Review of 2017

Crumbs, it’s looking awfully like we are on the cusp of another New Year, it surely can’t be a whole year since the last one, it’s gone far too fast. I guess now’s as good a time as any to have a look back at some of my Postcard from Gibraltar highlights from the past 12 months….

January 2017

A new year meant a new challenge for me this year, a photo challenge. Last year I read Nana Cathy’s blog and was intrigued by her weekly photo challenge. When January came around I thought I’d join in myself. It’s been such fun and quite inspiring throughout the year to have weekly prompts to find pictures for. If you fancy joining in check out Wild Daffodil’s blog for more information.

Also in January I joined forces with my friend Kate of H and FlossieDoodle to start the Gibraltar Crochet Collective. We did meet weekly to crochet and chat over coffee although our meetings have got less and less frequent due to other commitments lately. Our mascots Gib and Rocksy went for a bit of an adventure.

Another new project for me this month was my podcast, you can find my blogposts and the related podcasts here.

February 2017

In February I ran my Creative Gibraltar series looking at some of the very talented craftspeople who live in Gibraltar. I began with my lovely watercolour teacher Deborah M Lawson and ended with local craftswoman and up-cycling guru Sue Orfila. February also brought us the 2017 installment of Gib Talks. I was also fortunate to be able to speak to Gib Talks organiser Julian Felice before the event for one of my podcasts.

March 2017

March was a month for Lenten crochet (far easier than giving up chocolate) which helped support the Sixty Million Trebles effort, a beautiful Suffolk family wedding and a sad goodbye to our rescue bunny Snowflake.

April 2017

April began for us in Southwold in Suffolk, one of our favourite places and involved a lot of Med Steps training, which was very handy for burning off those seaside fish and chips! I was also able to finish another Sixty Million Trebles blanket – this one from the Gibraltar Crochet Collective.

May 2017

May meant Med Steps 5 Challenge again this year and I even managed to beat my time from last year! You can hear my podcast about it here. We also flew back to the UK for our second family wedding of the year.

June 2017

June started for us in Wigan in Lancashire, the location of our latest wedding and the perfect setting for a lovely walk. It was also the Calentita! food festival in Gibraltar. (For some reason the same aerial photo of Gibraltar appeared in May and June’s collages – not sure why that was. It is a good photo though don’t you think?).

July 2017

In July our big summer of travel began with a trip up to the North West of England and a flying visit to North Wales. We also drove to Portugal.

August 2017

This has got to be my most cosmopolitan of all months, featuring travel in Portugal, Rome, France and of course good old Gibraltar. Which reminds me, I have loads of holiday photos on my phone and camera SD card which are crying out to become blog posts – watch this space in the New Year.

September 2017

September is a big month on the Rock, this year more than most as Gibraltarians celebrated the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Referendum when they voted overwhelmingly to remain British. Gibraltar National Day on 10th September coincidentally happened to be the day of my 100th Sunday Sevens. We also had a fabulous music festival.

October 2017

October brought with it some interesting weather, beautiful sunshine, murky mists and exciting lightning storms.

November 2017

November was a good crochet month for me as I finally got around to making last year’s Little Box of Crochet autumn wreath. I also greatly enjoyed this year’s Gibraltar Literary Festival with talks by Nicholas Parsons, Patrick Gale and local photographers and naturalists Clive, Geraldine and Stewart Finlayson.

December 2017

December seems to have rushed by in a flurry of end of term carol concerts and panicked making of Christmas presents (some of which failed to get finished in time). There have been some opportunities for peace and quiet though, namely the last Saturday before Christmas when we avoided the shops and headed for the beach for peace and tranquility.

Summer craft challenge

For the second year running, during the long summer holiday we get in Gibraltar, I decided to set aside a little time each day to do something crafty and I documented this with my Summer Craft Challenge. Each day I featured a photo on Instagram and each week I wrote a blog post on my progress.

