Sunday Sevens #46 28.8.16

Catalan Bay


It was so hot in our apartment last Sunday, there was a heavy Levanter in town and strong winds there too but up in our corner of Gibraltar  it was still and hot and very humid. We escaped round to Catalan Bay in the afternoon for a short walk and most importantly for ice cream for the smaller folk. You wouldn’t believe the difference in tempterature on other side of the Rock. 

The beach was very quiet for a Sunday, but then perhaps people had been put off by the overcast weather. We enjoyed the cool anyway 🙂

Animal rescue


This little chap found himself trapped in our lounge on Monday, he must have flown in through the window. He got stuck between the two sashes as I tried to open them more to let him out. My little animal lover (Middle Postcard) stepped in to rescue him from between the two parts of window while I held them still. 

He flew out of the window and sat on the balcony to get his breath back for a few moments before flying off to find his Mum. My Dad tells me he’s probably a Great Tit chick. Whatever he is, he’s cute and was happy to be close to us after his rescue. I hope he found his Mum ok. 

Beach day


We had a lovely beach day on Wednesday. We’d arranged to meet a family there and ended up seeing another two families from school, so the Little Postcards had a fab time with their friends. All in all, our trip to Sandy Bay was a huge success.

All the fun of the fair


The fair’s in town at the moment. It can only mean one thing… The school summer holidays are coming to an end. We made our annual pilgrimage to look at the rides but not go on any and I am  amazed and pleased to say that we did partake of a couple of rides. 

We went in a group with friends and peer pressure may have had something to do with it. Nothing was too ‘wild’ but it’s progress on last year’s visit where the only thing we tried was the food!! 

An evening in Catalan Bay part 1


On Friday evening I went to Catalan Bay to meet a new friend (more on that shortly). When I arrived, it was a muggy overcast evening but the Bay looked as beautiful as ever. As the evening wore on and darkness fell the sky was lit by lightning and there were a couple of rumbles of thunder. 

When I got home and mentioned the storm out at sea, the Postcard family had been completely oblivious on this side of the Rock! 

An evening in Catalan Bay part 2 : Gin & Crochet


I went to Catalan Bay to meet up with the crochet guru Marisa also known as @mariwish on Instagram. We spent a lovely evening chatting, eating tapas, drinking gin and crocheting. Marisa teaches crochet in London but is visiting her native Gibraltar to see her family and decided to offer some crochet classes while she’s here on holiday too. 

I got tips and advice on making lacy shawls – not that I needed to start another project, but I’m well and truly hooked. It’s been great fun learning a new technique 🙂


Luscious lavender 


The lavender in Commonwealth Park is just lovely at the moment. I have walked through in the evening several times this week and the scent has been just lovely. It’s one of my favourite scents!

Sunday Sevens was created by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins if you fancy joining in, check out her blog. 

Until next time, thanks for stopping by 

🙂



Wild flowers of the Med Steps


You will have noticed that of late, the Med Steps have featured very heavily in my blog posts, mainly because I’ve spent quite a lot of time climbing them recently. The one thing which has really left an impression on me, apart from the aching muscles, is just how beautiful it looks at the moment with all the wild flowers in bloom. I believe in these last few weeks I have been lucky enough to see them at their absolute peak. The poppies, candytufts, and countless other flowers which have fleetingly made their presence known and brightened up my walks.

I have been taking lots of photos of them to share with those of you who haven’t seen them for real, and I had intended to do a blog post all about them, so here it is. 

The only problem is, I don’t know much about wild flowers and the idea of researching their names etc left me cold (it would most probably make the most boring blog post anyway), so that would just leave along stream of photos of random flowers (also boring). I thought long and hard about how I could bring them to life and capture their magic both for you and for me.


