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 #144 8.7.18

It’s scorchio in Gibraltar today, I’m sitting by my open window out of the sun, slowly melting… here’s this week’s slightly sticky edition of Sunday Sevens…

Sunday lunch

Last Sunday we took an impromptu trip into Ocean Village for a lovely lunch. It wasn’t planned and it just worked to perfection; the food was lovely, everyone behaved well and we went home contented!

Party time

There was a birthday party this week… one of the Little Postcards is due to have his birthday in the summer holidays when many of his classmates are on holiday, so we brought the birthday celebrations forwards a bit so he could spend it with his friends. I find (my) children’s parties very stressful as a rule and approach them with great dread. I’m thrilled to say that on this occasion it went off without incident and the play zone we hired for the party had hardly anyone else in there at the same time so we almost had it to ourselves – which was bliss!

A floral rainbow

There seems to be a plethora of bright blousy blooms about at the moment in Gibraltar’s municipal flower beds. Here’s just a small selection.

Sewing school’s out for summer

My sewing lessons have come to an end for the summer break, I shall miss my morning sessions with sewing and banter with the girls. As it’s the end of term, I can now show you my finished dress… it’s taken almost a whole academic year to draft the pattern, make a cotton version to check for fitting and get the correct drape on the frill before making the actual dress.

I’m very pleased with it, especially as the fabric cost about €20 from La Linea market!! I just need the right occasion to wear it!

Happy post!

I have been watching Instagram enviously over the past few weeks seeing people announce that their latest Little Box of Crochet had arrived through the post. As usual mine arrived much later, as it has a longer distance to travel, on Thursday it finally arrived.

As I was in Catalan Bay anyway and the box has a special summer seaside theme, it seemed the perfect photo opportunity. I swear the folk watching me position it on an upturned boat and getting my focus right though I was bonkers…

Anyway, it arrived just in time for my annual summer craft challenge, which I started yesterday. My aim this year, as in the last two, is to do something crafty everyday throughout the school holidays in a bid to carve out a little bit of tranquil creativity while the world is going wild around me.

Last breakfast

Also on Thursday (in fact just before the above photo was taken) I popped out for one last moment of calm and tranquility before the end of term chaos ensued. The eggs Benedict I had was truly lovely! (Schools broke up on Friday and I had too many jobs to take care of to have my last breakfast then.)

A curry before kick off

Please excuse the repetitive food theme to these photos…. yesterday we decided to make a meal of it (well of a certain football match). It’s not every day England gets to the quarter finals of the World Cup is it? We headed out for a lovely curry before kick off and then stayed in the restaurant to watch the match. It was a perfect place – not too rowdy – as we had the Little Postcards with us.

Now, thanks to Messrs Maguire and Dele Alli we need to think of how we are going to spend the next semi-final match. I’m not sure my nerves can take it….

I wonder what I will be writing about England’s progress in next week’s Sunday Sevens??

Thanks so much for stopping by, I hope you have had a good week and that the one ahead is kind to you too. Until next time, bye for now.

I’m linking with Natalie from Threads and Bobbins for this weekly blog series.

Sunday Sevens #140 10.6.18

Hello there! We are in the middle of yet another lovely bank holiday weekend here in Gibraltar, this time it’s to commemorate the Queen’s birthday. Here’s this week’s edition of Sunday Sevens:

Birthday cake and sewing

It was my friend’s birthday this week and it coincided with our sewing class. I wasn’t expecting a generous slice of this gorgeous plate of chocolatey heaven when I turned up! As you can probably tell from the photo, it was divine. I was very careful not to drop any crumb on my dress I’m sewing!!

World Environment Day

World Environment Day was celebrated in Gibraltar on Tuesday in Commonwealth Park. Local school choirs performed on the bandstand and organisations and companies with an interest in the environment like the Alameda Wildlife & Conservation Park and the Nautilus Project had stalls to raise awareness about environmental concerns. It was a lovely afternoon in a beautiful setting.

Alameda Gardens

We are in the midst of a bit of home improvement Chez Postcard at present. The place is in utter chaos with stuff moved from it’s normal locations, floor tiles lifted, power tool noise and lots and lots of dust. I ran away one morning to escape the noise and mess and sat for half an hour in the tranquility of the Alameda Gardens. While I was there, these beautiful day lillies caught my eye. Aren’t they beautiful with their deep purple edges?

