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 #156 30.9.18

Sunday again, I was supposed to post midweek all about the Music Festival last weekend but unfortunately time got the better of me, perhaps I’ll manage it this week…. here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens:

And relax…

It’s been quite a week for me this week, we have had visitors over – which has been lovely (and I couldn’t have managed without their help), I’ve been doing a bit of extra work too this week and it’s been a bit non-stop at times. It has made realise that there’s no way I could work full-time. I take my hat off to all those parents out there who hold down a full-time job as well has looking after children.

Pattern making

There wasn’t a lot of sewing going on at my dressmaking class this week but my jacket pattern is moving on apace.

Under a cloud…

The hot and sweaty Levanter weather conditions have continued for most of this week. As you can see, up above the thick cloud (which sits above Gibraltar at the minute) there’s some lovely blue sky. Everyone’s complaining about the humidity at the moment, I hope it comes to an end soon.

A lovely lunch

As I alluded to before, we have special visitors over at the minute, my parents are here for a visit. That gave us the perfect excuse to go out to lunch while the Little Postcards are at school. It’s amazing being able to hold uninterrupted conversations!!

Whoops!

I’m on the final push for my Coastal Crochet CAL. The Seaside Stash Busting Blanket has seen a bit of action this week, but as you can see, I got it a bit wrong…. it took me 4 rows to realise that I’d made a mistake – whoops! Thankfully it’s sorted now!

The end of summer…

It looks like summer beach season is over… I was at Sandy Bay on Friday and although there were quite a few people on the beach and in the sea, work was underway removing the net from the family end of the beach. It doesn’t feel like autumn yet, that’s for sure!

A new arrival in Gibraltar

There’s much excitement in our household about the arrival of a new eatery in Gibraltar. When we visited Sidmouth and Lyme Regis on our Easter trip to the south coast of England, we first encountered the delights of the Cornish Bakery. Then, on our trip to Southwold in Suffolk, we discovered a branch had just opened there too. Imagine our surprise when this signage appeared in Casemates Square… is this an anti-diet conspiracy??!! Is the Cornish Bakery stalking the Postcard family? Methinks a few pasties may be consumed…

Thanks for stopping by to visit this week, that’s all for this Sunday Sevens. As always, I’m linking with Natalie from Threads and Bobbins for this weekly blog series.

Sunday Sevens #149 12.8.18

We’ve had one full week back in Gibraltar after our trip to England, and blimey it’s hot here. The weather has been so humid that everything’s so exhausting and wearisome. I’m counting down the days to my next trip back to England!!! Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens:

Back home

It’s been a few weeks since a sunset view like this has appeared in Sunday Sevens… the humid weather has brought with it lots of murky misty days and this evening last Sunday was no different.

Street Art

A new Government initiative to have legally created street art is underway in Gibraltar at the moment. Apparently a number of different murals will be appearing over the coming weeks and months. This one is being painted by a local artist and is meant to signify her childhood memories growing up in Gibraltar. It certainly brightens up this gloomy underpass, I’ll include an ‘after’ shot once it’s completed.

Gecko watch

Nothing represents hot steamy Gibraltar summer nights to me more than geckos on our kitchen windows. We’re having these windows replaced soon, so I do hope they still visit us on the new ones!

Sandblasted

Fancy having the beach to yourself in August?? Well the secret is to go on the windiest day of the summer… we didn’t last long. We looked like sand monsters when we gave up and packed up our stuff to head home, every exposed piece of skin had sand stuck to the suncream…. delightful!

Fun in the sun

The sandy beach day was rounded off nicely though, we were invited to a barbecue at some friends’ villa in Spain. It was a lovely evening and the Little Postcards loved the use of the pool!

Summer nights

Every summer for a night or two each week, the Government in Gibraltar lays on free performances with bands, local dancers and so on. For the first time in the nine years I have lived on the Rock, I attended one of these ‘Summer Nights’. There’s no particular reason why we haven’t gone before, it just hasn’t happened.

The event was great. Entitled Magic Circus, it featured acrobats and magicians and was fab for the children and grownups alike.

Dinner with a view

Last night, we were very fortunate to be invited to our second barbecue of the week. This time it was in Gibraltar on a roof terrace with this fabulous view! How lucky are we?

