Sunday Sevens #131 15.4.18

Hello there, and welcome to this week’s Sunday Sevens. It’s been a bit of a busy day, hence the lateness of this!

Sunshine ☀️

After a dodgy start, last Sunday was glorious. In the afternoon we took the Little Postcards to the park to run off a bit of energy ahead of school starting back the next day. On our return, Mr Postcard and I, took a few minutes to sit out on the balcony before dinner to soak up a few rays – rain was forecast for the next seven days – you have to take the opportunity while you can!

Back in the groove

Oh, how I missed my crochet while I was in the UK over Easter. I took a portable project with me but sadly the hook recommended was too small for my tension and although I had the next size up with me that was too small too… I did the first two rows of 300+ stitches and frogged it three times before giving up.

There was a lovely looking yarn shop in Sidmouth where we stayed but it was closed (understandably) over Easter weekend, and in London, we took a big diversion one day to visit Loop in Islington (a gorgeous yarn emporium). They had every size hook imaginable in stock apart from the size I needed – grrr! Never mind, I got to scratch my crochet itch on our return and managed to catch up on about 3 weeks worth of rows of the Coastal Crochet Seaside Stash Busting Blanket.

Med Steps training

I’m committed to doing the Med Steps 5 Challenge again in May this year, but so far my training hasn’t gone to plan very well. On Monday I managed a first for this year, twice round! The second trip was not easy at all but it feels like I’m finally getting somewhere!

As you can see above, I started the first trip up in drizzle with a rainbow in the Bay and finished the second in sunshine….

Back to art class

It feels like it’s been a long, long time since my last watercolour class. It’s got to be about a month since I last put pencil or brush to paper. This week I headed back to my class and began a new ink and watercolour painting, freesias this time.

Happy post & a bumble bee 🐝

I have been meaning to go and pick up a parcel from the post office since we returned from our Easter trip to England and a message on the radio gave me the kick up the behind I needed. The parcel post is moving locations across Gibraltar this weekend, to make way for a new school building project.

I didn’t want my parcel to get lost in the move, so hot footed it over to pick up my latest Little Box of Crochet. Being a native Mancunian, I just love my bumble bee brooch! I also have a friend who’s expecting a baby girl, so I have just the person in mind for that crochet project, once it’s complete!

Wet, wet, wet!

This week, we had storms on Tuesday and again on Thursday. It was pretty wet for us on Friday too but I persevered and climbed up the again on Friday. The Steps were closed on Wednesday and Friday after the storms so I went up the road on the other side instead. I’m chuffed with myself that I managed 3 training sessions in total this week.

Football crazy

Yesterday meant lots of football, and with it lots of very welcome sunshine. We had a league match to attend in the morning for one Little Postcard and then a 5-a-side tournament in the afternoon. Never a dull moment in this house!

And that, as they say, is that. Sunday Sevens complete for another week. Thanks for stopping by, I hope you have had a good week and that the week ahead is kind to you.

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

Sunday Sevens #130 8.4.18

Hello there from Gibraltar on the last day of the Easter school holidays. Life will hopefully fall back into some sort of routine from tomorrow. We’ve had a lovely week and a bit of family time with travel to the south of England, which we all enjoyed, but it will be nice to get back to normal again… here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens:

Down on the farm

On Easter Sunday we piled into car and drove from our holiday home in Sidmouth in Devon to a fabulous farm shop and café for breakfast. Greendale Farm Shop, just outside Exeter, has won awards and I can see why, it was fabulous. We had great breakfasts ranging from a mini full English to bacon butties, omelette to waffles and ice cream?! The shop was excellent, as was the farm itself.

The Little Postcards were mesmerized by the free range chickens who followed us wherever we went. As for Oscar the ostrich, the jury’s out. Just for the record I was informed that there was a more than passing resemblance between myself and the pot bellied pigs (see what I have to put up with!).

Train travels

We were on the move again on Monday, we travelled from Devon to London Paddington. The train was terribly overcrowded, we stood all the way from Exeter to London 😦 it was so overcrowded even the toilet door handle was shocked:

I stood next to it all the way :-/

Being tourists

On Tuesday we met up with some old friends who used to live in Gibraltar and did a spot of sightseeing. (It was lovely to see them again.) First stop was St Paul’s Cathedral. I had never been inside before and was mesmerized by this place which, when I was a little girl in 1981, hosted the fairytale royal wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Di.

I had a Ladybird book of the royal wedding which I knew off by heart cover-to-cover preparing myself for my own wedding to a Prince…. I did indeed meet my prince, Mr Postcard, our wedding was a rather more low key affair but no less special 😉

Flying high

On Wednesday we took a bit of a tour around the capital for the benefit of a Little Postcard who has a thing for public transport, we rode the Tube, the Docklands Light Railway, a regular train which ran on part of the soon to be opened Cross-Rail project and hitched a ride on the Emirates Airline cable car. It gave us a great view across the O2 towards the City, and despite the rainy weather was lots of fun.