 

Then I came up with an idea, (a slightly strange idea perhaps) to try to recreate the flowers in yarn. I have a book of flower patterns 100 Flowers to Knit & Crochet by Lesley Stanfield and the internet is full of ideas and patterns for crocheting all sorts of wierd and wonderful things so I started investigating. Wow, the world was my oyster, there was so much potential out there that I thought I could really do this. 

But what would I make? A blanket? No, the last one took over a year to make – I’d lose interest. A bag? No, it would soon get battered and spoiled as I used it, plus, it may look a bit odd for everyday use. Then inspiration hit…Remember I made a wreath at Christmas?

Last summer, when I was in England and blessed with lots of fantastic craft supply shops to frequent, I bought two polystyrene wreaths but so far I’d only used one. Inspired by the beautiful wreaths made by Lucy of Attic 24, I thought what if I covered it in crochet to represent the Rock of Gibraltar? There’s the greenery of the steps, the sky and sea and then add the crocheted wildflowers to that? Oh my, that’s it! I have got loads of creative ideas fizz popping in my head now, I need to get cracking.

So first things first, how on earth do I chose which flowers to include? Well Gibraltar’s National Flower, the candytuft is an obvious choice.

Then we have the poppies, with their papery thin petals nodding gently in the sea breeze. They are so delicate and yet stunning against the other greenery of the Upper Rock.

There’s a fair amount of lavender too, and that’s one of my all time favourite plants. The fragrance is so calming and comforting.

So it’s time to get started. I began with crocheting the cover for the polystyrene wreath in shades of green, grey and blue.

And here it is…

It looks a little bare don’t you think? Time to decorate… first a daisy?

Next a thistle…


I made a couple of sprigs of lavender using this pattern.          

There are some really dainty wild sweet pea kind of plants up there at the moment:


We can’t forget the poppies (this one I had to knit):

So to one of Gibraltar’s national flowers… The Candytuft. Could I find a pattern for one anywhere? Could I heck. I had to ‘invent’ one. Based on a pattern in my flower book but with a candytuft twist:


And of course, I can’t forget the little critters who enjoy the wild flowers too…

The butterfly came from the flower book and the bumble bee was made using this pattern from Attic 24. One of my favourite critters in this part of the world though is the lizards, I used this free Ellie Skene Ravelry pattern to make Gordon the gecko:

Next it was time to assemble the wreath…

I played about with the arrangement for a while and added a dandelion, a buttercup and various different shaped leaves before sewing them into place. Are you ready? Here goes :


Time for a few gratuitous close ups ;-)… The wildlife:

Florals:

Perhaps the world’s first ever crocheted Gibraltar Candytuft!:

I’m pleased with how it turned out, it’s currently hanging on the back of my front door. It brightens up my hall and reminds me of the many hours I’ve spent walking past the gorgeous wild flowers of the Med Steps and the fun I had making it. I now promise I’ll stop banging on about the Med Steps for a little while, I know I’m getting boring ;-).

Thanks for stopping by! 

A stroll around Gibraltar No 9: A trip on the cable car 

Hello there, I’ve not taken you out for a stroll for a few weeks, so I thought it was high time we went for another explore around the place I call home. A few weeks back, my parents came over for a visit and we took the opportunity to do a few of the touristy things in Gibraltar which we haven’t done for a while. 

When we first arrived in Gibraltar, we used to frequently take a trip up in the cable car to the top of the Rock and take a leisurely walk down the roads on a Sunday afternoon. When we were suffering from homesickness it felt almost like we were in the English countryside on a summer’s day (well if you don’t look too closely at the olive trees and other Mediterranean vegetation!). 

We hadn’t done that for a while so one weekend day during their visit, the whole Postcard family accompanied by the Grandparents bought our tickets for the cable car and went for a ride.

I took this photo of a poster at the cable car base station. Not the best map I’m afraid and there’s a nice bit of product placement on the modes of transport but it gives those of you unfamiliar with Gibraltar a clearer idea of where we went. 

