. Thank you so much for stopping by, I hope you have a good week ahead.

Sunday Sevens #54 23.10.16

1 Spectacular speed boats

Last Sunday afternoon Catalan Bay played host to the ThunderCat Racing UK team and their rather fast speed boats. We took the Little Postcards down to the beach for a while to watch the proceedings.

There were plenty of people out to see what was going on and the beach side restaurant’s were full of spectators viewing while they are their Sunday lunches.

The boats roared off from the edge of the beach at the start of each race and bounced about over the waves on the course out at sea.

We’ve watched the boats on previous occasions when they’ve visited Gibraltar, although this is the first time we’ve seen them in this venue. It was a great way to spend the afternoon.


2 A day at home


Monday meant a day at home – I had a poorly Little Postcard to look after. We made the best of it with a picnic in front of the tv and watched a couple of movies. On a very quick trip to the patio to hang out some washing I spied the bougainvillea in bloom. It looked so great against the cloudless sky.

3 Dressmaking class


My poorly Postcard was well enough for school on Tuesday so work began in earnest on the second top in this academic year’s dressmaking class. The first was a sample sleeveless fitted top, now it’s a princess line, lined sleeveless top. I have made my pattern (as you can see above) and the fabric has been purchased (cream broderie anglaise) next week, I’ll be back in the hot seat behind my sewing machine!

4 Autumn florals


It may be the latter part of October, but the flowers in Gibraltar are still looking glorious. I don’t know whether the cooler damp and misty weather has revived some of them but there are so many blooms out at the moment and they are looking fabulous.

5 Gibraltar Literary Festival

The fourth annual Gibraltar Literary Festival began on Thursday with a bang. This year it’s running over four days for the first time and the organisers have done a great job filling the days with loads of great events. I took this photo outside the Convent (the Governor of Gibraltar’s residence) there can’t be too many literary festivals in the world with a ceremonial guard can there?

I turned  up nice and early to my first talk on Thursday morning and asked the speaker to pose for photographs. I took  some great ones (or so I thought) little did I know the Littlest Postcard had mucked about with  very kindly reset the shutter speed….. blurry pictures galore! Note to self always take a few trial pictures before an event gah!

I will share more about my Gibraltar Literary Festival 2016 experiences soon, I promise!

6 Down in the dell

It’s been so murky and gloomy weather-wise for most of the week here but a sneaky short cut through the beautiful Alameda Gardens gave me the shot of colour to break the greyness. You just can’t beat it!

7 Peek-a-boo boats


The misty weather continued yesterday and things were decidedly murky in the Bay. You could just see the tops of the boats above the sea mist. I love seeing the Bay like this, it’s so atmospheric, it reminds me how lucky we are to live here.

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series featuring seven photos from the last seven days. It was created by Natalie of Threads & Bobbins blog, to find out more pop over to her site for all the info.