At the beginning of the challenge I made a little amigurumi unicorn which I got the kit for in an edition of Simply Crochet magazine. I christened her Europa and she became my Summer Craft Challenge mascot and came on our travels with us. There were several occasions when the Little Postcards thought Mummy had lost her marbles posing a crocheted unicorn in various European locations for photographs…

This year, I returned to work part-time after 13 years as a full-time, stay at home Mum. I have to admit that during the last few months I have found it hard to make time for Postcard from Gibraltar alongside my new commitments and at times I’ve wondered whether I can actually keep it up. I have had some really lovely comments and support from my online friends and that’s kept me going. Thank goodness I have Sunday Sevens and the weekly photo challenge to keep me ticking over during ‘dry’ spells.

I think I would really miss the community I have ‘met’ through Postcard from Gibraltar, and if I’m honest, it’s you and the support you’ve given me which gave me the confidence to apply for the job in the first place. Thank you very much to everyone who’s taken the time to read my posts over the past 2 and a half years, and for the virtual friendship you have given me too – it’s not taken for granted. Every comment and like is very much appreciated.

Here’s to 2018 and all the wonderful challenges it may bring!

Best wishes to you and yours for the New Year x

Sunday Sevens #114 17.12.17

Hello there, can it really be true that we are only one week away from Christmas Eve? I’m not ready!!! It’s been quite a long week with loads going on and I’ve been on my own with the Little Postcards as Mr Postcard was traveling with work.

I feel as though I have been running about a lot and achieved very little, but hey-ho we all have weeks like that sometimes. The result of all this rushing about has left me with few interesting photos for this week’s Sunday Sevens – it won’t win any awards I’m afraid. Here goes…

Christmas carol service

Last Sunday night I was lucky enough to attend the annual Christmas carol service at St Andrew’s Church of Scotland. The Royal Gibraltar Regiment band played the accompaniment to the carols and it was just beautiful. There’s something about carol services which transport me right back to being little again with that sense of expectation that something exciting’s about to happen.

Here comes the rain

Sunday night also brought with it a storm with winds of 100 km per hour at Europa Point. We have been spoiled recently with some lovely (if cold) weather. That was all about to change.

Wet Monday morning

And so the rain came… it was wet.

Happy mail

In a brief moment of calm and tranquility I was lucky enough to crack open this delightful box of loveliness from Little Box of Crochet. I only had time to look at it mind you, it’s been put away for a quiet moment!

A crafty Christmas card

A very talented crafty friend of ours made this beautiful felted poinsettia card. Isn’t it beautiful?

Friday frenzy

So the last day for posting Christmassy things to the UK was Friday. Naturally I left all the wrapping to the last minute… it wasn’t much fun but I got it all done -eventually.

Sunny Saturday morning

The stormy start to the week gave way to a lovely sunny end to the week. This was the scene at our last kids’ football match before Christmas, yesterday morning. It was a bit nippy but a Costa coffee took the edge off and warmed my hands nicely :-).

That’s all from me this week, I hope it’s been a good one for you and you aren’t drowning under Christmas to-do lists!!

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

Sunday Sevens #111 26.11.17

Hello there, I hope you have had a good week. It’s been as busy as always Chez Postcard and I’m staring down the barrel of a frantic few weeks with all the pre-Christmas antics there are are for the Little Postcards. There’s actually one day next week where I need to be in 4 different places at the same time…. I may be calling on the services of Dr Who and his Tardis to get everything done!

Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens…

A sunny start to the week

There was an in-service day for some of the Little Postcards on Monday. I haven’t been feeling too great for the last couple of weeks and they behaved so well for me letting me have an easy day, that we did a late afternoon trip to the park at Europa Point for ice cream as a reward. (My fluey cold from the other week turned into bronchitis 😕). The weather was glorious, as you can see, with just the hint of a Levanter cloud forming on the top of the Rock.

It’s finished #1><

Ta-dah! It’s finished at last! I have actually completed a blouse in my Dressmaking class, with a collar, cuffs and buttons (although I was tempted with velcro when the button holes weren’t behaving as I wanted them to). It’s a bit ‘loud’ colourwise so I’m not sure when I’ll wear it… perhaps under a cardigan!