Sunny Catalan Bay

In another bid to escape the work at home I took a walk through Catalan Bay one lunchtime. It was beautifully sunny and quiet! It won’t be long before this place is full of deck chairs and sun umbrellas cheek by jowl on the beach. Until then, it’s such a peaceful place to be!

Cock a doodle doo to you too!

You can often hear cockerels crowing in the South District of Gibraltar, but until recently, I had never actually seen who was making all the noise! A couple of months ago on an early morning walk I came face to face with a rather impressive black cockerel, but he ran away too fast for me to catch him on camera. This week though, as I walked along Europa Road, I not only heard, but saw two cockerels crowing. They were oblivious to the traffic whizzing by them just a metre or so below them.

Sunny walk on the costa

Yesterday we took a drive along the coast to Puerto Banus near Marbella. It’s a rather swanky place full of designer shops, very (and I mean very) posh cars and mahooosive yatchs in the marina. I quite like going there to people watch and to see how the other half lives. Away from the razzmatazz there’s a lovely promenade where you can walk all the way to Marbella. We had a very pleasant walk there yesterday (not as far as Marbs though) the Little Postcards enjoyed jumping from rock to rock along the wall at the side of the path.

International Yarnbombing Day preparations

Did you know it’s International Yarnbombing Day tomorrow? Well it is, and I may be working on a little yarnbomb of my own… watch this space!

I’m linking with Natalie from Threads and Bobbins for this weekly blog series.

Friday photo challenge (week 23) Line

Hmmm line…. what was I thinking when I came up with that theme for the weekly photo challenge? Apologies to everyone who’s been taking part!

This was a tough one. First I thought about the old lines of defence around Gibraltar. The above road sign gives a nod to what once was.

Then I thought about the lines on the Gibraltar airport runway (but they are more arrows than lines).

And then I thought about the line of brightly painted beach huts at our favourite English seaside town, Southwold in Suffolk, and thought that might do the job.

That was until I took a walk through Catalan Bay yesterday and snapped this…

Lines on the boardwalk and lines in the shadows. That’ll do it!

Hopefully, next week’s photo challenge will be a little easier, the theme next week is ‘Tiny’.

Sunday Sevens #139 3.6.18

It’s been another lovely sunny week here in Gibraltar, it has ended as it began, with cloudless blue skies. I hope you have had a good week, where ever you are reading this. Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens…

Europa Point

Last Sunday afternoon, we took the Little Postcards to Europa Point to play on their scooters and kick a ball about. Unfortunately, a large section had been cordoned off to allow for the redevelopment of the cricket pitch in time for the Island Games, which Gibraltar will host next year. This means that the football court which they used to love kicking a ball about in has gone – a big loss in our family, and it was rather busy with tourists in the only other open space so football was rather curtailed. On a positive note, it was a beautiful afternoon and the wildflowers were looking lovely.

Bank holiday beach day

We were up bright and early on Bank Holiday Monday (not like us at all) and our early morning was rewarded with the beach almost to ourselves. We went along to our favourite beach of Sandy Bay and had a great time. I crocheted, the Little Postcards dug a huge hole which was constantly being filled with buckets of sea water (for some of the time by me – got to get beach body ready – as if!) and everyone had a whale of a time. By the time we left (around 2:30pm) the beach was getting a bit more crowded. We certainly had the best of the day.

Blooming lovely

I have been meaning to share a photo of my orchids for weeks. I have two plants which I had had for a few years and they are currently in bloom again. They seem to be the only house plant that I can look after – I’m rather good at over/under watering others but for some reason these two specimens are rather happy in my care.

Homemade granola

Always on the lookout for something relatively healthy that the whole family will eat, I tried my hand at homemade granola this week. I found the recipe in a magazine. It was very tasty, and we almost had some left by breakfast time…

Watercolour

For the past couple of weeks I have been working on a painting of nasturtiums at my watercolour class. It’s moving on apace. Still got a bit more to do though…

Catalan Bay

I had a lovely sunny morning walk on Thursday through Catalan Bay. It was lovely to see this boat being built/repaired. Apart from the workers getting the beach ready for the start of the bathing season this weekend, I had the place to myself. I will miss these quiet walks when the Little Postcards break up for summer.

Alameda Gardens Tranquility

On Friday morning I found myself walking through the beautiful Alameda Gardens. I do love this part very much. It was so tranquil listening to the water gurgling down the little waterfalls and watching the sunlight reflected off the ripples.

