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.

Sunday Sevens #215 5.1.20

Hello and happy New Year! I hope you had a good celebration. Are you still sticking to your resolutions or have you decided not to bother? I’m trying to get a bit fitter and have a few plans up my sleeve for projects this year… watch this space!

In fact, I’ve even been for a run this morning so I’m feeling rather virtuous!

Here’s the first Sunday Sevens of 2020:

Leaving on a jet plane…

On Sunday we waved goodbye to Mr Postcard and Gibraltar and hopped on a plane to visit my family in Manchester. It was a nice smooth flight filled almost entirely with the task of attempting to untangle the humungous knot I’d managed to get tangled in my Scheepjes Whirl. It took until New Year’s Eve to get sorted and required help from my brother and my Dad!!

A late afternoon stroll

On Monday afternoon we took a trip to one of my favourite places, Dunham Massey National Trust Park. I was rather stunned by the early dusk compared to Gibraltar – this is my first midwinter visit to Manchester in about 9 years!! The sunset did make for a lovely backdrop for the deer though!

New Year’s Day – starting as I mean to go on…

I impressed myself for getting out for a run on New Year’s Day – not my usual view of the Bay of Gibraltar but it’ll do just the same!

A wander around Manchester

Later on on New Year’s Day I jumped on the train into town and had a wander around in the cold! I even bumped into Miss Pankhurst which was a thrill!

Hitting those New Year goals!

I have so many unfinished craft projects on the go that I’m determined to get some finished this year. First one completed was this leaf pattern scarf from My Picot. I’m ashamed to say it’s been on the go for about 18 months and been calling me from the sidelines for ages. Well it’s done, and I love it!

Homeward bound

We flew back home to Gibraltar on Friday after a lovely, if brief, trip to Manchester. It was a fabulous few days and so nice to be able to catch up with friends and family. It was a stress free flight home, and I even got time to start work on my second WIP (work in progress) of 2020 en route!

After much squinting at Google Maps, me & Eldest think it’s the Devon coastline you can see in the photo above and Dartmouth in particular.

Home!

It was a corker of a day yesterday. Just look at that late afternoon sun reflecting off the water. Just the weather for getting my washing dried (oh the glamour!).

And that is Sunday Sevens done for another week. I hope it’s been a kind one to you. Back to school normality begins at some point next week for us, which is good in some ways and less so in others. Until next time, thanks for stopping by!

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

My 2019 Review of the Year

Well, it’s a bit last minute for a retrospective post, but here goes….

January

I had a great start to the year, I enjoyed my watercolour classes attempting to paint a picture of the ceiling in one of the most beautiful churches in Gibraltar – Sacred Heart. I also made a quick trip back to Manchester to visit my parents and it snowed!

February

February was lots of fun – and I had an amazing trip with Eldest to Stockholm, we visited the ABBA museum, ate meatballs and had a real adventure. You can read about it here in Part 1 and in Part 2.

March

Spring had sprung in March, and I went on an expedition to see some of the beautiful street art which has appeared in Gibraltar lately.

April

Easter fell in April and we headed to Padstow in Cornwall for a fabulous hot and sunny week’s holiday. It was wonderful to share some beautiful fun experiences with the Little Postcards.

May

May felt like the start of summer with the Med Steps 5 Challenge & family fun weekend and long sunny days.

June

Gibraltar made a contribution to the Flags of Thanks project supporting Veterans, I attended my last watercolour class after about 5 years of going (time constraints were the issue) and progress was made on my Changing Tides Blanket.

July

July kicked off in style with the Calentita food festival in Gibraltar, it was quickly followed by the Island Games a truly amazing week of sport, it was also the school holidays.

August

During August, Postcard from Gibraltar celebrated the 200th edition of Sunday Sevens, we had a trip to Portugal and another one to England and there were lazy days on the beach.

September

In September Take That came to Gibraltar… Liam Gallagher did too. It was amazing!

October

October brought us sunshine, sunsets & a lovely midterm break.

November

And in November GIbraltar played host to the International Literary Festival, it lit up the Christmas lights in the Festival of Lights.

December

Amazingly we enjoyed some beautiful hot sunny moments in the depths of winter in Gibraltar this year, even bringing the geckos out of hibernation! I also tried and failed to finish my Changing Tides Blanket before the end of the year! There’s always next year!!

I hope 2019 has been as kind to you as it has been to our family. I have to admit to being rather trepidatious as to what 2020 will bring with Brexit and all, but that aside I wish you a very happy, healthy & prosperous New Year.

Thank you so much for your support this year x

Sunday Sevens #214 29.12.19

Hello and welcome to the final Sunday Sevens of 2019. (Sunday Sevens for those who haven’t visited Postcard from Gibraltar before is a selection of photos – usually seven, from the past seven days).

We were traveling yesterday so this is more of a Monday Sevens this week! I hope you have had a good week and a fun Christmas. Here goes…

Sunday lunch in the sun

Last Sunday we had a lovely family meal at Queensway Quay. After lunch we went for a bit of a walk to look at the fish and the boats.

