Sunday Sevens #216 5.4.20

Hello, I hope this finds you safe and well. It’s been another funny week. I feel like I’ve not really done anything and was surprised I managed to find seven photos from the last seven days to share with you. Here goes…

Swab time

Last Sunday morning I was phoned and asked to come to the drive through testing for Covid-19. I had phoned the helpline on Saturday – 10 days after calling the first time to report symptoms and after being told to self-isolate which we had done. It was a bit of a highlight being able to leave the apartment albeit for about 25 minutes in total.

It wore me out though. I needed to go back to bed afterwards to have a sleep! I haven’t had my usual energy at all.

Sunset

The compulsory sunset photo

No Sunday Sevens is complete without a sunset photo don’t you think? This was last Sunday’s view from the balcony.

Whoops, looks like I started another blanket…

So, last week I spotted that a new CAL or crochet-along had begun to be completed while we are all under lockdown. It’s been put together by the lovely people behind the Crochet Sanctuary and is called ‘Pandemonium’. If you would like to join in, you can find the pattern (which is released twice weekly) on the ‘All things Crochet Sanctuary’ Facebook group.

Don’t look too closely though… I did it a bit wrong and had to unravel slightly. 😉

Rainbows of hope

I thought I would jump on the rainbow bandwagon this week (this lockdown has helped me rediscover my crojo – had you noticed?). I saw loads of lovely patterns online for crocheted rainbows but thought I’d have a go at doing my own. After two failed attempts at an ‘arc’ which were wonky (and yes, I know I could just do a circle and fold it in half) I gave up and did a little flag instead.

Home learning

We have been very fortunate in that the Little Postcards have all had online lessons this week. The teachers here in Gibraltar have done a great job keeping their pupils engaged through online teaching. However before the lessons kicked in, Littlest had a go at growing carrot tops. They are coming on rather well. They will be given to Diamond, our house rabbit, for a treat once they’re a bit bigger.

Pandemonium Part 2

The second part of the Pandemonium CAL was released mid week – what a treat to look forward to! I’m really enjoying it.

It’s finished – at last!

My Catalan Bay blanket

In case you missed my post yesterday about it, I finished my Catalan Bay blanket this week. It’s only taken a year 🙈. I had to wait until Friday for the sun to come out to take a photo!

So, there you have it, another week on lockdown. As for the test results, they came back positive for Covid-19. I suspected as much, but I felt a lot better knowing for sure. It’s not been nice, but I am feeling extremely lucky to have had a relatively mild dose in the scheme of things. I am thankfully now on the mend, although I don’t think I’ll be fit for climbing the Med Steps again for a while even if it was allowed!

For now we remain in self-isolation but hope to be able to get out of the apartment sometime next week for a government sanctioned walk once we know the household is completely clear of symptoms. It’s strange how the things we took for granted just a few weeks ago now seem so precious.

We have some very good friends and neighbours who have delivered shopping and medicine to our door. Thank you so much for that – we’re very grateful.

Gibraltar has risen to the coronavirus challenge. Whilst we haven’t been able to witness the empty streets other than on our car journey to the drive-through test facility, I have watched the daily governmental briefings and seen news reports about the new Nightingale hospital facility at the Europa Point sports complex, heard about the volunteers who have come forward to help in many ways and joined in the clapping and appreciation for all our key workers at 8pm each night.

Thank you to all of you who have contributed to the effort, your work is very much appreciated.

Until next week, stay safe & stay at home x

Sunday Sevens was first created by Natalie from Threads and Bobbins.

A Catalan Bay Blanket Story

Once upon a time (about a year ago) a lovely crochet designer called Eleonora published a crochet-along (or CAL) pattern for a new blanket called ‘Changing Tides’. The previous year, Eleonora had published another seaside themed blanket on her Coastal Crochet blog called the ‘Seaside Stash Buster’ which I joined in with and created my Sandy Bay Blanket.