I’m linking with Natalie from Threads and Bobbins for Sunday Sevens. Until next time, I hope you have a good week.

Sunday Sevens #137 20.5.18

This Sunday Sevens is being sent by a rather worn out Postcard from Gibraltar, the reason why will become apparent in the sixth photo!

Sunday sunset

We had a beaut of a sunset on Sunday evening. So colourful. I’ve not included a sunset in Sunday Sevens for a while, so thought I’d put this one in.

It’s starting to look like a dress!

At last at my dressmaking class I am seeing progress. My dress is looking like a dress! Now time to fiddle with the frill!

A farewell lunch

An arty friend of mine is leaving Gibraltar and returning home to the Netherlands. This week I met her for lunch along with another arty friend to say farewell. We had Indian Tapas. It tasted as good as it looks.

Sunny morning walk by the sea

On Wednesday morning I went for a bit of a walk, I went for a coastal option rather than climbing up the Rock like normal. It was beautiful as I walked through Catalan Bay.

Experimenting with backgrounds

My next watercolour painting will be of nasturtiums, and I’ve been experimenting with the background to set them off nicely. I want a traditional Gibraltar stone wall, but how do I do that without drawing atttention away from the flowers? We’ll see if I can pull it off or not!

Med Steps

So yesterday was the Med Steps Challenge. It was really, really hard work – but then it wouldn’t be a challenge if it was easy would it? Not got much to add to that, still feeling rather tired!

Royal wedding fever

Royal wedding fever hit Gibraltar yesterday. I missed most of it slogging up the Rock, but had a quick trip to Ocean Village later on and there was a lot of well dressed people hitting the cava. One or two looked like they had started at breakfast time and were pushing on through to the FA Cup final. I think there may be a few sore heads around this morning!

That’s all for Sunday Sevens this week, thanks for stopping by! I’m linking with Natalie from Threads and Bobbins for this weekly blog series.

Sunday Sevens #129 1.4.18

Happy Easter and welcome to this Easter Sunday edition of Sunday Sevens. Last week we were on the slopes, skiing in the Dolomites. (If you missed my Postcard from the Dolomites, you can find it here.) This week we started off back at home in Gibraltar but once the Little Postcards broke up from school for the Easter break midweek, we found ourselves heading back to the airport to fly to England.

Back in Gibraltar

Ah! Look at that sunshine breaking through the clouds. After the wettest March on record in Gibraltar, it was so lovely to see the sunshine at Catalan Bay on Sunday.

Back in training

Monday morning and I got my first chance to climb the Med Steps since 27th January! Bronchitis and then very wet and windy weather rather got in the way of my training for the Med Steps 5 in May.

I went up alone on Monday and managed it ten minutes slower than on my last attempt, partially due to my decline in fitness, and partially because of the copious amount of apes which were sitting in the way on the steps. There were lots of baby apes and some rather fearsome parents so I wanted to give them a wide berth!

I have a lot of training to do before May!

Happy birthday Grandma

My parents left Gibraltar mid week, but before heading back home, my Mum celebrated her birthday with us. It was lovely to be able to spend it with her as most years we are apart. We had a birthday meal out to celebrate the occasion, and this was my dessert – a panacotta which tasted as good as it looked!

On the road again…

Bright and early on Thursday morning we hit the road again, with children this time, bound for Malaga airport and a flight back to the UK for an Easter break…

Hello Jurassic Coast!

We flew to Bristol, then drove down to Devon, to Sidmouth to be precise so we could visit the Jurassic Coast. Living where we do, means that we don’t really ‘holiday’ in the UK. We visit at least once a year but the main purpose of the trip is to visit family and friends. This trip though, was mainly for sightseeing with a couple of visits to see friends.

Snow!

Before Friday, Littlest Postcard had never seen snow before. Driving between Lyme Regis and Sidmouth, the wet weather took a rather colder turn and the rain turned to sleet, then snow. Such excitement! It didn’t stick unfortunately as the ground was too wet, but it still counts I reckon!

Hello Exeter

Yesterday we travelled to Exeter to meet up with a couple of old friends from our university days. It was so lovely to catch up with them after many years. It was my first time in Exeter too (if you don’t count traveling through the station). It’s a beautiful city, very reminiscent of Norwich and a bit like York too. I would’ve liked to have explored a bit more than we did but time was against us.

However you are spending your Easter I hope you are having a happy time with your loved ones. Take care until next week. Here’s a few photos from this last month – as always, it’s been a busy one!

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