So that’s it for this week’s Sunday Sevens. I hope it’s been a decent week for you. Thank you to everyone who has commented on my recent posts, I haven’t had the chance to respond to several of them, but I will as soon as I can. Things have been a bit hectic with the boys off school and windows of peace and quiet seem to be few and far between at the moment!

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

Sunday Sevens #148 5.8.18

Well, this week we spent most of our time with family in the UK before heading back home to Gibraltar. I have to say that although the temperature at times in England was warmer than on the Rock, the humidity since getting back home has totally wiped me out. On the positive side, we had a wonderful fortnight in leafy Suffolk and Norfolk and we all made it safely back home. Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens (or Sunday Nines, as they should be this week!):

Stormy weather

Last Sunday we were treated to some rather inclement (though warm) weather in Suffolk. To look at that photo, you would think it was taken in January, not July! Can you believe that someone was actually kite surfing in those rough waves?! We could barely stand upright in the wind and horizontal rain!!

A shopping trip to Norwich

We made the most of the shops on Monday and hid in shopping centres from the monsoon rain we were experiencing. Thankfully by lunchtime the weather cleared up and we were free to wander at will in the sunshine. I just love the art nouveau architecture of the Royal Arcade. Everything about it is delightful right down to it’s resident hare!

Europa’s trip to the races

Do you remember Europa the Unicorn, who came with us on our summer adventures last year? Well she came with us on holiday again. This time though, she only made it to one day out… the horse racing at Great Yarmouth. We had a great day at the races, and she was my lucky charm, I won £46 from a £4 stake on the race going past her in this photo.

The winning horse was Final Rock, who’s father is Rock of Gibraltar, which is owned by Sir Alex Ferguson. I know nothing about racing, I just go off the name, and this one stood out to me with the Gibraltar connection, and it paid off! (I won’t mention the races I lost money on… let’s just say I broke even on the day after buying ice creams and juice!).

Burgh Castle

While we were in Norfolk one day, we took a trip to Burgh Castle. The ruins there were once a Roman castle and stand proud overlooking the Broads close to Great Yarmouth. We have visited many times over the years and this walk across the fields to see the ruins brought back many memories. After the walk, we met some family for a lovely dinner at a nearby pub as the sun went down…

An evening stroll on the dunes

On Wednesday evening we took a walk across town to have a lovely meal at another pub, this time, on the southern side of Southwold. The meal was lovely, and was followed by a fun walk back to our accommodation across the dunes. The Little Postcards scrambled about and played catch as we made our way back home following the light from the Southwold lighthouse.

Whenever I walk through dunes and marram grass I’m reminded of a story book I had as a child called Hannibal the Hamster, about a hamster who escaped from his home to run free in the marram grass! It’s funny how some small things can bring back such vivid memories of childhood…

Under the pier

So on Thursday we said our last goodbyes to Southwold, it was a marvelous host for us for two weeks as we travelled about the place visiting our relatives in this part of the world. So long Southwold, until next time…

Homeward bound

I usually try to take a photo out of the plane window as I head back to Gibraltar. Normally it’s of a patchwork of green fields, this time, though, I looked a tad more golden than green. This was just after take off from Stansted Airport, in normally green Essex. You can clearly see the toll the long spell of dry and hot weather has taken on the countryside.

So there you have it, Sunday Sevens done for another week, I doubt next week’s will be as varied as this one, sadly! Until next time, bye for now, and thanks for stopping by!

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

Sunday Sevens #147 28.7.18

Oh it’s been difficult to choose what to put into Sunday Sevens this week! We’ve had a rather busy time of it on our holiday, although it’s been busy in a very good way. Here’s a photo from each of the last seven days, there will be more posts to come though in the coming weeks with more pictures….

Hollyhocks galore

The flower of the moment in this part of the world (Suffolk/Norfolk) seems to be the hollyhock. They are everywhere and are truly beautiful – the epitome of an English country garden.

A woodland walk

Monday was a special day for one member of the Postcard family, celebrating a milestone birthday of 70 years. We went out as a big family group to visit Fairhaven water gardens on the Norfolk Broads before a big family dinner. It was such a beautiful, green, heavenly place and as the sun was rather hot, the dappled shade offered by all the trees was very welcome.

Aldeburgh

We took a drive along the Suffolk Coast on Tuesday, visiting Orford and Aldeburgh (above). The coastline is so beautiful here.