Even though I had approximately 7,248 other crochet projects on the go at the time (well not quite, but it felt like it), I couldn’t resist having a go at Eleonora’s new project, and so it began…

Just like the previous year, Eleonora posted helpful You Tube videos along the way to help with tricky stitches and rows and soon had us all crocheting like pros!

I set off like a bull at a gate and didn’t take the time to plan what my colour choices would be, and decided (resonably early on) that I didn’t like what I had done so started again…

My project came with me on holiday…

…and before I knew it, I had a rather nice ‘changing tides’ sea developing in front of me. The name ‘changing tides’ is very appropriate because at the end of each row you turn your work and travel back the way you came in much the same way the waves do as they land on the beach.

It even made it down to the beach…

…those bobbles are rather time consuming, so I did a spot of bobbling on the bus…

…and still the tide came in.

And look … it even featured on Eleonora’s Instagram feed on one of her weekly round-ups! That made my day I can tell you.

By this point I felt that perhaps it was time to think about something other than just sea and waves…

And inspiration hit me. Last year’s blanket was based on Sandy Bay.

My Sandy Bay blanket from last year

Why not make a blanket based on another of Gibraltar’s lovely beaches…. Catalan Bay?

The brightly coloured houses gave me lots of excuses to use some different vibrant colours.

But what colour should I opt for first? What about the aptly named ‘shrimp’?

Shrimp was just the ticket for another row of bobbles and they could represent the buoys which hold up the nets in the family swimming area.

It felt good to see a pop of colour against all that blue. The buoys were finished during a short break in Spain while sitting under the cool of some trees.

And again, my blanket made it into one of Eleonora’s weekly round ups! What a thrill.

Time for more waves, and then finally dry land and a beach!

Then came the sandy bobbles, a terracotta coloured sea wall, and those brightly coloured houses which populate Catalan Bay. Behind the houses came the green vegetation which then gave way to the grey of the upper Rock and finally the sky and wispy Levanter clouds forming on the crest of the Rock.

I tell you what, those different colours were a bit fiddly and you do not want to see the loose ends that were on the back!

It’s taken an inordinately long amount of time to get to the end, but get to the end I have! It’s time for the big unveiling!

Last year, I was able to do my big ta-dah moment on Sandy Bay beach itself. This year, because of our current situation in lockdown because of the Coronavirus, my big ta-dah is just having to happen on my balcony… at least the sun’s shining!

Thank you very much Eleonora for yet another fabulous crochet-along pattern. Thank goodness I managed to get this one finished before you launch this year’s blanket (just a week before I believe!). The online community which was formed because of these blankets is truly wonderful. It’s so important to feel like you are part of a community, especially at times like this.

Until we meet again, Catalan Bay, thank you for your inspiration!

Sunday Sevens #215 29.3.20

Hello there, I’m back. It’s seems like such strange times we are living through that they really should be documented. Here’s a bit of a Sunday Sevens-esque jaunt through the last few weeks Chez Postcard. It’s been a strange one I’ll give you that…

Homeward bound

Two weeks ago I flew back into Gib after a few days with family & friends in Manchester. I knew it would probably be the last time I would see them in person for quite a while and felt incredibly lucky to have had this time before everything went a bit odd.

Musical interlude

The beautiful Hallé St Peter’s venue for the concert

One of the reasons I went back to the UK was to support a friend of mine who’s son was launching his first album along with his vocal group. I think that if the launch date had been set for a few days later, it would have been cancelled because of the Coronavirus situation. As it was, the launch was sparsely populated with the older generation. Those of us in our 40s were probably the eldest there. A live stream was laid on so older relatives and ticket holders could still get to see the performance from the safety of their homes.

The group is called The Apex Singers and they are wonderful. Their music is sung acapella and their new album is called Hiraeth. It’s a collection of ancient folk songs from around the world with music from Japan, Scandinavia and closer to home too. If you want to listen to something totally relaxing which will whisk you away from anything that’s going on at the moment be sure to give it a listen.

