Blue Sky Tag 

Europa Point, Gibraltar

A couple of weeks ago I was very pleasantly surprised to be nominated for a Blue Sky Tag by Jane of the Candelo Blooms blog. Thank you Jane very much for thinking of me! The tag is a fun event which runs throughout June, and requires me to answer 11 questions about myself and Postcard from Gibraltar and then nominate 11 other bloggers for the same award.

It feels slightly self indulgent for me to spend all this time writing about me rather than talking about experiences or events I have visited which is my usual style of blog post, for that reason it’s taken me a while to complete this post. Here goes nothing…

Commonwealth Park, Gibraltar

1. What do you enjoy most about blogging?

I love that it gives me an excuse to take loads of photos and ask questions. I’m a naturally nosy person and before having children I worked as a journalist so this gives me the excuse to be more than just someone’s mum! 

I also love that it has brought me opportunities which otherwise wouldn’t have happened. I now contribute to an online publication and have become part of a craft group all brought about by my blogging.

 2. What other hobbies and pastimes do you enjoy?

Oh my word I have so many hobbies! Regular readers to my blog will know that I love to crochet. I also attend weekly watercolour classes and dressmaking classes. I love taking phtotos, which is probably obvious if you read my blog regularly, and I have recently tried wet felting for the first time (a blog post will be appearing on that soon!) I know, I know, I really don’t need another hobby! 🤣


 3. Given your time over, without any restrictions, what would be your ideal job? Why?

Well I did have a pretty perfect job for me, I was a journalist which meant I got to visit special places where the public wasn’t allowed and I got to meet so many interesting people and was able to tell their stories. Aside from the (at times) long working hours and unpredictable shifts it was a dream job. 

If I could do anything at all though, I would love to be a craftsperson with a talent great enough to make a living from it. I’d love my own workshop (ideally in the countryside or at the end of a large garden) and be surrounded by my crafty things whatever they might be. As it is, I live in an apartment in the fifth most densely populated place in the world (or so I’m told) so it’s not likely – I’m very happy as I am though.  

 4. Which new country would you like to visit?

I have had a bit of a fascination with Australia since the magical day I was off sick from school and Neighbours came on the TV in the U.K. for the first time! Back then (when I was around 11 yrs old I think) I started saving 50p of my pocket money each week towards my dream holiday to Ramsay Street and the rest of Australia. I had a page cut out from a holiday brochure I’d snaffled from a travel agents with a 3 week tour of Oz including a trip to Melbourne and was saving up for that (it cost over £2000 back in the late 80s) needless to say I never saved enough!

Camp Bay, Gibraltar
5. What is your favourite quotation?

I have to confess that I didn’t have a favourite quotation in my back pocket ready for this occasion, it took a bit of googling. This is the one which I think best sums up my view on life: “I choose to make the rest of my life the best of my life” by Louise Hay. I have been lucky enough to have had a great life so far, a happy childhood, a great career until I had a much wanted family, however onwards and upwards…. who knows what lies ahead?

 6. If you were an animal, what would you like to be and why?

This is a tricky question to answer, to be honest I am not a great animal lover. I abhor cruelty to animals but I’m just not a huge animal fan. Just the other evening as Mr Postcard and I were sitting on the balcony at dusk, enjoying the golden moment between the cool dusk breeze arriving and the mosquitos arriving we were watching the seagulls swirling around over our heads calling out to each other. Now I’m not saying I fancy being a seagull eating rubbish out of people’s bins and pooping on the people down below, but it would be fab to be able glide on the thermals and take in the views.

View of the Mediterranean Sea from the Med Steps
 7. What is your favourite time of year and why?

Ooh, another tricky one. It rather depends on where I am. In Gibraltar it has to be spring, the days are often warm and sunny, very much like an English summer’s day but it’s not too hot and you can get stuff done without needing several showers to cool down. 

In Britain, I love all the seasons and I miss them dreadfully living here in Gibraltar. I love winter for its cosiness, crunchy frost underfoot and Christmas. Spring is so full of promise with bulbs breaking through the soil and the bright acid green of the newly opened leaves on the trees. 

Summer is just wonderful when it’s sunny and dry. I love woodland walks and picnics.  And Autumn is magical for it’s colourful leaves, conkers and misty cobwebs. Sorry, that doesn’t really answer the question does it?

 8. What is your favourite film?

I don’t really have a favourite film as such, I have had a few favourites over the years, The Sound of Music and Dirty Dancing featured heavily in my formative years. As an adult I have to admit to a James Bond addiction….

Gibraltar Airport

 9. What are the 3 most important character attributes to you?

Honesty, I can’t be doing with having to second guess what people are really thinking. Kindness, there is no need to be mean and a little kindness helps the world go round, don’t you agree? Creativity, nothing fires my own creativity than having creative people to inspire me.

 10. What is your favourite book and why?

My favourite book tends to be the one I am reading at the moment. I am a member of a book club and I love that it introduces me to different genres I wouldn’t normally choose for myself. I am slowly working my way through George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series at the moment, in-between my book club books. I am currently on Book 4, A Feast for Crows. I have watched the TV series up to the point where I am reading, but want to read the books before seeing the series.

Convent Garden, Gibraltar
 11. What is your favourite garden and why?

I love pretty much all gardens. My favourite one here in Gibraltar has got to be the Governor’s gardens at his official residence, the Convent. It’s open to the public once a year for the annual Convent garden party and it’s lovely to take a stroll along the shady agapanthus lined paths and enjoy the beautiful trees. It’s a real oasis in a rather built up environment.

Now to my Blue Sky nominees….

