Sunday Sevens #130 8.4.18

Hello there from Gibraltar on the last day of the Easter school holidays. Life will hopefully fall back into some sort of routine from tomorrow. We’ve had a lovely week and a bit of family time with travel to the south of England, which we all enjoyed, but it will be nice to get back to normal again… here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens:

Down on the farm

On Easter Sunday we piled into car and drove from our holiday home in Sidmouth in Devon to a fabulous farm shop and café for breakfast. Greendale Farm Shop, just outside Exeter, has won awards and I can see why, it was fabulous. We had great breakfasts ranging from a mini full English to bacon butties, omelette to waffles and ice cream?! The shop was excellent, as was the farm itself.

The Little Postcards were mesmerized by the free range chickens who followed us wherever we went. As for Oscar the ostrich, the jury’s out. Just for the record I was informed that there was a more than passing resemblance between myself and the pot bellied pigs (see what I have to put up with!).

Train travels

We were on the move again on Monday, we travelled from Devon to London Paddington. The train was terribly overcrowded, we stood all the way from Exeter to London 😦 it was so overcrowded even the toilet door handle was shocked:

I stood next to it all the way :-/

Being tourists

On Tuesday we met up with some old friends who used to live in Gibraltar and did a spot of sightseeing. (It was lovely to see them again.) First stop was St Paul’s Cathedral. I had never been inside before and was mesmerized by this place which, when I was a little girl in 1981, hosted the fairytale royal wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Di.

I had a Ladybird book of the royal wedding which I knew off by heart cover-to-cover preparing myself for my own wedding to a Prince…. I did indeed meet my prince, Mr Postcard, our wedding was a rather more low key affair but no less special 😉

Flying high

On Wednesday we took a bit of a tour around the capital for the benefit of a Little Postcard who has a thing for public transport, we rode the Tube, the Docklands Light Railway, a regular train which ran on part of the soon to be opened Cross-Rail project and hitched a ride on the Emirates Airline cable car. It gave us a great view across the O2 towards the City, and despite the rainy weather was lots of fun.

A perfect spring morning

On our last morning in London, we woke to blue skies and set off for a bit of a walk to make the most of the good weather. We headed to Kensington Gardens and as you can see it was glorious. What a charming park, despite being busy with people it didn’t feel overcrowded and it was great to get a fix of green in the Big Smoke. Many of the trees were starting to show signs of spring and it was so good to see.

Heading home

On Friday we headed home to Gibraltar. Before setting off from Blighty we had an overnight stay with more friends in Sussex and we headed out for a walk near to where we were staying. On that walk I spied these pretty primroses. I do love visiting England in the spring. The sprouting trees and hedges and spring flowers hold such promise of the beauty which is yet to come. Thank you England, we had a lovely trip!

Back down to business

Too much time has passed without Med Steps training, so once my washing airers were full of clean wet washing and I could wash no more, it was time to hit the steps again yesterday.

I have to admit feeling a little disillusioned and unmotivated about my training of late as life and bad weather have rather got in the way. However, as I stepped I plugged in my headphones to listen to an amazing podcast. It was the latest in the Blogtacular Podcast series and featured Lauren Mahon, the author of the blog Girl vs Cancer.

It was incredibly powerful as she spoke of the importance of support services to help people undergoing cancer treatment. It reminded me why I was training for the Med Steps 5 next month, which raises funds for the Cancer Relief Centre here in Gibraltar so it can offer a whole range of much needed support services to those undergoing treatment as well as their nearest and dearest. I’m back on track now!

Thank you for stopping by and reading this Sunday Sevens. I’m linking with Natalie from Threads & Bobbins.

Rising to the Med Steps 5 Challenge (in pictures)

Last Saturday morning, my alarm went off  at 7 so that I could get up the hill to the start of the Med Steps 5 Challenge. After a couple of days with rain showers I was relieved to see that the forecast of cloudy but dry skies was correct. 

It wasn’t long before the crowds of walkers and their supporters began to arrive. Just after 9am, the safety briefing began in readiness for the start of the event. 

And at approximately 9:30, we were off and underway on lap one! It wasn’t too bad as we were carried along with the momentum of the crowd, although by the summit, the crowd had thinned out a bit.