Cloud free skies!><

We had more beautiful cloud-free skies mid-week. We have been so lucky to have a warm, dry autumn here in Gibraltar so far. I’m dreading having to dig the waterproofs out when the rains come….

It’s finished #2><

It’s been quite the week for finishing things, I managed to finish my autumn crochet wreath – before the end of autumn (a miracle!). I’m thrilled with how it turned out, it looked great in the autumnal sunshine on our front door. The kit came in a Little Box of Crochet and the designer was Kate Eastwood of Just Pootling.

Not much watercolour progress…><

I guess I can’t finish everything at once, so I’m still working on my watercolour painting of town. I’m getting there slowly but surely.

A new project><<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Yesterday I treated myself to starting a new crochet project. I was very disciplined and waited until I’d finished my wreath before cracking open another little box of crochet…

Christmas is coming>


The Gibraltar Christmas lights were turned on on Friday night and yesterday we took a trip into town to visit Gibraltar’s first ever Christmas market. There are artisan stalls set up in little wooden huts, you can even get mulled wine – it smelled lovely (I shall have to go back once I finish my antibiotics!).

I’m linking with Natalie (the proud Mummy of a beautiful new baby girl) from Threads & Bobbins for this weekly Sunday Sevens blog series.

Sunday Sevens #109 12.11.17

Hello there. Please forgive the underwhelming nature of this week’s Sunday Sevens, I’ve been a bit under the weather of late (autumnal sniffles) so my photo taking opportunities have been rather limited this week…

The last rays of sunshine 

Last Sunday afternoon we spent a little while on the Eastside of the Rock at Sandy Bay. You can tell we are heading towards winter as the sun disappeared behind the Rock sooner than it did a few weeks ago…

A posh boat

While on a walk in Ocean Village at the start of the week this rather posh boat caught my eye. I thought it looked unusual with its black hull.

Setting in my sleeves

At my Dressmaking class this week, it was time to set in my sleeves. Amazingly they went in perfectly, at the first attempt!

Under the weather

By midweek I was feeling a little bit off colour. Since then, I have spent a lot of time in bed. It’s just a cold, but I’m a reluctant patient and I’m feeling decidedly frustrated that I’ve run out of energy to achieve anything beyond the basics. Poached eggs are just the ticket when you’re feeling run down don’t you think?

Friday night dusk

I caught sight of this beauty out of the window on Friday evening. You can’t beat a lovely sunset to lift the spirits. 

Autumnal leaves

It has felt decidedly autumnal here this past few days (and I don’t think it’s just because I’ve felt ill). Bright sunny skies yesterday made me yearn to kick through piles of autumn leaves at a National Trust property. I started working on this delightful project from Little Box of Crochet at the end of last week, when we were on holiday and yesterday I added this cute amigurumi toadstool to my autumnal crochet leaf collection. It’s been such fun to work on. 

Thank you for joining me for this week’s sniffly and sneezy edition of Sunday Sevens. I’m linking with Natalie from Threads and Bobbins for this weekly blog series.

Sunday Sevens #103 1.10.17

Here we are on 1st October – how on earth did that come around so quickly? I heard the word Christmas mentioned this week in relation to booking nights out… not sure I’m ready to think about such things just yet! Here’s this week’s edition of Sunday Sevens 🙂

Ape spotting

I decided to build on my Med Steps progress last week and head back up the Rock again on Monday morning. Last thursday there were literally dozens of apes but my camera was firmly zipped in my bag and I wasn’t prepared to unzip it and get mobbed by the apes thinking I had food, so they stayed unphotographed. 

In reference to a comment on last week’s Sunday Sevens by Denis (Haiku Hound) in New Zealand, these photos are with him in mind. They were taken on my phone. I walked slowly through the pack and I have to admit being a bit scared by them for the first time in many years. There was lots of clicking noises going on – and don’t think they appreciated my company.
Dressmaking class

Work is moving on a pace in my dressmaking class. I still love this Kate Fassett fabric I’m using to make my blouse. I bought it from Black Sheep Wools in Culcheth near Warrington in spring. They have a lovely fabric section in addition to the gorgeous range of yarn there.