I would like to nominate the following people for this Blue Sky Tag:

Kate at H and Flossiedoodle

Polly at Polly Mixtures

Marisa at Mariwish Crochet & Life

Cathy at Nana Cathy

Sandra at Wild Daffodil

Natalie at Threads & Bobbins

Tinaor Handmade homemade knit stitch design

Shazza at Sunshine & Celandines

Denis at Haiku Hound

Bekki at Dartmoor Yarns

Shiela at Sewchet

 The rules of the Blue Sky Tag are:

1.Thank the person who nominated you.

2. Answer their 11 questions.

3. Formulate 11 questions for your nominees.

4. Tag 11 bloggers and let them know.

So to my nominees, I would like to ask you the following questions…

 

1. What do you most enjoy about blogging?

2. What made you start your blog and how long have you been doing it?

3. What most attracts you to a blog and what makes you keep reading it?

4. What other hobbies and pastimes do you enjoy?

5. Given your time over, without any restrictions, what would be your ideal job? Why?

6. Which new country would you like to visit?

7. What is playing in your headphones right now? Music, podcast, audio book?

8. What is your favourite book and why?

9. If you could go to any point in history to witness it for yourself, when and where would that be?

10. If you could eat anything for your next meal, what would it be?

11. I’m writing this while watching Glastonbury, what would your dream gig line-up be?

There is absolutely no pressure, if you don’t want to take part or don’t have time I won’t be offended! If you do though, please tag me to let me know, in case I miss it.

2017 Weekly photo challenge (week 5) Happy

This week’s photo challenge has taken more of a personal turn rather than a look at Gibraltar. So here goes… in no particular order, here are some of the things which make me ‘happy’:

My Family (when they’re all getting on!)



Where I live (such a beautiful place and wonderful community)


Blue skies


Flowers


Making…

The Med Steps (when I get to the top!)


I’m linking with Nana Cathy’s blog for this weekly photo challenge. To find out more or to join in yourself, pop over to her page to find out more.

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 #20 28.2.16

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie at the  Threads & Bobbins  blog. It features seven photos from the past seven days. If you would like to join in, pop over to her blog to find out more. 

Saharan dust  

You may remember that in last week’s Sunday Sevens I had a rather dramatic photo of the waves crashing onto the rocks at Europa Point. Well, that stormy weather whipped up a lot of Saharan dust and on Sunday we were treated to a rather murky and strangely atmospheric day. We decided to go to the cinema in the afternoon and walked across the grass at Commonwealth Park on our way home. All our shoes were coated in orange dust by the time we got to the car. The car was pretty orange too – so glad I washed it at the end of last week!

 Curtain valance  

In my home furnishings class this week we began to make a curtain valance which  will be attached to a small pair of matching curtains. I love this cute boat fabric – I got it in a sale (even better). I’ve been working on my curtains as homework but they are proving to be problematic- I measured them and cut them accurately. Then I measured my seam allowance exactly and pinned the seams. Then when I remeasured them before machining them they were wonky and the measurements were way out. They have been put away in disgust…

And so it begins… 

 

In my dressmaking class I cut out the fabric for my full circle skirt. I love it so much – it has flowers embroidered on it in coordinating thread which you can’t see in the above picture. I have done my back seam and inserted my zip already. Just need to finish the waistband and hem and it’s sorted. I had a lot more success in this class than with my curtains!

Lemon curd 

 

We are lucky enough to be able to grow lemons on our back patio. Last year with our homegrown ones and a few gifted to us by friends & neighbours I ended up with a bit of a glut so made some lemon curd. I had never tasted it before that first time making it – it was delicious. So, as I found myself with rather a lot of lemons in the fruit bowl this week I thought I’d have another go. This photo doesn’t do it justice, believe me when I say it’s glorious.

Med steps, the revenge! 

 

Due to poorly children and wild weather conditions I haven’t made it up the Med Steps for a whole month. This week, though, accompanied by two crazy friends, we restarted our training for the Med Steps Challenge (which involves climbing them 5 times in the one day – yes I know, utter madness). Anyway, we set off and it was rather hard work after 4 weeks without training. It was a foregone conclusion that we would do it twice and at the end of the second circuit we were feeling pretty energized so decided to have a go at a third trip up – BIG MISTAKE. Cor blimey it was tough. If I hadn’t have been with my training buddies I truly would have laid down part way up and finished it on my hands and knees. It was utterly exhausting. I got home and only had the energy to kick off my shoes before flopping on the bed and falling asleep for over an hour!! I’ve been feeling like a very old woman ever since. Any pleasure at having completed the 3 circuits in 2 hours 50 minutes has been overshadowed with the terror of wondering how awful number 4 & number 5 will be… Anyway the above photos were taken one on each trip up the steps. I took loads of photos on the third trip just for an excuse to stop!!

Watercolour daffs 

 This week at my watercolour class I was planning to begin my next architectural painting. However, when I arrived for my lesson, my teacher had a beautiful vase of  daffodils in the middle of the table and I decided to put the ‘window’ picture off until next week and have a stab at the daffs. I’ve had some successes with painting flowers so I somewhat arrogantly thought ‘how hard can this be?’. How wrong I was – they are flipping hard in spite of their relatively simple shape. Perhaps their apparent simplicity is the hard part as they can very easily look out of proportion. They are gorgeous ‘spring-y’ colours though :-).

 Sunny skies 

Yesterday we enjoyed beautiful skies after the morning’s showers had cleared away. I think fluffy clouds like this against the blue are so beautiful. 
I’ve had a great week, although looking back through this post I realise I sound a bit moany as a few things were harder than expected – I don’t mean to be! I do hope the week has been good for you too. Thank you for stopping by and for those of you who take the time to leave a comment – thank you, it’s lovely to hear from you. 🙂