Monday morning run

I managed to motivate myself enough on Monday morning to go out for a run (it took quite a bit of will power!). As I ran past the beach at Camp Bay, I couldn’t help but notice that there was rather a lot of plastic washed up on the sand. As I took a breather I thought I’d pick up some rubbish. I was rather shocked with what I gathered in just a couple of minutes (below).

Sunny Christmas Eve

We had a lovely Christmas Eve lunch at one of our favourite Gibraltar restaurants. It was a beautiful day and I managed to order the biggest lamb dish I have ever seen. Thankfully, I had help to finish it!

Christmas Day walk

On Christmas late afternoon, I went out for a walk with Eldest to burn off a few of the calories I’d consumed. We walked south to the lighthouse at Europa Point and then back up north towards town and home again. As we walked along we met the Governor of Gibraltar who was also out for a Christmas Day stroll!

Boxing Day Polar Bear Swim

On Boxing Day I managed to get out for another run – I was doing so well last week (not doing so well of late though). Whilst I ran past Camp Bay, a group of brave souls were taking part in the Polar Bear swim in aid of Cancer Relief Gibraltar.

Wander with the Little Postcards

Later on on Boxing Day as Mr Postcard had to work, I headed into Spain with the Little Postcards and we had a lovely walk by the seaside. We spotted a few four legged friends on our travels.

Will I or won’t I finish this by the end of the year?

So on Friday I was determined to have a good go at finishing my changing tides blanket (pattern from Eleonora at Coastal Crochet) but unfortunately I have been beaten in my quest. I tried and failed to get it done before the end of the year – I can say that because we have now left Gibraltar for a New Year stay in England and I have left the blanket behind – there wasn’t room for it in my case.

I have, however made a lot of progress and the end is in sight, so it won’t be too long I hope. I have also brought a WIP with me to try and finish that instead while I’m away.

Grey day

That lovely sunshine we had over Christmas was long gone by Saturday. The sky was the same colour as the Rock! Never mind, we had a very good spell of weather over Christmas so I’m not complaining.

And that brings Sunday Sevens to an end for another week. I do hope that you enjoyed this week if you celebrate Christmas.

Thanks very much for sticking with me this year, it’s been a bit of a quiet one for Postcard from Gibraltar as I’ve been rather busy doing other things this year. I hope to be around a bit more in 2020.

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

Sunday Sevens x2 #212 8.12.19 & 15.12.19

Hello! I’m playing catch up this week after overcoming the gremlins I was experiencing on my website. This week’s Sunday Sevens actually spans 2 weeks. Here goes…

Sunday lunch by the water

Two weeks ago, we headed down to Queensway Quay for a family lunch. The weather was lovely, as was the food and the view!

Christmas cards I

Do you remember those little crocheted Christmas trees I made last week? They got turned into a few Christmas cards. I’m rather happy with them.

Christmas cards II

On the subject of Christmas cards, how is this for a stunner? My lovely friend V made this felted card of Helleborus (Christmas roses) for us this year.

Blues

I do love this building, sometimes it jumps out at me, and other times I walk past and forget it’s there. Those blue and white tiles make a bold statement and I love it!

Looking festive

On Sunday evening, I went to the wonderful St Andrews Church Carol Service. It features readings from various Gibraltarian dignitaries and the music is supplied by the Gibraltar Regiment Band. It’s recorded by Radio Gibraltar and gets played out over Christmas.

On my way home I got to see Gibraltar’s Christmas lights at their best, with the streets empty of traffic and folk!

Blowing the cobwebs away

So the scales are telling me that I need to take a bit of action before the Christmas feasting begins… I dusted off the trainers and went out for a bit of a run a couple of times this week. I use the term ‘run’ in its loosest form but I tried. The view was lovely from my point of view, not sure anyone who was witness to my lumbering along beside the sea would agree though!

Last dressmaking class of 2019

Sewing is finished officially as of this week as far as my dressmaking classes are concerned. I shall miss my weekly classes while Christmas happens but in a way it’s nice to see the diary starting to thin out! I’m rather pleased with my seams by the way…

Carol service

I got to go to two carol services this week. They were beautiful, and so lovely to step out of the chaos of the Christmas build up and take a moment. The photo above was taken in the beautiful Sacred Heart Church.

Oh dear

So I guess it’s happening then… Boris got in and we are about to wave goodbye to our wonderful EU membership. I’m beyond sad/angry/bewildered about how this has come about. I like most of Gibraltar (96%) voted to Remain. I can only hope that this booklet produced by the Gibraltar Government won’t be needed.

Seagulls

I refuse to end this Sunday Sevens on such a downer, so here’s a view of the Rock and some of the gazillion seagulls who live here which I took on my walk this morning!

I hope it’s been a good week for you l, where ever you are and that the next seven days brings you good things.

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