There were a lot of tourists on the Upper Rock and the apes had come out to greet them, and us!


48 minutes for the first lap, not too bad.

The wildflowers are at their peak in the nature reserve at the moment, these poppies were my favourite.

2 laps done…

And here’s the proof!

Onwards and upwards…

Three laps in two and a half hours…

Time for a breather and a great view south towards the lighthouse.

Starting to slow up a bit… Almost a whole hour for lap number 4.

On the final lap and I was starting to flag, I couldn’t even focus the picture! Thank you Soreen for giving me the energy to finish (you can take the girl out of Manchester…).

The floor in parts of the walk was carpeted in a confetti of olive blossom. I was looking down a lot at this point, just trying to get one foot in front of the other…

I did it! I even managed 15 minutes faster than last year (I have no idea how I managed that with less training, unless the extra weight brought me down quicker 😉).

Look, five stamps, one for each lap of the challenge. Phew, I’m glad that’s over, anyone fancy joining me next year?

Time to collapse…

If you would like to hear some of the atmosphere of the day, why not give my latest podcast a listen here?

Postcard from Gibraltar Podcast Episode 012: Doing the Med Steps 5 Challenge 2017

This time last week, dozens of intrepid walkers were preparing for the challenge of the year: the Med Steps 5 Challenge. Organised by the Gibraltar Prison Service and with all funds raised going to Cancer Relief Gibraltar, it’s an event which is growing year on year.

After a few wet days, the rain held off meaning everything went to plan. Individuals and teams of walkers and runners set off for up to five laps each of the Mediterranean Steps.

One walker even attempted to complete the challenge in high heels! In this episode of the Postcard from Gibraltar Podcast I meet some of the people behind the event and take you along with me for the walk. 

I even managed to complete all five laps!

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

This is the last in this first series of Postcard from Gibraltar Podcasts. I’m taking a little break to record some more material for future podcasts, thank you so much for joining me so far.

If you have missed any of my earlier podcasts, you can find them all through my blog postcardfromgibraltar.com as well as on iTunes and PodOmatic.

Theme Music : Happy Me by Twisterium

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? 

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

Convent Christmas Fair 2016

It may have been a pretty damp and grey day yesterday, but that didn’t put the crowds off coming along to the annual Convent Christmas Fair this year. For those not familiar with Gibraltar or the Convent, it’s the official residence of the Governor of Gibraltar (the Queen’s representative here), so naturally there are a few royal pictures about the place…

A quick stop at security, and we were in.

The Convent Christmas Fair Committee put an awful lot of work into putting the fair on each year. It costs £2 to get in and you are accosted pretty quickly to buy raffle tickets and tombola tickets for some wonderful prizes. All of the money which is raised at the event goes to support local charities.

Up the grand stairs and into the fair….

The first table I came to was Kate Davies’ beautiful stall showcasing some of her lovely fused glass work. I have been a fan of Kate’s work for a few years now and I have several of her pieces hanging around the house from windows. I’m looking forward to going up to Kate’s shed to see her at work soon, I’d love to know how she does it!

Next I headed into the very grand dining room which had been given over to a vast array of stalls featuring all sorts of different crafts and goodies.

Craft fair regular, Debbie Yeo was there with some of her beautiful things. Debbie can turn her hand to so many different crafts. She had paper crafts, hand sewn gifts and beautifully painted items for sale.

This painted glassware and candles on Debbie’s stall are just exquisite.

My next port of call was the ‘Beyoutifully Homemade’ stall made by Sally. The talented stitcher makes cushions (some featuring Star Wars characters & Pokemon balls), bags, lap quilts, memory items using your own children’s baby outfits and recycled denim projects. She had so many lovely things she had on offer.

Not only did I make a purchase, I also got some inspiration for something else to add to my  never ending ‘To make’ list! My next stop was the ballroom…

In this venue there were some very tasty treats on offer along with many stalls representing local charities. My attention was caught by small local business Just Because Macarons…. you can see why!

There were loads of very appealing flavours on offer… ooh which to choose?

Then it was time to choose the name of the knitted reindeer on the Cancer Relief stall (many apologies to Grainne [Santa’s little helper] I only took one photo and she looks a bit browned off in it! I promise she was smiling a split second before this was taken!!).