More Med Steps

Being a glutton for punishment (or perhaps just a bit porky and needing some excercise) I headed back up the Med Steps again on Thursday morning. It was so lovely and cool (unlike on Monday when I nearly melted in the sun). What a difference the cool weather made – I got to the top 

A book recommendation

This week I finished a book I have been reading and I had to give it a mention. Daughters of the Dragon is a fictional story but is based on real events. It tells the story of a Korean ‘Comfort Woman’, in other words, a child who was forced into sex slavery by the occupying Japanese Imperial Army during World War II. 200,000 such comfort women were abused in this way. It is very hard to read in parts but a truly gripping tale. I can highly recommend it if you would like to know more about this hidden history.

An evening by the boats

I had a lovely evening out with a few friends this week with this backdrop. It’s really rather special isn’t it? Sometimes I forget how beautiful it can be here and then I get stopped in my tracks by a view like this…

It’s finished

Those of you who followed the progress of my summer craft challenge this year will be familiar with this mandala in various states of development. Called Jenny’s Mandala, the pattern came as a kit from Little Box of Crochet. It was named after the daughter of company’s founder, who very sadly died of cancer in spring. Such a beautiful and poignant project to work on.

I’m linking with Natalie at Threads & Bobbins the creator of Sunday Sevens.

Sunday Sevens #100 10.9.17

Welcome to the 100th Postcard from Gibraltar Sunday Sevens! I can’t quite believe this little weekly Sunday post has reached such a big milestone, and it couldn’t have landed on a more appropriate day than Gibraltar National Day could it? What’s more, this isn’t any ordinary Gibraltar National Day, it’s the 50th Anniversary of the Referendum in 1967 in which almost 100% of the Gibraltarian population voted to remain British. (I didn’t plan this by the way, I’m not that clever, it’s just a happy coincidence).

This week’s Sunday Sevens is rather neatly bookended by two amazing musical events…

End of the party…

Bearing in mind this is such a milestone, you would have thought I would have packed it full of gorgeous photos wouldn’t you? Sadly, this week hasn’t been the most photogenic one for me! I begin this post with the last photo from my previous post taken in the early hours of Monday morning (thankfully it was a Bank Holiday here in Gibraltar!). 

This year’s Gibraltar Music Festival (known as MTV Presents Gibraltar Calling) came to a climax in the early hours of Monday morning. I took this photo as we were leaving in the middle of Fat Boy Slim’s set (we were being sort of responsible and getting Eldest back home before he or we turned into a pumpkin). For more on the festival, you can find yesterday’s post all about it here.

Moody skies

Things got back to normal again on Tuesday, children went back to school, and a bit of a routine developed again. This long summer break has been lovely but it is nice to have some structure back in our lives again after so long without it! I spotted this cruise ship coming into Gibraltar on Tuesday morning as the Little Postcards were getting ready to head out to school. The tourists on board didn’t get the best of Gibraltar’s weather that day sadly.

Almost missed it!

We had a couple of nice sunsets midweek, I was sitting out on the balcony after dinner and found myself gazing off into the distance in a world of my own when I suddenly realised the sky was looking pretty. I hadn’t even noticed the sun was setting until the last moment. I grabbed my camera quickly before the sun slipped down behind the hills.

Happy post! 

Oh I do love it when I get my monthly subscription from Little Box of Crochet. This lovely little box contained not just a crochet kit, but a cross stitch kit too curtesy of the Geeky Stitching Club! Oh dear, looks like my To-make List is getting longer and longer…

More crochet…

Talking of crochet, I’ve kind of lost my crochet mojo this week. After over 60 days of Crochet during my Summer Craft Challenge, I lost my momentum this week. I’ve only picked up my hook once. I’m hoping this little cactus kit from Simply Crochet Magazine will work its magic and get me back into my rhythm. 