You can see them perform on YouTube – just search Apex Singers and their website is theapexsingers.com I can highly recommend their music. Their album was ‘album of the week’ on Scala Radio the week after their launch and their musical director was interviewed on air by Simon Mayo. Hopefully they are destined for big things.

Spring migration

After my return from England we had a bit of lovely weather and as I gazed up into the bright blue sky I spotted dozens and dozens of black kites above my head. They came in waves and in huge numbers using the thermals to get across the Strait of Gibraltar from Morocco and further south heading north to spend the summer in Europe. Such a lovely sight and a reminder that life goes on regardless of what’s going on for you.

Sewing lesson

As things began to get affected by the Coronavirus situation, our lovely sewing teacher found herself in lockdown in Spain. That didn’t stop our lessons though, we did them remotely, each in our own homes and speaking via the World Wide Web!

My current project- a checked waistcoat

Empty streets

This was my last walk down Main Street it was early last week (over 10 days ago). It felt surreal walking along a street which is normally bustling with shoppers and tourists.

Little did I know that within a day I would begin to feel a bit unwell.

I don’t know for sure whether I have Covid-19 as I haven’t been tested yet. That’s been saved for the most vulnerable in society – quite rightly. As a consequence we have been in self- isolation ever since. (Thankfully the rest of the Postcard family have been unaffected. I’m relieved to say none of my friends and family in Manchester have shown any signs of infection either since I left them 2 weeks ago).

The Little Postcards fortunately have been able to continue with school work thanks to tablets & laptops and that’s been a real boon. The wonders of online video games also means that during down time they have been able to play with their friends online and still have a bit of community.

It’s at times like this that our own online community seems more important than ever.

Guilt free TV

While resting up (I’ve had symptoms of flu which whilst being rather unpleasant is nothing like what many people have experienced so I’m not complaining) I have had the perfect opportunity to watch lots of telly.

This show was about life in Robin Hood’s Bay on the East coast of Yorkshire. Such a lovely programme, such a lovely place and a very clever friend of mine helped make the show – well done Becky!

Crochet therapy

With all this time on my hands I have had the perfect excuse to catch up with my long suffering Catalan Bay blanket – it’s a Changing Tides blanket as designed by Eleonora from Coastal Crochet with a few bits added by me. Now I’m on to the border… the end is in sight.

I’m looking forward to writing a post all about it in the coming weeks.

Cheery blooms

Just before the lurgy hit I managed to buy myself a pot of hyacinth bulbs. Just look at them now – I’m loving the bright pink colour!

And that brings Sunday Sevens to a close for now. Goodness what strange times we live in.

Wherever you are, I hope you are safe & healthy. Lots of love from Gibraltar xxx

Sunday Sevens was first created by Natalie from Threads and Bobbins.

Summer Craft Challenge 2019 (Week 4)

Good evening, here’s week 4 of my Summer Craft Challenge…

Day 22 Saturday 20th July

Back on the aqua blues after that pop of colour last week…. do those bobbles remind you of anything?

Day 23 Sunday 21st July

…more waves.

Day 24 Monday 22nd July

… and still more waves!

Day 25 Tuesday 23rd July

And here is my first row of land… a spot of wet sand!

Day 26 Wednesday 24th July

I have a grey stripe now…. looks a bit like pebbles don’t you think?

Day 27 Thursday 25th July

We spent a lovely hour in Catalan Bay on Thursday evening which made me think perhaps it was as good a time as any to reveal that this year my seaside blanket will be made with a Catalan Bay theme – I can’t wait to capture some of the colours of those Catalan Bay homes!

Day 28 Friday 26th July

Today I did a bit of planning for my Sandy beach rows, then a spot of ruffling…

We have had a rather busy week this week and as it’s the summer holidays I’m taking a little holiday from my phone as from tomorrow. I’ll keep up with my Craft challenge and will tell you all about it when I return!

Until then, bye for now and thanks for stopping by! 🙂