To the right of the centre of the picture is the label Alameda Gardens that was the subject of my Stroll around Gibraltar No 7 and is right next to the cable car base station. Follow the line (or cables) from there up to the Upper Rock and that’s the destination for the cable car.

The photo above shows the main entrance to the Alameda Gardens as the cable car begins its ascent up to the top of the Rock. I’m afraid I didn’t get the chance to take too many pictures as it was rather busy and we were packed in a bit!

It also just takes about six minutes to rise from the base station to the summit, during that time it’s very easy to get transfixed by the view, trying to spot out familiar sights, schools, houses and parks which we visit regularly.

It was such a lovely day and we had a slightly hazy view of Morocco across the Straits of Gibraltar ahead.

And then we arrived!

Of course there’s no show without punch, and naturally the moment you step off the cable car, the apes are waiting to pounce and one did. A tourist on our trip up carrying a plastic bag full of food got off behind us. An ape used our eldest’s head as a springboard to grab the bag. It was all over in seconds and so quick I didn’t even see it despite being about a metre away! 

There are many signs warning you not to take food up to the top, and to keep your bags closed and not to feed the apes etc etc, but of course there are always a few people who don’t bother taking notice and then get a fright when their sandwiches or sweets get pinched!

It’s well worth taking your chances with the apes though, because check out the view! This is looking north, to the left of the Rock you can see the Gibraltar airport runway and beyond that is La Linea de la Concepción the nearest Spainish town to us.

I can’t make my mind up whether Gibraltar looks smaller or bigger than it feels from up here, a bit smaller I suppose because it’s all so tightly packed. Down below us here in this picture is the town centre with M&S, British Home Stores and all the delights Main Street has to offer. Also Commonwealth Park, Morrisons supermarket, St Bernard’s Hospital, several schools and housing for thousands, not to mention the cruise ship terminal, a new marina for dozens  of small boats and offices for countless businesses.

Beyond Gibraltar in this picture shows Campamento (which lies beyond La Linea) and the delightful oil refinery at the head of the Bay of Gibraltar.

The apes are clearly unimpressed with the view – they get to see it every day after all. A bit of mutual grooming and flea picking is far more preferable!

Down on the eastern and less densely populated side of the Rock you can find Catalan Bay (home to a fishing village and the Caleta Hotel) in the picture  above, and Sandy Bay, home to a retirement village and a few holiday homes, in the one  below.

After taking in the views and admiring our home from above, we decided to begin the leisurely walk down the hill  and homeward bound. In order to get down though, you have to walk through one of the official ape feeding stations where they get their fruit and veg 5-a-day from the conservation workers who look after them and keep them healthy.

For obvious reasons this is a big hot spot for tourists and we had to negotiate quite a few taxis and tourists stopping to take photos, so I thought it would be rude not to pap a few of the performers myself.

It’s so much easier walking downwards than climbing up!

We were really lucky to have a lovely warm day for our ramble down the Rock, almost like a British summer’s day. This really is my favourite time of year in Gibraltar, not too hot and not too wet!

Despite there being a fair few other visitors to the Upper Rock that day, it didn’t take us long to have the meandering roads down to town to ourselves, it was so peaceful.

This little chap was making the most of the sunny weather and was doing a bit of sunbathing on a rock as we passed. I have seen quite a few lizards (or geckos – I’m not entirely sure what their correct title is) so far this spring, it’s so nice to see them out and about, scuttling away into the undergrowth or into cracks as soon as they sense they are no longer alone!

There was a fair bit of flora on show as well as fauna, these strongly perfumed wild freesias were in abundance and have been for weeks now, although they are less common in the last week or so, there were also some beautifully scented lavenders in flower too.

  

And finally, do you remember this picture from my Stroll around Gibraltar No 6: from sea to summit (in the rain!)…  

 

…well, it was a much clearer day when we took our trip up the cable car – just look at the view now!!

Thank you so much for joining us on this stroll down the Rock, do pop back again soon!