A hole with personality 😉

Please tell me I’m not going mad and this hole has a face… it caught my eye as I walked past and I had to go back and look at it again. From a different angle it looks nothing like a face but straight on it has a pair of shades, a nose and a mouth!! 

It’s on a wall close to The Mount on Europa Road if you fancy having a look yourself. I reckon he has a look of Elvis don’t you?! 

All set for National Day

Gibraltar is resplendent in red and white all ready for this weekend’s celebrations. On Friday I took a walk into town for the first time in ages and ages and got to see all the decorations up close rather than from a car window. Gibraltar really does go to town each September and this year more than most.

Classical celebrations 

Last night I was lucky enough to return to Victoria Stadium, the scene of the first of this week’s photos for another musical concert. This one was by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. It was amazing. Titled ‘A celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the 1967 Referendum’ it had the feel of Last Night at the Proms. There was a mix of well known classical pieces such as Pomp & Circumstance and Nimrod from the Enigma Variations and movie soundtracks including Star Wars and Harry Potter. 

In addition to the orchestra, we were entertained by the Gibraltar Regimental Band and a local choir. The solo singers were amazing too – they performed a few opera pieces and rousing renditions of Rule Brittania, Jerusalem etc. The female soloist, Laura Wright is a regular at major sporting events singing anthems, the male soloist is perhaps one of the best known opera singers in Britain today; Wynne Evans of the Go Compare adverts. What an amazing night and wonderful atmosphere, and a world away from what we experienced a week before. At just £5 for a ticket it was a fab opportunity to hear some first class musicians.

And that brings this week’s Sunday Sevens to a close. (I know it should be seven photos from the past seven days and not nine, but it’s a special edition!)

I’m linking with Natalie at Threads & Bobbins for this post, as Sunday Sevens was  first created by her. Thanks Natalie for such a great idea – who would have thought I’d get to 100!

Summer Craft Challenge 2017 (week 9)

Welcome to the slightly late final edition of my Summer Craft Challenge 2017. A return to school for the Little Postcards and the wonderful MTV Gibraltar Calling music festival this weekend slightly threw me off track… here goes!

Day 57 : Saturday 26th August

Saturday was our last night in beautiful Carcassonne.  I will always remember Carcassonne when I wear this shawl once it’s finished.

Day 58 : Sunday 27th August

Back in Toulouse on Sunday the colour blue began to emerge in the yarn. I’m really enjoying the colours of this Scheepjes Whirl yarn.

Day 59 : Monday 28th August

With a few hours to kill between checking out and heading to the airport it meant a little while in one of Toulouse’s gorgeous public parks crocheting on a bench…

….and then more time for hooky on the plane. I ended up sitting next to a lovely Spanish lady who loves to crochet too. She showed me her bag which she had made herself.

Day 60 : Tuesday 29th August

Back at home in Gibraltar now, with just the chance for a couple of rows between the multiple loads of post holiday laundry!

Day 61 : Wednesday 30th August

Time for a change today and a return to this lovely ‘Jenny’s Mandala’ from Little Box of Crochet. I know I have said it before but I just love how the pattern and look of the mandala changes with each new row.

Day 63 : Thursday 31st August

More mandala time, and as the sun went down on Thursday, it went down on the school summer holidays and indeed my summer craft challenge for this year. I felt a glass of wine was in order to celebrate over 60 days of craftiness (I missed just 2 days this year) and to spare a thought for all the wonderful teachers who will be nurturing all our kiddiwinks over the next academic year.

My Summer Craft Challenge this year has been such fun and has come with us all over the place on a mini European tour. Europa the Unicorn, who I made on the very first day of the challenge back on 1st July has been to the U.K., France, Portugal, Spain and Italy. I have been getting weird glances from not just my children, but passers-by as I have been attempting to take photos of her in various locations, I have been disowned on more than one occasion.

Thanks so much for joining me!