Sunday Sevens #170 6.1.19

Happy New Year and welcome to the first Sunday Sevens of 2019! We are on the final day of the school Christmas holidays here. And I’m writing this to avoid thinking about school uniforms and packed lunches! Here goes…

The sun goes down on another year…

This was the last sunset of 2018, a calm end to the year. We spent New Year’s Eve at home and ate nice food before watching the coverage of local celebrations on the TV as the clock ticked down to midnight….

Bring on the fireworks…

…and then the skies lit up all around us. Several neighbours put on rather impressive firework displays.

New Year’s Day Med Steps trip

We thought we would start the year as we mean to go on and headed off up the Med Steps late morning on New Year’s Day. It was the first time we’d taken the two youngest Postcards up there and they loved it. They did so well, especially Youngest, who has the shortest legs of all. Two and a quarter hours door to door, which is very good going I think.

All the fun of the fair

There have been Christmas Fair rides and attractions in town all over Christmas. We managed to avoid them until this week (cruel parents that we are). Fortunately ours aren’t great fans of rides so a quick go on hook-a-duck was enough to satisfy Youngest.

Unusual boat

This huge crane ship has been in our eye line for weeks. It appeared across the Bay at Algeciras before Christmas and then around New Year’s Eve, it moved out into the Bay to be serviced by some of the bunkering ships from Gibraltar. It disappeared off into the Med not long after.

Christmas done for another year…

And so, after all that build-up, Christmas has been packed away back into boxes for another year. I felt sad putting my fairy lights away though, I love it when they twinkle at night!

Cavalcade

The 62nd annual 3 Kings Cavalcade took place in Gibraltar last night. It was honestly quite a sight. A few years ago there were concerns that it might stop as fewer floats being entered. This year saw its second biggest number ever, with 17 floats in total. Some of them were amazing this year…

Well done to everyone who took part!

And so that’s Sunday Sevens for another week. I hope you’ve had a good start to the New Year.

I’m anticipating that things will be a bit busier than usual for me in the next few weeks (all good things though) so I may not be around as much as usual. I will endeavour to keep up with Sunday Sevens and Friday photos, but there may not be the chance for much else for now.

Thanks for stopping by, and until next time, have a good week!

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

Sunday Sevens #169 30.12.18

Blimey, I guess that’s Christmas over with. It feels odd really, when I was younger and living in England, the post Christmas lull was filled with turkey sandwiches, flasks of coffee with a nip of whiskey to stave off the cold and muddy walks along canal tow-paths and to National Trust properties. I do miss that rather a lot.

We have spent our post Christmas lull over the border in Spain, where we didn’t have turkey sandwiches, flasks of coffee or muddy walks, but here’s what we got up to:

And so it begins…

This curry signified the beginning of Christmas for me. Work was done, school had finished, presents were bought (at least I think they all were) and it was time to relax and enjoy the fun.

Giant Poinsettia

A pre-Christmas stroll through the Alameda Gardens and I stumbled upon this mahoosive poinsettia. Makes my small one (which will no doubt have lost its leaves in a couple of weeks) look rather inferior!

Turkey time!

My favourite meal of the year. It was delicious…

Boxing Day getaway

We ran away for a few days and rented a lovely house up the coast. It had a garden for the Little Postcards to play chase and football, it was a house so we didn’t need to worry about stomping on the floor and disturbing neighbours downstairs (or next door for that matter). It had a lovely outdoor area with this pergola draped with vines above it, we’re not sure but think it may be wisteria…

Castellar Zoo

We have long talked about visiting Castellar Zoo. It’s a very small place which seems to be focused on conservation and rescuing animals which have been illegally traded, much like the small wildlife park in Gibraltar’s Alamada Botanical Gardens. At this place though, you can actually get to hold/feed some of the animals. This little Fennec Fox seemed very happy to cuddled.