A perfect spring morning

On our last morning in London, we woke to blue skies and set off for a bit of a walk to make the most of the good weather. We headed to Kensington Gardens and as you can see it was glorious. What a charming park, despite being busy with people it didn’t feel overcrowded and it was great to get a fix of green in the Big Smoke. Many of the trees were starting to show signs of spring and it was so good to see.

Heading home

On Friday we headed home to Gibraltar. Before setting off from Blighty we had an overnight stay with more friends in Sussex and we headed out for a walk near to where we were staying. On that walk I spied these pretty primroses. I do love visiting England in the spring. The sprouting trees and hedges and spring flowers hold such promise of the beauty which is yet to come. Thank you England, we had a lovely trip!

Back down to business

Too much time has passed without Med Steps training, so once my washing airers were full of clean wet washing and I could wash no more, it was time to hit the steps again yesterday.

I have to admit feeling a little disillusioned and unmotivated about my training of late as life and bad weather have rather got in the way. However, as I stepped I plugged in my headphones to listen to an amazing podcast. It was the latest in the Blogtacular Podcast series and featured Lauren Mahon, the author of the blog Girl vs Cancer.

It was incredibly powerful as she spoke of the importance of support services to help people undergoing cancer treatment. It reminded me why I was training for the Med Steps 5 next month, which raises funds for the Cancer Relief Centre here in Gibraltar so it can offer a whole range of much needed support services to those undergoing treatment as well as their nearest and dearest. I’m back on track now!

Thank you for stopping by and reading this Sunday Sevens. I’m linking with Natalie from Threads & Bobbins.

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.

Sunday Sevens #128 25.3.18

Well it’s been quite a week for me. I started it in Gibraltar, spent most of it in Italy and a fair chunk of yesterday in Barcelona (airport only unfortunately – but you can’t have it all!!). Here’s this week’s jet set edition of Sunday Sevens (or in this case Sunday Eights)…

A rainy escape

This was my view as we crossed the runway in Gibraltar last Sunday on our way to Malaga airport. Running away and leaving the Little Postcards with my parents, it was the first time we’d left them for more than two nights in about 12 years. We were enroute to the Dolomites in Italy for a skiing break with some of Mr Postcard’s work colleagues.

Until this week I had never skied. It wasn’t something I ever particularly fancied trying, I imagined I would be asking for an injury if I tried, so I was quite content to be a non-skier. That was all about to change.

First day on the slopes

After 10 hours of traveling on Sunday, we arrived at 11:30pm. First thing in the morning, we were up for breakfast, next stop the ski-hire shop and then an 11 o’clock appointment with David our ski instructor.

Those first ginger movements across the small slope from our hotel to the bottom of the piste were petrifying. As was the first couple of snow-ploughs at the very bottom of the slope. How we would ever master this with any grace or dignity intact was beyond me.

A pre-ski walk

Day 2 saw us with a window of opportunity between breakfast and our first lesson of the day. We put our hiking boots on and made a break for it to see what was beyond the pretty Village of San Vigilio where we were staying. We didn’t have to go far to see the amazing views. What a truly beautiful place. Ski-wise, we saw a slight improvement on our technique after 4 hours with our tutor, but we’re not attempting to score a place on Team GB for the 2022 Winter Olympics yet.

That’s me down there!

So that’s me down there, spotted from way above the piste by a friend traveling past on a ski lift. There were 3 in our class, me, Mr Postcard and another friend from Gibraltar. Our instructor is in blue and, quite remarkably, is able to ski backwards… he’s been skiing since he was 2 1/2 years old apparently. No hope for us two then, starting at the ripe old age of 40+.

Another snowy walk

On Thursday, after our lesson (which didn’t go too well – I fell for the first time on a very steep slope near the top of an amazing mountain, the views were great even if the skiing wasn’t), Mr Postcard and I continued out on the same road we had taken before but carried on for a few kilometers. We ended up on a woodland walk and then hit a cross country ski trail. It was so peaceful and beautiful.

Survived it!

Before we could say ‘après ski’ our five days of skiing were over. 17 hours of lessons later I can now parallel ski (slowly). And what’s more amazing is that I didn’t injure myself. I only had a few mishaps, 1 fall, I dropped one of my ski poles off a chair lift (eek) – fortunately no one was underneath at the time, and I may have come a cropper on a different chair lift shortly afterwards, but all in all I think it was a win. Cheers!

Ciao San Vigilio and grazie!

The last rays of sunlight on the mountains behind the gorgeous village of San Vigilio on Friday evening as I finished packing and got ready for our last Italian dinner. Wow, what a week it was, such a laugh with some lovely people and a great experience I will never forget.

Homeward bound..

We had a trip and a half yesterday. 5:20am pick up from the hotel, 3 hour drive from San Vigilio to Marco Polo airport in Venice (I’ve always wanted to go to Venice), a flight to a very wet Barcelona (I’ve always wanted to go to Barcelona). 5 hours at Barcelona airport. A flight to Malaga, and a car journey back to Gibraltar. We watched the sun rise over the Italian Dolomites and set over Spain as we descended into Malaga airport. 17 hours door to door!