Messing about in canoes

Wednesday saw us repeating something we did on a visit six years ago. Back then, Littlest was too small to join in, so I stayed on dry land with him. This time, we all went canoeing on the Broads. My only previous experience was on a canal in Cheshire when I was a Venture Scout, that didn’t go too well (think hitting the canal bank with such force the sharp front end got embedded in the mud).

This time, though, it was wonderful – so peaceful and slow. There were literally hundred of beautiful dragonflies buzzing about, and I even got pecked by a swan!

A lovely day for a train ride

Thursday saw us heading north to the north Norfolk coastal town of Sheringham. Central to the town is the beautifully restored train station and the start of the North Norfolk Railway (also known as the Poppy Line). We had hoped for a trip on a steam train, but the sustained dry and hot weather made the steam engines a fire risk, and we had to make do with a Diesel engine. It was still a nice trip though…

Summer Storm

Whilst visiting Aldeburgh earlier this week, we were told that this part of the world hasn’t had any rain at all since May 4th. On Thursday night, that changed. A thunderstorm came in off the sea, and before the rain came, I went for a walk onto Southwold Common to watch the lightning. Seconds before this photo was taken, the sky was pretty dark. The sheet lightning lit up all the clouds with a pinky glow.

Wrestling at a summer fete!

Yesterday, we visited not one, but two summer fairs. The first one, in Worstead, will get a bigger mention in a future post, the second one, was at Gorleston in Norfolk. The Gorleston Clifftop Gala is an annual event, with fair rides, stalls by community groups (backwoodsmanship & a local rugby team’s stalls were enjoyed by the Little Postcards) and live music. We attended specifically to see a member of the family perform on stage with his band. Our attention was drawn to something I’ve never seen before in real life…. wrestling! It was quite a sight!

So that’s this week’s Sunday Sevens, I hope you have had a great week.

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

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 #138 27.5.18

Crumbs, is it just me, or is this year flying by? I can’t believe we are at the end of May bank holiday weekend already! Slow down please!!! I hope this Sunday Sevens finds you well and that you are enjoying your long weekend (if you are in a part of the world which has one). Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens…

First barbecue of the year

And relax… feeling a little achey after the Med Steps 5 Challenge last Saturday, our first barbecue of the year, my new book and a cold beer were just what the Dr ordered!

Down by the sea

Two Little Postcards had an in service day on Monday. We headed down to Camp Bay for a bit of a kick around and ice cream. What with bank holidays and extra days off school at the moment, there doesn’t seem to be a ‘normal’ week at the moment – perhaps that’s why it feels like time is whizzing by!

Bird’s eye view

I had a trip up to the Great Siege Tunnels this week as a parent helper on a school trip. We got a bird’s eye view of the tunnel being built at the end of the runway, can you see it? There are two tunnels with what looks like a spine and ribs over the top. It was the first time I’d been to the Siege Tunnels with a guide (well a teacher who knew all about it) and I learned quite a few new things. Which reminds me, I went there with the Little Postcards a few months ago during a school holiday and I was meaning to write a post all about it…. one day!

Beautiful blossoms

I love the colour of Jacaranda blossom. This tree sits on Main Street and you could easily miss it as you go about your business. Sometimes it’s a good idea to look up!

Sandy Bay blanket

My seaside stash busting blanket now has a name; the Sandy Bay blanket. I wanted it to have a Gibraltar theme so reflected colours I see about the place. The white and yellow section was inspired by the Both Worlds housing development which sits above Sandy Bay and the green and magenta by the succulents growing above on the old water catchment slopes. Here’s the whole thing so far:

A green future for Gibraltar’s School children

On Thursday I was invited to a special reception in the Alameda Botanical Gardens. A community group I used to be involved with has sponsored a plaque to raise funds for a bio dome and learning facility for school children. It’s a very exciting project and has already garnered a lot of support, but there is still a way to go to raise all the cash needed to build it. For more information about the Alameda BioDome, you can read about it here.

A breezy trip to the beach

My Sandy Bay blanket made it to Sandy Bay on Friday morning. It was gloriously sunny between the wispy clouds skudding across the sky but the breeze was rather brisk. I had to kneel on my blanket to take the photo to prevent it blowing into the sea! Thank goodness I went while the Little Postcards were at school – they would have well and truly disowned me as I clambered over the rocks to try and get a decent photo!!

That’s all from Sunday Sevens for this week, I hope you have had a great weekend. I’m linking with Natalie from Threads and Bobbins for this weekly blog series.