Hola Puerto Banus

I do enjoy it when we pop over to Spain for a change of scenery. We visited the rather posh town of Puerto Banus and did a bit of people watching, looked at the big boats and posh cars, and then mooched into H&M! No Dolce and Gabbana or Versace for us!

Can you see the Rock?

A lunchtime visit to Sotogrande port afforded us a view of home. There she is behind the masts in the distance!

And so that’s it, Christmas done with for another year, I’m writing this sitting in the sunshine (and not wearing a coat – very unseasonal!) and contemplating whether to make New Years resolutions or not…. onwards and upwards and into New Year.

However you have spent the Christmas period, I hope it has been a happy one for you and your loved ones. Until next time, thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a lovely New Year.

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

A stroll around Gibraltar: No. 24 Med Steps & Upper Rock at Christmas

It’s been a few weeks since I last took a trip up the Med Steps, fancy joining me? Look, there’s even new signs!

Last week, just before the schools in Gibraltar broke up for Christmas, I made the most of some child-free time and enjoyed the tranquility of the Upper Rock Nature Reserve. Just the tonic needed to recharge the batteries ahead of the final push of chaos towards Christmas…

As it had been a while since my last walk, I allowed myself to take it easy, stop and take lots of photos and just enjoy the moment rather than attempting to rush up there as usual.

I did something I’ve not done before… I went into both of the Goats Hair twin caves…

I’m so glad I did! What a view, perfectly framed by the cave opening…

I just love this ‘official’ graffiti.

What a gorgeous place we have on our doorstep, here in Gibraltar.

Everything was looking rather floral too…

Narcissi galore! They even colonized this disused military lookout post…

How’s that for a green roof?

Aah, those views….

The morning light was special that day, it even made the concrete lookout post look almost romantic…

The hills in Morocco were clearly visible across the Strait.

Everything was looking so fresh and verdant, such a difference to the parched brown scrub of a few months ago.

Clematis and other climbers were scrambling over the rocky walls which line the steps.

I just had to give the lavender a gentle rub on the way past, the perfume was divine!

One brief rest stop en route to the top, but not for long as I could hear voices coming up just below me, can’t have people thinking I’m a lightweight ;-).

Almost there…

And finally, at the top!

You can see how long I took, when I was at the caves, the sun was in the East and by the time I reached the top it was to the South!

As I began my descent towards town, I fancied lingering up there a little bit longer…

So instead of heading downwards, I walked along the road which leads northwards towards the cable car top station.

Looking down on Sandy Bay, reminded me of my biggest make this year; my Sandy Bay blanket.

There were plenty of apes about, waiting to see if they could get any rich pickings from the visiting tourists.

Still not quite ready to go home, I took a detour to the Windsor Suspension Bridge.

There wasn’t a soul about, I had the place to myself.

I really enjoyed my tranquil wander up the Rock, just what I needed to escape the to-do lists, tidying and shopping! I hope you did too…

Friday photo challenge (week 51) Star

I put myself in a pickle with this challenge last week. I should have saved the photo of Sacred Heart Church as its ceiling is covered in hundreds of golden stars. However here are a trio of stars I’ve seen today… the first at the top of our tree.

The second on my special Christmas table cloth…

And a wonky crochet star I made tonight.

Next week is the last of my weekly photo challenges for this year, and the prompt is ‘winter’.

Sunday Sevens #167 16.12.18

The sixteenth of December already?! Just 9 days to go to the big day – crumbs. Christmas has been looming but at last it’s just around the corner. We have had yet another busy week with end of term excitement, I’m hoping things start to calm down soon!

Visitors arriving

Last Sunday, my Mum and Dad arrived on the Rock for a couple of weeks. As I went to pick them up from the airport, the traffic came to a standstill to allow a plane to take off. It may be a bit of a pain at times but I still find it rather dramatic….

Birthday celebrations

My Dad arrived just in time to celebrate his birthday. Any excuse for a thickly laden chocolate cake! Crazy end of term madness meant no time for a home-baked cake, but this one was rather tasty.