All of the things on this Christmas fundraising stall were made by patients who use the centre, their families and the centre’s many wonderful supporters. They have a craft club once a fortnight and the items made during the sessions were used to fill the stall. Among the lovely items on sale were doggie treats, human treats (including the most wonderful rocky road bites – I accidentally ate a few before the family came home – whoops) and handcrafted decorations and toys.

Alas, it was time to head home in time to pick the Little Postcards up from school. It was a brilliant fair again as always. I went early-ish so didn’t see it at it’s most busy. From previous experience I know it gets really packed when the schools finish for the day and the queue to visit Santa in his grotto can get quite long. I took Littlest Postcard last year and he was a little bit unsure, so I didn’t repeat the trip this year.

So what did I buy? Well sadly, quite a lot of it will be going into Christmas presents to people who may read this, so I can’t share too much…. But these mmm… I can’t wait to try one of these. I doubt very much they will stay in their packets much longer. Just need an excuse for giving the boys a treat…. Mint Chocolate, Milk Chocolate and Minion flavour macarons. (What do Minions taste like I wonder?)

And this lovely crayon roll made by Beyoutifully Homemade will be going in the post to a special little man we know.

So that’s it for another year. I hope you enjoyed this trip to the Convent Christmas Fair, I’m very pleased to say I have officially begun my Christmas shopping – well I had got a few bits and pieces already but it’s the big push now from here on in.

Jingle bells…jingle bells… I wonder whether the guard made it in to see Santa? 😉

If you would like to see last year’s post about the Convent Christmas Fair 2015, you can find it here.

Sunday sevens #31 15.5.16

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series devised by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins blog . It features seven photos from the past seven days.

A damp start to the week

As much of the British Isles were basking in Mediterranean weather at the start of the week, we were donning our  wellies and digging our waterproofs out of the back of the wardrobe! I’m posting this photo to make all you Brits feel better about the weather up North! I don’t grudge you having the sunshine one little bit, you deserve it. We, at least are guaranteed a long, dry, hot summer, thankfully this is just a temporary blip! 

Watercolour class


This week, I tried my hand at orchids as my teacher had a lovely one in her house. As you can see, I had to take the photo while it was still wet, so the colours may have changed slightly by the time I get back to class to finish it off. It was a very calm, therapeutic lesson though. Us students joke that our teacher should charge more as she’s a therapist as well as a teacher! We can go and have a good laugh or a moan about things and we all come out feeling much better at the end and sometimes we even have a nice painting to show for our work too!

Feeling floral

I’ve been working on a floral crochet project of late, I’m hoping to be able to share a bit more of it with you soon – here’s a sneaky peak 😉

Here comes the sun!

At long last, after a very wet week, the sun came back to us on Friday. Oh it feels good to be able to hang your washing out outside again!! 

A school trip


We waved our eldest off on a school trip on Friday night. He flew to England for a week long visit to an outdoor adventure centre. I know that he and his friends will be having a whale of a time but it was difficult saying goodbye at the airport. 

Gazing around the parents milling about at the check-in desks I guess it was us grown ups who found the parting hard, the kids much less so. This photo was taken on our walk back across the runway to collect the car. The Rock looked majestic in the evening sun. 

The traffic on Friday night was awful, there were a few planes landing, it was Friday’s rush hour – oh and Gibraltar had just been made the 211th member of FIFA so the the border queue was pretty slow heading into Spain…

Med Steps 5 Challenge


Well, we did it! 5 times round the Med Steps, that’s more than 19km in a time of 4 hours & 38 minutes. It was hot on the Eastern side of the Rock with our newly returned sunshine. When I last checked 140 individuals had registered to take part and 160 in teams of up to 5.

It was an excellent event organized by the Gibraltar Prison Service and to support the wonderful Cancer Relief Centre here in Gibraltar. Everyone was so friendly and encouraging. I’m very proud of what my team mates and I achieved and grateful to have been able to support this event and the charity it’s for. 

Thank you to everyone who has supported us and put up with the incessant ramblings about this event. We have had some lovely good luck messages and your support has been very much appreciated. We have been feeling the love – thank you!

And finally…


A glass of bubbles to toast our five times round. The wrist band was stamped on the completion of each circuit – I promise it has 5 stamps even though you can’t see them all!