Mr Postcard says I can now tick Venice and Barcelona off my bucket list, I’m not convinced that seeing the inside of the airports counts as truly experiencing either city :-/

Phew, what a week…

I’m off for a lie down! Thanks for stopping by.

I’m linking with Natalie from Threads & Bobbins for the weekly Sunday Sevens blog series (which features 7 photos from the past 7 days).

Friday photo challenge (week 12) Spring

Spring is my favourite time of the year for climbing the Med Steps. Everything is so lush and green after the winter’s rain and the wild flowers pop up in the dusty, dry soil.

It’s the time of year when one of Gibraltar’s national flowers, the Gibraltar Candytuft, comes into bloom…

All these beautiful plants and colours are just what you need to distract you from your aching muscles as you haul yourself up the steep climb!

For more on the beautiful wild flowers of the Med Steps (and how I attempted to recreate them with wool!) you can look here.

Spring is the theme for this week’s Friday Photo Challenge. Next week it’s ‘rainbow’.

Sunday Sevens #127 18.3.18

Blimey we had a wild night of weather last night. I know there’s a mini-beast from the East hitting the British Isles at the minute, but we also had tales and heavy rain overnight. Gusts in the Port of Gibraltar reached 100km per hour overnight and our poor balcony took a bit of a battering as we faced much of the wind head-on.

Anyway, weather aside, I hope this edition of Sunday Sevens finds you well and that you’ve had a good week.

Mother’s Day

Last Sunday was of course Mother’s Day. I was very lucky and was given this beautiful bouquet of roses by the Little Postcards along with a box of chocolates (they know me well). I was a very kind Mummy and shared them (as much for my benefit as their’s though – my figure is looking decidedly rounded these days…).

A blessing of unicorns

Way back last summer when I set off on my Summer Craft Challenge, the first thing I made was Europa the Unicorn. She came as a kit with Simply Crochet Magazine issue 54 and was designed by Ilaria Caliri. Europa came with us on all of our European adventures last summer (some of which I have still to tell you about when I get the chance!).

Anyway, back then I was asked by a couple of friends to make them a unicorn. That number of requests grew to four and I thought I had better pull my finger out and get on with it, so a unicorn production line began. And here they are in all their rainbow glory along with Europa – the girl who started it all (with the golden horn).

I do enjoy making amigurumi creatures but the counting and careful noting of rows and increases / decreases means that I need to concentrate – something I’m no good at in a house full of boys! So at last, only 7 months after making the requests, my little blessing of unicorns (yes that’s what Google says the collective noun of unicorns is) are heading off to their new homes and this unicorn factory is closing.

Another WIP completed!

Work in progress number 6 of 2018 completed (if you include the unicorns a number 5). This ripple scarf was actually finished a while ago, but this week I blocked it to make the pointy edges sit nicely ready to give it to my Mum. It was a late Christmas present (I just didn’t get it done in time to post it to England in time for Christmas) and I was able to give it to her when she arrived in Gibraltar this week. It’s made using a Scheepjes Whirl in Red Velvet Sunrise. I’m very pleased to say she was very happy with it, even though it was a bit late.

Boat spotting

We get to see all sorts of different boats and ships coming past out window on a regular basis, but a couple of times this week we saw a small cruise ship park up (I know that’s not the correct terminology) outside our home and it looked like it was bunkering (taking on supplies). It was an unusual sight as normally a cruise ship would anchor in port. But we couldn’t see any passengers on board so we presumed it was perhaps a new ship on it’s sea trials. We found I interesting anyway!

Lunchtime treat

As I mentioned before, my parents arrived in Gibraltar this week and we went out for a sneaky lunch while the Little Postcards were at school. I’m salivating just looking at this photo, I could go another plate of fish and chips now!! It was utterly delicious and far nicer than the tin of soup I would normally, have for lunch on my own!

Coastal Crochet CAL update

I am bang up to date on the Seaside Stashbusting Blanket CAL organised by Eleanora at Coastal Crochet. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, I’m really enjoying the slow gentle nature of this crochet along. Just four rows are released each week and that’s a rate I can keep up with! I have a feeling I may be making a colour change soon though and give the aqua blues a rest for a while…

Stormy Saturday

Blimey we had a heck of a storm yesterday. This winter seems to have brought us more than our usual number of storms here in Gibraltar – I know you may think we have got off lightly as we didn’t have the snow and ice that many have suffered further north but we have had an awful lot of wind and rain! This is what our balcony looked like first thing this morning. Our poor pots have seen better days – they seem to spend more time on their sides these days!

Thanks for popping over to see what I’ve been up to this week. I hope whatever you have in store next week, it’s a good one for you. I’m linking with Natalie from Threads & Bobbins for Sunday Sevens.

Friday photo challenge (week 11) Communication

On a rocky ledge high above the Strait of Gibraltar sits a huge dish. Somewhere in an office in Gibraltar sits someone controlling this dish and communicating with a satellite up in space.

I find that fact quite fascinating. Also fascinating is the name of the tunnel which runs below the dish. It’s name? The Devil’s Bellows!

‘Communication’ is the theme of this week’s Friday photo challenge. Next week’s is ‘Spring’.