Last dressmaking class of 2018

The jacket I’ve been working on has progressed as far as it can for this year. It’s hanging up now waiting patiently for sleeves…

That’ll be why it was busy in town…

Town has been swarming with people this week, Christmas shoppers, visitors from across the border and one day, two rather large cruise ships paid us a visit too. The one on the left was gigantic!

Double rainbow

We have been blessed with lovely weather this week, Sod’s Law meant that Thursday morning brought rain and strong winds just in time for my long-booked hair appointment! Still at least we had a gorgeous rainbow (and faint double rainbow) in the Bay. That’s always got to lift your spirits. A pair of bunkering ships were the pot of gold at the end.

Bye bye HMS Astute

On Friday the visiting nuclear submarine HMS Astute left Gibraltar. You may have seen it feature in last weekend’s Sunday Sevens as it arrived. I missed seeing it moving away from its moorings but caught a glimpse of it out in the Bay. Never a dull moment in Gibraltar – there’s always something going on!

And relax…

Yesterday evening I found myself on the Eastside of the Rock. It was so peaceful and the sky was changing colour as the sun went down behind me. That’s another week done, just one week left of school term craziness before we can all relax and enjoy our festive celebrations. Things have been at fever pitch in our house just lately with all the extracurricular goings on in the lead up to the big day – I’m ready to stop the ride and get off!

I do hope that you have had a good week and that this week is a good one for you too.

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

Before I go though, I have to recommend a YouTube video. Gibraltar vlogger Ninja Monkey has just posted a fab video showing him climbing the Med Steps. It gives a great idea of what it’s like for anyone who hasn’t walked up them themselves and if you are thinking about tackling them yourself, you’ll see what you’re in for. Do give it a watch – you won’t be disappointed. The link for it is here.

Friday photo challenge (Week 50) Decoration

Sacred Heart Church needs little additional decoration, it’s beautiful to start with, but it’s currently sporting some Christmas wreathes.

We are a bit slow off the mark in our house and haven’t yet put up our decorations… that’s job for this weekend I think. But Gibraltar has all its decorations up and looking splendid!

Next week is the penultimate week for this photo challenge, and the theme will be ‘star’.

Sunday Sevens #166 9.12.18

Hello! Here’s Sunday Sevens again, a great week for us and full of sunshine. Here goes….

High pressure parking maneuvers

As we headed out on Sunday morning, I spied a submarine heading into port. HMS Astute to be precise. On our travels we went down to the waterside to see the sub up close.

If you’ve ever driven in Gibraltar you’ll know that parking can be a bit tricky at times, on hills, against rocky walls and just inches from the passing traffic. That said, I don’t fancy trying to park one of these… even with the help of a couple of tugs!

Dressmaking booboo

Arghh! As I started sewing this week a spied a terrible thing – a hole in one of my back panels which had already been attached to my collar! The hole must’ve been in the fabric when I bought it but as it was cut double I didn’t see it until too late. It had to be unpicked, then another panel cut and reattached. So glad I did it though, no one wants a jacket with a hole in!

Wanderers return

Last weekend we were a bit depleted in the Postcard household. Two members of the family were overseas on school/work trips. I’m pleased to say both came home safe and well.

Watercolour class

I’m making slow progress with my painting of the ceiling at Sacred Heart Church. That said I don’t want to rush at it a make a hash of it… baby steps!

Winter sun

We’ve had a belting week weatherwise. Mornings have been misty but by lunchtime we’ve had beautiful blue skies and sunshine – we’ve been so lucky!

#Elfy

So, we have an elf… up until this point we’d dodged this current fascination but this week, the pester power was too much and #Elfy arrived.

The tree’s up!

Not our personal one of course 😉 We walked past this huge one in Casemates Square last night and saw it lit up for the first time. It looked lovely.

So that’s it for this week’s Sunday Sevens, I hope it’s been a good week for you. Until next week, bye for now.

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